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CCTV | Celebrating Chinese National Day, looking back at BITers in The Chinese Years

On this golden autumn, the whole country is celebrating Chinese National Day. On October 1, 2021, we gather together to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. On the occasion of the birthday of the motherland, the students and teachers of Bejing Institute of Technology confess from their hearts: I love you, China!

Red is the color of China. and cannot be diluted. The blood of countless martyrs has dyed our flag. It is absolutely impossible for us not to build the country to which they looked forward to, fought for and died for.

-- Xi Jinping

In the past 72 years, hundreds of millions of Chinese people have made impressive achievements with tireless efforts. The Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong and China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.

Recently, China Media Group launched a 100-episode documentary The Chinese Years (山河岁月). Among them, the 33rd episode, Military and Civilian Production (军民大生产), tells the story of BIT in the period of Yan'an, who followed the pace of the Central Committee of the CPC and determined to strengthen the country, forge ahead, and educate people and talents for the Party and the country.

On February 2, 1939, a production mobilization meeting was held in Yan'an, which gathered people from the Party, Government and Army. In 1941, the Central Committee of the CPC again stressed the need to take the road of self-help production, and that the mass production movement was an important part to overcome the difficulties of the anti-Japanese base areas, with the general policy of developing the economy and securing supplies.

After the Central Committee issued the call for the Mass Production Movement, Le Tianyu, then head of the Department of Biology of the Academy of Natural Sciences (predecessor of BIT) and director of the Forestry Bureau of the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region, made a detailed inspection of Nanniwan (formerly known as Gulin Town) and found that it was located at the source of the Fenchuan River with abundant water and grass. So he reported to Zhu De, who renamed it Nanniwan and made a major decision to canton here.

Today, Nanniwan is beautiful and richly endowed, just like the South, Jiangnan.

At this stage, the people of the BIT discovered not only the Jiangnan of Shaanxi, but also the treasure of Shaanxi - Malan grass paper.

Under the blockade of Kuomintang of China, the paper was one of the materials in short supply in the border areas. Hua Shoujun, a chemist at the Academy of Natural Sciences, together with his wife, Wang Shizhen, made use of the Malan grass found in the mountains of northern Shaanxi, and finally invented Malan grass paper after repeated experiments and technical innovations.

Malan grass paper was able to meet the need of newspapers printing, which enabled the rapid dissemination of important works such as the Liberation Daily and On the Protracted War in the border area.

In 1940, they also successfully developed paper for banknotes, which completely solved the problem of paper shortage for printing banknotes in the border area.

As the first university of science and technology founded by the CPC, the school always insisted on training revolutionary experts during the period of Yan'an. nearly 500 graduates were developed in these 5 years. The majority of them grew up to be experts and leading cadres on various fronts in the new China.

Some alumni who studied and worked in the Academy of Natural Sciences

After the victory in 1945, the school was transferred to North China. In 1948, the school was renamed Engineering College of North China University. In December 1948, when the liberation of Beiping and Tianjin was imminent, the Central Committee urgently needed a large number of cadres to participate in the takeover of Beiping and Tianjin. Under the unified arrangement of the People's Government of North China, 150 students and teachers were deployed to participate in the task of taking over Beiping and Tianjin.

As a new type of industrial university founded by the Communist Party of China, BIT was faced with the dual task of training talents for seizing state power and building a new China and carrying forward the tradition of schooling in the old region. Living up to the expectations of the Party and the people, the university developed and grew rapidly during the struggle and made contributions to the country.

Following the footsteps of the Central Committee, Engineering College of the North China University moved to Beiping (Beijing) from July to August 1949, accompanied by the victory of the Liberation War. On October 1, 1949, all the students and faculty of the university gloriously attended the Founding Ceremony in front of the Jinshui Bridge in Tiananmen Square, witnessing the moment of the founding of New China.

On October 1, 1949, the faculty and students of Engineering College of the North China University attended the Founding Ceremony with honor as cadres of the central government.

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the school actively responded to the national call to contribute to the cause of higher education in China led by the Party and fought for the construction of heavy industry in the country.

At the end of 1951, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Heavy Industry promulgated a document. Engineering College of the North China University officially changed its name to Beijing Institute of Technology. The picture here is the document from the Ministry of Heavy Industry of the Central People's Government approving the name change of the school. Subsequently, the school was fully reoriented in accordance with the requirements of the Party and the State, and embarked on a new journey of silent dedication and determination to strengthen the country.

In 1951, the admission results of the Engineering College of the North China University ranked first in the colleges and universities around the country. It was in this year that Mao Erke, a radar expert and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, entered the school with excellent grades. Among the graduates of this period, a number of outstanding science and technology experts, party and government leaders at the provincial and ministerial levels and senior generals of the army emerged.

Outstanding student representatives of this period.

It is especially worth mentioning that three academicians, Cui Guoliang, Dong Haishan and Xu Zengguang, graduated from the Chemical Engineering Department of the school at the same time in 1956, and they made outstanding contributions to the country in their respective positions and were successively named academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

In the 1950s, the school carried forward the fine tradition of the liberated areas, and its ideological and political work revolved around the central task of the school, uniting teachers and students around the Party and forming a strong cohesive force to build a new China with unwavering determination and hard work.

Since its establishment, the school has trained more than 300,000 graduates, including Li Peng, Zeng Qinghong, Ye Xuanping and other Party and State leaders, as well as more than 120 provincial and ministerial-level Party and government leaders and generals, including Peng Shilu, the model of the times and chief designer of China’s first nuclear submarine, Wang Xiaomu, the winner of the highest national science and technology award, the father of early warning aircraft, and a large number of leaders and outstanding builders from various industries and levels.

Looking back at the hard struggle with the Party’s cause, it has always been the school’s unshakable mission and responsibility to nurture people for the Party and the country. Inheriting the red gene, BIT takes cultivating red and professional talents as its first mission, focuses closely on the fundamental task of establishing moral education, and strives to cultivate the new talents of the times who will assume the great responsibility of national rejuvenation.

On the occasion of the National Day, BIT students dedicated a song My Motherland to China, celebrating the birthday of the motherland and expressing their love.

All great achievements are the result of successive struggles. All great undertakings need to be advanced in succession. Following the footsteps of heroic models, the dreamers of the new era will definitely paint a more magnificent scroll of progress! The goal of building a great modern socialist country will be achieved, and the Chinese Dream of great rejuvenation will be realized!

Happy Birthday, China!