By Bertil Lintner
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This hitherto unknown descendant of the last Ming Emperor eventually starved himself to death, but the five monks went to Muyang, the imaginary City of Willows, which seems to have been another name for Paradise. There they founded a secret society to lead an uprising against the Manchu emperors of the Qing Dynasty. These monks—Cai, Fang, Ma, Hu and Li—became known as ‘the Five Ancestors’, and vowed, to the death, to avenge the injustice done to them. Their brotherhood was the beginning of the Tiandihui, or the Heaven and Earth Society, which was later to spread its tentacles all over China and the world.
In the middle of the night, Du set after the culprits in a rickshaw, brandishing his pistol. He caught up with the thieves, and returned the opium to a delighted Sister Hoodlum. 54 The French officers did not interfere, and their Annamese gendarmes just kept on patrolling the streets. The almost surreal quality of the French Concession was further enhanced by the presence of large numbers of Russian refugees. The Communist victory in the Russian civil war had forced tens of thousands of people who remained loyal to the Tsar—hence the nickname ‘White’ Russians—to flee.
After a period of chaos, Sun died in March 1925 in Beijing at the age of 59. 64 Like Mao, Chiang came from a peasant background. He was born in Fenghua on the outskirts of Ningbo south of Shanghai, and had studied in Japan. 65 Nevertheless, Chiang became superintendent of the newly established Whampoa (Huangpu in pinyin) Military Academy near Guangzhou, where an entire generation of republican army officers was trained. On 1 July 1926, Chiang felt that the time was ripe to make an attempt to unify China.
Blood brothers: Crime, business and politics in Asia by Bertil Lintner
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