Red Army's Long March soldiers used Moutai on feet: generals’ memoirs

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/18 23:58:39 Last Updated: 2016/8/19 6:41:43

A widespread rumor that soldiers in the Red Army's Long March washed their feet with Moutai, China's national liquor served at official occasions and state banquets, was confirmed, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Some soldiers bought bottles of Moutai to refresh themselves by rubbing their feet with the liquor to relax the muscles and stimulate blood circulation, according to the memoirs of several late generals, including former vice premier General Geng Biao and General Yang Chengwu, former vice secretary-general and member of the Central Military Commission.

Soldiers also used the spirits to disinfect wounds on their feet, which had festered due to the moist weather, late Lieutenant General Luo Yuanfa recalled.

The 12,500 kilometer trek from October 1934 to October 1936 was a military maneuver carried out by the Red Army, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to combat the Kuomintang regime in China's civil war. The forced retreat  laid an important foundation for the eventual Communist victory in the conflict, according to Xinhua.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Red Army's Long March.

Moutai is a small town in the city of Renhuai, Southwest China's Guizhou Province. The town's liquor-making tradition dates back to 2,000 years ago.

Chinese leaders honored Moutai as the national liquor after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Moutai liquor was officially used at banquets to toast foreign heads of state and distinguished guests visiting China, and was the only alcohol given as official gifts by Chinese embassies in foreign countries, said Xinhua. It is said that former US president Richard Nixon was fascinated by Moutai liquor when he visited China in 1972, Xinhua reported.

Global Times

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