The cherished city

By Xing Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-28 09:27
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The campus of the East China University of Political Science and Law is open to the public after a renovation project. [PHOTO BY GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY]

But many high buildings along the Suzhou Creek, including the Broadway Mansion, the General Post Office Building and the Embankment Building, were occupied by Kuomintang soldiers and used as assault points against the PLA.

American editor Bill Powell, who ran the English-language magazine China Weekly Review at the time, was trapped inside the Embankment Building with more than 300 foreigners. The building had become a holdout for the Kuomintang army.

The standoff at Suzhou Creek lasted almost two days. Despite heavy casualties, the PLA on the southern bank waited patiently and chose to encircle the line of defense instead of blasting their way through. No foreign residents of the Embankment Building were hurt. At this time, Powell prepared an editorial that read: "We welcome the change that has come about and hope that the arrival of the People's Liberation Army will mark the beginning of a new era-an era in which the people of China can now begin to enjoy the benefits."

Wang says he was most impressed by accounts of how the PLA soldiers strictly followed orders to minimize destruction of infrastructure when doing researching for his book.

"Thanks to the sacrifices made by the thousands of PLA soldiers who died in the battle, we can appreciate the historical architecture of the city now. They have saved the city's historical memories with their lives," he says.

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