Dr. T.P. Wilkinson, aka Wei Santang discusses his two new books, “In Solar Terms” and “Fruit of the Vine”. China Rising Radio Sinoland 231215



By Jeff J. Brown

Pictured above: My personal copies of Thomas’ two new books, with very colorful covers.

Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff

Downloadable podcast at the bottom of this page, Brighteon, iVoox, RuVid, as well as being syndicated on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and Reason.fm (links below),

Brighteon Video Channel: https://www.brighteon.com/channels/jeffjbrown

Text and audiovisual.

Brighteon video. Be sure to subscribe while watching,

Audio (download at the bottom of this page),


Note before starting: it is great to have Thomas back on CRRS again. You can find all his contributions here,


Thomas has also been lately contributing to Seek Truth From Facts,


All the other links promised during our discussion are found throughout the transcript.

Enjoy a fun show!



Jeff J Brown (Host): Good afternoon, everybody. This is Jeff J. Brown China Rising Radio Sinoland on the beaches of Normandy. And I don’t have to go very far today. I only have to go across Spain to Porto, Portugal, to have my wonderful friend and comrade Thomas Wilkinson on the show today. How are you doing, Thomas?

Thomas Wilkinson (Guest): I’m still alive.

Jeff: We are here today to talk about the book that he wrote with Faye Sarras. I bought it. I paid for it. I bought it on Amazon France (https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3ADr+Santang+Wei&s=relevancerank&text=Dr+Santang+Wei&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1). It’s available all over the world on Amazon. I loved it. It’s called “In Solar Terms” (https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Terms-Faye-Sarras-MA/dp/B0CL5J32H5/). The first question I would like to ask Thomas is what was the inspiration for you and Faye to write this?

Thomas: Well, I guess the inspiration was twofold. In 2020, I was amazingly offered a job at the University of Science and Technology in China in Hefei, and I was getting ready to go. And then, of course, every form of travel was basically prohibited or blocked or obstructed. And I couldn’t go to China. So, my contract was renewed, but it didn’t come to pass. I didn’t get to go. And in order to do the interview that led to this job, I had to conduct a Zoom interview.

I’d never done this before, and I was having lots of technical problems doing this. So, in order to finally solve the problem, the contact person was basically the supervisor of the English practice center at the university, a woman named Xu Hongfei had with me a brief Zoom conference, and through her, I got my interview with Mr. Chen, who then said I’ll be contacted. And then I was offered a contract. Now, after this didn’t work.

I was still trying to figure out why. And I kept in contact with Faye. And we developed a communication. And well, the thing is that she said we do everything in China with WeChat why don’t use it? So, I worked really hard to find a computer and a telephone to get WeChat. And you helped me do this. So, we started communicating on WeChat, and she told me all sorts of stories about her background and what she does. And I helped her with some things that she did at the university in English.

She’s an English teacher. And then what happened was on her WeChat page, she was posting photographs. And these were like, the most amazing photographs I’d ever seen in my life. Not that I’ve seen lots of photographs, but I was just thrilled. So, I said, basically, I don’t know why I asked her even to why. I started taking the photographs, saving them, and then posting them on Dissident Voice (https://dissidentvoice.org/?s=wilkinson&sa=Search) with my poems and writing poems with the pictures.

Jeff: Yeah, of course, with the Dissident Voice. That’s right. I didn’t know that. So that’s where those photos came from.

Thomas: Well, they came from her and I took them from her WeChat Moments file and saved them and then wrote poems for them. And then she sent me things like the Seasons of China link ()https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3Qsa0wASW0&list=PL3SL223bZUcoR_lcltt5Eoka2_U0jOxcz&index=2) and I watched the Seasons of China link about the solar terms. And I thought this was amazing. This is so fantastic. There’s so much stuff there. And I’ve been doing other research and reading and stuff about China.

And then I thought because most, if not all of her photographs are nature photographs from the countryside, from plants and animals and mountains and streams. I thought I am going to make a series of photographs about solar terms. I’m going to not take the photographs, but I’m going to take her photographs and I’m going to match them with poems.

