World News

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

For 80 years, Li Rui, once one of Mao Zedong’s main collaborators, wrote letters and notes in his diary detailing his long life upside down near the Communist Party center. Prior to her death in 2019, Mr. Li’s daughter transported the volumes out of China and into California archives.

Now, “Li materials” are the subject of a legal battle between Stanford University and Mr. Li’s widow in Beijing. It’s a custody battle for an unofficial history of China.

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