Fang Zhimin (Chinese: 方志敏), was a patriot and revolutionary, famous for his love of his country and unswerving loyalty to communism. His patriotic essay, Beloved China, is a national favorite.
Fang was born in Jiangxi Province in 1899. In his youth he came under the influence of the New Culture Movement – a literary and political trend that aimed to promote democracy, science, socialism, feminism and other modern ideas, and undermine the power of the warlords.
Fang joined the Socialist Youth League (now the Communist Youth League) of China in 1922 after leaving Jiangxi for Shanghai. He joined the Communist Party in March, 1924 while in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Province. He wrote at the time: “I was so honored that from then on I devoted all my possessions and my entire life to the Communist Party of China (CPC).”
In 1924, during the first united front between the Kuomintang and the CPC, Fang was put in charge of peasant affairs in Jiangxi. In 1926, he met Mao Zedong at the Second Farmers’ Representatives Meeting in Guangzhou. In March, 1927, he joined the provisional committee of the China Farmers’ Association along with Mao, Peng Pai, Deng Yanda and Tan Pingshan.
In 1927, after the rupture between the Kuomintang and the CPC, Fang disguised himself as a poor peasant and retreated to his hometown to plan revolution. In 1928, he led a peasant uprising in northeastern Jiangxi, naming his forces the No.10 Red Army. In 1930, he was elected party secretary of the communist bases in the three provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi. In 1934, he was elected to the CPC central committee. But in 1935 he was arrested by the Kuomintang while leading his troops north.
Despite facing torture by his Kuomintang captors, Fang refused to abandon his beliefs. While in prison he wrote a number of prose pieces, including Beloved China, The Simple Life and a Record of Actual Events in Prison. He was shot by the Kuomintang in Nanchang on August 6, 1935, at the age of 36.