Preface-Kid from the military base


I decided to start this memoir to record the first 18 years of my life in a Chinese military base. I grew up there because of my parents. Living in the US right now, I feel that there are so many misunderstanding against China and Chinese military power. I understand that this is for political reasons, and I do not blame anyone for that. Those stories are political games where you cannot see a particular real person. I do not intend to argue anything here, but I would like to tell my story about living in the military base for 18 years. It’s not political, nothing confidential, but just me and people in my life.

I recently watched the movie In the heat of the sun (If you have not watched it, I highly recommend it as this is one of the best Chinese films since the 1990s.). I remember one of the reviews says that what makes this movie so unique is the setting. The movie tells stories about the Culture Revolution through the perspective of a boy growing up on a military base. This is the place remaining somewhat peaceful when the outside world is undergoing a drastic turbulence. It is true that the life on a military base is an independent system from the outside because soldiers and officers are usually not local. They work and live on the base, so really are not involved with local people’s life that much.

This independence nature of the life brings some mysterious feelings towards kids who grow up there. I kinda enjoy this detachment from local community because then I have many stories to tell to my friends at school.Many Chinese literature works portrait this particular groups of kids who grow up in military bases. We’ve even got the name of “kids from the base community” because of these works. Most of the works, however, are set in from the 1950s to the 1980s. I realize that this might be why people still see us in the way back in the 1960s. We do carry some similarities to those several decades ago, but living in the 21st century, we have created our stories. Therefore, I think it is a good idea to share my story with you. I hope you can get more insight into our lives and Chinese military officers from my story.


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