This year is the 97th anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of China. In July, 1921, a group of people traveling from several places around China, and one from Japan, gathered in Shanghai. In a Shikumen house in the French Concession, these young people discussed and debated the future of the country – high in ideals and fearless in the face of danger.
These images may look grainy, black and white but they were once suffused with color and hope; and they mark the beginning of something absolutely momentous: a set of ideas that rocked and transformed Chinese society from root to branch. If ever you needed proof of the power of ideas to change people’s lives and economic destiny and shape the path of a nation, the story of CPC is one of the most extraordinary demonstrations.
Now, as we hasten towards the 2020s and beyond, and China takes a more confident and powerful role on the world stage, this organization and its thought are poised to influence the lives of everyone on the planet. All of us, whatever our nationality and outlook, need to get a deep understanding of the CPC. The journey began 97 years ago right here on our doorstep in Shanghai. But why it was Shanghai?
ShanghaiEye is launching an exclusive series on the aspects of the Communist Party of China that you might not know about, hosted by David Symington, a scholar in Latin and Ancient Greek Language from Oxford and graduate student of Philosophy from Fudan University.