- The May 4th Movement and the Beginning of the New-democratic Revolution
- The Development of the National Capitalist Economy and the Formation of the Programme of the Chinese Communist Party in the Democratic Revolution
- The Evolution of the Beiyang Warlord Forces and the Rise of the National Revolutionary Movement Northen Expeditionary War and Failure of the National Revolution
- Establishment of Kuomintang Rule and the Beginning of the Soviet Revolution
- Growth and Decline of the Kuomintang Factions and Setting-up of the Soviet Areas
- The September 18th Incident and the Upsurge of the Nationwide Anti-Japanese Democratic Movement. The Kuomintang Policy of “Internal Pacification Before Resistance to Foreign Invasion”
- Fascist Rule of the Kuomintang Government. The Deepening and Expansion of the Soviet Revolution and the Long March of the Red Army
- The Birth of New-democratic Economy. Economic Changes in the Kuomintang Area
- Transition from Civil War to the of Resistance Against Japan
- The July 7th Incident and the Start of the Nationwide War of Resistance Against Japan. Three Kinds of Political Power Exist Simultaneously
- Changes in the Situation of the Anti-Japanese War from the Stage of Stalemate
- The Outbreak of the Pacific War. The Kuomintang Area and the Liberated Area in the Mid-Period of the Anti-Japanese War
- The Political Struggle in the Later Stage of the Anti-Japanese War and the Final Victory of the War
- Proposals of Political Parties Concerning National Reconstruction. The Political Consultative Conference
- The Outbreak of All-out Civil War. Radical Turn in Military and Political Situation in China
- The Downfall of the Nanjing Regime and the Founding of the Pople’s Republic of China
- Philosophy, Historiography, Natural Science and Literature
The May 4th Movement and the Beginning of the New-democratic Revolution
The May 4th Movement which broke out in 1919 was a great anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolutionary movement. It marked the beginning of the new-democratic revolution in China.
After the Beiyang (Northern) warlords replaced the rule of the Qing Dynasty, contradictions in Chinese society deepened.
Japanese imperialists seized the chance of World War I, when the European powers were too busy with wars among themselves to inter-fere in China, to quicken their pace in their attempt to occupy China. In late August of 1914, Japan declared war on Germany, and subse-quently sent troops to Shandong, China, occupied the Jiaozhou-Jinan Railway in October and Qingdao in November, and seized all the spe- cial fights that Germany had possessed in Shandong Province. In May1915, Japan compelled Yuan Shikai to recognize its “Twenty-one Demands”, a secret document attempting to destroy China, by way of ultimatum. In 1917 Japan concluded an agreement with the United States, in which the United States consented to the special fights Japan enjoyed in China. From 1917 to 1918, Japan gained further control of Chinese railways, tax revenue, mines and forest resources, and rights of army training through huge loans. In 1918 it signed the “Military Agreement of Joint Defence Against Enemies” with the Duan Qirui government and sent troops, tens of thousands strong, to occupy China ‘s northeast. During the world war period, the Japanese economic influence rapidly expanded in China. Between 1913 and 1919, the enterprises run by Japan in China increased from 36 to 178; banks, from 21 to 38 in China ‘s northeast. The intensified aggression of Japanese imperialism aggravated the crisis of the Chinese nation. In September 1918, Zhang Zongxiang, then the Chinese Minister to Ja-pan, went so far as to express “ready agreement,” in an exchange of letters on the Shandong issue between China and Japan, to Japan’s seizing of Germany’s former special rights in Shandong. After coming to power Duan Qirui, continued selling out the country’s sovereignty externally and carrying out autocratic rule internally in the name of the republic. In 1917, after warlord Zhang Xun engineered the re-storation of Xuan Tong, the Manchu boy emperor, to the throne, Duan abrogated the 1912 Constitution of the Republic, organized a parlia-ment under his control, unified the country by force and created a succession of civil wars, thus dragging China into an even darker abyss.
The May 4th Movement took place as a result of deepening con-tradictions between the Chinese people on the one hand and imperial-ism and feudal warlords on the other, and under the influence of the October Socialist Revolution in Russia and the subsequent upsurge of world revolution. Its direct fuse, however, was the failure of China in the Paris Peace Conference.
In November 1918 World War I, which had lasted for four years and three months, ended in the defeat of Germany, Austria, etc. In the following January, the victor countries held a peace conference at Paris for the purpose of drawing up a peace treaty with Germany. Par-ticipated in by more than 20 countries, the conference was actually manipulated by the United States, Britain and France. The U.S. presi-dent Woodrow Wilson, the British prime minister David Lloyd George and the French premier Georges Clemenceau were the three policy makers. China sent a five-member delegation composed of Lu Zhengxiang, foreign minister of the Beijing government, Gu Weijun, minister to the United States, Shi Zhaoji, minister to Britain, Wei Chenzu, minister to Belgium, and Wang Zhengting, representative of south China’s military government, Lu was the first delegate, but it was Wang and Gu who attended the conference regularly. Chinese delegates began by submitting an appeal to the conference of seven “hopeful conditions” and demanding the abrogation of the “Twenty-one Demands,” The seven conditions were abolition of foreign spheres of influence; withdrawal of foreign troops and policemen stationed in China; dismantling foreign post, wire and wireless tele-gram offices; annulment of consular jurisdiction; return of leased ter-ritory; removal of foreign concessions; and restoration of Chinese authority over the Customs administration. The conference’s manipu-lators refused to discuss China ‘s demands on the excuse of their being “beyond the scope of the peace conference.” Then the Chinese dele-gation brought up the Shandong issue and asked for the return of the former German leased territories in Jiaozhou Bay, the Jiaozhou-Jinan Railway and other privileges directly to China. Despite Gu Weijun and Wang Zhengting’s strong protests, China ‘s demands were again turned down, due to the pressure of international power politics. On April 30 the articles about the Shandong issue in the Paris Peace Treaty were decided by Britain, the United States and France in a meeting to which the Japanese delegates were invited and the Chinese delegates were not allowed to attend. It was laid down in the treaty that all the former German interests in Shandong were to be taken over by Japan. On May 1, the British foreign minister notified the Chinese delegation of this decision.
When World War I came to an end, the Chinese people, having long suffered from imperialist aggression and full of hopes for national independence, had hailed “the victory of truth over might” and the”14 Articles of Peace” put forward by the U.S. president Wilson. But the method of dealing with the Shandong issue at the Paris Peace Con-ference rid the Chinese people of their illusion and made them realize the need for themselves to “take direct action.” The May 4th Movement thus broke out.
Before May 4, activities for national sovereignty had been launched among people from all walks of life: The natives of Shan-dong in Beijing organized a diplomatic support society. More than100,000 people held a petition rally in Jinan expressing their determination to “fight to the death” for the restoration of Shandong sovereignty. Over 10,000 college students in Beijing pUblished an open telegram to the nation and the Chinese delegates to the Paris Peace Conference demanding “abolish the Chinese-Japanese secret treaty” and “safeguard national rights.” Personages from political circles like Xiong Xiling, Lin Changmin and Wang Daxie set up a Chinese People’s Diplomatic Association in Beijing , and published open telegrams on several occasions for restoring national sovereignty. Students’, workers’ and merchants’ organizations in Shanghai and hundreds of parliament members in Guangzhou also sent open telegrams to voice their appeal.
On May 1 Lu Zhengxiang secretly cabled the Beijing govern-ment, reporting the Chinese diplomatic failure in the Paris Peace Conference. On May 2, after Lin Changmin received confirmation of the failure from a telegram sent by Liang Qichao from Paris , he published an article entitled “A Diplomatic Warning to the Nation” in Beijing ‘s Morning News. On the same day, Cai Yuanpei told the news to repre-sentatives of Beijing University students. The failure only stimulated the Chinese to take more vigorous actions. A general meeting of the Diplomatic Association was held in the afternoon of May 3. It decided a mass rally be held on May 7 at Central Park , and cabled popular organizations in the provinces to hold similar rallies on the same day. On the evening of May 3, a mass rally of Beijing University students was held, and they decided to stage a demonstration in Tiananmen Square the following day. On the same day, students of Beijing Teachers College also held a rally and determined to take stronger action the following day.
On the afternoon of May 4, more than 3,000 students from 13 colleges and universities gathered in Tiananmen Square . Holding aloft banners, distributing leaflets and making speeches, they demanded”upholding China ‘s sovereignty,” “punishing traitors,” “abolishing the Twenty-one Demands,” “recovering Qingdao ,” “refusing to sign the Paris Peace Treaty,” and “punishing the three pro-Japanese national traitors Cao Rulin, Zhang Zhongxiang and Lu Zongyu.” They swore,”Better die in glory than live in dishonour…the land of China can be conquered, but will not be forfeited…the Chinese people can be killed but they will not bow their heads!” After the rally, students marched to the Legation Quarters at Dongjiaominxiang. When they reached the west entrance, the way was obstructed by foreign policemen and they could not pass through. The enraged students, headed by Kuang Husheng, then went straight to Cao Rulin’s house where they beat Zhang Zongxiang, who was found there, and set fire to the house. They were suppressed by the reactionary government and 32 students were arrested.
After the May 4th demonstration, college students in Beijing twice Organized general classroom strikes to protest against the suppression and to launch patriotic activities. They organized into “10- people groups,” making speeches on the streets, calling for the use of Chinese goods and the boycotting of Japanese goods, formed “protect- Shandong volunteers’ teams” and carried out military training. The Beijing government did its utmost to absolve Cao Rulin and other traitors from blame and slandered the students’ action as “transgression” and “unlawfulness.” It proclaimed that they should be punished to the extent of the “sanction of law”. On June 3 and 4 the reactionary government arrested as many as 900 students making speeches on the streets, and turned Beijing University buildings into prison houses.
The patriotic movement in Beijing rapidly swept over the whole country. Students in Tianjin , Jinan , Taiyuan , Shanghai , Wuhan , Changsha , Xi’an , Guangzhou , Nanjing , Hangzhou , Nanchang , Kai-feng, Fuzhou , Hefei , and Baoding also went oll classroom strikes and held demonstrations. Activities such as making speeches and boycotting Japanese goods were held one after another. Many cities and counties held mass rallies in support of the students. The Shanghai rally ended with the setting up of a permanent office. Shandong , apart from a mass rally attended by 100,000 people, organized a delegation composed of the provincial assembly, educational society, peasant society, press association, student federation and diplomatic discussion federation. It went to Beijing to petition to the government to refuse to sign the Peace Treaty and to punish the traitors. Thus a nationwide patriotic movement took place. The mass roundup of the Beijing students by the warlord government enraged many people in China .
After June 5, the movement entered a new stage. The struggle centre shifted from Beijing to Shanghai , where masses of workers, merchants and salesmen plunged into the movement. On June 5, Shanghai workers put down their tools to support the arrested students. Merchants, under the slogans of “students and merchants act in uni-son” and “suspension of business to save the country,” closed shops and stopped business. Over 20,000 college and middle school students had held classroom strikes before the workers’ and merchants’ actions. Shanghai thus became the first city to realize “three strikes” (of stu-dents, workers and shopkeepers). On June 6, the Shanghai Federation of All Circles was established. In a week, over 50 factories and enter-prises with some 70,000 workers in Shanghai joined in strikes. Mer-chants in other cities, like Tianjin , Jinan , Nanjing , Wuhan , Ningbo , Xiamen , Suzhou and Jiujiang followed the example of Shanghai ‘s merchants; and workers in Tangshan , Changxindian and Jiujiang also launched strikes. Plans for strikes were brewing among workers in Tianjin and on the Tianjin-Pukou Railway. Statistics showed that over150 cities in 22 provinces in China were involved in the suspension of business, factory walkouts and classroom strikes. The May 4th Movement grew from a mainly intellectual movement to a revolutionary one joined by the masses of the proletariat, petty bourgeoisie, na-tional bourgeoisie and other patriotic persons. Under the pressure of the mass movement, the Beijing government was compelled, on June10, to dismiss Cao Rulin, Zhang Zongxiang and Lu Zongyu. The Chinese delegation was not present at the meeting on June 28 in which delegates signed the Paris Peace Treaty. Thus the movement attained its two immediate objectives of punishing the traitors and refusing to sign the Peace Treaty.
The resolute and uncompromising anti-imperialist and antifeudal spirit as displayed by the Chinese people in the May 4th Movement forced the Chinese delegates of the Beijing government to refuse to sign the treaty. It was an unprecedented action in Chinese diplomatic history. In the May 4th Movement the working class held political strikes as an independent force instead of following the bourgeois and petty bourgeois classes in revolutionary struggles as they had done in the past. The new Chinese intellectuals, armed with rudimentary ideas of communism after the October Revolution, played a leading role in the movement. The movement rapidly expanded the rank of the pro-gressive intellectuals and also promoted the dissemination of Marx-ism-Leninism and its integration with the workers’ movement in China , thus preparing ideologically and nurturing the necessary cadres for the founding of the proletarian party, the Chinese Communist Party. All these illustrated that the May 4th Movement had pushed the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal bourgeois democratic revolution to a new stage the new-democratic revolution.
The May 4th Movement was at once a patriotic political move-ment and a new cultural movement. The former began from May 4 to June 28, the latter from September 1915, when Chen Duxiu published the first issue of Youth Magazine, to July 1921, when the Chinese Communist Party was founded, lasting for 5 years and 10 months. The cultural movement before the May 4th Movement had prepared ideological conditions for the breakout of the patriotic movement and, in the meantime, the rising patriotism also pushed forward the cultural movement, transforming it from a cultural movement characteristic of old democracy into one characteristic of new democracy with the dis-semination of Marxism as its main current.
The May 4th Movement gave the Chinese people a new awakening. The wave of social reform reached a new high after it. Most intellectuals worked anxiously in search of the truth for the salvation of the country and people. In such circumstances philosophic theories of the West poured into China and became widespread, and a situation in which a hundred schools of thought contended appeared in the Chi-nese ideological field. Statistics showed that one year after the May4th Movement over 400 new publications came out. There were, to name a few, “Awakening” (a supplement to Republican Daily), Weekly Review and Construction in Shanghai; Young China, Liberation and Reform, New Society, and Student Weekly of Beijing University in Beijing; Xiangjiang Review in Changsha; Awareness in Tianjin; and Zhejiang New Trends in Hangzhou. New mass organizations were set up by the hundreds. Both organizations and publications took up the tasks of popularizing new ideologies and researching the issues of reforming society, forming a wide-spread and vigorous ideological trend. The new ideological trend was then a rather complicated con- ception, including both proletarian ideology and various bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideologies. All those Western ideological trends dif-ferent from Chinese traditional feudal culture were regarded as new ideological trends. Among them the most popular and widespread were: Marxism, pragmatism, guild socialism, new village and work-study mutual help doctrines, as well as anarchism. Besides these, were cooperationism, pan-labourism, parliamentarism and the philosophies of Immanuel Kant, Ernst Mach, Henri Bergson, Friedrich Nietzsche, etc.
A number of intellectuals armed with rudimentary ideas of com-munism under the influence of the October Revolution grew up after the May 4th Movement. Their efforts made it possible to disseminate Marxism widely in China . Li Dazhao, one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party, contributed greatly to the dissemination of Marxism in China . Li Dazhao (1889-1927) came from Hebei Province . In 1918 he wrote articles such as “Comparison Between the French and Russian Revolutions” and “Victory of Bolshevism,” praising the October Revolution. In May 1919 he published a long article entitled”My Understanding of Marxism” in a special issue on Marxist study in New Youth. He was the first person to systematically introduce Marxism to China . He helped the influential, Beijing-based Morning News to open a special column (“Marxist Study”) in its supplement. He also translated Marx’s works and works about Marxism, and initiated curriculums in Beijing ‘s colleges to popularize the materialist conception of history and socialism. In March 1920 the Marxist Study Society was founded to guide young people in the study of Marxist theory. Many publications which started around the May 4th Move-ment contributed, to varying degrees, to the popularization of Marxism. The Weekly Review published an abridged translation of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, with editor’s notes that emphasized the Manifesto’s ideas on “class struggle” and “unity of workers.” New Youth developed into the main magazine to spread Marxism. Citizens translated and printed the full text of the first chapter of the Manifesto of the Communist Party. “Awakening,” a supplement to Republican Daily, Sunday Review, and Construction carried many articles on Marxism, the October Revolution and labour problems. Xiangjiang Review issued articles in praise of the October Revolution. New Society propagated the viewpoints of “direct action of the Marxists,” “thorough transformation,” etc. In August 1920 the complete Chinese edition of Manifesto of the Communist Party was published. Apart from Li Dazhao, there were Chen Duxiu, Li Da, Li Hanjun, Chert Wangdao, Mao Zedong, Cai Hesen, Yang Pao’an, Qu Qiubai and Zhou Enlai, who were all devoted propagators of Marxism and the October Revolution.
Pragmatism, which originated in the late 19th century in the United States, was introduced to China by Hu Shi (1891-1962) on the eve of the May 4th Movement. It holds that the objective world is”like an extremely docile girl,” or “a piece of marble,” which can be fashioned and embellished at one’s will; that truth is “man-made,” and it is in the service of the people as a “supposition” and a “tool”; that whether a conception can be crowned with the beautiful name of”truth” lies in whether it has “wide usage.” When dealing with a political or social issue, it advocates making certain reform and opposes social revolution. In early May 1919 when the most influential U.S. pragmatist philosopher and educator, John Dewey, came to teach in China , he further disseminated pragmatic philosophy in education, sociology and political science. In July, Hu Shi put forward the slogan”More about problems, less aboutisms,” voicing the main views of the Chinese pragmatists on the question of social reform. The propa-gation of the pragmatists played a role in opposing feudal ethical codes, but it hampered the dissemination of Marxism in China .
Guild socialism, which originated in Britain , was an ideological trend of bourgeois reformism in the early 20th century. It advocated establishing “industrial autonomy” by following the guild system’s certain spirit and method of the Middle Ages so as to eliminate exploitation and realize the labourer’s emancipation, while maintaining the existing state of affairs. It opposed proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship. After the May 4th Movement, Liang Qicha0(1873-1929), a well-known statesman and scholar, and Zhang Dongsun (1886-1973) propagated this doctrine in Liberation and Reform, a publication run by them. After the death of Yuan Shikai, Liang Qicha0 and some others, under the signboard of carrying out constitutional government, organized a Constitution Research Association, so they were also called the Research Group. In October 1920 the British bourgeois philosopher Bertrand Russell came to teach in China . He opposed Russian Bolshevism and maintained that the urgent task in China was to run industry and education, and that guild socialism was most suitable for China . Liang Qichao, Zhang Dongsun and others, taking advantage of Russell’ s lecturing tour, issued a series of articles to propagate capitalism and guild socialism. Later the Research Group opened a special column “Socialist Study” in their journal popularizing guild socialism, which they proclaimed “the most thorough theory of social reform” and the “most appropriate ‘road to freedom'” for China .
The new village doctrine was advocated by Japanese writer Mushyakoji Saneatsu, who came from a noble family, and was introduced to China by Zhou Zuoren. Mushyakoji Saneatsu cherished building up a “reasonable society” with equality for all people through the “new village.” In the winter of 1918 he set up the first new village at Hiuga in Kyushu . Zhou Zuoren went to Hiuga for an investigation and held that what Mushyakoji Saneatsu advocated was “really a practical ideal.” While propagating it, Zhou organized a ” Beijing branch of the New Village .” Many young intellectuals were influenced by the doctrine, and some of them proposed to build up a “young China ” through setting up new villages. But this was nothing but a Utopia which could never be realized. The exponents of the new village doctrine took the countryside as their base, while the work-study mutual help doctrine’s base was in the cities. Wang Guangqi, head of the executive department of Young China Society, during the May 4th Movement, was the first to advocate the organization of “work-study mutual help groups” in the cities. His advocacy won the support of many famous persons like Cai Yuanpei, Hu Shi, Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu. From late 1919 to early 1920, four such groups were organized in Beijing , including a women’s group. Later similar groups appeared in Shanghai , Tianjin , Wuhan , Nanjing , Guangzhou , and Yangzhou . The work-study mutual help doctrine was a synthesis of the then popular anarchism, the “labourers sacred” idea and the new village doctrine. Its main principles were: Everybody works and studies; from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs; and the establishment of a work-study mutual help society covering all man-kind through popularizing work-study mutual help groups. Although its advocacy and practice manifested the young intellectuals’ earnest desire to reform China , its Utopian nature decided its eventual failure. The work-study mutual help groups in Beijing and other places exist-ed only for a few months and then broke up.
Anarchism, a petty bourgeois ideological trend, was introduced to China in the early 20th century. Liu Shifu actively disseminated anarchism for several years after the 1911 Revolution, and anarchist associations such as Huiming Society and Xin Society were set up under his guidance and published their own journals, such as Huiming Records and People’s Voice. His successors included Beijing Univer-sity students Huang Lingshuang, Ou Shengbai, etc. They merged sev-eral such small groups into an Evolution Association in early 1919. From 1919 to 1920 the number of anarchist associations amounted to 50, putting out over 70 publications. The earliest Chinese anarchists played a positive part in lashing feudal politics and ethical codes. At the time of the rapid dissemination and expansion of Marxism in China , they turned to take Marxism as their main target of attack.
“Absolute freedom” is the basic viewpoint of anarchism. In politics they oppose any state and might and advocate immediate over-throw of the state. In economics they maintain “free organization” of workers and immediate implementation of the principle of giving to everyone according to his needs. Anarchism was the most widespread ideologic trend among the intellectuals during the May 4th Movement. In the beginning the Communist Party organizations in Shanghai , Beijing , and Guangzhou all had some anarchists. Not long afterwards they all withdrew because they disfavoured proletarian dictatorship and organizational discipline.
The above-mentioned ideological trends all had, then, anti-feudal significance. Struggle between Marxism and anti-Marxist ideological trends such as pragmatism, guild socialism and anarchism was inevi-table, when they co-existed and fought to disseminate, so during the two years after the May 4th Movement ideological debates were going on between Marxists, bourgeois reformists and petty bourgeois anar- chists. There were three major debates:
The first was the debate on “problems and -isms.” It was carried on mainly between Marxist Li Dazhao and pragmatist Hu Shi in the second half of 1919. Hu Shi advocated studying more problems and less -isms, and opposed the “thorough solution” of social problems. Li Dazhao argued that to study problems was inseparable from propa-gating -isms. To solve China ‘s problems required-isms as guidance. The “-ism” was Marxist scientific socialism, or Russian Bolshevism. China ‘s problems required a “thorough solution,” i.e. transformation of the economic system through class struggle.
The second debate was about socialism. It was carried on be-tween communists and members of the Research Group, such as Liang Qichao and Zhang Dongsun, from late 1920 to the first half of1921. Liang and Zhang held that the only way to save China was to rely on the “gentry and businessmen class” to develop industry and increase national strength by adopting the capitalist method. They thought that China had no labouring class, so it could not develop a socialist movement, and had also no conditions for establishing a Communist Party. Communists Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) and Li Da(1890-1966) argued that only socialism could save China and only through the “direct action of the workers and peasants” could the goal of social revolution be reached, and that it was necessary to build up communist organization to act as a guide to revolution.
The third debate was on anarchism. It was carried on between communists and anarchists headed by Ou Shengbai and Huang Ling-shuang between the second half of 1920 and 1921. In this debate the communists correctly expounded the relationship between freedom and discipline, freedom and union, and freedom and obedience. They criticized the erroneous anarchist viewpoint of negating any state with the Marxist theory of proletarian dictatorship. Through the three de-bates, more and more progressive intellectuals began to accept taking the revolutionary road of scientific socialism, thus establishing the position of Marxism in the political and ideological field.
The ideological emancipation movement after the May 4th Movement was the dissemination of Marxism and growth of the Chi-nese first-generation communists in terms of content and influence; also including the spread of various other new ideological trends, the popularization of the ideas of freedom and democracy, scientific con-cepts and methods, as well as the emergence of new-type bourgeois and petty bourgeois intellectuals. Mass organizations and groups of different trades emerged in large numbers; national assemblies were often held; movements for women’s rights were launched; proposals for reforming society and saving the country through industry, educa- tion, science, literature, constitutionalism and disarmament were put forward; and an increasing number of students were going to the West to study. Many thinkers, politicians, scientists, educators, writers, artists and scholars who afterwards made outstanding contributions had gone through the baptism of the “May 4th spirit” and been influenced by new ideological trends. Sun Yat-sen, pioneer of bourgeois democratic revolution, enlightened by the May 4th Movement, realized that integration with the masses would produce a strong force. It had a significant impact on his later ideological transformation.
However, the great achievement of the May 4th Movement was its preparation of conditions for the founding of the Chinese Commu-nist Party. The communist intellectuals who grew up after the move-ment came to realize the strength of the working class. Through their propaganda and organizational work among the workers, Marxism began to integrate with the Chinese workers’ movement. The Chinese Communist Party was just the product of this integration.
Early in 1920 Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu started to work for the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. In March of the same year, representatives of the Communist International led by Lenin came to China. They discussed the establishment of Communist organizations in China with Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu in Beijing and Shanghai. On the May the First International Labour Day that year, celebrations led by communist intellectuals were held in Beijing and Shanghai. They were important manifestations of Marxism integrating with the Chinese worker movement. Starting from the summer of 1920, early Commu-nist groups were successively set up in Shanghai , Beijing , Wuhan , Jinan , Changsha and Guangzhou , as well as among Chinese students in Japan and France.
In August 1920, China ‘s first Communist group was set up in Shanghai and Chen Duxiu was elected its secretary. The group played a leading and liaison role for the early Communist groups in other places in China. The Beijing Communist branch was set up in October1920 with Li Dazhao as secretary. It also contributed greatly to the preparatory work for the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. Li kept in close touch with Chen Duxiu and sent comrades to Jinan to help set up a Party group there. The establishment of the Wuhan bran-ch in autumn 1920 was directly helped by the Party organization in Shanghai, and was led by Dong Biwu (1886-1975), Chen Tanqiu and Bao Huiseng. In the winter of 1920, the Jinan group came into being. Activities for the founding of the Communist group in Changsha were led by Mao Zedong (1893-1976). He had exchanged opinions with Cai Hesen (1895-1931) who was then studying in France , and had made a clear explanation for the necessity of founding the Party and the Party’s guiding ideology. The New People’s Society they set up in Changsha in 1918 played an important role in the founding of the Communist organization in Hunan. The Guangzhou Communist group, set up in the autumn of 1920, included many anarchists in the begin-ning. In March 1921 they withdrew from it. Chen Duxiu and some others helped Tan Pingshan and Chen Gongbo reorganize the Guangzhou Communist group. The Chinese Students’ Communist Group in Japan was formed by Shi Cuntong and Zhou Fohai, both of whom had joined the Communist group in Shanghai during their home leave. The student Communist group in Paris was organized and set up in the spring of 1921, composed mainly of Zhang Shenfu and Zhou Enlai. Zhang went to Paris after he had joined in the Party-founding activities in China. Later he admitted many others into the group.
These early Communist groups did much work to disseminate Marxism and organized members to go deep among the workers, thus further promoting the integration of the Chinese workers’ movement with Marxism. The Shanghai Communist group took New Youth as its open theoretic publication and put out an inner-Party monthly, Com-munist Party. Marxist study societies were set up in many places, and popular publications for workers were put out, such as Labour World in Shanghai , Labourer’s Voice in Beijing , and Laboures in Guangzhou. Workers’ night schools, new-type trade unions and workers’ clubs and the Socialist Youth League were set up. The appearance of the local Communist groups and their effective work prepared for the conven-tion of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
On July 23, 1921 , the Chinese Communist Party held its First National Congress in Shanghai. Thirteen delegates attended. They were Mao Zedong, He Shuheng, Dong Biwu, Chen Tanqiu, Wang Jinmei, Deng Enming, Li Da, Li Hanjun, Zhang Guotao, Liu Renjing, Chen Gongbo, Zhou Fohai, and Bao Huiseng, representing over 50 Communists in China. Two representatives from the Communist In-ternational also attended. The chief founders of the Party, Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, were both absent because of a crowded work schedule. In the middle of the congress it was raided by French policemen, so the last session of the congress was held on a painted pleasure boat in the Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing County , Zhejiang Province.
The congress adopted the first Party constitution and resolution. The constitution stipulated that the Party was named the Chinese Communist Party and its aim was to overthrow the capitalist regime by a proletarian revolutionary army; to adopt proletarian dictatorship; to abolish capitalist private ownership and to attain the final goal of eliminating classes. The resolution announced the Party’s central task:get the workers organized. The composed of Chen Duxiu, Zhang as the secretary. congress elected a Central Bureau Guotao and Li Da, with Chen Duxiu, Zhang Guotao and Li Da, with Chen Duxiu as the secretary.
The founding of the Chinese Communist Party was an epoch-making event in Chinese history. Thereafter, the Chinese revolution had a new leading centre and underwent a basic change. After the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party, it plunged into the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people with its characteristic proletarian spirit.
The Development of the National Capitalist Economy and the Formation of the Programme of the Chinese Communist Party in the Democratic Revolution
During World War I, the imperialist countries, with the exception of Japan, temporarily relaxed their aggression in China . This provided conditions for the development of China ‘s national capitalism. For a period after the conclusion of the war national industry not only continued to advance but at a pace faster than during the war period. The reasons were as follows: Firstly, the European imperialist countries, exhausted shortly after the war, were occupied by working to restore their economies, thus affording favourable conditions for China ‘s national industry to grow. Secondly, during the war period Chinese national capitalists increased their capital, which could be invested in building up new factories for several years after the war. Thirdly, before and after the May 4th Movement, two campaigns of boycotting Japanese goods had affected the import of Japanese goods, thus bene-fiting the development of national industry. Fourthly, the world war and the May 4th Movement stimulated the Chinese national capitalists and intensified their desire to develop industries. These reasons provided a “golden time” for developing Chinese national industry during the war period and several years after it.
The most important sector of national capital was the cotton tex-tile industry. Between 1920 and 1922 an upsurge of factory building took place; production capacity made great headway. Before 1910 there were a total of 21 cotton mills with investments by national capital. From 1910 to 1919, 13 new cotton mills were added. But from1920 to 1922 the mills increased by 32, close to the total number of cotton mills built up in the previous decades. The number of spindles in Chinese-owned cotton mills was over 650,000 in 1919, an increase of 20 percent compared with 1914; in 1922 it rose to over 1,500,000, an increase of 129 percent compared with 1919. In 1919 the number of looms was 2,650, an increase of 15 percent compared with 1914 and in 1922 it jumped to 6,767, an increase of 155 percent compared with 1919.
The flour industry, another important field of national capital, also developed conspicuously. There were 61 flour mills before 1913 and 53 new flour mills were set up from 1914 to 1918, 39 of which had a total capital of 9.53 million yuan. Forty-seven mills were added between 1919 and 1922; the total amount of capital in 34 factories was 15.19 million yuan, a big increase in the total amount of investment.
Shanghai, the largest industrial city in China, had a total of 78 cotton, raw silk, flour and tobacco mills in 1914. The number in-creased to 102 in 1919 and 120 in 1922.
China ‘s largest national capitalists, the Rong brothers, rapidly expanded their industries in the few years after World War I. The Rong family started to invest in the flour industry in 1902 and owned nine flour mills of the Maoxin and Fuxin systems, and 128 flour grinders in 1918. They increased by three flour mills in 1919. The grinders increased to 301 in 1921 with a daily production capacity of76, 000 sacks, making up 31 percent of the whole productive capacity of the country’s national capitalist flour mills. The family began in-vesting in the textile industry in 1907, initiated Shenxin Cotton Mill in1916 and added Shenxin Nos. 2, 3 and 4 mills from 1919 to 1921, The spindles they owned increased from more than 12,900 in 1918 to over 134, 900 in 1922, increasing about 11 times.
During the years before and after World War I, a number of out-standing national capitalists appeared. The Rong brothers stood out in their engagement in the flour and textile industries in Shanghai, Wuxi and other places. They were known as “flour bigshots.” In the textile industry they possessed the largest ammount of capital and the bigest productive capacity. By 1923 the Rong family owned a total capital of more than 10 million yuan. Liu Hongsheng, from Zhejiang Province, started the Hongsheng Match Factory and the Dazhonghua Match Company in Shanghai, their output constituting a quarter of the coun-try’s total. Their matches outshone those from Sweden and Japan on the home markets, so they were honoured as “matches bigshots.” Fan Xudong, from Hunan, started to run the Jiuda Salt Industrial Corpora-tion in 1914 in Dagukou and then opened the Yongli Soda Factory in Tanggu after the world war. After several years’ effort the factory began to turn out sodas, and crushed the monopoly of the British Brunner Mond& Co. Ltd on the home market. He also initiated the Huanghai Chemical Industry Research Society to do scientific re- search. Jian Zhaonan and his brother Jian Yujie from Guangdong set up the Nanyang Brothers Tobacco Company in the late Qing Dynasty and moved its head-office from Hong Kong to Shanghai after the world war. Its capital increased from 100,000 to 15 million yuan and its products were sold throughout the country and on the Southeast Asian markets. Nie Yuntai from Hunan initiated the Dazhonghua Tex-tile Mill in Shanghai in 1919, and owned 45,000 spindles and nearly 3 million taels of silvers’ worth of share money. He was once the presi-dent of the Huashang Cotton Mill Federation and the Shanghai Gener-al Chamber of Commerce. Guo Le and his brother Guo Shun from Guangdong did business first inAustralia, and later transferred their capital back to China . They started Yongan Department Store first in Hong Kong, then in Shanghai, and opened Yongan Cotton Mill in Shanghai in 1921. Their capital in the national textile industry was second only to the Rong family. Mu Ouchu, from Shanghai, was founder of Deda, Housheng and Yufeng Cotton mills and Shanghai Huashang Yarn and Cloth Trading Company, and owned more than100, 000 spindles. All these capitalists were national industrialists who hoped to save China through industry. They managed to adopt the then up-to-date administrative methods, and made great contributions to the development of China ‘s national industry and commerce.
Although making some headway, the national industry also faced a mountain of difficulties and obstacles, chiefly from imperialists. During the years when the building of textile mills reached their cli-max, the Japanese-owned textile mills and spindles increased much more rapidly than Chinese mills. Between 1918 and 1922 the spindles in the Chinese textile mills increased by 132 percent, while those of Japanese-owned mills increased by 158 percent. Imperialists also controlled Chinese heavy industry, finance and banking. In 1922, 78 percent of the total volume of the Chinese raw coal machinery ex-ploitation and 52 percent of the total raw coal exploitation, as well as nearly 100 percent of the iron ore and pig iron output were under the control of the imperialists. They also controlled over 90 percent of China ‘s railway transport. From 1921 to 1922 China ‘s imported ma-chinery, 60 percent of it textile machinery, was worth 50 million hai-kuan taels (the customs scale for silver). Although it illustrated the development of China ‘s textile industry, it was also a serious blow to China ‘s machine-building industry. Imperialist-owned banks rose from 21 before 1914 to 65 in 1930, not including many branches and offices. In a word, they controlled China ‘s economic lifeline. The Washington Conference held from November 1921 to February 1922 ended Japan’s monopoly in China and reaffirmed the United States’ “open-door policy” and “equal opportunities” in China for all powers. Henceforth the imperialists further intensified their economic aggres-sion against China . Take the textile industry again as an example: Between 1922 and 1925 the spindles and looms of Chinese-owned mills rose by 23 percent and 64 percent respectively while those of foreign mills rose by 67 and 65 percent respectively. By 1925 the number of spindles and looms in foreign-owned mills made up 44 and46 percent respectively of the whole number of spindles and looms in China ‘s textile mills. Relying on capital superiority and the protection of the unequal treaties, foreign businessmen manipulated the cotton and yam markets. They rushed to purchase raw materials or dumped their products, thus creating a situation of “expensive cotton and cheap yam in China,” inflicting a fatal blow on the national textile industry.
Since 1923 Chinese national industry had developed to a certain level, but faced a lot of difficulties because of the imperialists’ oppression, the destruction caused by the warlords’ wars, and the pressure of exorbitant taxes and levies as well as poor agricultural production and transportation. As a result of running at a loss, quite a number of fac-tories were reorganized, stopped production, went bankrupt or were annexed by foreign capital. Between 1923 and 1931, 25 new textile mills were set up by the national capitalists, but the mills which had been reorganized, rented, taken over by creditors or closed down were more than double that number. Several large machinery factories in Shanghai went bankrupt or kept going with difficulties. The Shanghai Qiuxin Machinery Works, the largest machinery factory in China , which had once tumed out 3,500-ton ships, was annexed by French capital in 1919 because of the rising price of iron and steel and for lack of ability to cope with losses of capital. The Daxiao Machinery Works stopped production in 1926. The Zhongguo Ironworks Factory, which went into operation in 1922, collapsed in 1927 due to losses of capital for several years in succession. The Dalong Machinery Factory, the only one that tried hard to keep going, faced severe trouble with unsalable goods. Facts; showed that in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, it was impossible for national capitalist economy to get along smoothly.
The development of national industry further strengthened the national bourgeoisie and working class. Becoming active in political activities, and discontented with the unequal treatment and the politi-cal darkness under the warlord rule, the national bourgeoisie began to lodge their protests. Nevertheless, they could not sever their link with the imperialists and disagreed to reforming the extant society through revolutionary violence. They merely hoped to stop the warlord wars, improve domestic politics, and create favourable conditions for ex-panding the national capitalist economy. Owing to their mounting dissatisfaction with the domestic political situation, various reformist ideological trends emerged in Chinese society during the early 1920s. The following were representative trends:
Hu Shi and Cai Yuanpei printed an article entitled “Our Political Views” which put forward the “good government” doctrine. They thought that “the outstanding people in society” were “good people.” If they came out to fight against evil forces and organized a “good government … it would be a good start for China ‘s political reform.” Meantime, in order to maintain and expand their own forces, local warlords and politicians then made a big cry for “provincial auton-omy” and “confederation of autonomous provinces.” Some bourgeois representatives also actively popularized this view or directly joined in the “local autonomy” activities. They attributed the chaotic political situation to the central government’s power being too high, thus causing the scramble for power. They proposed to weaken the central power and to grant more power to the local governments, and through “provincial autonomy” or “confederation of autonomous provinces” to reduce the central government to a position of “only existing in name” and turn China into a “federation.” As a result nobody would compete for the central power and put an end to the warlord strife.
Another proposal was for “drawing up a constitution to save the country.” The only way, the proponents said, would be to frame a con-stitution, so as to “eradicate the source of chaos and consolidate the foundation of the state.” Dongfang magazine issued two special issues on “Constitutional Study” in 1922, which widely propagated this pro- posal.
Still another proposal was to “abolish military governors, cut down on soldiers, and turn them into workers.” More than 20 mass organizations in Shanghai such as the Shanghai-based China National Industrial and Commercial Association and the China National Goods Maintenance Association, jointly issued a declaration to this effect. Many places held meetings for the same demand and many people wrote down concrete proposals. Sun Yat-sen had also advocated cut-ting down on soldiers and turning them into workers. However these proposals were no way to save China , nor a thorough way to solve the basic issue of overthrowing the imperialist and feudal rule in China .
The growth of the Chinese working class and its fighting strength was beyond compare with the national bourgeoisie. Since it had ac-cepted Marxism and organized its own Party, the working class had appeared on the political stage as an active force. In order to gain political rights and improve their lot, the working class led by the Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide strike from January1922 to February 1923. During the 13 months, over 100 strikes broke out involving 300,000 workers in China ‘s big cities. The strike upsur-ge began with the Hong Kong Seamen’s Strike asking for a wage in-crease in January 1922. In March a general strike of workers of all trades was held involving some 100,000 workers. It came to a victori- ous end with the British authorities in Hong Kong agreeing to a wage increase of 15 to 30 percent, and the recovery of the closed trade unions.
