|Anna C. Chennault and her boyfriend|
Bath without Hot Water
Anna C. Chennault was born in a grand family in Beijing. Her grandfather was the brother of Liao Zhonggai, who was a famous revolutionist of the Kuomintang working with Sun Yat-sen. When she was a child, Anna C. Chennault studied in a middle school in Guangzhou. At that time, she knew the culture there. And she always took part in speech contests as the representative of her school and won the first prize. She said, "I like to talk all the time. From a child, I have been eager to do well in everything."
She continued study in Ling Nan University in Hong Kong when the Japanese occupied Guangzhou. Life was very hard then. She remembered she always had to bathe without hot water even during her period. However, she thought the circumstance gave her steel personality.
After graduating from university, Anna C. Chennault passed an examination to be the first woman journalist in the Central News Agency and she was dispatched to work in Kunming.
A Legendary Marriage
The career of a journalist brought Anna C. Chennault a legendary marriage. In Kunming, she was responsible for interviewing the American army and the general Claire Lee Chennault became her interviewee. She said, "I just thought he was a hero who deserved to be adored, when I saw him for the first time."
Years later, they met again in Shanghai. General Claire began to pursue Anna immediately. She recalled, "At that time, I used to go dancing. When I danced with others, he would follow me. He also went to my grandfather's and played cards with him." General Claire's insistence won Anna's heart, as well as her grandfather's approve, although his father opposed because of the age gap at the beginning. With the support of her grandfather, they married at last.
The First Chinese to Enter the White House
Ten years later, General Claire Lee Chennault passed away. Anna had to live in the U.S. by herself. Although he was quite famous, Claire was not rich. Under the name of Mrs. Chennault, Anna suffered much more pressures than the average person. Besides this, she was a Chinese. Therefore, she understood deeply the discrimination against the Chinese in American society. Consequently, she was determined to strive for respect. Then, she learned to give speeches in English, worked in with an airline company and toured making speeches. Her English works One Thousand Springs became a best seller.
Living in Washington, Anna often met politicians. In addition, she realized that she must step into the political circle if she wanted to live in Washington according to her research on American history. In 1963, Anna became the first to enter the White House to work commissioned by president Kennedy. She said, "Besides the knowledge of the Western culture and history, I often argued with others using Chinese culture. Now I usually tell the students abroad to know their own culture and history, or they will be despised by others."
Meeting with Chairman Deng Xiaoping
In 1980, Anna was invited to return China to visit. Chairman Deng Xiaoping met her in the People's Great Hall. From then on, Anna had often shuttled between the two countries as the friendship ambassador. She said, "except for Tibet, I have been to every place in China these years. I have been to Guangzhou many times and I always award scholarship to some excellent teachers each time.
Hoffman to Help the Three Gorges Project
Anna introduced her boyfriend Hoffman. "My boyfriend Hoffman always accompanies me when I return to China. He is an engineer and his company has designed airports in China for free, like Sanya Airport. He has even been to Yichang, Hubei Province eight times and given suggestions on the design of the Three Gorges Project. He loves China as well as understands it."
Hoffman said, "I love Anna, so I come to China. She is a charming, hard-working woman, who can write and understand politics. We respect each other. I feel we are happy every moment living together for 37 years."
In the face of Anna's praise, Hoffman smiled, "I can only speak a little Chinese now, such as Ni Hao(Hello), Wo Ai Ni(I love you), Zai Jian(Goodbye). I guess Anna most wants to listen to the word Wo Ai Ni. "
Anna revealed that her daughter would send her grandson to Tsinghua University to study this summer. "I want to let them know more about China. They often come to China."
The Sino-US Folk Ambassador
Anna was born in Beijing on June 23, 1925. She married Claire Lee Chennault in 1947. Later, they moved to Taiwan. Claire died in 1958.
From the president Nixon visit to China in 1972 to the time the official Sino-US diplomatic relationship was established in 1979, Anna had contributed actively to relations.
Anna is passionately devoted to China spare no effort. She shouldered the advisor of many associations, such as the All-China Women's Federation, along with the visiting professor of Beijing Normal University.
(Source: people.cn / Translated by womenofchina.cn)
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