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December 20, 2018

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Red tourism puts Yan’an on the path to prosperity

Once a remote area on China’s Loess Plateau, Yan’an, a former revolutionary base in Shaanxi Province, has become a popular “red tourism” destination.

“Red Star Over China,” written by American journalist Edgar Snow, is set in the mountainous city of Yan’an, which hosted the then headquarters of the Communist Party of China and was the center of the Communist revolution from 1935 to 1948.

Snow ventured into the “no-go” zone more than 80 years ago and penned the classic, which gave a rare, detailed, and at times brilliant account of the Chinese revolution in the 1930s.

Yan’an is now home to more than 350 sites related to the revolution, which have attracted an increasing number of people interested in China’s history.

These sites fall into the category of “red tourism” that features visits to sites with a revolutionary legacy.

Statistics from the city’s tourism development committee showed that Yan’an received a total of 50.59 million tourists in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 25.68 percent, with tourism revenue totaling 29.87 billion yuan (US$4.33 billion).

More and more tourists, including some Marxists from across the world, come to Yan’an, seeking to understand the CPC and how it ultimately succeeded there.

Over 20 foreign delegations visited Yan’an last year, whereas, it has received 30 overseas delegations in the first 10 months this year, according to the foreign affairs office of Yan’an.

He Hailun, vice president of China Executive Leadership Academy (Yan’an), met with a delegation of Portuguese Communists in November 2017.

He said visitor Paulo Raimundo was very interested in how the CPC could develop and gain strength, and how the CPC trains its cadres.

“The CPC has never ignored the cultivation of its cadres, and that is why the CPC can keep growing,” He Hailun said.

Gao Zhiying, deputy director of the foreign affairs office of Yan’an, said foreign visitors are especially interested in the former residences of the founders of the Party.

And they always wondered how the CPC gained such great success in such a small place.

Yan’an has enjoyed the benefits brought about by China’s reform and opening-up, and the city has viewed the development of tourism as a priority for years, said He Hailun.


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