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September 19, 2009

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Party elder goes deep on Xibaipo Memorial

FEW people may know that the site of Xibaipo Memorial which records the history of the Communist Party of China is a replica, since the original one is now under the Gangnan Reservoir, according to a veteran CPC member in the village of Xibaipo.

"Late Party Leader Mao Zedong allowed the site to be submerged under a severe flood in 1957 in order to save people's lives. The flooded area was later turned into the reservoir, where my fleet of sight-seeing boats are floating," said Yan Haiqing, manager of a boat firm in the northern China's village, four hours' drive from Beijing.

"The Party has the tradition of putting the people first. Party members should always remember 'The Two Musts,' core of the Xibaipo Spirit given by Mao, otherwise they will be too vulnerable to guard against 'sugar-coated bullets'," said Yan, 64.

It was in Xibaipo where Mao said that all Party members "must be taught to remain modest, prudent and free from arrogance and rashness in their style of work," and "must be taught to preserve the style of plain living and hard struggle" after the Party took national power.

Xibaipo was the last village headquarters of the CPC Central Committee and the People's Liberation Army, where the Party spent 10 months in preparation for the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

It was in this village in Hebei Province, where the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC Central Committee was held on March 23, 1949. At the meeting, Mao proposed the famous motto, known by Party members as "The Two Musts," which is also called the Xibaipo Spirit.

"Mao regarded leaving Xibaipo for Beijing as 'going in for an exam in the capital city. He said the CPC would not allow arrogance and corruption to ruin its performance in the 'exam' as did the farmer-turned leader of the insurrectionary army Li Zicheng (1606-1645) who only sustained 42 days of rule after he subverted the Ming Dynasty emperor," said Wang Rongli, curator of the Xibaipo Memorial.

She said Xibaipo was the place where crowds of CPC members came to review "the roots of the spirit" every year.

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, came to Xibaipo in 2002 to talk about the spirit.


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