Back to the roots: rural Red Army schools and training centres

Two other aspects of the rural revitalisation under way in China: Red Army primary schools and rural revolutionary centres. Over the last ten years, more than 200 primary schools have been established in rural areas to specialise in teaching children about China’s revolutionary spirit and history – alongside regular education. In the enmeshed socialist market economy of China, much of the funding for the schools comes from donors, especially families with a history in the Red Army.

Further, the revolutionary training centres have been revived in order to engage with farmers about new developments in rural policy and its implications. In an age of easy access to internet information, it is felt that good old face-to-face engagement is still far better. So local party members and officials, often from villages themselves, organise discussion groups in order to discuss and plan new developments – and, crucially, to gain feedback from farmers themselves so as to shape local implementation. These ventures are the modern form of Jiangxisuo (‘teach and study centres’), the Peasant Movement Training Institutes run by the early Chinese Communists, including Mao himself.

These developments are part of Xi Jinping’s and the CPC’s focus on the rural areas, since farmers are, after all, the heart of the CPC.

2 thoughts on “Back to the roots: rural Red Army schools and training centres

  1. I was just perusing this piece from a frustrated Western journalist back in October:

    Beyond what I read here and a handful of other places, I know very little about important currents or discussions within the CCP, or even its deliberative processes. I had always just taken this as a sign of my own ignorance — I don’t speak the language, I don’t know anyone affiliated with the party, and in general I hardly know where to even start looking to learn more. The notion that the CCP might also be just plain secretive never would have had the chance to occur to me.

    I’m really interested to hear your take on this. Can a body of 90 million people really practice party discipline to such an extent as implied in that article? Or is this just a case of a journalist assigning blame externally for his own failure to dig up the sort of salacious details he’s after?

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