Red line: Long March through Rural China
 


   
     Pursued and blocked by enemy forces, the Chinese Red army escaped and marched over 6,000 miles from the south to the northwestern part of China in 1934-35. They endured the unendurable, crossing rivers, snow mountains, marshlands, amdist enemy fire and all elements. Most died but the survivors went on to create the new China. The Long March came to symbolize idealism, courage, endurance, and comaraderie. To build up character for lifelong benefit, students will march at least 15 miles per day, with backpacks, sleeping bags and tents.

       This study trip will be available only in the spring semester.


   Section 1: From Ruijin to Guilin
       1. Ruijin, Jiangxi Province.
One of the earliest centers of Chinese communist activity, Ruijin was the capital of the Chinese Soviet Republic.


       2. Xing'an, Guangxi Province located in Guangxi Province, it is where the "Battle of the Xiang River" was fought out, the fiercest battle on the Long March. More than two-thirds of the Red Army were killed along the Xiang River.


       3. Various mountainous villages along the march in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces. Students will also stay overnight in a family hotel by the Li River amidst the picturesque mountains of Yangshuo area.

       4. Jiangxi Environmental Engineering College that has hosted us for two years.

   Lectures on the Long March and talks on rural life
   Required readings
      1. Edgar Snow, Red Star over China.
      2. Harrison Evans Salisbury, The Long March.
   Individual research projects on the Long March

   Section 2: Four crossings of the Red River
       1. Zuiyi, Guizhou Province. A beautiful city, it is the second largest in the province and it rose to fame because of a conference held here by the Long Marchers. At the meeting, Mao Zedong was promoted to a top position in leadership and went on to become the leader of the communist movement.


       2. Maotai, Guizhou Province. Maotai is a town famed for its production of top liquor in China that bears its name. The city is also home to hundreds of wine companies, hence dubbed the Liquor Capital of China. The Red Army fought a battle and crossed the Red River here.


       3. Tucheng, Guizhou Province. This is a well preserved ancient town where the Red Army uesd as the Red Army headquarters. In its well preserved old streets and houses, traces of the Long Marchers are everywhere, esp. attractive being the Women Red Army Street that housed women soldiers.

       4. Zunyi Normal College. Meeting with Chinese college students will be organized to discuss issues of mutual interests.

   Section 3: From Yunnan to Sichuan
       1. Kunming, Yunnan Province. Kunming is the capital city of the province.


       2. Dongchuan, Yunnan Province. This town is located north of Kunming where the Red Army went through. It is, like much of the province, famous for its red soil. The combined colors of red soil, green crops and yellow/white flowers make Dongchuan a picturesque paradise for photographers all over China. Marching through the rolling and colorful hills might have contributed to the morale of the troops.


       3. Upriver ride to Jiao Ping Ferry along the Yangtze. From northern Dongchuan, students will take a river ride west to a ferry called Jiaoping. Here the Red Army crossed the upper Yangtze River, cutting off the pursuing enemy troops and entering Sichuan Province.

       4. Liangshan Yi ethnic minority region. The Red Army marched through one of the most unforgiving terrains in the world, the marshes and the high snow mountains where many men failed to survive. Relations with ethnic minorities further increased risks.



Over a bridge in the mountains



Long march



Long march



Long march



Long march



Miao village



Long march



Long march


Long march


Miao village

 
©2008 China Studies Institute