People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 30

July 29, 2012


CPI(M) Cadre Delegation Visits

People’s Republic of China


G Mamatha


A ten-member cadre delegation headed by Thomas Issac and comprising Gopi Kant Bakshi, Sujan Chakraborty, S Mallareddy, Lalan Choudary, Gurmesh Singh, G N Nagaraj, Chandra Athreya, Jagmati Sangwan and G Mamatha visited China at the invitation of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from July 9-18, 2012. The delegation had a rich experience of the process of socialist construction taking place in China and the associated problems that have arisen during the reform process and the ways in which the CPC is tackling them.


The delegation visited Hunan, Shanghai and Beijing. At all these places, the delegation was warmly received by the Party and the governmental leadership. The delegation visited two villages to see in practice the developments going on in the rural areas of China.  


THE visit of this CPI(M) cadre delegation to China comes just a few months ahead of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China, that is due to be held towards the end of this year.  Therefore, this visit had an importance for strengthening the friendship between the two peoples, parties and the countries.

The delegation had an opportunity to see the great achievements China had made under the leadership of the CPC, rapid economic development and realisation of national prosperity, to feel the tenacious and indomitable spirit of the Chinese people demonstrated in building their country.


The delegation visited Hunan province from July 9-11, Shanghai from 12-14 and Beijing from 15-18. This article will deal with the experiences of the visit to Hunan. Hunan, located in central China, on the south bank of the Dongting Lake, covers an area of 211.8 thousand square kilometres with a population of 70.78 million. Mao Zedong’s birth place, Shaoshan is in Hunan, and as such it occupies a place of importance.


Hunan enjoys abundant natural resources. It is called the land of fish and rice. In Chinese history, there is a saying that the harvest of Hunan and Guangdong ensures sufficient food for the whole nation. Hunan stands first in the country in the production of rice, camellia oil and oranges. The province is rich in forests for its coverage rate of forests is 57.01 per cent.


The first official meeting of the delegation was with Xiao Xiangquing, Director-General of Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Hunan province. During the course of discussions, the director-general emphasised that the visit of this delegation will further enrich mutual friendship and economic ties between India and China. He informed that in 2011, the GDP of Hunan had reached 1.96 trillion Yuan, which saw an increase by 12.8 per cent. Hunan, which ranked 13th five years ago now ranks 9th among the 31 provinces in China.  In the last five years, Hunan made great progress. Xiao Xiangquing said efforts are going on to accelerate industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, new urbanisation and move ahead in the IT sector. He said the aim is to build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society, to build Hunan into a green, innovative and digital province that is governed by the rule of law.


The visit to Yuan Long Ping High Tech Agriculture Co. Ltd demonstrated the process of agricultural modernisation going on in China and the use of science and technology for enhancing the agricultural productivity. Longping Hi-Tech is a research-oriented agricultural hi-tech company, jointly established in June 1999 by the Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS), the Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center and Yuan Longping, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. It is primarily engaged in the research, production and sale of agricultural products. The Company's main products include crop seeds such as hybrid rice, corns, wheat, vegetables, fruits, pepper and pepper products, agricultural chemicals, cotton as well as rape seed among others. It distributes its products in domestic and overseas markets. It has 1,384 employees. Professor Yuan Longping, who is known as the "Father of Hybrid Rice", is one of the leading guides of the company. The operations of the consortium, of which this company is a part, extend across Asia.


On July 10, we visited Guangming village. This village is a mirror of the new countryside development project. We were marvelled at the economic construction taking place here. The total population of the village is 3,533. Guangming village covers a total land area of 7.5 square kilometres with 3482.5 Mu of rice field, over 400 Mu of forest and 900 Mu of water area, and nearly 2000 Mu of upland soil. (15 mu equals one hectare). Guangming Village has undergone great changes since it was appointed as the demonstration site for the new village construction in Hunan province in 2008. This village has won the honour of ‘Ecological village in Hunan Province’, ‘Advanced unit of new village construction in Hunan province’ and ‘Harmonious village in Wangcheng county’. Guangming Village reflects the construction of new socialist countryside.


