The Big Picture

China’s Red Army schools

The Yang Dezhi “Red Army” elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui country in Guizhou province was designated a “Red Army primary school” -- funded by China’s “red nobility” of revolution-era Communist commanders and their families, one of many such institutions that have been established across the country. Such schools are an extreme example of the “patriotic education” which China’s ruling Communist party promotes to boost its legitimacy -- but which critics condemn as little more than brainwashing.--By AFP/Getty Images
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Students reading in their classroom in the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui country in Guizhou province. Yang Dezhi was designated a "Red Army primary school" -- funded by China's "red nobility" of revolution-era Communist commanders and their families, one of many such institutions that have been established across the country. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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A student walked home from the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui county in Guizhou province. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students exercising at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students working in their class at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students line up for lunch in their classroom at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui country in Guizhou province. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students walking home from the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" school. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students attend the flag-raising ceremony at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui country in Guizhou province. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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A schoolyard view of the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui county in Guizhou province. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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A student doing an "eye exercise" to relax after intensive work at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui county in Guizhou province. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students gathering for the flag-raising ceremony. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students line up for lunch in their classroom. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students work in their class at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school . (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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A student at her home after returning from the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" school. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students reaching for books at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students exercising in the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students attend the flag-raising ceremony. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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Students pose in front of a blackboard at the Yang Dezhi "Red Army" elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui country in Guizhou province. Yang Dezhi was designated a "Red Army primary school" -- funded by China's "red nobility" of revolution-era Communist commanders and their families. Such schools are an extreme example of the "patriotic education" which China's ruling Communist party promotes to boost its legitimacy -- but which critics condemn as little more than brainwashing. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
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