Thousands of Chinese took to the water last Thursday (July 16) to mark the fourth anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse Tung's famous 65-minute dip in the Yangtse River.
GV Swimmers chanting
CU Page of Mao's book
MV Girls chanting (2 shots)
CU Poster of Mao
MV Soldiers marching
LV Swimmers in river (3 shots)
CU Swimmers diving in (in uniform)
CU Girls diving into river
CU Swimmers (3 shots)
MV Statues of Mao with flags
CU Swimmers into river (4 shots)
MLV Swimmers pushing raft
CU Swimmers with rifles in teeth
CU Swimmer chanting from book
NOTE TO EDITORS: WE APOLOGISE FOR THE POOR QUALITY OF THIS FILM, MONITORED IN HONGKONG FROM CANTON.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Thousands of Chinese took to the water last Thursday (July 16) to mark the fourth anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse Tung's famous 65-minute dip in the Yangtse River.
Schoolchildren, civilians and soldiers, some of whom wore full kit, staged massive swim-ins in lakes and rivers all over the country.
Thousands more were reported to have stood on the banks waving red flags and cheering the swimmers.
Behind portraits of Chairman Mao and slogan-bearing placards, people swam in mass formation. One of the more frequent slogans was reported to be "Sailing the seas depends on the helmsman, making revolution depends on Mao Tse Tung."
Others reportedly expressed the nation's desire to liberate Taiwan.
In the Chaoyang district, soldiers and civilians were said to have shouted the slogan, "People of the world, unite, and defeat U.S. aggressors and all their running dogs", before jumping in to swim fully clothed and armed.
In Shanghai, some 1,500 people, including schoolchildren, braved winds described as "moderate gale-force" and swam nine miles (15 kms) -- the same distance Chairman Mao reputedly swam four years ago, when he was 72 years old.
He is said to have swam the distance in 65 minutes.