President Yoweri Museveni yesterday (Thursday) made what he described as, ‘a revolutionary’s pilgrimage’ to the birthplace of the founding father of China, Chairman Mao Zedong in Shaoshan, Hunan Province in China.
“Thank you for the invitation to Hunan; it’s a pilgrimage to the birth place of Chairman Mao. Revolutionaries come to Hunan like Catholics go to Rome,” President Yoweri Museveni earlier told Mr. Du Jiahao, Secretary of the Hunan Provincial Party Committee of the CPC at the Hunan Hall of the Rongyuan Hotel in Changsha, China before embarking on a one and a half hour drive to Shaoshan in a small village that birthed the man who turned the fortunes of China forever.
President Museveni was in Hunan on a two day working visit during which he opened the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and also delivered a keynote address. The Expo is being held under the theme, “Win-win cooperation for closer China-Africa Economic and Trade Partnership.”
President Museveni’s pilgrimage to Shaoshan incidentally started right from his Hotel residence – the Rongyuan Hotel, Room One, which used to be Mao’s’ residency and work station in Changsha with several of China’s most precious relics still showcased including a direct dialing crank handle telephone, a bamboo basket he used to carry his meals during inspection in the mountains, a chess board game he used to play with his security guards and a porcelain cup and dish.
In Shaoshan, President Museveni visited the Mao Zedong Statute Square where he paid his respects before taking a tour of the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall that showcases the life and times of Chairman Mao. He penned his thoughts as he left the museum.
“I am pleased and honoured to visit the birthplace of Chairman Mao. Chairman Mao did not only liberate China by the clarity of his thought and strategy, he also inspired other revolutionaries in other countries to know that the oppressed, if well organized and led, can win victory. We in Uganda were greatly inspired and guided by his thought and strategy in our multi-faceted struggle. We salute immensely his contribution to China and the world.”
“We also salute his colleagues like Marshall Chu De and Vice- Chairman Deng Hsiao Ping and Premier Chou En Lai that assisted him.”
Vice-Chairman Deng Hsiao Ping, by opening up China’s economy, helped the rapid growth of its economy to the second biggest economy in the world today.
The Chinese revolutionaries also assisted Africa materially in its anti-colonial struggle.
In Uganda, we are greatly indebted to these revolutionaries for their example and contribution.
President Yoweri Museveni later toured the humble home where Chairman Mao was raised and a pond where he used to swim as a young boy.
The President wrapped up his pilgrimage with a visit to the Orange Island where a large statute of Chairman Mao, as a young man, stands majestically in the sky.
President Museveni has been a great student of Chairman Mao, restoring peace to a country that was ravaged by war and restoring political and economic unity and stability.
Under his Chairmanship of the NRM Party, President Museveni has consolidated Ugandans for political and economic transformation.
Mao Zedong was born on December 26th 1893 and died September 9th 1976 aged 82. Also known as Mao Runzhi, he was Chairman of the Communist Party of China and Paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China from 1943 to his death in 1976.