Saturday, March 19, 2005

Tourism drive to promote socialist ideology: Communist Party highlights 100 historical sites to boost its image and create jobs

By Jason Leow, The Straits Times, March 19, 2005

SHANGHAI - FOUNDING fathers of China's Communist Party bathed in soft glow. Thirteen wax figures seated around a table charting the future of the People's Republic of China. A chart, in Chinese and English, plotting the rise of the working class.

Here at the Shanghai Memorial Hall where the first congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took place in 1921, socialism looks every bit as contemporary as its setting. The museum has a prime spot in Shanghai's Xintiandi, an enclave of expensive restaurants and lifestyle shops popular with foreigners. 'You can tell the party is keeping up with the times,' said Mr Li Xiong, 47, a manager from a steel factory in south-western Yunnan province.

'We're in Shanghai for a meeting but this visit is also part of work.' His state firm arranged the museum trip. Mr Li may not know it, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a nationwide campaign last month to revive the people's interest in socialist history. Through tourism, it is hoped that ideology can become hip again.

In the first phase, 100 sites across the country are being earmarked as 'red tourism' spots.-------------

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