Overseas visitors can now spend their holidays in Chou En-Lai's old summer home.
They can also rent the villas and apartments once used exclusively by the top chinese leaders in the little resort town of Beidame, 300 kms (about 200 miles) east of Perking, where Mao Tse-Tung once wrote one of his most famour poems while watching the seas breaking against the shore.
The New China News Agency announced recently that the Communist Party Central Committee decided in February to open to foreigners all these top-level homes except Mao's own residence where he wrote the poem "Beidame." It is now a museum. Six hundred foreign tourists are expected this year in the area, the agency said.
Beidame was, until now, open only to Chinese leaders, a few privileged Perking foreign residents and workers on sick leave and in rest homes. The inclusion in the vacation list of Beidame, a holiday resort since 1898, is only one of several major steps to open up parts of Chine to foreign tourism.
The native town of Confucius, Qufu, in Shandong province, is now also on the tourist agenda, along with many summer homes in other regions, once the privilege of a party leadership minority. They include Dalian in the northeast, Lake Taihu at Wuxi, in the coastal province of Jiangsu, the Canton region in the south and Lushan in the Central Kuangxi Mountains, and the Huangshan Mountains in the eastern province of Anhui.
A large number of English and French-speaking interpreters have been recruited to help the foreign tourists, the New China News Agency reported.