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Red Army's First Radio Equipment - China Telecom

Updated: June 25, 2021

It was such an old-fashioned radio. Or, more precisely, half a radio, as it could receive signals but was unable to send any out. But as plain as it was, this imperfect radio was the first "high-tech" communications equipment that the Red Army, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, ever had.

The radio, broken by a Red Army soldier as he thought it was a hazardous article, was obtained by the Red Army after a counter-encirclement maneuver in 1930. It was also the moment when Wang Zheng, a captive telephone operator, decided to join the army.

Although only capable of receiving messages, the radio was an important piece of equipment for Wang and other comrades in terms of obtaining crucial telegrams sent by the Kuomingtang. It played a key role in winning another counter-encirclement maneuver in 1931.

It was the first time that the Red Army had won a battle by relying on telecommunication technology.

As more and more radios were obtained, the Red Army established radio communications system between troops and regions.

It was also such technology that allowed Chairman Mao Zedong to command the Yangtze River Crossing Campaign that kicked off on April 20, 1949 from Xibaipo, North China's Hebei Province.

China's telecommunications industry has developed rapidly since the founding of the People's Republic of China, particularly in the 40 years since the opening-up and reform period began.

International phone calls, long-distance calls, communications satellites and emails gradually came into people's lives.

China Telecom Corporation Limited, one of China's main telecommunication operators, completed the construction of an ultra-high-speed 5G network for the Huoshenshan Hospital (built for the treatment of the COVID-19 epidemic in early 2020) within three days, and livestreamed the construction process of the makeshift hospital, which showed the world the power of the country's communications industry.

(Executive editor: Wang Ruoting)