From Academic Kids

Deng Xiaoping (right)and Zhou Enlai (left) in Zhongnanhai.

Zhongnanhai (Template:Zh-cp) is a complex of buildings in Beijing, located west of the Forbidden City, which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China.

In an example of metonymy, Zhongnanhai is synonymous with the leaders of the People's Republic of China (as the White House refers to the U.S. President). President Hu Jintao and other top PRC leadership figures often meet foreign dignitaries inside the complex. CCTV frequently shows footage of meetings inside the compound, but limits it largely to views inside buildings.

The name means "central and southern seas", which refers to two lakes ("Central Sea" and "Southern Sea") located within the compound; it is sometimes translated as "Sea Palaces". (There is also a "Northern Sea" (Beihai), which is surrounded by Beihai Park, a popular tourist attraction.) Zhongnanhai has served as a government center since the early days of the Chinese Republic, which built many of the structures in what had been an imperial leisure garden containing a series of lakes in a walled, parklike setting. Chinese maps of Beijing show Zhongnanhai as a green area with a waterbody; the municipal government, however, is shown significantly with a red star.

Zhongnanhai is inaccessible to the general public. Its most significant entrance is the southern one at Xinhuamen (which means "Gate of New China"), surrounded by two slogans which wish long life to the "great Communist Party of China" and "invincible Mao Zedong Thought." The view behind the entrance is shielded by a wall with the slogan "Serve the People", itself in the handwriting of Mao Zedong. The Xinhuamen entrance lies just on the West Chang'an Avenue.

1989 protests

On April 18, 1989 several pro-democracy students began a sit-in outside the Zhongnanhai compound. They were highly visible to passerbyers on Chang'an Avenue. The students held signs reading "Down with Dictatorship" and "Long Live Democracy". Many of the students would later be involved in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

On April 20, Zhongnanhai guards attacked the protesting students with belts and clubs. The attack brought renewed determination to the student protesters and as news of the beating spread pro-democracy students in campuses across China rallied to "Support Beijing".zh:中南海

Zhongnanhai is also a popular brand of cigarettes in China. They are produced in four varieties: 5mg, 8mg, "Special" 8mg, and 10mg, referring to tar content. The official website refers to other varieties such as "12mg" and "Red" however they are not widely available on the Chinese market. According to the pack text, they are made with "a choice blend of the world's finest tobaccos and herb".

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