Here they met, back in 1929

Communist anniversary: China celebrates the party's first 75 years but few in ruling elite pay attention to founders' dreams
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The Independent Online
Shanghai (Reuter) - Few visitors made the pilgrimage yesterday to the house in the former French Concession in Shanghai where, officially 75 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party was born.

It was in the back room of the black and red brick building that is now a museum, and in a nearby girls' school, that 12 Chinese communists and a Dutch member of the international communist organisation Comintern met in secret in 1921.

A few visitors, some foreign tourists mingling with local Chinese, gazed at the table and stools, laid with a tea service.

"I came today because it's the 75th anniversary of the Party," said one old man, adding that he was a party member. "This is a sacred spot for the Party."

"I brought my son to see the house because it's also his birthday today," one woman said.

The table and chairs are not the original furniture, but then the meeting was not held on 1 July either - it took place from 15-23 July, and it broke up when a suspected spy from the French authorities came to visit.

The participants, including the future Chairman Mao Tse-tung, decamped in haste and concluded what came to be called the First Congress in a houseboat on a lake.

"The day has no significance for me whatsoever," a young businesswoman said. "I don't read any of the articles, I just don't care."