In May 1922 the Communist Party, through the Chinese Trade Union Secretariat which engaged in open workers’ movements, spon-sored the First National Labour Congress. It was attended by delegates from more than 100 trade unions in 12 cities and led by the Kuomin-tang, the Communist Party, the anarchists and other political organi- zations. The congress adopted the slogans raised by the Communist Party: “Down with imperialism” and “down with warlords,” passed a resolution on support for the strikes and another on making the Chine-se Trade Union Secretariat the national liaison centre pending the establishment of an All-China Federation of Trade Unions. This showed that the working class had taken on the road of national soli- darity against imperialism and warlords. During the two months of July and August, the Chinese Trade Union Secretariat led the move-ment for labour legislation and proposed a 19-article Outline Labour Law. This marked the beginning of the legislative activities for pro-tecting the political rights and economic benefits of the working class in Chinese history. In mid-September a strike of the miners at Anyuan Colliery in Jiangxi took place with over 17,000 workers involved. The strike ended victoriously with an increase in workers’ wages and rec-ognition of the lawful rights of the workers’ club by the mining authorities. In late October a big strike of over 50,000 Kailuan coal miners followed the Anyuan strike, but it was suppressed by the Bri-tish capitalists and Chinese reactionary authorities. On February 4,1923 , the Beijing-Hankou Railway workers inaugurated a general strike. It was occasioned by the warlord sabotage of the Beijing- Hankou Railway Trade Union. On February 7, warlord Wu Peifu or-dered his troops to slaughter the strikers. This incident came to be known as the “February 7th Massacre.” Henceforth the workers movement sunk from a high tide to a temporary low ebb. The upsurge of the strikes, lasting for a year, demonstrated the strength of the Chi-nese working class and raised the political prestige of the Communist Party in the country. It also further disclosed the ruthlessness of impe-rialists and Chinese warlords.
During the period when the workers’ movement was running high, the bourgeois reformist trend also became popular. In July 1922, the Chinese Communist Party held its Second National Congress in Shanghai , attended by Chen Duxiu, Zhang Guotao, Cai Hesen, Deng Zhongxia and eight other delegates. It worked out the Party’s pro-gramme of democratic revolution.
The imperialist aggression and feudal oppression were the root cause of China’s poor and backward economy and the constant political strife since the Opium War in 1840. Nevertheless, before the birth of the Chinese Communist Party, revolutionaries and reformers of all classes had been unable to make a scientific analysis and to put forward a clear-cut antiimperialist and anti-feudal revolutionary pro-gramme. Only one year after its founding, the Chinese Communist Party, assisted by the Communist International, completed this task. The Second National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, in accordance with Lenin’s theory on national and colonial revolutions, analysed Chinese society and the Chinese revolution and pointed out that after 80 years’ aggression by imperialist powers, “China had practically become their colony.” Both China ‘s economy and politics were manipulated by the imperialists, and in the meantime China ‘s economy remained based on a semi-primitive household agriculture and handicraft industry. As China was still under the feudal oppres-sion of warlords and bureaucrats politically, it was still a far cry from the period of industrial capitalism. “The greatest oppression that the bourgeoisie, workers and peasants suffered was that imposed by the imperialists, warlord and democratic revolutionary the bureaucrat feudal movement against the forces, therefore the two forces was very significant.” It was the earliest scientific analysis about the character of the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and the democratic revolu-tion in China . The congress pointed out that the struggle of the Chine- se proletariat should be divided into two steps. The first step was to support and join the bourgeois democratic revolution; the second was to carry out a revolution against the bourgeois class. With this recognition, the congress designated the maximum and minimum programmes of the Communist Party. The maximum programme, namely, the final goal of struggle, was to organize the proletariat and build up the politics of worker-peasant dictatorship by means of class struggle, and to get rid of private property ownership and gradually develop a communist society. The minimum programme, or the immediate goal of the democratic revolution, was to depose the warlords, ensure do-mestic peace, overthrow the international imperialist oppression, attain the complete independence of the Chinese national and set up a “genuine democratic republic.” To accomplish the tasks of the anti- imperialist and anti-feudal democratic revolution, the congress passed the decision to form a “democratic united front” with the Kuomintang and other democratic forces.
The democratic revolutionary programme of the Chinese Com-munist Party disclosed the basic contradiction of Chinese society and the objective law of Chinese revolution, and pointed out the direction of the struggle. The mapping out of the programme was an important step in the integration of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of Chinese revolution. After its Second Congress, the Communist Party made a widespread popularization of the democratic revolutionary programme, issued the Guide Weekly criticizing the then-popular re-formist ideas, and put forward “national revolution” as the general political slogan, which had been used in the early period of the China Revolutionary League (Tong Meng Hui). Henceforth “national revolution” became the banner in the common struggle of the Kuomintang, the Chinese Communist Party and the revolutionary classes. The people throughout China were rapidly mobilized under the militant call for the overthrow of imperialists and warlords.
The Evolution of the Beiyang Warlord Forces and the Rise of the National Revolutionary Movement
Northen Expeditionary War and Failure of the National Revolution
After the May 4th Movement China continued to. be ruled by the Beiyang warlords. There was constant strife among them. In July 1920, the war between the warlords of the Zhili (Hebei ) and Anhui cliques broke out. At that time, the warlords of the Anhui clique headed by Duan Qirui (1865-1936) had seized control of Beijing ‘s central gov-ernment for four years. During the May 4th Movement the Anhui clique had become the target of public attack, as its reactionary nature had been laid bare through its selling out China and suppressing the people. The Zhili clique warlords backed by the British and American imperialists intensified their scheme of overthrowing the Anhui clique. Wu Peifu (1874-1939), commander of the Third Division and strong man of the Hebei clique, even published an open telegram to oppose the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty and support the student move-ment for the purpose of winning the hearts of the people. After the death of Feng Guozhang in December, 1919, Cat Kun (1862-1938) became the leader of the Zhili clique. In April 1920, Cat Kun and some other warlords formed an anti-Anhui alliance of eight provinces ( Hebei , Anhui , Jiangxi , Hubei , Henan , Liaoning , Jilin and Heilong-jiang). In July, the war between the Zhili and Anhui warlords broke out in places around Gaobeidian and Yangcun along the Beijing-Hankou and Beijing-Tianjin railway lines. After several days of battle the Zhili clique, supported by the Fengtian ( Liaoning ) clique, came out victorious. Then Duan Qirui resigned, and the Zhili and Fengtian cliques came into joint control of the Beijing government.
After defeating the Anhui clique, the tensions between the Zhili and Fengtian cliques, each with its own imperialist backing, became acute. In late 1920 Zhang Zuolin (1875-1928), a Fengtian clique war-lord, entered Beijing and overthrew the pro-Zhili cabinet, and made the pro-Japanese Liang Shiyi responsible for the formation of a new cabinet. Wu Peifu took advantage of the situation to order his troops to attack Liang, and forced him to leave office. In late April of 1922 their conflict culminated in the Zhili-Fengtian War. After a week of fierce battle along the Beijing-Hankou and Tianjin-Pukou railway lines, the Fengtian clique was defeated and its troops retreated to the north side of the Shanhaiguan Pass. The Zhili clique thus took complete control of the Beijing government. To make a pretence of lawfulness, Cao Kun and Wu Peifu began with the swindle of “restoration of the le-gally constituted authority ” by reopening the old parliament that had existed in 1917, and restoring the old presidential post to Li Yuanhong. When they thought their rule was stabilized, they drove Li out of of-rice. In October 1923, Cao Kun was elected as President of the Re- public of China through bribery.
Cao Kun’s election and Wu Peifu’s policy of unifying China by armed force and excluding outsiders met with nationwide opposition. Zhang Zuolin, Sun Yat-sen and Lu Yongxiang, governor of Zhejiang of the Anhui clique, formed an anti-Zhili triangular alliance. Wu Peifu schemed to ask Sun Chuanfang, military governor of Fujian , in coor-dination with Guangdong worlord Chen Jiongming, to attack the Guangdong revolutionary government and to defeat Lu Yongxiang with the help of the Jiangsu military governor Qi Xieyuan. Wu himself prepared for war against Zhang Zuolin. In early September 1924, the Jiangsu-Zhejiang wax” between Qi Xieyuan and Lu Yongxiang broke out first. It ended in the defeat of Lu after over one month of fighting. In mid-September when Qi and Lu were locked in battle, the second Zhili-Fengtian war broke out. While the troops of the two sides were fighting desperately in Chaoyang and Shanhaiguan, Feng Yuxiang (1882-1948), the Zhili general who had been sent to command the battle in Rehe, changed sides in the war and staged a Beijing coup d’6tat. On the night of October 22, Feng Yuxiang’s troops returned to Beijing , encircled the president’s residence and put Cao Kun in cus-tody. Feng reorganized his troops into the National Army of the Re-public of China and broke away from the Zhili warlord clique. In early November and National Army drove the last Qing Dynasty emperor Pu Yi out of the Imperial Palace . As a result of Feng’s changing sides, the Zhili troops were defeated by the Fengtian troops. Wu Peifu es-caped to south China aboard a warship.
After the Beijing coup d’dtat, the political situation in the north underwent a big change. The influence of the Zhili clique in the north was eradicated; the National Army controlled Beijing ; large numbers of Fengtian troops entered the Shanhaiguan Pass , occupied Tianjin and went south along the Tianjin-Pukou Railway line; the tension between Feng Yuxiang and Zhang Zuolin sharpened; Duan Qirui wanted to stage a comeback and regain political power. In face of the complicated political and military situation, Feng Yuxiang cabled an invitation to Sun Yat-sen to come to the north to exchange views on the current affairs. In the meantime, he held a meeting with Zhang Zuolin and Duan Qirui and supported Duan temporarily presiding over the government of the Republic. Although the Beijing coup d’6tat had overthrown the rule of the Zhili clique, the Beijing govern-ment was still in the hands of warlord bureaucrats. Nevertheless it created a situation favourable for revolution.
After receiving Feng’s cabled invitation, Sun Yat-sen issued a”Declaration on the Current Political Situation,” in which he proposed convening a national assembly to solve the problems. Duan Qirui insisted on holding an “aftermath conference” with the aim of main-taining warlord rule in opposition to the rising national assembly movement. In April 1925, Duan Qirui’s government signed an agree-ment with France , in which it recognized the “gold Franc case” that had been debated for several years and agreed to pay indemnity to France in “gold Francs” for the events of 1901. This made China pay 62 million more taels of Customs silver. In March 1926 Duan Qirui directed the “March 18 Massacre,” ruthlessly suppressing the anti-imperialist and anti-warlord struggle of the people. Duan Qirui’s gov-ernment’s domestic and foreign policies met with the opposition of the whole nation.
Wu Peifu, who had escaped to the south after defeat in the second Zhili-Fengtian war, gained control of Hubei in 1925. In October he declared the founding of the 14-province united army with its head-quarters in Hankou. In the meantime the Zhili clique general Sun Chuanfang (1885-1935) developed a coterie of his own and expanded it. In the name of the commander-in-chief of the Zhejiang-Fujian-Jiangsu-Anhui-Jiangxi United Army, he issued a circular telegram denouncing the Fengtian clique. Through war and by making use of the nationwide anti-Fengtian situation after the May 30th Movement, he captured Shanghai and drove the Fengtian forces out of Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, thus becoming the ruler of the five provinces.
In November 1925 an incident known as “Guo Songling’s Mu-tiny” broke out within the Fengtian clique. Guo was a powerful gener-al in the Fengtian armed forces. Because he disagreed with certain measures taken by Zhang Zuolin and was depressed by the factional strifes within the Fengtian clique, he signed a secret agreement with Feng Yuxiang and others, and determined to turn his coat and over-throw Zhang Zuolin. In late November Guo led an army from Luan-zhou in Hebei and fought his way to Xinmin, some 50 kilometres from Shenyang . Due to intervention by Japanese troops, he was de-feated and killed. This mutiny formed a component part of the na-tionwide anti-Fengtian struggle, dealing the Fengtian warlords a heavy blow.
Guo’s mutiny caused a new change in the relations between Feng Yuxiang, Zhang Zuolin and Wu Peifu. After Guo Songlin’s mutiny began, Feng’s National Army occupied Rehe, and then Tianjin under the guise of leaving Shanhaiguan Pass to support Guo. Li Jinglin’s Fengtian troops stationed in Zhili retreated to Shandong , joined forces with Zhang Zongchang in Shandong , and formed a Zhili-Shandong United Army. Wu Peifu “reconciled” with Zhang Zuolin and the two determined jointly to attack Feng Yuxiang. In the spring of 1926, a joint force composed of Fengtian troops, Zhili-Shandong United Army and Zhili troops was formed to attack the National Army. Feng Yuxiang retired from his post, handing his troops and area to his sub-ordinates and preparing for an investigation of the Soviet Union . In March Fengtian troops occupied Luanzhou and Tangshan , while the Zhili-Shandong United Army occupied Tianjin and Fengtai. In April the Fengtian army occupied Rehe, while the National Army stationed in Beijing overthrew Duan Qirui’s govemment and then retreated to Nankou. The United Army entered Beijing .
While the Beiyang warlords’ internecine strife brought about chaos in China , the national revolutionary movement in the south was gaining momentum. The national revolutionary movement started with the First National Congress of the Kuomintang and the formal establishment of Communist-Kuomintang cooperation.
After the Revolution of 1911, Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) had in-sisted on the standpoint of democratic revolution and struggled per-sistently to set up a genuine democratic republic. Not finding a correct revolutionary road, he adopted the measure of using the warlords’ mutual strife and cherished the idea of seeking foreigners’ help. His struggles all ended in failure. Two revolutions launched by Sun in 1913 were suppressed by Yuan Shikai. The campaign of protecting the constitution miscarried in 1917 because of the southwest warlords’disruption. In November 1920 Sun Yat-sen returned to Guangzhou , reorganized the military government, and launched the second protect-the-constitution campaign. In April 1921 he assumed the post of Pro-visional President of the Republic. While Sun was preparing for the Northern Expedition, Chen Jiongming, the governor of Guangdong Province and commander-in-chief of the Guangdong Army, who had been groomed by Sun, betrayed him. Chen Jiongming (1878-1933) staged a mutiny in June 1922, and surrounded and attacked the presi-dent’s house in an attempt to get rid of Sun. Sun Yat-sen was com-pelled to move to a gunboat where he kept on struggling for over 50 days. Arriving at Shanghai in August and greatly worried, he came to understand that the realization of the Three People’s Principles could not “solely rely on the soldiers’ struggle,” and that he should rely on the strength of the party. But what condition was the party in? After his Chinese Revolutionary Party Kuomintang in October 1919, the Kuomintang October 1919, the party did not achieve regeneration. Its members were complicated and its discipline was lax. The party badly needed consolidation and reorganization.
The Communist International and Soviet Russian Government led by Lenin had supported the oppressed nations in their struggle for emancipation and upheld the coordination of the proletariat and the bourgeois democrats in the colonial and backward countries into a revolutionary union. The Communist International sent delegates to hold talks with Sun Yat-sen on several occasions and suggested that he should have more connections with Soviet Russia and cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party. Helped by the Communist International, the Chinese Communist Party at its Second National Congress of July 1922 passed a resolution on the establishment of a democratic united front. It convened a meeting in Hangzhou in August, 1922, at which it was decided that Communist Party members join the Kuomintang as individuals and realize cooperation between the two parties. Sun Yat-sen rapidly accepted the suggestion of the Communist International and the Chinese Communist Party, and agreed to admit the Commu-nists to the Kuomintang while they maintained their Communist membership.
In September 1922 Sun Yat-sen started reorganizing the Kuo-mintang. In January 1923 Sun Yat-sen and the Soviet representative, Adolph Joffe, issued a joint statement, in which Joffe expressed Rus-sia’s earnest desire to support the revolutionary cause of the Chinese people. In June 1923 the Communist Party at its Third National Con- gress formally passed the resolution establishing cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang. It decided that its Party members join the Kuomintang and make efforts to enlarge the Kuomintang organization throughout China . In August of the same year Sun Yat-sen the “Dr. Sun Yat-sen Delegation,” headed by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) and joined by Communists, to the Soviet Union for an investigation on military and party affairs. In October, Soviet representative, Michael Borodin, arrived in Guangzhou and was ap-pointed by Sun Yat-sen as organization adviser. At the end of 1923 Li Dazhao, leader of the Communist Party, was invited to go to Guang-dong to assist Sun in preparation for the convention of the First Na-tional Congress of the Kuomintang.
The First National Congress of the Kuornintang was held in Guangzhou in January 1924. Sun Yat-sen chaired the congress in the capacity of the Party’s director-general and designated Hu Hanmin, Wang Jingwei, Lin Sen, Xie Chi and Li Dazhao to form a presidium. There were a total of 165 delegates, among whom were Liao Zhong-kai, Tan Yankai, Dai Jitao, Sun Ke (Sun Fo) and other Kuomintang members, and Communists Li Dazhao, Mao Zedong, Lin Boqu, and Tan Pingshan, who were also members of the Kuomintang. The con-gress adopted the manisfesto laid down jointly by Communist and Kuomintang members. It confirmed the Three Cardinal Policies worked out by Sun Yat-sen: “alliance with Soviet Russia, cooperation with the Communist Party and assistance to the peasants and workers”; agreed to absorb individual Communists into the Kuomintang, and organized the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, composed also of Communists. This congress marked the formal establishment of cooperation between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang.
The manifesto passed in the congress reinterpreted the Three People’s Principles. The New Principle of Nationalism advocated ” self-emancipation of the Chinese nation,” “freedom from imperialist aggression” and “full equality for all the ethnic groups within China .” The Principle of Democracy now stipulated that “democratic rights should be shared by the common people, instead of the monopoly of a few people,” and those who were loyal agents of imperialists and warlords should not enjoy freedom and rights. The Principle of Peo-ple’s Livelihood was reinterpreted as follows: Firstly, equalization of landownership–preventing a small group of people from manipulat-ing landownership, and the state giving land to landless peasants to till; secondly, the regulation of capital and turning over to state adminis- tration large enterprises or those of monopolistic nature so as to pre- vent private capital from manipulating people’s livelihood. As the political principles of the Three People’s Principles after reinterpreta-tion were largely identical with the political programme of the Com-munist Party in its democratic revolutionary stage, they thus became the political basis of cooperpation between the two parties and also between the revoluionary classes. Following the constitution of the Kuomintang, Sun Yat-sen, as the director-general, acted as President of the National Congress and Chairman of the Central Executive Committee without another election. The director-general had the power to “‘make a reconsideration” of the decision of the National Congress and to “make the final decision” on the resolutions of the Central Executive Committee. From the congress period to August of the same year, Sun Yat-sen made many speeches about the Three Peo-ple’s Principles for which he had fought for many years, and finally completed the theoretic system of these principles,
In May 1924 the Kuomintang established the Huangpu (Wham-poa) Military Academy near Guangzhou (renamed the Central Mili -tary and Political Academy in the spring of 1926). It was a school training military cadets, set up jointly with the Communist Party, with Chiang Kai-shek as commandant, Liao Zhongkai (1877-1925) as party representative, and Communist Zhou Znlai (1898-1976) also holding a leading post in the academy.
After the establishment of the cooperation between the two par-ties, a national revolutionary movement including the majority of the people of China ‘s various ethnic groups rapidly gained momentum. The worker-peasant movement, patriotic anti-imperialist movement, anti-warlord and democratic movements as well as the fight to unite the Guangdong revolutionary base areas all forged ahead, giving im- petus to one another.
In July 1924, the workers in the British concession of Shamian in Guangzhou staged a big strike against the new police regulations laid down by the British and French imperialists, which requested the Chi-nese to produce their identification cards on entering or leaving the district. The strike lasted for over a month and eventually gained vic-tory. That was a beginning of a new upsurge of the worker movement after the February 7th Massacre. In the same month, Communists such as Peng Pai started a peasant movement institute. In two years they ran six terms and trained over 800 peasant movement leading cadres. The sixth term, the largest in scale, was presided over by Mao Zedong. On the first of May, 1925 , the first provincial peasant association in China was set up in Guangdong Province . From the winter of 1925 to1927 Wei Baqun (Zhuang ethnic group) ran three terms of a peasant movement institute in Donglan, Gaungxi Province , training several hundred cadres for the peasant movement.
In May 1924 the “Agreement of General Principles for the Set-tlement of Outstanding Questions Between the Republic of China and the U.S.S.R.” was signed in Beijing . In it the Soviet side promised to relinquish all tsarist Russian privileges in China . This was the first equal agreement that China had signed with a foreign country since the Opium War in 1840. Consequently, mass movements to abrogate unequal treaties were launched throughout China . After the Beijing coup d’6tat, Sun Yat-sen, invited by Feng Yuxiang, left Guangdong for the north in November 1924. Before that time, in July 1923, the Communist Party had called for the convening of a national assembly to solve political problems. Along with Sun Yat-sen’s arrival in the north, a nationwide movement to convene a national assembly arose in China . Although the movement failed to get a direct result, it was the earliest people’s democratic movement during the new-democratic revolutionary period. It widely propagated democratic ideas through the combination of leadership and the masses.
On March 12, 1925 , Sun Yat-sen, the great predecessor of the Chinese revolution, died in Beijing . Sun Yat,sen had made great con-tributions to the founding of the Republic of China and the establish-ment of the first cooperation between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang. His death was mourned by people throughout the coun-try and an extensive campaign to propagate the Three People’s Princi-ples was launched.
The May 30 Movement of 1925 marked the beginning of the high tide of the National Revolution. In January 1925, the Chinese Communist Party called the Fourth National Congress, in which the leadership of the proletarian class over the democratic revolution was raised and resolutions to develop the revolution were worked out, thus preparing for the oncoming revolutionary upsurge. In February, work-ers in a Japanese-owned cotton mill held a big strike to maintain their work and political rights. On May 15, a Japanese factory guard opened fire on the strikers, killing a worker named Gu Zhenghong and wounding a dozen others. The Gu Zhenghong Incident lit the fuse of the May 30th Movement. After the incident, while students in Shang- hai were raising funds for the workers’ families and holding a memo- rial service in honour of Gu Zhenghong, several students were ar-rested. The imperialists fixed the date of their trial on a charge of”disturbing public order.” In the meantime the imperialists wanted the passage of the “four proposals,” which included regulations on the press, an increase of wharfage dues, registration of the stock exchange, and a ban on child labour. These enraged the people in Shanghai all the more. On May 30 2,000 students made public speeches along the streets in the International Settlement, disclosing the imperialists’ crime of firing on workers and arresting students, and opposing the”four proposals.” Some of them were arrested. Thousands of paraders marched down Nanjing Road , shouted “down with imperialism,” and demanded the immediate release of the students. The British police- men fired into the crowd of unarmed demonstrators, killing four on the spot and nine who died shortly afterwards; scores of students were seriously wounded. This came to be known as the “May 30th Massacre.”
Following the massacre, the Central Committee of the Chinese Comlaaunist Party called on people from all social starta to oppose imperialism and broaden the movement by forming a united front. It called on workers to down tools, students to stop attending classes, and merchants to close shops. The students plunged into the struggle with high patriotism, with 50,000 students ceasing to attend class. They also urged the merchants to close shops. The merchants’ federa-tions representing the interests of the middle and small merchants warmly favoured closing shops. The Shanghai Central Chamber of Commerce, mainly representing the interests of big capitalists, influ-enced by the anti-imperialist wave, also joined in closing shops. Alt-hough the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie had participated in the struggle, the working class remained the backbone force. On June 1, the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions was established and issued as its first order the call for a general strike. Taking part in it were a total of 113 factories and enterprises involving 150,000 workers. Among them were over 120,000 strikers from 102 foreign-owned factories and enterprises. Subsequently a Federation of Workers, Mer- chants and Students was founded on June 4. It was an organization comprising the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions, merchants’ federations, the All-China Student’s Federation and the Shanghai Stu-dents’ Federation. Only the Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce refused to join and changed its 17 demands into 13, leaving out those demands for abrogating consular jurisdiction, withdrawing British and Japanese land and naval forces and recognizing the right of workers to hold strikes and organize trade unions. But the General Chamber of Commerce played an active part in boycotting British and Japanese goods and donation activities. The imperialists continued to adopt the policy of slaughtering the people in Shanghai . From May 30 to June10 they killed more than 60 and seriously wounded over 70 people. In the meantime they adopted measures to split the anti-imperialist unit-ed front. They decoyed the bourgeoisie in Shanghai to compromise through proposals of a “judicial investigation” and a “customs duty conference” on the one hand, and on the other threatened them with the stopping of loans, international remittance, transport and power supply. On June 26 merchants resumed business. Soon summer vaca-tion began and students left school one after another. In view of this situation the Communist Party decided to change tactics of the worker struggle, from the general strike to an economic struggle and partial solution. In August and September the workers gradually went back to work.
After the “May 30th Movement”, revolutionary storm spread to the whole country. Masses in dozens of cities such as Guangzhou, Beijing, Nanjing, Hankou, Tianjin, Changsha, Jinan, Xuzhou and Qingdao, gathered to hold meetings, parades, demonstrations and strikes as well as boycotting class and closing shops to oppose imperi-alists’ atrocities. Peasants in some places also joined the ranks of the struggle. The anti-imperialist struggle involved about 1.2 million peo-ple in the country, forming a second anti-imperialist upsurge since the May 4th Movement. It demonstrated the strength of working class leadership and the function of the revolutionary united front. Experi-ence in this movement produced a great impact on the revolution in later years.
Among the strikes in support of the Shanghai people’s anti- imperialist movement, the Guangzhou-Hong Kong strike on June 19,1925 , was the biggest both in scale and influence. It involved over 200,000 workers from Shamian, the foreign concessions and Hong Kong . The strike turned Hong Kong into a “dead port,” dealing a heavy blow to the British imperialists. The strike did not end until 16 months later. The Guangzhou-Hong Kong Strike Committee was its leading body. It and the armed picket corps composed of over 2,000 workers became a backbone force in the Guangdong revolutionary government.
The May 30th Movement gave a powerful impetus to the Mon-golian ethnic group’s popular revolutionary movement. In 1925, under the leadership of the Communist Party, the Inner Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and the Inner Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Army were founded, both being united fronts in nature. The People’s Revolutionary Army led by Xini Lama defeated the warlord troops several times. He also led a popular movement in Uxin Banner and finally abrogated the system of rule by the feudal nobility and set up people’s revolutionary regimes in 19 townships. Xini Lama was mur-dered in 1929; thus the revolution suffered a setback.
After the downfall of the Zhili clique’s Beijing regime, Duan Qi- rui and the Fengtian warlords became the chief enemies of the Chine- se people. In October 1925 a war between the Zhili clique led by Sun Chuanfang and the Fengtian clique broke out. The warlord battle provided a very good opportunity for opposing the Fengtian clique. Using this situation, the Chinese Communist Party led a struggle to oppose the Fengtian clique and overthrow Duan Qirui. By the end of November a mass demonstration of several tens of thousands of peo-ple including student dare-to-die corps and worker-defenders teams was held in Beijing . It aimed to overthrow the Duan Qirui government through an uprising and to establish a national government. But the struggle, known as “capital revolution,” failed. In March 1926, the “March 18th Massacre” took place. On March 12, a Japanese destroy-er shielded the Fengtian army’s warship’s entry tO Port Dagu and fired on the National Army stationed at Fort Dagu . The enraged National Army fought back and drove the Japanese destroyer out. Then the Japanese imperialists, on the pretext of abiding by the Protocol of1901, gathered eight countries such as Britain , the United States , France and Italy , issued an ultimatum to the Duan Qirui government, raised unreasonable demands, and asked for a reply at a fixed date. The Port Dagu Incident caused great indignation among the Chinese people. Led by the North Regional Committee of the ChineSe Com-munist Party and the Kuomintang Beijing Executive Department, over30, 000 people in Beijing held a demonstration at Tiananmen on March18 to protest against the eight-nation ultimatum. After it, a petition corps of over 2,000 people was organized and went to petition the Duan Qirui government. The Duan Qirui government ordered the suppression of the patriotic people, killing 47 and wounding over 100. After the slaughter a : huge revolutionary, wave against the traitorous government and in support of the people in Beijing was launched throughout the country. The masses in various places and overseas Chinese and students studying abroad held meetings in protest. Nev-ertheless, after the petition was put down, the revolutionary movement in the north was reduced to a low ebb.
During the nationwide revolutionary upsurge, the Guangdong revolutionary bases became gradually consolidated. In October 1924, the Guangdong revolutionary government, relying on the cadets of the Huangpu Military Academy and a section of the revolutionary armed forces, and supported by the workers and peasants, crushed the coun-ter-revolutionary armed rebellion of the Guangdong Merchant Volun-teers. In February and March, 1925, the revolutionary army launched the First Eastern Expedition to fight against warlord Chen Jiongming, who attempted to attack Guangzhou and overthrow the revolutionary government. The revolutionary army with the support of the peasants in the Dongjiang river valley routed Chen’s main force, over 30,000 strong, and occupied Chaozhou, Meixian County , etc. In June the Eastern Expeditionary Army returned to Guangzhou and put down the rebellion of the Yunnan and Guangxi warlords. On July 1, the Guang-dong revolutionary government was reorganized from one dominated by a generalissimo into the National Government of the Republic of China under a committee member system with Wang Jingwei as chairman. In August, the National Government unified all its armies into the National Revolutionary Army. In October, the National Gov-ernment ordered the army to launch the Second Eastern Expedition against Chen Jiongming. It crushed all of the warlord’s troops and quickly recovered the whole Dongjiang valley. It also launched a Southern Expedition and wiped out the warlord troops on Hainan Is-tand in February 1926. The whole of Guangdong now came under the power of the revolutionary government. In March, Li Zongren (1891-1969) and Bai Chongxi (1893-1966), who was in control of Guangxi, accepted the leadership of the National Government, and the unifica-tion of Guangdong and Guangxi was thus realized. The unification and consolidation of the revolutionary base in Guangdong paved the way for the Northem Expedition.
While the revolutionary situation gained momentum, the struggle inside the revolutionary united front also intensified. When Sun Yat-sen defined his Three Cardinal Policies, he met with the opposition of landlords, compradors and the Right wing of the bourgeoisie inside the Kuomintang. After his death, they threw all caution to the winds. In August 1925 Liao Zhongkai, a loyal friend of the Communist Party and a Kuomintang Leftist, was assassinated. This was a major move in the Kuomintang Right wing’s attack on the Left and opposition to the cooperation between the two parties. The Communist Party pushed the Kuomintang central authorities to resolutely attack the Right-wing forces. Hu Hanmin, acting generalissimo and governor of Guangdong , was held in custody for a time under suspicion of involvement in Liao’s assassination, and later left Guangzhou .
In the summer of 1925 Dai Jitao-ism made its appearance. Dai Jitao (1891-1949) was a Kuomintang Right-wing theorist. In June and July of 1925 he wrote two pamphlets, The Philosophical Foundation of the Doctrines of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and The National Revolution and the Chinese Kuomintang. In them he explained Sun Yat-sen’s thinking, using Confucianist ideas and ethics. He used the philosophy of peo-ple’s livelihood to oppose the Marxist class struggle theory, national struggle to negate class struggle, and the so-called exclusiveness of groups to oppose Kuomintang-Communist cooperation. Dai Jitao-ism reflected the political tendency of the bourgeoisie to seize revolution-ary leadership from the proletarian class, so it became the theoretical basis of the Kuomintang Rightists to oppose the Communist Party and to usurp power. Communists Chen Duxiu and Qu Qiubai (1899-1935) wrote articles refuting Dai’s reactionary viewpoints, and defending the cooperation between the two parties and the national revolution.
In November 1925, the Western Hills Conference clique was formed. It was so called because a section of the Right-wing Kuo-mintang Central Executive Committee and Supervisory Committee members had held the so-called fourth plenum of the First Central Executive Committee, in the Biyun Temple in Beijing ‘s Western Hills, at which they openly opposed the Three Cardinal Policies and the Kuomintang-Communist cooperation. They passed a resolution to deprive the Communists of their Kuomintang membership, dismissed Borodin from his advisory post, and expelled Communists from the Central Executive Committee. Later they held a bogus second national congress of the Kuomintang in Shanghai and established a bogus sec-ond central executive and supervisory committees. The Kuomintang Central Executive Committee carried out a firm struggle against the Western Hills Conference clique. The Political Weekly, the official central organ of the Kuomintang edited by Mao Zedong, made a major counter-attack against the Rightists.
In January 1926, the Kuomintang called its Second National Congress. It decided to carry out the testament of Sun Yat-sen and the political programme designated by the First National Congress: Down with imperialists, and down with warlords, the bureaucrat-comprador class and the local tyrants. In order to accomplish the revolutionary task, the congress thought it necessary to sincerely cooperate with Soviet Russia and admit Communists to the Kuomintang, so as to jointly complete the national revolution and the campaign of helping workers and peasants. The congress passed a resolution on impeach-ing the “Western Hills Conference” and “punishing party members violating Party discipline.” It also took disciplinary measures against the members of the Western Hills Conference clique. The congress elected 36 members and 24 alternate members to the Central Execu -tive Committee. Both groups had seven Communists. After the Con-gress, Communists Tan Pingshan (1886-1956) and Lin Boqu (1886-1960) continued, respectively, to head the Central Organization De- partment and Peasant Department. Mao Zedong was acting director of the Propaganda Department. The secretaries of the various central departments were mostly Communists and the local Party committees were also led by Communists. The Kuomintang Second National Congress had pushed forward the Chinese revolutionary cause.
When the anti-Communist forces in the Kuomintang saw the growing strength of the Communist Party in the revolutionary camp, they looked for an opportunity to attack it. In March 1926 Chiang Kai-shek engineered the “Cruiser Zhongshan Incident.” Chiang’s position in the Kuomintang had been raised after the founding of the Huangpu Military Academy and the two Eastern Expeditions. After the National Revolutionary Army was organized, Chiang was appointed as the commander of the First Corps. At the Kuomintang Second Congress he was elected a Central Executive Committee member, and after the congress he was appointed general supervisor of the National Revolu- tionary Army. The increase of Chiang’s political power strengthened his political ambition and aggravated his contention with the Commu-nists and the Wang Jingwei bloc in the Kuomintang. Knowing the importance of military power, he attacked the Communists first mili-tarily. On March 18 the provincial office of the Huangpu Military Academy notified the Naval Bureau that Chiang Kai-shek had ordered them to dispatch two cruisers to Port Huangpu. This the bureau did including the cruiser Zhongshan. After the cruisers reached Huangpu, Chiang claimed that he had not ordered their dispatch. After the Zhongshan returned to Guangzhou, Chiang, on the pretext of guarding against “political turmoil” caused by the cruiser on the morning of the20th declared martial law without authorization and arrested Li Zhi-long (then a Communist), the leader of the Naval Bureau, occupied the Zhongshan and the Naval Bureau, put the Communists in the aca-demy and the First Corps in custody, and surrounded the lodgings of the Soviet advisory group and the office of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Strike Committee. Responding to Chiang’s attack, the Commu- nist Party Central Committee and the Soviet advisory group adopted a policy of compromise and concession. This resulted in the withdrawal of the Communists from the First Corps and dismissal of some Soviet advisers, who returned to the Soviet Union according to Chiang’s wishes. Chiang also dismissed Wang Jingwei from his post as the latter’s position was higher than Chiang’ s. Wang later went abroad. In May 1926 at a plenary session of the Second Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, Chiang, under the pretext of “dispelling suspi-cions and stopping disputes,” submitted a “Bill on Reorganizing the Party’s Affairs.” It included clauses not only to restrict Communists from taking official posts in the KMT organizations but also to limit their activities. For instance, Communists were not allowed to occupy more than one-third of the executive committee in the central, provin-cial and city party departments, or to take posts as heads of depart, ment in Kuomintang central organizations. Because the Communist Party Central Committee continued to adopt a policy of compromise and concession, Chiang’s bill was adopted. It and the Zhongshan Incident were two important steps taken by Chiang to expand his power.
In revolutionary practice, the Chinese Communist Party had gradually evolved its basic ideas on the new-democratic revolution. The Second National Congress of the Party held in 1922 specified that the Chinese revolution had to go through two stages: democratic revolution and socialist revolution. Thereafter, many Communist Party documents and articles written by Party leaders analysed the condi-tions of the various classes in Chinese society. Qu Qiubai and Deng Zhongxia first put forward the question of proletarian leadership in the democratic revolution. The Fourth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, held in January 1925, not only confirmed the im-portance of the proletarian leadership in the democratic revolution but also connected it with the question of alliance with the peasants. At the congress Mao Zedong made it clear, “After the overthrow of the imperialists, warlords, comprador and landlord classes, a united rule, namely the rule of revolutionary masses, composed of the proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and the Left wing of the middle bourgeoisie, should be established.” This was the concept of the united regime of the masses. These ideas later developed into a complete theory of the new-democratic revolution. At that time, as the Communist Party did not recognize the importance of directly controlling the revolutionary armed forces and political power, this hindered the real solution of the proletarian leadership question. This was a reflection of the fact that the Communist Party was still in its infancy, and also a chief reason for the failure in its later revolution.
Establishment of Kuomintang Rule and the Beginning of the Soviet Revolution
After the Northern Expeditionary War from 1926 to 1927, China ‘s warlord forces underwent great changes. With the exception of Zhang Zuolin’s Fengtian army, all other old warlord forces had either been eliminated or come under the jurisdiction of the Kuomin- tang. The old Beiyang warlord rule gradually changed to the rule of the new Kuomintang warlords.
The Kuomintang had divided into many factions. In military af- fairs Chiang Kai-shek, Tang Shengzhi, Li Zongren, Li Jishen, Feng Yuxiang and Yan Xishan all had their own armed forces. In politics, Wang Jingwei, Chiang Kai-shek, Hu Hanmin and the Western Hills Conference clique each formed a faction. The warlord forces ganged up with the political groups, creating intense struggles. For a period of time a major struggle was that between Nanjing and Wuhan .
Both Nanjing and Wuhan had set up a Kuomintang Centre and a National Government, and confronted each other militarily. Feng Yuxiang mediated between the two sides and proposed to solve their disputes through negotiations. Due to opposition from the Wang Jing-wei bloc in Wuhan and the Guangxi clique led by Li Zongren inside the Nanjing faction, as well as the failure in the war along the Tianjin-Pukou Railway line, Chiang Kai-shek declared his resignation from the post of commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Army in August 1927. His resignation promoted the merging of the Nanjing and Wuhan sides. In mid-September Nanjing , Wuhan and Shanghai (Western Hills Conference clique) organized the Kuomintang Central Special Committee, and reorganized the National Government and the Military Commission. However, because the Special Committee was under the control of the Guangxi Gongbo could realize their desire clique, Wang Jingwei and Chen to control central power, so they returned to Wuhan and resisted the Special Committee, relying on Tang Shengzhi’s forces.The cooperation between Nanjing and Wuhan was thus replaced by their confrontation. Not long afterwards the con- frontation developed into war between Li Zongren and Tang Shengzhi, which ended in the defeat of Tang Shengzhi and the expansion of the Guangxi clique’s influence to Wuhan . Thereafter, the Wang Jingwei clique was further pushed out by other factions and for a long period of time was out of office. Later they founded the Kuomintang “reor-ganization” faction and continued the scramble for power. Chiang Kai-shek paid a visit to Japan between late September and early No-vember. He resumed his post as commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Army in January 1928.
In February 1928 the Kuomintang called the Fourth Plenary Ses- sion of its Second Central Executive Committee. The session passed resolutions on rearranging party affairs, reorganizing the National Government, stopping the Communist Party’s “conspiracy” and con- centrating revolutionary forces to complete the Northern Expedition within a definite time. It elected Chiang Kai-shek, Tan Yankai and seven other members of the Standing Committee of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee. Tan Yankai (1880-1930) was president of the National Government, and Chiang chairman of the Military Commission. In March Chiang was appointed Chairman of the Central Political Conference. Chiang thus again concentrated party, military and political power in his own hands.
After the Fourth Plenary Session, the four group armies headed respectively by Chiang Kai-shek, Feng Yuxiang, Yan Xishan and Li Zongren, launched another “Northern Expedition,” this time against Zhang Zuolin, in a scramble for the rule of the whole country. However, the Kuomintang’s “Northern Expedition” was interfered with by the Japanese imperialists. On May 3, 1928 , Japan even launched an armed attack on Jinan , which had already been occupied by Kuomintang troops, in order to obstruct the latter’s northward march. This was followed by a slaughter, with more than 10,000 soldiers and civilians being killed or wounded in a week. Chiang Kai-shek ordered the troops to withdraw from Jinan and take a circuitous route to the north. On June 3, Zhang Zuolin, seeing that the situation was unfavorable to him, left Beijing secretly and retreated to the northeast. The following day he was killed in an explosion on a train at Huanggu Village near Shenyang by the Japanese imperialists. Then Yan Xishan’s troops occupied Beijing and Tianjin . The Nanjing government declared or, June 15 the “accomplishment of unification.”The name of Zhili Province was changed to Hebei Province and Beijing to Beiping (Peiping).
