The Red Cliff Memorial Hall at Chongqing Yuzhong District
In 1937, the Second United front was forged between the GMD and the CCP to fight together against the Japanese invading army, which was about to gain more and more control over Chinese territory. Due to this, the former Red Army 红军 was reorganized into the National Revolutionary Army 国民革命军 (Saich 1996: 804) that was mainly led by GMD Generals. After this transformation, two new Communist forces were founded, namely the Eight Route Army 八路军 and the New Fourth Army 新四军.
When Chongqing 重庆 was announced as the new capital of the GMD in 1938, the CCP delegated a Southern Central Committee 中共中央南方, led by the later Premier minister Zhou Enlai 周恩来 (1889-1976), to represent the interests of the Communist Party in Chongqing. The Southern Central Committee had its venue at Red Cliff Village 红岩村, which also had been the headquarter of the newly founded New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army (Chongqing hongse jiaoyu peixun). This was also the place, where Mao Zedong 毛泽东 (1893-1976) stayed during the Chongqing Negotiations (Zhao 1988: 209) in August 1945.
According to China’s Daily 中国日报, a memorial hall dedicated to the Communist base at Red Cliff Village was built in 1955 and officially inaugurated in 1958. The museum mainly concentrates on the Communist revolution by showing the ideological spirit of Communism and the vita of several party leaders like Zhou Enlai or Dong Biwu 董必武 (1886-1975), who also was a member of the Southern Central Committee (Chongqing hongse jiaoyu peixun).
Besides the memorial hall, the “house number 13” can be visited, which represents the former headquarter of the Central Committee, the New Fourth Army, and the Eighth Route Army. In addition, the museum also administrates the buildings no. 50 and no. 208, which can be found at Zhengjiayuan 曾家岩, in the vicinity of Red Cliff Village. While no. 50 also served as an office of the Central Committee, no. 208 had been the home to the newspaper Xinhua Ribao 新华日报 (Li 1988: 209). Furthermore, the former working place of Mao during the Chongqing Negotiations can be visited at Guiyuan 桂园, which can be found near building no. 50 at Zhengjiayuan (China’s Daily 中国日报). In 1947, the Red Cliff Village was abandoned by the CCP, and the delegation of the Southern Central Committee returned to Yan’an 延安, the original base of the CCP leadership at this time.
Due to its function, as the former headquarter of several CCP institutions, the Red Cliff Memorial can be seen as an important site, which reflects the history of the CCP during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Second United Front.
Li Xianyao 黎先耀 (1988): Zhongguo bowuguan zhinan 中国博物馆指南 (Chinese Museum Guide). Beijing 北京: Chinese Tourism Publishing House.
N.N. (05.05.2011): “Chongqingshi Yuzhongqu Hongyan geming jinianguan 重庆市渝中区红岩革命纪念馆 (The Chongqing Yuzhong District Red Cliff Revolution Memorial Museum)”. In: China’s Daily 中国日报 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/dfpd/2011hsly/2011-05/05/content_12453465.htm (called up on: 08.06.2021).
Saich, Tony (1996): The rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party. Armonk: An East Gate Book.
Website Chongqing hongse jiaoyu peixun: http://www.cqgbpx.com/
List of Pictures:
Featured Image: “Chinese propaganda poster depicting the Eighth Route Army in Shanxi” (source: Eight Route Army in Shanxi – Eighth Route Army – Wikipedia, author: Unknown author).
Picture 1: “In July 1937, the Presidium of the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party issued an order for the Chinese Red Army to reorganize into the National Revolutionary Army and stand by for the anti-Japanese front line. (source: Eighth Route Army – Wikipedia, author: Huanokinhejo, own work).