In China, the State is the owner of the land and the people are given rights over the land.  At present, in Guangming Village, land is being leased to companies through village co-operatives and village committees for cultivation. There are strict regulations for checking the misuse of farmland for other purposes, other than agriculture. Extensive and detailed resource mapping is done by the companies. We could see such resource maps in the village government office. The officials informed us that the paddy cultivation is fully mechanised. The waste management is very efficient. Artificial wet lands are used where the dirty water gets recycled. The solid waste is also recycled efficiently. Rain harvesting is being done on a large scale. Lotus is grown as crop to conserve water. We saw huge swathes of lotus crops in the village. Guangming village reflects the great progress in China’s new countryside construction and the immense changes that have come about in farmers’ lives since the reform and opening-up program was introduced. But, not all villages in China have experienced such progress and the Party admits that many more villages are yet to be transformed and be made prosperous.


In the evening, we were taken to the Orange Island. With a length of 5 kilometres, Orange Island is the world’s longest inland river island. The island took its shape in 305 AD, due to the accumulation of the mud and sand in the Xiangjiang river. The island is popular for its abundant orange production, and was as such named as Orange Island. Chairman Mao Zedong often went to this island and swam across the river. He wrote his famous poem Changsha sitting on this island in 1925. (See box for the poem.) There is a huge statue of Mao in the island, measuring 32 metres in height – 32, depicting Mao when he was 32 years old and 83 metres in width – 83, because Mao lived so long.


On July 11, the last day of the first leg of the CPI(M) delegation’s visit to China, we visited Shaoshan, the birthplace of Chairman Mao Zedong. It is about 100 km away from Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province. This is a municipality which grew from a small mountain village.

We were thrilled to see the flow of a large number of people, young and old, into the hometown of Chairman Mao and Red flags fluttering at Mao Zedong’s Bronze Statue Square. Chairman Mao Zedong spent his childhood and youth here, attending school and helping his father with his work. The residence is a beautiful site. Entered through a courtyard, the house is of a sunny yellow, mud brick walls, with a nicely thatched roof, and is found on a wooded hillside, above some lush paddy fields.

Later, we visited Yuelu Academy. Yuelu academy, which is very picturesque, is situated at the eastern foot of Yuelu mountain in Changsha city. It is one of the four famous ancient academies in China. The academy was converted into an advanced school in 1903 and was renamed Hunan University in 1925. The core values of the academy – faithful, dutiful, honest and integrity, were inscribed in the central hall.      


As the hometown of the great man of the generation, Shaoshan is an important place in Hunan province. It houses the former residence of Chairman Mao and the Memorial Hall of Mao Zedong. Walking through the Memorial Hall, I slipped back nostalgically into my student movement days, where we were initiated by reading ‘Red Star over China’, ‘The Song of Youth’, and such other stirring novels which inspired us to fight undauntedly for the emancipation of humanity.





Alone I stand in the autumn cold

On the tip of Orange Island,

The Hsiang flowing northward;

I see a thousand hills crimsoned through

By their serried woods deep-dyed,

And a hundred barges vying

Over crystal blue waters.

Eagles cleave the air,

Fish glide in the limpid deep;

Under freezing skies a million creatures contend in freedom.

Brooding over this immensity,

I ask, on this boundless land

Who rules over man's destiny?

I was here with a throng of companions,

Vivid yet those crowded months and years.

Young we were, schoolmates,

At life's full flowering;

Filled with student enthusiasm

Boldly we cast all restraints aside.

Pointing to our mountains and rivers,

Setting people afire with our words,

We counted the mighty no more than muck.

Remember still

How, venturing midstream, we struck the waters

And waves stayed the speeding boats?