Xi Jinping’s new "Long March"
by Wang Zhicheng

The party’s secretary laid a wreath at the monument that marks the end of the Long March, which brought Mao Zedong to power. At the meeting in Beidaihe, there are concerns about clashes among various factions.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday visited a monument honouring the revolutionary martyrs' sacrifice during the Long March in Jiangtaibao in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

During his visit, Xi called on his compatriots to “accomplish a new Long March”, and realise the “Chinese dream” of a prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced socialist country when the People’s Republic turns 100 in 2049.

The visit is a kind of pilgrimage to the sources of the Communist Party, a way to enhance Xi’s role as heir to the Communist tradition.

China's Red Army undertook the Long March (1934-35) to escape encirclement from the troops of Chiang Kai-shek. Three different Communist groups met up in Ningxia and began the fight against the Japanese army until the end of the Second World War.

Within the Communist Party, the Long March is considered the mythical period that saw the emergence of Mao Zedong as the dominant figure among all other commanders.

For analysts, the visit comes at a sensitive time, with the party’s inner circle set to meet at the seaside resort in Beidaihe in Hebei province. This gathering could be marked by clashes between various factions.

The meeting, usually held in August, is traditionally a time for party brass to examine strategies and perspectives.

Xi laid a wreath at the monument that commemorates the end of the Long March, and urged his compatriots to engage in a "new Long March", and build a country that realises "the dream" of prosperity, democracy, and an advanced culture of socialism.