As this year marks the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s 100th founding anniversary, this May 4, which is known as Youth Day in China to commemorate the May Fourth Movement, has seen a strong patriotic atmosphere, with young tourists becoming the main force of “red tourism,” visiting historical sites to honor the revolutionary legacy.
Young people are using their ways to celebrate this special Youth Day. At the Nanhu Lake in East China’s Zhejiang, where the First National Congress of CPC was held on a boat in 1921, young people are sending out postcards to share their feelings visiting there; in front of the gigantic Mao Zedong monument at the Orange Islet in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province, young tourists are posing to take a picture at the best angel; along the Long March route of the Red Army, young people are driving to review the remarkable sites and huge changes in the journey.
Among the core population for red tourism in this holidays, people aged 21 to 30 accounted for more than 40 percent, the biggest group of all ages. Overall population under 40 accounted for 89.1 percent, according to a report by the Tongcheng Tourism Institute.
A recent report by Alibaba’s Fliggy revealed that “red tourism” bookings by people born during the 2000s saw a 630 percent year-on-year increase.
Meanwhile, many young netizens are reposting tweets to pay tribute to the revolutionary martyrs.
“Does this generation of young people still have the courage and uprightness no matter if they live or die?” reads a line in a short movie posted by the Central Committee of the China Communist Young League (CCYL) on Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing platform that is particularly popular among young people.
“Yes!” “Definitely yes!” thousands of young netizens responded in comments that flew across the screen.
The short movie, named Reunion, tells the touching story of Xiao Siyuan, a member of a border defense regiment under the PLA who sacrificed his life in a border conflict with Indian troops at the Galwan Valley in June 2020. He was only 24 years old.
It also looks back at several major wars China fought in the last century in which millions of young men and women sacrificed their lives for the motherland.
The video has garnered more than 640,000 views in two days and has been reposted for more than 15,000 times.
“I will always remember them” and “Their sacrifices gave us a beautiful life,” netizens posted.
Border defense heroes were awarded the May Fourth Medals by the Central Committee of the CCYL.
China awarded 30 individuals and 20 groups and organizations the May Fourth Medals to celebrate their great contributions to the country. Other recipients included scientists, medical personnel, grass-roots officials in villages, police officers, and working groups in the fields of aerospace, vaccines and scientific equipment.
Meanwhile, an AI-remastered video showing actual scenes of China before and during the May Fourth Movement in 1919 was released by the CCTV and went viral online on Tuesday. The post has received more than 110,000 likes as of press time on Sina Weibo.
“China has changed so much in the past century. Thank these pioneers!” “I really want these patriots of the May Fourth Movement to see the development achievements and beautiful scenery of today’s China,” a netizen commented.
On Tuesday, a post by the official account of the Central Committee of the CCYL using the hashtags “May Fourth Youth Day” and “Follow the CPC forever” has also been liked more than 70,000 times on Weibo.
Li Yu, a university student from Shanghai, traveled in Changsha during the May Day holidays, and visiting the Orange Islet to take a selfie with the Chairman Mao monument was the highlight of her trip. She met a group of young students who posed as the number “100” to celebrate the century-long history of the CPC.
“It’s a very cool spot to take a photo,” Li said. “Also, I heard that Mao’s monument is facing the direction of the island of Taiwan, which is really touching for me.”
“Every year on May 1 and October 1, I would visit the Tiananmen Square to feel the atmosphere of patriotism. I used to accompany the older members in my family, but now it has become a tradition by myself,” Zhang Yun, a 20-year-old Beijing resident, told the Global Times.
“Nowadays, young people in China would like to explore the history of the revolution in China and the CPC because they are curious and have great admiration after seeing China’s development in recent years, especially after experiencing how China successfully contained the epidemic,” Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times.
“Younger generations will inherit the spirit of the Party pioneers and forge ahead into the future,” he said.
The May Fourth Movement started with mass student protests on May 4, 1919, against the then government’s weak response to the Treaty of Versailles which imposed unfair treatment on China and undermined the country’s sovereignty after World War I.
The May Fourth Movement then triggered a national campaign to overthrow old society and promote new ideas, including science, democracy and Marxism. Two years later, the Communist Party of China was founded. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, May 4 was formally designated as China’s annual Youth Day.