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"Roots of revolution in China: the student-led May 4th movement of 1919 and its impact today"

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Where: Center for Marxist Education • 550 Mass. Ave. • 2nd floor • Cambridge
Marking the 100th Anniversary of the May Fourth Movement in China

A film segment on the history of the period will be followed by a presentation by Charles Zhengyang Xiao, a local high school student inspired by the May Fourth Movement.

Commentary by Emily Dong, who aims to apply lessons of the movement to today’s world, especially African-Asia relations inspired by WEB DuBois, Paul Robeson and the Chinese Revolution.

The May Fourth Movement of 1919 is one of the most important events in China's 20th century history of modernization and revolution.  Mass student-led demonstrations in Beijing and nationwide protested the imperialist machinations at Versailles after World War I, which awarded German concessions in Shandong Province to Japan -- even though China fought on the side of the victorious allies.  Despite helping win the war, China was treated as a loser!

The protests soon targeted the weak Chinese government which acquiesced in the decision, not standing up for its basic rights at the international conference.  The students called for modernization of science and technology, democracy and radical change in semi-feudal and semi-colonial China.  Soon the movement united students, patriotic merchants and workers.  The movement was a major contributor to the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1921 and the advance of the Chinese revolution, which would soon incorporate peasants and one day shake the world.  There will be important commemorations across the country this year.

Today, China is concerned with many of the same issues: 1) resisting imperialist pressure, but now with strength; 2) advancing to the forefront of modern science and technology, such as the cutting edge China 2025 program; 3) improving socialist governance and democracy, such as the anti-corruption campaign.  The most important current campaign is the elimination of poverty before 2021, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP.

The program will review the May Fourth Movement and related history, and discuss its ongoing impact.  Please join us; it is not possible to understand contemporary China without knowing some basic history!

Co-sponsored by US-China Peoples Friendship Association of New England.

We regret the program is not at an accessible location.



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