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Foreign reporters who interviewed Mao Zedong and Zhu De in Yan'an

CPC Encyclopedia

During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), some foreign journalists went to Yan'an in northwest China to give a first-hand account of how the CPC, the Red Army and the people under the CPC's rule were struggling to defend their country against a Japanese invasion and improve their welfare. Many young people living in the Kuomintang (KMT) occupied the area hastened to Yan'an to devote themselves to the revolution after reading the reports.

Among these journalists, American reporter Edgar Snow was the most typical. During his visit in 1936, he interviewed leaders of the Communist Party of China, including Chairman Mao Zedong. Snow's interviews resulted in the book Red Star over China which created a sensation in the world. After him, other foreign reporters broke through the layers of the blockade of the Kuomintang (KMT) to Yan'an for interviews.

In February 1944, 10 Chongqing-based correspondents from the US, the UK and other countries wrote a letter to Chiang Kai-shek demanding to pay a visit to Yan'an. Later, the northwest China visiting team was created, which consisted of Chinese and foreign reporters. The team included six foreign reporters: Gunther Stein of The Associated Press, Israel Epstein of the New York Times, Harrison Forman of The Times, Maurice Votaw of Reuters, Father Cormac Shanahan of The Sign Magazine and Proshenko of the Soviet Union's TASS News Agency.

All they saw and heard in Yan'an made them feel that the hope for the Chinese future lied there. Votaw of Reuters wrote in his news story: "It is a piece of magical land here, where we have a crowd of average and great people who foster out a new generation of people. The new men growing up in such an environment cannot be conquered."

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