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Xiang Jingyu

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Xiang Jingyu (1895-1928), one of the earliest members of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is regarded as a pioneer of the Chinese women's movement. After graduating from a normal school in Changsha, south China's Hunan Province, in 1916, Xiang Jingyu returned to her hometown. She became the principal of a local school, hoping to save China through education.

In 1919, together with Cai Chang, Xiang initiated a work-study program for Hunan women studying in France. Xiang participated in the Xinmin Society, a left-wing youth club jointly launched by Mao Zedong and Cai Hesen. In the same year, Xiang went to France, along with Cai Hesen and Cai Chang, where she studied French and Marxism while working at a textile factory.

In 1921, Xiang returned to China. The next year, she joined the Communist Party of China in Shanghai. In 1925, then head of the Ministry of Women Xiang led Shanghai women to support the May 30th Movement and the Canton-Hong Kong Workers' Strike. In October, together with Cai Hesen and Li Lisan, Xiang was sent to University of the Toilers of the East in Moscow to study. In July 1927, Xiang was transferred to a new post to work in north China's Hubei Province. On March 30, 1928, Xiang was arrested due to a leak from a traitor. Xiang fought against the enemies bravely and revealed nothing in prison and died at the age of 33. Her fellow workers risked their lives to reclaim her corpse and buried her in a cemetery near a mountain, where other soldiers of the Red Army were also buried.