Eighty-five years ago, American journalist Edgar Snow traveled to northwest China to find out what Chinese Communists were like.
Interviewing people holding up in the revolutionary cradle of Yan'an, Snow was moved by their unconquerable spirit, strength and passion. He wrote the book "Red Star Over China" to record what he considered the rich and splendid essence of human history.
The areas Snow set foot in, just like other areas across China, have undergone dramatic changes in the past decades, yet the spirit of Chinese Communists that he witnessed has been passed down from generation to generation.
A century on, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has grown from just over 50 members at the time of its founding to the world's largest governing party with more than 95 million members.
Having started from nothing, the CPC has led the Chinese people in transforming a poor and lagging country into the second-largest economy in the world.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, summed up the great founding spirit of the CPC in his speech at a ceremony marking the Party's centenary on July 1.
Calling it the Party's source of strength, Xi said this founding spirit consists of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to the Party's original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the Party and faithful to the people.
The spirit has demonstrated its strength in various endeavors, be it scientific and technological research, rural vitalization, space programs, social governance, or business operation.
At a national key laboratory of hybrid rice in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, Wu Jun and his team were doing research on the breeding of rice varieties that are resistant to major diseases, insect pests, high and low temperatures and drought.
"Developing super-high-yielding rice varieties is important to ensuring grain security. We will make down-to-earth efforts in pushing forward with the research and live up to the original aspiration of our predecessors," said Wu, deputy director of the laboratory.
China in February declared a "complete victory" in eradicating absolute poverty. Over the last few years, more than 1,800 CPC members and officials had sacrificed their lives for the cause.
During times of crisis, whether triggered by earthquakes, floods or epidemics, great numbers of Party members have rushed to the forefront without the slightest hesitation.
In July, Party members in all lines of work, ranging from rescue workers and medics to engineers and train crew members, have built up a strong force of rescue and recovery after record rainfall triggered severe floods in central China.
As the country strives for the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, the Party's founding spirit will continue to inspire the nation to overcome various tests and trials on the way forward, observers said.
The Party's founding spirit has a far-reaching influence on the country's younger generation, who will carry the baton for national rejuvenation.
"The Age of Awakening," a TV series revolving around the CPC founders, has become a sensation, with a high rating of 9.3 out of 10 based on more than 330,000 reviews on networking platform Douban.
Through the series, many young Chinese got to admire revolutionary forefathers who sacrificed their lives for the Party in its early years. Most of the revolutionary martyrs were in their youth when they died.
In Shanghai, throngs of young people paid visits to CPC forefathers at Longhua Martyr Cemetery. Flowers and written messages were seen laid at the tombs of the fallen heroes depicted in the series.
A generation-Z Party member from Tongji University lamented, "I stare at the starry sky that you once watched, but the land under my feet is in a different time and space."
"We are now enjoying a better life, just as you had hoped for," read another message.
Also in Shanghai, the memorial of the first National Congress of the CPC has opened an exhibition on the theme of the CPC's founding spirit.
"We must do our best to preserve the Party's birthplace to let the great founding spirit of the Party maintain its splendor," said Xue Feng, Party committee secretary of the memorial. Enditem