Oddities&Endities

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Long and the Short of it ...


British pair under attack for doubts over Mao's march
By Richard Spencer in Beijing
(Filed: 03/04/2006)

Two British adventurers who retraced the steps of Chairman Mao's Long March have come under attack from Chinese media for claiming in a book that the Red Army's trek was not nearly as long as previously thought.
Ed Jocelyn and Andy Mc-Ewen hiked across China's most remote places in a tribute to the men and women whose escape from their nationalist enemies in China's civil war is the founding legend of the Communist Party.
Their year-long trip, which ended in 2003, was met at first with enthusiasm by local media. But when The Daily Telegraph first reported their finding that the March was little more than half the official distance Chairman Mao had originally announced, Chinese media ignored that detail.
"I knew from the start that the Long March wasn't 25,000 li," Mr McEwen wrote. "By Mao's own maths every single one of the 267 days the Reds were on the march they walked an average of 46.5 kilometres, or 29 miles.
"I knew that was impossible. I didn't believe even the vanguard units could maintain such a pace, let alone the convalescent units, baggage carriers, cooks and all."
Daily Telegragh

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