Negotiations between the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party were coming to an end in 1946. The Communist Party was facing a life-threatening crisis and was desperate to get information about the Nationalist Party, led by Chiang Kai-shek’s overall strategy.
General Fu Zuo Yi was the Nationalist Party’s chief commander in North China at the time. Fu Dong, his 24-year-old daughter, accepted the task assigned to her by the Communist Party of stealing highly classified documents from her father’s safe, situated in the family’s “visiting” home in Beijing (then known as Peking).
In order to get the keys to the safe, Fu Dong bribed her little 5-year-old brother with candy and chocolates. One day, as per the plan, Fu Zuo Yi came home from work and his little son crawled up onto his lap and asked to be told a story. The young boy used the opportunity to pick the keys from his father’s pocket without being noticed and handed them to his big sister, Fu Dong.
Fu Dong then opened the safe with the password and keys, and photographed the most useful information inside. The central office of the Communist Party soon had the film, which was later declared “the most important military intelligence at the beginning of the war”.
With the large amount of intelligence gained from Fu Dong, the Communist Party was able to thwart a serious manoeuvre by the Nationalist Party and maintained an advantageous position throughout the period of secret negotiations.
Before the Communist Party was about the enter Beijing, Mao Zedong, the Communist dictator, issued an “ultimatum to Fu Zuo Yi” with great confidence. It was the Communist Party’s final victory.
Fu Dong saw a letter addressed to Fu Zuo Yi. It was worded harshly with an air of contempt. Knowing that her father was a proud man and would rather die than be humiliated, she was concerned that her father might do something out of the ordinary that might disrupt the Communist Party’s plan. So she concealed the letter underneath a pile of documents in his office to keep him from seeing it.
On the second day after the Communist Party successfully entered Beijing City, the ultimatum was publicised in the official People’s Daily newspaper on Feb. 1, 1949. Fu Dong pulled out the original letter from under the pile of documents in her father’s office and showed it to him. Seeing the letter, Fu Zuo Yi suddenly understood what had transpired and was furious with his daughter, calling her a “traitor.”
Fu Dong fell into a miserable condition in her later years. She had a pitiful pension to live on and struggled to pay for housing and health care. Fu Dong passed away in 2007 after being sick in bed for two years.
She claimed that she wanted to write a memoir about her father, but never managed to start because she realized how little she understood him. She admitted in the end, as time passed by, that she gradually began to understand what her father was trying to achieve back in those days, but it was too little, too late.