The legacy of overseas study for China's early leaders: Zhou Enlai

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Zhou Enlai (Chou Enlai), a great Chinese Communist leader and late Premier of China, was born in Jiangsu province, China, in 1898; his ancestral home was in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. As the son of rich parents, he was educated in China at an American-supported school then studied in a university in Japan to continue his Western education training. In Japan he first got in contact with Marxism.

Zhou Enlai was one of a few leaders in China who had studied in several western developed countries.In 1920, he moved to France where he strove to organize the overseas branch of the Chinese Communist Party. He also lived in Britain and Germany before returning to China.

While in France (1920-1922), his beliefs in Marxism were reinforced and he was active in organizing leftist Chinese students into a communist league. His career as a communist leader had begun. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in France in 1922. He studied in Germany in 1923 to 1924.

During that period of time, he introduced the state of development of European capitalist society to compatriots penetratingly through his own practice of revolution; he investigated European revolutionary movements and socialist movement; he spreaded Marxism, animadverted antagonistic thoughts, explored the basic issues of CPC and Chinese revolution.

He gradually realized that only if people held high the Marxism flag, and kept walking on revolutionary road, could the independence and prosperity of China be realized.

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