Two British men who spent more than a year retracing the rugged route of the 1930s "Long March" by Mao Zedong's (毛澤東) communist guerrillas said yesterday it turned out to be about one-third shorter than reported by Communist Party propaganda. \nEd Jocelyn and Andy McEwan said their findings showed the trek -- a major event in the formative years of the party that took power in 1949 -- to be some 6,000km. \nHistory books often say the Long March covered 10,000km. Some say it was as long as 13,000km. \n"Some will get upset at what they see as an attack on a central myth of the revolution. The Long March is the founding myth of the party," McEwan said by mobile telephone from near Yanan, where Mao's forces settled in western China following the march. \nJocelyn, 35, and McEwan, 37, said they had worked in Beijing as editors for English-language publications by the city government. Their background is not in geography or history. \nBetween 1934 and 1935, fleeing the forces of Chinese Nationalist Party leader Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), Mao and his Red Army followers walked through some of China's poorest, most remote areas, from Jiangxi Province in the southeast to Shanxi in the north. \nJocelyn and McEwan completed their journey on Monday. They based their estimate of its length on timed walks, maps and distance markers along the way. \nMcEwan said the men were "astonished" by the relative freedom the enjoyed during the trek. Many of the areas they passed through were closed to outsiders after the 1949 revolution. \nHowever, he said the pair were detained four times by suspicious local authorities, and once held overnight and bused out of the area the next day. Hardships also included sickness, dog bites and harsh weather. \nBut McEwan said people along the way were welcoming and excited about the project, often correcting their route and pointing out trails taken by the communists. \nJocelyn said the pair hope to exhibit photographs and other documentation collected during their trip, in part to remind younger generations of Chinese of their history. \n"It was still a remarkable achievement in endurance and courage. The fact that it's shorter than originally believed doesn't diminish that in any way," Jocelyn said. \nThe pair also said they met a woman during their 384-day walk who they claimed might have been a long-lost daughter of Mao, the communist founder who died in 1976. \nThe woman, 68-year-old Xiong Huazhi, was born at about the same time and place as a daughter reportedly born to Mao and his third wife, He Zizhen, McEwan said. \nMao's child was left with a family in Sichuan Province as the Red Army fled attacks by Chiang. Xiong's family and neighbors told Jocelyn and McEwan that she was Mao's daughter, although no genetic link or other hard evidence has been provided.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the