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VOA Reporters Follow the Trail of China's Epic "Long March"

VOA Beijing correspondents retrace route of "Long March"

Washington, D.C., October 21, 2010 – After a voyage of 21 days and more than 7,500 kilometers through a transformed Chinese landscape, VOA Beijing correspondents Stephanie Ho and Nan Zhang have retraced the route of Mao Zedong's epic "Long March," one of modern China’s founding legends.

Their journey, documented with maps, words, pictures and video, offer the VOA audience what Stephanie calls, "an introduction to an important side of China that is literally off the beaten path." "I had read about the other side of China every day,” Stephanie says, “but I had to experience it to make a lasting impression. The diversity of the population is staggering."

The route took the VOA journalists through some of China’s poorest and most remote areas, giving them a rare opportunity to see how the country’s 800 million rural residents cope with life in the 21st century.

Stephanie's web presentation, which includes an interview with a "Long March" survivor, begins in Ruijin, the so-called "Red Capital," where Mao's outnumbered Communist forces were based in 1934 before they began their 10,000 kilometer flight from the Nationalist Army they would eventually defeat.

VOA Director Danforth W. Austin says Stephanie and her colleague Nan Zhang, "are part of a new generation of reporters, who bring history to life and tell the stories of everyday people through new-media platforms that are changing the meaning of what it is to be a journalist."

The voyage, which took the two reporters over modern highways and pot-holed rural roads, was, according to Stephanie, "Like being in a different country." "People say Beijing and Washington have more in common than Beijing and a rural village in Guizhou province,” Stephanie says, "Now I believe it." See what she means at

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

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