After Zhang Zuolin died, his son, Zhang Xueliang, succeeded him as commander-in-chief of the Peace Preservation Army of the three northeast provinces. Regardless of the obstruction of the Japanese imperialists, Zhang Xueliang sent an open telegram on December 29,1928 , declaring he would “obey the Three People’s Principles and the National Government.” Before his declaration, Yang Zengxin in Xin- jiang and Tang Yulin in Rehe had also declared a “change of banner.” Thus the Kuornintang expanded its rule to the whole country.
In July 1928 the Kuomintang announced the conclusion of “the period of military government” and the beginning of the “period of political tutelage.” In October it published the “Programme of Politi-cal Tutelage.” It provided that the Kuomintang National Congress and the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee would exercise the functions and powers of the National Assembly; the Kuomintang would be responsible for “training” the citizens to exercise the four rights of election, recall, policy formulation and redecision; the Kuo-mintang Centre would “guide and supervise” the National Govern-ment in the exercise of administrative power; and the Kuomintang”alone would hold the full responsibility” for “the exercise of political and administrative power of the Republic of China.” This “pro-gramme” proved that the Kuomintang’s “political tutelage” was the dictatorship of one party depriving the people’s rights. While pub-lishing the “Programme of Political Tutelage,” the Kuomintang also published the “Organization Law of the National Government.” It divided the National Government into the Executive, Legislative, Ju-dicial, Examination and Control Yuan, headed respectively by Tan Yankai, Hu Hanmin, Wang Chonghui, Dai Jitao and Cai Yuanpei. Chiang was president of the National Government and concurrently commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air force. The establish-ment of the five Yuan manifested the complete formation of the Kuo-mintang regime.
In the name of “political tutelage,” the Kuomintang implemented a high-handed rule over the people, ruthlessly suppressed the worker-peasant movement, and ferociously slaughtered Communists and revolutionaries. The Kuomintang’s documents directed that all Com-munist theories, methods, organs and movements “should be eradicat- ed thoroughly or be prevented.” According to the criminal law des-igned by the Nanjing government: “Those who attempt to subvert the government, forcibly seize land and bring disorder to the National Constitution should be sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or at least seven years of imprisonment.” Between 1927 and 1932 more than one million Communists and other people were killed.
After the Kuomintang army occupied Beijing , the Nanjing gov-ernment launched a campaign “to draw up new pacts,” and demanded that relevant countries abrogate the old pacts and draw up new ones with China . The new pacts were to include tariff autonomy and abro-gation of consular jurisdiction. In July 1928 the Nanjing government concluded with America the Sino-U.S. Treaty of Tariff Relations, and similar trade and tariff treaties were concluded with other countries. In accordance with these “new pacts,” tax rates of some imported com-modities were raised by China , but China did not acquire genuine tariff autonomy. As for the abolition of consular jurisdiction, it re-mained unsolved for a long period of time, because the major imperi-alist countries disagreed. “Concluding new pacts,” an unprecedented action in the history of modern China , was certainly significant. How-ever, it did not deprive the imperialists of special rights in China , and fell far short of making China a country maintaining independence and keeping the initiative in its own hands. Through this action, the Nanjing government received recognition from various foreign coun-tries.
Under the rule of the National Government the feudal relation of landlords exploiting the peasants did not change. The interests of the comprador-bourgeoisie were protected. The Kuomintang began to organize an economic monopoly of bureaucrat-capitalism, represented by Song Ziwen (T.V. Soong) and Kong Xiangxi (H. H. Kung). Work-ers, peasants, and even the national bourgeoisie received no emanci- pation, either economically or politically. Thus, this political power, in terms of class nature, still maintained the rule of the urban comprador class and rural gentry. It practised “administration of the country by the party” under the slogan of Sun Yat-sen’s Three People’s Principles, its only difference from the Beiyang regime being that it was less feu-dal and strongly comprador in character. China was still semi-colonial and semi-feudal in social nature, so all class contradictions remained unsolved in Chinese society. China still faced the task of anti- imperialist and anti-feudal bourgeois democratic revolution. Over-throwing the National Government thus became the main revolution-ary target during that period.
After the defeat of the national revolution, the Chinese Commu-nist Party summed up its experiences and lessons, continued to hold high the revolutionary banner, and pushed the Chinese revolution to a new stage.
On August 1, 1927, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De (1886-1976), He Long(1896-1969), Ye Ting and Liu Bocheng led a unit of the Northern Expeditionary Army over 30,000 strong, which had been under the leadership and influence of the Chinese Communist Party, in an uprising at Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. This uprising continued under the Kuomintang Left-wing banner and in the name of the National Revolutionary Army. The army occupied the city of Nanchang on the first day and then set up a leading organ called “The Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang.” Then the troops marched south towards Guangdong , where they planned to rally their forces for another northern expedition. In early October they were defeated around Chaozhou by the numerically superior Kuomintang forces. The Nanchang Uprising fired the first shot against the Kuomintang reactionaries. It was the start of the building of an army and an armed struggle led independently by the Chinese Communist Party. The in-surgents, instead of joining forces with the local peasant movement, carrying out local agrarian revolution and setting up a rural revolu-tionary regime; adopted the strategy of marching southward in isola-tion. This was the main reason for their defeat.
On August 7, 1927 , a week after the Nanchang Uprising, the CPC Central Committee called an emergency conference at Hankou. This important conference, held at the critical juncture when the revolution had suffered defeat, aimed at reviewing and correcting past mistakes and defining the future revolutionary policy. It published the well-known “Letter to the Communists,” which made an all-round criticism of the Right opportunist mistakes represented by Chen Duxiu during the period of national revolution, and decided on the general policy of agrarian revolution and armed resistance against the Kuo- mintang reactionaries. It decided to mobilize the peasants in the four provinces of Hunan , Hubei , Jiangxi and Guangdong for an Autumn- Harvest Uprising. Mao Zedong made a speech, pointing out that”political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” The meeting marked the change of the strategic policy of the Chinese Communist Party. From that time onward the Party guided the Chinese revolution to a new stage based on armed struggle and agrarian revolution. Be- cause the meeting neglected the struggle against and prevention of the”Left” tendency while correcting the Right opportunist tendency, it thus opened the gate for “Left” adventurism.
Early in September 1927, Mao Zedong and Lu Deming led the Autumn Harvest Uprising on the Hunan-Jiangxi border, in the name of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolutionary Army instead of the Na-tional Revolutionary Army. They had originally planned to attack Changsha in three columns, but soon after the outbreak of the uprising, the army suffered serious losses. Seeing that in such a situation it would be impossible to occupy the central city, after the forces of various columns assembled at Wenjiashi in Liuyang, Mao Zedong abandoned the plan to attack, led the forces along the Luoxiao Moun- tain range southward towards the countryside. At the end of Septem-ber the forces were reorganized at Sanwan Village in Yongxin County , Jiangxi Province, where they streamlined the organizational system, and established the principle of Communist Party leadership over the army. In October these forces reached the middle section of the Luoxiao Mountain range–Ciping, the central area of the Jinggang Mountains . The march of the Autumn Harvest Uprising forces to the Jinggang Mountains opened up a new and correct way for continuing the revolutionary struggle after the defeat of the Great Revolution of1925-27.
In September 1927, the Communist Party Central Committee made an important decision: instead of taking the name of the Left-wing Kuomintang in the uprising, it would hold up the banner of the “worker-peasant Soviet.” In early November the enlarged meeting of the Politi-cal Bureau of the CPC Central Committee clearly pointed out that the Kuomintang’s rule “had Become a White terror,” that at the current stage of revolution, “the main slogan of the Party was Soviet.” It was an important change. In November the peasant uprising in the Haifeng-Lufeng area in Guangdong brought about the establishment of the first Soviet political power in China . For nearly a decade thereafter, the Chi-nese revolution marched forward under the Soviet banner.
On December 11, Zhang Tailei (1898-1927), Ye Ting, and Ye Jianying led an uprising in Guangzhou . The city of Guangzhou was occupied on the very first day of the uprising and the founding of the Guangzhou Soviet Government was declared. For the first time, the army was named the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. The Guangzhou Uprising was held at a time when Guangdong and Guangxi warlords were locked in a war in Wuzhou and Zhaoqing. After the out- break of the uprising, the warlords stopped their war immediately and concentrated 50,000 armed forces to attack Guangzhou . After three days and nights of brave fighting, the insurgents fell to the enemy’s persecution. Zhang Tailei and many officers and soldiers were killed in action, and some 8,000 revolutionary people were murdered. Although the Communist Party and revolutionary people displayed a brave fight-ing spirit, failure to evacuate the armed forces to the countryside in time made the revolutionary forces suffer great losses.
Besides the above-mentioned three major uprisings, over 100 uprisings took place in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian, Hebei, Shaanxi, Henan and Sichuan between autumn 1927 and1928. The major ones included the Haifeng-Lufeng Uprising, Qiongya Uprising ( Guangdong ), Huang’an-Macheng Uprising (Hubei), Weinan- Huaxian Uprising Shaanxi ), Pingjiang Uprising (Hunan), and the peas- ant armed struggles in Honghu Lake and western Hunan and Hubei .
These armed uprisings were all courageous counter-attacks against the Kuomintang’s policy of slaughter, dealt by the people who were led by the Communist Party, and concrete illustrations of the Communist Party’s persistence in revolutionary struggle. They expanded the Communist Party’s influence among the masses, popularized the slogan of agrarian revolution among the peasants and pre- served a part of the revolutionary armed forces. These prepared the conditions for continued armed struggle and establishment and development of rural revolutionary bases.
In the early days of the Soviet revolution, there were rapid changes in class relations of the country, hatred for the Kuomintang reactionaries’ policy of massacre, and indignation at the Right oppor- tunism represented by Chen Duxiu and “Left” putschism represented by Qu Qiubai inside the Party. After the enlarged meeting of the Pro- visional Central Political Bureau in November 1927, “Left” putschism dominated the central leading body of the Party. The putschists con-fused bourgeois democratic revolution with socialist revolution and thought that in order to overthrow the gentry and landlord class, “the bourgeois class must also be overthrown.” Believing that the tide of revolution was “rising” rather than ebbing, they opposed any retreat and demanded continuous attack. In armed uprisings they carried out a policy of burning and killing and in some places even raised such erroneous slogans as “exterminating landed gentry,” “burning the cities,” “reducing the petty bourgeoisie into proletarians and then compelling them to make revolution.” Because “Left” putschism caused loss of work, the Communist International also criticized the erroneous tendency. The implementation of these policies was stopped after several months.
In July 1928 the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party was held in Moscow , in which over 100 delegates including Zhou Enlia, Cai Hesen, Qu Qiubai, Li Lisan, Zhang Guotao and Xiang Zhongfa took part. The congress continued to criticize the Right op-portunist mistakes represented by Chen Duxiu and the “Left” putschism, and stressed that putschism and commandism were the main current dangerous tendencies. It reaffirmed that the Chinese revolution at present stage was still a bourgeois democratic revolution against imperialism and feudalism, and pointed out that the political situation being then in a trough between two revolutionary upsurges, the central task of the Party was to win over the masses. It put forward a 10-point political programme for the Chinese democratic revolution, which included overthrowing the rule of imperialism and the Kuo-mintang warlord government, setting up a worker-peasant-soldier congress (Soviet) government, confiscating the landlords’ land for distribution among the peasants, etc. The line laid down by the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party played a positive role in pushing the Chinese revolution forward. Its shortcomings lay in fail-ure to correctly estimate the role of the intermediate classes and the internal contradictions among the reactionary forces, and in its consid-eration of the national bourgeoisie as “one of the most dangerous enemies” and “all factions of the Kuomintang as reactionaries.” These views did not conform to the reality of Chinese society. Besides, the Congress failed to have an adequate understanding of the importance of rural revolutionary bases and the protraction of democratic revolu- tion. The overemphasis on working-class origin in the election of the Central Committee members also showed a deviation of taking into account class origin alone. Xiang Zhongfa, a worker was elected chairman of the Political Bureau and the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee at the 1st Plenary Session of the 6th Central Committee. However, he actually played no role in the leadership.
Growth and Decline of the Kuomintang Factions and Setting-up of the Soviet Areas
After the four factions of the Kuomintang warlords (Chiang Kai-shek, Feng Yuxiang, Yan Xishan and Li Zongren-Bai Chongxi) gained victory in the battle against the Fengtian clique, contradictions between them became acute immediately. Domain was the foundation of warlords’ existence and the army their lifeline, so struggles between warlords were first manifested in these two aspects.
Chiang Kai-shek then occupied Nanjing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces; Feng Yuxiang, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and He-nan provinces; Yan Xishan, Shanxi, Hebei, Suiyuan and Qahar provinces as well as Beijing and Tianjin; Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi(Guangxi clique), Hunan, Hubei and Guangxi provinces; and Li Jishen who supported the Guangxi clique, occupied Guangdong. Feng Yu-xiang was discontent with such a distribution. Although large in terri-tory, his domains were mostly barren areas. He had contributed greatly to the war against the Fengtian warlord clique, but Chiang Kai-shek had place Hebei , Beiping and Tianjin under the control of Yan Xishan. Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi were also displeased with their domains, which were not only small but had no outlets to the sea. As Yan con-trolled Hebei , Beiping and Tianjin , he took all the levies and taxes into his own pockets. This caused Chiang’s discontent. The warlords of the four factions all sought an opportunity to expand their spheres of in-fluence.
After the conclusion of the war against the Fengtian clique, Chi-ang Kai-shek proposed to reorganize and discharge the nation’s two-million-strong army. The reason he gave was to reduce military ex-penses and use the money for economic construction. Actually he wanted to weaken the forces of the Feng, Yan and Guangxi factions and to further strengthen his own position. In January 1929, a meeting to reorganize and discharge the army was held in Nanjing , attended by leaders of different Kuomintang military factions. It passed an outline of the procedure for the reorganization and discharge of the army. It provided the cancellation of the general headquarters of the National Revolutionary Army, the group armies, and the navy; the classifica-tion of the country into six areas for the reorganization and discharge of the armies of Chiang Kai-shek, Feng Yuxiang, Yan Xishan, the Guangxi clique, the northeast and the northwest. The army of the country would not exceed 800,000 and the provinces would be divid- ed into pacification areas with garrisoned divisions or brigades. They failed to reach an agreement on a concrete plan for the reorganization and discharge. Chiang Kai-shek demanded every group army hand over “power to the central authority,” but the leaders of the group armies found every reason to obtain more troops and to discharge fewer. Feng proposed a plan favouring his own troops, but it was turn- ed down by Chiang and Yan. Pretending to be sick, Feng left Nanjing . The meeting further deepened the contradictions among the four war-lord factions, and in its wake large-scale warlord wars broke out.
In March 1929, a war between the Chiang and Guangxi cliques was the first to break out. To control the Guangxi clique, Chiang se-cretly sent ammunition to the governor of Hunan , Lu Diping, and urged Lu to oppose the Guangxi clique. When the Guangxi clique fought back and dismissed Lu from his post in the name of the Wuhan branch of the Kuomintang Central Political Conference and sent sol-diers to attack Changsha, Chiang ordered “a thorough investigation of the Guangxi troops invading Hunan”; meanwhile he cajoled Li Jishen, who supported the Guangxi clique, to go to Nanjing and then put Li under house arrest. On March 26, the war broke out. Due to Chiang’s bribery, a section of the Guangxi troops mutinied at the front. This made the Guangxi troops retreat in a hurry from the Wuhan area; they were entirely defeated in April. Chiang’s influence thus extended to Hunan and Hubei . In the second half of 1929, a war between Chiang and Feng, the second war between Chiang and the Guangxi clique, and a war between Chiang and Tang Shengzhi broke out one after another, each time with Chiang coming out the winner.
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The National Assembly was held in Nanjing in May 1931. It was not the National Assembly that Sun Yat-sen had advocated, one that would oppose warlord rule and give people the fight to exercise de- mocracy, but a false one which would oppose the people, maintaining the one-party dictatorship of the Kuomintang and the personal dicta-torship of Chiang Kai-shek. In his opening speech Chiang publicly praised fascism. He said that communism advocated class struggle with “ruthless means” and would not be “suitable for the industrially backward China and its inherent morality.” He asserted that ” China does not need it.” According to him, tised in the West was “putting stress na had no such historical and social the people’s administration prac-on individual freedom,” but Chi-background for carrying out this policy. He believed that only under fascism “the state is considered the most lofty entity… its rule is the most effective.” He vilified the Communist warlords for”feathering their nests in the Central Plain area” and claimed that carrying out effective rule was “what the peo-ple in the country demand today.” The meeting passed “the provision- al constitution for the political tutelage period.” An embodiment of the “political tutelage programme” of 1928, it affirmed the political sys-tem of the Kuomintang’s one-party dictatorship in the form of a state constitution. The meeting passed a resolution on “suppressing the Red bandits,” and determined “to encircle and suppress” the Red Army on a large scale. It illustrated the strengthening of Chiang’s rule and the transition from Kuomintang internal struggles to “suppression of the Communist Party.” It was an important reactionary meeting in Kuo-mintang history.
The Kuomintang warlord wars weakened the reactionary camp and offered favourable conditions for the recovery and development of revolution. On the basis of the local armed uprisings throughout the country, Soviets were set up in many areas and developed during this period.
The earliest revolutionary base was in the Jinggang Mountains . In October 1927, Mao Zedong led the reorganized Autumn Harvest Uprising contingent to the Jinggang Mountains, where he reorganized the local armed forces, attacked and seized county towns, liberated rural areas, set up workers’ and peasants’ regimes, and re-established Communist Party organizations. By the spring of 1928 preliminary base areas had been set up. By the end of April, Zhu De and Chen Yi(1901-1972) led the Nanchang Uprising troops and the contingent of southern Hunan armed peasants to the Jinggang Mountains and joined forces with the revolutionary army led by Mao Zedong. On May 4, the Fourth Corps of the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolutionary Army (later changed to the Fourth Corps of the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army) was formed, with Zhu De as commander and Mao Zedong as Party representative. The Red Army created the fa-mous guerrilla tactics as follows: “The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue.” Victories were achieved in many battles by using these tactics. A Hunan-Jiangxi Border Soviet Government was estab-lished in May. The Jinggang Mountains base area first covered the three counties of Ninggang, Yongxin and Lianhua and parts of Ji’an, Anfu, Suichuan and Lengxian counties and later developed into the Hunan-Jiangxi base area.
Besides the Jinggang Mountains base area, from 1928 to 1930 the Communist Party led and set up the following six base areas:
Southern Jiangxi-Western Fujian base area: In January 1929, in order to break through the “joint suppression” campaign against the Jinggang Mountains launched by the enemies in Hunan and Jiangxi and to solve the problem of provisions for the Red Army, Mao Zedong and Zhu De led the main force of the Fourth Corps to attack southern Jiangxi. The Fifth and part of the Fourth corps, which had just entered the Jingang Mountains and were led by Peng Dehuai (1898-1974), were assigned to defend the Jinggang mountain area. The Fourth Corps fought in southern Jiangxi and western Fujian , coordinated with the local Party organizations and armed forces, and opened up the southern Jiangxi and western Fujian base areas. In the spring of 1930, the western Fujian and Jiangxi Soviet govemments were established. In June the First Army of the: Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army was formed with Zhu De as commander and Mao Zedong as political commissar. During this period, 17 Soviet governments at the county level were set up in southern Jiangxi and western Fujian , thus laying the foundation for the later central revolutionary base area. In August the First Red Army and the Third Red Army led by Peng Dehuai were combined into the First Front Red Army, with Mao Zedong as general secretary of the Front Committee and general political commissar, Zhu De as commander-in-chief, and Peng Dehuai as deputy commander-in-chief.
Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi base area: In July 1928 Peng Dehuai, Teng Daiyuan and others led a part of the Kuomintang’s Fifth Independent Division, stationed in Hunan , in a revolt in Pingjiang and organized themselves as the Fifth Corps, with Peng as commander and Teng as Party representative. After the uprising, the Fifth Corps waged guer-rilla warfare in the counties on the border of the three provinces of Hunan , Hubei and Jiangxi , and set up a Soviet government. In De-cember Peng and Teng led the main force of the Fifth Corps and en-tered the Jinggang Mountains ; Huang Gonglue led the remaining force to continue the struggle in the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi area. In 1930 the two areas of Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi and Hunan-Jiangxi were linked together. The Fifth Corps then expanded and was organized into the Third Red Army with Peng and Teng as commander and political commissar respectively. At this time the Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi area already covered about a dozen counties around the border of the three provinces, and a Hunan-Hubei-Jiangxi Soviet Government was founded.
Fujian-Zhejiang-Jiangxi base area: In January 1928, Fang Zhimin(1899-1935) and other leaders led a peasant uprising in Yiyang and Hengfeng counties in northeast Jiangxi, set up the Agrarian Revolu-tionary Army and carried out guerrilla warfare. In December 1928, the Xinjiang Speical Area Soviet Government was set up, covering northeastern Jiangxi ‘s eight counties. In the same winter the Communist Party led a peasant uprising in Chongan, northern Fujian. In the sum- mer of 1930 the Xinjiang Soviet Government changed its name to the Northeastern Jiangxi Soviet Government with Fang Zhimin as the chairman. The Red Army troops in northeastern Jiangxi and northern Fujian were organized into the 10th Corps with Zhou Jianping as commander and Shao Shiping as political commissar. In the spring of1931, the northeastern Jiangxi base area developed into the Fujian- Zhejiang-Jiangxi base area comprising over 20 counties.
Hubei-Henan-Anhui base area: In November 1927, a peasant uprising in northeastern Hubei ‘s Huang’an (today’s Hongan) and Ma- cheng broke out. Then a Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolutionary Army was established and a base area founded. In 1929 the Communist Party launched uprisings in Shangcheng of Henan, and Liuan and Huoshan of Anhui, and organized a Red Army unit, laying the foun-dation of the southeastern Henan and Western Anhui base areas. In1930 the troops of the three areas were combined to form the First Corps with Xu Jishen as commander. It took advantage of the Kuo- mintang warlords’ Central Plain War to launch a big attack, expanding the base areas to over 30 counties, linked together as the Hubei-Henan-Anhui base area. In early 1931 the First Corps changed its name to the Fourth Corps, and later developed into the Fourth Front Red Army.
Honghu Lake-Hunan-western1927 and the spring of 1928, He Hubei base area: In the winter of Long, Zhou Yiqun and Duan De-chang mobilized the peasants in the Honghu Lake area and Sangzhi and Hefeng in Hunan and westem Hubei to carry out armed struggle, and organized the Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolutionary Army. In the spring of 1929, the Hunan and Western Hubei Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolutionary Army, led by He Long, was organized into the Fourth Corps and opened the Hunan-western Hubei base area. In the spring of1930 the guerrillas, led by Duan Dechang, were organized as the Sixth Corps, opening up the Honghu Lake base area. In the summer the two corps joined forces in Gongan. The Fourth Corps changed its name to the Second Corps with the Sixth Corps becoming the Second Red Army, with He Long as commander and Zhou Yiqun (later replaced by Deng Zhongxia) as political commissar. Later the two base areas were linked together as one.
Youjiang base area: In December 1929, Deng Xiaoping and Zhang Yunyi led a part of the Kuomintang’s Guangxi garrison forces and local peasant army to launch an uprising in Baise, and established the Seventh Corps and the Youjiang Soviet Government, opening up the Youjiang base area. In February 1930, Li Mingrui led another part of the Guangxi garrison forces in an uprising in Longzhou and set up the Eighth Corps. Soon it was defeated by its enemies and merged into the Seventh Corps. In October the Seventh Corps was ordered to move to the north. Wei Baqun led the people to carry on the struggle in the Youjiang area.
In addition to these major base areas, the Communist Party also set up base areas in Guangdong ‘s Haifeng and Lufeng counties and Hainan Island . After being suppressed by the enemy, the Red Army transferred to the mountain areas to continue armed struggle. By 1930 a dozen large and small rural base areas had been established in many provinces such as Jiangxi , Fujian , Hunan , Hubei , Guangxi, Guang-dong , Henan , Anhui , and Zhejiang . The Red Army expanded to a dozen corps, over 70,000 strong, and local armed forces with about 30,000 people and over 60,000 guns.
The widely-opened Soviet area and the expansion of the Red Army indicated that the Chinese revolution had taken the road of a rural, armed, independent regime. From October 1928 to January 1930, Mao Zedong wrote articles such as “Why Is It That Red Political Power Can Exist in China ?” “The Struggle in the Jinggang Moun-tains,” “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire.” In these works he expounded theoretically such issues as the possibility and necessity of setting up rural base areas, summarized the experience of the Com-munist Party in leading the armed uprisings and setting up rural base areas, and analysed the characteristics of Chinese society. He pointed out that China was a large semi-colonial country with an imbalanced economic and political development, and this, plus the divisions inside the counter-revolutionary camp and its various contradictions, made possible the emergence, existence and development of one or more small areas under Red political power. The establishment and expan-sion of the Red Army and the Red areas were the highest form and the logical outcome of the peasant struggle under the proletarian leader-ship, as well as the most important factors in promoting a nationwide revolutionary upsurge. The Communist Party must have the idea of “workers’ and peasants’ armed independent regime,” and adopt the policy of setting up base areas, systematically founding political power, deepening agrarian revolution, and gradually expanding peo-ple’s armed forces. These ideas laid the theoretical foundation for the Chinese revolution to take the road of occupying the villages first and then the cities, and encircling the cities from the villages.
In September 1929 the letter of instructions issued by the Mili-tary Commission of the CPC Central Committee to the Fourth Corps and the subsequent Ninth Party Congress of the Fourth Corps, namely the “Gutian Conference,” both indicated the direction for building a people’s army. The letter of instructions, written at the suggestion of Zhou Enlai, affirmed the “great significance” of the Red Army’s struggle and gave comprehensive explanations and profound analysis of the basic tasks of the Red Army and the various erroneous ideas existing inside the Party organization of the Fourth Corps. The letter pointed out that founding of Red Army units in rural areas predating the establishment of political power in cities was characteristic of the Chinese revolution and the outcome of China ‘s economic foundation. The basic tasks of the Red Army were to mobilize the masses to wage struggle, carry out agrarian revolution and set up the Soviet regime; to wage guerrilla warfare, arm the peasants and expand its own organi-zations; to expand the guerrilla areas and spread their political influence all over the country.
The Ninth Party Congress of the Fourth Corps was convened in December 1929 at Gutian in Shanghang County , Fujian Province. It passed a resolution drawn up by Mao Zedong. Its first part, “On Cor-recting Mistaken Ideas in the Party,” pointed out the manifestations of various non-proletarian ideas in the Communist Party organization in the Fourth Corps, their source and the methods of correcting them and called upon the whole army to rectify them thoroughly. The major erroneous ideas were manifested as follows: taking purely a military viewpoint, ultra-democracy, disregard of organizational discipline, absolute egalitarianism, subjectivism, individualism, ideology of roving rebel bands, remnants of putschism, etc. The main methods of correcting them were to intensify ideological education inside the Party and to strengthen discipline. The letter of instructions and the Gutian Conference resolution were two important documents in the history of building the people’s army.
The basic task of the Communist Party and the Soviet government in the rural revolutionary base areas was to lead the peasants to solve the land problem. It was one of the main tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution in China . The peasants in the base areas waged struggle by burning land deeds and distributing farmland. Several million peasants with little or no land won back their land from land- lords. In western Fujian some 600,000 peasants got land in a short period of time in 1929. The agrarian revolution boosted the growth of agricultural production in the base areas and offered a mass founda- tion for the war of the Red Army. In the practice of struggle, the Communist Party gradually solved the problems of line and policy in the agrarian revolution. The first problem was who should be the tar-get of land confiscation. In the beginning of the agrarian revolution, the Communist Party stipulated the confiscation of the land of only the big and medium landlords, not that of small landlords (owning about three hectares of land each). Later it supported the confiscation of all privately-owned land.
The Sixth CPC National Congress further stipulated the confis-cation of the land of only the landlord class. Secondly, it laid down the principle and method of land distribution. Generally, the township was taken as the unit for land distribution, which was to be carried out on a per capita basis, that is, men and women, old and young, should receive an equal amount of land. The original amount of arable land should be taken as the basis and the principle adopted of taking from those who had too much and giving to those who had too little. Thirdly, the congress settled the ownership rights of the land after distribution. In the beginning years, the base areas carried out the principle of public ownerhsip of land (ownership by the Soviet gov-ernment); the peasants could use the land but were not allowed to sell Or buy it. By the’spring of 1931 a change was made, that the land after distribution would be owned by the peasants. They also had the fight to rent, borrow, sell or buy. Fourthly, the class line was determined, namely, who to rely upon in the agrarian revolution; who to unite with and who to attack. The Sixth Party Congress basically stipulated the correct class line and policy. Reliance should be placed upon the poor peasants and farm labourers, while uniting with the middle peasants, neutralizing the rich peasants and eliminating the landlord class. The policy towards the rich peasants underwent a change in 1929, when the Communist Party, in accordance with the instructions of the Communist International, demanded adoption of the policy of “reso-lutely opposing the rich peasants.” Actually it was a policy of elimi-nating the rich peasants. It brought a harmful influence to the agrarian revolution.
As the revolutionary forces made headway and the “Left” ideas and sentiment remained after the Party’s August 7 conference, the Party Centre was, from June to September 1930, ruled for the second time by the “Left” opportunists represented by Li Lisan. He was then a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau and Director of Propaganda, and his line was known historically as the”Lisan line.” Li Lisan (1899-1967) said impractically that “the time of an unprecedented big world change and world revolution” was press-ing on towards us and the situation of class struggle in China was much more acute than that in Russia before the October Revolution. He maintained that any problem could lead to a revolutionary upsurge. In his opinion, once the workers’ struggle in industrial areas was mo-bilized, a nationwide revolutionary upsurge would take shape, and it would inevitably be followed by an upsurge of world revolution. Li Lisan opposed the viewpoint of “encircling the cities from the rural areas,” criticized it many times as an “extremely mistaken viewpoint,” and thought that the Party should take the mobilization of urban work-ers’ struggle as “the first important tactic.” In accordance with his elToneous estimation of the situation and the “taking the city as the centre” theory, Li Lisan mapped out his adventurist plan of launching a nationwide general uprising and concentrating the Red Army attacks on central cities.
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The expansion of the Soviet areas was achieved in an environ- ment of hard armed struggle. The birth of the Red Army and the So- viet areas was followed immediately by constant attacks from the Kuomintang reactionaries. After the Central Plain War, Chiang Kai-shek immediately concentrated forces to “encircle and suppress” the Red Army. Backed by the people of the base areas, the Red Army waged “anti-encirclement and suppression” wars. Repeated “encir-clement and suppression” campaigns and “anti-encirclement and suppression” campaigns formed the main pattern of China ‘s civil war. From December 1930 to May 1931, the Red Army in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui base area smashed the Kuomintang’s first and second “encirclement and suppression” campaigns with the enemy casualties amounting to over 20,000. From late December 1930 to September1931, the First Front Red Army crushed the three “encirclement and suppression” campaigns launched by Kuomintang troops against the central revolutionary base area, killing and wounding more than 70,000 enemies. These resulted in the linking together of the southern Jiangxi and western Fujian base areas, thus expanding the base areas to over 20 counties with a total population of three million. When the Kuomintang army concentrated its forces to attack the southern Jiangxi and western Fujian areas, the Red Army in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui base area took advantage of this to launch offensives to enlarge the base areas. In November 1931, the Fourth Corps of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui area and the newly founded 25th Corps were merged into the Fourth Front Red Army with Xu Xiangqian as commander and Chen Changhao as political commissar. From that time to May of the following year, the Fourth Front Red Army initiated four battles, wiped out 60,000 enemies, and disrupted the Kuomintang troops’ plan for a third “encirclement and suppression” campaign against the Hu-bei-Henan-Anhui area. The Sujiafu Battle alone wiped out over 30,000 enemies. By now the population of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui base area amounted to 3.5 million. The Honghu Lake base area, which had suf- fered great losses because of the implementation of the Li Lisan line, had recovered by the spring of 1931. The main force of the Red Army, which had retreated to the Hunan-Hubei border area, returned to the Honghu Lake area in October. From the winter of 1930 to the spring of 1932 the northeastem Jiangxi , Hunan-Jiangxi , Hunan – Hubei – Jiangxi , and Shaanxi-Gansu base areas all launched struggles against the Kuomintang’s “encirclement and suppression.” Mao Zedong was the chief Communist to lead the Red Army in wars against the Kuo- mintang’s “encirclement and suppression.” He developed the simple principle of the Red Army’s guerrilla warfare in the Jinggang Mountains period and raised a complete set of scientific principles in strate-gy and tactics: affirm active defence, oppose passive defence; lure the enemy in deep; concentrate troops to wage mobile wars, wars of quick decision and wars of annihilation. These strategic and tactical princi-ples became a magic weapon of the Red Army for defeating the ene-my and constituted an important part of Mao Zedong Thought.
While the workers and peasants led by the Communist Party were taking the road of armed revolution, a number of people were engaged either in anti-Chiang activities or in demanding democracy and reform. They were neither satisfied with the Kuomintang’s dicta-torship and warlord wars nor in favour of the Communist armed struggle and agrarian revolution, so they formed a third force outside the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. They were mainly national capitalists, the upper stratum of petty bourgeois intellectuals, and re-formists from other classes. They formed the following major political parties and factions: the third party, the reorganization group, the hu- man rights group, and the rural development group.
The third party, headed by the noted Kuomintang Left-winger Deng Yanda in the period of national revolution, was formally called “Provisional Operation Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang.” It was a revolutionary democratic faction splitting off from the Kuomintang. It advocated carrying out the revolution of the common people, over- throwing the Kuomintang Nanjing government and setting up the politi-cal power of the common people, abolishing unequal treaties, imple-menting land to the tillers, developing state capitalism and then realiz-ing socialism. All these were revolutionary propositions, but they op- posed the Party-led workers’ and peasants’ armed revolution. They regarded such revolution as putchism and rash action, and that the idea of setting up a Soviet regime was merely utopian. Their so-called revo- lution of the common people would be realized by holding a National Assembly and instigating the mutiny of the Kuomintang army against Chiang Kai-shek. In November 1931 Deng Yanda was secretly mur-dered by Chiang Kai-shek. The third party thus suffered great setback.
The reorganization group, headed by Wang Jingwei and Chen Gongbo (1890-1946), was formally called the “Society of Comrades for Reorganization of the Chinese Kuomintang.” It was an opposition fac-tion, not in office, within the Kuomintang. Their main slogan was to recover the reorganization spirit of the Kuomintang in 1924 and to re- establish an alliance of peasants, workers and petty bourgeoisie. They opposed both Chiang and the Communist Party. Among its members there were a great number of intellectuals and young students who could not find a correct way out. The upper stratum of the group, except a small number of anti-Chiang democrats, were mostly speculative politi-cians. To seize power from the persons in authority in the Kuomintang was the main objective they sought to attain. In 1929 they actively en- gaged in anti-Chiang activities, but were suppressed by Chiang. After 1930 only a small number of the upper stratum were left; they speculat-ed politically by attaching themselves to warlords. After the September 18th Incident, the cooperation between Wang Jingwei and Chiang Kai-shek ended the existence of the reorganization group.
The human rights group was headed by Hu Shi and Luo Longji(1898-1965). Their basic stand was to uphold reform and to oppose violent revolution. They demanded the realization of Western bour-geois democratic politics in China and upheld the extinguishing com-munism and the Communist Party by way of ideological competition. They were dissatisfied with the one-party dictatorship of the Kuo-mintang, so they raised the slogan of “fighting for human rights.” They cherished the illusion that the Kuomintang would open up its regime, so they could join in the government to reform China ‘s poli-tics in accordance with the British and American political system. They failed to realize their hope.
The rural development group was headed by Liang Shuming. Yan Yangchu was one of the chief figures in the group. He had engaged in the education of the common people and the rural development work in the early 1920’s. However, the group’s composition was very compli-cated, including capitalists and landlord-class reformists, Kuomintang officials, and progressive scholars and youth keen on national salvation. For a period of time, there were several hundred institutions and organi- zations engaged in rural development work, in addition to over one thousand experimental centres. Three nationwide seminars on this work were held. Some of these institutions and organizations put stress on common people’s education and vocational education; others on social services and disaster relief; still others on agricultural technical amelio-ration and popularization of agricultural cooperation, on village self-defence and autonomy, or on creation of “new-type social organiza-tion.” Representative bodies were: the Shandong Rural Development Academy led by Liang Shuming, the China Society for Promotion of Common People’s Education led by Yan Yangchu, the Jiangsu Provincial Education Academy led by Gao Jiansi, etc. The rural development group aimed at saving the bankrupt countryside and taking China onto the road of national self-salvation through the above-mentioned activi-ties. They would not do anything to challenge the Kuomintang reaction-ary rule; some of them clearly expressed their opposition to revolution, class struggle and the Communist Party. The rural reformist movement launched by the rural development group had a certain impact upon Chinese society. Some of the organizations had done useful work in popularizing rural education and agricultural technical amelioration, but this movement could not save China , just like the others.
There eXisted a Trotskyite faction among the political forces in China at that time. It was directly guided by Trotsky himself. Its offi-cial name was “The Left Opposition of the Chinese Communist Party,” or the “Lenin Faction of Chinese Bolsheviks.” The faction first appeared among Chinese students in Moscow . After these students returned to China , they urged some old Right opportunists to take the Trotskyite road. In May 1931, several small Trotskyite groups jointly organized into a central leading organ with Chert Duxiu as the general secretary. Although China ‘s Trotskyites opposed Kuomintang rule, they were also sharply antagonistic to the CPC Centre. They consid-ered that since the bourgeoisie gained victory in the 1925-1927 revo-lution, the feudal forces had become “remnants of remnants,” that China had become a capitalist society and bourgeois democratic revolution had already been completed. The central task at present, they said, was to struggle for the convention of a “National Assem-bly,” and the socialist revolution should be carried out after capitalism had further developed. Some of them cursed the Red Army and op-posed the armed struggle led by the Communist Party. The Trotskyite centre after unification was rapidly disrupted by the Kuomintang. China ‘s Trotskite faction remained, from start to finish, a small group with few members, full of contradictions.
The September 18th Incident and the Upsurge of the Nationwide Anti-Japanese Democratic Movement. The Kuomintang Policy of “Internal Pacification Before Resistance to Foreign Invasion”
The September 18th Incident broke out at a time when Chiang Kai-shek was employing every military and political means to strengthen his own rule in China, the Chinese revolution was making rapid headway on the tortuous road and the intermediate political fac-tions were making new political explorations. It changed to a great extent China’s political situation and concrete historical process.
On the night of September 18, 1931 , the Japanese troops dynamited a section of the South Manchuria Railway in Shenyang ‘s northern suburb and falsely accused Chinese troops of the act. On this pretext the Japanese troops suddenly attacked Beidaying, where the Chinese Northeast Army was stationed, and Shenyang . The army withdrew without fighting while the major officers and officials quickly took refuge in other places, thus making it possible for the Japanese troops to occupy such important cities as Shenyang, Changchun, Yingkou, Liaoyang, Anshan, Benxi, Fushun, Siping and Andong (today’s Dandong) on the second day. The Japanese troops stationed in Korea also crossed the border to intrude on China ‘s northeast provinces. By the end of September the Japanese troops occupied Liaoning (excluding Liaoxi) and Jilin provinces, and in November took the larger part of Heilongjiang Province . In January 1932, the Japanese troops attacked Jinzhou and seized the Liaoxi areas and on February 5, occupied Harbin . The three northeast provinces thus fell into the enemy’s hands in less than five months. In March 1932 the puppet state of ” Manchukuo ” was set up under the Japanese imperialists’ direction. Pu Yi became its “chief executive.” Pu Yi (1906-1967) was the banished Qing Dynasty emperor Xuan Tong, of Manchu ethnic group, whose surname was Aisin-Gioro. In September Japan officially proclaimed its recognition of the state of ” Manchukuo ” and a protocol of alliance was signed between Japan and ” Manchukuo .” ” Manchukuo ” was a puppet state entirely under the control of the Japanese Kwan-tung Army. In March 1934 it changed its name to the “Manchu Empire” under the Japanese imperialists’ direction, and Pu Yi was called emperor in place of the “chief executive,” The commanding officer of the Kwantung Army, as the representative of the Japanese Mikado (emperor), acted as Pu Yi’s “instructor” and “guardian” and concurrently as the Japanese ambassador plenipotentiary to “Manchukuo.” He was actually the overlord who held sway in northeast China . The Japanese imperialists ruthlessly carried out military occupation and colonial rule through the puppet power.
