Having weathered revolution, civil war and two world wars, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), has decided to put a trove of documents, artifacts and photographs relating its history on display in a touring exhibit this week to mark turning 120 this year.
Among the more than 40 artifacts to be displayed is a document detailing the expenses of the party’s Shanghai headquarters in 1925, which lists former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) as a party member who was receiving a salary of 120 Dayang, the currency unit spanning the late Qing dynasty and early Republic of China (ROC) period.
The KMT’s earliest predecessor is though to be the Xing Zhong Hui (興中會) founded by Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1894.
The party was strongly influenced by the ROC founder and in the early 1920s adopted the policy of working with the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist Party, relying on Soviet military training as well as adopting Soviet-style government and party functions and organizations.
In 1924, the KMT was forced south by the Beiyang government, which at the time was recognized by the West as the representative of China, and was left without a standard military force.
The Beiyang government split from the KMT after then-ROC president Yuan Shikai (袁世凱) allegedly planned the murder of Song Jiaoren (宋教仁), a KMT heavyweight.
The policy pushed forward by Sun at the time saw a number of Chinese Communist Party members, including Mao, Lee Dazhao (李大釗) and Chen Duxiu (陳獨秀), register as KMT members.
According to the KMT, after registering as a member, Mao was nominated by Sun as a reserve member of the KMT Central Committee and Mao was made the secretary of the party’s Shanghai branch.
Financial difficulties rendered the KMT unable to pay its staff, an issue Mao once brought up to Sun when Sun passed through Shanghai on his way to Beijing to renegotiate a truce and reshuffling of the Cabinet with Duan Qirui (段祺瑞), the acting head of the Beiyang government.
Other articles to be put on display in the upcoming exhibition tour also include a letter sent by early revolutionary Qiu Jin (秋瑾) to a friend, Xu Yunhua (徐蘊華), in which she describes the difficulties she ran into when trying to start “the paper” in Shanghai.
“The paper” refers to the Zhonghua Nu Bao (中華女報) newspaper, which only ran for two editions before being shut down by the Qing government.
The KMT said visitors at the exhibits can take home reproductions of old party passes as souvenirs.
The tour is set to begin on Saturday in Great Tainan’s Yongkang District (永康), before moving to Greater Tainan’s South District (南) on Aug. 16 and on to Pingtung City on Aug. 30, the KMT said.
The tour will then relocate to Yilan City on Sept. 20, travel to Taoyuan County’s Jhongli City (中壢) on Oct. 5 and return to Taipei on Oct. 18, the party added.
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