Father of China's missile program dies

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Geographer, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Geographer
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    Geographer Junior Member

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    Associated Press

    I remember reading about Tsien Hsue-shen on Wikipedia one late night, amazed that he was hounded so much like Wen Ho Lee just because he was Chinese and lived in an era of irrational anti-Communist fervor. Imagine what could have been if the US hadn't driven him from Caltech back to China. How many Caltech-educated, Jet Propulsion Laboratory-founding aerospace engineers could China have recruited? He proved a huge asset to their rocket and space program and the current taikonauts owe a lot of him and his colleagues in China.
     
  2. vesicles
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    vesicles Major

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    I have heard of another story. Qian didn't want to go back to China, and the US govn't didn't want him to go back either. Apparently China made an offer the US couldn't refuse and they were forced to send Qian back to China. I think the story specifically mentioned the involvement of Zhou Enlai. I have no clue how true it is. This is the version that my parents believe.

    Of course, the other side of the story was that after some Chinese national talked with Qian at a meeting of some sort, his security clearance was immediately taken away ( I think he was a pretty high ranking officer in the US army, possibly a colonel). That's why Qian decided to go back.
     
  3. pla101prc
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    pla101prc Senior Member

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    the guy was a legend, read about his stories back when i was in elementary school. RESPECT
     
  4. Spike
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    Spike Banned Idiot

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    Qian dithered about returning to China after he was wrongfully accused of being a communist and stripped of any access to his life's work at Caltech. I read that he at first decided to go back to China on an invitation, then changed his mind but by then the US decided to lock him up. After five years of house arrest, the US traded him to China in exchange for American PoW's from the Korean War. Qian wanted to stay in the US but had little choice in the matter.

    Interestingly, he left all of his research papers behind, although they were out of date by then, and they were not returned to him until much later in his life at the urgings of his former colleagues at Caltech.
     
  5. pla101prc
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    pla101prc Senior Member

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    i remember some US official said something along the line of "one Qian is worth five army divisions"...a million dollar advice indeed
     
  6. vesicles
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    vesicles Major

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    Yep, I have the utmost respect for the guy. After all, who could command attention of the #2 leader of the then China (Zhou Enlai) and be labeled as the father of a nation's missile program? I was simply trying to convey a rumor I've heard about HOW he went back to China. I believe he had every right to want to stay in the US. That's what the other scientists had done, including the two Nobel Laureates, Yang and Lee. And thinking of it, that's what I'm doing too (not that I think I can even be remotely compared to any of them, just the fact that wanting to staying in States is not a bad thing for a Chinese) :D
     
  7. Geographer
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    Geographer Junior Member

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    Do you have an English link to some of those stories pla101prc?
     
  8. sidewinder01
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    sidewinder01 Junior Member

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    I think you guys only heard the story from one side and believes everything wikipedia offers........ Qian of course wanted to stay in the States for obvious reasons, he was a scientist and his research is his life but If Qian so disliked the idea of going back to China, why would he help China at all all when he was "forced" to return. From what you guys are saying, he was bascially "kidnapped" in a fashion. United States is much more advanced than China in term of living standard for normal people like us as I lived in China in the first half of my life and know the difference quite well. But just having a nice house and a car is not the dream for everyone, and that is why a lot of scientists still returned back then and why people still will these days. Vesicles your statement about "the fact that staying in the US is not a bad thing for a Chinese" is just your own "fact", please do not make it sound like you are speaking for every single Chinese scientist in US. I am not trying to attack you personally at all, but please do not make false generial statement like that where you make every single Chinese scientist here sound like a no-heart human being who forgot their homeland the moment they saw something better in term of material.
     
  9. FriedRiceNSpice
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    FriedRiceNSpice Senior Member

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    Not every Chinese person wants to live and work in the US. I want to work and live in Korea after I'm out of graduate school...
     
  10. solarz
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    solarz Brigadier

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    That makes no sense. Vesicles isn't generalizing, you are. When you dispute his statement, you are basically saying that wanting to stay in the US (or other foreign country) is a bad thing for a Chinese. That's a hell of a generalization.

    Overseas Chinese have every reason to be proud of their choice. They can do much more for China overseas than they can back in China. In fact, there is a well-known adage among overseas Chinese: "You only understand patriotism once you leave your homeland."

    Believe me when I say there is NO shortage of smart and capable people in China, and unless you possess expertise in cutting edge technology that does not exist in China, the only thing you'll be doing when you go back to China is to compete with other Chinese for a job.

    On the other hand, if you stay overseas, you will be able to promote Chinese culture, values, and interests. Even if such contributions may be small and indirect, they are still more than you could ever do if you stayed in China.
     
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