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long march

long march, Chin., Changzheng, the journey of c.6,000 mi (9,660 km) undertaken by the Red Army of China in 1934–35. When their Jiangxi prov. Soviet base was encircled by the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek, some 90,000 men and women broke through the siege (Oct., 1934) and marched westward to Guizhou prov. There, at the Zunyi Conference (Jan., 1935), Mao Zedong won leadership of the Communist party and decided to join the remote Shaanxi prov. Soviet base. Overcoming numerous natural obstacles (such as towering mountain ranges and turbulent rivers) and despite constant harassment by Nationalist troops and the armies of provincial warlords, the Red Army arrived at its new home in the north in Oct., 1935. However, more than half of the original marchers were lost in this almost incredible trek. Those who survived settled around the city of Yan'an.

See E. Snow, Red Star over China (rev. ed. 1968) and R. G. Wilson, The Long March, 1935 (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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