Qinghai Zhiqing Great Return to the City Petition Documentary

According to the report, from 1978 to 1979, the young people from Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Shanghai and other places paid hard and even tragic struggles to return to the city, and these historical events have been widely circulated. But the unforgettable experiences of the Shandong youths who went to the Qinghai Corps are not known for a long time.

In fact, Shandong youths from the Qinghai Corps (which had been transformed into Golmud Farm at that time) launched a petition and demonstration in Xining, the provincial capital, and a 20-day strike in all the regiments of the division in March 1979, after a secret conspiracy of preparation. The Qinghai provincial government promised but did not do anything about it and broke its promise to the people, delaying for several months without following up.

At this time, the first phase of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway was to be inaugurated in Golmud on September 15. The youths took action to break the stalemate by initiating a powerful petition and demonstration, and then nearly 8,000 youths from Shandong and Xining, Qinghai Province, were returned to the city.

The “9.15” sit-in at Golmud in 1979 was the most representative event of the whole Qinghai Corps youth movement. This article reviews the historical significance of this “9.15” event.


On September 15, 1979, the “Qinghai-Tibet Railway Phase I Project Opening Ceremony” held in Golmud was the strangest “ceremony”. It was so strange that there was no ribbon-cutting and not a single shot of the train passing through the ceremony. People did not know that Qinghai youths launched a massive petition to return to the city on this day, and the momentum of the youths forced the opening ceremony to be rescheduled.

That day in Golmud, there was a lot of joy everywhere. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway opening ceremony ushered in a delegation of party and government officials from Tibet, Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and other provinces, and a large delegation from the State Council of the Party Central Committee. The only few streets in the city of Golmud were fluttering with colorful flags and soaring with songs. Written in both Tibetan and Chinese characters of the big red slogans hung all over the large and small buildings. Train station, the station platform opposite the temporary erection of the photo tower, full of journalists who have already chosen the focus of attention. Above the station platform “Warmly celebrate the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to Golmud” huge slogan is particularly eye-catching. Colorful flags fluttering on the observation platform, filled with representatives from all over the northwest and railway soldiers and officers. Under the stage is dressed in costumes of Qinghai ethnic groups singing and dancing beautiful girls. East of the railway line, a red-colored locomotive like a bride to be married, strands of white steam, erupting on the tracks. Golmud station has become a sea of celebration.

Just after nine o’clock, the sound of gongs and drums suddenly stopped, the Yangtze team, the song and dance team stopped dancing, all the people at the meeting turned their heads to the east to look, cameras, cameras aimed at the station in the east, a bunch of flashes, snapping pictures, can not miss a moment of shocking history.

At that moment, I saw a black crowd, a group of ragged youths, waving small flags with slogans in their hands, broke through the heavy guard, like a flood, like a raging wave from the east of the station, along the roadbed to the venue.

A coffin made of white paper was held high above the head. The word “injustice” on the coffin showed the determination to fight to the death. A banner in black letters on a white background at the back of the coffin symbolizes the courage to sink the ship. The vast stream of young people ran to the platform on both sides of the railroad opposite the podium, on the tracks. The word “injustice” in blood is facing the center of the podium.

“We want to see Tan Qilong”, “We want to see the central leadership”, “We want to go home”, “Return my youth We want to see Tan Qilong”, “We want to see the leaders of the central government”, “We want to go home”, “Return my youth”, “Return my hard-earned money”, slogans shouting loudly, a dark face, revealing the strength of righteousness ……


It’s been more than half a year since the protests started at the beginning of the year, but the Qinghai Provincial Committee has delayed again and again to solve the problem of the Zhiqing. When many people lost their patience, they learned that the opening ceremony of the first phase of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project would be held in Golmud on September 15. We all agreed that leaders from Qinghai and the central government would definitely attend the ceremony. The core members of the petition group decided to use the opportunity of the leaders coming to Golmud to ask the provincial leaders to meet with them and urge the implementation of the Qinghai Provincial Party Committee’s promise.

