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The Old Revolutionary Base

By (chinadaily.com.cn)

Hechi city was an old revolutionary base for the mounting struggle during the Agrarian Revolution, and the birthplace of the Youjiang Peasant Movement, cradle of the Baise Uprising that shook southern China, and the heart of the Youjiang Revolutionary Base. It is the home of Wei Baqun, a member of the Zhuang ethnic group, one of the three most important leaders of the peasant movement during the early days of the Chinese Communist Party, and a general in the army’s early days. The 7th Red Army and proletarian revolutionaries of the older generation, such as Deng Xiaoping, Zhang Yunyi and Li Mingrui lived and fought against the enemy in Hechi.

Seven of the founding generals of the People’s Republic were from Hechi and it has 100 townships that have old revolutionary base designation from the State Council or the Guangxi Zhuang government. During the period of revolution, people of Hechi from different ethnic groups contributed a great deal under the leadership of the Communist Party and made substantial sacrifices.

These days, many of these old revolutionary sites have gotten patriotic education base designation and are red cultural and tourist resources.

Hechi is the site of the Building with Slogans that was the 7th Army HQ, and Parade Square of the 7th Army. The building with slogans is in the middle of Hechi St, in the Jinchengjiang district of Hechi and was previously the residence of Wu Ziruo, principal of Fengyi Primary School. It was built in 1926, on a 1,200-sq–m space with a floor space of 587 sq m. In 1930, when the 7th Army stayed in Hechi, this building was used as its HQ, and officers such as Deng Xiaoping, Zhang Yunyi and Li Mingrui used the second floor for their offices and residence and held important military meetings here. These days, there are 55 slogans and 6 cartoons on the walls on the 1st and 2nd floors that were left by the General Command Soldiers Committee of the 7th and 8th Armies and the General Command Soldier’s Committee of the Second Column, some of them from Deng Xiaoping and Zhang Yunyi. On Dec 11, 1978, the Guangxi government declared it a key cultural unit under regional protection and, on Dec 25, 1995, the Party government of Guangxi designated it a Patriotic Education Base for Guangxi. Then, on May 20, 2006, China’s State Council declared it a national cultural unit, and 12 million was spent on rebuilding the 7th Red Army Parade Square, starting in January 2010. It was completed in November 2011. The memorial hall and the parade square cover a 12,000-sq–m area, with 3,250 for the platform and 8,750 for the square.

During his lifetime, Deng only reviewed the troops twice, the first of which took place on the site of today’s Parade Square, at that time when it was just farmland. On Nov 8, 1930, more than 7,000 officers and soldiers had a parade here after a reorganization of the 7th and 8th Armies. The reviewing stand was made of rough boards with portraits of Lenin and Marx hanging from the stand. Zhang, Deng, Li Mingrui and Wei Baqun were there to review the army in a gallant show with the officers and soldiers all packed and ready to head North.

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