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Mao Tse-tung and Shanghai

Mao Tse-tung(Mao Zedong, Máo zédōng,毛泽东) is the first chairman of People’s Republic of China. In order to build an ideal society for Chinese people, his footprints reached almost every place in the Chinese mainland. Historical material shows that Mao Tse-tung has been to Shanghai for 55 times in his whole life which indicated the deep relationship between Shanghai and him.

In 1919, it was the first time that Mao Tse-tung set his foot on the land of Shanghai on March 14. At that time, as lots of young students wanted to learn new ways to strengthen the country, it’s very popular for young men to study in France under a work-study programme every year. Therefore, Mao came to Shanghai to send them off. May 5 in 1920, he came to Shanghai again; in the next two months, on the one hand, he made every attempt to recruit capital for this study-abroad project, on the other hand, he often went to Chen Duxiu’s apartment to probe into Marxism. In 1921, Mao Tse-tung and other 11 members from communism groups convened the first meeting in Shanghai French Concession (now No.76 Xingye Road which is near Shanghai Xintiandi).
However, among all Mao’s Shanghai experiences, many experts thought his ninth arrival in 1924 was the most important one because it was the longest time he stayed in Shanghai and not him alone but with his family. After these precious 10 months and short period staying in 1926,  Mao backed to Shanghai until in Novermber 1955.
In 1924, Shanghai has become the first metropolis in the Far East, in which countless gold diggers and patriotic young people were gathered. Tracing the history of China, you will realize that year 1924 also was very significant for Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China because the bud of the cooperation of these two Parties against warlords started that year. After the third national congress of Communist Party of China in 1923, Mao Tse-tung joined in Kuomintang to help Sun Yat-sen reorganize the Party. In the same year January, Mao attended the first national congress of Kuomintang which was held in Guangzhou and was sent to Shanghai to preside over Kuomintang’s division of enforcement in Shanghai.

Mao Tse-tung in Shanghai,1924

Mao's wife and two little sons in Shanghai

31-year- old Mao Tse-tung spent half a month on ship and arrived in Shanghai in February 1924 and lived in Jiaxiuli(甲秀里,now No.5--9,lane 120, North Maoming road),an ordinary lane with Shikumen style in Jinan, belonged to shanghai international settlement, Under the suggestion of Chinese Communist party members, Sun Yat-sen founded the predecessor of famous military school named Huangpu Military Academy and Mao was appointed to in charge of the retrial of the enrollment. Later, Mao taught course of politics there. Four months after Mao’s arrival, strong Mao Tse-tung got neurasthenia because of the burdensome work. So, Mao wrote to his wife Yang Kaihui(杨开慧,Mao’s first wife, who was killed at 29 at the suburb of Changsha in November 1930 by Kuomintang). Once Yang Kaihui received husband’s letter, she came to Shanghai with their two little sons.
Mao and Yang got married in 1920, but always had little time together. Those days in Shanghai, the whole family together brought much fun to both the parents and sons. In that two-storey building, the Mao lived downstairs. Although Mao went out early and came back at dusk, he still tried to manage to find time to accompany his family. In the winter of 1924, Mao’s family left Shanghai to their home town Hunan because of the illness.

Mao plyed table tennis in Shanghai,1963

Mao’s former residence in 1924

After 1924, Mao only came to Shanghai once before the foundation of People’s Republic of China. But from1955 on, Mao came to Shanghai very often due to the work. On September 10, 1971, Mao Tse-tung stayed one day in Shanghai on his way back to Beijing from Hangzhou. Without getting off the train, Mao said goodbye to Shanghai for the last time. Only the former residences of Mao in Shanghai were still there. Nowadays, Mao’s former residence in 1924 is open to the public.

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