Wang Huiwu was born in Qingzhen (Wuzhen), Tongxiang, Zhejiang Province, in July 1898. Her father, Wang Yanchen, was a brilliant scholar in the late Qing Dynasty. He was honest and upright in nature. He set up schools to teach apprentices so as to support his family. Later, he was hired as a Chinese teacher in the Zhicai Primary School. He had taught Mao Dun Rites.
Wang Huiwu began to receive her father's enlightenment education at the age of 6. After the Revolution of 1911, Wang Huiwu studied in Jiaxing Normal School, but eventually dropped out because of family financial difficulties. After returning home, she set up a primary school. Later, because the number of students increased and the original classroom could not be accommodated, she borrowed a palace from the neighboring Baoge Temple and set up the first girls' primary school in Tongxiang by herself. There, she began to promote new ideas and new customs. She encouraged girls to cut their braids and opposed the bad habits of child bride and foot binding.
In 1918, she joined Huzhou Hujun Women's School run by foreign churches to study English, in a work-study manner. During the period in the school, her favorite extracurricular book was New Youth magazine. She bravely wrote to Chen Duxiu, the editor-in-chief of the magazine and others, expressing her support for advocating vernacular Chinese and the ideas promoted by the magazine. Chen Duxiu replied happily: "It could not believe that our new ideas have already affect the church schools."
In 1919, Wang Huiwu went to Shanghai alone to seek ways for women's independence and liberation. After the introduction of Shanghai Federation of Learning, she went to Huangxing’s wife Xu Zonghan and was arranged to do secretarial work in Shanghai Women's Federation. Here, she met Li Da, came from Hunan, later a Marxist philosopher and one of the founders of the CPC. At that time, Li Da was a representative of the CPC Student Association in Japan. He returned to work and had working relations with Shanghai Women's Federation. Li Da's lofty beliefs and profound knowledge made Wang Huiwu very admired through many contacts. Wang Huiwu's enthusiasm for work and her pursuit of new ideas also made Li Da fall in love with her. They married in the second half of 1920 in Chen Duxiu's living room with a simple wedding.
In July 1921, before the First Congress of the CPC held in Shanghai, Wang Huiwu participated in the preparatory work for the First Congress because of the combination with Li Da. She managed all sections of the congress, such as the site selection, accommodation of the delegates and congress affairs. On the halfway to the congress, because of the interference of spies, Wang Huiwu proposed to move the congress to Jiaxing which was over 20 kilometers away from Wuzhen. Wang Huiwu rushed to Jiaxing to arrange everything in advance. First, she rented two rooms at the Yuanhu Hotel in Zhangjianong, as a resting place for the delegates, and then entrusted the hotel’s account to hire a medium-sized boat, finally ordered a table of wine and food. When delegates arrived in Jiaxing by early bus from Shanghai, Wang Huiwu welcomed at the station.
In order to ensure the safety of the congress, Wang Huiwu made thoughtful and meticulous arrangements. She asked the boat owner to pole the boat into the quiet waters, about 200 meters southeast of the Yanyu Pavilion, and let the delegates sit around the tables in the lobby of the middle cabin. She dressed up as a singsong girl and sat at the bow of the boat on watch, acting as the "sentry" of the congress. Once another cruise ship approached, she hummed a local minor and beat her fingers on the cabin door to remind delegates to pay attention.
Under Wang Huiwu's carefulness and in accordance with the pre-determined requirement of "one-day congress", it began at around 11 at noon and ended in the evening smoothly. Wang Huiwu made a contribution to the successful holding of the First Congress and the founding of the CPC.
At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Li Da pointed out that the "peak theory" violated dialectics, thus was forced to die. After done with the Gang of Four, Wang Huiwu was very happy, especially after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC was held, she was even more inspired. She was 80 years old when Li Da was rehabilitated in 1980. She provided a lot of first-hand information for the history of the CPC, of women's movement, the introduction of the site of the First Congress of the CPC and the compilation of local chronicles of her hometown. Wang Huiwu became the only insider and witness at that time just after the representatives of the First Congress of the CPC died successively.
Wang Huiwu did not join the CPC, but she always demanded herself by the standards of Party members. She made great contributions to the CPC and the women's liberation in China. On October 20, 1993, Wang Huiwu died of illness in Beijing at the age of 96.Keyword: