Letter from Ba Jin to the CRIA [International Anarchist Liaison Commission, Paris], 18 March 1949

Dear comrade

Received your letter, for which I thank you. Apologies for the belated reply, but I have been very busy of late. Anyway, eight days ago I sent off my editions of the artwork of Sim and Castelao on the Spanish Revolution. The publications that you sent me from Paris have yet to arrive. I am delighted that you have sent me them.

I get the Japanese newspaper regularly and know of the proposal for a Far Eastern Congress. But I don’t reckon a congress is feasible, given current circumstances in Asia. For a start, there is no way of travelling abroad from here without the permission of the government and correspondence destined for Japan is subject to censorship here and over there.

I regret that I am not in a position to bring you news of the anarchist movement in China since, to be honest, there is no such movement in China. I am quite alone here, working and making propaganda as just one writer. I am in charge of the editing of Kropotkin’s Illustrated Complete Works in Chinese, four volumes of which have already appeared. I am also the publisher of the project. There was another comrade who translated Paroles … and who is translating Modern Science … for me, but he was a pro-Kuomintang anarchist.

Lu Chien-Ho is isolated in Chengdu, but there is his brother who is not a comrade but a sympathiser and who knows French. He is an indefatigable worker. However he publishes his newspaper, Thought, as a supplement to the Kuomintang’s daily in Chengdu (the editor being a personal friend of his), so it is not widely read. In Fukien, and only there, there is a libertarian movement. It is not huge but it is real. There is a school there founded by our comrades and a small publishing house that has published ten or so pamphlets including Malatesta’s article on anarchy, as translated by Lu, and part one of my Bakunin.

I shall write again on other matters.

With best wishes and a fraternal handshake.

Li Pei Kan

From: The CIRA archives in Lausanne, Switzerland. Translated by: Paul Sharkey.