We, as lowly as grass, are unable to guess the belly of a gentleman who is a great leader of the provincial party committee. Our shallow seriousness tells us that at the same time as the sit-in, hunger strike and demonstration of the petition group at the Qinghai Provincial Committee in Xining at the beginning of the year, all the youths in Golmud Farm, thousands of miles away, declared a strike. The leaders of the farm, who only planted one season a year, were under tremendous pressure. Half a month of the spring sowing period had passed, and the damage was irreparable.

The attitude of the youths in the agricultural companies towards the strike was firm. Each company had pickets to stop those who broke the strike and prevented the veterans and their families who did not participate in the strike from going out to work.

During the strike, there was a veteran from the 9th Company of the 3rd Regiment who drove a tractor to the 8th Company to sow seeds. Wang Bao’an, who was the deputy platoon leader of the engine platoon, immediately stopped him. Wang Bao’an said: “eight company no one else? On the technology I am better than you, on the equipment is also stronger than you, you do not show your eyes here, go, back to your company it”. The boy was very interested and drove away with the tractor.

The strike lasted until April 2, when the Qinghai Provincial Committee finally agreed to the petitioners’ conditions and formed a document. On April 4, the petitioners issued a “statement of resumption of work”. On April 5, the whole division resumed work.

Spring sowing, summer management, autumn harvest. Two more seasons passed. But in this half-year-long period, the Qinghai Provincial Committee has “written” the promise without any substantial progress. During this period, the petition group wrote several times, asking the provincial party committee to give a reply, but the provincial party committee ignored it. On September 12, the division chief Jiao Chengxiang brought Tan Qilong’s reply: “If you want to see the Party members, you should see the Party members, not the so-called mass representatives of the petitioners”. The last hope was dashed.

The core members of the petition group convened a meeting at the guest house in Golmud and decided to hold a division-wide march on September 15, the day of the “opening ceremony of the first phase of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway”.

The leading brother, Su Dekuan, wrote an “open letter to the Qinghai Provincial Committee” and posted it on the wall of the Military Reclamation Mall.

The fifth company of the third regiment was undoubtedly one of the main planning places of the Qinghai Corps youth resistance movement, and it was the center of the youth resistance movement of the third regiment. When Wen, Kang Shuwei, Zhang Dingde, Liu Fengchang …… those once obscure “little people” overnight became the heroes of people’s hearts.

Liu Fengchang, nicknamed “Little Fuzzy”, is not confused about what to do with the youth. With the convenience of his horse, he went to Torahai again and again to send notices and contact people. From the fifth company, he rode a horse back and forth for hundreds of miles without any hindrance.

Li Hanjun, Kang Shuwei, Xiao Inshi, Li Jianhua …… shuttled between several companies around the regiment, and between the leaders of the petitions of the youth in each company.

The company has a lot of people, contacting vehicles, writing slogans, making small flags and preparing banners. Zhao Songling posted the “Lu Bu” of the September 15 demonstration in Golmud on the wall of the kiosk of the regiment.

While the youths were preparing for the petition march, the leaders at all levels were not idle. The government of Qinghai Province sent a circular to all the companies: it was expressly forbidden to gather and march during the opening ceremony, and those who violated it would be severely punished. from September 10 to 12, the militia and troops of Golmud held a huge armed march, and dozens of heavily armed military vehicles marched through the streets of Golmud, showing off their power, waving through the city, displaying violence and intimidation. Such a show is unprecedented since the Tibetan rebellion. The Public Security Bureau of Golmud put Li Hongqing, the main member of the fourth group of petitioners, under house arrest in a guest house. The main member of the third group of petitioners, Shiwen, also made it clear that he would not participate in this operation. They are soft and hard, thinking that everything is safe and secure.

Under high pressure, it is false not to be afraid, the third regiment of the eight company Dongfang Hong 55 tractor truck leader, driver Li Paul, do not dare to drive this tractor to participate in this action. The shadow of the “autumn reckoning” can not let people feel fear. Wang Baoan to drive the tractor over to the road.

The tendency to avoid harm, greed for life and death is human nature, no one has the right to demand that others do heroes, martyrs, to do desperate things.