After the September 18th Incident, the Japanese imperialists turned northeast China into a colony under Japan’s exclusive control, then began the second step of colonizing all of China under its sole domination, thus changing the Versailles-Washington world pattern formed after World War I and deepening the tension in China between the United States and Britain on the one side, and Japan on the other. Thereafter a great change took place in China ‘s internal political situation and class relations. The threat from Japan became the most important issue so anti-Japanese aggression became the common demand of the whole Chinese people. A partial anti-Japanese war waged by the Chinese people began.
The Kuomintang govemment adopted a non-resistance policy towards Japanese imperialist aggression. Chiang Kai-shek asked the whole nation to “submit temporarily to oppression and await the judgement of acknowledged international justice.” The Kuomintang government many times accused the Japanese troops of aggression in Chinese territory before the League of Nations and asked it to uphold justice, in the hope of compelling Japan to withdraw its troops from the northeast. The League of Nations , however, was then recognized as powerless to impose sanctions against Japan . Disillusioned, Chiang attempted to make direct negotiations with Japan , but to no avail as there was opposition from many sides.
The people throughout China were indignant at the Japanese imperialists’ armed aggression and the Kuomintang’s non-resistance, and all demanded resistance. A nationwide wave of feeling against Japanese aggression, unprecedented in scale, was thus launched. The Chinese Communist Party, the Soviet government and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army issued many statements and made decisions calling upon the Red Army and the oppressed masses “to wage a national revolutionary war to drive the Japanese imperialists out of China.” Open telegrams were issued from all over China to protest against the Japanese imperialists’ atrocities and to demand resistance to the Japanese aggressors. In large and medium cities, meetings, demonstrations and petitions were held, unprecedented both in popularity and Workers in Shanghai and Beiping held strikes one after another. Students played a vanguard role in the anti-Japanese move-ment. They held assemblies and parades, issued open telegrams, produced propaganda, set up anti-Japanese organizations and organized anti-Japanese volunteers, and demanded that the Kuomintang government stop the civil war, arm the civilians and send soldiers to fight the Japanese aggressors. Students in Shanghai, Beiping, Jinan, Wuhan and Guangzhou sent delegates or went in groups to Nanjing to present petitions. On September 28 the petitioning students in Nanjing and Shanghai beat the foreign minister, Wang Zhengting, and smashed Wang’s office. In late November students in Nanjing and other places launched the “send Chiang to the north to resist the Japanese aggressors” movement. Early in December as the petitioning students to Nanjing kept increasing, the Kuomintang authorities formally ordered the prohibition of student groups coming to Nanjing to petition. On December 17, over 30,000 students went to demonstrate and petition around the offices of the Kuomintang central headquarters and the National Government in Nanjing . The Kuomintang troops and armed policemen suppressed them near the Zhenzhu Bridge, killing over 30, wounding over 100, and arresting another 100. The Zhenzhu Bridge massacre sparked off protester in many places. Students, workers and other people in Shanghai, carrying the coffins of the student victims, held a 100,000-person demonstration. Patriotic industrialists and mer-chants in many cities launched a campaign to boycott Japanese goods and demanded that economic relations with Japan suspended. Public figures and newspapers representing the national bourgeoisie made speeches and carded commentaries demanding for an immediate end to civil and union against the Japanese imperialists, criticizing the Kuomintang government’s non-resistance and internal policy, and calling for reorganization of the government and for a government of national defence. Splits and vacillation also occurred inside the Kuo-mintang and among its troops. In November when the Japanese troops attacked Heilongjiang Province, Ma Zhanshan, acting governor of Heilongjiang and the commander-in-chief of the province’s garrison, led his troops in resistance at the Nenjiang Bridge . Donations were sent from all sections of society in support of Ma in the resistance war. In December the 26th Route Army, over 17,000 strong, which had been sent by Chiang to Jiangxi to attack the Red Army, revolted in Ningdu under the leadership of Zhao Bosheng and Dong Zhentang, and went over to the Red Army. To sum up, from the September 18th Incident, a resistance upsurge against Japanese invaders appeared among the workers, peasants, students and urban petty bourgeoisie. The national bourgeoisie also took an active attitude towards resistance against Japan . Even some of the Kuomintang members and troops, in defiance of the Kuomintang Centre’s order, rose in resistance. The patriotic anti-Japanese movement became an irresistible historical trend.
The September 18th Incident brought about a strong international response. The peace-loving and justice-upholding people around the globe unanimously condemned the Japanese imperialists’ aggressive conduct. The governments of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain reacted differently with their varying standpoints. The Soviet government sympathized with and supported China morally, but it adopted a “neutral” attitude of non-interference in its foreign policy. The American government adopted a wait-and-see attitude at the beginning and only after the Japanese troops had occupied Jinzhou did the U.S. Secretary of State Henry Lewis Stimson deliver notes of “nonrecognition” to the Chinese and Japanese governments, declaring that the United States would not recognize the changed status quo in China’s northeast. Taking a wavering attitude, the British government did nothing practical. This was manifested through activities in the League of Nations . Although the League of Nations made a decision asking Japan to withdraw its troops within the set time, Japan simply ignored the demand. The League did nothing about it. Later it appointed an investigation group. It was formally set up in January 1932 with British representative V. L. George Robert Lytton as its head. After over six months’ “investigation,” in October it published a “documented report of the group.” This document recognized some basic facts such as “the three northeast provinces being part of China,” made certain disclosures of the Japanese imperialists’ aggressive actions, and pointed out that their military action in the “September 18th Incident” could not be regarded as “legal self-defence methods” and “Manchukuo” was a puppet state rigged up entirely by Japan. How-ever, the document excused the aggressors in many respects and pro-posed placing northeast China under “international control,” which would have infringed upon China ‘s sovereignty. In February. 1933 the League of Nations Assembly passed a resolution which basically accepted the opinions and suggestions of Lytton’s investigative report. It declared that no factual and legal recognition would be given to ” Manchukuo,” but this was only a scrap of paper.
In May 1931, after Chiang Kai-shek had held the “National Assembly,” the anti-Chiang faction members such as Wang Jingwei, Sun Ke, Chen Jitang and Li Zongren set up the Kuomintang Central Ex-ecutive and Supervisory Committee Conference and the National Government in Guangzhou in armed confrontation with Chiang’s Nanjing government. After the September 18th Incident both the Nanjing and Guangzhou governments took a conciliatory attitude. The Nanjing side asked its opponent to cancel the “Guangzhou national government,” “unite and take concerted action immediately to cope with national calamity,” while the Guangzhou side asked Chiang to leave office and organize a “united national government,” to “stop internal contention and resist foreign aggression.” Actually what they did was scramble for power under the pretense of “united action against national calamity.” After some contention, a “peace and unity conference” was held in Shanghai , attended by delegates of both sides, in late October. Both sides cast “united resistance against Japan ” to the wind. Their talk centred around the distribution of party, political and military power.
The Guangzhou delegates put forward “a reform programme of the central political system,” which aimed at destroying the dictator-ship system set up by Chiang Kai-shek and seizing central power. The Nanjing delegates insisted that the party’s rule and the constitution could not be changed. What this really meant was that they were re-fusing to abandon control of central power. As both sides attacked each other, the conference came to a deadlock. Later they reached an agreement after the mediation of many people. They decided the Kuomintang Fourth National Congress would be held by both sides at their locales to choose their own Central Committee members, and then the Fourth Plenary Session of the Fourth Central Committee would be held in Nanjing to deal with the proposals raised by both sides and also with the issue of reorganizing the government. The Nanjing Kuornintang Fourth National Congress was held on Novem-ber 12, at which Chiang Kai-shek talked loudly about strengthening “internal unity” so as to “resist foreign aggression,” but proposedno concrete measures of resisting foreign aggressors. What he wanted was to hold fast to central power. The Guangzhou Kuomintang Fourth National Congress was held on November 18. Because of the scram- ble for power between the anti-Chiang cliques, no compromise was reached. The Guangzhou congress members were split into the Hu Hanmin clique of Guangzhou and the Wang Jingwei clique of Shang-hai. Hu Hanmin (1879-1936) claimed the congress’ aims were to sin-cerely unite against foreign aggression, “overthrow dictatorship and implement democratic politics.” His intention was to force Chiang Kai-shek to leave office and reorganize the Nanjing government. After the congress, the party central headquarters of the Hu clique was for-mally set up in Guangzhou . In such a situation Chiang Kai-shek con-sidered that it would be disadvantageous to him to hold out tena-ciously; so he decided to make concessions in order to gain advantage. He handed in his resignation as the president of the Kuomintang Na-tional Government and the head of the Executive Yuan on December15.
After Chiang’s resignation, Lin Sen (1867-1943) was appointed president of the National Government and Sun Ke (1891-1973) head of the Executive Yuan by the First Plenary Session of the Fourth Kuomintang Central Committee. The Nanjing and Guangzhou sides thus organized a “united government.” Actually Chiang, Wang and Hu did not cooperate, but they all manipulated the political situation be-hind the scenes. Sun Ke, without real power, could do nothing. In January 1932 the Japanese troops occupied Jinzhou without much effort. This aroused a nationwide denunciation of Sun Ke’s govern-ment. The Kuomintang govemment kept up the policy of nonresis- tance and no negotiations. Making use of the situation, Chiang’s close followers in the Kuomintang raised a cry for Chiang’s resumption of office. Chiang made a speech at Fenghua’s Wuling School on the”Northeast Problem and the Policy Towards Japan” on January 11, 1932 . He tried hard to explain the nonresistance of the Kuomintang government and attacked the patriotic anti-Japanese movement. He asked the citizens to obey the government in everything. He opposed declaring war on and breaking off relations with Japan . His policy towards Japan was to continue relations, avoid a declaration of war and refuse to conclude and sign any treaty ceding territory and surren-dering China ‘s sovereign rights. At that time collaboration between Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei was brewing. After delivering his speech, Chiang went to Hangzhou to meet with Wang and the two reached an agreement on the division of power, whereby Wang was to take charge of domestic and foreign affairs and Chiang military affairs. The Chiang and Wang cliques thus jointly held the power of the Kuo-mintang central government and pushed the Hu Hanmin clique out of the government.
On the night of January 28, an attack on Shanghai . The 19th 1932, the Japanese troops launched Route Army stationed in Shanghai, influenced by the anti-Japanese enthusiasm of the patriotic Chinese people, started resisting the Japanese invasion under the leadership of its commanding generals Cai Tingkai (1892-1968) and Jiang Guang- nai (1887-1967). After the December 8th Incident, the people of all circles in Shanghai launched a big movement to support the 19th Route Army’s anti-Japanese fighting. In mid-February 1932, Zhang Zhizhong led the Fifth Corps with Chiang’s agreement to participate in the fighting. Thanks to the 19th Route Army and the Fifth Corps’ heroic resistance and the active participation of the broad masses, Shanghai held off the aggressors for over one month, killing and wounding over 10,000 Japanese troops. The Japanese army was forced to change its commanding general three times, but was still unable to make any headway. However, after the 19th Routh Army suffered heavy casualties and was badly in need of support and help, Chiang Kai-shek refused to send reinforcements, and his Ministry of Military and Political Affairs even pocketed a portion of the soldiers’ pay and held up the people’s donations. The Japanese aggressors or-ganized additional troops in Shanghai , launched a general attack and landed at Liuhe. Outflanked, the 19th Route Army was forced to withdraw from the city. On March 14, through the British envoy Lampson’s mediation, both the Kuomintang and Japanese troops stopped military actions and engaged in armistice negotiations. On May 5, an armistice agreement of national betrayal and humiliation was signed.
After that, Chiang Kai-shek formally affirmed the reactionary policy of “internal pacification before resistance to foreign invasion” as his basic norms of handling internal and foreign affairs. This policy was aimed actually at “pacification,” rather than “resistance.” Under the reactionary state policy, the anti-Japanese democratic movement upsurge after the September 18th Incident was suppressed. In the meantime the country’s territory and sovereign rights were continu-ously encroached upon by the Japanese imperialists. China ‘s national disaster deepened day by day.
On New Year’s Day of 1933 when the Japanese troops launched an attack on Shanhaiguan Pass , the Chinese army stationed there rose in counter-attack, thus raising the curtain on resistance on the Great Wall. On January 3, Shanhaiguan Pass fell into the Japanese hands. Then the Japanese invaders attacked Rehe in three columns. The Rehe provincial governor, Tang Yulin, and 200,000 soldiers fled without fighting. The Japanese vanguard, 128 strong, occupied Chengde, the provincial capital, on March 4. This caused a nationwide denunciation of Zhang Xueliang and demand for the punishment of Tang Yulin. Chiang Kai-shek decided to have Zhang Xueliang resign and appoint-ed He Yingqin to replace him and act concurrently as chairman of the Beiping branch of the Military Commission.
After the Japanese aggressors occupied Shanhaiguan Pass and Rehe, they launched attacks on the militarily important location of Xifengkuo, Lengkou and Gubeikou along the Great Wall. The Kuo-mintang Northwest Army led by Song Zheyuan, the Shanxi Army led by Shang Zhen, the Northeast Army led by Wang Yizhe and the Cen-tral Army reinforcements led by Guan Linzheng, all heroically re-sisted the offensive of the Japanese troops. The Great Wall resistance battle dealt the arrogant Japanese aggressors a heavy blow. When the Japanese invaders suffered setbacks at the important passes on the Great Wall, they pushed forward through Shanhaiguan Pass towards the east of the Luanhe River . The Kuomintang troops at these passes withdrew one by one after being attacked front and rear. While the Japanese troops were penetrating to the east of the Luanhe River , the British government began to worry that this action would endanger British interests and rights in this area. It then lodged a serious protest to the Japanese government. Afraid of incurring international disputes, the Japanese government ordered the withdrawal of the Japanese troops from east Luanhe River back to the Great Wall line in mid-April. It adopted a method of instigating rebellion internally through buying over agents in an attempt to create a second ” Manchukuo ” in north China . Early in May, seeing that their instigation could not come to effect quickly, the Japanese troops launched another offensive to the east of the Luanhe River and forged across the river to make a surprise attack on the liver’s west. Over 20 counties of eastern Hebei Province were occupied by the invaders, placing Beiping and Tianjin in immi-nent danger. At this critical juncture, on May 3, 1933 , the national government published an order to establish the Beiping Government Affairs Rearrangement Committee of the Executive Yuan and appointed Huang Fu as its chairman. Huang was then sent to north China
to negotiate with Japan about armistice issues. Huang held secret ne-gotiations with the Japanese in Beiping and reached an agreement in principle. On May 31, 1933 , He Yingqin, acting chairman of the Beiping branch of the Military Commission of the national govern-ment, with the agreement of Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei, sent Xiong Bin to sign the Tanggu Agreement with the Japanese army’s delegate, Yasuji Okamura. This agreement virtually acquiesced in the “lawfulness” of the Japanese occupation of the three northeastern provinces and Rehe, and recognized eastern Hebei as a “demilitarized zone.”
Although the anti-Japanese democratic movement of the Chinese people had met with ruthless suppression by the Kuomintang govern-ment, it continued to grow. in momentum in face of the deepening aggression of the Japanese imperialists and the sharpening national crisis consequent upon Chiang’s policy of “internal pacification before resistance to foreign invasion.” The public opinions centred on con-demning the Kuomintang government and Chiang’s nonresistance policy, and called upon the Kuomintang to change its “suppress the Communists” policy, stop civil war and unite against foreign aggres-sion. Newspapers and magazines such as Shen Bao (Shanghai Daily), Da Gong Bao (Impartial Daily), Xin Wen Bao (News Daily), and Dongfang (The East) carded commentaries, criticizing the Kuomin-tang’s domestic and foreign policies, urging the Kuomintang govern-ment to “change its attitude” and castigating Chiang Kai-shek and his followers. These commentaries expressed the discontent of the people of the whole country, who were more and more dissatisfied with the Kuomintang’s rule and its policy. The progressive intellectuals, agitat-ed by the national crisis, demanded an anti-Japanese policy, as well as democracy and unity.
In December 1932 the China League for Defence of Civil Rights was formally established, with Soong Ching Ling (1893-01981) as president and Cai Yuanpei (1868-1940) as vice-president. The aims of the league were to save all patriotic revolutionary “political prison-ers,” and fight for freedom of speech, the press, assembly and asso-ciation.
In the spring of 1933 the Japanese troops extended their aggres-sion to south of the Great Wall threatening north China . Open tele-grams from people’s organizations in various provinces and munici-palities were sent to Feng Yuxiang, asking him to put up resistance Lgainst Japan . With the encouragement and help of the Chinese Com- munist Party, Feng Yuxiang organized the Qahar People’s Anti-Japanese Allied Army in Zhangjiakou on May 26, with himself as the commander-in-chief. The First Congress of the Anti-Japanese Allied Army was held in Zhangjiakou in June. It passed a resolution on the programme of the People’s Anti-Japanese Allied Army. After the con-gress the army was divided into three columns to fight the approach-ing enemy. They recaptured Dolon Nor in July, and drove the Japanese and puppet troops out of Qahar. Chiang Kai-shek used every means to attack the allied army. The allied army, under the converging attack of the Japanese invaders and Chiang’s troops, was in a difficult position. Vhen the Japanese troops reoccupied Dolon Nor in August, Feng Yuxiang was compelled to abolish the general headquarters of the Allied Army and left the army. Subsequently Ji Hongchang and Fang Zhenwu declared by open telegram that the name of the Anti-Japanese Allied Army was now changed to Quell-the-Aggressors Army. The army continued its resistance against Japan in Rehe and around the Great Wall. However it suffered defeat due to the joint attacks of the Chiang and Japanese troops in September.
In November 1933, the Kuomintang 19th Route Army under the command of Cai Tingkai, Chen Mingshu (1889-1965) and Jiang Guangnai, and part of the Kuomintang anti-Chiang forces headed by Li Jishen launched the “Fujian Incident.” They held the Chinese People’s Interim Congress in Fuzhou , published “The Manifesto of People’s Rights,” and established the People’s Revoltitionary Government. They advocated eliminating the imperialist forces in China , abolishing unequal treaties, overthrowing the counter-revolutionary, traitorous government, getting rid of all feudal forces, distributing farmland on a per capita basis, developing national capital, improving the livelihood of the workers and peasants, ensuring that the working people enjoy absolute freedom and equality, etc. These reflected the political and economic demands of the middle stratum. The Chinese Soviet Provisional Central Government and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army concluded an agreement with the Fujian People’s Government for resistance to Japanese aggression and struggle against Chiang Kai-shek. The establishment of the Fujian People’s Government marked the breaking-up of the Kuomintang camp. Chiang made every effort to eliminate the Fujian People’s Government. By the end of 1933, Chiang made himself commander-in-chief of the “Suppress-the-Bandit Army” and mustered large numbers of troops to attack Fujian . Mean- while he sent people to sneak into Fujian and buy the officers of the19th Route Army with money and official posts. The Japanese, British and American naval vessels and gunboats, under the pretext of protecting their nationals in Fujian , coordinated with Chiang’s troops to threaten the Fujian People’s Government. In January the following year, due to the fierce assault and siege of Chiang’s troops and some officers within its own ranks crossing over to Chiang’s side, the Fujian People’s Government collapsed. The CPC Central Committee under the rule of the “Left” opportunist line failed to give adequate support to the Fujian People’s Government.
On April 20, 1934 , the “Basic Programme of the Chinese People’s War Against Japan” proposed by the Chinese Communist Party and signed by 1,779 people including Soong Ching Ling, He Xiang-ning and Li Du was published. It called on the Chinese people to rise and arm themselves to drive the Japanese imperialists out of China , and to set up a general leading body of the nation’s armed resistance against Japan . In May the General Committee of the Chinese Nation for Armed Self-Defence was set up in Shanghai . This programme, though expressing the just demand of the Chinese people for resistance against Japan and for national salvation, could never be realized under the Kuomintang reactionary rule.
Fascist Rule of the Kuomintang Government. The Deepening and Expansion of the Soviet Revolution and the Long March of the Red Army
After the September 18th and January 28th incidents, while pur-suing a policy of compromise with Japan, Chiang Kai-shek used every means to strengthen his reactionary state apparatus, tighten the rule over the people and the suppression of the anti-Japanese democratic movement, and consolidate his autocratic rule and the KMT one-party dictatorship.
In January 1932, the KMT government decided to re-establish the Military Commission with Chiang Kai-shek as its chairman. In June, the Military Commission issued an order to organize the KMT troops into 48 corps to found a massive Central Army. At the same time, the local armed forces–Peace Preservation Corps of all prov-inces were unified and augmented. All these armies served as a ma-jor prop for the KMT regime.
Within the KNIT party and government Chiang Kai-shek set up huge spy organizations. As far back as the end of 1927, instructed by Chiang, Chen Guofu (1892-1951) had formed the “Central Club,” the origin of the so-called CC clique. During the Third National Congress of the KMT in 1929, Chen Lifu was appointed secretary-general of the KMT Central Executive Committee. The influence of the two Chens therefore gradually spread into the organizational sections and grass-roots units under the KMT party departments of various cities and provinces. There was a saying, “The state belongs to the Chiang fa-mily and the party to the Chens.” Early in 1933, the KMT Faithful Comrades Association came into being with the two Chens at the centre and Chiang Kai-shek as its president. Under the KMT Central Organization Department, which was controlled by Chen Guofu, there was an organ called “Party Affairs Investigation Section” (later, ex-panded and named “Party Affairs Investigation Department”), which was actually a spy organization. This was the predecessor of the KMT Central Investigation and Statistics Bureau (CISB). In March 1932, Chiang Kai-shek instructed He Zhonghan, Dai Li, Kang Ze and others to set up the Zhong Hua Fu Xing She (China Rejuvenation Society, or CRS for short), in the name of “national revival,” with Chiang as its president. Soon afterwards, an inner and more secret organization called Li Xing She (Earnest Practice Society) was founded within it, and its peripheral organizations were also formed. Initially CRS mainly operated in the KMT military system, then it extended to other fields. CRS included a Secret Service Department (headed by Dai Li) and a Special Detachment (headed by Kang Ze). Later this spy system came under the command of the Military Commission, and was called “Investigation and Statistics Bureau of the Military Commission”(ISBMC). With the secret organizations extended into military, politi-cal, economic and cultural systems, China was thrown into a rule of spy terror. On July 17, 1932 , the Conference of the Shanghai Anti-Imperialist League was destroyed by special agents and over 80 peo-ple were arrested. On April 23, 1933 , when a public funeral for Li Dazhao, who had been executed by the warlord government, was held by Beiping’s educational circles, the reactionary army, police and special agents rushed to suppress it on the spot. People arrested and killed that day and afterwards numbered over 400. On June 18, Yang Xingfu (1893-1933), chief secretary of both the Central Academy and the China League for Defence of Civil Rights, was assassinated in Shanghai by KMT special agents. Soong Ching Ling, Lu Xun and Cai Yuanpei were all given warning of assassination. On November 13,1934 , Shi Liangcai (1878-1934), general manager of the Shanghai Daily, was murdered on the highway from Shanghai to Hangzhou . In addition, the KMT special agents infiltrated through various channels into the Communist Party and other revolutionary or progressive or-ganizations, and even into the Communist-led revolutionary bases.
To strengthen its rule over the people, the KMT government set up the Bao-Jia system in the areas around the revolutionary bases from August 1932. In 1934, this system was further practised all over the country. The Bao-Jia system stipulated that each county should be divided into a number of districts which should establish this kind of organization within a definite time, that this system be organized on a household basis; each Jia being made up of 10 households, and each Bao of 10 Jia; and each Jia or Bao must have a head. Households should keep watch on the movements of one another, and report of- fences if they took place. Punishment would go to those related to somebody regarded as an offender. Bao and Jia heads were usually landlords or members of the gentry. Corvre, such as building fortifi-cations, was organized through this system. Thus a tight network of reactionary rule was formed from the central government down to the localities.
Apart from strengthening its military, political and spy forces, the KMT used all means of reactionary propaganda in the fields of culture and ideology. Chiang Kai-shek gave enormous publicity to China’s inherent feudal ethics such as the “Four Social Bonds” (manners, justice, integrity and honour) and the “Eight Virtues” (loyalty, filial piety, benevolence, love, faith, righteousness, harmony and peace), as well as the philosophy of “attaining intuitive knowledge” advocated by Wang Yangming (1472-1528). At the same time, he stealthily peddled fascism from abroad. When propagating fascist “activism,” he said, “In the universe since ancient times, only by action can everything be created.” The integration of both led to the formation of China ‘s reactionary ideology which was called “philosophy of earnest practice” or “philosophy of honesty.” Chen Lifu followed it up with the publication of his book Vitalism, which preached idealism and fascist antirationalism. The KMT newspapers and publications at that time raised a hue and cry about “carrying out the KMT’s fascistization” and “only blook-and-iron fascism can save China ,” etc. In July 1933, Chiang Kai-shek conducted the Officers’ Training Corps at Mt. Lushan in Jiangxi Province . He appointed himself head of the corps and gave his high-ranking officers “spiritual training,” imbuing them with his reactionary ideas and the policy of “internal pacification before resistance to foreign invasion.” In August, he set up an institute especially for training high-ranking party and government officials. Later on, the Lushan Training Corps was expanded for training party, government, military and educational personnel. In August 1935, the “Emei Military Training Corps” was formed.
In February 1934, Chiang Kai-shek started the “New Life Movement” in Nanchang , the base of launching his “encirclement and suppression” campaign against the Communists. According to Chiang, the New Life Movement was a movement to bring the whole life(clothing, eating, housing and travelling) of the entire people up to the standards of the nation’s traditional virtues manners, justice, integrity and honour. This movement was aimed at “organizing the life of the people along military, productive and artistic lines,” and at cartying out “social transformation and national rejuvenation.” However, this was only for the sake of appearances. Chiang’s real intention was to control public feeling with feudal ethics so as to shackle people’s words and deeds, and make them submissively endure the KMT’s feudal, comprador and fascist dictatorship. With the promulgation of the “Outline of the New Life Movement” and the “Points for Attention in the New Life Movement” the Association for Promotion of the New Life Movement came into being. Headed by Chiang Kai-shek, it enforced the movement throughout the country. By 1936, counties under the KMT rule with branches of the association numbered 1,355.
To propagate feudal-comprador ideas and fascism, the KMT initiated a “Cultural Construction Movement” in 1934, and founded the Chinese Cultural Construction Association with Chen Lifu as its director-general. The association published a magazine entitled Cultural Construction, advertising the so-called China-oriented cultural construction, which meant a “new culture” based on China ‘s traditional feudal culture mixed with that from the West. In January 1935, Tao Xisheng and nine other professors jointly issued a “Manifesto on China-oriented Cultural Construction.” A great number of articles on this topic appeared in newspapers and journals, which were later compiled and published as a special collection.
As stated above, after the September 18th Incident, the threat from Japan had become the main problem for China , and had brought about tremendous changes in China ‘s situation. As a decisive factor in China ‘s political situation, the Chinese Communist Party and the revolutionary forces under its leadership were also experiencing great changes.
In late September 1931, the CPC Provisional Central Political Bureau was formed with Bo Gu (also known as Qin Bangxian, 1907-1946) as its head. The Provisional Central Political Bureau advocated resolutely resisting Japanese imperialist aggression, strongly attacked the nonresistance policy of the KMT government, called on the whole Party to integrate themselves with the lower stratum of the petty bour-geoisie to form a united front against Japan and Chiang Kai-shek, and mobilized and led the masses to wage armed struggle against Japanese aggression and the Kuomintang reactionary regime. However, the line and policies adopted by the Party Central Committee in this period were mainly wrong. This line held that the September 18th Incident would “touch off a world war, especially an anti-USSR war,” and that “opposition to the USSR has become the fundamental and immediate danger.” So it raised the call to “defend the USSR with armed force,” which was completely divorced from the people’s desire to resist Ja-panese invasion. It over-emphasized the unity of imperialist powers in suppressing the Chinese revolution after the September 18th Incident, so it maintained that it was necessary to oppose “all kinds of imperi- alism” when struggling against Japan . It only emphasized that Japan ‘s aim was to suppress the Chinese revolution, and ignored the national crisis and the danger of national extinction consequent upon Japan ‘s aggression. It only noticed the KMT government’s moves of com-promise and capitulation, but completely denied the contradictions between the Japanese invaders and the Chinese authorities. So it time and again stressed that while opposing Japanese imperialism, the struggle to overthrow the KMT’s rule must be carried out, and that “overthrowing the KMT government is a precondition for successfully waging the national revolutionary war.” It regarded the KMT as a monolithic bloc and all the anti-Chiang factions within the KMT as “reactionary factions not in office,” and wanted to put them all down. It failed to see the change of the political attitude of the national bour-geoisie since the September 18th Incident and refused the slogan of a “National Defence Government.” It denied the existence of the mod-erate camp and the middle classes’ demand for democracy and resis-tance against Japan , and even concluded that the moderates were “the most dangerous enemies,” who … “should be struck at with the main force.” Consequently, it not only failed to give correct guidance to the movement for resistance and democracy at that period, but also made itself extremely isolated.
In addition, the Left-deviationist Party Centre refused to carry out necessary retreats from the cities where enemy forces were strong or take any defensive action in those places, and refused to make use of every available legal condition. It adopted a form of attack which was totally unsuited to the situation at that time, set up huge Party organs without mass cover and Red mass organizations which were divorced from the people. It frequently called for or organized political strikes, league strikes, students’ strikes, shopkeepers’ strikes, demonstrations, etc. All of these brought great losses to the work in White areas. But, because Wang Ming’s “Left” adventurist policy had not yet been put into practice in the Soviet areas at that time, the workers’ and peas- ants’ revolution there continued to deepen and expand.
In November 1931, the First National Congress of the Chinese Soviet was convened in Ruijin of Jiangxi Province. The congress pro-claimed the Provisional Central Government of the Chinese Soviet Republic and adopted an “Outline of the Constitution of the Chinese Soviet Republic .” The Outline stipulated: “The state founded by the Chinese Soviet power is a state of the workers’ and peasants’ democ-ratic dictatorship.” The congress approved a series of important documents such as a labour law, land law, and economic policies. These documents had been discussed and jointly drafted by the CPC Central Political Bureau and the Far East Bureau of the Communist International after the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Party Central Committee before they were submitted to the congress. Many of the policies formulated in them were erroneous “Left” ones. The congress elected Mao Zedong and others members of the Central Ex- ecutive Committee. The Central Executive Committee elected Mao Zedong chairman of the Provisional Central Government of the Chi-nese Soviet Republic , and Xiang Ying and Zhang Guotao vice-chairmen. At the same time, the Military Commission of the Chinese Soviet Republic was formed with Zhu De as chairman and Wang Jia-xiang and Peng Dehuai as vice-chairmen. The founding of the Provi-sional Central Government of the Chinese Soviet Republic marked the existence in China of two political powers which were completely different in nature. The Chinese Soviet Republic was of the broad exploited and oppressed masses of workers and peasants.
The birth of the Chinese Soviet Republic aroused the deepest hostility of the KMT reactionaries. After putting down the movement for resistance and democracy, Chiang Kai-shek convened a conference to “suppress the bandits”, held on Mt. Lushan of Jiangxi Province in June 1932, attended by the leading personnel concerned from the five provinces of Henan, Hubei, Anhui, Hunan and Jiangxi. This confer-ence decided the principle for attacking the Red Army–“paying equal attention to military and political affairs,” and the policy to be put into practice “30 percent military force and 70 percent political work.” Late that month, the “General Headquarters for Suppressing Bandits” was set up in Wuhan , with Chiang Kai-shek himself as commander-in- chief. He now mustered 630,000 troops for the fourth “encirclement and suppression” campaign against the Soviet areas. The KMT main force first attacked the Hubei-Henan-Anhui and Hunan-Western Hubei Soviet areas. Due to wrong guidance by Zhang Guotao, secretary of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui sub-bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of its Military Commission, the main force of the Red Army was obliged to retreat from the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet area and move to southern Shaanxi and northern Sichuan . Soon afterwards they opened up the Sichuan-Shaanxi Soviet area. In the Hunan-Western Hubei Soviet area, because Xia Xi, secretary of the Hunan-Western Hubei sub-bureau of the CPC Central Committee, faithfully carried out the “Left” adventurist policy of the Provisional Central Committee, the Red Army lost the chance to defeat the enemy’s “en-circlement and suppression” campaign and was forced to give up the Soviet area and move to the Hunan-Hubei-Sichuan-Guizhou border.
After his success in the “encirclement and suppression” cam-paigns, Chiang Kai-shek concentrated his main force about 400,000 troops early in 1933 and launched the fourth “encirclement and sup-pression” campaign against the central Soviet area. When the enemy started an all-out offensive, Mao Zedong was no longer in the leading position in the Red Army. At the time, Zhou Enlia, and Zhu De, re-spectively general political commissar and commander-in-chief of both the Red Army and its First Front Army, and others who were responsible for directing the campaign against the “encirclement and suppression, adhered to the correct operational principles. By adopt-ing ambush tactics by large formations and concentrating superior forces, they won two battles in February and March, annihilating al-most three enemy divisions and capturing over 10,000 enemy troops and over 10,000 weapons. This victory led to the expansion of the Soviet area to Hunan , Jiangxi , Fujian and Guangdong , of the First Front Army to 100,000 troops, and of the Red Guards to 200,000. This was the heyday of the central Soviet area. In 1933, the Red Army grew to 300,000 in total, its highest level during the Second Revolu-tionary Civil War.
Not resigned to the defeat of his fourth “encirclement and sup-pression” campaign, Chiang Kai-shek actively made preparations for another attempt, at the same time intensifying the economic blockade against the Soviet areas. In summer 1933, Chiang once again con-vened a conference to discuss how to further implement the policy of”30 percent military force and 70 percent political work.” The Field Headquarters of the Chairman of the KMT Military Commission in Nanchang issued the “Measures for Blocking Bandit Areas” and the”Additional Measures,” which stipulated that transportation of all military supplies, articles of daily use, seeds and draught animals into the revolutionary bases was strictly prohibited, that export of goods and products of revolutionary bases was absolutely forbidden, and that a blockade on post and telecommunications as well as transportation was to be enforced. Apart from these, there were stipulations as fol-lows: “Daily necessities for residents who are close to a bandit zone or a semi-bandit zone should be bought by the head of the Bao on their behalf according to the exact amount needed by the exact population of the Bao community”; and “Within the blockade period, anyone providing bandits with information, or making a deal with them pri-vately, or secretly shipping goods to them for gains, or attempting to line his pockets with discovered and seized goods for aiding bandits by concealing the facts and not reporting to the leadership, or failing in his duty on blockade, should be shot.” Later on, additional concrete measures for examining post and telecommunications as well as for selling salt and kerosene were put into practice. Salt rations ranged from 20 to 25 grams per person per day. “In the areas near bandit zones, the amount of salt or kerosene purchased by each household each time should not exceed the need for five days.” People buying salt and kerosene should show certificates with Bao and Jia heads’ signatures and seals. Certificates of this kind were prepared and issued by county governments. Violation of these stipulations would incur execution by shooting or other severe punishments according to the seriousness of the case. Chiang Kai-shek’s plan of enforcing the economic blockade was to make it impossible for the troops and peo- ple in the revolutionary bases to “keep a single grain of rice, a spoon-ful of salt and a ladleful of water,” so as to make them unable to live there. Launching an “encirclement and suppression” campaign in co-ordination would then destroy the revolutionary bases and wipe out the Red Army.
The situation of long-term struggle against “encirclement and suppression” required the mobilization of all forces in the Soviet areas to go in for necessary and possible economic blockade and correct the construction. To break the KMT’s”Left” mistakes in economic work in the central Soviet area, Mao Zedong went into the midst of the masses and deep into the realities of life in Changgang Township in Xingguo County of Jiangxi Province and Caixi Township in Shang-hang County of Fujian Province. There he made investigations, sum-marized experiences, and guided both economic and political con-struction in the revolutionary bases. In July 1933, the Provisional Central Government of the Chinese Soviet Republic decided to con-vene a meeting on economic construction in the central Soviet area to disxuss how to develop economic work. In August, a meeting on construction of 17 counties in the southern part of the cen-tral Soviet area was held in Ruijin. In that same month a meeting on the economic construction of 11 counties north of the central Soviet area was convened in Bosheng County . After these two meetings, economic construction in the revolutionary bases gradually progressed. In January 1934, economic work was discussed at the Second Nation- al Congress of the Chinese Soviet. Mao Zedong gave a report and made a summary. Summarizing the experiences and lessons from economic construction in the revolutionary bases under the conditions of warfare and of besiegement by the White political power, the con-gress advanced the theory and policies for economic construction in the revolutionary bases, and the conception of a new-democratic economy was thus initially shaped.
The Communist Party paid great attention to the building of political power in the Soviet areas. After the First National Soviet Con-gress, elections were held in all the Soviet areas. These admitted a great number of advanced elements from among workers and peasants into organs of political power at all levels. In January 1934 the Second National Congress of the Chinese Soviet was held in Ruijin. Having summed up the experiences of the Chinese Soviet movement of the past two years, the congress put forward the current tasks and dis-cussed such important questions as the building of Soviet political power, the Red Army, and the economy. In addition, the congress adopted the amended Soviet constitution and resolutions on these questions. The congress elected the new Central Executive Committee, while the presidium elected by the First Session of the Central Execu -tive Committee served as the supreme organ of political power after the session. Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the Central Execu -tive Committee, and Xiang Ying and Zhang Guotao as vice-chairmen. Zhang Wentian was the chairman of the People’s Council. The Peo-ple’s Council and the 11 departments under it served as the central administrative organs.
While the Soviet areas and Red Army were rapidly expanding, the revolution was confronted with new, grave problems. In the sum-mer of 1933, after signing the Tanggu Agreement and crushing the anti-Japanese allied forces in Qahar, Chiang Kai-shek launched the fifth “encirclement and suppression” campaign against the Soviet areas. Before this campaign, Chiang had made preparations in many respects, including setting up a “Field Headquarters of the Chairman of the Military Commission” in Nanchang; convening a military con-ference on “suppressing bandits” attended by personnel in authority from the five provinces of Jiangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, and Hubei; sponsoring the Officers Training Corps at Lushan; inviting military specialists from Germany as advisers to work out operational plans and research new strategies and tactics; purchasing munitions from the United States, Britain and other countries and increasing modem military equipment; and building economic blockade lines and thousands of blockhouses around the Soviet areas. To launch this campaign, the KMT government mustered one million troops and 200 planes, with Chiang Kai-shek as the commander-in-chief. Directed by Chiang, 500,000 KMT troops took four routes to attack the central Soviet area. At that time, there were over 80,000 Red Army troops in the area, stronger than before. But there existed a most unfavourable factor¡ªthe erroneous guidance by the Provisional Party Centre in struggling against this campaign. Under the wrong direction of Bo Gu and Otto Braun, a military adviser sent by the Communist Interna-tional, the Red Army was first adventurist in its offense and then con-servative in its defense consequently landing itself in a completely passive position. In November 1933, when Chiang Kai-shek was compelled to transfer part of his main force attacking the Red Army to suppress the Fujian Incident, the Red Army should have seized this chance to move quickly to the with Zhejiang as its centre, and Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Anhui-Jiangxi area to turn the strategic defensive to the strategic offensive. But the leaders of the Provisional Party Centre did not take advantage of this favourable opportunity. So, after suppress-ing the People’s Government in Fujian Province , Chiang Kai-shek again concentrated his armed forces on a continuous drive to the cen-tral Soviet Area. In January 1934, the Fifth Plenary Session of the CPC Sixth Central Committee was held in Ruijin. This session made an absolutely wrong assessment of the current situation. It concluded that victory in the struggle against the fifth “encirclement and suppres-sion” campaign “would lead to the victory of the Soviet revolution in one province or several provinces and therefore lay a firm foundation for the victory of the Soviet revolution all over China,” and that this struggle would decide “who will win in the struggle between taking the Soviet road or taking the colonial road.” The session’s decisions on strategies and tactics were also incorrect. All this led to the inevi-table defeat of the struggle against the fifth “encirclement and sup- pression” campaign.
