From famine to freedom, how a young boy fled Chairman Mao’s China to a new life in Australia
Andrew Kwong was only seven when he witnessed his first execution. The grim scene left him sleepless, anxious and doubtful about his fervour as a revolutionary in Mao’s New China. Yet he knew if he devoted himself to the Party and its Chairman he would be saved. That’s what his teacher told him.
Months later, it was his own father on trial. This time the sentence was banishment to a re-education camp, not death. It left the family tainted, despised, and with few means of survival during the terrible years of persecution and famine known as the Great Leap Forward. Even after his father returned, things remained desperate. Escape seemed the only solution, and it would be twelve-year-old Andrew who undertook the perilous journey first.
This is the poignant, resonant story of a young boy’s awakening – to survival, education, fulfilment, and eventually to a new life of freedom.