His­tory on dis­play

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ERIK NILSSON erik_nils­son@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Diplo­mats and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of for­eign in­sti­tu­tions in China visit an ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing the 80th an­niver­sary of the vic­tory of the Long March.

Gen­eral Ab­doulaye Fall, Sene­gal’s am­bas­sador to China, said vis­it­ing the on­go­ing Long March ex­hi­bi­tion at the China Peo­ple’s Rev­o­lu­tion Mil­i­tary Mu­seum on Sun­day takes him back in time.

That is, not only to the Red Army’s im­plau­si­ble strate­gic retreat from Kuom­intang forces 80 years ago that even­tu­ally led to vic­tory, but also to his own ex­pe­ri­ence of four decades in his home­land’s mil­i­tary.

“This was very mov­ing for me be­cause it re­minds me of some parts of my own his­tory, (events) I was my­self in­volved in dur­ing dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods of my mil­i­tary ca­reer,” Fall said.

Com­pa­triot Chris­telle Mbaya, who works as a jour­nal­ist in China, said she also saw re­flec­tions of Sene­gal.

“We un­der­stand more be­cause of the ex­hi­bi­tions. We didn’t re­ally know what th­ese sol­diers were go­ing through. They gave all they had to win. De­spite con­di­tions that weren’t very good, they made it.”

Fall and Mbaya were among hun­dreds of peo­ple from over 90 coun­tries, in­clud­ing 35 diplo­mats and 95 for­eign ex­perts, who vis­ited the ex­hibit on Sun­day.

It cel­e­brates the Red Army’s 9,000-kilo­me­ter trek across treach­er­ous ter­rain over more than a year.

Only a tenth of those who set out sur­vived, but the Com­mu­nist Party of China went on to de­feat the Kuom­intang

This was very mov­ing for me be­cause it re­minds me of some parts ofmy own his­tory.” Gen­eral Ab­doulaye Fall, Sene­galese am­bas­sador to China.

and found New China in 1949.

The for­eign vis­i­tors said they were im­pressed by paint­ings and sculp­tures, and ac­tual items, in­clud­ing weapons, blan­kets and a half-eaten belt.

“It’s a mix­ture of medi­ums, so it tells the whole story,” said Mo­hamed Faisal, Mal­di­vian am­bas­sador to China.

“This (his­tory) shouldn’t be lost — for the whole world. It shows that de­spite strug­gles, if you be­lieve in some­thing, you need to fight for it. If you fight for it, the fu­ture will be bright.”

Thit Linn Ohn, am­bas­sador of Myan­mar, said the dis­plays make the his­tory more re­al­is­tic.

“I al­ready knew some things be­fore, so I like to com­pare my knowl­edge to this dis­play to get some in­for­ma­tion I’ve never heard from books or other mu­se­ums,” he said.

“The Long March of the Red Army is fa­mous not only in China but also the world.”

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Al­ge­rian Am­bas­sador to China Ahcene Boukhelfa (from left), Afghan Am­bas­sador Janan Mosazai and Swiss Am­bas­sador Jean-Jac­ques de Dardel visit the Long March ex­hibit at the China Peo­ple’s Rev­o­lu­tion Mil­i­tary Mu­seum.

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