torsdag 23. november 2017

Xi Jinping breaks taboo and enters the Forbidden City

Mao Zedong, the founding father of modern China, never once set foot inside the walls of Beijing's Forbidden City. While he did sometimes stand on the rostrum of Tiananmen -- the southernmost gate of the sprawling 72-hectare complex -- including on Oct. 1, 1949, when he declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China, he intentionally avoided entering the former home of emperors.

Perhaps it was due to his belief that as the head of the Chinese Communist Party, a party that clenched power by opposing the feudal system of government, he should not be seen admiring the imperial sites. Since then, it has been somewhat of a taboo for China's top leader to walk inside the palace, although the leaders' office, Zhongnanhai, lies next door. Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping shattered that tradition.