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Mao's martyr son remembered today

MANY Shanghai residents, mostly seniors, lined up in front of the former residence of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong this morning to commemorate Mao Anying, Mao's eldest son who died in the Korean War 60 years ago at the age of 28.

The two-story house at 120 Maoming Road in Jing'an District is now a museum. Each visitor received a commemorative envelope to mark the 60th anniversary of Mao Anying's death.

The 1,000 free envelopes ran out in just an hour. People can also buy the envelope for 1 yuan (15 US cents) each.

Mao Anying was killed in a US air strike in 1950 shortly after he joined the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, serving as secretary and interpreter for Peng Dehuai, the commander-in-chief.

The museum has an exhibition dedicated to him with dozens of his pictures and his personal items.

A letter from Mao Zedong to Mao Anying and his brother Mao Anqing was exhibited, in which Mao required his sons to "learn more knowledge about nature and science and think less about politics."

An old-style radio that Mao Zedong gave to his son is also exhibited.

Lu Yifu, a 62-year-old Shanghai resident, rode a bike for nearly an hour to see the exhibition. "People of my generation all have deep respect for Chairman Mao and his family," said Lu.

Lionel Harrold, a Danish traveler from Copenhagen, visited the residence with his wife as they passed by. "Chairman Mao is very famous but we know little about his sons," he said.

The 500-squarer-meter residence receives about 100 visitors every day, including many foreigners, said a museum staff surnamed Mao.

Mao Zedong lived in the house with his first wife Yang Kaihui and two children Mao Anying and Mao Anqing for almost a year in 1924, his longest stay in the city.

People can visit the residence free. It opens from 9am-11am and 1pm to 4:30pm every day except Monday.


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