Studies of the Long March Legacy Continues to Be Fruitful, with a Succession of the Third National Conference of the Long March Legacy and the First International Symposium of the Long March Spirit Respectively in Hunan and Guangxi in China
罗范懿 马新存 曹光雄 刘晓峰 ［俄］康斯坦丁诺夫
By Luo Fanyi, Ma Xincun, Cao Guangxiong, Liu Xiaofeng, and Konstantinov from Russia
From November 21st to 28th, 2018, Southern China embraces sunshine after a continuous rain and mountains and rivers along the Xiangjiang River take on enchanting appearances on these seeming spring days. It was on these very days Four score and four years ago that a batch of Chinese teenagers, in their hot pursuit for the truth and ideals, made a breakthrough at an upstream port of the Xiangjiang River so that they would fight against the Japanese invaders in Northern China. Their blood dyed the river and their sacrifices awakened the conscience of the masses. Hence, the Communist Party of China chose Mao Zedong as their leader along the Long March by the Red Army when revolutionary cause in China was suffering from reactionary reign of terror and soldiers of the Red Army finally learned of the encouraging news of “a shift of the military strategies at Tongdao Conference” and “an establishment of the leadership of Mao Zedong at Zunyi Conference”. From then on, the Chinese revolution has been moving forward from one victory to another.
Just as a poetical line goes “the green mountains take on their beautiful looks”, the sunny days and beautiful landscapes of the revolutionary bases embraced international friends who took huge interest in studies of the Long March and conference delegates who come from over 20 provinces and welcomed and praised the Third National Seminar of the Long March Spirit and the First International Symposium of the Long March Legacy, both of which are dedicated to commemorating and promoting the Long March of the Red Army 84 years ago.
From November 21st to 23rd, the Third National Seminar on the Long March Spirit as well as a patriotism tourism of the Cultural Long March through retracing the Long March route in Tongdao County was held at Tongdao County of Hunan Province. Representatives across the country were impressed by the local Dong Nationality culture through their experience of the welcoming ceremony of songs and dances of the Dong Nationality and the typical group feast of the Dong village. The opening ceremony was jointly announced by Mr. Cao Guangxiong, noted war correspondent of the People’s Liberation Army Newspaper and former director of the Political Department of the Guangzhou Military Region, and Mr. Luo Fanyi, initiator and promoter of the Cultural Long March, after they lit the torches of the third annual meeting at the gala of songs and dances of the Dong Village at Huangdou Dong Cultural Village. The Seminar was hosted by the organizing committee of National Juveniles’ Ideological and Moral Cultivation through the Cultural Long March, undertaken by Hunan New Era Patriotism Education and Training Co., Ltd. and collaborated with the Memorial Hall and Research Base of the Long March at Tongdao County. Ms. Feng Liyan and Ms. Feng Jinyan, daughters of General Feng Zhixiang, the late veteran Red Army and deputy commander of the former Guangxi Military Region and Ms. He Li and her daughter, offspring of a late Red Army veteran at Tuqiao Town, Xishui County, Guizhou Province, have participated all the activities at the Seminar.
On the morning of November 22nd, all the delegates of the Seminar were dressed in the uniforms of the Red Army and altogether 70 Cultural Long Marcher retraced the section of the Long March at Tongdao County. The group of delegates first held a solemn ceremony of bouquet presentation in front of the statues of great men of the Long March of the Memorial Hall. After the ceremony, the group held high the flag of the Red Army and the flag of the Cultural Long March and marched on while chanting the slogans of the Cultural Long March: awaken the pioneering spirit and enlighten the new generations and rejuvenate the nation with scientific development…. The spectacle of the Cultural Long March attracted attentions and applauses of the Dong Nationality folks at Xianxi Town. Right after the retracing activity, all the delegates visited the memorial hall and conference site at Dongdao by the Central Red Army and they were particularly touched by the Red Army story narratives carefully organized by the memorial hall. A series of videos coupled with emotional narrations of local girls of the Dong Nationality moved everyone to tears and sobs…. This vivid and touching story collection of the Long March by the Red Army will always be remembered by all the delegates all across the nation. Afterward, a forum was hosted at the memorial hall by Mr. Lu Chengxi, deputy director of the organizing committee and vice president of the Research Institute of the Long March Spirit. At the forum, everyone opened their minds and shared their experiences of having retraced the Long March route and heard the stories of the Red Army. They were impressed by the past of the Cultural Long March and full of anticipations of its brilliant future.
