China pres­i­dent re­vives Long March myths to rally party

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEIJING: As China marks 80 years since the Red Army ended its epic Long March, the Com­mu­nist Party is at­tack­ing re­vi­sion­ist his­tory in an ef­fort to com­pel rev­er­ence for its found­ing le­gend. Fac­ing an­ni­hi­la­tion at the hands of Na­tion­al­ists dur­ing China’s civil war in 1934, some 80,000 Com­mu­nist sol­diers and lead­er­sMao Ze­dong among them-broke through en­cir­cling forces and em­barked on a gru­el­ing es­cape. Nine out of 10 had de­serted or died by the time the last units reached Yanan in the north­ern prov­ince of Shaanxi as much as two years later, where Mao and his co­horts founded a base from which they went on to take over the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Com­mu­nist Party lore the marchers trav­elled at least 12,500 kilo­me­ters through some of the coun­try’s most re­mote and haz­ardous ter­rain. The an­niver­sary is be­ing marked this week, with a daily drum­beat of news­pa­per ar­ti­cles and op-eds-plus dozens of TV dra­mas, doc­u­men­taries, trivia con­tests, ra­dio broadcast sand spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions ex­tolling their hero­ism. Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has put his stamp on the oc­ca­sion, vis­it­ing mu­se­ums in the north­ern re­gion of Ningxia and Beijing. Xi has de­clared the party must em­u­late the march’s spirit in pur­suit of his “Chi­nese Dream”, a vaguely de­fined prom­ise of na­tional rejuvenation, and the party’s cen­te­nary goal to build a “moder­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety” by 2021.

“We, the new gen­er­a­tion, should ac­com­plish our new Long March,” he said. The drive comes just ahead of a top party meet­ing in the cap­i­tal this month, with spec­u­la­tion mount­ing that Xi may de­lay ap­point­ing a suc­ces­sor and seek to stay in power be­yond the tra­di­tional 10-year term. Evok­ing the le­gend is “a good re­minder to ev­ery­body that the party ac­tu­ally did, and does, stand for some­thing” de­spite the Com­mu­nist Party’s loss of “pur­pose and le­git­i­macy”, Trey McArver, a London-based China pol­i­tics an­a­lyst at Trusted Sources re­search firm said. — AFP

BEIJING: Uruguay’s Pres­i­dent Tabare Vazquez (left) shakes hands with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing a sign­ing cer­e­mony at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Beijing yes­ter­day. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.