09-28-2006 13:24

Climbing snowy mountains and crossing deep swamplands and bogs - these were the real situations that faced China's Red Army troops while being chased by Kuomintang forces. The strategic operation undertaken from 1934 to 1936 is called the Long March, which is considered one of the greatest physical feats of the 20th century and a miracle in human history. 70 years have passed. People are still commemorating the legend in their own ways. Among them are the New Long Marchers, who relived and experienced the arduous journey by walking the route of the Red Army. In this episode of "Up-Close", one of the New Long Marchers came to our studio to share with us his accounts of retracing the Long March and to shed light on the changes along the way.

Our guest, Andrew McEwen and his friend Ed Jocelyn were two British residents of Beijing who had been working as foreign experts in the Chinese English-language press in Beijing since 1997. On October 16, 2002, they set out from Yudu, Jiangxi Province, to retrace this trail of horror, endurance and human triumph. 384 days later, they arrived in Wuqi County in Shaanxi Province. Along the route of the Red First Front Army, they passed through some of the most rural areas of China. They met, photographed and interviewed the local people.

When they finished the adventure, they wrote several books. Facing doubts of whether they were able to "recreate" the Long March and how much they were able to really experience the spirit of it, Andrew said although they did not face gunfire and had advanced gear, they were able to retrace the Long March by bringing us the people and places.

At the time of producing the show, Ed Jocelyn was on his way again to retrace the route of the Second Front Army. "Up-Close" sent out a team and successfully met with Ed and his new march partner Yang Xiao in Sichuan's Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, where the Red Army left their footprints in 17 of the 18 counties 70 years ago. The crew followed them while they met the 6th Geda living Buddha and visited the offspring of a late Red Army soldier and their Tibetan friends. In front of the camera, they talked about the difference between the New Long March 1 and 2, and even explained how to make the staple food of Tibetan people.

Want to know what Tibetan people eat regularly at each meal? Why did Andrew not participate on the New Long March 2? Does he regret not going? What's new on this latest adventure? Please tune in and find out!

-- Written by Chai Haoran


Editor:Wang Ping