Tianjin Updates

Young Chinese founders remembered in exhibit

( Yang Cheng in Tianjin)

Updated: 2021-01-20

An exhibition to remember Guo Longzhen, a founding member of the society and a renowned revolutionary in CPC history, will also be presented.

The Awakening Society left an impressive historical mark on the May 4th Movement in 1919 — a patriotic campaign by young Chinese to fight imperialism and feudalism.

The 20 founding members wanted to awaken the country after the Paris Peace Conference.

Li Dazhao, who helped lead the way for China’s revolution and May 4th Movement, and who was a founder of the CPC, along with a number of leading scholars, came to the society to share their insights on communism, arousing local youth’s awareness about the call for revolution to build a new country with democracy and independence inspired by Marxism.

The society’s gatherings were blocked by local authorities, and three members, including Zhou, were jailed on Jan 29, 1920, because they organized a movement to boycott Japanese goods in the local market.

Even during his six months in prison, Zhou was advocating communism and completed a 35,000-word diary to record his desire to rescue the country.

After he left the prison the society, led by Li, joined a gathering with four leading youth organizations in Beijing. Its members were further encouraged by their effort and spirit.

Zhou then left for France to study, and the activity of the society came to a halt.

Xu Na, associate professor and deputy director of the teaching and research department at the Tianjin Municipal Party School, said, "The society, aimed at saving the country and its people, saw its members become the most solid-minded revolutionaries in the country."

Zhao Wei, a secretary of Deng's, said: "Succeeding the spirit of the Awakening Society is still of great significance currently. To lead the youth to a correct road with patriotism is fundamentally important … Deng's commentary on the society is crystal clear — the Awakening Society was the start of her revolutionary career and a shining part of the history of Tianjin."

The younger generation should understand how their revolutionary forerunners loved the country and how they committed their whole life efforts for the country, he said.

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