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Huangpu descendants foster unity

By Zhang Yi| Source: China Daily | Updated : 2024-07-02

Families linked to military academy stress importance of peace across Strait

The Huangpu Military Academy, part of the shared history across the Taiwan Strait, will unite descendants of alumni from both sides to collectively promote reunification of the motherland, descendants said.

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the alumni association of the Huangpu Military Academy on the centennial of the academy on June 16, which was also the association's 40th anniversary.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, urged the alumni association to carry on the patriotic and revolutionary tradition of the academy, firmly oppose separatism seeking "Taiwan independence" and promote national reunification.

The academy was founded in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in June 1924 at a critical moment when the nation faced the danger of extinction. Born out of the first cooperation between the Chinese Kuomintang and the CPC, it stood as the first academy cultivating military officers following the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

"The letter affirmed the contribution of the alumni association in expanding cross-Strait exchanges and opposing 'Taiwan independence' and promoting reunification," said Zhou Bingde, the niece of late premier Zhou Enlai. He was once a teacher at the academy, and her father was a student there.

Among the academy's students, there were many generals and leaders from both the CPC and the KMT who attended Zhou Enlai's lectures, and despite their different political stances in later years, they all held great respect for Zhou Enlai, Zhou Bingde recalled.

"My uncle always cared about the compatriots in Taiwan and the reunification of the two sides of the Strait," she said. "He made numerous statements and speeches during his lifetime, firmly asserting that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China, and the Chinese government will definitely resolve the Taiwan question and achieve reunification.

"As relatives and descendants, we bear the mission of our predecessors and have the responsibility to carry forward their cherished wishes, continuing the unfinished work they left behind."

Lin Shuangshuang, former deputy mayor of Kunming, Yunnan province, whose father joined the CPC in 1926 and was admitted to the academy the second year, said: "I gradually understood the friendship that transcends party differences among the old generation. That was a bond forged in the blood and turmoil of resisting foreign aggression, akin to blood being thicker than water among brothers.

"Moreover, for them, there was a sense of righteousness more important than party disputes, and that is the unity of the Chinese nation. Reunification across the Strait is an unstoppable historical trend."

She added that the spirit of Huangpu can play a role in uniting compatriots at home and abroad to contribute to peaceful reunification.

Chiu Chih-shien, head of the Taiwan Association of Huangpu Military Academy alumni descendants, recently attended several centennial commemorative events on the Chinese mainland. His late father was born in Jiangxi province and later followed the KMT forces to Taiwan.

"My father often gathered with his former classmates, communicating through calls or letters, reminiscing about the most precious period of his life, which became a significant part of his later years," Chiu said.

"He always told me that we should cherish peace, and both sides should use their wisdom to maintain peace and promote development. The centennial of Huangpu should serve as a stronger bond between the two sides, rather than division and confrontation."

Chiu criticized a recent speech by Taiwan leader Lai Ching-te at the centennial commemorative event in Taiwan, where he again promoted the "two-state" theory, saying that his actions were starkly different from the spirit of Huangpu and distorted history.

"In Taiwan's current textbooks, you can hardly find any mention of the Huangpu Military Academy," Chiu said. "This is a very heartbreaking matter for so many ancestors who sacrificed themselves.

"President Xi's letter prompts us to consider how to inherit the history well, especially for young people in Taiwan."

Recently, he and friends from the mainland recorded a song that uses music and visuals to review the 100-year history of Huangpu, incorporating a significant amount of authentic historical material.

"Many elders and young people have left us messages, saying they felt uplifted after listening to the song," he said.

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