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Discover China: Tourism blossoms at former site of wartime university

(Xinhua)    15:37, January 22, 2020

KUNMING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Tourism is blossoming at the former site of a wartime university in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

In Yunnan, the former site of the National Southwest Associated University (NSAU) has become a must-visit place of interest in the provincial capital of Kunming in recent years.

The NSAU was a coalition between Peking and Tsinghua universities in Beijing and Tianjin's Nankai University during the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. It was established in Kunming in 1938.

Authorities are promoting the site, with the Yunnan provincial publicity department recently joining hands with Tencent Pictures and the Runhe Culture Media to create a TV series called "Our NSAU." Filming has just wrapped up.

In 2017, Chinese authorities listed the NSAU among its Red Tourism destinations.

The former site now stands inside the modern campus of Yunnan Normal University. It consists of some decayed pillars, an old classroom and some steles.

In 1937, the Japanese troops attacked the Chinese forces at Beijing's Lugou Bridge, also known as Marco Polo Bridge, and started its full-scale invasion of China. Amid the crisis, Peking, Tsinghua and Nankai universities jointly established an interim university in the city of Changsha in the central Hunan Province.

As the warfare worsened, they moved the university to Kunming and named it NSAU. They set up two campuses, one in Kunming and the other in the Yunnan city of Mengzi, about 250 km away from Kunming. The university closed its doors in 1946 when the three universities moved back to their original campuses. During their journeys back and forth, the Japanese troops intercepted and killed some of the students.

In 2011, authorities transformed a part of the NSAU's Mengzi campus into a museum. They restored the classrooms, with a university anthem on display. They also repaired the dormitory of Wen Yiduo, a famous poet and literature professor from Tsinghua University.

The campus housed some of the most famous professors in Chinese history, including Wen Yiduo, Zhu Ziqing and Feng Youlan. Nobel Prize-winning physicists Yang Chen-ning and Tsung-dao Lee both studied at the NSAU.

"I think it makes perfect sense to promote the spirit of dedication and perseverance of NSAU," said Zhang Xiaoming, whose parents were English majors at the university. "People at the NSAU never gave up on learning even in the toughest of times, and that will always touch the hearts of people."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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