Beidaihe, China

Most nations worldwide maintain exclusive estates for the comfort of their national leaders and to play host to visiting dignitaries in an atmosphere of peace and quiet.

While Russia has massive presidential dachas outside Moscow and the resort town of Sochi to entertain dignitaries and to host the national leaders during the vacations, the US President often flies down to Florida or the Island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for a little peace and quiet.

The Indian President has houses in Shimla and Secunderabad apart from his primary residence. Similarly, the Chinese Leaders host their vacations and other informal meetings in the town of Beidaihe.

Where is Beidaihe?

  • The town of Beidaihe is located on the shores of the Bohai Sea.
  • The city is located 300 km from Beijing and is home to several resorts and other tourist infrastructure.
  • It is famous amongst tourists who flock to the town, attracted by its pleasant scenery and balmy atmosphere.
  • It has sandy beaches, lush greenery, and winding trails.

Why it is important?

  • Several important decisions like the launch of the Great Leap Forward campaign and the 1958 shelling of the Quemoy island were taken by Mao Zedong in Beidaihe.
  • Beidaihe is also famous for its conclaves which have become a unique feature.

What are the conclaves?

In these conclaves, the current leaders of the day are joined by their predecessors, also called ?elders?. In these informal interactions, the ?elders? can freely criticize (China has strict laws on state criticism) or can offer non-binding advice to the current crop leaders. The opinion of these ?elders? is mostly taken seriously.

 

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