Premier Li Keqiang visited the National Southwest Associated University (NSAU) campus, one of the most prominent historical sites in the country.
Founded in 1938, the university was established by teachers and students from Peking University, Tsinghua University and Nankai University after they escaped from war-stricken north China to Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan province.
Although the university doesn’t exist anymore, its former site, located in Yunnan Normal University, still reminds Chinese the hard work of the teachers and students.
“This was not only a miracle in the history of Chinese education, but also in the history of world education,” said the Premier.
The Premier was impressed by the well-preserved campus layout and the teachers from Yunnan Normal University who sang NSAU’s former school song.
During the World War II, staff members, professors and students had to survive and operate in makeshift quarters that were constantly being subjected to sporadic bombing by the Imperial Japanese forces. Despite shortage of food, equipment, books, clothing and other essential items during the eight-year war (1937-1945), staff members and students managed to conduct the running of a modern university, which later became famous for cultivating many prominent intellectuals.
Premier Li met NSAU’s old alumni, who are all over 90, and spoke highly of their integrity and contribution to the educational undertakings during a critical moment in the history of China.
“Education is the foundation of a nation which cannot be compromised at any cost, and this spirit was carried by the university,” said Premier Li.
The Premier posed for a group photo with students who have stayed back during the winter vacation. He asked them to carry forward the spirit of the National Southwest Associated University.