Early in 1934, the Red Army and enemy troops were locked in a stalemate for several months in the Jianning areas. Later on, the Red Army troops were obliged to retreat because of their inability to win battles. After the fall of Guangchang, the Red Army divided its forces into six columns and assumed the defensive on all fronts, and con-tinued using the erroneous short-swifthrust tactics. This brought greater losses. By October the entire war situation was becoming more and more unfavourable to the Red Army, and it was obviously impos-sible to break the “encirclement and suppression” campaign. Bo Gu and other Party Central Committee leaders now decided that the main force of the Red Army should leave the central Soviet area and break through the encirclement to move away. In the middle of October, the Central Red Army and personnel of its rear organs, numbering over 86,000, set out from Changding and Ninghua of Fujian, and Ruijin and Yudu of Jiangxi for western Hunan, where the Second and Sixth corps of the Red Army were stationed. The Red Army’s historic Long March now began. But after the beginning of the Long March, the Party Central Committee leaders committed the military mistake of fleeing from difficulties. Battling very hard, the Red Army troops broke through the enemy’s four blockade lines in succession and crossed the Xiangjiang River . But the forces suffered heavy losses, with personnel reduced to around 30,000.
At this critical juncture, Mao Zedong suggested that the Party Central Committee give up the plan of joining forces with the Second and Sixth corps and move straight forward to Guizhou where the en-emy’s strength was relatively weak. Most of the Central Committee leaders were for Mao’s suggestion. The Red Army entered Guizhou from Hunan , forged across the Wujiang River and captured Zunyi. There the CPC Central Committee convened an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau from January 15 to 17, 1935 . The Zunyi Meeting focused its attention on correcting military errors this was of deci-sive significance at that time, and adopted the “Resolution of the Central Committee on the Summary of the Struggle Against the En-emy’s Five ‘Encirclement and Suppression’ Campaigns.” The resolu-tion affirmed the basic strategic and tactical principles Mao Zedong and others had employed in directing the Red Army to defeat the en-emy’s four “encirclement and suppression” campaigns, and clearly pointed out, “The main reason for our being unable to crush the en-emy’s fifth encirclement and suppression campaign is that we fol-lowed a mere defensive military line,” and that Bo Gu and Otto Braun should take the main responsibility. This meeting decided to reorgani- ze the central leading body, elect Mao Zedong to the Standing Com-mittee of the Political Bureau, and disband the “three-person group” composed of Bo Gu, Otto Braun and Zhou Enlai, which had been in charge of political and military affairs. It also decided that Zhou Enlai and Zhu De, the principal leaders of the Central Military Commission, be responsible for directing military work. After the meeting, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau appointed Luo Fu (also known as Zhang Wentian (1900-1976), to replace Bo Gu as the top leader of the Party. Later on, the Central Military Commission re-solved to set up the Front Headquarters with Zhu De as commander-in-chief and Mao Zedong as political commissar, and a group con-sisting of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Wang Jiaxiang, 1906-1974) to be responsible for military direction and action. The Zunyi Meeting was held as a critical war time, so it could not discuss political prob-lems from all sides. The resolution of the meeting only generally af-firmed the Party Central Committee’s political line and did not go into the political causes of the erroneous military direction. But, it solved the pressing military issue at that time and ended the “Left” dogmatist domination over the Party Central Committee. In fact, the Zunyi Meeting established the correct leadership of the new Party Central Committee represented by Mao Zedong, saved the Party and the Red Army, and was a turning-point at the moment of life and death in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. It opened the way for the Chinese revolution to advance to victory and marked the fact that the Communist Party of China was developing from infancy towards maturity.
After the Zunyi Meeting, the Central Red Army crossed the Chishui River four times and got across the Wujiang River in the south, as if it were planning to press on to Guiyang. This forced Chi-ang Kai-shek to send in reinforcements from Yunnan Province . Tak-ing advantage of this opportunity, the Red Army penetrated into Yunnan and crossed the Jinsha River . In this way, the Red Army steered clear of the encirclement, pursuit, interception and attack by hundreds of thousands of enemy troops, and took the initiative in its own hands. Having crossed the Jinsha, the Central Red Army smoothly passed through the Daliangshan Yi ethnic group area be- cause it carried out the Party’s correct policy towards ethnic groups and were helped by the Yi people. Then, forcing its way across the Luding Bridge on the Dadu River and climbing over the perennially snow-clad Jiajin Mountain , the Central Red Army arrived at Maogong of Sichuan Province in June 1935 and joined forces with the Fourth Front Army there. Now the troops totalled 100,000. In that same month, the Central Political Bureau held a meeting at Lianghekou and decided to march northward to set up a revolution-ary base on the Sichuan-Shaanxi-Gansu border. But Zhang Guotao (1897-1979) ran counter to this decision. He advocated going to the minority areas bordering on Sichuan and Xikang. In July the Red Army arrived at Maoergai.
Here the Party Central Committee con-vened a Politburo conference, deciding to reorganize the First and Fourth Front armies into the Right Route Army and the Left Route Army. Then the two armies continued marching to the north. Led by Mao Zedong and others, the Right Route Army reached Baxi in northern Sichuan after passing through desolate and uninhabited marshlands. When the Left Route Army got to Aba , Zhang Guotao telegrammed the Party Central Committee to oppose marching north and ask the Right Route Army to advance south. He even attempted to harm the Party Centre by force. Finding out Zhang’s scheme, the Party Central Committee resolved to leave the dangerous areas as quickly as possible. In September, the Right Route Army, numbering about 8,000, continued its northward march. They captured the natu-ral barrier Lazikou, climbed over Minshan Mountain and broke rough the Weishui River blockade line. In October, after crossing over Liupan Mountain , they arrived at Wuqizhen in northern Shaanxi to join the forces of the 15th Corps. In November, the Red Army under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and MaoZedong annihilated a division plus a regiment of enemy troops at Zhuiluozhen, destroying the KMT army’s third “encirclement and suppression” campaign against the northern Shaanxi revolutionary base and laying the foundation for the establishment of the national revolutionary headquarters in the northwest.
In October 1935 at Zhuomudiao, Zhang Guotao illegally pro-claimed the founding of another “Central Committee,” “Central Poli-tical Bureau,” “Central Secretariat,” and “Central Revolutionary Military Commission,” and styled himself “chairman” of the Centra Committee. In a difficult situation, Zhu De, Liu Bocheng and others unremittingly struggled against Zhang Guotao’s anti-Party divisive action, which was also unpopular in the Fourth Front Army. In June 1936, Zhang was obliged to declare the disbandment of his bogus central committee. In November 1935, the Second and Sixth Corps set it from the revolutionary bases in Hunan , Hubei , Sichuan and Gui-lou to start the Long March and joined the forces of the Fourth Front rmy in Ganzi, Xikang in June 1936. Early in July, the two corps ere reorganized into the Second Front Army with He Long as com-ander-in-chief and Ren Bishi (1904-1950) as political commissar. The joining of the two Red Army units greatly strengthened the forces against Zhang Guotao. Though Zhang had cancelled his bogus central committee, he still acted independently and defiantly. At the insistence of Zhu De, Ren Bishi, He Long and others a meeting was held in Ganzi. After a hot debate with Zhang Guotao, the meeting decided at the army should advance north to meet the Central Committee, and Zhang’s actions ended in failure. In October 1936 when the Sec-old and Fourth Front armies joined forces with the First Front Army Huining in Gansu Province , the great Long March ended trium-lantly. After the joining of the three main forces of the Red Army, e main forces of the Fourth Front Army and the Fifth Corps, num-bering over 20,000, were formed into the Western Route Army on November 10. Making their way westward, they crossed the Huanghe ( Yellow River ) and headed for the Hexi Corridor. During their prog-ress, they fought heroically. But, attacked by the enemy’s superior forces from all sides, they finally lost the battle in March 1937. In December 1936, a new Central Military Commission was formed, with Mao Zedong as chairman. In March 1937, the Party Central Committee convened an enlarged Politburo meeting in Yan’ an to criti-cize Zhang Guotao, and summarized his opportunist mistakes and splittist anti-Party activities. In April 1938 Zhang betrayed the revolu-tion, joining the KMT’s spy organization, and was then expelled from the Party.
After the Long March of the Central Red Army, a sub-bureau of the Party Central Committee (later changed to the Southeast Sub-bureau) with Xiang Ying as its head was established in the central Soviet areas and an Office of the Central Government of the Chinese Soviet Republic with Chen Yi as its director was set up to lead the Red Army and guerrilla forces in the revolutionary bases in the south to keep up the struggle. The Red guerrilla forces in the 14 areas of the eight provinces in the south persisted in guerrilla war for three years, contributing much to the Chinese revolution.
The armed forces under the Chinese Communist Party included the revolutionary troops fighting the Japanese invaders in the fore-front of the northeast, as well as the Red Army forces concentrated in the northwest and those conducting guerrilla war in the old revo-lutionary bases in the south. By the end of 1933, detachments under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party had already become the main force in the guerrilla war against Japanese invasion in the northeast. In 1936, the various armed forces resisting Japan in the northeast were reorganized into the Anti-Japanese Allied Army. From early 1936 to summer 1937, the Northeast Anti-Japanese Al- lied Army waged guerrilla war in the vast areas between the Lesser Hinggan Mountains in the north and the Changbai Mountains in the south as well as the Wusuli River in the west and the Liaohe River in the west. They engaged the Japanese and puppet armies in thousands of battles and crushed their numerous “expeditions.” Their heroic fighting struck heavy blows at Japan ‘s colonial domination in the northeast.
The Birth of New-democratic Economy. Economic Changes in the Kuomintang Area
The economy in the revolutionary bases, which was born with the establishment and development of the rural revolutionary bases, was a new-democratic economy. It was the foundation for the exis-tence and development of Soviet political power in the revolutionary bases and represented the future of the development of China ‘s econ- omy. The economy in the revolutionary bases had three main charac-teristics: (1) It emerged and developed in a war environment in which the revolutionary bases were carved up and encircled by the enemy. (2) It came into being and grew in the backward agricultural areas, so it was mainly agricultural, with very little industry, most of which was handicraft industry. (3) It was a new-democratic economy, including state-owned, cooperative and private economies. This was decided by China ‘s economic situation, and the nature and tasks of the Chinese revolution.
The birth and initial development of the economy in the revolu-tionary bases was, first of all, the result of carrying out the agrarian revolution and changing the ownership of land by feudal landlords to that by peasants. Early in 1931, following a clear solution to the ques-tion of peasant land ownership in the agrarian revolution, peasants’ enthusiasm for production increased dramatically. But, due to the des-perate launch of “‘encirclement and suppression” campaigns by the KMT against the revolutionary bases and the fact that large numbers of young and able-bodied people had joined the army to defend Red political power, agricultural production in the revolutionary bases faced many difficulties, especially a shortage of manpower and oxen to till the land. To rehabilitate and develop agricultural production, the Communist Party organizations and Soviet governments in the revo- lutionary bases tried every means to solve these difficulties. The most fundamental of these was to organize the peasants to help one another in production (including mutual aid in labour, and the use of oxen and tools). Hence the provisional central government issued such docu-ments as the “Organizational Programme of Mutual-aid Groups in Farm Work,” “Measures on Setting up Farm Cattle Stations,” and”Instructions on Organizing Farm Cattle Cooperatives”. There were slight differences in names and forms of the mutual-aid labour organi-zations in various revolutionary base areas. Some were called farming teams, some mutual-aid labour groups, some labour cooperatives, some mutual-aid corps, and some mobile production teams. The mu- tual-aid labour organizations now were a kind of collective labour organization based on individual economy (on the basis of private property), not yet the economic units of socialist collective ownership, but they already carried elements of socialism.
Secondly, to support the revolutionary war and guarantee suppli-es for the Red Army and the Soviet governments, a new type of fi-nance and banking was formed in all revolutionary bases. Primarily, the revenue of the revolutionary bases was to depend on the gains of war and the confiscated property of landlords and despotic gentry. Later, part of it came from the people, mainly including donations from the masses, income from the public fields worked by the Red Army, from the issue of bonds, and from commercial and land taxes. Expenditure was chiefly on war supplies for the Red Army, and only a small part used as administrative fees for the Soviet government and living expenses for working personnel. In all revolutionary bases the supply system (a system of payment in kind) was practiced among the Red Army officers and men as well as the Soviet government person-nel. In addition, in all the revolutionary bases feudal usury was banned and pawnshops confiscated. Meanwhile, industrial and agricultural banks were set up in various places. Developing credit cooperatives by raising funds from collectives was encouraged and supported. Early in 1932, following the establishment of the Bank of the Chinese Soviet Republic , branches came into being in every Soviet area. The state bank and its branches issued banknotes.
Thirdly, after the founding of the revolutionary bases, people worked hard to rehabilitate and develop agricultural and industrial production to support the revolutionary war and improve the living standards of the masses. As the bases were located in the economi-cally backward countryside, mostly in mountain or border areas, agri-culture occupied a very important position and played a key role in their entire economy, so much so that the economy of the revolution-ary bases could be called “agricultural economy.” Therefore, the Communist Party and the Soviet government paid great attention to agriculture. To develop agricultural production, measures were taken such as reclaiming wasteland, collecting manure, building water con- servancy projects and planting trees in addition to promoting mutual-aid and cooperative movements. In 1932 and 1933, relatively good harvests were brought in. To suit the needs of the revolutionary war, the Red Army soldiers and Soviet government of every revolutionary base started a number of simple industries from scratch. They included arsenals, printing houses and clothing factories, but the military industry was the dominant one. After the First National Congress of the Chinese Soviet, state industries in the Soviet areas made relatively rapid progress. Apart from the military supplies industry, there were civil industries and industries for export to White area such as textiles, coal, tungsten ore, farm implements and paper-making. By January1934, state factories in the central Soviet area already numbered 32. This was a socialist economy. With government encouragement, handicraft cooperatives in the Soviet areas developed rapidly. By early1934, handicraft cooperatives in Xingguo and 16 other counties in the central Soviet area increased to 176 with a membership of 32,700.
Fourthly, to break the enemy’s economic blockade, stimulate the economy of the revolutionary bases, guarantee supplies for the Red Army, and improve the peasants’ living standards as much as possible, much commercial work had been done in the revolutionary areas. For example, the Jinggang Mountains revolutionary base utilized and transformed the xuchang traditional place for exchange of rural com- modities, set up public stores and booths, and developed trade with the White areas. To maintain the stability of grain prices to benefit the peasants, the grain regulation bureau was established. In some places grain regulation bureaus were established by raising funds from the masses (thus making grain cooperatives). To lessen merchants’ ex-ploitation, revolutionary bases one after another started the consum-ers’ cooperatives, whose main task it was to sell industrial items to peasants and purchase agricultural and sideline products from them at reasonable prices. Consumers’ cooperatives were new types of com-mercial organizations in the revolutionary bases. They were a collec-tive economy with socialist elements. “Outside trade” organizations were set up to cope with the export of agricultural products to White areas and the import of industrial items from those areas. Early in1933, the Outside Trade Bureau was established under the Central National Economy Department. By the end of that year the Chinese Commercial Joint-stock Company, which handled secret trade with Fuzhou , Xiamen , Guangzhou and other places, was founded.
In short, the gradual progress of the agrarian revolution in the revolutionary bases abolished the feudal ownership of land, shook the economic foundation of imperialism and feudalism, and expanded the individual economy of peasants. After land reform, peasants launched a mutual-aid and cooperative movement and set up mutual-aid labour organizations and consumers’ cooperatives; handicraft workers started producers’ cooperatives; and the Red Army and the Soviet govern-ment initiated state factories, stores, and outside trade organizations. All this indicates that with the founding of workers’ and peasants’ democratic political power, a new-democratic economy was born in the revolutionary bases.
The documents adopted by the First National Congress of the Chinese Soviet, held on November 7, 1931 in Ruijin, Jiangxi Province, such as the Outline of the Constitution of the Chinese Soviet Republic, the Land Law, the Labour Law and Decisions on Economic Policy, still Contained “Left” mistakes. For instance, the Land Law stipulated that landlords should have no land distributed to them, and rich peas- ants only barren land; the Labour Law was divorced from the actual conditions of the revolutionary bases, mechanically stipulating the eight-hour day working system and over’high standard of living. All of these adversely affected the economy of the revolutionary bases.
In the course of establishing its rule over the whole nation, the Nanjing National Government step by step embarked on the mono-polization of the national economy. But the semi-colonial, semi-feudal character of the economy in the Kuomintang areas underwent no real change. Since the outbreak of the world capitalist economic crisis in1929, imperialist powers had vied to expand their economic influence in China and intensify their economic invasion. First, they dumped their surplus goods into China . After 1929 the volume of China ‘s im-ports shot up and that of exports went down dramatically. The unfa-vourable balance of trade in 1928 amounted to 300 million yuan in value. The figure in 1931 was over 810 million and that in 1932 reached 860 million. This was unprecedented in history. Among the imported goods, the increase of agricultural products registered the largest in volume. Secondly, they expanded export of capital to China to tighten their control of her economic lifelines. From 1930 to 1936, the annual increase of investment from various countries (including loans) averaged US$ 130 million. By 1936, foreign capital in China totaled US$ 4.3 billion. Now China ‘s heavy industry was mainly monopolized by foreign capital. By 1936, 95 percent of pig iron out-put, 83 percent of steel output, 66 percent of mechanized coal mining, and 55 percent of generated energy in China were controlled by for-eign capital. In the relatively developed light industry, foreign capital also occupied a dominant position. In the textile industry, 46 percent of the spindles and 56 percent of the looms were owned by foreign capital. Moreover, China ‘s finance was controlled by imperialism. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation of Britain manipulat-ed China ‘s foreign exchange prices, and enjoyed the privilege of is-suing exchange certificates, handling foreign debt, taking care of tar-iffs and salt taxes, etc. From 1927 to 1937, the KMT government openly asked for 14 foreign loans which roughly amounted to US$400 million. Of these, one contracted for purchase of cotton and wheat in 1933 amounted to US$ 50 million. The economic expansion of imperialism in China made the country more semi-colonial. The northeast was simply reduced to the status of a colony of Japan , and divorced from China ‘s national economic system.
During the intensification of imperialist economic aggression, the National Government depended on its own political and military power to secure and accumulate a large amount of wealth, which gradually constituted state monopoly capitalism. It had formed the important economic foundation for the KMT reactionary regime. The state capital of KMT regime monopolized national financial undertakings. In November 1928, the KMT government set up the Central Bank of China in Shanghai . Around that time, it brought the Bank of China and the Bank of Communications of China under its control through adding “official shares” to them by force. In 1933, the Farmers Bank of Hubei , Henan , Anhui and Jiangxi was established, in 1935 being renamed the Farmers Bank of China . Apart from these, the National Government had erected the Central Trust of China and the Directorate General and Postal Remittances and Savings Banks to monopolize China ‘s trust and insurance undertakings. By making use of political and economic privileges, the National Government further controlled the “four small banks” (the Bank of Xinhua Trust, the Trading Bank of China, the Siming Bank, and the Industrial Bank of China), “the four banks in the north” (the Jincheng Bank, the Bank of Salt Industry, the Central South Bank, and the Bank of the Mainland) and “the three banks in the south” (the Commercial Savings Bank of Shanghai, the Industrial Bank of Zhejiang and the Xingye Bank of Zhejiang). Thus a monopolistic financial network was formed. The National Govern-ment set up the National Resources Commission in 1935. Before the outbreak of the War of Resistance, the newly established governmentrun factoties and mines under the National Resources Commission numbered 11. At that time the state capital of the National Government already controlled most of the railways and highways and the circulation of two thirds of domestic commodities, monopolized the national finances and, through industrial credit and foreifln exchaye policies, grasped the national industrial and commercial lifelines.
Owing to the expansion of imperialist economic influence in China , the control and plunder of the national economy by state monopolistic capital, the damage done by the years of wars between the KMT warlords, and the increasingly exorbitant taxes and levies, China ‘s national economy was plunged into a state of depression and stagnation. During this period, the development of the national capital was moving along a tortuous road. After the May 30th Movement in 1925, promoted by the revolution and the boycott of foreign goods, China ‘s national capital achieved a slow growth, and the scope of capitalist production relations was enlarged. Because the national capital was not affected by the world capitalist economic crisis that began in 1929, its slow growth continued until 1930. From 1931 on, with the capitalist countries giving up the gold standard and silver prices rising again, commodity prices going down and the loss of the vast market and resources of the northeast, as well as the dumping and smuggling of goods from Japan and other countries into China” the national capital was confronted with crisis, and fell into decline. The number of registered factories and the amount of capital were dwindling, and the then-existing factories were operating under capacity. More and more enterprises were reorganized or closed down. In 1934 this crisis became aggravated because of the devaluation of U.S. currency and the American practice of purchasing silver. As a result of plunder by feudalism plus the warlord wars, backward production and severe natural calamities, China ‘s rural economy went bankrupt. From1927 to 1935, China suffered serious natural calamities every year.
The flood caused by the Yangtze River in 1931 afflicted a dozen provinces with 50 million victims. provinces of Jiangxi , Anhui , Hubei victims. The floods of 1935 hit the four and Hunan , with over 10 million
The National Government was busy handling internal strife and civil war instead of economic construction. In 1931 it worked out a10-Year Plan for China ‘s industrialization, and in 1935 it launched a national economic construction movement. But in the end it only built a few railways (such as the line from Hangzhou to Nanchang, the section from Zhuzhou to Shaoguan on the line from Hankou to Guangzhou, the Lingbao section on the Longhai Railway, the Jiang-nan Railway, the Huainan Railway and the Sujia Railway) and high-ways (over 40,000 kilometres in total). It nationalized the China Merchants’ Steamship Company, and set up a special administrative bureau to develop inland and coastal navigation. The establishment of the China Aviation Corporation was based on cooperation with the United States , and the Europe-Asia Airline was jointly established with Germany. This meant that there were regular flights between a few important cities in the country. The development of post and telecommu-nications was mainly for military needs. Water conservancy commissions on the Yellow, Yangtze and Huaihe rivers and the rivers of Guangdong were set up to handle affairs such as dredging the water-ways, preventing floods and building dykes. The results of the so-called 10-Year Plan ammounted to very little.
In November 1935 with support from Britain , the National Gov-ernment carried out currency reform by unifying the issuance of paper money called Fabi (legal tender) to gather in silver, and at the same time, getting Fabi joined in the sterling bloc. This was called the “Fabi policy.” In May 1936, the National Government signed a silver agreement with the United States , thus linking Fabi with the US dollar. The implementation of the Fabi policy, on the one hand, strengthened the monopoly of China ‘s finance by state capital. On the other hand, the unification of China ‘s currency was beneficial to the circulation of commodities and, by devaluing the Fabi, the volume of currency circulation was enlarged. This made the prices rise again, which stimu-lated the development of agriculture, industry and commerce. At this time, capitalist countries in the world gradually overcame their economic crises and began the rehabilitation stage. “Prosperity” existed for the time being. China ‘s large-scale civil war basically stopped. In 1936, favourable weather helped harvests for most provinces except Sichuan , Henan and Guangdong . So, the situation of the national economy turned for the better, and the growth of national capitalism reached its peak. In that year the output value of main grain crops amounted to 5.6 billion yuan (Fabi), 1.7 million over the average out-put value of 1933 to 1935, an increase of nearly 45 percent. The out-put of main crops also registered a substantial increase over that of1935. Cotton production increased by 78.4 percent, wheat by 8.3 percent, soya bean by 13.8 percent, and production of other crops like rice, sorghum, sesame, and tobacco all increased more than in previous years. The increase of agricultural production raised the purchasing power of peasants, and therefore promoted the progress of industry and commerce. The gross output value of industrial goods in 1936 amounted to 12.2 billion yuan, an increase of 11 percent over 1935. Cotton yarn increased by 29 percent, cement by 26.2 percent, matches by 18.8 percent, and the supply of electricity by 8.1 percent. The increase continued until the first half of 1937. In 1936, the unfavourable balance of trade was greatly reduced. In that same year, the gross out-put value of industry and agriculture was 8 percent more than that of1935. In 1936, capitalist production accounted for 58.6 percent of the gross output value of industry. But this all proved to be shortlived. In July 1937, Japan launched an all-out attack against China. From then on, China was in a state of war. Due to the tremendous damage to the economy by the war, and due to the rottenness of the expanding state monopolistic capital and bureaucrat, capital and its destructiveness to the national economy as a whole, the development of China’s economy collapsed.
Transition from Civil War to the of Resistance Against Japan
In 1935, the Japanese imperialists created the North China Inci-dent and a series of disturbances, and planned to separate the five northern provinces ( Hebei , Shandong , Shanxi , Qahar, and Suiyuan) from China . Their first step for making the five provinces autonomous was to compel the KMT central force to withdraw from Beiping, Tianjin and Hebei so as to weaken the control of the KMT central authorities over the local forces. In May 1935, by creating and making use of pretexts, the Japanese put in an unreasonable claim for the dominance of north China to He Yingqin, the acting director of the Beiping branch of the Military Commission of the National Govern- ment. At the same time, they moved their troops from the northeast to threaten the Shanhaiguan Pass , and declared that they would adopt “free actions” if their demand was refused. The National Government once again compromised. In early June it issued a “good-neighbour order.” He Yingqin was assigned to hold negotiations with Yoshijiro Umezu, commander of the Japanese forces in north China . After a number of talks, He Yingqin wrote to Umezu, accepting Japanese demands. He’s promise included closing the KMT party headquarters in Hebei Province and the cities of Beiping and Tianjin; withdrawing the Northeast Army, the Central Army and the Third Regiment of the Military Police from Hebei; dismissing and replacing the governor of Hebei Province and the mayors of Beiping and Tianjin; banning all anti-Japanese organizations and activities, etc. This letter is usually called the “He-Umezu Agreement.” In June that same year, the Ja-panese invaders found a pretext to force Qin Dechun, head of the Civil Administration Department of Qahar Province, to sign an agreement with Dohihara, representative of the Japanese troops and special agent chief, known as the “Qin-Dohihara Agreement” (or the “Qahar Agreement”). It included guaranteeing free travel to the Japanese in Qahar Province , withdrawing the KMT organizations and the 29th Corps from Qahar; dismissing the provincial governor; and setting up a demilitarized region in eastern Qahar. From that time, China virtu-ally lost its sovereignty over Hebei and Qahar provinces.
Immediately after the KMT central forces withdrew from north China , the Japanese imperialist actively plotted for the “autonomy” of the five provinces in the north, at the same time intensifying the economic invasion of north China . All these actions constituted an essential menace to the KMT authorities’ dominance of the region. In October, the Japanese Cabinet meet-ing adopted Foreign Minister Hirota’s “Three Principles Towards China,” namely: (1) China should ban all anti-Japanese cam- paigns; (2) China should recognize ” Manchukuo ” and establish economic cooperation between Japan , ” Manchukuo ” and China ;(3) China and Japan should jointly contain the Communist Party. At the same time, the Japanese Cabinet meeting formally adopted “The Bill Promoting the Autonomy of North China.” After the meeting, Japan ‘s diplomatic personnel started negotiations with the National Government on “Hirota’sThree Principles.” Mean- while, the Japanese Kwantung Army in the northeast and the Ja- panese forces in north China started to agitate actively for the”autonomy” of north China . On November 6, Dohihara took the”Plan for the High-Level Autonomy of North China” to Tianjin where he intended to force Song Zheyuan to proclaim “autonomy” on November 20. Cooperating with Dohihara’s activities, Minami Jiro, commander of the Kwantung Army, ordered his troops to be ready before the 15th to march into north China from outside the Great Wall, and, at the same time, ordered his air force to make preparations to enter and garrison Beiping and Tianjin by the 20th. Now the crisis in north China had reached its peak.
To prevent north China from becoming “autonomous,” the National Government adopted a series of countermeasures such as sending Xiong Bing, deputy chief of the Headquarters of the Gen-eral Staff of the Military Commission, to work on Song Zheyuan while assembling forces and staging large-scale military manoeu-vres near Nanjing, and ordering part of these units to move northward to make a feint. After failing to compel Song Zheyuan to proclaim “autonomy” on November 20, the Japanese invaders, by applying continuous pressure, forced him to do so on November 30. Instigated by Japanese imperialists, Yin Rugeng, adminis-trative inspector of the Luanyu Region of Hebei Province, on November 25 proclaimed “autonomy” at Tongxian County and established the “Eastern Hebei Autonomous Committee for Containing the Communist Party” (later changed to “autonomous government”). The Executive Yuan of the government held an urgent meeting and decided to abolish the Beiping branch of the Military Commission. He Yingqin was specially appointed the resident senior official of the Executive Yuan in Beiping; Song Zheyuan was appointed the head of the Hebei-Qahar Pacification Headquarters; and Yin Rugeng was to be dismissed from his post and prosecuted. Although Chiang Kai-shek would allow no “autonomy” of north China , awed by Japan ‘s military force he sent He Yingqin north to confer with Song Zheyuan to find a way out of the crisis. On December 11, the National Government formally decreed the establishment of the Hebei-Qahar Administrative Council headed by Song Zheyuan (1885-1940). The Hebei-Qahar Administrative Council was under the National Government in name, but actually it was relatively independent. Japanese imperialists, traitors and proJapanese forces all exerted consider-able influence on it and to a great extent brought it under their control. The establishment of the Hebei-Qahar Administrative Council did not relax the tensions between China and Japan . Dissatisfied with the establishment of this political power, the Japanese imperialists continued to support the “Eastern Hebei Autonomous Government for Containing the Communist Party,” and attempted to make the Hebei-Qahar Administrative council “join forces” with it as quickly as possible. Now, the National Government would have no other choice but to hand over north China submissively to Japan .
At this time when the national crisis was further deepening and a new change was taking place in the relations between domestic classes, on August 1, 1935, the Chinese Communist Party’s resident delegation to the Communist International published “A Letter of Appeal to All Chinese Compatriots on Resisting Japanese Aggression and Saving the Nation,” known as the August 1 st Manifesto, in the name of the CPC Central Committee and the Central Government of the Chinese Soviet. The manifesto called on all political parties, compatriots and troops to “stop fighting civil wars so as to concentrate all national resources (human, material, financial and military) for resistance against Japan and for national solvation”; and to organize an all-China united government of national defence and an all-China allied army for resistance against Japan. The manifesto won support from people all over the country. In October, the CPC Central Committee and the Central Red Army arrived in northern Shaanxi , greatly encouraging all the revolutionary people. These two events raised the country’s anti-Japanese democratic movement to a new high. On December 9, five to six thousand students from universities and middle schools in Beiping led by the Chinese Communist Party staged a large-scale demonstration. Paraders presented a petition to the representative of the National Government in north China to demand that they “stop the civil war and unite to resist Japan .” They shouted slogans such as “Oppose autonomy of north China ” and “Down with Japanese imperialism.” During the demonstration the students were suppressed by the police and soldiers. The following day the students of Beiping went on a general strike to protest against the reactionary authorities’ atrocities and, at the same time, planned a new struggle on a still larger scale. On December 16, when the Hebei-Qahar Administrative Council was to begin functioning, Beiping students numbering over 10,000 broke through the besiegement by police and troops, and held a mass rally and demonstration to voice their opposition to the establishment of the Hebei-Qahar Administrative Council, to any puppet organization in north China, and to the so-called autonomy of north China. The north China authorities once more suppressed the students. The Beiping students’ patriotic act brought an immediate response from students across the country and won their support. The December 9th Movement marked the advent of the upsurge of the movement for resistance and democracy. After this movement, progressive youths led by the Chinese Communist Party went to factories, the countryside, and the anti-Japanese front, and embarked on the road of inte-grating themselves with workers, peasants and soldiers.
The new situation after the North China Incident called upon the Chinese Communist Party to make a scientific analysis of the current situation and formulate a new and correct political line and revolutionary tactics. For this purpose, the CPC Central Committee convened a Political Bureau meeting at Wayaobao in northern Shaanxi from mid to late December 1935. On the 25th, the meeting adopted the “Resolution on the Current Political Situ-ation and the Tasks of the Party.” The meeting correctly realized the basic characteristics of the current political situation: Japanese imperialism was paving the way to make China its sole colony instead of remaining a colony under various imperialist powers. The resolution pointed out: “The line and tactics of the Party are to mobilize, unite and organize all revolutionary forces of the nation to oppose today’s principal enemies Japanese imperial- ism and the arch-traitor Chiang Kai-shek Only the broadest anti-Japanese national united front (including the lower and upper strata) can defeat Japanese imperialism and its lackey Chiang Kai-shek.” The meeting decided to rename the Soviet Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic as the Soviet People’s Republic and adjust its policies. The resolution also clearly pointed out that at present, “the main danger to the Party is the exclusivism of the “Left”, but struggle would also be waged against the Right opportunists. Af-ter the meeting, Mao Zedong gave a report on the tactics against Japanese imperialism at a meeting of the Party’s activists. The theory and tactics on the establishment of the anti-Japanese na-tional united front as expounded in the resolution and Mao’s re- port made it clear that under the premise of resistance against Japan , it was possible and necessary to form a united front with the national bourgeoisie and even with a number of landlords and compradors. They especially stated that in the united front the proletariat could and must keep the leadership in hand. In addition to stressing the criticism of the mistakes committed by the “Left” dogmatists on political tactics, they also reminded the whole Party not to forget the bitter experience of 1927 when the revolution suffered great losses due to the proletariat giving up its leadership. This meeting was the starting point for the Communist Party to change its political line and prepared the theoretical and political basis to greet a new upsurge of resistance against Japan .
The North China Incident constituted a grave menace to the KMT’s domination in that area. Chiang Kai-shek’s policies of compromise and concession had already failed to satisfy the greediness of Japanese imperialists on the one hand, and on the other hand, the rise of the movement for resistance and national salvation would never allow Chiang Kai-shek to continue his policy towards Japan . At that time, tensions between Japan and Britain and the United States were growing. Under these circum- stances, with the further splitting up of the Kuomintang and its government and army, the pro-British and pro-American factions were constantly expanding their force and influence, and the pro- Japanese factions being attacked. Early in November 1935, during the Sixth Plenary Session of the Fourth Central Committee of the KMT, Wang Jingwei was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt and went abroad for treatment. The pro-Japanese force suffered a setback. In that same month, the KMT held its Fifth National Congress. In anti-Communist policy internal affairs, the of “eliminating the congress stuck to the anti-Communist policy of “eliminating the remnant Red bandits.”In diplomacy, Chiang Kai-shek delivered a speech on foreign relations, saying, “We will never give up peace unless the hope of peace has completely disappeared. We will also never talk of sac-rificing ourselves when we have not yet come to the moment of final sacrifice With the determination to make the final sacri-fice if necessary, we should try our best to struggle for peace and fulfill the goal of laying a foundation for the state and rejuvenat-ing the nation.” But he also remarked, “When peace is completely hopeless … we should take orders from the party and government and steel ourselves for the final sacrifice Chiang’s speech showed that the diplomatic relations of the KMT with Japan had begun to change. The congress approved the resolution of the draft consti-tution, authorized the Fifth Central Executive Committee to amend it and then make it known to the public, and decided to convene a national assembly. Following the Fifth National Con-gress, the KMT held the First Plenary Session of the Fifth Central Committee, at which Lin Sen was elected president of the Nation- al Government and Chiang Kai-shek replaced Wang Jingwei as head of the Executive Yuan. The Executive Yuan was reorganized. Although the faction headed by Chiang Kai-shek still stuck to the principle of “suppressing the Communists” and continued to pur-sue a policy of compromise with the Japanese aggressors, it was obliged to make some revisions of its original policy.
After the Fifth National Congress, Chiang Kai-shek’s policy towards Japan kept changing. He personally took part in the dip-lomatic negotiations with Japan on Hirota’s Three Principles. He declared Hirota’s Three Principles could be accepted on the con-dition that Japan stop instigating the “autonomy” of north China . But no agreement was reached. Chiang was forced to agree to the establishment of the Hebei-Qahar Administrative Council. At that time, an important move by the KMT was that Chiang secretly ordered Chen Lifu to send people to contact the Communist Party through various channels so as to carry out secret negotiations. His intention was to incorporate the Red Army into the KMT forces through talks. This revealed that Chiang was now adopting the policies of both “suppression” and “appeasement” towards the Red Army. This was instrumental in relaxing the sharp antagonis-tic relations between the KMT and the CPC. Early in 1936, Chi-ang authorized Foreign Minister Zhang Qun to negotiate with Japan and instructed him to employ stalling tactics. In March, Zhang Qun and Arita, Japanese ambassador to China , held four talks on the adjustment of Sino-Japanese relations. Because the National Government began pursuing an unyielding policy, Japan failed to gain what it wanted through the negotiations.
The Guangdong-Guangxi Incident took place in June. Chen Jitang from Guangdong and Li Zongren and B ai Chongxi from Guangxi declared a shift to the north to resist Japan . At the same time, they jointly dispatched troops into Hunan Province in prepa- ration for fighting Chiang Kai-shek’s forces. This move was an open challenge to Chiang in the name of resistance against Japan . The people all over the country demanded resistance against Ja-pan and opposed fighting a civil war. They expected that the Guangdong-Guangxi Incident would be peacefully settled. Chiang Kai-shek bought over Yu Hanmou and others who had been sub-ordinates of Chen Jitang, and then forced Chen out. By September, Chiang reached an agreement with Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi. Therefore, the incident was peacefully settled.
In July, the KMT convened the Second Plenary Session of its Fifth Central Committee. A decision was made to set up the Na- tional Defence Council with Chiang Kai-shek as its chairman. At the session Chiang explained the foreign policy approved by the Fifth National Congress, and clearly stated that he would never sign any agreement recognizing puppet regimes. He added,”When we are compelled to sign an agreement to recognize a puppet regime which infringes on China ‘s sovereignty and territo- rial integrity, that will be the time when we can tolerate no more, and the moment of our final sacrifice will have arrived.” In Sep- tember and October, Zhang Qun held eight talks with Kawagoe , Japanese ambassador to China . The Japanese side asked for a joint containment of the Communist Party in north China while the Chinese side demanded the abolition of the Shanghai and Tanggu truce agreements as well as the puppet regime in eastern Hebei . Chiang Kai-shek instructed Zhang Qun “that complete adminis- trative power in north China must be taken as the lowest limit for
adjusting the national relations with Japan today.” The negotia-tions between China and Japan came to a standstill. In November 1936, the puppet troops with Japanese troops’ collaboration mounted a massive attack against the province of Suiyuan . The troops under Fu Zuoyi stationed there rose to resist and put the invading forces to flight, and recovered the lost Bailingmiao. Suiyuan’s resistance was warmly praised and actively supported by the entire population of the country. The National Government also adopted a relatively positive attitude to this battle of resis-tance.
Since the December 9th Movement, the domestic situation in China had been rapidly developing towards resistance against Japan . This was a great change. To implement the policies and tactics of the anti-Japanese national united front formulated at Wayaobao, the Chinese Communist Party readjusted its policies in light of its general line and tasks in the new period, and carried out hard and complicated struggles. In February 1936, the Chine-se Communist Party organized the Anti-Japanese Vanguard of the Chinese People’s Red Army to move eastward across the Yellow River and entered Shanxi Province.6ivisions, affegedly 200,000 strong, Chiang Kai-shek mustered 10 into Shanxi to cooperate with Yan Xishan’s armed forces to obstruct the eastward advance of the Red Army. The marching Red Army withdrew to the west of the Yellow River . On May 5, the Chinese Communist Party pub-lished an open telegram appealing to the KMT to “stop fighting, negotiate peace, and resist against Japan in unison.” Then the Party Central Committee ordered the Red Army to move west to consolidate and develop the Shaanxi-Gansu revolutionary base, expand the ranks of the Red Army, and strive to unite the forces in the northwest to resist against Japan . To ally with the Hui people for the common struggle against Japanese invaders, the Central Government of the Chinese Soviet issued an appeal to the Hui people on May 25, 1936 . It declared, “We would unite with all armed forces of the Hui people and help with their growth … the two great ethnic groups of Hui and Han should unite closely and overthrow Japanese imperialism and all traitors.” After the Guangdong-Guangxi Incident and the Second Plenary Session of the KMT’s Fifth Central Committee, the CPC Central Committee decided to abandon the slogan of “opposing Chiang Kai-shek and resisting against Japan ,” and, on August 25, 1936 , wrote to the KMT, formally announcing its readiness to cooperate again with the KMT for salvation of the nation. Afterwards, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai respectively wrote to the important figures of the KMT, appealing for them to promote the second cooperation be-tween the two parties. On September 1, the CPC Central Com-mittee issued an inner-Party directive, in which it said, “The chief enemy of the Chinese people today is Japanese imperialism. So it is wrong to equate Japanese imperialism with Chiang Kai-shek, and the slogan of ‘Resistance against Japan and opposition to Chiang Kai-shek’ is not proper either Our general principle is to ‘drive Chiang to resist Japan ‘.” In that same month, the CPC Central Committee made a “Resolution on the New Situation in the Resist-Japan-and-Save-the-Nation Movement and the Democ-ratic Republic .” It pointed out, “Encouraging the KMT govern-ment and its troops to join in the anti-Japanese war is the neces-sary condition for carrying out a serious, nationwide armed strug-gle against Japan .” Hence the decision to use the name of Democ-ratic Republic to replace that of the Soviet People’s Republic.
