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Spirit of Long March must continue, Xi says

Updated: 2016-10-22 07:00
(China Daily)

Spirit of Long March must continue, Xi says

China marks the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Long March on Oct 21, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Eighty years after the end of the epic Long March by the Chinese Red Army, President Xi Jinping has called for carrying forth the spirit and moving forward in "a new long march" to realize national rejuvenation.

The Long March is an ongoing process, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, at a gathering to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Long March.

"A nation that forgets its past will find itself in a blind alley," he said.

In October 1934, hundreds of thousands of Red Army officers and soldiers set out on a 12,500-kilometer journey to break through encirclement by Kuomintang forces.

In about two years, the Red Army fought more than 600 battles, crossed about 100 rivers, climbed over 40 steep mountains and trekked across vast grasslands before arriving at Yan'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, where it built its own revolutionary base.

Xi said the Long March was a remarkable turning point-from setbacks to victory-for the Party and China's revolutionary cause. It was so hard and bitter that, "on average, a soldier died every 300 meters in the leading Red Army troop".

The Long March was a great expedition to seek ideals and faith, test truth and break new ground, Xi said, calling for the Party to carry on the spirit in the new era.

Each generation has its own "long march", and they should proceed in their own way, he said, adding that the "long march" today is to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Zhen Xiaoying, a professor of Party studies and former vice-president of the Central Institute of Socialism in Beijing, said the core spirit of the Long March is to uphold idealism and overcome difficulties.

Such a spirit should be applied in all walks of life and be promoted among people of the younger generation who haven't experienced hard times, she said.

"China is faced with a lot of challenges today," Zhen added. "The spirit of the Long March is of great value in the new era. It is not out of date, but should be inherited."

People's Daily, the Party's official newspaper, said in an editorial on Friday that the Party is now faced with multiple tasks, such as building a well-off society, deepening reform, carrying forward the rule of law and governing the Party strictly.

"The tests for the Party members are far from ending. The Long March is always underway."

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