Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, an ancient county in the Han and Tang Dynasties, is a beautiful and rich water city with crisscross rivers and vast fields. More than 700 years ago, Marco Polo called the city “extremely happy”. On April 23, 1949, Zhang Aiping came here to accept the Kuomintang’s uprising to join the ship and set up the navy of East China Military Region in Baimamiao. Since then, this water city and the people’s navy have forged a “happy relationship”, which is affectionately known as the “mother city of sailors”.
In the past 70 years, the people’s navy has grown from scratch, from weak to strong; in the past 70 years, Taizhou’s economic and social development has also undergone tremendous changes. It has become the national key production and processing base for grain, cotton, vegetables and aquatic products, and the second largest ship production base in China. Its total economic growth rate ranks first in the province, ranking in the top 50 of national urban GDP. All famous cities support the army and superior families, so does Taizhou. The upgrading of the memorial hall of the birthplace of the navy is a vivid example.
In 1999, 2009 and 2019, on the occasion of the 50th, 60th and 70th anniversary of the birth of the people’s navy, Taizhou City successively upgraded the memorial hall of the birthplace of the Navy three times, optimized the environmental design of the museum area, enriched the exhibition hall display content, polished the story explanation words, and carried out a series of activities such as “I took a photo with the warship”, “let the historical moment last forever, let the red blood last forever” oil painting exhibition.
The memorial hall of the birthplace of the Navy, as a window to display the image of the Navy and promote the spirit of the Navy, not only many Navy units come here to seek their roots, carry out the theme education of “never forget the original mind and remember the mission”, but also local party and government organs, enterprises, and primary and secondary schools take this as the base for national defense education. According to statistics, every year, more than 200000 tourists come here to participate in the memorial activities, and the memorial hall of the birthplace of the Navy becomes the landmark of Taizhou city.
“Taizhou has a strong naval culture atmosphere, and there are many exchanges with the Navy.” Taizhou city leaders introduced that the Navy donated retired ships to many venues in Taizhou, and the Naval Command College also set up an education base in Taizhou. For many years, the Navy and Taizhou jointly held a theme party to celebrate the founding of the people’s navy. On the anniversary of the founding of the people’s navy on August 1 and April 23 every year, the party and government sympathy groups and social organizations at all levels in Taizhou will pay a concentrated visit to the Taizhou ship, the Minesweeper Jingjiang ship, the naval aviation Xinghua brigade, and send greetings to the Navy officers and soldiers from the second hometown. The municipal government also awarded all officers and soldiers of Taizhou “honorary citizens of Taizhou City”.
At the same time, Taizhou launched a number of primary and secondary schools, team organizations, road venues and cultural activities named “Navy”, which made the name card of “Navy birthplace” deeply popular. In the campus of Navy middle school, there are decommissioned torpedo speedboats, small China Coastal Defense Exhibition Hall, the first Youth Navy post office in China, and the first “military honor wall” in Jiangsu Province. Haiwa Art Troupe is a group organized by the local cultural department and the Haizheng song and dance troupe in the city’s children’s palace. It has been active in the provincial, municipal and even national stage all the year round and is widely known in the local area. A number of roads and venues such as Haijun East Road, Haijun Avenue, and Haijun Cultural Park are scattered in Taizhou City and countryside. Various cultural activities such as “the Chinese dream of the Navy soul” and “the never fading navy blue” exhibition are flourishing.
In recent years, Taizhou has also provided a large number of excellent talents for the Navy. Taizhou middle school is recognized as the first high-quality student base of Jiangsu Province by the office of naval recruitment and flight, and also the student base of Naval Engineering University. More than 10 units, such as Taizhou high recruitment Committee and Xinghua middle school, have been rated as advanced units in Navy recruitment. Up to now, Taizhou has sent nearly 100 high-quality students to the Navy. In 2019, 6 naval flight cadets will be trained and transported, ranking the second in the province in terms of enrollment. A group of excellent students from Taizhou middle school and Xinghua middle school became “double student” flying students from Tsinghua University, Peking University and Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Taizhou city has more than 350 ships and supporting enterprises, more than half of which serve for navy ships. Almost every navy ship is equipped with Taizhou enterprise products.
Taizhou vigorously implemented the project of “respecting Thailand, loving sea defense”, and organized military and local co construction with navy Taizhou ships and other units. Taizhou University has helped more than 280 officers and soldiers obtain college degree or above by means of onboard teaching and online education. Taizhou Polytechnic sent experts on board to help solve more than 50 technical problems and cultivate more than 400 dual-use military and civilian talents.
In just 23 years, Taizhou, as a newly established prefecture level city, has been focusing on the work of dual support as a major political task for members of successive municipal Party committees. The city has been awarded the national model city of dual support for four consecutive times. Both arms not only add bright colors to the water city, but also make the Navy officers and soldiers feel “mother like” love.