At the end of 1946, Wang Mingzhen returned to China and was later hired as a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Physics at Yunnan University. Soon, she met Zha Liangzhao, the dean of Kunming Normal College.
Dean Zha had a proud protégé named Yu Qizhong from the Yu family’s famous “Four Youths” in Shaoxing. Yu Qizhong’s grandfather, Yu Mingzhen, was a well-known figure in the late Qing Dynasty, prominent in poetry, education, and political circles.
His father, Yu Dachun, studied in Japan and Germany. After returning to China, he served as the director of the Crafts Bureau of the Beiyang Warlord Government and the director of the Longhai Railway of the Ministry of Communications of the Kuomintang Government. His uncle, Yu Dawei, was an ordnance expert who studied in Germany and became Minister of Defense after going to Taiwan.
According to Dean Zha, Wang Mingzhen and Yu Qizhong met, and after a few months of courtship, they became husband and wife in 1948. Yu Qizhong was seven years younger than Wang Mingzhen.
After they married, the civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party intensified. In September 1949, Wang Mingzhen took Yu Qizhong to the United States to do research in the Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame in Michigan.
Stranded in the United States
When the Korean War broke out in 1950, China and the United States faced each other on the Korean battlefield. The U.S. Department of the Navy funded Wang Mingzhen’s research project at the University of Notre Dame. Since China and the United States became hostile countries at the end of 1952, Wang Mingzhen resigned from the University of Notre Dame and wanted to return to China to work.
However, the U.S. government barred Chinese students from returning to China to study science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine. Consequently, Wang Mingzhen and her husband’s applications to the U.S. Immigration with requests for their return to China were denied.
To earn a living, Wang Mingzhen took up teaching at a school in southern California, while Yu Qizhong worked as a caretaker and treasurer at a small local hotel.
After the Korean armistice in 1953, China and the United States reached an agreement through negotiations to allow some students to return to China. In 1955, Wang Mingzhen and her husband, together with more than 70 other Chinese students, set off from San Francisco for a return trip to China.
Taken into custody at the notorious Qincheng prison
After returning to China, Wang Mingzhen was assigned to the Department of Physics at Tsinghua University. In the United States, her research focused on “Brownian Motion” and “Noise Theory.” However, in China, her university couldn’t provide her with the same research facilities as the United States. Hence, she had to stop her research and turn to teaching, mainly on statistical physics and thermodynamics, and sometimes quantum mechanics and electrodynamics, in addition to teaching students and training teachers.
After the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in May 1966, Wang Mingzhen’s standard work order and life were completely disrupted. She had to attend meetings all day and could not participate in classes. On March 14, 1968, Wang Mingzhen and her husband were suddenly arrested and taken to the notorious Qincheng prison.
Sentenced to prison for five years and eight months
From the beginning of 1970 to the end of 1972, Wang Mingzhen was interrogated numerous times. Following the interrogations, the investigators demanded she write a confession. She was asked to write about her return to China in 1955 and her interactions and connections. It took her 12 days to write more than 100 pages, and she tried to confess everything she could think of.
She once had all kinds of terrible fantasies, such as whether she would be regarded as a diehard, whether she would be dragged to a meeting of 10,000 people to be criticized, and whether she would be executed.
Wang Mingzhen committed no crime
On November 9, 1973, Wang Mingzhen was released from prison after being held for five years and eight months. On April 5, 1975, her husband, Yu Qizhong, was released after more than seven years of detention.
Once, Wang Mingzhen asked a case officer of the Public Security Bureau why they were arrested as there was no crime. So what exactly is the answer?
The dark mystery is solved
Being a logical-thinking individual, it all finally became clear to Wang Mingzhen. Her husband Yu Qizhong’s brother, Yu Qiwei, was Li Yunhe’s live-in lover in the 1930s. So who is this Li Yunhe?
Li Yunhe was the previous name of Jiang Qing, deputy head of the Central Cultural Revolution Group and Mao Zedong’s wife. She was a prominent political figure and an evil influence during the 10-year Cultural Revolution.
When Jiang Qing was 17, she married Pei Minglun, the son of a wealthy family in Jinan. When she was 18, she had an affair with Yu Qiwei, the son of a wealthy family in Qingdao. At 22, she divorced and married the romantic film critic Tang Na in Shanghai. Following that episode, she and Yu Qiwei rekindled their old relationship and eloped together.
When Tang Na attempted suicide, Jiang Qing returned to him. Later, she fell out with him, and Tang Na tried suicide again. Jiang Qing then published in the newspaper about her break-up with Tang Na. She moved on to live with director Zhang Ming, causing Zhang Ming and his wife to divorce. At the age of 24, Jiang Qing married Mao Zedong in Yan’an.
Yu Qiwei later changed his name to Huang Jing. After the Communist Party of China (CCP) came to power in 1949, he served as the mayor of Tianjin, the secretary of the municipal party committee, and the minister of the first Ministry of Machinery Industry. In January 1958, he suffered a nervous breakdown after being reprimanded by Mao Zedong and then went insane and committed suicide by jumping off a building on February 10.
Jiang Qing devised a plan to cover up her past scandals and affairs
During the Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing was beside herself that her scandals in the 1930s would expose and sully her political image as the First Lady of the Communist Party of China. So she devised a devious plan to eliminate all those who knew about her past scandals. She had arrested all who knew about her scandals to silence them, including Yu Qizhong, Yu Qiwei’s younger brother, and Wang Mingzhen, Yu Qiwei’s sister-in-law.
Jiang Qing thought these two people might reveal her scandals, so she wanted to silence them and get them out. This is the real reason why Wang Mingzhen and her husband were imprisoned.
A disastrous encounter with the underworld forces of the CCP
As one of the rare Chinese female Ph.D. holders in physics who studied in the United States in the 1940s, she might have become an internationally renowned physicist if she had returned to continue her work and research in the United States. On the other hand, if China had a peaceful life and a research environment, she might also have become the most famous female physicist in China or the world
After returning to China in 1955 until the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, Wang Mingzhen was teaching at Tsinghua University. During this period, the CCP launched many warped political campaigns that prevented her from focusing on her research and teaching career.
Following her release from prison in 1973, Wang Mingzhen no longer engaged in teaching physics or scientific research, and she officially retired in December 1976. From 1966 to 1976, those 10 years they deprived her of the ability to continue her physics research.
Being an outstanding physics talent, and just because of Jiang Qing’s demented darkness and the endless struggles of the CCP, Wang Mingzhen was not only perversely imprisoned for five years and eight months, but she made no advancements in her profession. The Communist Party of China has wantonly destroyed many lives. This can be seen from the example of Wang Mingzhen’s disastrous encounter.
See Part 1 here