Lu Keng

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Lu Keng (Chinese: 陸鏗; pinyin: lù kēng born 1919 in Baoshan, Yunnan, China, died June 22, 2008) was a reporter for more than 60 years during some of the most turbulent times in Chinese history. As a journalist, he was banned both in mainland China and Taiwan. His articles criticised authorities and state leaders in the past, winning him the renowned title of "true journalist". Though it also costed him 22 years in jail under the Communist Party and Kuomintang.[1]


Lu was nicknamed "Big noise" (大聲)[2] and used the pen name "Chen Ji-sun" (陳棘蓀). He graduated from the journalism training programme at the Central Politics School and became the first radio reporter in China.[1] He joined the field in 1940.[3]

Stationed in Europe during World War II, he won his early reputation through his interviews with American generals Eisenhower, MacArthur and Marshall.[1]

Lu went to Hong Kong in April 1978 and established a Chinese-language bi-weekly magazine Pai Shing with editor Hu Juren in 1981. He also taught at the Hong Kong Shue Yan University and wrote a column in the Hong Kong Economic Journal.[1]


With Republic of China[edit]

Lu was promoted to editor of the China Times in Nanjing after the war and then jailed after disclosing the corruption of senior officials Kong Xiangxi and Song Ziwen.[1]

With People's Republic of China[edit]

His call for freedom of speech in 1957 once again landed him in jail, this time in the Communist Party's Anti-rightist campaign. He was not freed until 1975.[1]

Lu interviewed Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang in Beijing on May 10, 1985, and published an article which touched on many sensitive issues and described Hu as an enlightened liberal likely to tolerate dissent. The article led to Deng Xiaoping sacking Hu in 1987.[1]


Lu died on June 22 at the age of 89 peacefully in a hospital in San Francisco after struggling with a blood clot in his lungs for 10 days. His remains will be sent to his hometown in Yunnan.[1]

Quotes about Lu[edit]

"He was very proud of being a journalist and, in contrast to many who tend to become a senior editor after accumulating years of experience, he never thought it shameful to be a working journalist, even when he was old," said Li Pu, former Xinhua deputy head.[1]

Senior journalist Yang Jisheng said Lu had "never bowed to power, never bowed to anybody, he was only responsible for facts".[1]

Lu was blacklisted in 1990 as persona non grata and forbidden entry to the mainland for helping former Xinhua Hong Kong director Xu Jiatun (許家屯), who was exiled to the US for siding with reformist leader Zhao Ziyang in 1989.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k South China Morning Post. "SCMP." Controversial 'true journalist' Lu Keng, 89, dies in US. Retrieved on 2008-11-18.
  2. ^ "[permanent dead link]." Lu Keng's life independent news. Retrieved on 2008-11-18.
  3. ^ Hong Kong Journalists Association. "HKJA[permanent dead link]." Mourning Mr. Lu Keng (陸鏗先生), our Veteran . Retrieved on 2008-11-18.