And I started doing for Dissident Voices series of poems, which everyone says, well, what does this title mean? Because I was giving Chinese titles to them the ones that passed fit the solar terms. And I said, well it’s a little bit complicated. It didn’t matter. And she published them. And then I thought, well, now I want to do something for her.

Because she’s given me all of these wonderful photographs and let me without complaint publish them with my poems. And I thought, let’s do something to explain this phenomenon and to give some recognition to the work she does. And so, I wrote an essay about what the solar terms are, what poetry is, the relationship between poetry and nature, between poetry and speech, and as opposed to literature in the usual sense.

And I said, look, let’s make a book. And it’s really difficult to do things in between here in China for obvious reasons or reasons that may be obvious to you but not obvious to everybody. So, I did all the work and I got a friend to do the design work that I wanted. And then I produced it for Amazon in the Kindle Self Direct Publishing because I wanted something to happen. And so, you have like, for instance, the colors are the old imperial colors of yellow.

Jeff: Yellow and red.

Thomas: Right. And the thing is I said, well it’s got to be Chinese and English. So, I thought, well how can we do this? Well, she translates but she doesn’t translate poetry. So, she just translated the essay. And we left the poetry in English and photographs. She translated the captions only.

Jeff: Yeah, the captions. And you also have the names of the 24 solar terms in the centerfold of the book. And just to explain to people out there that this is from the Agricultural Calendar, the Chinese Agricultural Calendar that goes back like 5,000 years, and the 12-month calendar is broken up into two-week segments, and every two weeks the farmers would use these changes in the weather, etc. And you have names like, Beginning of Summer, Grain Buds, you have Major Heat, you have White Dew, Cold Dew, Minor Snow, Minor Cold, etc.

It’s really, really fascinating. And I love the fact that Thomas and Faye not only knew the terms in Chinese and in English but again, I made a note. I noted that when I wrote a review for the book on Amazon the captions were also in Chinese. It is beautiful. And I cannot believe that Faye actually took these photos. They’re just amazing.

Thomas: And what’s amazing, I asked her because I have to say something my mother was a photographer, a professional photographer, and she did it as she worked at a medical university, and she mainly took pictures of things in pathology. But she loved photography her whole life. And I asked Faye, I said, what are you using for these pictures? She said, an iPhone. I said, what? An iPhone.

I can remember my mother going out with a Hasselblad double reflex, right? Or with a Leica or with a Nikon, all of this stuff. And I can remember going into the darkroom with her developing the film and stuff like that to get pictures, of which I have one still on my wall. And then I see these pictures and I think I’m working with a woman who’s amazingly sensitive and as if my mother could be alive today.

And that’s why it’s dedicated to our parents because my parents are both dead. But if my mother were alive today, I would say, look this is my memorial to your fascination, your talent, and your desire to be a photographer. But I have to have someone who’s eight hours away from me do it. It was for me the most emotional experience to find somebody by accident who would have been my boss had been able to go there who was willing to do this with me.

Jeff: Yeah. By the way, it’s not just the 24 poems, but they also have a really nice introduction talking about Plowing and Poetry, Rhythm and Language, Poetry and Emotion, Rhythm, Verse and Memory. So, there’s a whole explanation as a Prologue. It’s a wonderful book. I read it. It takes about an hour to read it all. And, you can just go back and just admire these photos just over and over again. They’re just unbelievable. And not to mention Thomas’s poetry is very good.

He writes a weekly poem on Dissident Voice, and I will put that on the interview page on China Rising Radio Sinoland. Thomas has also been on China Rising Radio Sinoland before, more than once. And I will put all those links as well. And he even has a small library of all of what he calls the Corona Papers, which I posted for everybody in the world to see (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2021/01/21/the-corona-papers-online-library-by-t-p-wilkinson-dissident-voice/). And I will put all that up. I will bring Dr. Thomas Wilkinson back to bring him up to date on China Rising so everybody can appreciate his work.

Thomas: Well, something you ought to explain, though, is that if they look at Thomas Wilkinson, they won’t find this book.

Jeff: Oh, yeah. It has to be. Tell us about your Chinese name.

Thomas: Well, you learned Chinese, right? When you read that how do you say it?

Jeff: Wei Santang.

