By Elaine Dunn -
The Chinese love fruits, fresh fruits. It is no surprise, then, that many fruits are charged with symbolism, each specifically representing longevity, wealth, prosperity, fertility, etc. Of the ones that have achieved iconic stature are peaches, oranges, pomegranates and grapes. And then, there’s the mighty mango. Mao’s mango.
During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, idealistic middle school, high school and university students throughout the country learned the sayings of Chairman Mao Zedong by heart. They adored Mao and carried his red-cover book of sayings - the famous little red book - with them everywhere and called themselves Red Guards. Their mission was to defend Chairman Mao’s thoughts. Mao completely encouraged their fervor.
Not only did these Red Guards relish in destroying everything that linked or belonged to the past, they harbored animosity against other groups in their zest to demonstrate their supreme support of Mao.
In the spring of 1968, the rivalry between two particular units of Red Guards based at Tsinghua University - the Jinggangshan Corps and the Fours - came to a head. In vying for Mao’s “blessing,” they threw stones, spears and acid at each other, attempting to prove their group was more loyal to Mao and his teachings. This was known as the Hundred Day War.
By Tao Peng, contributor
The formal sister city relationship between Red Wing and Quzhou, China, has a history that dates back to 1994.
Why Red Wing, Minnesota? Actually, the story goes all the way back to WWII and the Dolittle Raiders -- an April 1942 U.S. mission that bombed Tokyo with B-25s launched off an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. After the bombing, the Dolittle Raiders - a select group of airmen under mission commander Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle - were supposed to fly on to Chinese airfields to refuel.
By Elaine Dunn
The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is when Chinese the world over traditionally celebrate Dragon Boat Festival – a day that commemorates the suicide of the scholar and statesman Qu Yuan, around 278 B.C. China Insight covered the folklore surrounding this day, also known as DuanWu Festival in its “What’s the occasion” series in June 2013.
By Elaine Dunn
Ask any college-aged person in China about the Tiananmen Square Massacre and chances are (s)he will not know much. This is by design. The Chinese government has enforced silence about the incident and treats what took place on June 3 and 4 as a “revolutionary riot.”
That night, the tanks not only crushed the students physically, they also squelched any hope for political liberalization.
Student activists were full of hope for political reform the night of June 3, 1989. By the following morning, that hope had been completely shattered, with numerous dead and injured. How many deaths? The world may never know as the Chinese government still maintains that June 4, 1989, is "much ado about nothing" and a "strictly internal affair."
The cradle of fire
Shangqiu (商丘) is at the junction of