Domestic, Foreign Media Given Access to China's Central Archives
2011-05-31 20:00

BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) -- China's central government archives were opened to more than 70 reporters from both home and abroad on Tuesday, allowing them to view documents and other items never before seen by the public.

One item on display from the Central Archives was an essay written by late Chairman Mao Zedong during his childhood.

The 400-word essay, dated June 1912, is the oldest known writing by the chairman, according to Li Minghua, deputy director of the Central Archives. A note at the end of the essay from one of Mao's teachers said that the student was "promising."

Another item on display was a letter written by Mao to Soong Ching-ling, wife of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the 1911 Revolution and the forerunner of China's democratic revolution.

The letter, dated June 19, 1949, invited Soong to a discussion regarding the founding of new China in the country's capital.

Reporters also showed interest in a transcript of a Communist Party of China (CPC) declaration written in August 1920.

A copy of the Party's first resolution, which was passed in July 1921, when the first CPC National Congress was convened to declare the Party's formal establishment, also attracted interest.

Reporters also watched video clips of important speeches by Mao and former leaders Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping.

Yang Dongquan, director of both the State Archives Administration and the Central Archives, described Tuesday's event as "opening a historical door."

Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, also has a large collection of documents dating back to the Republic of China period, Yang said.

He said both Chinese and foreigners can apply to access materials held in the archives, adding that archival staff are working on digitizing the files.

The Central Archives will "open its doors wider in the future," he said.

Masayoshi Hatano, a reporter from the Tokyo Broadcasting System, said visiting the exhibition was "helpful in understanding Chinese history."

Tuesday's press tour at the Central Archives was the first in a series of events marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1. The tour was organized by the International Communication Office of the CPC Central Committee.

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