A 1937 letter from Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong to then-Labour Party leader Clement Attlee has sold at auction for 605,000 pounds ($918,000).

  毛泽东在1937年给英国工党领袖艾德礼(Clement Attlee)的函件以60.5万英镑(91.8万美元)被拍卖。

  In the letter, Mao asks Attlee for “practical assistance” in battling Japanese troops who had invaded China.


  Auctioneers Sotheby's said the historical letter was an “exceptionally rare” example of Mao's signature. The lot far exceeded its 100,000-150,000 pounds estimate and was bought by a Chinese private collector.


  Call for help


  In the typed letter signed by Mao, the communist leader tells then-opposition leader Mr Attlee: “We believe that the British people, when they know the truth about Japanese aggression in China, will rise in support of the Chinese people, will organise practical assistance on their behalf, and will compel their own government to adopt a policy of active resistance to a danger that ultimately threatens them no less than ourselves.”


  The letter was written from Yan'an in north-west China, where the communists set up their headquarters following the Japanese invasion.


  Sotheby's said the timing of the communication was significant because Attlee had started to lead the party away from its “long-held pacifist position”, and became “a major critic of the Conservative government's policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany and her allies”.

  富苏比拍卖公司表现,此次交流是非常重要的,因为英国Attlee 已经开始放弃“长期的和平主义立场”,成为“保守党对待纳粹德国及同盟国实行绥靖政策”的批评者。

  A 'curiosity'


  Mao's letter was sent to Atlee by the journalist James Bertram, who added an accompanying note to Attlee advising the British politician to “keep the enclosed letter, if only as a curiosity”.

  毛泽东署名的这封信由James Bertram 记者送往英国,James 附加了一封信,建议Attlee 不让英国政治家看,留作秘密。

  Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby's specialist in books and manuscripts said the letter was “an extraordinarily early instance of Mao engaging in international diplomacy, and is an exceptionally rare example of Mao's signature”. He added it was “only the second document signed by Mao to appear on the international auction market in recent decades.”

  苏富比拍卖行的书籍和手稿专家Gabriel Heaton表现,毛泽东写信追求英国对中国抗日的支持是其早期参与国际外交的卓越事迹之一。这是近几十年来国际市场上出现的第二份有毛泽东署名的文件。

  The sale, in London, comes after several weeks of interest in China following the much-publicised four-day visit to the UK by Chinese President Xi Jinping in October.


  Chinese history gained further attention last month when Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell threw a copy of the Chinese Communist Party leader's Little Red Book at Chancellor George Osborne in Parliament, claiming UK assets were being sold to the Chinese.

  上个月,内阁大臣John McDonnell 在议会上从George Osborne大臣那里拿出了中国共产党小红本,声称英国资产卖给了中国人,中国历史再一次受到了关注。

  Elsewhere on Tuesday, a red prime ministerial dispatch box belonging to the late Margaret Thatcher has sold at auction for 242,500 pounds.


  Who was Mao Zedong?


  Born in 1893, Mao Zedong was one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party and was an influential 20th Century thinker.


  He helped build the Red Army, led it on a 6,000-mile “long march” to escape its nationalist foes, and emerged as the most powerful party figure. After victory over the nationalists in 1949, Mao proclaimed the People's Republic of China and became its first leader.

  他建立了红军,为摆脱国民党的围剿,引导了6000 英里长征,成为最成功的共产党引导人。1949年战胜了国民党,毛泽东宣告成立中华国民共和国并成为开国领袖。

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