Li Mei, The Chinese Woman, is actually a composite of four real people. First is Zhen Rongyao, a police officer of courage and integrity that defied Mao’s communists. He publicly declared that the job of the police was to protect the citizens and denounced the communists for using them as goons to imprison their political opponents. For this act of defiance, I won’t tell you what happened to him because this was Tian Yong’s father, and she will burst into tears if she reads this. Suffice to say that little Tian Yong, who was six years old at the time, never saw her father again. Li Mei, is actually a cover name; her real name is Zhen Xiaomei….in her father’s honour, I have retained the surname.
The second person for whom Li Mei is a composite is police officer Wang Lijun, called the “Triad Fighter” in China. The media in Chongqing have labelled him “Robocop”. He too is a man of extreme courage and integrity. The story I heard from sources I believe to be reliable is that the Triads kidnapped his wife, raped her, gouged out her eyes, and murdered her. They then kidnapped his son, skinned him alive, and murdered him. They also put a contract of $1 million on his life. Instead of intimidating Wang Lijun, this made him more determined and he dedicated his life to destroying the Triads. He was brought to Chongqing by the new governor, Bo Xilai, in his war against the Triads and corrupt political leaders. Within a year, over a thousand Triad gangsters and corrupt officials were arrested, including the Chief of Police and his three senior Deputies. Most of the Triad leaders, including the Chief of Police, have been executed, but Wang Lijun continues his war.
The other two persons that make up the composite of Li Mei are two beautiful, intelligent, kind, strong and loyal women, one of whom is still alive, but who I will not identify further.
In “The Barbados Conspiracy”, when Li Mei arrives in Seattle, she has the misfortune of being abducted by a serial killer the Seattle news media have labelled, the Chinatown Killer, a man who rapes and murders Asian women. After abducting Li Mei one evening, his body is found the next morning. Li Mei lies to the police about what happened and attributes her rescue to two unknown (and fictitious) men. Months later, two FBI agents suspect what really happened, but her secret is safe with them.
If you think that women, due to their smaller size and limited strength, cannot defeat a large, strong man, as they do regularly in the movies and TV shows, you would be wrong. Of course they don’t use the flashy fighting nonsense as choreographed in the movies, but these women are real. Many of the bodyguards of the Chinese leaders are attractive females who pose as executive assistants, interpreters and stenographers. They are actually highly trained and dangerous State Security Agents.
Note: The Chinese Communist Party has undergone many changes since the days of Chairman Mao (although still a long way to go), and to their credit, they issued an official letter of apology to Tian Yong’s family for the fate that befell Zhen Rongyao.
I studied the Triads in Canada as a member of the RCMP National Crime Intelligence Section and in China as a representative of a law enforcement academy. I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Triads are the most powerful and successful organized crime group in the world, light years ahead of the Mafia and Hells Angels. Their traffic in counterfeit products exceeds $2 Trillion annually, in fact their profits from counterfeit software alone exceeds the profits of the total international drug traffic. The secret of their success, I believe, is that they are a true secret society. Unlike the Mafia and biker gangs, they maintain a low profile making $millions while their less sophisticated competitors go to jail. The unfortunate thing is, through no fault of their own, very few law enforcement agencies understand the Triads. They are still viewed as a small group of thugs preying on Chinese communities. The truth is, they gave that up decades ago and are present in every continent operating below the radar. No one knows how many Triad members are active in the various countries around the world, but the Chinese Police estimate at least 1.5 million in Mainland China.
I have to admit, I love Li Mei and the people of courage and integrity she represents. I am sure you will too when you get to know her. I just hope I can be half the person the real Li Mei is.
Brian N. Cox website: www.bcoxbooks.com
“The Chinese Woman” on Amazon Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/6flnlne
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