(redirected from Yan An)




(both: yĕn-än), city (1991 pop. 115,900), N Shaanxi prov., China, on the Yen River. Now a market and tourist center, it is famed as the terminus of the long marchlong march,
Chin., Changzheng, the journey of c.6,000 mi (9,660 km) undertaken by the Red Army of China in 1934–35. When their Jiangxi prov. Soviet base was encircled by the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek, some 90,000 men and women broke through the siege (Oct.
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 and the de facto capital (1936–47, 1948–9) of the Chinese Communists, who established arsenals, several colleges, and a military academy (now a museum) there. The city's many loess caves served as homes and air raid shelters during World War II. As a hallowed site of the revolution, Yan'an attracts thousands of pilgrims. Points of interest include the former homes of Mao ZedongMao Zedong
or Mao Tse-tung
, 1893–1976, founder of the People's Republic of China. Mao was one of the most prominent Communist theoreticians and his ideas on revolutionary struggle and guerrilla warfare have been extremely influential, especially among Third
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 and Zhou EnlaiZhou Enlai
or Chou En-lai
, 1898–1976, Chinese Communist leader. A member of a noted Mandarin family, he was educated at an American-supported school in China and a university in Japan. His involvement in radical movements led to several months imprisonment.
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, and the nine-story Bao pagoda built during the Sung dynasty (960–1279) and now made into a monument to the revolution. Many people still live in cave dwellings. Oil is produced at nearby Yanchang.


See J. Myrdal, Report from a Chinese Village (tr. by M. Michael, 1965); J. K. Emmerson, A View From Yenan (1985).

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