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China to turn KMT military academy into tourist destination
( 2002-08-05 08:55 ) (8 )

A famous military academy run by the Kuomintang regime in May of 1924 to become a tourist attraction featuring "military culture".

Huangpu District of Guangzhou city, in south China's Guangdong province, is to "invest a great deal" to build a "military culture garden" around the site of the Whampoa (Huangpu) Military Academy, which is expected to be completed by 2006, government sources said.

Founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, forerunner of China's democratic revolution and founder of the Kuomintang, the Whampoa Military Academy then trained thousands of senior soldiers in its short history, many of whom later became noted generals and marshals.

The academy also witnessed the first cooperation between the Chinese Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China (CPC), with Chiang Kai-shek acting as academy president and late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai as director of the academy's political department. When the two parties jointly launched the Northern Expedition in 1926 to end warlords' control of north China and reunify the country, Kuomintang and Communist cadets from the academy served as the backbone of the force.

Today, there are still Whampoa alumni associations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

According to the plan, a Hall of Fame will be built on the site of the original Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in the academy compound, where visitors can view displays on the life and times of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Zhou Enlai and other prestigious academy leaders and also learn previously "untold anecdotes" about them.

Waxworks, paintings, sculptures and a multimedia and video exhibition platform would also feature in the main showroom, which used to be the cadets club, to brief visitors on a number of famous battles commanded or participated in by the Whampoa students.

The academy's old naval wharf by the Pearl River will also be put in use again, with out-of-service warships docked there on which visitors could gain "military experience".

"Some day, visitors to the Whampoa Military Academy would possibly be able to have a taste of America's West Point and Britain's Royal Military Academy," according to a local official.



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