This is an account of a project in China carried out in secrecy from the Chinese people and the Western World during the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution. Project 523, as it was called, resulted in one of the most significant advances in the treatment of malaria since the discovery and first use of quinine over 300 years ago. The origin of the project was a request from the North Vietnamese Government to Mao Zedong in China, for assistance in managing chloroquine drug-resistant malaria affecting their military forces during the Vietnam-American war. Initially the project was directed by the Chinese military medical research authorities, but it became so large that civilian scientists were called upon to help. Ultimately, to accomplish this task, over 60 institutions and more than 500 scientists and other personnel scattered throughout mainland China became involved. This achievement is all the more remarkable because it was accomplished during the Cultural Revolution using obsolete equipment, and at a time when all regular research was halted, scientists were harassed and denigrated, and academic and intellectual activity was discouraged or even forbidden. The drug discovered - artemisinin from the plant Qinghao (Artemisia annua L) - is now the most widely used treatment for malaria in the world. Chinese Editor Zhang Jianfang was the principal administrator of Project 523. He is now 87 years old, retired, and lives in Beijing. Translators Keith and Muoi Arnold of Northern California were the first Western medical scientists to be informed about and to publish on qinghaosu (artemisinin). Publisher's website: http: //sbpra.com/ZhangJianfang.