It is precisely the silent “little people” of the agricultural company, who have the least worry about gain and loss. They are the backbone of the front. Hu Shicheng, Yang Guicheng, Liu Jiyou, Zhang Baohu, Wei Lu, Zang Jingguo, Shi Yan ……, each company has a large string of singable names. “9.15” is such ordinary “little people” did a big thing.

The east wants to dawn, at this time, Golmud morning is already cold, dozens of people crowded in the widened and enlarged trailer, against the harsh wind, bumpy all the way to Golmud.

At eight o’clock in the morning, hundreds and thousands of young people came from all directions by car, wagon, tractor, cattle car, by all available means of transport, from Mahai, Daigra, Dragging Sea, from the North Grassland, from Kunlun Mountain. The youths based in Golmud and Kojima arrived on foot at the meeting place; north of the division, Jinfeng Road, Kunlun Road, and the tenth son intersection.

Song Lansheng of the Second Mahai Regiment, Fa Tianmin and a few other youths held high a white paper coffin, while the youths of the Fifth and Eighth Companies of the Third Regiment waved small flags and banners, and Su Dekuan led a group of youths along the path towards the railway station. At this moment, a car of “Qinghai-Tibet Railway Phase I Project Opening Ceremony Command” was blocking the front of the group. A public security officer with a yellow armband on his left arm, holding a loudspeaker, shouted: In accordance with the notice of the Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department, no crowd disturbance and no demonstration during the opening ceremony, you must immediately disband, otherwise you will be held legally responsible.

The loud intimidation was just adding fuel to the fire, and the angry youths surrounded the car. The man took a bad look, got into the car and left.

The brigade arrived at Golmud station as planned and arrived at the site of the opening ceremony.

Autumn Qaidam wilderness, at this time, Golmud station, just the wilderness in the north and south of two lonely platforms, no waiting room, nor a room, the celebration of the venue on the two platforms. Layers of officers and soldiers surrounded the venue tightly. To the east of the station, there is a pathway on the slope above the ground, which is filled with crowds of onlookers. Inside the crowd, there were layers and layers of troops holding hands.

The youths rushed up the high slope from here and were blocked by the soldiers in front of them.

Without a moment’s hesitation, the youths chanted the slogans of “unity between the military and the people”, “learning from the PLA” and “salute to the PLA”. The team is pushing forward.

Although bare-handed, it was a short fight. When two armies meet, the mourning soldiers win. Those young soldiers and officers, which is the weathered youth’s opponent. Soon the solid wall of people, tore a large mouth. A tidal wave of young people swarmed down the slope toward the venue.


The festive atmosphere of the venue was immediately disrupted by this sudden event. The sound of gongs, drums, songs and dances came to an abrupt end, and all the people stood up with stunned expressions, sticking their heads out and looking this way. At this time, there are reporters from all over the country, they have gone to the middle of the youth to interview. The youths told the reporters the story of the “incident” and the truth about the corps farm for 14 years. There were also young people handing out leaflets to people around the platform.

The commotion soon passed, the venue gradually quieted down, the youth sat on the tracks and both sides of the station platform began to sit in silence. The railwaymen and the delegates on the observation platform had serious expressions. The gongs and drums and the propaganda team were silent. All the people were waiting, waiting for what was coming to happen.

Time was frozen, the air was frozen with tension, tens of thousands of people in the meeting room is surprisingly quiet. So quiet that people feel panic, so quiet that people are extraordinarily nervous.

Half an hour is very short, half an hour is also very long. A middle-aged man in a police uniform appeared on the observation platform. He announced himself: the deputy director of the Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department.

His majestic voice came from the loud speaker: Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department, Qinghai-Tibet Railway Phase I Project Opening Ceremony Command Notice: A small number of people impacting the venue of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Opening Ceremony is a serious violation of the law ……. Limit you to withdraw from the venue within fifteen minutes, if you do not listen to advice we will take severe measures to clear the venue. All serious consequences will be your own responsibility.

The words just fell, the youths shouted: “We want to see Tan Qilong” “We want to see the central leadership” “We want to go home” “Return my hard-earned money “!

