Amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Shanghai lies a sanctum of history and legacy, the Memorial of the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s First National Congress. On October 15, this emblematic site welcomed a distinguished visitor, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, who was poised to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing shortly after.
This memorial stands as a testament to the trailblazing pioneers of the CPC, who, a century ago, envisioned a party that would transform the landscape of China. During his visit, President Fernandez received a comprehensive account of the early days of the CPC, with dedicated staffers vividly painting a picture of the Party’s infancy.
The hall of the memorial boasts an impressive display of full-body bronze statues, each representing one of the 13 delegates who attended the CPC’s inaugural National Congress. Fernandez, seemingly immersed in the chronicles of history, took a moment to photograph these statues, ensuring that this experience was etched into memory, both mentally and digitally.
The details of the memorial didn’t merely skim the surface but delved deep into the fabric of the Party’s foundation. Fernandez’s curiosity was evident as he actively engaged with the docent, posing questions and seeking insights into the stories behind the statues. One particular inquiry revolved around Li Hanjun’s statue. Li was not only one of the 13 foundational delegates but also the owner of the site where the first Congress convened. This location was originally a traditional Shanghai “shikumen” apartment, a fact that emphasizes the humble beginnings of the CPC.
Impressed with the meticulous attention to detail and the captivating narratives on display, Fernandez commended the memorial’s exhibits. “The memorial’s display and presentation are very well done,” he remarked, underscoring his appreciation for the care and precision with which the CPC’s legacy was presented.
Offering his company to the Argentine President was Sabino Vaca Narvaja, the Argentine Ambassador to China. Narvaja, during the course of the visit, shared an intriguing personal tidbit. His adopted Chinese name, “Niu Wangdao,” pays homage to the esteemed Chinese translator, Chen Wangdao. Chen holds the distinction of being the first individual to translate the pivotal “The Communist Manifesto” into Chinese, accomplishing this feat in 1920.
With the memorial visit in Shanghai, President Fernandez initiated his tour of China, signaling the importance of understanding the historical nuances and significance of the host nation before diving into contemporary cooperative endeavors.