Veteran foreign experts' roles honored

By Su Zhou(China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-09-07

Amid the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), China honored two veteran foreign experts for their outstanding contributions to the nation's development.

Veteran foreign experts' roles honored

Isabel Crook

Born in Chengdu, Sichuan province, the Canadian Crook, now 100, has witnessed China's great changes from war to peace.

"There was no peace before 1949," said Crook. "China is a large country with different ethnic groups. There are always struggles but no fighting.

Veteran foreign experts' roles honored

"One big thing for the Chinese Communist Party is to bring the real peace to China."

And it is important to mark the victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War because there are still wars going on around the world, she added.

Crook spent half of her youth in China. During the 1930s and 1940s, she conducted social studies fieldwork in rural areas.

The book Prosperity's Predicament: Identity, Reform, and Resistance in Rural Wartime China was based on her work from 1940 to 1941 in a small village in Sichuan province.

In China, she also met her late husband, David, who was an active communist. Influenced by him, Crook joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1942.

Since the establishment of the People's Republic of China, she and her husband taught at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, then named the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute, the leading foreign language university in China and known as the "cradle of diplomats".

Michael Crook, the couple's son, said that without the anti-fascist war, his father might not have had the opportunity to be part of China's revolution and construction.

His father had devoted himself to many countries' anti-fascist activities.

"And one lesson we can learn from the war was the solidarity," said Michael Crook, relaying his mother's words. "The anti-fascist war brought many hostile countries to work together. Now the world is still facing a lot of challenges and it would solve a lot of problems if it could work together like it did during the war."

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