On the morning of November 23rd, the opening ceremony of the Third National Seminar of the Long March Spirit was held at the main conference room of the memorial hall. Mr. Luo Fanyi, director of the organizing committee and dean of Research Institute of the Long March Spirit, presided over the conference and presented the annual work report entitled “Lifelong Dedication to the Cause of the Cultural Long March under the Guidance of President Xi Jinping’s Speech Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Victory of the Long March”on behalf of the organizing committee. In addition, the Conference also invited Mr. Cao Guangxiong, a renowned journalist of the People’s Liberation Army Newspaper, to deliver his report of the Long March Spirit in modern wars from his perspective as a war correspondent entitled “My Eight Years of Youth Dedicated to My Motherland at the caves in the front at the Borders between China and Vietnam”. Meanwhile, the conference also introduced prizes and publications of the third issue of Studies of China’s Long March Spirit: Mr. Shi Zhongquan, a nation-famous expert in both CPC history and in the Long March and former deputy director of the Research Department of Central CPC History had created the preface for the third issue of Studies of China’s Long March Spirit entitled “Colorful Masterpieces, the Cultural Long March Is Forever on the Way”; altogether there were professors and PhD candidates of 18 colleges and universities, including party schools and academies of social sciences, participating in the solicit essays, among which a total amount of 41 academic papers were awarded. Several winning representatives attended the conference and presented their speeches, such as Zhu Hui, deputy director of CPC History Office at Xinyang City, Henan Province, Liu Zengxian, Professor of Southwest University, Zhao Shaocheng, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Science and Technology and Luo Xiangde, lecturer of Lipu Party School in Guangxi. Moreover, the organizing committee of the conference awarded medals of “Remarkable Teamwork of Carrying Forward the Long March Spirit” to the following bases with outstanding performances in the Cultural Long March over the past two years, namely, Luobang Conference research base in Gansu Province, research base of the Battle of the Xiangjiang River in Guangxi, research base of Tongdao Conference in Hunan Province, research base of the Long March Vanguard in Zhejiang Province, research base of the Jinshajiang Battle in Yunnan Province and volunteer band of the Long March Spirit. Finally, the conference announced that approved by the Publicity Department of the Party Committee of Anren County in Hunan Province, as next year marks the 85th Anniversary of the Red Army’s Long March, the 15th Anniversary of the launch of the Cultural Long March, Anren County, as the initiating place of the Cultural Long March, will host the fourth national conference of the Long March Spirit as well as the activity of promoting the Cultural Long March of retracing the decision-making route of the joining forces of Mao Zedong and Zhu De at Mountain Jinggang. Chen Zanwen and Wu Fengqing, representatives of Anren County at the conference and deputy directors of the organizing committee, received the “annual red flag” of the Cultural Long March at the closing ceremony of this conference.
The First International Symposium of the Long March Legacy was held in Guilin, Guangxi from November 23rd to 28th, 2018. This Symposium was hosted by China Research Institute of International Reportage, Research Institute of the Eighth Route Army and Institute for the Long March Spirit, undertaken by Guanyang County and co-organized by such counties in northern Guangxi as Quanzhou, Ziyuan, Longsheng and Xing’an.
November 23rd welcomed the accommodation and registration of more than 120 delegates of the Symposium at Ronghu Hotel in Guilin, including international friends from the United States of America, Russia, Britain, Thailand and Japan, offspring of the Red Army and domestic experts and scholars.
On the morning of November 24th, all the representatives visited the Memorial Hall of the Battle of the Xiangjiang River at Xing’an County and presented a bouquet to the martyrs in front of the monument. And then they stood at the port of “Red Army Hall” at Jieshou, shedding tears and making flower offering to heroes and heroines who had sacrificed their lives at the port during the Long March. In the afternoon, all the delegates had a tour of the Memorial Garden of Jiuhaijing of the Xinxu Resistance Battle of the Xiangjiang River Campaign, dedicating flowers and visiting the nearby exhibition hall of the Xinxu Resistance Battle.
November 25 celebrated the formal kickoff of the First International Symposium of the Long March Spirit at the International Taxus Hotel of Guanyang County. Present at the Symposium were some offspring of the Red Army, including Mr. Liu Jin (grandson of Zhu De, Commander-in-chief of the Red Army and General Director of the First Front Red Army), Major General Liu Meng (son of Liu Bocheng, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army and Chief of Staff of the First Front Red Army), Major General Zhang Guangdong (son of Zhang Yunyi, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army and Deputy Chief of Staff of the First Front Red Army), Major General Chen Zhijian (son of Chen Geng, Head of the Cadre Regiment of the First Front Red Army), Major General Yuan Wei, Ms. Zhang Weiwei (daughter of Zhang Yunlong, Commissioner of the 13th Regiment, the 5th Division of the First Front Red Army), Ms. Ye Lian (granddaughter of Ye Ting, Commander-in-chief of the Red Army during Guangzhou Uprising), Ms. Li Dan (daughter of Li Da, Chief of Staff of the Second Front Red Army), Mr. Ni Qisheng (son of Ni Zhiliang, Chief of Staff of the Fourth Front Red Army), Lu Jianjian (son of Lu Dingyi, director of the General Political Department of the Red Army and the Political Publicity Department of the First Front Red Army), Cao Gengshan (grandson of Chairman Mao Zedong and Chief of the 15th Battalion of the Central Column of the First Front Red Army), Ms. Tang Shuanghe (daughter of Tang Tianji, Director of the