Across China: Red song's birthplace reborn with green economy

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-01 15:32:10|Editor: Li Xia
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BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- In Fangshan District, southwestern Beijing, a giant red flag besieged by mountains is drawing attention.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) flag made of metal -- the size of one and half tennies courts -- is a landmark of Tangshang Village in Xiayunling Township, where a revolutionary song was written more than 70 years ago.

Village Party chief Li Zengjun has told visitors the story of the song thousands of times.

"In 1943, the toughest time for China to fight against Japanese invasion, the CPC established a revolutionary base here," Li said. "Their care-for-the-people attitude and policies inspired performance troupe member Cao Zhi so much that he created the song overnight."

The song -- Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China -- later spread to the whole country. Cao also changed his name to Huoxing (Spark), indicating the Party belief that a single spark could start a prairie fire.

"In wartime back then, changing his name has manifested Cao's firm belief," Li said.

The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Over the past seven decades, the song that villagers have taken pride in has inspired them to strive for a better life.

Unlike urban area of Beijing with modern infrastructure and diverse industries, mountainous Fangshan, with its barren soil, used to be impoverished. Most Tangshang villagers relied on mining to make ends meet.

"Everywhere was dirty in the village with so many coal trucks. My hands and neck were never washed clean," villager Wei Luyun said.

After Beijing pledged to phase out polluted industries in recent years to pursue green development, the colliery closed. In 2006, the construction of a state forest park was approved, covering the entire township.

Wei became a forest ranger at first, with meagre income. With the help of her daughter, Wei and her husband started a family inn, accommodating tourists and selling local specialties.

On her business card, the address of her inn is described as "in front of the giant red flag, Tangshang Village."

"We served more than 30 tables a day at most in summer," Wei said.

The local township government has set up a target called "red song, green sea," striving to develop tourism combining its revolutionary history and ecological environment.

Last year, the township received 300,000 tourists, and raked in nearly 9 million yuan (1.3 million U.S. dollars) of revenue.

Wei plans to expand her inn business.

"We will be able to serve 10 more tables at the same time when the other yard being decorated is ready for tourists," she said.