After the Wayaobao Meeting, the CPC’s work in the White area began to change. To bring about a thorough shift of the Party’s work in the White area, the North China Subbureau of the CPC Central Committee headed by Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969), from Ningxiang, Hunan Province, had done a great deal and contribut-ed much to the establishment of the anti-Japanese national united front.
After the December 9th Movement, the nationwide resist-Japan-and-save-the-nation movement was pushed to a new high. Early in 1936, a flood of students from Beiping, Tianjin , Shanghai and other places went to factories and the countryside to publicize the reasons for resisting Japan . In February, the Vanguard for the Liberation of the Chinese Nation–an organization of revolution-ary youths–was set up under the leadership of the CPC. In May, the All-China Students’ Union for National Salvation was estab- lished in Shanghai . From May 31 to June 1, 1936 , an inaugural meeting for the establishment of the Chinese People’s Federation for National Salvation was held in Shanghai . The federation pub-lished a manifesto and an initial political programme on resis-tance against Japan and for national salvation. The manifesto stated that the federation was a nationwide united front for na-tional salvation, and its main task at present was to promote the cooperation between various groups of strength in the country for resisting the enemy. In addition, the manifesto sugg.ested that all the parties and factions involved immediately stop armed con-flicts and send official representatives for negotiations so as to work out a common programme and set up a unified political power for resistance against the enemy. On July 15, Shen Junru, Tao Xingzhi, Zhang Naiqi and Zou Taofen jointly published a manifesto-like article entitled “The Basic Conditions and Mini-mum Requirements for Unity Against Foreign Aggression.” It expressed the wishes and stand of the Chinese people who de-manded an end to internal clashes, unity against Japanese aggres-sors and struggle for freedom and democracy. This article exerted a tremendous influence. With the expansion of the movement for resistance and the founding of organizations for national salvation in various places, publications on this theme appeared one after another. But any voluntarily organized movement for resistance and democracy out of the KMT’s control was considered illegal. On November 23, the KMT government arrested Shen Junru (1875-1963), Zhang Naiqi, Zou Taofen (1895-1944), Li Gongpu, Wang Zaoshi, Sha Qianli and Shi Liang, leaders of the national salvation organizations of various circles, under an accusation of “endangering the Republic of China.” This incident, popularly called “Incident of Seven Noble, hearted Personages,” aroused the sympathy among people of different circles and a nationwide campaign to rescue them.
As mentioned before, Chiang Kai-shek had sent people to contact the Communist Party, but had never given up his policy of suppression. In October 1936, Chiang went to Xi’an and Luoyang to deploy troops to suppress the Communist Party. He moved 30 divisions under his direct control to stations along the Beiping-Hankou and Longhai railways, preparing to march them to the Shaanxi-Gansu area at any time necessary. He forced Zhang Xueliang’s Northeast Army and Yang Hucheng’s 17th Route Army, both stationed in Shaanxi , to continue suppressing the Communist Party. The CPC adopted a policy of trying to win over and unite with Zhang and Yang’s troops. In February 1936, Yang Hucheng (1893-1949) reached an agreement with a CPC repre- sentative on nonaggression and the exchange of delegates. On April 9, Zhou Enlai went to Fushi, where the Northeast Army was stationed, to hold secret talks with Zhang Xueliang, and reached an agreement of nonaggression between the Red Army and the Northeast Army. In the first half of 1936, the state of hostility between the Red Army and the Northeast and 17th Route armies actually ended. On October 31, Chiang Kai-shek issued orders for a general offensive against the Red Army. The Red Army rose to repulse the enemy attack. On November 21, it wiped out Hu Zongnan’s 78th Division at Shanchengbao in Huanxian County , Gansu Province. This last battle put an end to the civil war. In early December, Chiang flew to Xi’an to “supervise the suppres- sion of Communists,” making Huaqingchi, Lintong County , his field headquarters. The troops mustered by him now continued their advance to Tongguan, and the clouds of war were gathering over the northwest. Chiang Kai-shek was attempting to force Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng to attack the Red Army, using his Central Army as reinforcement. If Zhang and Yang refused to obey his orders, he would move the Central Army to replace the Northeast and 17th Route armies, to enter and be stationed in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. This was Chiang’s tactic of killing two birds with one stone. Putting national interests above all, Zhang Xueliang again and again advised Chiang to change his policy of civil war and carry out a nationwide resistance against Japan . But all his proposals were rejected. He then held private counsel with Yang Hucheng and decided to have Chiang detained to drive him to resist Japan .
On December 12, Zhang and Yang issued an order to detain Chiang at Huaqingchi. At the same time, Chen Cheng, Wei Li-huang and 10 others were arrested in Xi’an . Following this incident, Zhang and Yang jointly issued an open telegram, declaring that their detaining Chiang was completely out of anti-Japanese and national salvation sentiments, that this was a way to urge Chiang’s self-examination, and that his personal safety was guaranteed. They put forward eight propositions such as reorganizing the Nanjing government, stopping all civil wars, releasing all political offenders, lifting the ban on mass patriotic movements, and immediately convening a national salvation meeting.
The sudden outbreak of the Xi’an Incident shocked the whole country and the world. The Nanjing government was thrown into confusion. Out of their own different interests, countries and their domestic forces responded differently. Japanese imperialists at-tempted to instigate a large-scale civil war in China so as to make use of the chance to expand their aggression. They supported Wang Jingwei, who was then recuperating in Germany , and hoped he would return to China to organize a pro-Japanese government. Britain and the United States were for peaceful settlement of the incident, announcing that they were willing to mediate. The Soviet Union backed China to resist Japan , hoping to settle this inci-dent peacefully, but violently attacked Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng. He Yingqin and company insisted on “sending a punitive expedition” against Zhang and Yang, intending to take ad-vantage of this opportunity to grasp national political power. Ini-tially they got the upper hand, and He Yingqin was chosen as “commander-in-chief of the Punitive Expedition Army.” Song Ziwen, Kong Xiangxi and their followers were against punitive expedition. They maintained that Chiang should be rescued rough peaceful settlement of the incident. But their intention was to stabilize the positions of the pro-American and pro-British groups in the National Government. Feng Yuxiang, who was then Nanjing , was also for peaceful settlement to avoid a civil war. The proposition of the Song-Kong group won an advantage in the Nanjing government and finally a decision was made to rescue Chiang. The local Kuomintang warlords were against Zhang and Yang, except Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi from Guangxi and Liu Xiang from Sichuan who expressed support for them, advocating ttlement of the Incident through political means. Fu Zuoyi also suported Zhang and Yang. Yan Xishan first stated that he sup-ported Zhang Xueliang, but after the incident took place, he sent a telegram attacking Zhang and yang, and asked them to hand over Chiang to him so that he could have the situation under his con-trol. Song Zheyuan, Han Fuqu and others pledged their support for the KMT Central Committee, but in fact they were in favour of putting Chiang to death. To the middle classes, the outbreak of the Xi’an Incident was like a bolt out of the blue. Most of them blamed Zhang and Yang and demanded the restoration of Chiang’ s freedom.
When the news of Chiang’s arrest reached northern Shaanxi, Communists, the Red Army and the people of the revolutionary base area were overjoyed, and most of them advocated killing him But quite a few were worried that killing Chiang would lead to another civil war. After a through discussion of the Incident, the Central Political Bureau, in view of the long-term interests of the nation, quickly negated the idea of killing Chiang and decided on the principle of peaceful settlement. On December 19, the CPC Central Commit’ tee clearly pointed out that Chiang should be set free if he agreed to resistance instead of fighting a civil war. At the invitation of Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng, the CPC Central Committee sent a delegation composed of Zhou Enlai, Bo Gu, Ye Jianying and others to Xi’an . There the delegation did a great deal of work and achieved positive results. On December 22, the Nanjing authorities officially sent Song Ziwen and Song Meiling to Xi’an for negotiations. On December 24, an agreement was reached. Chiang Kai-shek was forced to promise to reorgani- ze the KMT and the National Government, release all political offenders, stop suppressing the Communist Party, cooperate with the Red Army to resist Japan, and convene a meeting attended by representatives from various political parties, circles, and armies to discuss and decide the policies of resistance against Japan and national salvation. On the 25th, Chiang was released and the Xi’ an Incident was peacefully settled. Zhang Xueliang personally accompanied Chiang’s return to Nanjing . But upon their arrival in Nanjing , Zhang was detained. The Xi’an Incident and its peaceful settlement became a turning-point in the current situation. Now the KMT’s policy of “internal pacification before resistance to foreign invasion” had failed, and the civil war was basically ended. This provided an essential prerequisite for the second co- operation between the KMT and CPC.
In February 1937, the Third Plenary Session of the Fifth Central Executive Committee of the KMT was held to discuss its policies towards the Communist Party and Japan . To realize the second cooperation between the KMT and CPC, the Communist Party sent the session a telegram, putting forth five demands and four guarantees. The five demands were as follows: (1) Stop all civil war and concentrate all national strength to resist against foreign invasion; (2) guarantee freedom of speech, assembly and association, and release all political offenders; (3) hold a confer-ence attended by representatives from various political parties, factions, circles and armies so as to gather all human resources for national salvation; (4) get everything ready for a war of resistance against Japan as quickly as possible; (5) improve people’s liveli- hood. If the KMT’could put these five demands into practice, the CPC would fulfill the four guarantees: (1) Stop the implementa-tion of the policy of overthrowing the National Government by armed uprising on a nationwide scale; (2) rename the Workers’ and Peasants’ Democratic Government as the Special Regional Government of the Republic of China, rename the Red Army as the National Revolutionary Army and put it directly under the Nanjing Central Government and Military Commission; (3) carry out a thorough-going democratic system of general election in the areas under the Special Regional Government; (4) stop imple-menting the policy of confiscating landlords’ land and resolutely carry out the common programme of the anti-Japanese national united front. At this session, Soong Ching Ling and Feng Yuxiang put forward the “Proposal on the Restoration of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Three Cardinal Policies.” After a fierce debate, the session at last affirmed the principle of cooperating again with the Communist Party. In addition, a resolution on eliminating the “Red Peril” was passed. Its main points included: (1) The establishment and order of a state’s army units must be unified, so the Red Army must be completely disbanded; (2) two political powers should not be allowed to exist side by side within a country, so the Soviet gov-ernment must be liquidated; (3) communist propaganda must be thoroughly stopped; (4) class struggle must be radically ended. Although the resolution still wantonly slandered the Communist Party, it revealed that the KMT’s policy towards the Communist Party had finally been changed from “suppression by armed force” to “peaceful unification.” This marked a great change in the KMT’s policy. However, this was only a change in tactics, for”eliminating the Red peril” remained its cardinal policy. This standpoint and the “peaceful unification” tactic of the KMT de- cided the relations and form of struggle between the two parties in the coming years.
According to the new developments, the CPC issued a “Let-ter to All Party Members” on April 15, 1937 , putting forth the slogans of “consolidating peace,” “striving for democracy” and”conducting a war of resistance.” In May the CPC held a confer- ence in Yan’ an attended by representatives from the Soviet areas. This conference ratified the political line followed by the Party Central Committee since 1935 and determined the tasks of the Party in the new historical period. Meanwhile, the Party Central Committee convened another meeting in Yan’ an participated in by Party representatives from White areas. This meeting summed up experiences and lessons of the Party’s work in White areas, criti-cized the “Leftist” exclusivism and adventurism, and laid down the basic policies and tactics for struggle in the White areas. All these were important preparations made for mobilizing the masses to resist Japan .
After the peaceful settlement of the Xi’an Incident, the his-torical road for China to take was still tortuous. For example: Chiang Kai-shek had Zhang Xueliang detained in Nanjing; the National Government brought Shen Junru and six other noted patriots to trial, suppressed strikes, repressed and sabotaged the students’ patriotic movements, and transferred the Northeast Army from Shaanxi to Henan and Anhui so as to separate them from the Red Army; and Yang Hucheng was forced to quit office and go abroad. Moreover the KMT made use of the people’s de-sire for unity and beat the drum for “corroding the Communists” in an attempt to drive the Communist Party to surrender. In the course of negotiations, the KMT insisted that the Red Army and revolutionary base areas be liquidated. But Chiang Kai-shek was powerless to change the general orientation of uniting all Chinese people to resist Japan . With the negotiations between the KMT and CPC held at higher levels as well as the rising struggle against Japan , a situation of general resistance against Japan by the whole people was in the making.
The July 7th Incident and the Start of the Nationwide War of Resistance Against Japan. Three Kinds of Political Power Exist Simultaneously
The all-out war of aggression was premeditated. In 1937 when a against China launched by Japan new economic crisis hit the capi-talist world, the Japanese ruling faction found that their domestic political and economic situation was unsteady and that the strength of pro-American and Pro-British forces within the Chinese government was growing, the KMT and the CPC moving towards cooperation, the US and Britain giving aid to Chiang Kai-shek, and the relations be-tween China and the Soviet Union getting close. They were therefore anxious to attack China on a large scale in an attempt to suppress the anti-fascist force at home, establish and extend their colonial rule over mainland China , and strengthen their position in confrontation with the United States , Britain and the Soviet Union .
On the evening of July 7, Japanese troops conducted a military exercise near Lugouqiao ( Marco Polo Bridge ). On the excuse that a soldier was missing, the Japanese asked for a search of the county town of Wanping. The local Chinese government refused this unrea-sonable demand. In the process of negotiation, the Japanese troops launched a surprise attack against the town, and then bombarded Lug-ouqiao. The Chinese garrison rose to fight back. This started the na-tionwide War of Resistance historical Against Japan . China now entered a new stage.
After the July 7th (or Lugouqiao) Incident, the National Govern-ment wavered in its attitude towards the incident and adopted a policy of “neither submission nor aggravation.” On the one hand, Chiang Kai-shek sent the Central Army north and ordered Song Zheyuan to resist the enemy on the spot. On the other, he instructed Song to “hold negotiations with Japan on the principle of not losing territory and sovereignty,” hoping to see the incident partially settled. On July 17, Chiang delivered a speech at Lushan, reiterating the Chinese govern-ment’s foreign policy and putting forth four principles for solving the incident: (1) No solution would be allowed to infringe upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; (2) the executive organizations in Hebei and Qahar must not be changed illegally; (3) local officials appointed by the Central Government must not be recalled at the casual request of anyone; (4) no restraint would be allowed on the area in which the 29th Corps was stationed. He added, “Whether this mat-ter canbe settled is the final crux Once the war starts, every person, young or old, in the north or in the south, must take up the responsi-bility of resisting the aggressor and defending our homeland.” But he also regarded the Lugouqiao Incident as a “local incident” and hoped to “settle it through peaceful diplomatic methods.” To preserve his own strength and position, Song Zheyuan strove to reach a comprom-ise with Japan . Although the Japanese government declared its policy was “not to expand the war,” actually it was speeding up preparations for expansion of the war. On July 11, the Konoe Fumimaro Cabinet issued a statement on sending troops to north China . On the 19th, the Hebei and Qahar authorities accepted the conditions put forward by the Japanese side and signed them. But the Japanese reinforcements had already arrived in the area of Beiping and Tianjin , and deployed for a battle. Around July 20, the Japanese troops launched attacks in the suburbs of Beiping. In a series of meetings with the ambassadors to China from Britain , the United States , Germany and France , Chiang Kai-shek asked for mediation by their countries. The National Gov-ernment even indicated that it was ready to accept the settlement de-cided through negotiation between the Japanese side and the Hebei and Qahar authorities. But all his efforts came to nought. On the 26th, the Japanese troops captured Langfang. They then moved into the city of Beiping and fought with the Chinese garrison at Guanganmen. On that some day, the Japanese army sent Song Zheyuan an ultimatum. Not waiting for the reply from the Chinese side, the Japanese troops launched offensives at daybreak on July 28, and the 29th Corps hur-riedly rose in resistance. Tong Linge, vice-commander of the corps, and Zhao Dengyu, a division commander were killed in action. Song Zheyuan was ordered to withdraw his forces from Beiping to Baoding . On the 29th and 30th, Beiping and Tianjin fell in succession.
To put pressure directly on the National Government, the Japanese troops launched offensives against Shanghai on August 13, 1937 . The Chinese army fought back. On the 17th, the Japanese Cabinet met and decided to give up the policy of not expanding the war. Shanghai was China ‘s largest financial, industrial and commercial centre. It was also the area where the interests of imperialist powers in China , such as Britain and the United States , were concentrated. On August 14, the National Government issued a statement on the war of self-defence and resistance. It said: “Driven by Japan ‘s unlimited aggression, Chi-na now has no other choice but to rise to fight in self-defence and resist this violence.” On the 20th, the Military Commission of the National Government divided the northern and southern battlefields into five war zones and worked out the operational policy: “Concen-trate part of the National Army in north China to carry out protracted resistance, paying special attention to defending the natural barriers of Shanxi Province; concentrate the main force of the National Army in east China on fighting the enemy in Shanghai and strive to defend the strategically important Shanghai-Wusong area so as to consolidate the capital. In addition, a minimum amount of forces is to be sent to garri-son the ports and harbours in south China .” The Shanghai-southern Jiangsu-Zhejiang area was designated as the Third War Zone with Feng Yuxiang as commander (later on, Chiang Kai-shek put himself in command of this war zone). On August 15, the Japanese army set up its Shanghai headquarters with Matsui Iwane as commander. From the start of the Shanghai-Wusong Campaign, people from various circles of the whole country actively rendered their support to Shanghai ‘s resistance. The Chinese local armed units marched to the from one after another as well.
On the day after the Luogouqiao Incident, the CPC Central Committee published an open telegram to the nation, calling upon the Chinese people, government and army to unite and build a strong Great Wall of the anti-Japanese national united front. The Red Army was ready to start for the front. To promote cooperation between the KMT and CPC to resist Japan , on July 15, Zhou Enlai, representative of the CPC, delivered to the KMT Central Executive Committee at Lushan the “Declaration of the CPC Central Committee on Making Public the Cooperation Between the KMT and CPC”. The declaration put forth basic propositions such as quickly mobilizing national resis- tance, practising democratic politics and improving people’s living standards. It announced that the CPC was willing to strive for the re-alization of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Three People’s Principles, stop at-tempting to overthrow the KMT regime and confiscating the land of the landlord class, rename the Soviet political power as the Special Regional Government, and redesignate the Red Army as the National Revolutionary Army. But at that time, Chiang Kai-shek had not yet determined to resist Japan , so the negotiations between the KMT and CPC still achieved no result. After the August 13th Incident, the Military Commission of the National Government announced on August 22 the redesignation of the Red Army as the Eighth Route Army and appointed Zhu De its commander and Peng Dehuai its deputy commander, with the l l5th, 120th and 129th divisions under their command. After redesignation, the Red Army immediately marched to the front. Urged repeatedly by the CPC, the KMT at last published the CPC’s declaration on cooperation between the KMT and CPC through the Central News Agency on September 22. The following day, Chiang Kai-shek gave a talk, pointing out the necessity of uniting to oppose the enemy, in effect recognizing the legal position of the CPC, though he described the cooperation as the “acceptance” of the CPC by the KMT so as to “enable it to work for the benefit of the nation.” The publication of the Communist Party’s declaration and Chiang Kai-shek’s talk marked the Japanese national united front based formal beginning of the anti- on the cooperation between the CPC and the KMT.
At the early stage of the war of resistance, the CPC Central Committee repeatedly suggested that the anti-Japanese national united front needed a fixed organization and a common programme for the various political parties and groups. Such an organization could be set up in this way: The KMT would be the national alliance participated in by other parties and groups which could keep their independence, or the national alliance would be jointly organized by various political parties and groups. But these two forms were rejected by the KNIT. As the anti-Japanese national united front had no fixed organizational form, consultations could be conducted only when something impor-tant happened. The united front did not have a common programme either. As soon as the War of Resistance started, there existed two different guidelines: The CPC determined to fight a war of total resis-tance while the KMT wanted a war of” partial resistance. The differ-ence between these two guidelines and the struggle between them ran throughout the War of Resistance.
To carry out the line of total resistance and formulate the pro-grammes and policies of defeating Japan , the CPC central Political Bureau held an enlarged meeting in Luochuan in northern Shaanxi in August 1937. The meeting adopted the “Resolution on the Current Situation and the Party’s Tasks” as for Resisting Japan and Saving the well as the “lO-point Programme Nation” drafted by Mao Zedong. The gist of the 10 points were: (1) Calling for the overthrow of Ja-panese imperialism; (2) general mobilization of all the nationa’s mili-tary resources; (3) general mobilization of the people of the whole country; (4) reform of the political structure; (5) foreign policies in the resistance against Japan; (6) wartime financial and economic policies;(7) improving people’s livelihood; (8) educational policies in the re- sistance against Japan; (9) liquidating traitors and pro-Japanese ele-ments so as to consolidate the rear; (10) national solidarity for resis-tance against Japan. These 10 points summarized the basic political propositions of the CPC in the War of Resistance Against Japan, con-cretely expressed the CPC’s guideline on a war of total resistance, and pointed out the road to the final victory in the War of Resistance. The meeting also decided the guiding principles for action at the new stage: First, place the focal point in the Party’s work on war zones and the enemy’s rear areas, arouse the masses, carry out an independent guer-rilla war and set up anti-Japanese bases behind enemy lines; secondl3 take reduction of land rent and interest as the basic policy in solving, the peasant problem during the War of Resistance; thirdly, give a free hand to the anti-Japanese mass movement in Kuomintang areas and struggle for people’s political and economic rights; fourthly, change the Red Army’s strategy, turning regular troops into guerrilla units and mobile warfare into guerrilla warfare.
After the Luochuan Meeting, the Eighth Route Army marched to the front in north China to conduct guerrilla war and establish base areas behind enemy lines. The 10-point Programme stipulated the policy on ethnic minorities: “Mobilize the Mongolians, Huis and other minorities to resist Japan together on the principle of national self- determination and autonomy.” Then, the CPC put forth the proposition: National minorities such as Mongolians, Huis, Tibetans, Miaos and Yaos enjoy equal rights with the Han ethnic group; on the principle of joint resistance against Japan, they have the right to administer their own affairs and unite with the Hans to form a unified nation.
Being forced to resist Japan , the National Government still had reservations about fighting the Japanese to the very end. It feared that the people’s strength would grow in the War of Resistance and cot-stitute a menace to its rule. At the same time, it felt that it was not strong enough and needed the people’s strength to resist Japanese attacks. So, on the one hand, it only relied on the government and its amay to fight the War of Resistance, restricted the people’s anto-Japanese democratic movement, and refused to reform the existing political and economic systems; on the other, it cherished illusions of intervention by the League of Nations and the signatory states of the Nine-State Pact to check Japan’s aggression. However, it had to re-duce its pressure on the people and give them freedom to a certain extent in the War of Resistance.
After the start of the anti-Japanese war, the KMT followed a line of partial resistance. The middle-of-the-road group (including the national bourgeoisie, the upper strata of the petty bourgeoisie, the enlightened gentry, and the local groups of strength) were for a war of firm resistance and against compromise and surrender. They demand-ed the carrying out of the War of Resistance by the entire nation and the realization of democratic politics. They expected the National Government to mobilize the people of the whole country to resist Ja-pan, and supported the arousal of mass movements, thorough reform of the political structure and efforts to promote political democratiza-tion. But they put the responsibility of leading the War of Resistance to victory on the National Government and Chiang Kai-sfiek. The proposition put forward by the middle-of-the-road group played an active and progressive role in the period of resistance against Japanese aggression, although it was different both from the KMT’s line of partial resistance and the CPC’s line of total resistance.
China ‘s War of Resistance won deep sympathy and active sup-port from people all over the world. The Soviet Union sent China volunteer flyers. Norman Bethune from Canada led a medical team to China , and George Kotnis came with India ‘s Aid-China Medical Group.
Having captured Beiping and Tianjin , the Japanese invading troops in north China separately launched offensives along the Beip-ing-Suiyuan, Beiping-Hankou and Tianjin-Pukou railway lines. On the Pingsui Railway, the Japanese troops first attacked Nankou, where they met with the Chinese garrison’s fierce resistance. On August 13, Nankou fell. On the 27th of that same month, Zhangjiakou fell, too. In the first 10-day period of September, the Japanese troops pushed to- wards northern Shanxi in an attempt to occupy the province and bring the whole of north China under their control. Li Fuying, commander of the 61st Corps stationed at Datong , the strategically important city in northern Shanxi , led his troops to retreat rather than resist. On Sep-tember 13, Datong came under Japanese occupation. Then the Japane-se army continued its advance towards Suiyuan and captured Baotou on October 16 while directing its attack towards the south. To defend Taiyuan , the National Government concentrated massive forces around Xinkou for a decisive battle. During their march along the Beiping-Suiyuan Railway, the Japanese troops pushed southward along the Beiping-Hankou Railway in late August. Baoding fell on September 24. On October 10, the KMT troops withdrew from Shijia- zhuang. After occupying it, the enemy divided its forces into two routes; one continued advancing south along the Beiping-Hankou Railway, and the other marched west along the Zhengtai Railway, in coordination with the Japanese troops in their march on Taiyuan . On October 13, some 60,000 Japnese troops started a fierce attack on Xinkou, where the Chinese defending forces resisted heroically. In 15 days, they wiped out 20,000 enemy troops. Chinese casualties ex-ceeded 100,000. Had Mengling, commander of the Ninth Corps, was killed in the battle. At this time, the enemy troops marching west captured the Niangziguan Pass on October 26. The KMT troops de- fending Xinkou suffered great losses through 20 days of bitter fighting. In addition, the war situation in eastern Shanxi was unfavourable. On November 2, they were ordered to evacuate Xinkou and move south-ward. Originally they planned to reach the position north of Taiyuan and help defend it. But because of enemy pursuit, they failed to do so. Then they crossed the Fenhe River and moved southwest. On the night of November 8, the enemy troops stormed into the city of Taiyuan . After fierce hand-to-hand fighting, the 2,000 remaining garrison troops led by Fu Zuoyi broke through the encirclement and moved to Mt. Xishan , and Taiyuan fell. On the Tianjin-Pukou Railway, the Japanese army intruded into the territory of Shandong Province. To con-serve his forces, Han Fuqu avoided combat and abandoned Jinan on December 27 to flee to southwest Shandong . At the end of the year, Japanese troops landed at Qingdao . Now all the main cities and com-munication lines in north China were under Japan ‘s occupation.
On the battlefields south of the Yangtze River, the Japanese mustered over 200,000 enemy troops, including navy, air and ground forces, to attack Shanghai . The KMT government deployed three lines of defence with more than 700,000 troops. This campaign lasted three months. Supported by the people of Shanghai, the Chinese army fought bravely. The 500 defending troops in Baoshan county town all heroically gave their lives after two days and nights of battling against heavy odds in the streets. The 800 warriors led by Xie Jinyuan were ordered to defend the Sihang Warehouses (Warehouses of the Four Banks) north of the Suzhou River . After four days and nights of bitter fighting, they broke through heavy encirclement and retreated into the public concession in Shanghai . On November 12, the Japanese took Shanghai at a cost of 60,000 casualties: The Chinese troops also suf-fered heavy casualties.
Having captured Shanghai, the enemy troops immediately marched on to invade Nanjing . On November 20, the KMT govern-ment declared they were moving the capital to Chongqing, but actu-ally the government bodies were moved to Wuhan . So Wuhan became the provisional capital. The Japanese troops then advanced along two routes. One column, marching along the Shanghai-Nanjing rail line, took Suzhou and Wuxi in succession and then pressed on towards Nanjing . The other column set out west from the south of Taihu Lake . After seizing Jiaxing and Wujiang, this column divided its forces into two parts, one part starting from Langxi to move north to the south suburb of Nanjing in preparation for joining the offensive against the city. Another part was to attack Wuhu from Xuancheng in an attempt to cut off the Nanjing government’ s retreat. Chiang Kai-shek hurriedly decided to tenaciously defend Nanjing and established a garrison force composed of 14 divisions about 100,000 troops, with Tang Shengzhi as commander. In early December Nanjing was already besieged on three sides. On the 8th, battles started near Nanjing . In the evening of December 12, the garrison was defeated. In this campaign the loss of KMT troops numbered 100,000, with countless abandoned weaponry and ammunition. On the 13th Nanjing fell. The Japanese invaders launched a “competition” to kill, rape and loot, which lasted six weeks. Over 300,000 Chinese people and soliders were massacred, and one third of the houses in the city were burned to ruins.
In the earlier period of the War of Resistance, the National Gov-ernment was relatively active in fighting. At the same time, there were some changes in its domestic policy, such as recognizing the legal position of various political parties and groups, releasing some politi-cal offenders, promulgating the “Wartime Military Discipline” and “Regulations Regarding the Punishment of Traitors,” revising the”Emergency Acts Regarding the Punishment of Those Endangering the Republic of China,” and giving people more freedom. But the KMT only allowed the spread of the anti-Japanese democratic move-ment to a limited extent. Moreover, it was reluctant to reform the poli- tical structure, implement wartime financial and economic policies, and improve people’s livelihood. While resisting Japan it also tried to seek compromise and hoped to rely on the League of Nations and Western powers to stop Japanese invasion. However, the League of Nations recognized only the fact of Japanese aggression, and suggest- ed convening a conference of the nine signatory powers of the Nine-State Pact to discuss Japan ‘s violation of the pact, instead of adopting substantial measures to aid China and apply sanctions against Japan . On November 3, the Eighth Conference of the Nine Signatory Powers was held in Brussels, Belgium . But it solved no problems, only raising a proposal that China and Japan cease fire. Meanwhile, the National Government accepted the mediation of Trautmann, the German am-bassador to China . Chiang Kai-shek indicated that the conditions put forward by Japan could be regarded as the basis for negotiations. But, due to its occupation of Shanghai, Japan’s terms of inveigling Chiang Kai-shek into surrender became more harsh, and also due to Chiang’s fear of being opposed by the people of the country, Trautmann’s me- diation failed. After taking Nanjing, the Japanese government declared on January 16, 1938 (the first declaration by Knoe Fumimaro): “From now on the imperial government will not take the National Govern-ment as its opponent. It expects the founding and developing of a new political power in China that will cooperate genuinely with the em-pire.”
As the Japanese imperialists would never stop fighting until the collapse of the National Government, the KMT was obliged to reiter-ate the policy of conducting a protracted war of resistance. In internal affairs it adopted a pose of being relatively enlightened and progres-sive, In March 1938, the KMT held a provisional national congress in Wuchang. The congress passed a declaration and the “Programme for the War of Resistance and National Reconstruction.” The declaration stated that, “we should exert every effort in the struggle for national survival and independence, and, at the same time, accomplish political and economic construction on the basis of the Three People’s Princi-ples.” On the one hand, the declaration voiced the determination of fighting the War of Resistance to the very end, and on the other, it hoped for Japan to change its policy so as to work with China to seek “a just peace.” The Programme for the War of Resistance and National Reconstruction was the concrete expression of the KMT’s political line. It laid down the KMT’s policies on military, political, economic and diplomatic affairs. It wished to carry on the War of Resistance and national reconstruction at the same time. Chiang Kai-shek’s explana-tion of the Three People’s Principles should be taken as the “top stan-dard” for the War of Resistance and national reconstruction, and that all the resistance forces should be under the leadership of the Kuo-mintang and Chiang Kai-shek. Apart from these requirements, the programme provided that political training should be strengthened in the army, guerrilla war be widely conducted in the areas behind enemy lines, organizations be set up for the people to participated in govern-ment and political affairs, political organs at all levels be improved, etc. These provisions were of positive significance. The documents adopted by the congress were of a dual nature. The KMT could make use of them to decide everything related to the War of Resistance and defend the rule of the big landlords and big bourgeoisie. But people could also take advantage of them to mobilize all forces for resistance against Japan and struggle against the KMT’s erroneous policies.
The congress chose Chiang Kai-shek as the director-general of the KMT. It also resolved to set up an Investigation and Statistics Bu-reau under the Central Executive Committee to extend the secret service, and establish the Three People’s Principles Youth League as an instrument to vie with the Communist Party for winning over young people. In July 1938, the Youth League was formed in Wu-chang with Chiang Kai-shek as its head and Chen Cheng as its secre-tary. The congress decided that the National Government should con-vene the People’s Political Council. In April 1938, the National Gov-ernment promulgated the “Organizational Regulations of the People’s Political Council.” The Council was a mere consultative body and its resolutions had no binding force for the National Govegnment. It had a membership of 200. All members were first chosen by the Central Executive Committee of the KMT and:then announced by the Nation- al Government. Most of the councillors were KMT members. The establishment of the council was beneficial to the War of Resistance and promotion of democracy because it offered a place for various political parties and groups as well as people from various circles to voice their views on state affairs. In July 1938, the First Session of the People’s Political Council opened in Wuhan .
After capturing Nanjing , the Japanese troops decided to take Xuzhou and open up the Tianjin-Pukou Railway so as to connect the battlefields in the north and south. To defend Xuzhou and pin down the main force of the enemy on the Tianjin-Pukou rail line, the Na- tional Government deployed 450,000 troops around Xuzhou . In March1938, some 80,000 Japanese troops launched an offensive against Taierzhuang. The KMT troops under Li Zongren in the Fifth War Zone carried on a tenacious resistance for more than 10 days, attracted the enemy main force near Taierzhuang, and then encircled them with over 100,000 troops. In this campaign the Chinese troops wiped out20, 000 enemy troops and seized a. large amount of weapons and equipment. This was a great victory in the War of Resistance in the frontal battlefields. Despite their defeat at Taierzhuang, the Japanese invaders continued to act according to their original plan and stepped up their deployment of military force to attack Xuzhou . From mid-April on, the enemy mustered 300,000 troops equipped with heavy weapons and besieged Xuzhou from six directions. In mid-May, the Lianyungang-Lanzhou (Longhai) Railway was cut off. To preserve effective strength, the National Government ordered the defenders to abandon Xuzhou and move to the Henan-Anhui border. On the 19th, Xuzhou fell.
After their occupation of Xuzhou , the Japanese mustered troops from the battlefields in the north and south to advance west along the Longhai Railway. On June 5, they took Kaifeng , and prepared to cap-ture Zhengzhou to link up the Beiping-Hankou, Tianjin-Pukou and Lianyungang-Lanzhou railways so as to create a favourable situation for attacking Wuhan . To check the advance of the enemy troops, the National Government ordered the bombardment of the section of the Yellow River dyke at Huayuankou north of Zhengzhou , inundating over 3,000 square kilometres of land in Henan , Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, causing hundreds of thousands of people to drown.
The floods of the Yellow River temporarily stopped the Japanese troops’ march west along the Longhai Railway, but they quickly changed their offensive direction. They moved their main force southward to coordinate with their naval vessels going up stream on the Yangtze River to attack Wuhan. Their offensive started early in June. They took Anqing on the 12th, captured Madang in late June, seized Hukou in early July, and occupied Jiujiang on July 26. In early August the enemy mobilized 12 divisions, 350,000 strong, 500 aircraft and 120 warships to attack Wuhan from five directions. The National Government built strong fortifications on the periphery of Wuhan , and concentrated 129 divisions and other armed forces totalling 1.3 mil-lion, 40 warships, and more than 100 aircraft there. The Chinese troops fought against the Japanese invaders on the vast battlefields from the northern and southern slopes of the Dabie Mountains to the banks of the Yangtze River. On October 25, the Chinese troops gave up Wuhan. The campaign to defend Wuhan lasted over four months, including hundreds of big and small battles, inflicting 200,000 casual-ties on the Japanese. At the same time, the enemy troops in south Chi-na landed at Daya Bay of Guangdong Province on October 12. On October 21, Guangzhou fell.
During the 15 months from the July 7th Incident to the fall of Wuhan and Guangzhou , the KMT troops had fought heroically on the frontal battlefields and many of them gave their lives for their country. But still, vast expanses of China ‘s territory guickly fell into enemy hands, including areas in the provinces of Hebei , Shanxi , Qahar, Sui-yuan , Shandong and Henan in the north, and the Nanjing -Shanghai- Hangzhou region and Wuhan region in central China as well as the Guangzhou area in the south. This was the result of the enemy’s strength and China’s weakness, of the KMT leading group cherishing illusions of depending on big powers to check Japan’s aggression and their use of temporary resistance to achieve the short-lived respite of compromise with Japan, and of the KMT line of partial resistance and the strategic policy of passive defence, as well as many troops be-coming corrupt and a number of commanders being incompetent in directing operations or having ulterior motives.
During the War of Resistance, there were the gradually expand- ing Communist-led battlefields behind enemy lines in liberated areas, in addition to battlefields at the front with KMT troops as the main force. After being redesignated as the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army, the Red Army cooperated with the KMT troops to fight against the enemy. This was the main form of cooperation be-tween the CPC and the KMT at that time. From the start of the War of Resistance, the Eighth Route Army brought about a strategic shift from regular to guerrilla forces and from mobile to guerrilla warfare to meet the military and political needs. This was an important shift related with the fundamental interests of the people. From the end of August to the end of October 1937, the three divisions of the Eighth Route Army and the general headquarter had left northern Shaanxi and crossed the Yellow River to reach the battle front in Shanxi. At that time, the enemy troops were waging vigorous offensives against Shanxi ‘s strategically important sites defended by the KMT forces.
To crush the arrogance of the Japanese invaders and coordinate with the KMT troops in military operations, the Eighth Route Army fought many battles. On September 25, a unit of the l l5th Division am-bushed the 21st Brigade of the Japanese Fifth Division (the Itagaki Division) at Pingxingguan Pass. A full day of fierce fighting wiped out over 1,000 enemy troops. This the Chinese armed forces since the was the first great victory won by the Chinese armed forces since the start of the nationwide War of Re-sistance. To support the KMT army in the Xinkou Campaign for the defence of Taiyuan , the 120th Division repeatedly cut off the commu-nication lines in the enemy’s rear, ambushed the enemy’s motor trans- port corps and annihilated its reinforcements. On the night of October19, the 769th Regiment of the 129th Division sent a battalion to attack the enemy’s airport in Daixian County , destroying 24 aircraft~ On November 8, the KMT troops abandoned Taiyuan and retreated to-wards southern and southwestern Shanxi . Mao Zedong pointed out:”In north China , the regular war with the KNIT as the main force has ended and the guerrilla war with the Communist Party as the main force has entered the major arena.” After the evacuation of the KMT army from north China , it was necessary to set up base areas for con- ducting widespread guelxilla war. Following the strategic plan of the CPC Centrla Committee and Mao Zedong, the Eighth Route Army mobilized the masses; independently expanded the guerrilla war, and established many anti-Japanese democratic base areas.
After the Pingxingguan Campaign, the ll5th Division sent its main force south, leaving 3,000 men under Political Commissar Nie Rongzhen in the Wutai mountain area. In November, the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Military Area was set up with Fuping and Wutai as its centre. After the besiegement by 20,000 Japanese troops was over- come, a conference was held in Fuping in January 1938, attended by the representatives from army units, government departments and the people of various circles, and the Provisional Administrative Com-mittee of the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Border Region came into being, This was the first anti-Japanese democratic political power established behind enemy lines. From April to July 1938, the armed forces of the Border Region launched two attacks on the Beiping-Hankou, Beiping-Suiyuan and Zhending-Taiyuan railways. In September, the enemy mustered 50,000 troops to besiege and attack the central district of the region. A month of hard counterattack caused the enemy to suffer5, 000 casualties. Afterwards, a succession of anti-Japanese base areas were established in western Beiping, central and eastern Hebei . In central Hebei , a Hui people’s detachment was formed.
After the fall of Taiyuan , the CPC Central Committee instructed the 120th Division to conduct guerrilla war in the vast mountain area and countryside in northwestern Shanxi . The division opened up the northwestern Shanxi base and the Mt. Daqing base separately. Later on, these two bases were combined as the Shanxi-Suiyuan anti- Japanese base area. In March 1938, the 120th Division destroyed the siege by 10,000 Japanese and puppet troops, and wiped out 1,500 of them.
