The Site of the Soviet Government of the Shaanxi-Gansu Border Area in Huachi County of Qingyang City

After the CCP decided to abandon the Jiangxi Soviet in summer 1934 (Karl 2010: 46), the party leadership sought to found more new base areas in the northwest of China to resist the constant military campaigns launched by the GMD under its leader Chiang Kaishek 蒋介石 (1887-1975). 

In late 1934, the Soviet Government of the Shaanxi-Gansu Border Area 陕甘边区苏维埃政府 was founded by the Red Army leaders Liu Zhidan 刘志丹 (1903-1936) and Xie Zichang 谢子长 (1897-1935) and the later Central Committee member Xi Zhongxun 习仲勋 (1913-2002) in Huachi County 华池, Gansu Province 甘肃省 to foster the power the CCP in this region. 

According to a travel guide penned by Ouyang Zhengyu and Zhao Yuqin, the first congress of workers, peasants, and soldiers was held there on 7. November 1934, which enhanced the political importance of the Soviet area (Ouyang 2006: 257). In the same month, Xi Zhongxun was elected chairman of the newly founded Soviet base and led guerrilla warfare against the GMD (People’s Daily 人民日报: 2002). The obituary of Xi Zhongxun published in the People’s Daily (2002) mentioned that the leadership of this Soviet government was imprisoned in September 1935 by the followers of Wang Ming 王明 (1904-1974), who, according to the CCP historiography, had been regarded as one of the most powerful opponents of Mao Zedong 毛泽东 (1893-1976) within the party during these years. After Mao arrived at Northern Shaanxi in October 1935, Xi Zhongxun and the other members of the Soviet Government were released. 

On 7. November 1986, the Nanliang Revolutionary Memorial 南梁革命纪念馆 in Huachi County of Qingyang City was inaugurated, which commemorates the foundation of the Shaanxi-Gansu Soviet Border Area. According to the website “Yi qi zhui ji”, the memorial compound consists of seven parts: the Hall Gate, the Antique Archway Gate, the Martyrs Monument, the Hero Group Sculpture, the Qingyin Building, the Former Soviet Government Site, and a temporary exhibition hall. The memorial underwent several renovations and expansions before the Nanliang Revolutionary Exhibition Hall was officially inaugurated in 2014. It contains one comprehensive exhibition hall and three individual exhibition halls, dedicated to the three leading figures of the Soviet Government, namely Xi Zhongxun, Liu Zhidan, and Xie Zichang. The comprehensive exhibition area displays the history of the Shaanxi-Gansu Soviet from its foundation to the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) (Yi qi zhui ji). 

In 2001, the Nanliang Revolutionary Memorial was added to the second list of Bases for Patriotic Education 爱国主义教育基地 and in 2004 it was selected as one of the nation-level Classical Red Tourism Destinations 红色旅游经典景区 . Like the Sichuan-Shaanxi Revolutionary Base 川陕革命根据地 in Sichuan Province 四川省, the Site of the Soviet Government of the Shaanxi-Gansu Border, with its memorial, represents the CCP’s successful struggle for survival against the GMD.

Bibliography: 

Karl, Rebecca E. (2010): Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 

N.N. (31.05.2002): “Xi Zhongxun tongzhi shenping” 习仲勋同志生平 (The life of comrade Xi Zhongxun”. In: People’s Daily 人民日报. 

Ouyang Zhengyu 欧阳正宇 and Zhao Yuqin 赵玉琴 (2006): Gansu daoyu 甘肃导游 (Gansu tourguide). Lanzhou 兰州: Gansu renmin chubanshe. 

Website “Yi qi zhui ji”: https://www.iwenbo.fun/museum/5095.html

List of Pictures:

Featured Image: “中華蘇維埃国旗” (source: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%AD%E5%8D%8E%E8%8B%8F%E7%BB%B4%E5%9F%83%E5%85%B1%E5%92%8C%E5%9B%BD#/media/File:National_Flag_of_Chinese_Soviet_Republic.svg , author: Own work (Ericmetro)).


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