The “notice” was announced over and over again. Slogans were chanted over and over again. The atmosphere in the meeting room is getting more and more tense.

Time passed little by little. Sadness accumulated little by little. The determination of the youths to “risk their lives and fight for their lives” was unshakable.

This is the struggle between reason and power, this is the battle of psychology and will. The youths were not moved by threats and intimidation. In front of the national reporters and provincial delegations, they did not dare to act rashly in broad daylight. The Cultural Revolution has just passed, no one wants to bear the unforeseen consequences.

The weather in Golmud is exactly “wearing a leather jacket in the morning and a veil in the afternoon”. The noon sun shines on the barren Gobi, baking the uncovered earth. Burning emotions in the heat of burning. Tearing heart cry which does not care about his dry mouth. So the stalemate, the stalemate has never seen a leadership figure, there has never been a leader and youth communication.

Suddenly the high and mighty deputy director appeared on the podium again. His voice came out from the loud speaker: “Due to the disruption of a few people, the celebration of the General Assembly can not be carried out normally, the command decided to postpone the celebration of the General Assembly, the General Assembly is hereby concluded. Today a few lawless elements of the disruption, we will certainly be held responsible and be severely punished ……”

A good show, before it began, it was over, the representatives of the parties on the observation platform, the railway soldiers soldiers withdrew from the venue one after another. South of the beach on the army officers and soldiers and the masses have also dispersed. There was no need for the youth to spend time here, they withdrew from the venue and rejoined the youth who were kept outside.

Then they regrouped and returned to the divisional guest house under the leadership of Song Lansheng and others to prepare for the next move.

On that day, two youths were arrested by the public security, including Cheng Jiaxing of the Fifth Company of the Third Regiment, nicknamed “Two Immortals”. The “two immortals” were already full of immortality and did not listen to the greetings. When he went out to go to the toilet, he was blocked by the soldiers who surrounded the venue and had an argument. Public security officers arrested him for disrupting the order of the venue. Everyone proposed to go to the Public Security Bureau to ask for someone.


The prison in Golmud is north of Jinfeng Road, south of the division, back to the division just passing through here. The first thing you need to do is to get to the prison and start chanting the slogan “Petition is not guilty” and “Zhiqing is not guilty”. The more young people gathered, the bigger the matter became. A lot of posts were added to the big wall of Golmud prison.

Such a thing is unprecedented, the situation seems to develop in an unpredictable direction.

At the moment of emergency, Ga Wande, deputy director of Golmud Public Security Bureau, went to the middle of the youths with two staff members. He started to talk to the youth.

Ga director is a Mongolian, Chinese is not very fluent. The good thing is that he is familiar with the youths of the Agricultural Construction Division. The youths had a good feeling about him. This is the bottom line of his ability to approach the youth in times of emergency.

Director Ga once squatted in the 8th company of the 3rd regiment to investigate the “2.11 counter-revolutionary incident” claimed by the 8th company instructor Wu Jiwen.

It was the Spring Festival of 1967, the second Spring Festival of the youth to Qinghai, because the company leaders do not care about the life of the youth, the Spring Festival meal arrangements are not good, the youth have opinions, for this reason and Wu Jiwen argued to fight. Wu Jiwen suffered a loss, he began to take personal revenge, claiming that this is a counter-revolutionary incident of beating revolutionary cadres. That day was February 11, known as the “2.11 counter-revolutionary incident”. After more than a month of investigation in the 8th Company, Director Ga denied the counter-revolutionary incident and concluded that it was just a fight and brawl. So he didn’t arrest anyone and made friends with the youth, who also recognized his decency and righteousness, much better than the leaders of the Agricultural Construction Division.

As soon as Director Ga arrived among the youths, he was immediately surrounded by them. He said in hard Chinese: the two people arrested will be released soon, this is a security detention in a few days and will be released.

We all have great respect for Director Ga and do not want to offend him at all, but half-jokingly and half-seriously said: “Director Ga don’t leave yet, we are all here to drink with you. When you put the youth back, when we finish.” The youths surrounded him in three layers. He couldn’t get out, couldn’t get away, and couldn’t get anxious. The young people cooperate with the tacit understanding of hard and soft, this really became a hostage.