The 129th Division moved to southeastern Shanxi after Taiyuan fell and opened up an anti-Japanese base area with its centre in the Taihang Mountains . An April 1938, the Shanxi-Hebei-Henan Military Area was set up. In that same month when 30,000 enemy troops at- tacked southeastern Shanxi , the Chinese troops there wiped out 4,000 of them. In the spring of 1938, the 129th Division marched to southern Hebei and established an anti-Japanese base there. In May, part of the129th Division and l l5th Division entered the border between Hebei and Shandong , where they opened up a base area for resistance against Japan .
In May 1938, the CPC Central Committee sent a number of cad-res to Shandong to help set up a guerrilla base area with its centre in Yimeng Mountains . A Shandong Column then was organized as part of the Eighth Route Army.
In October 1937, the Red Army guerrilla detachments in the eight southern provinces were redesignated as the New Fourth Army. In January 1938, the headquarters of the army was established in Nan-chang , Jiangxi Province, with Ye Ting as commander and Xiang Ying (1898-1941) as deputy commander. The New Fourth Army had four detachments under its command. In 1938 and 1939, the army set up the southern Jiangsu base area centred around Maoshan Mountain , the southern Anhui base area and the base along the Tianjin-Pukou Rail-way.
To sum up, the Eighth and New Fourth armies under CPC leader-ship as well as other people’s anti-Japanese armed forces widely launched guerrilla war behind enemy lines, established anti-Japanese democratic bases and gradually opened up battlefields in the enemy’s rear area. From September 1937 to October 1938, the Eighth Route Army had fought 1,500 battles, and inflicted over 50,000 casualties on the enemy. In number it grew to 156,000, and the New Fourth Army to 25,000. The population of the anti-Japanese base areas behind ene-my lines reached 50 million. This showed the tremendous power of people’s war. it was also a great victory for the Communist Party’s line of total resistance and its strategic policy of independently carry- ing out guerrilla war in the enemy’s rear.
At the same time, the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region be-came further consolidated. In September 1937, the regional govern-ment was officially set up with 23 counties under its jurisdiction. In November, with the completion of general elections, democratic poli-tical power at various levels in the region came into being. After the founding of anti-Japanese democratic political power in the S haanxi- Gansu-Ningxia Border Region, a series of democratic reforms were under taken as well as struggles against bandits, traitors and special agents, reactionary landlords and despotic gentry. In January 1939, with the establishment of the regional assembly, an administrative programme during the War of Resistance in the region was adopted. Construction in the political, economic, military and cultural fields now grew vigorously in the region, earning it fame as the model anti- Japanese democratic base. In the course of the anti-Japanese war, the CPC Central Committee had been guiding the people of China politi-cally to resist the Japanese invaders in Yan’an, capital of the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region.
To direct the people of the whole country to resist Japan and seize the final victory, Mao Zedong wrote two important military trea-tises in May 1938 “Problems of Strategy in Guerrilla War Against Japan” and “On Protracted War.” In the latter, the author made a bril-liant exposition on the objective conditions which would lead China to win through waging a protracted war. Proceeding from realities, he analyzed the strong and weak points of China and Japan , and refuted the theory of national subjugation and that of quick victory. He point-ed out that the war would undergo the three stages of strategic defen-sive, strategic stalemate and strategic counterattack. He added that conducting protracted war was the general principle of strategy in the War of Resistance. To carry it out required the employment of the following tactics: the use of initiative, flexibility and planning in con- ducting offensives within the defensive, battles of quick decision within the protracted war, and exterior-line operations within the inte-rior-line operations. He emphatically expounded the idea of people’s war, saying, “The army and the people are the foundation of victory.” In these two articles, he elucidated the important strategic position of guerrilla war in the whole process of the War of Resistance, criticized the mistake of looking down upon guerrilla war, and pointed out the way to develop guerrilla war into regular war so as to make the victory of the War of Resistance a victory for the people.
Different guidelines existed during the War of Resistance. As each class and political party had goals and standpoints of its own, the question of leadership was a salient and practical one. This question of leadership was spelled out by Mao Zedong at the Luochuan Meeting. “In the united front, is the proletariat to lead the bourgeoisie, or the bourgeoisie to lead the proletariat? Is the Kuomintang to attract the Communist Party, or the Communist Party to attract the Kuomin-tang?” On November 12, 1937 , Mao made the report “The Situation and Tasks in the Anti-Japanese War After the Fall of Shanghai and Taiyuan ” in Yan’an at a meeting of Party activists. In the report he analyzed the differences in principle between the CPC’s line of total resistance and the KMT’s line of partial resistance, and pointed out that it was essential to follow the line of total resistance and put into effect the 10-point Programme for Resisting Japan and Saving the Nation. In addition, he stressed that capitulationism must be combat-ted both inside the Party and throughout the country. By the end of November 1937, Wang Ming returned to Yan’an from the Soviet Un-ion. He developed the Rightist tendency existing only ar.nong a num-ber of people inside the Party to become a kind of representative opinion, and put forward such mistaken slogans as “Everything through the united front” and “Everything must be submitted to the united front.” He went so far as to issue incorrect declarations in the name of the Party Central Committee without its approval. He adhered to his Rightist stand in the work he was in charge of. To summarize the experience since the War of Resistance, formulate the Party’ s basic policies in the stalemate period of the anti-Japanese war and unify the guiding ideology of the Party, the Enlarged Sixth Plenary Session of the CPC Sixth Central Committee was held in Yan’ an from September29 to November 6, 1938. Mao Zedong made a political report “On the New Stage” and a summarization of the session. Many people gave speeches on the experience of the anti-Japanese war over the past 15 months, and Wang Ming’s Rightist capitulationism was criticized. The session passed the “Political Resolutions of the Enlarged Sixth Plenary Session of the CPC Sixth Central Committee” and approved the line of the Political Bureau headed by Mao Zedong. The session called on all Party members to take up the great historic responsibility of play-ing the leading role in the War of Resistance, reiterated the policy of organizing unrestricted and independent popular armed struggle and concentrating the Party’s main work in the war zones and the base areas behind enemy lines. It stressed the necessity for the whole Party to study Marxism-Leninism, especially the Marxist standpoints and methods in observing and solving problems, apply the general princi-ples of Marxism-Leninism in China ‘s concrete circumstances, and oppose dogmatism. This session basically overcame Wang Ming’s Right capitulationist mistakes, made the whole Party take concerted action, worked out an overall strategic plan for the CPC to hold the leading position in the anti-Japanese war and promoted work in various fields.
From the outbreak of the Lugouqiao Incident to the fall of Wuhan and Guangzhou , vast areas in north, central and south China came under Japanese occupation. Most of the main formations of the KMT army retreated to the southwest and northwest. The Eighth Route and New Fourth armies had already penetrated into the enemy’s rear in north and central China to conduct guerrilla war and set up bases. Now there were three kinds of areas in China in an interlocking “jig- saw” pattern, namely, the Kuomintang area, the liberated area and the enemy-occupied area. In the Kuomintang area, the Kuomintang was the party in power exercising one-party dictatorship. In other words, political power belonged to big landlords and big bourgeoisie. In the liberated area, political power belonged to the national united front under the leadership of the Communist Party, organized to conduct the anti-Japanese war and uphold democracy. It was the political power of new democracy. In the enemy-occupied area, the Japanese imperialists gathered traitors to establish a puppet regime to exercise colonial rule. This political and military pattern did not come to an end until the day of victory over Japan .
After their occupation of Beiping and Tianjin , the Japanese in-vaders immediately organized an association to maintain public or-der and planned the founding of a unified puppet regime in north China . On December 14, 1937 , the puppet provisional government of the Republic of China headed by Wang Kemin came into being composed of legislative, administrative and judicial committees separately led by Tang Erhe, Wang Kemin and Dong Kang. The puppet provisional government adopted a five-coloured “national flag” and continued to designate the years of its rule according to those of the Republic of China. The puppet authorities renamed Beiping as Beijing and took it as their “capital.” With the appearance of the puppet provisional government, the puppet government in eastern Hebei disappeared. Under the jurisdiction of the puppet pro- visional government were the administrative offices of Hebei , Shan- dong, Shanxi and Henan as well as the two municipal governments of Beijing and Tianjin .
In September 1937, the Japanese set up the puppet Southern Qa-har Autonomous Government with Zhangjiakou as its centre and in-cluding 10 counties south of Qahar. In October, the puppet Northern Shanxi Autonomous Government was established in the area of the 13 counties north of Shanxi with Datong as its centre. In that same month, the puppet Mongolian Coalition Autonomous Government was found- ed in Guisui with Demchukdonggrub as the president of the Govern- ment Administration Council. In November, the three puppet political powers were organized into the puppet Mongolia and Xinjiang United Committee. In September 1939, the United Committee was reorgan- ized as the puppet Mongolian United Autonomous Government with Demchukdonggrub as its chairman, and Li Shouxing, Xia Gong, and Yu Pinqing vice-chairmen.
After capturing Shanghai , the Japanese organized the puppet Shanghai Municipal Government. In January 1938, they set up the puppet Nanjing Autonomous Committee and Hangzhou Public Order Maintenance Association. On March 28 the so-called Reform Gov-ernment of the Republic of China came into being, headed by Liang Hongzhi. Under the puppet government were the executive, legislative and judicial councils and a secretary office. In addition, the provincial governments of Jiangsu , Zhejiang and Anhui as well as the two spe-cial municipal governments of Nanjing and Shanghai were under its jurisdiction.
All of these puppet political powers were set up under Japanese control. Everything was manipulated by Japanese officials and advisors. The Japanese invaders also set up various kinds of “mass organizations” in the areas under their occupation to cooperate with the puppet regime to exercise colonial rule. In December 1937, the Japanese invaders established the “Xin Min Hui” (New People’s Association) with Wang Kemin as its president and Miao Bin as the head of the Central Guidance Department. In Shanghai and Hankou, the Japanese imperialists respectively formed “Da Min Hui” (Great People’s Association) and the “Zheng Yi Hui” (Justice Association).
Changes in the Situation of the Anti-Japanese War from the Stage of Stalemate
Although Japan carried out strategic offensives on a large scale and captured vast areas of Chinese territory during the period from the outbreak of the Lugouqiao Incident to the fall of Wuhan and Guangzhou , they failed to make China give in. Its policy of fighting a quick war to force a decision went bankrupt. Protracted war brought increasing difficulties to Japan . In the course of time from the Bei- ping-Tianjin Campaign to the decisive battle at Wuhan , Japan had thrown in 24 divisions in north, central and south China , accounting for over two thirds of the total divisions of its ground forces. By the end of 1938, Japanese casualties amounted to 447,000. Due to the protractedness of the war and the extension of the battle line, Japan already found its armed force insufficient, and its military expenditure growing. In addition, anti-war feeling was becoming strong among the Japanese people. In contrast, although China suffered heavy losses in the war, her people were more resolute to fight to the very end. The Eighth Route and New Fourth armies’ guerrilla war in the enemy’s rear and the many anti-Japanese base areas there had brought into existence large battlefields behind enemy lines. The National Gov- ernment now still commanded a great number of troops to resist the enemy. Internationally, the expansion of the war of invasion in China had deepened tensions between Japan and the United States and Brit-ain. Thus came the stage of strategic stalemate in the Sino-Japanese War.
In view of the protracted war with China , its increasing difficulti-es at home and its diplomatically isolated position, the Japanese gov-ernment was obliged to re-examine its policies towards China . Ad-hering to the general principle of conquering China , it made a number of revisions in tactics. In November 1938, the Japanese government and the supreme headquarters of the Japanese army formulated a new policy of “readjusting Japan-China relations.” This meant strengthen- ing its political offensive instead of expanding the war to force the National Government to give in. Originally the Japanese imperialists had put military offensive first and politically luring China into sur-render second. Now they decided to place military attack and political lures on a par. To cope with the protracted war, they planned to further guarantee public order and self-reliance of the areas under their occu-pation. To reinforce the army on the battlefields behind their lines, they resolved to transfer part of their troops in south and central China to north China . This was an important change in Japan ‘ tactics to- wards China .
In order to lure the KMT into surrender, the Japanese government issued a declaration (the second declaration by Konoe Fumimaro) in November 1938, which stated that Japan would not decline to negoti-ate with the National Government so long as it would abandon its current policy and reshuffle the National Government. In December, the Japanese government issued another declaration (the third de-claration by Konoe Fumimaro), putting forth the three principles of good neighbourliness, joint containing of communism, and economic cooperation as the general policy of “readjusting relations and build-ing the New Order of East Asia by Japan , Manchukuo and China .” The declaration stressed that Japan would “cooperate” with the Na- tional Government, and even by willing to consider giving up its extra- territoriality and returning its concession if China would recognize”Manchukuo,” sign an agreement of jointly containing communism, recognize Japan’s privileges of economy and of stationing its troops in Inner Mongolia and north China, and recognize that Japanese enjoyed freedom to reside and do biasiness in China’s interior. Japan ‘s policy change greatly affected China ‘ War of Resistance. Apart from the open capitulation of the Wang Jingwei group, the Chiang Kai-shek clique also began to waver. Furthermore, its reactionary nature became more obvious, and the relations between the KMT and CPC took a turn for the worse. The anti-Japanese war now became more compli-cated.
At that time, Wang Jingwei was deputy director-general of the Kuomintang, chairman of the Central Political Committee, vice-chairman of the Supreme Conference of National Defence, and presi-dent of the People’s Political Council. This group included Zhou Fuhai, a member of the KMT Central Executive Committee and di- rector of propaganda, and Chen Gongbo, a member of the KMT Central Executive Committee and minister of industry. On December 18,1938 , Wang Jingwei secretly left Chongqing for Kunming by air. The following day he and Zhou Fuhai fled to Hanoi . On the 29th, Wang Jingwei responded to Fumimaro’s third declaration by telegram, an- nouncing that he would like to “negotiate for peace” with Japan on the basis of the three principles set by Fumimaro. Wang’s going over to the enemy enraged public opinion. The KNIT Central Executive Committee issued a declaration in January 1939, expelling Wang Jingwei from the Kuomintang and dismissing him from all his posts. In May, Wang went to Shanghai to plan setting up a bogus KMT Cen-tral Executive Committee and a bogus National Government. In June, the National Government issued an order to arrest him.
Immediately after the Japanese imperialists changed their China policy, the Fifth Plenary Session of the Kuomintang’s Fifth Central Executive Committee was held in January 1939. The session focused on the questions pertinent to the anti-Japanese war and national con-struction at the new stage. On the anti-Japanese war, the session con-sidered that the third declaration by Fumimaro was “a message aimed at inducing China to surrender” instead of one setting conditions for peace negotiations, and that it was a ploy by the enemy to make a quick peace. The session expressed the determination of “carrying the protracted War of Resistance through to the end.” But Chiang Kai- shek openly stated that what he meant by “to the end” in the slogan was merely “to restore the status quo before the Lugouqiao Incident.” This was the condition set forth by Chiang Kai-shek for peace nego-tiations when Trautmann was mediating between Japan and the Kuo-mintang. On national construction, the session concentrated on three matters: Strengthening unity, conducting active struggle, and stepping up construction. But the key points were to “improve party work” and “rejuvenate the Kuomintang,” in order to consolidate Chiang Kai-shek’s position, and strengthen the force in “active struggle against the Communist Party.” To strengthen unified command over the party, government and military affairs the Supreme Committee of National Defence was established after the session to function in the capacity of the Political Council of the Central Executive Committee, with Chiang Kai-shek as its chairman. The session decided the principle of “con-taining, restricting and eroding communism,” and the establishment of the Committee for Containing Communism. Afterwards, the KMT secretly issued a series of anti-Communist documents such as “Meas-ures for Dealing with the Communist Problem,” “Measures for Guarding Against Communist Activities in the Japanese-Occupied Area,” and “Measues for Restricting the Activities of Alien Parties.” The contents of these documents were: Denying the Existence of the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region and the anti-Japanese democ-ratic bases; restricting the growth of the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and the anti-Japanese guerrilla detachments; prohibiting the Communist Party from organizing mass movements; disbanding Communist-led anti-Japanese groups and revolutionary organizations; forbidding communists to serve in the Kuomintang’s military and political organs and, especially, strictly preventing Communists from infiltrating the KMT and setting up secret organizations. But all of these measures were carried out in the name of resistance against Ja- pan, or under the pretext of “unifying the administrative system … unifying military orders and government decrees … following the programmes of resisting Japan and building the country … [and] … putting into practice the Three People’s Principles.” After the session, the KMT became passive in the War of Resistance while increasing its reactionary anti-Communist activities. However, because the main issue in China at that time was the struggle between China and Japan , the Kuomintang was neither willing tobreak publicly with the Com- munist Party nor daring to restore such slogans as “wiping out Com- munists.” On the one hand, it continued to work with the Communist Party in the War of Resistance, and on the other, it did everything it could to guard against and restrict Communists. This dual nature was characteristic of the KMT hard liners during the anti-Japanese war.
Japan continued its effort to lure the KMT into surrender. It changed the original policy of abandoning Chiang Kai-shek to that of recognizing his position. In March 1939, the new Japanese prime minister, Hiranuma, issued an official statement, saying, “If General Chiang Kai-shek and the government under his leadership could re-consider their anti-Japanese attitude and work together with Japan to seek the establishment of the New Order of East Asia, Japan would be prepared to negotiate an end to hostilities.” Proceeding from their own interests, the United States and Britain both advised the KMT and Chiang to surrender. In view of the intense situation in Europe , Britain was powerless to take action in the Far East . To maintain its interests in China and Southeast Asia , it hoped that China could reach a com- promise with Japan . The U.S. , too, was reluctant to be involved in the war between China and Japan . It indicated readiness to take part in negotiations that would be favourable to US interests. In December1938, British ambassador Carl left Shanghai for Chongqing to meet with Chiang Kai-shek and others. Afterwards, he said that if China and Japan intended to develop closer ties, Britain was more than will-ing to act as a mediator. Early in 1939, Britain and the U.S. spread news through the press about a Pacific conference to be held to settle Lhe “clash between China and Japan .” In April, Carl went to Chongqing again to persuade the KMT government to seek a com-promise with Japan . Around October, the American and British am-9assadors went together to Chongqing . Wang Chonghui, foreign min-ister of the KMT government, expressed the hope of promoting the success of the mediation. Kong Xiangxi said, “The restoration of peace in the Far East is essential for the protection of the United States ‘ interests.” One after another Zhang Qun and others now went o Hong Kong to explore ways to achieve “peace.”
In these circumstances the tendency towards compromise grew mong the KMT ruling clique and clashes with the Communists were acreasingly frequent. On June 7, 1939 , the CPC Central Committee issued a directive on opposing capitulation, which pointed out, “The greatest danger at present is the possibility of the Kuomintang’s ca- pitulation.” The directive called on the Communist Party to exert all its efforts in the struggle against capitulationists and anti-Communist elements. It made clear that the basic task of the Party was still to consolidate KMT-CPC cooperation and continue the War of Resis-tance. On June10, Mat Zedong gave a report opposing capitulation at a meeting attended by senior cadres in Yan’an. He emphasized that the possibility of Kuomintang capitulation has now become the greatest dannger and its anti-communist actions were a preparatory step to ca- pitulation. At the same time, he analyzed the Fifth Plenary Session of the Kuomintang’s Fifth Central Executive Committee as containing anti-communist and capitulationist elements, but its main orientation was still unity with the Communist Party to resist Japan . He warned that a prudent attitude should be taken towards Chiang Kai-shek and that it would be reckless to restore the slogans opposing Chiang. He added, “The Communist Party should help Chiang to cross over to the good side. On anti-Communist friction, our policy is unity while not forgetting to struggle, as well as struggle while not forgetting to unite, and unity should be our main focus.” In its declaration on July 7, marking the second anniversary of the War of Resistance, the CPC Central Committee put forth the following three slogans: “Carry the War of Resistance through to the end Oppose halfway compromise!”;”Consolidate unity at home Oppose splits from within!” and “Strive for progress of the whole country Oppose retrogression!”
After their occupation of Guangzhou and Wuhan, the Japanese found their military strength was insufficient to further expand the war of aggression. Meanwhile, they estimated that relations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party would not break up for the time being although their frictions took place very often. Based on this judgement, Japanese imperialists decided to ensure the control of all their occupied areas and not to engage in large-scale battles thereafter. From January 1939 to March 1940, Japanese troops in north China had launched three battles in succession to guarantee public order. Confronted with the enemy’s fierce attack, people and soldiers in the liberated areas behind enemy lines rose to fight heroically and dealt the enemy heavy blows. In the third year of the War of Resistance, the Eighth Route Army engaged the Japanese and puppet troops in over 6,900 operations and wiped out 113,000 of them. In 1939 and 1940, the New Fourth Army engaged the Japanese and puppet troops in 2,400 operations, putting 51,000 of them out of action. The largest of these in north China was the Hundred-Regiment Campaign from August to December 1940. It involved the participation of 105 regi-ments composed of 400,000 troops as well as more than 200,000 peasants in logistic support. They fought 1,824 big and small battles altogether, wiping out 46,300 Japanese and puppet troops. Of these, 20,600 were Japanese soldiers. In the three years from the beginning of the anti-Japanese war to 1940, the Eighth Route and New Fourth armies had recovered 150 county seats and a vast expanse of lost ter-ritory.
In the course of the struggle against the enemy, the people’s revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party had grown rapidly. By July 1940, the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and the South China Guerrilla Detachment had increased to nearly 500,000, Communist Party members grown to 800,000, and the population of the base areas to some 100 million. The liberated area in north China had been consolidated, the liberated area in central China developed, and that in south China had been set up, due to the concerted efforts of the revolutionary army and people. The Communist-led forces of re-sistance had now become the main forces insisting on victory.
To cut of the supply lines in China ‘s rear, control its communica-tion hubs and put pressure on the National Government, the Japanese army launched new offensives in south and central China from the beginning of 1939 to autumn that same year. The Japanese troops landed at Hainan Island, and captured cities like Nanchang, Shantou, Changsha (from which they later withdrew) and Nanning . In May1940, the enemy started the Xiangyang-Yichang Campaign in an at-tempt to ensure their hold on Wuhan, and threaten Chongqing . Zhang Zizhong, commander of the 33rd Group Army, was killed while di-recting a battle. Xiangyang and Yichang fell one after the other. From the spring of 1939 to 1941, the Japanese air force carried out extensive bombing of cities in China ‘s rear, especially Chongqing, causing heavy casualties and great losses.
Because of the Japanese army’s large-scale offensives against the base areas behind their lines, the pressure brought to bear on the KMT’s frontal battlefields was relatively reduced. Therefore, after the Fifth Plenary Session of its Fifth Central Executive Committee, the Kuomintang was capable of strengthening its rule. First, it conducted the large-scale “General Mobilization of the National Spirit”. Under the Supreme Council of National Defence, the Association of General Mobilization of the National Spirit headed by Chiang Kai-shek was established, and, at the same
time, the “Programme of the General Mobilization of the National Spirit” was made public. This movement was launched in the name of reforming the national spirit to enable victory over the enemy, but, in the main, it was actually a call for peo-ple’s loyalty and filial piety to the state under the dictatorship of big landlords and big bourgeoisie, in order to maintain “the unity of mili-tary, political and administrative systems,” and reject all kinds of “al-ien views and confused ideas.” Secondly, the KMT greatly tightened the control over political power at the grassroots level. Starting from1939, it pursued the so-called new county system, bringing under its control all the local political affairs, finance and economy, education, and armed forces as well as mass organizations and training. By the end of 1943, the “new county system” had been put into practise in 21 provinces. Thirdly, it employed the trick of “constitutional govern- ment.” In September 1939, the Kuomintang suddenly resorted to this fraud in order to block people’s democratic demands. At the Fourth Session of the First People’s Political Council, a KMT councillor sug-gested the government convene the National Assembly to draw up a constitution and begin constitutional government. The Sixth Plenary Session of the Kuomintang’s Fifth Central Executive Committee held in November decided that the National Assembly was to be opened on November 12, 1940 . From then on, the people throughout the country launched a movement for the promotion of a constitutional govern-ment. Representative figures of political parties, classes and organiza-tions made speeches or published articles on this topic. Thus the ques-tion of constitutional government for a time became the focus of peo- ple’s attention. Knowing well that the Kuomintang had no intention of putting constitutional government into effect, the Chinese Communist Party still actively took part in the movement because practising con-stitutional government was the people’s desire and demand. Mass organizations promoting constitutional government were set up in Yan’an and the anti-Japanese base areas. Awed by the mighty move- ment, the Kuomintang declared in September 1940 that due to the problem of communications, there were difficulties in convening the National Assembly, and the opening of it would be postponed till further decision. The movement for constitutional government, which had once been lively, now came to an end.
Since the Fifth Plenary Session of the Kuomintang’s Fifth Cen-tral Executive Committee, anti-Communist clashes had been growing in severity. From April to November 1939, the Kuomintang diehards engineered massacres in Boshan, Shenxian, Pingjiang and Queshan. From the end of 1939 to the spring of 1940, they launched their first large-scale armed clash in north China since the start of the War of Resistance, namely, the first anti-Communist onslaught. During this period, the Kuomintang diehard troops started offensives against the Eighth Route Army in main three regions. Around the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region, the Kuomintang erected five blockade lines. In December 1939, troops under Hu Zongnan occupied five county seats of the region. In Shanxi , Yan Xishan created the Western Shanxi Incident in December 1939, ordering his troops to besiege and attack the Second Column of the Dare-to-Die Corps and the Independent Detachment of the Eighth Route Army, both garrisoning western Shanxi . In addition, Yan Xishan’s troops cooperated with Chiang Kai- shek’s army to attack the First and Third columns of the Dare-to-Die Corps in south-eastern Shanxi, destroyed the anti-Japanese democratic political powers and mass organizations of Qinshui and six other counties, massacred 500 people and arrested more than 1,000. In the spring of 1940, Shi Youshan’s troops attacked the Eighth Route Army in the anti-Japanese base area in southern Hebei and Zhu Huaibing’s troops marched on the Taihang region where the Eighth Route Army headquarters was located. The anti-Communist onslaught plunged the War of Resistance and the anti-Japanese national united front into a serious crisis. The tactic adopted by the Communist Party was to wage a tit-for-tat struggle against the Kuomintang diehards, namely, hitting back at them while not breaking up the overall situation of unity against Japan. Following this instruction, people and soldiers in the liberated areas rose to counterattack and repulse the offensives by the KMT’s diehard army. Then, in January 1940 the Communist Party, taking the initative, proposed a ceasefire for negotiations with the Kuomintang. In March, the CPC Central Comlrdttee pointed out: “At present, the struggle against KMT onslaughts in Shanxi and Hebei should be ended without delay. It should not be allowed to expand further.” Thus the large-scale armed clash basically subsided.
Beginning with the summer of 1939, a controversy over the question of the Three People’s Principles developed in China ‘s politi-cal and ideological world. For the Kuomintang, this controversy was a part of its anti-Communist activities. To realize the second Kuomin-tang-Communist cooperation, the Communist Party announced time and again before and after the outbreak of the anti-Japanese war: “The Three People’s Principles initiated by Dr. Sun Yat-sen are what China needs today. Our Party is ready to fight for their complete realization.” Taking advantage of this announcement, the Kuomintang conducted a vigorous propaganda campaign to “erode communism.” They said the Communist Party should give up communist since it had declared that it supported the Three People’s Principles. They insisted that the Kuomintang was the only party needed in China to carry out the Three People’s Principles and there was no need for the existence of the Communist Party. A massive compaign advocating “one doctrine,””one party” and “one leader” was launched. The Three People’s Prin- ciples founded by Sun Yat-sen were actually progressive and revolu- tionary, and as such failed to meet the need of Chiang Kai-shek’s clique and were disagreeable to it. However, this was a banner which Chiang Kai-shek would not abandon. The creation of Chiang Kai-shek’s version of “Three People’s Principles” became necessary. “The System of the Three People’s Principles and the Procedure of Putting It into Practice,” published by Chiang Kai-shek in May 1939, was a systematic interpretation of these principles. Chiang Kai-shek cast aside the revolutionary spirit of Sun Yat-sen’s Three People’s Princi-ples, only culling certain phrases out of them for his own composition. He explained history in terms of the people’s livelihood and contrast-ed it to historical materialism. He said that “sincerity” was the “mov-ing force of revolution.” Speaking of the implementation of the Three People’s Principles, he said, “We must take the period of military gov-ernment as the basis and, at the same time, step up the work for the political tutelage period.” The main task for the political tutelage peri-od was to “start regional autonomy.” “The enemy can be defeated and a new China built immediately, so long as people seriously study the Three People’s Principles by following this ideology and pursuing this doctrine according to this ‘order of practice’,” he added. A number of reactionary scholars and bourgeois Rightists also attacked the Com-munist Party and Marxism-Leninism by adopting a pose of defending the Three People’s Principles. Ye Qing, renegade from the Communist Party, published a series of pamphlets such as China ‘s Present Stage and Future, On the Questions of China’s Politics and Discussion with Socialists on China ‘s Revolution to publicize Chiang-brand fascism and oppose the Communist Party and communist ideology with the “theory of single revolution.”
In order to defend Marxism, Leninism, defend the democratic revolutionary programme of the Communist Party and the revolution-ary Three People’s Principles, promote the cause of China’s national liberation and hit back against the Kuomintang’s political and ideological offensives, the Chinese Communists published many arti- cles setting out their basic views on the Three People’s Principles, on communism, and on China’s revolution. Their main points exhorted:(1) uphold the genuine Three People’s Principles, oppose the fake Three People’s Principles and adhere to the New Three People’s Prin-ciples; (2) correctly understand the relationship between communism and the Three People’s Principles; and (3) stick to the theory of revo- lution by stages, and refute the “theory of single revolution.” The controversy over the Three People’s Principles was an important struggle in the field of politics and ideology. It spurred the Communist theory of new democratic revolution on to its growth and maturity.
In the course of leading the Chinese peoples to carry out new-democratic revolution, the Communist Party had criticized and repu-diated both the “Left” and Right errors, summarized all correct expe-riences, and evolved its theory of China’s new-democratic revolution. In October 1939, the CPC Central Committee published The Commu-nist, a joumal for guiding the building of the Party, with a special in- troduction written by Mao Zedong. In this article Mao summed up the historical experience of the Communist Party over the past 18 years and drew the very important conclusion: “United front, armed struggle, and the building of the Party are the three magic weapons for the Communist Party to defeat the enemy in China ‘s revolution. They are the three major magic weapons.” In December 1939, Mao Zedong finished writing The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party. In January 1940, he published the work On New Democracy. In it he discussed the nature of the modem Chinese society, the historical characteristics of the Chinese revolution and its law of development. He pointed out: In the course of its history, the Chinese revolution must go through two stages: first, the democratic revolution, and sec-ond, the socialist revolution. This is decided by the nature of the Chi-nese society. China ‘s democratic revolution underwent a change be- fore and after the May 4th Movement. Before, it was the old-democratic revolution, and after, the new-democratic revolution. The new-democratic revolution must be a revolution led by the proletariat, and it is different from the old-democratic revolution led by the bour-geoisie. The new-democratic revolution must be an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolution conducted by the broad masses of the people, and it is different from the socialist revolution of the proletariat. This revolution is a revolution against imperialism and feudalism conduct-ed jointly by the working class, peasantry, petty bourgeoisie and na-tional bourgeoisie. Mao Zedong also put forth the political, economic and cultural programmes of new democracy. He said, “Combine the politics, the economy and the culture of new democracy, and you have the new democratic republic … the new China we want to create.” On New Democracy is a Marxist-Leninist theoretical work. Its publication marked the maturity of the theory of China ‘s new-democratic revolu-tion.
In March and December 1940, Mao Zedong completed the two important documents: “Current Problems of Tactics in the Anti-Japanese United Front” and “On Policy.” He pointed out: “… in no circumstances will the Party change its united front policy for the entire period of the War of Resistance Against Japan In the united front, we can never repeat either the ‘Left’-opportunist error of all struggle and no alliance or the Right-opportunist error of all alliance and no struggle. Today our anti-Japanese national united front policy is neither all alliance and no struggle nor all struggle and no alliance, but combines alliance and struggle.” Mao Zedong divided the various classes, strata and factions in the national united front into three dif-ferent political groups: the progressive, the intermediate, and the die- hard. He formulated the basic policy of developing the progressive forces, winning over the middle forces and isolating the diehards. The tactical thinking of the Chinese Communist Party is an important component part of the Marxist theory of social revolution.
In September 1940, when the CPC was leading the army and people in the liberated areas to resist Japan , develop the national unit-ed front and consolidate the liberated areas, Japan signed a treaty of military alliance with Germany and Italy . To carry out the policy of southward advance, Japan was anxious to end the war with China . So it stepped up its attempts to induce the National Government to capi-tulate while launching offensives against the liberated areas. In No-vember, the Japanese Imperial Council approved “The Programme for Dealing with the Chinese Incident,” and decided that “apart from con-tinuing military operations, every means including political and war tactics should be employed to make the Chongqing regime give in quickly and promote cooperation between Nanjing and Chongqing .” After Japan concluded the treaty of military alliance with Germany and Italy , Britain and the U.S. resolved to ally themselves with China for the sake of strengthening their own positions in the Far East and the Pacific region and resisting the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia and the southern Pacific. They therefore provided the National Government withmore aid. Because Germany , Japan and Italy also wanted to drag Chiang Kai-shek into their camp, the position of Chiang’s clique was becoming more important. Chiang Kai-shek de-cided to make use of this opportunity to start another large-scale armed clash to strike at the Communist Party and take China ‘s destiny completely in his own hands.
Beginning with the spring of ened its pace to create clashes in 1940, the Kuomintang army quick- Central China , and worked out its scheme to attack the New Fourth Army. In July, the Kuomintang put forward “Briefings from the Central Executive Committee” which ordered the CPC to liquidate the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Re-gion, restrict the development of the Eighth Route and New Fourth armies, and fix their Operational zones. All these unreasonable de-mands were refused by the CPC Central Committee. Instructed by Chiang Kai-shek, He Yingqin and Bai Chongxi jointly sent a telegram to the Eighth Route and New Fourth armies on October 19, 1940, ordering them to move completely to north of the Yellow River within a month. On December 8, He and Bai Once again telegraphed the Eighth Route and New Fourth armies to withdraw fully to the north of the Yellow River before the end of January 1941. On October 9, Chi-ang Kai-shek personally issued an order to the New Fourth Army, urging it to move north on schedule. The following day, he secretly instructed Gu Zhutong to make proper arrangements according to the original plan, saying, “They should be wiped out without delay if they still disobey the order to move north on time (before the end of De-cember this year).” Gu Zhutong concentrated seven divisions com-posed of some 80,000 troops in southern Anhui , getting ready to sur- round and annihilate the New Fourth Army. In view of this situation, the CPC Central Committee instructed the New Fourth Army head-quarters to move as quickly as possible to the north of the Yangtze River . On the night of January 4, 1941 , officers and men of the New Fourth Army headquarters and the 9,000 troops in southern Anhui set out from Yunling Mountain of Jingxian County. Arriving in the Mao-lin area on the fifth, they were besieged and attacked by the Kuomin-tang armed forces. After fighting a last-ditch battle for seven days and nights, most of them gave their lives due to the great disparity in num- ber and lack of ammunition and food supplies. Ye Ting, the army commander, was detained and Xiang Ying, his deputy, killed. Chiang Kai-shek proclaimed the New Fourth Army a “rebel army,” and or-dered its designation rescinded and Ye Ting to be tried by military court. This was the Southern Anhui Incident, usually called the Sec-ond Anti-Communist Onslaught, which shocked the country and the whole world.
In the wake of the incident, the CPC Central Committee led the whole Party, the whole army and the people of the whole country to struggle resolutely against the anti-Communist diehards. On January20, the Revolutionary Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee issued the order to re-establish the headquarters of the New Fourth Army, appoint Chen Yi its acting commander and Liu Shaoqi political commissar. Chiang Kai-shek’s anti-Communist ac-tivities were also censured by international public opinion. He was obliged to say that “the New Fourth Army incident is purely to strengthen military discipline. Naturally it involves no other ques-tions.” Later on, he asserted at the People’s Political Council that the Southern Anhui Incident was “not related to the politics of political parties and groups” and that he could “guarantee” there would be no military action to suppress Communists in future. The new large-scale armed clash created by the Kuomintang was thus over.
Early in the period of the anti-Japanese war, those political parti-es and groups which represented the intermediate forces had placed great hopes on Chiang Kai-shek. But soon afterwards their hopes were dashed. To explore and study the policies conceming state affairs, members of small parties and groups of the People’s Political Council formed on their initiative the Tongyi Jianguo Tongzhi Hui (Comradely Association of Unity for Building the Nation) in October 1939. Among them were Liang Shuming of the rural construction group, Zhang Junmai (1887-1969) of the State Socialist Party, Huang Yanpei (1878-1965) of the Society of the Chinese Vocational Education, Zuo Shunsheng (1893-1969) and Li Huang of the Chinese Youth Party, Shen Junru and Zou Taofen of the National Salvation Association, Zhang Bojun (1895-1969) of the third party and the non-affiliated Zhang Lan (1872-1955). Before and after the Southern Anhui Incident, the Kuomintang diehards not only put political pressure on and launched military offensives against the Communist Party, but also carried out a high-handed policy towards various democratic parties and democrats. In order to strengthen their unity and cooperation, mediate the clashes between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, and seek existence and development of their own, these small parties and groups decided to reorganize the Tongyi Jiankuo Tongzhi Hui into the League of Chinese Democratic Political Groups. In March 1941, the League held a secret inaugural meeting in Chongqing and adopted its political programme and general regulations. At the same time, it elected its leading body the Central Executive Com-mittee, composed of 13 members. Huang Yanpei, Zuo Shunsheng, Zhang Junmai, Liang Shuming and Zhang Bojun were elected stand-ing committee members. Huang Yanpei was the chairman of the Cen-tral Standing Committee, Zuo Shunsheng the general secretary, Zhang Bojun the head of the Organization Department, and Luo Longji the head of the Propaganda Department. Soon afterwards, Huang Yanpei resigned his position as chairman of the Central Standing Committee, and this post was assumed by Zhang Lan. In October, the league pro-claimed its founding, published a manifesto on its establishment and a statement on its programme in the current situation. The manifesto and programme both represented the interests and political stand of the national bourgeoisie, enlightened landlords and upper petty bour- geoisie. The founding of the league was a great event marking the growth of the political strength of the middle class.
After turning traitor to the country. Wang Jingwei went to Japan in May 1939. There he was guaranteed the backing of the Japanese government in establishing a puppet central government. In August, the “Sixth Congress” of Wang’s “Kuomintang” held in Shanghai for-mulated the so-called Political Programme of the Chinese Kuomintang and called for “peaceful building of the country.” In December, the “Japan-Wang Agreement” (also known as the “Programme for Adusting the New Relations Between Japan and China “) was con-cluded. In March 1940, Wang Jingwei convened a political conference of the bogus KMT Central Executive Committee in Nanjing and de- cided to name the puppet regime “National Government” with Wang as its acting president and the head of the Executive Yuan. On March30, the puppet “National Government” was founded in Nanjing . In November, the Japanese Imperial Council decided to recognize the puppet govemment. Then, they concluded the “Treaty on the Basic Relations Between Japan and the Republic of China” and affiliated secret agreements. Meanwhile, Japan , Wang Jingwei and “Manchu-kuo” jointly signed a “Japan-Manchukuo-China Common Manifesto.” The so-called Treaty on Basic Relations turned the secret agreement between Japan and Wang Jingwei into a formal treaty whose contents far exceeded those of the traitorous “Twenty-one Demands.”
