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Chinese women in history - soldiers, pirates, scholars, sages and rulers

Deng Huizhong - secret agent and mistress of disguise

Deng Huizhong was born in Yueci Country, Sichuan Province in 1904.. At age 16, she married a local youth Deng Fuxian.1 When the Sino-Japanese war broke out, Fuxian went to join the resistance. Huizhong joined the Communist Party in his absence and became a party official.2 During the Chinese Civil War, Huizhong was Political Director for the Huaying Mountain Guerilla Units.3 The covert operative became a local legend.4 A master of disguise, she would appear as a peasant woman, an aged crone or a wealthy lady, fooling Nationalist forces on many occasions. According to daughter Deng Yeyun, even Huizhong's own children (Yeyun and her brother) could not recognize their mother when she was in disguise. Deng Yeyun remembers the constant surveillance their family was under - strangers often approached her and her brother with candy, asking "Where has your mom and dad gone today? Are they Communists?"5

Deng Huizhong and her son Deng Cheng were apprehended by the Nationalist forces in 1948 and tortured while in detention. Mother and son were killed at Zhazi prison in 1949. Huizhong was 45. At around the same time, another Red Army undercover operative was captured and killed. The Party assumed that Deng Huizhong had caved in under torture and betrayed her comrades. Deng Cheng was quickly canonized as a communist martyr after the Civil War, but his mother's name was not cleared until more than 30 years later, when it was established that someone else was responsible for her comrade's betrayal.6

X.T.


Notes
  1. 'Old Lady With Two Guns' branded traitor for 30 years (Chinese article)
    Chen Lianshi and her husband sell their home and join the revolution (Chinese article)
  2. Chen Lianshi and her husband sell their home and join the revolution (Chinese article)
  3. 70 year old Deng Yeyun remembers her mother (Chinese article)
  4. 'Old Lady With Two Guns' branded traitor for 30 years (Chinese article)
  5. 70 year old Deng Yeyun remembers her mother (Chinese article)
  6. 'Old Lady With Two Guns' branded traitor for 30 years (Chinese article)