The Great Wall in Modern Times
In modern times the Great Wall has become a symbol of the unyielding spirit of the Chinese nation. During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), the Chinese army put up a brave resistance against the Japanese invaders at the Lengkouguan and Xifengkou passes of the Great Wall, and the song the Broadsword March was created based on the heroism of the broadsword corps of the Kuomintang’s 29th Army and spread across the whole nation. Generals Feng Yuxiang, Fang Zhenwu and Ji Hongchano established the Anti-Japanese Allied Forces at Zhangjiakou to combat the Japanese invaders. General Yang Chengwu led his troops to fight the Japanese aggressors around the Chajianling and Futuyu passes of the Great Wall, and scored a victory in the battle of Huangtuling. Peng Dehuai commanded the renowned Hundred-Regiment Campaign in which over 100 regiments of the Eighth Route Army took part and won triumphs at Dongtuanbao Fortress in Laiyuan. In the vast “no man’s land” along the Great Wall in eastern Hebei, troops and civilians resisted the Japanese invasion for three years. During the period of the War of Liberation (1946-1949) the Fourth Field Army liberated Shanhaiguan Pass, and then carried out the Beiping-Tianjin Campaign in cooperation with the North China Field Army against the KMT troops, sounding the clarion call to found the People’s Republic of China.
The song March of the Volunteers, which goes: “Arise. ye who refuse to be slaves; with our very flesh and blood, let us build our new Great Wall:’ was written in 1935 to call for all forces to unite and build up the national united front as a solid ‘-Great Wall” of resistance to Japanese aggression. The Great Wall has become a symbol of the backbone of the Chinese nation and a monument to the patriotism of the Chinese people.
The remains of the Great Wall, along with the relics of bronze cannons, harquebuses, caltrops, missiles, bows and arrowheads collected in museums, tell a story of wars through the ages. The records of the brick inscriptions and the ruins of quarries, brick kilns and lime kilns you’re your imagination to the scene of how the Great Wall was constructed. And the remains of articles of daily use reveal the hard, lonely life of the guards centuries ago.
The magnificent Great Wall fortifications and their rich, deeply layered culture have attracted millions of tourists, scholars and experts in Great Wall studies from all over the world. The Great Wall sections in Hebei have become tourist draws, with their awe-inspiring grandeur and breathtaking natural landscape. With the tourist highway along the Great Wall open to traffic, more and more people will come to visit the Great Wall, and the Great Wall culture will be further spread and carried forward.