Changing China

Giant on the move

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Playing Lei Feng


A proposal to have Chinese “diving prince” Tian Liang star as revolutionary model soldier Lei Feng in a television show has prompted an angry response from some of Lei’s former comrades.

Lei was idealised by Communist propagandists for his selfless spirit and devotion to the Party and the people, though some historians say his legend has been embellished.

He died after being run over by a truck in 1962 while helping a colleague, according to the official story.

But now, 70 of his former friends-at-arms have written an open letter calling on Tian not be to allowed to play Lei on screen, saying his “indiscipline, frequent scandals and extravagance” made him an inappropriate choice, the Liaoshen Evening Post said.