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New Gutian Meeting: Another Milestone

English.news.cn   2015-02-11 09:50:37

    A military political work conference was held in a former revolutionary base in the township of Gutian, east China’s Fujian Province, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 in 2014. President Xi Jinping attended the meeting and delivered an important speech. It was a milestone in the history of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

    Red Army Roots

    Harvard academic Ross Terrill wrote in Mao: A Biography that Mao’s true innovation was to fit the gun, armed peasants and Marxism together. Though none of the three was pioneered by Mao, he was the first to combine them.

    Based on the thinking that political power comes from the barrel of a gun, and guided by scientific theories of Marxism, peasants from China’s vast countryside received political training and new ideas to interpret the world. A new type of proletarian army was organized this way, which was without doubt the first in history and would not have been seen in the times of Marx, Engels, the Paris Commune, Lenin, the Soviet Red Army or the October Revolution.

    Confusion accompanied army construction from the very beginning as there was no historical precedent. They explored, experimented and debated all the way from the first gunshot of the Nanchang Uprising, and finally came to realize the epoch-making, three-in-one combination in the Gutian Meeting.

    An army led by the Communist Party is from the people and for the people. It is a self-disciplined body for carrying out political missions. As well as national defense, it shoulders responsibility for mass work. This is the root of the people’s army, which can never be shaken in any era or circumstances, type of war, organizational structure or staff composition.

    “Yellow Flowers” Bloom Again

    The ninth day of the ninth lunar month is the traditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. On this day, Chinese usually go hiking, enjoy chrysanthemums and wear cornel leaves to show respect to the elderly. The Double Ninth Festival fell on Oct. 11 in 1929. Mao Zedong climbed a tower in western Fujian Province on that day and wrote a poem:

    Nature does not grow old as fast as man;

    Each year the Double Ninth comes round.

    And now the Double Ninth comes round.

    How sweet are yellow flowers on the battleground!

    Two months later, Mao presided over the ninth congress of Party representatives of the Fourth Army of the Red Army, or the famous Gutian Meeting. As Marshal Luo Ronghuan said, “China’s military is now clear on how to develop itself in the future.”

    In 2014, the Double Ninth Festival fell on Nov. 1. The military political work conference was also held in Gutian. Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited the venue of the historic meeting, laid flowers at Mao’s statue, and visited veteran cadres. Xi said the Party should focus on the importance of political work in strengthening and rejuvenating the army, and strive for development under new circumstances. The “yellow flowers on the battleground” flourished again on the Double Ninth Festival in the place where the Party’s army began its journey. The New Gutian Meeting was another milestone in the PLA’s ideological and political construction on the road to a better country and a stronger army.

    More than 80 years have past, inevitably blurring once clear principles, and fading once bright flags. Reform and opening-up, the market economy, the Internet... the advances have also inevitably led to slackness, conservatism, faithlessness and loss of determination. Where did we come from and why did we start? Whose blood is running in our veins? What and where is our heritage passed down from our pioneers? In order to go further and more steadily, we must look back and find our roots, so can we continue the bloodline and consolidate the foundations.

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Editor: 杨茹
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