Long live capitalism -- perhaps not what Mao Zedong, former chairman of China’s Communist Party, had been mind when he penned a letter to Britain asking for helping in the country's fight against the Japanese. Now, nearly 80 years later, that letter will be auctioned through Sotheby’s at a starting price of more than $100,000, Financial Times reported Friday. The auction will be held on Dec. 15.
Sotheby’s gained the artifact from a so-named “Anne, Countess Attlee,” who is reported to be the daughter-in-law of Clemente Attlee, Britain’s prime minister during the time who had received the letter from Mao.
“We believe that the British people, when they know the truth about Japanese aggression in China, will rise in support of the Chinese people, will organise practical assistance on their behalf, and will compel their Government to adopt a policy of active resistance to a danger that ultimately threatens them no less than ourselves,” the letter reads.
“Long live with Peace Front of the Democratic Nations against Fascism and Imperialist War,” the letter concludes along with a penned signature from Mao. Another letter with Mao’s signature brought in $420,000 when sold at auction, the FT notes.
The auction of the China-British letter follows in around the relationship and General Mao, who died in 1976 at age 82, trending in the media. The hype began with British Chancellor John McDonnell brandishing Mao’s “Little Red Book” in the House of Commons Wednesday and saying, “Let’s quote from Mao.” He had done so in an effort to speak against the sales of British assets to the Chinese government, BBC reports, and has since defended his position:
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 25, 2015
McDonnell has served as a member of Parliament since 1997. He is chair of the Labour Representation Committee. While holding Mao’s “Little Red Book,” McDonnell said: “I thought it would come in handy for you in your new relationship," according to the Independent. The 64-year-old chancellor was speaking to Chancellor George Osborne’s and against his policies for British aid.