CHINA is seeking to revive the spirit of the Communist revolution with a “Red Tourism” drive celebrating the hardship endured by Mao Zedong’s followers on the legendary Long March in a network of theme parks.
“Wear the clothes of the Red Army! Sing the songs of the Red Army! Eat the food of the Red Army! Walk the way of the Red Army!” runs a promotional jingle.
A network of about 100 sites across the country, all of which figured prominently in the struggle that brought the Communists to power in 1949, has been created where visitors will be able to relive the early ordeals in themed leisure areas.
In addition to promoting “patriotic education”, the project will have another benefit less in keeping with Maoist philosophy – the economic development of China’s interior, much of which has missed out on the rise to prosperity experienced by the country’s coastal regions as it embraces free market economics. Most hot spots will be in poor, out-of-the-way places.