THIS MONTH IN HISTORY
September 18, 1931
On this date, the Japanese Kanto Army purposely dynamited a section of railway near Mukden (now Shenyang) in southern Manchuria, but accused Chinese dissidents of the act. The Mukden Incident, or as it is popularly known in China, the September 18 Incident, broke out before the escalation to full-scale war in 1937. The Japanese "responded" to the fake provocation with the invasion of Shenyang and more than 20 cities in Northeast China. The Republic of China, then in a weakened state and led by the Kuomintang, exercised a policy of nonresistance. By January 1932, the Japanese occupied China's Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces where they established the puppet state of Manchukuo (1932-1945).
September 11, 1941
China Radio International's (CRI) English service was launched at Shahe Village nestled in the Taihang Mountains in North China's Hebei Province. At that time the country was engaged in a civil war. News about Communist-held areas was read by a young woman called Wei Lin, CRI's first English-language broadcaster. Growing into one of the biggest media groups in China, the station now serves the entire world in 53 languages, including Mandarin Chinese (putonghua) and four local dialects (Cantonese, Hakka, Minnan, and Chaozhou).
September 27, 1949
China's national flag and anthem were selected. The flag, red with five golden stars in its upper left corner, is named "Five-Star Red Flag" and was designed by an ordinary citizen named Zeng Liansong (1917-1999) who had been an avid painter and calligrapher since childhood. The red background color represents the revolutionary spirit and the five stars symbolize the united Chinese people under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. The national flag was hoisted for the first time by Chairman Mao Zedong on Beijing's Tian'anmen Square on October 1, 1949 at the founding ceremony of the PRC. Adopted as the provisional national anthem on September 27, March of the Volunteers, composed by Nie Er (1912-1935) with lyrics by renowned poet Tian Han (1898-1968), was originally the theme song of a film named Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm. This story follows Chinese soldiers fighting off the Japanese invaders in the 1930s, and the theme song's spirited melody embodies the nation's bravery and indomitable tradition. It was adopted originally as the provisional national anthem but became the official national anthem in December 1982.
September 20, 1950
The national emblem of the PRC was established and released by the Central People's Government. It features Tian'anmen Rostrum with five golden stars above, a cogwheel below and encircling sheaves of wheat symbolizing the alliance of workers and farmers. It was jointly designed by two panels from Tsinghua University and the China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
September 1, 1965
This is the founding date of Tibet Autonomous Region with Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme (1910-2009) as its first chairman. Tibet is the region where 95 percent of the population are of the Tibetan ethnic group living in compact communities, and the remaining 5 percent are of the Han and other ethnic groups. Regional autonomy is exercised by the local people's congress and people's government. The Tibetan people, like all other ethnic groups around the country, have become masters of their region and society and enjoy the political rights extended to all citizens under the Chinese Constitution and law.
September 9, 1976
Mao Zedong (1893-1976), the main founder and leader of the Chinese Communist Party and the PRC, and commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, passed away at the age of 83. Mao had made great contributions to modern China and played a decisive role in the victorious outcomes of both the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) and the ensuing civil war against the Kuomintang led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975). Although he made mistakes in his later years that unleashed destructive political movements such as the "Great Leap Forward" and the "cultural revolution," his merits far outweigh his faults when his life is judged as a whole. Even today his memory is deeply respected by the Chinese people. The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall stands at the southern end of Tian'anmen Square, where Mao's corpse has been preserved for people to pay their respects.
September 1, 2002
The Population and Family Planning Law came to effect. China introduced a family-planning policy in the early 1980s to rein in its surging population growth by advocating late marriages and delayed childbearing, and imposing a one-child limit per urban couple, two for rural families. Decades of implementation have proven the policy highly effective and public support was won. The Population and Family Planning Law specifies a citizen's rights and obligations with respect to birth control, and answers questions raised in the course of implementation. Urban couples meeting special requirements are permitted a second child, and exceptions for ethnic minorities are managed by regional governments in light of local conditions. The law specifically prohibits discrimination against women and girls. Thanks to birth control, China has lowered its population increase by 300 million over the past 20 years.
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