A Letter to Chiang Ching-Kuo by Liao Chengzhi ~ 廖承志 《致蒋经国的信》 with English Translations

作品原文

廖承志 《致蒋经国的信》

经国吾弟:
咫尺之隔,竟成海天之遥。南京匆匆一晤,瞬逾三十六载。幼时同袍,苏京把晤,往事历历在目。惟长年未通音问,此诚憾事。近闻政躬违和,深为悬念。人过七旬,多有病痛,至盼善自珍摄。
三年以来,我党一再倡议贵我两党举行谈判,同捐前嫌,共竟祖国统一大业。共竟祖国统一大业。惟弟一再声言“不接触,不谈判,不妥协”,余期期以为不可。世交深情,于公于私,理当进言,敬希诠察。
祖国和平统一,乃千秋功业,台湾终必回归祖国,早日解决对各方有利。台湾同胞可安居乐业,两岸各族人民可解骨肉分离之痛,在台诸前辈及大陆去台人员 亦可各得其所,且有利于亚太地区局势稳定和世界和平。吾弟尝以“计利当计天下利,求名应求万世名”自勉,倘能于吾弟手中成此伟业,必为举国尊敬,世人推崇,功在国家,名留青史。所谓“罪人”之说,实相悖谬。局促东隅,终非久计。明若吾弟,自当了然。如迁延不决,或委之异日,不仅徒生困扰,吾弟亦将难辞其咎。再者,和平统一纯属内政。外人巧言令色,意在图我台湾,此世人所共知者。当断不断,必受其乱。愿弟慎思。
孙先生手创之中国国民党,历尽艰辛,无数先烈前仆后继,终于推翻帝制,建立民国。光辉业迹,已成定论。国共两度合作,均对国家民族作出巨大贡献。首次合作,孙先生领导,吾辈虽幼,亦知一二。再次合作,老先生主其事,吾辈身在其中,应知梗概。事虽经纬万端,但纵观全局,合则对国家有利,分则必伤民族元气。今日吾弟在台主政,三次合作,大责难谢。双方领导,同窗挚友,彼此相知,谈之更易。所谓“投降”、“屈事”、“吃亏”、“上当”之说,实难苟同。评价历史,展望未来,应天下为公,以国家民族利益为最高准则,何发党私之论!至于“以三民主义统一中国”云云,识者皆以为太不现实,未免自欺欺人。三民主义之真谛,吾辈深知,毋须争辩。所谓台湾“经济繁荣,社会民主,民生乐利”等等,在台诸公,心中有数,亦毋庸赘言。试为贵党计,如能依时顺势,负起历史责任,毅然和谈, 达成国家统一,则两党长期共存,互相监督,共图振兴中华之大业。否则,偏安之局,焉能自保。有识之士,虑已及此。事关国民党兴亡绝续,望弟再思。
近读大作,有“切望父灵能回到家园与先人同在”之语,不胜感慨系之。今老先生仍厝于慈湖,统一之后,即当迁安故土,或奉化,或南京,或庐山,以了吾弟孝心。吾弟近曾有言:“要把孝顺的心,扩大为民族感情,去敬爱民族,奉献于国家。”诚哉斯言,盍不实践于统一大业!就国家民族而论,蒋氏两代对历史有所交代;就吾弟个人而言,可谓忠孝两全。否则,吾弟身后事何以自了。尚望三思。
吾弟一生坎坷,决非命运安排,一切操之在己。千秋功罪,系于一念之间。当今国际风云变幻莫测,台湾上下众议纷纾岁月不居,来日苦短,夜长梦多,时不我与。盼弟善为抉择,未雨绸缪。“寥廓海天,不归何待?”
人到高年,愈加怀旧,如弟方便,余当束装就道,前往台北探望,并面聆诸长辈教益。“度尽劫波兄弟在,相逢一笑泯恩仇”。遥望南天,不禁神驰,书不尽言,诸希珍重,伫候复音。
老夫人前请代为问安。方良、纬国及诸侄不一。
顺祝
近祺!

