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Party history shared by Xi: General Yang Jingyu | Updated: 2021-05-05 06:40
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Editor's note: This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. To learn more about the history of the ruling party of China, we are publishing a series of inspiring stories shared by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. Here's the fifth story, about General Yang Jingyu, an anti-Japanese fighter who earned tribute from his foes.

General wins admiration of enemy for iron will

General Yang Jingyu, originally named Ma Shangde, was a national hero who led the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

In February 1940, Yang was killed in battle. The Japanese dissected his body, finding only undigested grass roots, cotton batting and tree bark left in his stomach, and not a single grain of rice, as he had eaten nothing for five consecutive days before dying.

Yang's persistence earned the tribute of his mortal foes, who held a memorial ceremony after his death.

The Japanese commander Ryuichiro Kishitani was so shocked at the revelation that he "went silent, and appeared to have aged a lot within the next day". Kishitani once wrote: "China has steely soldiers like Yang Jingyu, and it would not fall."

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