Song Binbin places a Red Guard arm band on Mao Zedong on Aug. 18, 1966. (Internet photo)
Song Binbin, daughter of late People's Liberation Army general Song Renqiong, has made a tearful apology in Beijing for her actions as a Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.
The 64-year-old Song Binbin made the apology during a speech on Sunday at Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, where she was once a notorious ringleader of the Red Guards who violently assaulted and killed then-principal Bian Zhongyun.
Those present at the speech said Song Binbin was very emotional and reduced to tears several times as she apologized to the students and teachers she tormented during Mao Zedong's social-political movement, which ran from 1966 to 1976 and led to the persecution and death of millions across China.
As the daughter of PLA general Song Renqiong, one of the eight elders of the Communist Party of China, Song Binbin enjoyed a privileged upbringing and a position of power at the onset of the Cultural Revolution, even personally fitting a Red Guard armband on Mao at Tiananmen Square.
Her speech has been commended by several Chinese media outlets, who point out that she specifically returned from the United States, where she currently resides, to make the heartfelt apology.
This is the second high-profile Cultural Revolution apology after former Red Guard Chen Xiaolu, the son of former longtime foreign minister Chen Yi, who made an official apology last August to the students and teachers at his alma mater, the No.8 Middle School in Beijing.
"I bear direct responsibility for the denouncing and criticism, and forced-labor re-education of school leaders, and some teachers and students," Chen Xiaolu wrote in a blog post on his school alumni website. "I actively rebelled and organized the denouncements of school leaders. Later on when I served as the director of the school's Revolution Committee, I wasn't brave enough to stop the inhumane prosecutions.”
"My official apology comes too late, but for the purification of the soul, the progress of society and the future of the nation, one must make this kind of apology," he said.
Song Binbin 宋彬彬
Song Renqiong 宋任窮
Bian Zhongyun 卞仲芸
Mao Zedong 毛澤東
Chen Xiaolu 陳小魯
Chen Yi 陳毅