Thomas: So, well, this goes back to actually 25 years ago when I first went to China. I was going with my then-brother-in-law, and I was sort of an advisor to him on his business with a joint venture at that time with Bosch in Nanjing. And I asked I was also at the same time teaching classes to sinologists from the GDR, who were rendered unemployed by the annexation of the GDR in 1989.

And I was teaching the class for these unemployed sinologists. So, I told him I was going to China and they said, well you don’t translate your name. You get a name that sounds something like and has three syllables. So, they gave me a name and it was a little bit different because then I used the name Patrick, my middle name. So, the last two characters were the closest to Patrick. So, in this case, I was saying, well, I’m not using Patrick, I’m using my first name. So, the name that was closest to this was Tang, like the Tang dynasty.

Jeff: Yeah.

Thomas: And Wei, of course, kept the same for Wilkinson. And I was talking to Faye about this. There’s a special literary biographical point. My father with the first son that survived in… my grandmother had a son before him who died at birth, and I was told that he was called Thomas. So, my great-grandparents apparently had a son who died young too whose name was Thomas.

Jeff: Wow.

Thomas: So, two generations in my family the Thomas’s died before they either at birth or before they reached adulthood. And I’m twice as old as my father was when he died. So, I said to her and this was coming out of reading a lot of Chinese novels and stories. I’m number three, Thomas.

Jeff: Oh, San (means “three” in Chinese”).

Thomas: So, San Tang is Thomas number three like the old Charlie Chan stories Son number one, son number two, son number three. I’m number three, Thomas.

Jeff: Okay. Well, when I visited Thomas in Porto in February of 2021. And we actually over a wonderful meal that you cooked because you’re a great cook. We actually talked about your name, and I think I even gave some suggestions, too.

Thomas: You told me it can’t be long. It has to be in these three syllables.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. So, that’s where the San comes from. You are Thomas the Third and you’ve lived a long life. So, that’s really interesting. Well, listen, I tell you what, it’s a wonderful book. You’ll learn a lot about Chinese culture, and Chinese history. You’ll see some fabulous photographs with wonderful poetry and get it taste and a feeling of Chinese civilization. I encourage everybody to buy it. It’s available on Amazon in North America. I bought this from Amazon France. So, you can buy it anywhere.

Thomas: Well, one thing, Jeff, you have to ask people who follow you, who are in China to find out if they can actually buy the book because one of the reasons we wrote it this way was to have something that people can use in English and in Mandarin, and small enough that you could actually do some things, like if you teach literature or if you teach some kinds of art forms, that you can use something really small and say, here, look, this is it’s explained in Mandarin, it’s explained in English. The captions are there and they’re short, what’s also important about this is that I did was I tried to interpret the Lüshi form of verse, which is also Tang Dynasty poetry, something like a sonnet.

Jeff: You mentioned that in the preface.

Thomas: And it can be interesting for somebody who wants to use this for intercultural stuff.

Jeff: Yeah, exactly. In Solar Terms by Faye Sarras and Wei Santang. But before we leave, Wei Santang has been busy. Look at this monster. I also bought this. Now I told Thomas, I’m not going to get to this anytime probably not for several months. It is Volume One and it’s 788 pages long. It’s going to be a trilogy called “Fruit of the Vine: An Intelligent Family” (https://www.amazon.com/Fruit-Vine-Intelligent-Family-1/dp/B0CL3NYKLK/).

Thomas: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeff: Just give us a quick synopsis. This is also available on your author page on Amazon, and I will put this link also for those who want to follow your work, give us a one-paragraph rundown.

Thomas: Well, basically this is a kind of bildungsroman (coming-of-age) is what they call it in literature. It’s an educational novel. It’s about a young man who joins the Navy and finds out that he is recruited into a web of espionage. The funny thing about the espionage is that it is commercial espionage and it’s all about the wine business or competing with the post-prohibition big wine or alcohol corporations. It also touches on it’s a way of also touching on the period between 1957 and 1959 when Cuba became liberated from the United States.

Jeff: Fascinating. Well, that’s why we have the spilled bottle of wine on the front. Now, that makes sense.

Thomas: That’s right.

