Mao Zedong’s Hakka Pilot


Original Chinese Language Article By:

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

Translator’s Note:  I have only translated the first paragraph of this  much longer text – which explains with Mr Cai Yan Wei’s life in revolutionary China.  In 1945 he joined the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) where he trained in aeroplane mechanics and piloting – graduating as a pilot in 1950.  His skill at flying was so good that he was soon promoted to the rank of ‘captain’.  From 1950-1961, Mr Cai Yan Wei logged 5,500 flying hours, achieving all missions and training many young pilots – including China’s first woman fighter pilot Wang Yun (汪云).  In his old age he was very healthy and still enjoyed flying.  Eventually he visited the Feng Shun area and paid his respects to his Hakka ancestor’s graves.  ACW 20.2.2016

According to the Meizhou Daily, it is believed that Chairman Mao Zedong flew in at least 60 different flights during his lifetime.  The first aeroplane journey was in 1945 – from Yan’an to Chongqing – for negotiations between the KMT and CPC, with the last time being in 1967 when he flew out of Wuhan.  There were three pilots trusted with this task, but the one that flew Mao the most was Mr  Cai Yan Wei (蔡演威).  Mr Cai Yan Wei was an overseas Chinese who had returned to China from Thailand to fight for the Communist Revolution.  Mr Cai Yan Wei was of the Hakka ethnicity, and his ancestors came from the Feng Shun County area of Meizhou City, which is situated in southern China’s Guangdong province.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.

Original Chinese Language Article:


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