Father who rose to the occasion

By Wu Yong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-01 06:42

For He Xiaoming, 60, daughter of Marshal He Long (1896-1969), her father is a bold investor in China's revolutionary development.

On August 1, 80 years ago, He Long took part in the Nanchang Uprising as the general commander. With the uprising, the Communist Party of China (CPC) declared that it would develop an army of its own for the purpose of routing out imperialists, warlords and feudalism to build a new China.

The day was thus set as the birthday of the People's Liberation Army.

Here at Jinggang Mountains, birthplace of the People's Liberation Army, in East China's Jiangxi Province, He Xiaoming retraces the footsteps of her father. "I seem to be sensing his heartbeat as well," she says.

Many people still find it hard to understand why He Long, already commander of the 22nd Army of the nationalist revolutionary army led by the Kuomintang, decided to fight alongside the CPC members.

"My father was the commander of a troop with tens of thousand of soldiers," she recalls. "It is the nature of human beings to pursue advantages and avoid detriments."

She says that Chiang Kai-shek even offered her father 5 million silver dollars as a reward for returning to the Kuomintang.

"But my father was a bold investor. He joined the CPC and his troop worked as the main force of the Nanchang Uprising," she says. "You can imagine how confident he was about the CPC and China's future."

He Long, growing up in poverty, joined Dr Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary party in 1914. He set himself the goal of changing the lives of all the poor people and for a new China free of imperialist bullies.

In the mid-1920s, he rose quickly in ranks of the nationalist revolutionary army during the Northern Expedition to fight feudalist warlords. His staff included members of both the Kuomintang and CPC.

He discovered that the ideals the CPC members promoted corresponded to his own. In contrast, those from the Kuomintang adhered to different political beliefs.

"Many people ask me if my father regretted what he did 80 years ago. My answer is always the same: No. All his life, he lived his dream. People who live and fulfill their dream never regret," He Xiaoming says.

Some people say that the Nanchang Uprising failed as the revolutionary army lost the city and had to retreat into the Jinggang Mountains.

But He Xiaoming does not agree.

"We should not judge the Uprising only with what happened then but also the specific historical background," she says.

"At that time, tens of thousands of members of the Communist Party of China were killed. In the face of the national terror, the CPC had to retreat. The CPC must make its voice heard. The Uprising fulfilled this objective," she says.

(China Daily 08/01/2007 page22)

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