英文译文

A Letter to Chiang Ching-Kuo
Liao Chengzhi

Dear brother Ching-Kuo,
Who would have expected that the short distance between us should be keeping us poles apart! It is now more than 36 years since our brief encounter in Nanjing. The days we spent together in childhood as well as later in the Soviet capital, however, are still as fresh as ever in my memory. But it’s a pity indeed that we haven’t heard from each other for so many years. Recently it filled me with much concern to learn of your indisposition. Men aged over seventy are liable to illness. I hope you will take good care of yourself.
For three years, we have repeatedly proposed bilateral talks between the two parties to let bygones be bygones and strive together for the great cause of national reunification. But you have time and again insisted upon having “no contact, no talks and no compromise”, which I truly think inadvisable. In view of the public and personal concerns as well as long-standing deep friendship between our two families, I feel duty-bound to offer you a word of advice for careful consideration.
The peaceful reunification of the motherland will be a great achievement to go down in history. Taiwan is bound to be reunited eventually with the motherland. An early settlement of the problem will be in the interests of all. The compatriots in Taiwan will be able to live in peace and happiness, the people of all nationalities on both sides of the Taiwan straits will be relieved of the pains of separation from their flesh and blood, and our senior folks in Taiwan and those formerly migrated there from the mainland will all be properly placed and provided for. And, moreover, it will contribute to the stability of Asia and the Pacific region as well as to world peace. You used to seek self-encouragement from the motto, “The interests to be considered should be the interests of all; the fame to be sought should be an everlasting fame.” If you should be instrumental in bringing about the cause of national reunification, you will certainly win esteem and praise nationwide and your meritorious service to the country will earn you a niche in the temple of fame. It is sheer absurdity to think yourself “guilty” for rendering such a service. After all, dragging out your existence in that tight eastern corner is by no means a permanent solution. This should be crystal clear to a man of your wisdom. Procrastination, hesitation or sleeping over the problem will only lead to adversity and you, my brother, will hardly be able to escape censure. Moreover, peaceful reunification is entirely an internal affair of China. As is known to all, outsiders who are talking glibly against it have designs on our Taiwan. To be irresolute when a prompt decision should be taken would only spell disaster. I, therefore, would like you to think this over carefully.
After going through untold hardships during which countless revolutionaries unflinchingly laid down their lives, the Kuomintang founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen finally overthrew the monarchy and established the republic. This has been universally recognized as a glorious achievement. The Kuomintang and the Communist Party twice cooperated and on both occasions they made tremendous contributions to the country and the nation. We know something about the first cooperation, led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, though we still young at that time. The second cooperation was presided over by your father and, as participants in it, we should know what it was all about. Complicated as the matter was, an overall view of the situation will show that united, the country and the nation benefit; divided, they suffer. Now, as head of the Taiwan administration, you have unshirkable responsibility for bring about the third cooperation. Leaders from both sides will find it easier to talk the matter over since they know each other well, having formerly been schoolmates and close friends. I find it really hard for me to subscribe to those views which describe cooperation as “surrender”, “humiliating”, “suffering losses” or “being duped”. In reviewing history or looking ahead to the future, one should be public-minded and put the interests of the country and the nation above all. Why harp on the narrow interest of a party? Such remarks as “unifying China with the Three People’s Principles” are regarded by all thinking people as unrealistic, deceptive and ostrich-like. People of our generation know the true meaning of the Three People’s Principles quiet well and there is no need to argue about it. Neither is there any need to dwell on such assertions as Taiwan’s “economic prosperity, democracy and easy livelihood”, the truth of which all gentlemen in Taiwan must be quiet aware of. To my mind, if you, for the sake of your party, shoulder the historic task and, going with the stream, take part in peace talks for our national reunification, the two parties will be able to coexist for a long time to come, supervising each other and making a common effort to revitalize China. Otherwise, content as you are with your present rule over the tight eastern corner, how can such a situation be expected to last for long? This is a question already on the minds of thinking people. It is a matter of survival or extinction for the Kuomintang and I hope you will think it over again.
Recently I was profoundly moved when I read one of your writings in which you expressed the “longing for my father’s soul to return to the homeland and be among the forefathers”. The remains of your father, now still temporarily placed at Cihu, shall, upon national reunification, be immediately moved to the final resting place in Fenghua, Nanjing or Lushan in fulfilment of your filial whishes. You recently said, “Filial devotion should be expanded into national devotion to the country.” Well said! Why don’t you apply it to the great cause of national reunification? As far as the country and the nation are concerned, you will have fulfilled the task imposed on you and your father by history; as far as you yourself are concerned, this will be an expression of both loyalty and filial piety. Other how could you account for yourself after your passing away? I hope you will think more about it.
Dear brother, the frustrations marking your lifetime are by no means predestined. You yourself alone are master of your own fate. Merits and demerits to be recorded in history hinge on the decision made in a moment. The present international situation is capricious. Throughout Taiwan people of all strata are talking about their future. Time does not stay and brief is the day. A long night invites bad dreams; time and tide wait for no man. I hope you, my brother, will make a wise choice and repair the house before it rains. “Vast is the expanse of sky and water. What are you waiting for, staying away from home?”
The longing for old friends grows with age. If it suits your convenience, I will pack and go on a visit to Taibei to consult our elders. “For all the disasters the brotherhood has remained; a smile at meeting and enmity is banished.” When I look south towards the distant horizon, my heart cannot help going out to my compatriots there. No word is enough to express what I wish to say. It is hoped that you will take good care of yourself. I am looking forward to a reply from you.
Please convey my regards to your mothers as well as to Fang-Liang, Wei-Kuo and the children.
Best wishes to you.

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