Political Department of the 5th Division, the 3rd Army Group of the First Front Red Army), and Mr. Zhou Nanzheng (son of Zhou Xihan, Battle Section Chief of the 31st Division of the Fourth Front Red Army). Meanwhile, such delegates as Li Rong, Li Haiwen, Wei Bihai and Tian Yueying from the following associations as Party History Research Center of CPC Central Committee, the Party Literature Research Center of the CPC Central Committee, Military Museum and Institute of Military History at Academy of Military Sciences as well as various working committee of China Research Institute of International Reportage also attended the Symposium. Mr. Wang Xiaobin, Chairman of China Research Institute of International Reportage, and Deputy Magistrate of Guangyang County delivered their welcoming remarks to all the delegates. In the morning, Mr. Han Jingjing, Dean of Research Institute of the Long March Legacy as well as son of General Han Wei, a veteran Red Army, presented a feature report of the Battle of the Xiangjiang River. The speakers and presenters at the Symposium also include Nancy Hill, President of Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation from the United States of America; Mr. Konstantinov, editor-in-chief of Russia’s Far East Times Newspaper and senior sinologist; Mr. Sakai Nobuyuki, Chairman of Research Institute for Premier Zhou Enlai; Mr. Luo Jindie, President of the Hong Soon Association of Thailand; Prof. Mackinnon, history Professor from Arizona State University; Mr. Sun Hua, director of Edgar Snow Studies Center of China in Peking University; Mr. An Wei, honorary president of Shaanxi Snow Studies Center; Mr. Liu Jin, grandson of Zhu De; Mr. Jiang Tingyu, former director of Compilation and Research Chamber of Military Museum; Eric Foster, an author and nephew of Helen Foster Snow, the first wife of Edgar Snow; Mr. Sun Dongning, board director of China Research Institute of International Reportage; and Mr. Xie Dongdong, office director of Research Institute of the Long March Spirit. Mr. Luo Fanyi, honorary and academic dean of the Research Institute of the Long March Spirit delivered a report “The Cultural Long March Is Always on the Road－Work Report of Adherence to the Cultural Long March for 15 Years” on behalf of the Institute. Finally, Mr. Wang Xiaobin, in his summary statement of the Symposium, released such exciting news as application for the list of world heritage of the Long March, international reportage prizes and “Guilin Initiative” that proposes to donate a stone tablet of the Long March Legacy to the Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation in the U.S.A. and held a signing ceremony memo between China Research Institute of International Reportage and Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation.
November 26th saw group tours of historic sites of the Long March by all symposium delegates at such counties as Quanzhou, Ziyuan and Longsheng respectively. Mr. Lu Jianjian and Madam Zheng Lili, son and daughter-in-law of Mr. Lu Dingyi, made an emotional review of Mr. Lu Dingyi and his reportage Mountain Laoshanjie. Mr. Luo Fanyi, captain of the Cultural Long March Campaign, also told his experience of having climbed over Mountain Laoshanjie by following the same route of the Red Army 15 years ago and afterward written his reportage My Birthday on Mountain Laoshanjie, which was later included into the textbook of Chinese language for middle school students together with classic Mountain Laoshanjie by Mr. Lu Dingyi so as to enlighten students happiness earned by sacrifices of revolutionaries. Experts at home and abroad also visited several stone tablets of the Long March Legacy set up at the historic sites of the Long March in northern Guilin region through the Cultural Long March Campaign. They had a close reading of the memorial poems eulogizing the Long March on the tablets. Both Prof. MacKinnon from the United States and Mr. An Wei from China spoke highly of these stone tablets and told Mr. Luo Fanyi: “It is not easy to set up 80 tablets along the Long March and it is really a great feat among all the events of the Cultural Long March!”
Madam Zheng, Mr. Lu Dingyi’s daughter-in-law, who had worked at bureau of foreign affairs of the People’s Daily, was moved to tears at the sight of the stone tablets and told Mr. Luo Fanyi emotionally: “Through these stone tablets along the Cultural Long March, you finally bring back to history the route of the Long March depicted by my father-in-law in his article Mountain Laoshanjie and finally help him fulfill his dream of ‘setting up a monument here in the future’ written in his article on the 80th Anniversary of the Long March. Following the footprints of the Red Army, you walked the Long March again and fainted while climbing over Mountain Laoshanjie. You really exert yourself so as to promote the legacy of the Long March. On behalf of my family as well as my late father-in-law, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to you and your comrades as well as the Cultural Long March. The task of the Cultural Long March is still arduous and there is still a long way ahead, you must move forward with persistence!” Madam Zheng sent Mr. Luo Fanyi text message via both cell phone and WeChat with the content below the following day:
“I am very grateful for your tremendous efforts and dedications to explore and expand such sites of the Red Army as Mountain Laoshanjie so as to carry forward the Long March Legacy. Inspired by the Long March Legacy of the Red Army and all your efforts to inherit such a legacy, I made up my mind to learn from you and cooperate with you to launch a new journey of the Cultural Long March with our joint efforts. Thank you again for having provided me with a rare opportunity of a profound learning of Mountain Laoshanjie.”
Studies of the Long March Legacy has been developed both home and abroad while the Cultural Long March will be carried forward. And requested by international friends, such articles as Mountain Laoshanjie, My Birthday on Mountain Laoshanjie, Song of Cultural Long March and Working Summary of the Cultural Long March over the Past 15 Years will soon be translated and circulated all over the world for the first time.