Xidian University, with more than 30,000 students on two campuses in the ancient city of Xi’an, has a storied history. The original academy was personally established by Mao Zedong in 1931, when the Communist Party and Red Army were leading an insurgent movement to overthrow the Kuomintang government. Based in Jiangxi Province, where the Communists had their headquarters for a period, the school’s mission was to train radio operators for the military. Mao had set it up in his role as head of the party’s Central Military Commission.
One specialty then was cryptography, and the university’s website boasts that the institution has the finest cryptography program in the nation. The website lists 16 schools or departments, most of them in engineering sciences.
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