The sun is setting, nightfall, the night gusts of cold wind in Golmud. Ga director’s entourage said the director is old, light a fire to roast it, the youth readily agreed. Everyone stayed around the fire until dawn.

The two parties involved did not want to intensify things, after all, this is not the purpose of the youth resistance. After the second half of the night, the youths put the Ga director back. He agreed to release the arrested youths as soon as possible after he returned.

The director of Ga’s work was true to his word, and he released them the next day.

“After 9.15, a large number of officers from the Provincial Public Security Department were stationed in the Agricultural Construction Division, and went to each company to investigate and collect evidence, and started the arrest of people. The youths of each company refused to cooperate, they released water to cut off the road and prevented the Provincial Public Security Department’s car from entering the company, and the car was stuck in the company’s dirt road.

At the same time, the main members of the petition group swung north to Beijing to avoid the fronts of the petitioners.

After October 1, recruiters from various units around Qinghai were stationed at the division and the placement of the youth began. The struggle to change their fate finally saw hope.

The paradox of history is that we, the people, cannot foresee it. Later, Yang Yongdong, the deputy director of the agricultural construction division, disclosed the following.

November 27, 1979 Qinghai Provincial Government Secretariat xxx conveyed part of the call from Comrade xx.

(Article 1) …… Zhiqing petition group is an unreasonable group. 9.15 incident is a major political incident and is illegal. Let them check or they will be dealt with according to the law. The financial compensation demands are unreasonable and should never be settled. The statement that the intellectuals’ petition is forced by the provincial committee is wrong. It is a threat to the Party and the government. The Party and the government are not afraid of threats and will never make alliances under the city.

(Article 2) More than 130 youths who petitioned in Beijing behaved badly, made unreasonable demands and acted arbitrarily. …… has been studied and agreed by Comrade Zheng Siyuan, Deputy Secretary General of the State Council, to be dealt with in the following way; 1……. blocked all unreasonable demands and mobilized They have a deadline to return to the farm automatically, room and board, car expenses at their own expense, the petition period wages withheld. 2. If you do not obey the first four or five bad leaders will be forcibly admitted, if others on the street or go to the Ministry of Reclamation to make trouble to people, how many admissions. Comrade Zheng Siyuan’s opinion requires Qinghai Province to cooperate with the action, the bad head of the farm in Golmud, bad elements should be seriously dealt with, the arrest of the immediate arrest office. To prevent farms and petitioners echo, expand the state of affairs. 3. take strong measures to prevent a large number of people to Beijing to petition ……

In fact, our fate is often in the hands of a politically powerful person, and is directly related to their power gain or loss. As Yunnan Zhiqing said, “The success of our Yunnan Banna Zhiqing’s big return to the city was related to the period from 1978 to early 1979, when Deng Xiaoping …… had to win the hearts of the people and speak for the Zhiqing parents and Zhiqing, which is why he greeted ‘Don’t suppress, but do more work.’ This is the main reason for the success of Yunnan Zhiqing’s return to the city. When he took control of the real power of the state in 1981, he handled the Zhiqing in Aksu, Xinjiang, differently.”

In China after 1949, or in the world before the 1980s, such group resistance in countries with the same political system invariably did not end well. It should be said that the youths and petitioners of the Qinghai Agricultural Construction Division were lucky. They escaped the violent suppression and post-accounting, I don’t know if it was a fluke or a necessity in the general environment.

When Tan Qilong, the secretary of the Qinghai Provincial Party Committee, learned of such a murderous attitude from above, he immediately gave strong instructions, but the ailing Nongjian Division had run out of steam, and the leaders of Golmud City were afraid of adding fuel to the fire, and the resettlement of the youths had already begun on a large scale. The farm officials, big and small, do not want to reproduce the right and wrong. The “9.15 incident” that shocked China and abroad was also left unresolved.

However, the day the train arrived in Golmud, the “9.15” of 1979, became the memory of the Qinghai youth forever.

Originally published in Zhiqing Magazine No.21