Following the Party footsteps in Yangpu District

Li Xinran
Yangpu is where Chinese workers awoke and the workers' movement was launched, the birthplace of the Chinese version of the "Communist Manifesto" and the National Anthem.
Li Xinran

Yangpu is where Chinese workers awoke and the workers' movement was launched, the birthplace of the Chinese version of the "Communist Manifesto" and the National Anthem. Rambling in Yangpu, you will find a revolutionary site just steps away.

Following the Party footsteps in Yangpu District
Ti Gong

'Renren Pavilion'

'Renren Pavilion' reinterprets the 'people's city' concept

Looking like a "wooden box" bathed in sunshine, the Yangpu Urban Planning Exhibition Building is on the former site of The China Import Export Lumber Co Ltd, established in 1902 as the first foreign-funded import-export company in the lumber trade.

The building connects history on one side and faces the future on the other. It not only bears the profound history of Yangpu Binjiang's century-old industry, but also has been injected with the new connotations of building a "people's city."

It displays the history of Yangpu riverside and the concept of a "people's city" through science and technology and by combining virtual and real.

Yangpu people affectionately call this place "Renren Pavilion," literally a pavilion for everyone, and it has a large number of public open spaces.

In the interactive exhibition hall, people can participate in live broadcasting, Party lessons and other activities.

Through the corridors, the walls are full of riverside scenes photographed by Yangpu citizens. Everyone who visits can find their own "emotional destination."

Following the Party footsteps in Yangpu District
Ti Gong

Today's Qinhuangdao Road Wharf

Future leaders traveled across oceans to 'open their eyes to the world'

In the early 20th century, against the historical backdrop of the October Revolution (November 7, 1917) in Russia and May 4th Movement in 1919 in China, the Diligent Work-Frugal Study Movement, or Chinese Work-Study Movement in France, swept over the country.

Shanghai was where more than 1,600 Chinese young people started their journey. And Whangpoo Wharf was where 650 Chinese students boarded a boat for France. They included future leaders of the Communist Party of China: Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Nie Rongzhen, Cai Hesen, Xiang Jingyu and Cai Chang.

On November 7, 1920, the third anniversary of the October Revolution, Zhou Enlai set off from Whangpoo Wharf to France.

When he returned from France, he was already a Communist with firm beliefs.

Two months earlier, Deng Xiaoping boarded the mail steamer Andre Lebon for Marseilles. He later recalled: "We saw that China was a weak country at that time and we wanted to make it strong. We believed that to achieve that goal, we had to take the road of modernization, so we went to the West to study."

It was also from here that Nie Rongzhen, Cai Hesen, Xiang Jingyu and Cai Chang embarked on a journey of discovery.

The Whangpoo Wharf, or today's Qinhuangdao Road Wharf, is on the north bank of the lower reach of the Huangpu River.

With Dalian Road in the east, Qinhuangdao Road in the west and Yangshupu Road in the north, it used to be 3 hectares in size. South Manchuria Railway Company bought the land between 1908 and 1910 and entrusted NYK Line with construction of wharf warehouses and operation and management on behalf of the company.

The Whangpoo Wharf became a gathering and starting place for Chinese students to work and study in France because of the ever-changing international political situation. Shanghai was also the largest port city in China and a convenient place to travel from.

Before World War I, the road from China to France was usually by land – a train from Beijing to Paris via the three northeastern Chinese provinces, Moscow and Warsaw. Passengers needed to change trains eight or nine times. Express trains took 12 days while slow trains took 15 days. After the October Revolution, Russia was locked down by military forces and hence the land routes from China to France were blocked. The work-study students had to change to water routes and sail from Shanghai via Hong Kong, Haiphong, Saigon, Singapore, Colombo, Djibouti and Port Said for Marseilles and then take a train to Paris. It took about 40 days.

From March 1919 to the end of 1920, it was the work-study program's peak period in France. During this time, around 1,600 work-study students arrived in France by ship from wharfs along Huangpu River in Shanghai.

Following the Party footsteps in Yangpu District
Ti Gong

The former residence of Chen Wangdao

Former residence of translator of the 'Communist Manifesto'

More than 100 years ago, 29-year-old Chen Wangdao translated the "Communist Manifesto" into Chinese. It laid an important theoretical foundation for the birth of the Communist Party of China, illuminated the revolutionary road and influenced generations of Chinese Communists.

The house of brick concrete structure at 51 Guofu Road is the former residence of Chen and nowadays is the exhibition hall of the Communist Manifesto in China.

The second to third floors are stepped, rising gradually from southwest to northeast. The southeast corner has a two-story cylindrical shape, featuring green tube tiles, black steel windows and light yellow cement-roughened walls.

On the first floor are grammar, rhetoric and logic studies, which made up the earliest language research center established in a Chinese university, and became the predecessor of the Institute of Chinese Language and Literature of Fudan University.

The second floor is where Chen and his family lived and worked for more than two decades.

Chen's former residence was listed as a cultural relic protected by Yangpu District in 2011 and by the city in 2014.

In May 2018, jointly initiated by the Publicity Department of CPC Shanghai committee and Fudan, and with the support of Shanghai Education Commission and Shanghai Education Development Foundation, it was completely repaired and built into an exhibition hall of the "Communist Manifesto" and opened to the public.

Not only was the whole building retained like the original, but also the surrounding environmental aspects, such as trees, lawns and cement floors were restored as they were.

On the premise of preserving the basic appearance of the building, the internal space has also been fully utilized. The exhibition on the first floor, with the theme of "Translation of the Manifesto into Chinese – the Source of Faith," shows the birth, translation and influence of the "Communist Manifesto."

The main exhibits are various versions of the "Communist Manifesto" and the translation stories of Chen, including the 1978 German version, the Japanese translation of the Chinese version and the first translation version by Chen. Also restored is Youxin Printing House where the first Chinese version was produced.

Up from the first floor, visitors can see the home's bedroom and study, the main working environment of Chen. At the desk in front of the window is a silica gel statue of Chen, helping people to feel that his voice and facial expression is still vividly remembered.

The next room has been designated as his life exhibition hall, and a special exhibition room was set up on the third floor. A garage cinema is located in the west of the main building. Visitors can spend less than 30 minutes watching "The Source of Faith" documentary and reviewing the life of Chen.

Chen was the first principal of Fudan after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Following the Party footsteps in Yangpu District
Ti Gong

National Anthem Gallery

National Anthem Gallery celebrates 'The March of the Volunteers'

Behind the name plate of Dalian Road on the platform of Dalian Road Station of Metro Lines 4 and 12 is the score of the "The March of the Volunteers."

At the beginning of 1935, Shanghai Diantong Film Company moved to 405 Jingzhou Road, where it filmed "Children of Troubled Times" about intellectuals bravely moving to the front line of resistance against Japanese aggression.

The patriotic 1935 Chinese film is most famous as the origin of "The March of the Volunteers," the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.

In 2009, in line with the spirit of the national anthem, the National Anthem Memorial Square and National Anthem Gallery were completed. Every day, passers-by may stop to see the theme sculpture of the National Anthem and listen to its melody.

In 2019, the National Anthem Gallery ushered in a decade of reconstruction. With the theme of "singing the National Anthem from here" and the main line of "rise, unite as one and move forward," the gallery displayed 410 collections, including precious image materials of the resolution on the National Anthem adopted by the first plenary session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee in 1949. The solemn scene depicted shocked all visitors.

Here, a film, a song and a sculpture can restore the negatives of old days and arouse a red memory. This song is like a horn of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, which ignited the determination of millions of Chinese people. Today, this song still inspires us to move forward all the time.

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