Nien Chen: Victim of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Life and death in Shanghai

Before the Cultural Revolution, which started in the mid-1960’s, Nien Chen (1915-2009) held a high position at Shell in Shanghai, was privileged and had servants. But almost overnight, she was labelled a British spy. She ended up in jail, but she refused to be set free until she received an apology from the authorities.

She recounts her experiences in a book called “Life and Death in Shanghai”. She is now in her 80s and lives in Washington, where reporter Eka Morgan spoke to her about her life. 

Producer: Eka Morgan

Broadcast: March 23, 1997