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Visits to birthplace of CPC double for 98th anniversary

By Xing Yi in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-02 08:43
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Visitors take pictures in front of The Memorial for the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai on Monday, the 98th anniversary of CPC's founding. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

6,000 people have come to memorial daily since June

Despite rain, the site of the Communist Party of China's first national congress in Shanghai has received visitors from across the country since early Monday, which was the 98th anniversary of the Party's founding.

The memorial has had about 6,000 visitors a day starting in June, nearly double the daily average number in the first half of the year.

People lined up in drizzle at The Memorial for the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at No 76 Xingye Lu, shortly after the memorial opened at 9 am.

The venue hosted the first National Congress in July 1921, when 13 Chinese delegates and two foreign delegates from Communist International convened. Delegates drafted the first program of the Party, proclaiming the founding of the CPC. The venue now holds a permanent exhibition of the Party history.

"Rain and wind cannot dull our enthusiasm for coming here. We planned a month ago to visit the birthplace of our Party today," said Li Yanmin, secretary of the Party branch at the Xun'an Law Firm in Jiangsu province. Together with five Party members, they set out at 7 am from Wuxi, Jiangsu, and drove two hours to Shanghai.

Li and his companions spent an hour at the memorial and recited the oath of admission to the Party at the Party flag in the entrance hall. "This is part of our branch's activity for the Party's thematic education campaign, 'Staying true to our founding mission'," he said.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a speech at a key meeting on May 31 to launch a campaign with the theme "Staying true to our founding mission" among all Party members. Xi said that seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the Party's original aspiration and mission, and the fundamental driving force behind the heroic fight of generations of CPC members.

For Wang Bo, a Chinese teacher at a high school in Guangdong province, visiting the memorial bore a special meaning. "I became a Party member on July 1, 1997, when I was in college, and today marked the 22nd anniversary of my Party life," he said.

"I came to remind myself of the original aspiration of the Party, because there's no other place better than here for such reflection.

"Learning the history of the Party here at the museum, I felt deeply that serving the people wholeheartedly is what makes the Party thrive," Wang said.

Zhang Gonghui, a teacher at Chuzhou Vocational and Technical College in Anhui province, led a group of five student applicants for Party membership to the memorial. "They are studying the history of the Party, and they will head to Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, to visit the Red Boat tomorrow." In 1921, the first CPC National Congress reconvened in a red boat on South Lake in Jiaxing after it was interrupted by police in Shanghai.

To handle the surge of visitors, the memorial has added more guided tours from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. During the first six months of the year, the number of visitors reached over 600,000, officials at the memorial said.

"Our visitors are not limited to Party members. There are also many common people and foreign tourists," said Lin Xintong, a guide. "Some come out of respect, and some out of curiosity about how the CPC manages to govern such a big country.

"I always feel proud when my explanations help them better understand the Party's history and its founding mission, which is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenate the nation."

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