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The Chinese Communist Youth Movement and the World Scout Movement

Updated on January 18, 2011

The Chinese Communist Youth Movement

The Communist Youth League of China also known as the China Youth League, it was founded in May 1920, and originally named as the Socialist Youth League of China. In the Great Cultural revolution, the China Youth League was subsumed or swamped in the Red Guard Movement.

The Young Pioneers of China is a mass youth organization for children, and run by the Communist Youth League. It was created on October 13, 1949. In the Great Culture Revolution, it was replaced by the Little Red Guards, who were the younger counterparts of the Red Guards.

The red scarf is one of the symbols, which is explained in the Constitution to come from the blood sacrificed by martyrs of the Revolution, and that all members should therefore wear the scarf with reverence.

In the Culture Revolutions, millions of educated urban youth, consisting of secondary school graduates and students, were mobilised and sent "up to the mountains and down to the villages", to rural villages and to frontier settlements. In these areas, they had to build up and take root, in order to be reeducated by the poor and lower-middle peasants.

These Chinese Youth Movement, both Young Pioneers of China and China Youth League, are similar to Pioneer Movements that exist or existed in many Communist countries around the world, and even can be traced back to the very source of Youth Movement in UK -- Guiding and Scouting created by Robert Baden-Powell.


While Powell, a skilful soldier known as B.-P., was defending a besieged African city, Mafeking in 1899, he noticed how willing, reliable, ad useful the young boy-cadets were. Back to England, Powell organised a camp on Brownsea Island in Dorset (1907) where a mixed group of boys tried out his ideas. The Book, Scouting for Boys, was published in 1908. Powell called a rally at Crystal Palace, London, in 1909, eleven thousand Boy Scouts came, and a few girls called themselves 'Girl Scouts.' Guiding spread from UK and abroad. In 1914 Brownies was started for younger girls, and, in 1916, Rangers, for older ones. In 1928 the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was formed to link together Guides all over the world. At that time twenty-eight different coutires becames members, and there were over 800,000 Guides. In 1920, Powell became Lord Baden-Powll of Gilwell for his outstanding contributions.

Guiding and scouting was organised under Brownie Pack, Guide Patro, and Ranger Service Unit, its members is made of:

  • Brownies Guides (7-10 years)
  • Guides (10-15 years)
  • Ranger Guides (14-19 years)
  • Guiders (17 years and over)

The Guide has its flag, badge, salute, the Left Handshake of Friendship, and most importantly the Guide Law. In UK, when one joined the Guide, he/she has to Promise:

I Promise that I will do my best:

To do my duty to God,

To serve the Queen and help other people,


To keep the Guide Law.


When I join the Young Pioneers Brigade in Primary School, I made my pledge as this:

I am a member of the Young Pioneers of China. Under the Pioneers Flag I promise that:

I love the Communist Party of China,

I love the motherland,

I love the people;

I will study well and keep myself fit,

to prepare for: contributing my effort to the cause of communism.

Our promise was quite different with the UK Scout Promise, because we don't believe in God, and the Emperor has been thrown into prison and died, we didn't have a Queen to serve with our love and strength. 

We salute like this: bending the right arm and raising the right hand directly above the head, the palm flat and facing downwards, this is quite different with the three-finger salute of Scout.

We may safe to say, Chinese youth movement is actually a part of the world youth movements, but the student surpasses his teacher, Communist youth movement outride it Capitalism rival camps.


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