Jeff: I will read it, but I told Thomas I’m reading Frederick Mote’s book about imperial China. And I’m a little over halfway finished, and it’s a 1200-page book. But as soon as I finish that, I will attack this one Fruit of the Vine, Volume One, An Intelligent Family by Wei Santang. So, get it if you can.

Thomas: Well, there’s a spoiler remark, I hope by Spring Festival to have the second volume done, which takes place mainly in China, Japan, and Korea. And it’s called the Work of Human Hands.

Jeff: Work of Human Hands. All right. Looking forward to it. Well, listen, Thomas, we will have to get together again after my earlier, first visit to Porto. Well, you were a wonderful host. And I met a lot of really fascinating people, your friends and your neighborhood and people who you’ve met there over the years. So, I want to come back. And, of course, you’re always welcome to come to Normandy, the D-Day beaches of Normandy. So, come visit us.

Thomas: And also, Calvados is the French version of Macieira.

Jeff: Well, listen, my friend and comrade, thank you for being on the show today. And I’ll get this out in the next few days, and I hope people will take a look at In Solar Terms and Fruit Of the Vine. When I finish reading Fruit of the Vine, we’ll do a fuller show on that book. Alright?

Thomas: Thank you so much.

Jeff: Talk to you later.

Thomas: Goodbye.


lMPORTANT NOTICE: techofascism is already here! I’ve been de-platformed by StumbleUpon (now Mix) and Reddit. I am being heavily censored by Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and YouTube. It’s only a matter of time before they de-platform me too. Please start using Brighteon for my videos, then connect with me via other social media listed below, especially VK, Telegram, Signal, Parler, Gettr, Gab and WeChat, which are not part of the West’s Big Lie Propaganda Machine (BLPM).

I will post EVERYTHING I produce on my Twitter and Telegram channels, including useful news and information you may not come across, so subscribe for FREE, for the most frequent updates,

Daily news: https://twitter.com/44_Days

Daily news: https://t.me/jeffjbrown

Also, sign up for my FREE email newsletter…

Support, donations and contributions for my work here, any amount, one time or monthly,

A to Z support. Thank you in advance, Jeff

Alipay and WeChat: Chinese phone number: +86-19806711824

Checks or cash: mail to: Jeff J. Brown, 5 rue du Petit Fontaine, France 14117

Donorbox: www.donorbox.com, find China Rising Radio Sinoland

Euro bank wires: 44 Days Publishing, Bank: TransferWise, IBAN: BE70 9672 2959 5225

FundRazr: https://fundrazr.com/CRRS_2021_fundraiser?ref=ab_78aX23

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/China_Rising_Radio_Sinoland or https://www.patreon.com/China_Tech_News_Flash

Payoneer: www.payoneer.com, Jeffrey Jennings Brown, Account Number: 4023795169624

Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/ChinaRisingRadioSino

Stripe US$/ApplePay: https://buy.stripe.com/14k8zl5tp5mVeT66op

Stripe Euros/ApplePay: https://buy.stripe.com/fZe02P8FB9DbcKY28a

US bank wires: Jeff J. Brown, Bank of Oklahoma, Routing Number/ABA: 103900036, Account: 309163695

Do yourself, your friends, family and colleagues a favor, to make sure all of you are Sino-smart: 

Google ebooks (Epub) and audiobooks:

44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=YBKHEAAAQBAJ


China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=YNmLEAAAQBAJ


BIG Red Book on China: Chinese History, Culture and Revolution



Amazon print and ebooks (Kindle):

44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass


China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations


BIG Red Book on China: Chinese History, Culture and Revolution


Author page:


Praise for The China Trilogy:



Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History



JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

Jeff can be reached at China Rising, je**@br***********.com, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat (+86-19806711824/Mr_Professor_Brown, and Line/Signal/Telegram/Whatsapp: +33-612458821.

Read it in your language • Lealo en su idioma • Lisez-le dans votre langue • Lies es in deniner Sprache • Прочитайте это на вашем языке • 用你的语言阅读



Wechat group: search the phone number +8619806711824 or my ID, Mr_Professor_Brown, friend request and ask Jeff to join the China Rising Radio Sinoland Wechat group. He will add you as a member, so you can join in the ongoing discussion.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email