Speech by Minister Xu Xueyuan At 2021 Helen Foster Snow Traveling Exhibit
2021/07/17

Dear Vice Governor Chen Xiaoping,

CPAFFC Vice President Jiang Jiang,

Chairman Adam Foster,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Friends:

It is my great pleasure to attend the opening ceremony of the 2021 Helen Foster Snow Traveling Exhibit jointly held by Jiangxi Province and Helen Foster Snow Foundation. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the United States, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to the event.

During my visit to Utah in 2019, I had the honor to meet Helen Snow's descendant, Mr. Adam Foster. He showed us a documentary about Helen's wonderful life, and shared with us her unique experience of building a bridge of understanding and friendship between China and the United States. He also expressed his readiness to carry forward Helen's spirit of internationalism. Two years on, as the Communist Party of China celebrates its 100th anniversary, it is of special significance for Helen Foster Snow Foundation to co-organize with Chinese provinces and cities this photo exhibit, which not only revisits Helen’s ties with China back then, but also provides inspiration for the present.

Ninety years ago, Helen went to China. With her camera and pen, she let the people of the world, including the American people, know a real CPC, and she predicted where the hope and future of China lies.

In Helen’s eyes, the CPC brought a new faith to China and fundamentally changed this country. She remarked that what she saw in China was the birth of a new civilization, totally different from what she had seen before, and that China could become an ideal society. Indeed, after the Opium War in 1840, the Chinese nation was reduced to unprecedented sufferings. To save the nation from peril, a variety of plans were devised to ensure national survival, but all of these ended in failure. With the salvoes of Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, Marxism-Leninism was brought to China. The Chinese Communists, who adapted it to China’s specific conditions, united and led the Chinese people to work tirelessly and achieve a great transformation of the Chinese nation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong. The CPC has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the people.

In Helen’s eyes, the CPC had tremendous spirit and was the backbone of the Chinese revolution. She said that she came to realize that the CPC could organize the people not by giving them material wealth, but by a close spiritual power. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has developed great founding spirit, which is comprised of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the Party and faithful to the people. This spirit is the Party’s source of strength. Under its guidance, the CPC has shared weal and woe with the people and worked tenaciously from one generation to another, achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction. As a result, China, a once poor and weak country beset by domestic turmoil and foreign aggression, has eliminated absolute poverty and become the world's second largest economy with a middle-income group of over 400 million people.

In Helen’s eyes, the CPC always maintained close ties with the Chinese people and was the hope of China’s revolution. She said that in a dark world, the CPC and the people stayed united, which was a silver lining for the future of mankind. History has proved that the CPC’s founding was epoch-making. It has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission, and has been working tirelessly to realize the people’s aspirations for a better life. The centenary-old Party has never forgotten its founding mission and has always followed a people-centered philosophy: governing for, and depending on the people.

In Helen's eyes, Chinese women under the leadership of the CPC were fearless and indomitable. She commented that China’s revolution attached great importance to women, because through a long-term struggle, they acquired their due status under the red star. She paid special attention to women in Yan'an revolutionary army and interviewed 30 women leaders, including Cai Chang, Liu Qunxian and Kang Keqing. Chairman Mao Zedong once famously proclaimed that women hold up half the sky. During China’s revolution and construction years, hundreds of millions of women exerted themselves for the prosperity of the country and the rejuvenation of the nation, and played an indispensable role in political, economic, cultural, education and other fields.

As an old friend of the Chinese people, Helen Snow was committed to promoting friendly exchanges between the two peoples. Currently, China-US relations are at a critical historical juncture, and it is more important than ever to enhance their people-to-people and non-governmental exchanges. Knowing a real, full and comprehensive picture of China and the CPC is extremely important for the US side to formulate a more rational China policy. At this moment, I recall Helen’s words: China is a country with a large population and has its own history and culture; the Chinese government will overcome all difficulties and lead the people to greater success via their own path. We sincerely hope that Helen's wisdom and insight that had gone through the time can be heard and understood by more American people, and can inspire more people from both countries to dedicate themselves to the mutual understanding and friendship between our two countries.

Jiangxi Province and Utah, Helen's home state, are sister province/state. As the starting point to the victory of the Communists, Jiangxi is a land of revolutionary history and memories. Now, this heroic land is ushering in a new glorious chapter. We believe that Jiangxi can serve as a window for the world to know China's history, present and future. We also sincerely wish the friendly exchanges and cooperation between Jiangxi and Utah a better future!

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