In the areas under their occupation, the Japanese imperialists car-ried out inhuman rule and unbridled plunder. In the Northeast, after the Lugouqiao Incident, they set up the Manchuria Heavy Industry Development Stock Company to monopolize the business of iron and steel, light metals, automobiles, aircraft and coal and frantically plun-dered grain and other farm produce as well as various resources in the northeast. One million peasant households were relocated, and vast areas of land were seized. In the occupied areas south of the Great Wall, Japan established the Central Reserve Bank in Nanjing in Janu-ary 1941. Military control was exercised over mining and other in-dustries in north China , while “commission business” was adopted in central China . Later on, the plunder was practiced in the name of Sino-Japanese cooperation. In 1938, the North China Development Company and the Central China Development Company were set up with many branches to conduct such businesses as coal, iron, salt, power, communications, and telecommunications. Actually the ad-ministration of these enterprises was all in Japanese hands and most of their profits went into Japanese pockets. In the countryside, the Ja-panese invaders through appropriated land, collected taxes, purchased farm produce at low prices, and directly looted grain, farm animals, and other property. They listed grain as one of the military supplies under their strict control, and bought it by force. For the common Chi-nese people, they put a rationing system into effect. Many young men were press-ganged into forced labour. People in the enemy-occupied areas were longing for victory over Japan and liberation for them- selves as early as possible.
The Outbreak of the Pacific War. The Kuomintang Area and the Liberated Area in the Mid-Period of the Anti-Japanese War
After 1940 tensions between Japan and the U.S. were increas-ingly sharpened because of the Japanese imperialists, southward ad-vance policy. But both sides sought to avoid a direct war. Starting from March 1941, Japan opened negotiations with the U.S. on such issues as maintenance of the status quo in the Pacific, the China ques- tion, and the attitude towards the European war.
On June 22 when the Japan-U.S. negotiations were still going on, the German-USSR war broke out. Initially, Germany won one victory after another, bringing about a tremendous change in the world situa-tion. The Japanese imperialists determined to take advantage of this opportunity to intensify their southward expansion. On September 6, the Imperial Council made a resolution that Japan would declare war against the U.S. , Britain and the Netherlands , if its demands were not satisfied in the negotiations by early October. Japan ‘s demands in-cluded that the U.S. and Britain should neither obstruct the empire’s handling of the China incident nor take any action in the Far East to threaten the national defence of the empire. By mid-October, the Ja-pan-U.S. Negotiations had still made no progress. Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro advocated continuing the negotiations while Tojo Hideki, the minister of the army, argued against the U.S. Forced by the army’s strong opposition, Konoe Fumimaro resigned from office and Tojo Hideki took up the responsibility to form a new cabinet. He was very keen on preparations for a war against the U.S. In late November, the U.S. Secretary of State sent Japan a memorandum, demanding that Japan withdraw its troops from China and Viet Nam , and that both Japan and the U.S. should not support any other power in political, military and economic fields except the Chinese National Government. Japan refused this demand. On December 1, the Japanese Imperial Council decided to declare war against the U.S. , Britain and the Neth-erlands.
On December 7, Japan ‘s navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour , the main U.S. naval base in the Pacific, and destroyed nearly all the warships of the American Pacific Fleet lying at anchor there. After this, Japanese troops attacked Singapore , Britain ‘s important strategic territory in Southeast Asia . The flames of war quickly spread over the vast area ranging from Hawaii in the east to the Malay Penin-sula in the west. Germany and Italy declared war against the U.S. on December 11. On that same day, Germany , Italy and Japan signed an agreement for concerted action, pledging to fight the U.S. and Britain to the end. By April 1942, Japan had occupied American depend-encies such as the Philippines , Guam and Wake islands, British dependencies such as Hong Kong , Singapore , Malaya , and Burma , the Dutch dependency of the East Indies , and the French dependency of Indo-China. Furthermore, Japan was directing its spearhead of attack towards India and Australia .
The outbreak of the Pacific War and the major victories won by the Japanese army in the early days of the war tremendously affected the global situation, especially Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific as well as China’ s War of Resistance.
As early as the initial stage of the War of Resistance, the Chinese Communist Party had foreseen the possibility of forming a Pacific anti-Japanese front. The CPC Central Committee made a declaration on the Pacific war on the day following its outbreak, and also issued the “Directive on the Pacific Anti-Japanese United Front.” The de-claration analyzed the international situation after the war broke out, saying that “all the nations in the world have at last clearly been di- vided into the fascist front which is conducting the war of aggression and the anti-fascist front which is waging the war of liberation.” The declaration further pointed out: “The important task for the Chinese government and people is to establish a military alliance with Britain , the U.S. and other anti-Japanese friendly countries, and to cooperate in the war effort. At the same time, it is essential to set up a united front of all the anti-Japanese nations in the Pacific and persist in the war of resistance until complete triumph is achieved.” The CPC Cen-tral Committee’s directive stressed that the united front should be composed of the governments, political parties and groups and people of all the anti-Japanese nations, and that the united front of China with Britain and the U.S. was of special importance. “In order to increase the strength of Britain and the U.S. for resistance against Japan, and to improve the situation of China in the War of Resistance, the Chinese Communist Party should give earnest, all-out cooperation to the Bri-tish and Americans on every occasion,” it added.
The outbreak of the Pacific war enlarged the global anti-fascist front. Many European, Asian and American countries proclaimed war against Japan . In December 1941, President E D. Roosevelt suggested Chaing Kai-shek set up the China War Zone (including China , Viet Nam and Northern Thailand ) with Chiang as the supreme commander. The U.S. government sent General Joseph Warren Stilwell to China to be the chief of staff of the war zone. The U.S. volunteer wing of the Chinese Air Force directed by General Claire Lee Chennault had downed and damaged many Japanese planes since the outbreak of the Pacific war. On January 1, 1942, the U.S., Britain, the Soviet Union, China, Australia, Belgium, Canada and 19 other countries signed the”Common Manifesto of the United Nations” in Washington, declaring that the governments of the signatory states guaranteed the use of all their military and economic resources for fighting against the fascist allies and their followers, and that they would not sign any separate truce agreement or peace treaty with the enemy countries. Soon after-wards, another 21 nations joined in, including the Philippines , Abys-sinia , Iraq and Brazil . In February, China and the U.S. reached an agreement for a loan of US$ 500 million. In May, the Soviet Union and Britain signed a treaty of alliance. In June, China and the U.S. as well as the Soviet Union and the U.S. separately signed mutual- assistance agreements. Thus the International Anti-Fascist United Front was now formally established. China ‘s War of Resistance was therefore combined with the anti-Japanese war of the other countries’ governments and people. Meanwhile, the destiny of the National Gov-ernment became more closely connected with the United States .
At the beginning of the Pacific war, the National Government es- timated that Japan could not be a match for the U.S. , and so declared war against it on December 9, announcing the abolishment of all the treaties, agreements and contracts involving Sino-Japanese relations. However, Britain and the U.S. suffered disastrous defeats at the initial stage of the war. This disappointed Chiang Kai-shek and made him hesitate to sign the Common Manifesto issued by the 26 countries. In order to appease Japan , he dismissed Guo Taiqi, who was foreign minister when China declared war against Japan . As Japan continued to try to induce him to capitulation, Chiang Kai-shek spread word that he was going to conclude a unilateral peace treaty with Japan . In Janu~-y 1942, an important Kuomintang official was instructed by Chiang to speak to a U.S. reporter: ” China has suffered heavy losses in the war against Japan . She will make peace with Japan unilaterally if she continues to receive no aid.” The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported: “Since a series of victories won by our country in the Great East Asia War, Chongqing has gradually stepped into the crisis of collapse. At present, it has almost completely lost its fighting capacity. The call for peace with Japan has now become the dominant position.” But, because the final victory of the Pacific war was hang-ing in the balance and the Communist-led resistance forces and the people of the whole country were firmly opposed to capitulation, the Chiang Kai-shek clique was obliged to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. It continued the War of Resistance, while keeping channels open to contact the Japanese invaders. At the same time, it made use of this opportunity to ask for aid from the United States .
After the outbreak of the Pacific war, Japan ‘s focus of fighting shifted from China to Southeast Asia and the southwest Pacific. To coordinate with the battling in the south, pin down the Chinese troops in central China , and take advantage of its victories in the Pacific war to compel the Chiang Kai-shek clique to surrender, Japan ordered its llth Corps to launch the third offensive against Changsha . Late in December 1941, the Japanese troops forced their way across the Mi-luo River . Early in January 1942, the enemy started a fierce attack on the city. The Kuomintang troops of the Ninth War Zone carried out a tenacious blocking action. In the small hours of January 4, the Chinese troops accomplished the besiegement of the enemy. Finding them- selves in an unfavourable situation, the enemy troops withdrew, and in this process were attacked sporadically. On the 15th, they retreated to the Yueyang area. This brought an end to the Third Changsha Cam-paign.
On April 18, 1942, after bombing Tokyo and other cities in Japan, the U.S. bombers that had taken off from an aircraft carrier now land-ed at an airport in the Zhejiang-Jiangxi area. In order to avoid the bombing of their metropolitan territory, Japanese authorities instructed their 13th Corps stationed in Shanghai and the 11 the Corps in Wuhan to organize the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign to attack the Chinese troops of the Third War Zone from the east and west so as to open up the Hangzhou-Nanchang Railway. The 13th Corps occupied Jinhua on April 28, Quzhou on June 7, and Yushan on June 12 and joined forces at Hengfeng on July 1 with a part of the 1lth Corps that had fought their way there from Nanchang , thus bringing the entire rail line under their control. Two months laters, however, due to insufficient military strength, they had to withdraw to the places where they had been sta-tioned, leaving only Jinhua and its surrounding areas still under their occupation. In May and November 1943, Japanese invaders launched two separate offensives on Yichang, Shashi and the area southwest of Shishou. In addition to slowing down the advance of the Japanese army by their blocking actions, the Chinese troops rose to counterat-tack and made the enemy suffer heavy casualties.
On February 6, 1942 , the Japanese ai’my captured Rangoon , the capital of Burma , and then directed its spearhead of attack northward. When Rangoon was in imminent danger, the National Government, at Britain ‘s request, had organized the 5th, 6th and 66th corps into the Chinese Expeditionary Army, which marched to Burma . From mid- March to April, the Expeditionary Army battled against the Japanese troops in Tonggu, Yenangyaung and Lashid. In Yenangyaung, they rescued 7,000 British troops from a siege. But, because the British army had no determination to defend Burma and was not cooperative, the Expeditionary Army retreated northward between April and May. Passing through the Yeren and Gaoligong mountain areas, the main force of the army suffered considerable losses. Dai Anlan, commander of one division, was killed in battle. Then part of the troops retreated to the east of the Nu River while the Japanese troops moved to the west of the river. Another group of the Expeditionary Army entered India and concentrated at Ramgarh in August. There the General Headquarters for the Chinese army stationed in India was set up, with Stilwell as the commander-in-chief. This army and those dispatched later from China into India were reorganized as the New First and New Sixth armies, receiving training and equipment from the U.S.
After the Southern Anhui Incident, the Kuomintang rule became more reactionary. Democratic and progressive forces in the Kuomin-tang areas were suppressed more savagely. In February 1941, the branches of the Life Bookstore in Chengdu , Kunming , Guilin and Guiyang were ordered closed or forced to stop doing business. Now only the Chongqing branch remained open. Zou Taofen, general man-ager of the Life Bookstore and noted writer and political activist, was compelled to secretly leave Chongqing for Hong Kong . In March 1942, the Kuomintang government promulgated the “Total Mobiliza-tion Law” which included such stipulations as: “Blocking factories, going on strike, holding a slowdown, and other acts hampering pro-duction are strictly forbidden The government can place restric-tions on or stop the establishment of a newspaper office or a news agency, can restrict, order to cancel, add or change the contents of a news report or other printed matter when it deems necessary The government can put restrictions on people’s speech, on the press, on writings, correspondence, assembly and association.” These measures, in fact, had already been put into practice. Their stipulation by law showed the Kuomintang government was bent on depriving people of their civil rights. Early in May, the KMT Central Executive Commit- tee ordered all provinces and cities not to commemorate the May 4th Movement. This was an example of the Total Mobilization Law in action. Chiang Kai-shek himself made use of every chance to strengthen his autocratic rule. When Lin Sen was at his post as the president of the National Government, the post had been one without real power, Lin Sen died in August, 1943. In September, the KMT Central Executive Committee revised “The Organizational Law of the National Government,” stipulating that “the president of the National Government is also the generalissimo of the ground, naval and air forces and can hold any other post concurrently.” At the same time, the KMT Central Executive Committee recommended Chiang Kai-shek to be president of the National Government, being concurrently head of the Executive Yuan and the Military Commission. In 1943, the Kuomintang invited Mellors, a U.S. secret service expert, to be the deputy head of the newly established “Sino-U.S. Special Technique Cooperative Institute,” with Dai Li as its head. This was a setup spe-cialized in training secret agents for the Kuomintang.
The mid-period of the anti-Japanese war was the turning-point for the economy in the Kuomintang area from development to decline. This was also the crucial period of economic changes taking place under the Kuomintang regime. By 1941, factories which had moved inland totalled more than 600, with equipment and materials weighing about 120,000 tons. This greatly promoted the economy in the rear area. At that time, there were several reasons for economic growth. Firstly, factories moved from the coastal war zone to the southwest increased the production capacity of that area which had been back-ward in industry. Secondly, China ‘s economy was of a semi-colonial type, affected and controlled by foreign capital, but foreign capital had had little influence in the southwest. In addition, the world war had kept such capital from making an impact on China . This situation was favourable for the growth of Chinese capital. Thirdly, at the earlier stage of the war against Japan , prices in the Kuomintang areas had remained relatively stable, and the financial difficulties the National Government faced were not too great to overcome. Fourthly, the growth of population led to increased consumption, and the War of Resistance meant that the country needed more materials. All this gave a stimulus to industrial and agricultural production. But soon afterwards, development was replaced by decline. In the pre-war year of 1936, there were 300 factories (270 privately owned) in the rear areas. In 1937, 63 factories (60 privately owned) were set up. In 1938,209 factories were started (182 privately owned). In 1939, factories set up numbered 419 (346 privately owned). In 1940, they were 571; in1941, 866; in 1942, 1,138 (1,077 privately owned); in 1943, 1,049(977 privately owned); and in 1944, 549 (533 privately owned). From these figures, one can see that factories established in 1942 were the greatest in number. But counting the sum of capital in terms of con-version of currency value into that of 1936, capital in 1939 was actu-ally the largest in amount, and that in 1938 came next. After 1939, the actual capital was decreasing progressively year by year, except in1943, when capital was higher than in 1942. For example, of the 871 factories in Chongqing , then the leading industrial centre, more than270 closed down or lowered production in 1943. All these were indi-cations of the declining industry in Kuomintang areas.
In addition to the decline of national capital and the entire national economy, was the rapid expansion of state monopoly capital and the consolidating of its monopolistic position. During the period of the anti-Japanese war, the National Government and high-ranking officials took advantage of the war-time situation to make their for-tunes. This resulted in the rapid expansion of state monopoly capital and bureaucrat capital. State monopoly capital plundered the people of their wealth through the following methods: (1) issuance of bonds, (2) increase of taxes, (3) inflation, (4) controlling foreign exchange and buying and selling gold, (5) monopolizing the sale of particular com-modities, (6) practising state monopoly for purchase and marketing certain products. Before the War of Resistance, State monopoly capital had already begun monopolizing the national economy. Now, during the war period, its monopoly was greatly strengthened. In the financial area, early in the period of the anti-Japanese war, a joint general office of the Central Bank of China , the Bank of China, the Bank of Com-munications of China , and the Farmers Bank of China was set up as the Kuomintang’s concentrated financial institution. Chiang Kai-shek was president of its board of directors. In July 1942, the National Government decided that the Central Bank of China should be respon-sible for the issuance of the national currency. During the War of Re-sistance, state monopoly capital openly monopolized commerce. The establishment of the Monopoly Enterprises Management Bureau, Trading Committee, and Materials Bureau, as well as the practising of the policies of state monopoly for purchase and marketing, were the important measures for state monopoly capital to realize its monopoly of commerce. High-ranking officials represented by Kong Xiangxi and Song Ziwen operated many commercial companies in private names. With political privileges and financial power, these companies occupied a monopolistic position in the market. In September 1937, the National Government set up the IndustPy and Mining Adjustment Committee as a monopolistic organ in this field. Apart from quite a few provincial official-operated industrial enterprises, government-run industrial and mining undertakings were mainly under the two sys- tems the Resources Commission and the Engineering Administra-tion. Privately owned industries, headed by those run by the Kong and Song families, were also monopolies in the market.
In the early period of the War of Resistance, the agricultural situ-ation in the Kuomintang areas was not bad. As the war dragged on, the National Government’s financial expenditures were greatly in-creased. Due to inflation plus the growing need for farm produce, the National Government stepped up its exploitation of peasants. From1940 on, grain purchase by the state was put into practice and land tax started from the latter half of 1941. In 1943, another measure was adopted: The National Government “borrowed grain” from the peas- ants by force. Peasants were given only grain loan tickets instead of ready money. This kind of grain loan was free of interest. It was stipulated that each grain loan would be paid back evenly in five years beginning with the fifth year, or could be used as payment for land tax of a new term. According to the statistics in 1942, the amount of farm produce plundered from the peasants through these three measures accounted for up to more than half of what they had harvested. For example, it was 59 percent in Sichuan , 52 percent in Hunan , and 49 percent in Yunnan . Besides grain, other products purchased and sold by the state included cotton, silk, tea, bristles, tung oil, etc. All of these purchases were nominally borne by landlords. But, in fact, the landlords passed them onto the shoulders of their tenants. Land rental rates rose quickly. For instance, the average land rental rate for 27 tenant-peasant households in a county of Sichuan Province was 53 percent in 1941, 73 percent in 1943, and 79 percent in 1944. Heavy exploitation of the peasants made the rural economy in the rear area decline.
State monopoly capital and bureaucrat capital in the Kuomintang area also cruelly exploited the working people, which not only preju-diced the interests of the national bourgeoisie, but also hindered the development of the productive forces and the progress of society. Ex-ploitation and damage by state monopoly capital and bureaucrat capi-tal constantly sharpened the contradictions between various classes. This was one of the root causes for the advance of China ‘s revolution, and also one important reason for the development of the democratic movement during the later stage of the anti-Japanese war. Although the economy of the National Government totally collapsed a few years later, its sharp decline had begun in the mid-period of the war.
With the progress of the anti-Japanese war, the Eighth Route and New Fourth armies rapidly expanded, as did the liberated areas. After the Hundred-Regiment Campaign, the Japanese paid greater attention to the battlefields behind their lines in north China . Chinese areas under Japanese occupation were the bases for launching offensives in the Pacific. To ensure the stability of the bases behind their lines, Ja-panese troops intensified their attack on the liberated areas. In July1941, the Japanese army in north China worked out a “Three-Year Plan for Public Order, Discipline Strengthening, and Construction,” dividing north China into three types of regions, namely, the “public order region, quasi-public order region and non-public order region.” In the “public order region,” the Japanese concentrated on “checking on residents”, tightening their rule over the Chinese people by exten-sive puppet organizations, strengthening the Bao-Jia system, and is-suing the “good person identity card.” In the “quasi-public order re-gion,” they engaged mainly in building blockhouses and digging blockade ditches to prevent the Eighth Route Army from taking action, and the liberated areas from expanding. In the “non-public order re-gion,” Japanese troops in the main adopted “mopping-up” operations, practising the “kill all, burn all and loot all” policy in an attempt to destroy China ‘s resistance forces. From the spring of 1941 to the autumn of 1942, the Japanese launched “Strengthening Public Order Movements” in north China five times in succession; people in the enemy-occupied areas were terribly persecuted, plundered and massa-cred. But still they failed to reach their goal–guaranteeing their occu-pation of north .China. During 1941 and .1942, Japanese invaders con- ducted many large-scale “mopping-up” operations against various anti-Japanese base areas. For example: In 1941, operations by 40,000 troops against north Hebei; by 70,000 troops against Beiyue and Pingxi; by 50,000 troops against the Yimeng area of Shandong Prov-ince; by more than 30,000 troops against the Taiyue area; and by over10, 000 troops against the Hebei-Shandong-Henan region. In 1942, there was one “mopping-up” operation by 10,000 troops against northwestern Shanxi ; one by 25,000 troops against the Taihang area; one by 50,000 troops against central Hebei ; and one by more than10, 000 troops against south Hebei . Apart from these, there were many other large-scale operations, each by over 10,000 troops. Small opera-tions were numerous.
The frequent “mopping-up” operations launched by Japanese im-perialists, the clashes created and blockade conducted by the KMT diehard army plus the serious natural calamities that north China suf-fered in 1942 brought grave difficulties to the anti-Japanese base areas behind enemy lines. Most of the bases on the plains such as central Hebei , southern Hebei , the Hebei-Shandong-Henan region and eastern Hebei became guerrilla zones or enemy-occupied areas. The total area of the anti-Japanese bases greatly dwindled, and the population there dropped from 100 million to 50 million; the Eighth Route Army was reduced from 400,000 to 300,000.
At the same time, Japan and the puppet Wang Jingwei govern-ment in south China started the “Movement of Checking on Resi-dents” and “mopping-up” operations against the New Fourth Army. During July-August 1941, operations were launched by 10,000 Ja-panese troops and 15,000 puppet troops against the liberated area in northern Jiangsu . In November 1942, 30,000 Japanese troops and30, 000 puppet troops once again unleashed “mopping-up” operations there. As a result, the total area of the anti-Japanese bases north and south of the Yangtze River diminished greatly.
In light of this situation, the Communist Party adopted a policy of extensive mobilization of the masses for guerrilla war. All the bases emphasized the development of local guerrilla forces and militias, thus creating localized main formations and mass-based armed forces in addition to expanding the militia. In each military area a military or-gan was set up, joining regular troops, local guerrilla forces and the militia as a body of three in one. In 1941, the local guerrillas and mili-tia under the county level nearly doubled in number. In mass-based guerrilla war, the army and the people behind enemy lines created various methods of fighting the enemy. In the liberated areas, groups of regular troops cooperating with the militia fought against enemy’s “mopping-up” operations day and night. They employed landmines, tunnel warfare and “sparrow” warfare to inflict casualties on the ene- my at every turn. Meanwhile, they strengthened defence works, evacuated noncombatants, and hid provisions and livestock. Most of the main formations moved to the areas in the enemy’s rear to shatter the “mopping-up” operations. In the guerrilla zones, a policy of “squeezing the enemy out” was put into practice to counter their “nib-bling” operations. The joint combat by the main formations, local guerrilla forces and militia often dealt the invaders fierce blows before they could get a firm foothold. If the enemy intruded into the hinter-land and set up strongholds there, the combined forces would besiege them until they withdrew, or concentrate troops to capture their forti-fied points. In the areas behind enemy lines, armed forces were dis-patched to arouse the masses to overthrow the puppet organizations and attack the enemy from the front and rear. In the enemy-occupied areas, the tactic was to organize numerous armed work teams to launch offensives behind the enemy lines. An armed work team was a small but highly trained combat unit handling Party, government, military and civilian affairs. Its constant task was to arouse and or- ganize the masses, unfold political offensives against the enemy, carry out such struggles as striking blows at the enemy’s military police, secret agents and traitors, destroy puppet political powers, attack the enemy’s strongholds and set ambushes.
In 1941 and 1942, the army and people in the liberated areas fought heroically. In the fifth year of the war, the Eighth Route and New Fourth armies conducted over 14,600 operations, killing, wounding and capturing 130,000 Japanese and puppet troops. In the sixth year, they fought more than 27,500 battles, killing, wounding and capturing some 200,000 Japanese and puppet troops. During 1941 and 1942, the anti-Japanese base areas were terribly damaged, but they still stood firm. By 1943, after overcoming many difficulties, they had been restored and even expanded to a certain extent. In addi-tion to an expansion in area, the population increased to some 80 mil-lion, the army to 470,000, and the members of the Communist Party to 900, 000. All these had paved the way for conducting partial offensives against the enemy.
During those hardest days, the Chinese Communist Party not only led the army and people to fight against the enemy, but also de- voted major efforts to consolidating the Party itself and strengthening the construction of the liberated areas. In February 1942, Mao Zedong made a report on rectification of the Party’s style of work in the Cen-tral Party School . In June, the CPC Central Committee issued a circu- lar on rectification study, and the rectification movement was begun. The basic task of this movement was to criticize and rectify subjec-tivism, sectarianism, and stereotyped Party writing as well as to culti-vate and develop the working styles of combining theory with practice, maintaining close links with the masses and carrying out self-criticism, especially concentrating on the criticism and correction of subjectiv-ism, combination of theory and practice, investigation and study, and cultivation of a practical and realistic style of work. The movement was aimed at achieving a high degree of political and ideological unity; the principle was “to learn from past mistakes in order to avoid future ones, thus to cure the sickness to save the patient,” and “incorrect thinking should be criticized on the one hand, and the unity between comrades should be achieved on the other.” This corrected the errone-ous practice of ruthless struggle and merciless blows during the period when the “Left” line was in a dominant position. The rectification movement brought in very good results. From 1942 to 1944, the Cen-tral Political Bureau and the senior Party cadres held discussions on the history of the Party and made a summarization of it. Ideas of the Party cadres were unified on the correct line in this way. In April 1945, the Seventh Plenary Session of the CPC Sixth Central Committee adopted a resolution on a number of questions in the Party’s history.
In order to overcome difficulties, increase the strength of the lib-erated areas, and pave the way for completely defeating Japanese in-vaders, people of the liberated areas worked to build of political power and the economy, and develop culture and education. In the building of political power, the “three-thirds system” was put into effect. In March 1940, the Party Central Conunittee issued the directive “On the Question of Political Power in the Anti-Japanese Base Areas” which pointed out, “It is the political power of all those who support both resistance and democracy; it is the joint democratic dictatorship of several revolutionary classes over the traitors and reactionaries.” The composition in the organs of political power should be one-third for Communists, one-third for non-Party Left progressives, and one-third for the intermediate sections who were neither Left nor Right. “The united front policy on suffrage should be that every Chinese who reaches the age of 18 and is in favour of resistance and democracy should enjoy the right to elect and to be elected regardless of class origin, ethnic group, sex, political belief, Party affiliation and educa-tional level ” In 1941, suffrage in governments at various levels in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region was practised according to the “three-thirds system.” Local political councils and governments of the liberated areas in north and central China were also elected this way. The anti-Japanese democratic governments in various areas car-tied out the measures of “better troops and simpler administration.”
In the most difficult years, a policy of reducing land rent and in-terest was implemented in the liberated areas along with the unfolding of a large-scale production movement and the strengthening of economic construction. This promoted the development of the new-democratic economy. Before the end of 1941, reduction of rent and interest was put into effect only in a few places. It was not widespread until January 1942, when the Party Central Committee approved the decision on the land policy for the anti-Japanese base areas. In 1943, it was in full flood. The large-scale production movement started after1941. In the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region, the movement was first initiated in a number of army units, and then pursued by all army units, Party and government organizations, and schools. Soon afterwards, it was popularized among workers and peasants. The pro-duction movements carried out in the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei, Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan , Shanxi -Suiyuan, and central China base ar-eas quickened the pace of economic construction. Developing agri-culture was taken as the main task, while the promotion of industry and handicrafts was never neglected. From 1940 to 1942, the people in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region reclaimed 1.8 million mu (1 mu = 1/15 hectare) of wasteland and brought in an increase of470, 000 dan (1 dan = 50 kilogrammes) of grain. Publicly owned fac- tories increased to 62 with nearly 4,000 workers and staff members, turning out 100,000 bolts of handwoven cloth a year. Other industries like iron-smelting, oil refining, machine repair, and the manufacture of weaponry and ammunition all made progress. The growth of produc-tion helped the base areas overcome many economic difficulties and provided material conditions for advancing the revolutionary cause.
The Chinese Communist Party and the governments in the liber-ated areas attached great importance to the development of cultural and educational undertakings. In March 1940, the Party Central Committee issued a directive on developing national education in the anti-Japanese democratic areas. It pointed out, “To develop national education in these areas is an important link at present for further mo- bilizing the people to take part in and keep up the War of Resistance as well as to train revolutionary intellectuals and cadres.” Education in the liberated areas was new-democratic education, namely, “it is edu-cation on national democratic revolution and on science with the theo-ry and method of Marxism-Leninism as its starting point.” The direc-tive stated that it was essential to restore and re-establish primary schools in as many areas as possible, and to set up normal schools in several key areas and public middle schools in a number of counties and districts. In 1940, there were 1,300 primary schools in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region with 43,000 pupils. In the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Border Region, primary schools numbered 7,600 with over 469,000 pupils. The Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese Mili-tary and Political College, the Northern Shaanxi Public School and the Lu Xun Art Academy in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region turned out a great number of trained personnel. In the media field, newspapers and joumals published in Yan’sn, the seat of the CPC Central Committee, were the Liberation Daily, Liberation, Military and Political Magazine of the Eighth Route Army, Chinese Workers, Chinese Youth, Chinese Culture, etc. Newspapers published in other base areas included Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Daily, Xinhua Daily (North China edition), Dazhong Bao (Newspaper for the Masses), Jianghuai Daily, and Tingjin Bao (Press Forward). In addition, there were a considerable number of Marxist-Leninist works and Mao Zedong’s writings published in the liberated areas. Cultural and educational work in the countryside also made obvious progress. From the achievements in the building of political power, economy, culture and education in the liberated areas, one could see the embryonic form of the new China that was born a few years later.
The Political Struggle in the Later Stage of the Anti-Japanese War and the Final Victory of the War
The year 1943 witnessed a significant turn in the world anti- fascist war. At the same time, great changes also took place in the war and the political situation in China , one of the major anti-fascist coun-tries in the world.
The battle of Stalingrad , starting from July 1942, finally ended on February 2, 1943 . In this battle the Soviet army wiped out a total of 1.5 million enemy troops, of which 300,000 were German troops and the rest troops from its vassal countries. Germany lost 3,500 tanks and self-propelled guns, and 3,000 airplanes. This battle was not only the turning point of the Soviet-German war, it was also a turning point of World War II. From that time on, the German forces turned from strategic offensive to strategic defensive, while the Soviet forces turn- ed from strategic defensive to strategic counter-offensive. On the North African battle front, the German-Italian forces’ surrender in May 1943 to the forces of the Allies marked the end of the war there. The Anglo-American forces’ landing at Sicily in Italy in July led to the downfall of the Mussolini government. On September 3, the Ital-ian government signed a truce agreement with the United States and Britain . The victory of the Soviet Union , the United States and Britain in the war against Germany and Italy brought fresh developments to the national liberation movements in the German-occupied countries such as France , Belgium , Holland , Yugoslavia , Poland , Czechoslova-kia , Norway , Denmark , Greece and Albania . The people’s resistance movements in the countries of the fascist bloc– Germany , Italy , Ro- mania, Bulgaria , and Hungary were also growing. In 1943, the forces of the Soviet Union , the United States and Britain gained the upper hand on all battlefields. The German fascists suffered defeats one after another. All this brought about a fundamental change in the War.
The year 1943 also saw fundamental and significant changes on the Asian, Australian and Pacific battlefields. Within six months after launching the Pacific war, Japanese imperialists seized a vast area including Burma , Malaya , the Philippines , Indonesia , New Guinea and the Solomon Islands . These, plus the occupied Chinese territory, to-talled over 32 million square miles in area, or one sixth of the total area of the earth. Thus the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” sought by Japanese imperialism, was achieved. But the arrival of its zenith also marked the starting point of its decline.
In May 1942, Japan concentrated large forces for an attack on Midway Island , only to suffer a disastrous defeat. The sea battle around the island was the turning point in the Pacific war. From that point, the Japanese troops lost their ability to stage a strategic often- sive; whereas the United States had turned from the defensive to the offensive. In the first half of August the U.S. troops landed on Guadalcanal Island , which marked the beginning of a frontal counter-offensive by the armed forces of the Allies in the Pacific. Japan sent reinforcements for a counter-attack to recover the island. The U.S. forces, also reinforced, put up a stubborn fight. In early February 1943 the Japanese troops, suffering heavy losses, were forced to withdraw from the island, lock, stock and barrel. The U.S. forces began a coun-ter-offensive in the southwestern Pacific in June 1943, and in the mid-Pacific in November. In the face of this offensive, the Japanese forces suffered one defeat after another, which changed completely the com-plexion of the Pacific war.
In the first stage of the Pacific war, Japanese imperialists, on the crest of victory, pursued an attack policy to force Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang to surrender. In February 1942, they worked out a battle plan to attack Xi’ an, Changsha and Changde. In August they schemed to advance on Sichuan to wipe out the KNIT forces, take Important areas in that province and “speed up the Chongqing re-gime’s surrender or collapse.” At this point, as Japan was losing more and more battles in the Pacific, it decided to shift the focus of opera-tions to the southern part of the ocean, laying aside the plan to attack Sichuan . The Tojo cabinet decided to adopt a “new policy towards China ,” so as to move the troops from file theatre of China as rein-forcements to cope with the United States . A meeting of high officials convened in December by the emperor resolved that the Wang Jingwei puppet government’s entry into the war was “a favourable turn in the status quo between Japan and China … Japan will focus its attention on the strengthening of the political force of the National Government [referring to Wang Jingwei’s puppet government] … strip Chongqing of its pretext of resisting Japan … [and] together with the new-born China march forward towards the completion of the war.” With a view to strengthening the “political force” of Wang Jingwei’s puppet regi- me and reducing the Chinese people’s hostility towards the regime, the meeting also decided to return Japanese concessions and abolish its extraterritoriality. The economic measures in the new policy to- wards China were mainly “aimed at obtaining necessary war materi-als.” The new policy also stipulated that “no peace work aimed at Chongqing shall be conducted,” and that new provisions should be formulated if the situation changed.
Inducing the National Govemment to surrender was a set policy of the Japanese govemment. In late May 1943, after a spell of suspen-sion of surrender-inducing activities, it once again brought up the question of urging the Wang Jingwei puppet government to “do politi-cal work on Chongqing .” The “Plan of Political Work on Chongqing ” was worked out at a joint meeting held in September by the Japanese headquarters and government. The “peace” terms put forward in the plan were: “Disarm the U.S. and British forces in China and make them withdraw from that country sever the communications with the United States and Britain … [and] give substantial aid to the Greater East Asian War waged by the empire.” All this would be done by Wang Jingwei, but under the “direction” of Japan . However, the war situation in Europe had undergone a great change unfavourable to Japan . In the Pacific war it had suffered military setbacks; moreover, it would not give up tile rights and interests it had seized in China . Un-der these circumstances, “achieving an all-round peace” with the KMT was out of the question.
Thanks to the rise of China’s intemational standing after the out-break of the Pacific war, and to the attempt of the United States and Britain to make use of Chinese forces to resist Japan, China and the United States reached an agreement in October 1942 to abolish the latter’s extraterritoriality and other related rights in China. On January11, 1943, the “Sino-American Treaty on the Abolishing of American Extraterritoriality in China and the Handling of Related Questions,” and the exchanged notes were concluded. On the same day China concluded a treaty of the same nature with Britain . The treaties stipu-lated that the United States and Britain were to give up their extrater-ritoriality in China, the rights and interests they had enjoyed in public and other concessions and all relevant rights and interests, and the rights laid down in the Protocol of 1901. American and British nation-als within the Chinese territory were put under the jurisdiction of the government of the Republic of China. These were some of the first equal treaties signed by China with foreign countries in her modern and contemporary history. The signing of the treaties indicated a great elevation in China ‘s international status. Grand meeting were held in both KMT-controlled and liberated areas to celebrate the abolishment of unequal treaties. In November Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek held the Cairo conference. After its conclusion the Cairo declaration was issued, announcing that territo-ries such as Manchuria , Taiwan and Penghu Islands which Japan had seized from China , were to be returned to China . The three big allied powers were to carry on a protracted war for Japan ‘s unconditional surrender. China had emerged in the international arena as one of the world’s big powers.
In 1943, Germany in the west retreated one step after another, while Japan in the east suffered constant defeats. The whole situation was on the threshold of a great change. Faced with this situation, the diehards in the KMT felt both joy and fear. Joy, because they imag-ined that with the war in Europe over, the United States and Britain would be left free to fight Japan on their behalf and that they would win victory in the War of Resistance without any effort. Fear, because with the downfall of all three fascist powers Germany , Japan and Italy , the rise of people’s democratic forces would pound at their own comprador-feudal fascist rule, and even bring them total destruction. Therefore, for the purpose of maintaining and even expanding their fascist rule, they felt it necessary to launch another large-scale anti- Communist action. The publication in March of China ‘s Destiny in the name of Chiang Kai-shek signified the start of this action.
China ‘s Destiny was a reactionary, distorted discussion on a seri-es of questions such as the Chinese nation, Chinese history, especially modem and contemporary history, the so-called fundamental problems concerning national revolution and reconstruction, and “the artery of national revolution and reconstruction in China and the juncture de-ciding her destiny.” The book explained the stand, viewpoint, philoso-phy, and domestic and external policies of Chiang Kai-shek’s fascist clique. The spearhead of its attack was mainly directed at the Chinese Communist Party and the communist ideological system, as well as bourgeois democracy. Theoretically it spoke for the comprador-feudal fascist rule, while preparing public opinion for another onslaught against the Communists. Here in this book, Chiang Kai-shek an-nounced his determination to oppose communism and the people. He said facts had proved that only “the line of national revolution” pur-sued by himself was the “most thoroughgoing and correct.” “In the past China ‘s destiny hinged on diplomacy,” he alleged. “From now on it lies entirely in domestic affairs.” The Communist Party and Com- munist-led army “set up a local separatist regime … sabotaging the War of Resistance Against Japan … [and] hindering unification,” so they were “counter-revolutionary … bringing calamity to the country and people.” He clamoured that the Communist Party should “aban- don its decision to set up a separatist regime by force of arms” and “do away with feudal warlord ideas.” “If it is not willing to thoroughly change its feudal warlord style … [and] does not have the determina-tion to give up its practice of setting up separatist regimes by force,” he declared, “then magnanimity, no matter how great it may be, will never produce any fruitful result, and as such we cannot think out any other reasonable method.” China ‘s destiny would be decided “within the next two years,” he said.
The publication of China ‘s Destiny was followed by a large-scale propaganda campaign against communism and democracy through the media. On June 18, Hu Zongnan called a military meeting at which dispositions were made to attack the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region. About 500,000 troops were massed around the border region for a large-scale invasion.
In” China ‘s Destiny Chiang Kai-shek expounded in a systematic way the Chinese-style fascist ideological system and hinted his deter-mination to launch an anti-Communist civil war. This provided the people of the whole country with an opportunity to criticize Chiang Kai-shek by name. The publication of China ‘s Destiny and the criti-cism of the Chiang Kai-shek clique’s ideology constituted a high tide in the struggle on the political and ideological front during the anti-Japanese war. It was also a high tide in the struggle between new de-mocracy and Chinese-style fascism in China ‘s contemporary history.
In the political struggle against the anti-Communist onslaught, tile Communists published large numbers of editorials and articles in newspapers and periodicals criticizing Chiang Kai-shek and his China ‘s Destiny. Zhou Enlai made a report entitled “On China’s Fas-cism a New Autocracy.” The editorials, articles, and report elaborat-ed the theory, stand, task and policy of the Communist Party and criti-cized the reactionary thinking and policy of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang in various respects. The criticism carried out by the Chi-nese Communist Party could be boiled down to the following points:
(1) It pointed out that “the current central task of Chinese ideological circles is to thoroughly crush and eliminate fascism ideo-logically”;
(2) It exposed Chiang Kai-shek’s “Chinese-style fascism” as a”hybrid” of the dross of Chinese feudal thinking and exotic fascism;
(3) It criticized the fascist “philosophy of devotion” or “philoso-phy of constancy” as ultra-idealistic obscurantism;
(4) It brought to light the existing fascist programme and tactics;
(5) It refuted the slander spread by the Kuomintang that the Communist Party was a “traitor party,” “traitor army,” “new-type feu-dalism” and “warlord in disguised form”; and made clear the tremen-dous role the Chinese Communist Party, the Communist-led army and liberated areas had played in the anti-Japanese war.
The anti-Communist action launched by the Kuomintang evoked strong opposition not only from the army and people of the liberated areas, but also from the progressive and middle-of-the-road forces in the Kuomintang-controlled rgions. International public opinion also denounced the Kuomintang for its attempt to split domestic unity and start a civil war. At the same time, the liberated areas were prepared to repulse the Kuomintang army’s attacks.
As the conflict between China and Japan remained dominant and the Kuomintang’s reactionary moves met with opposition at home and abroad, it had to slow down the anti-Communist onslaught. In his speech at the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Fifth Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang held in September 1943, Chiang Kai- shek declared that “the Communist problem is a purely political one and should be solved politically.” In view of the fact that the Kuo-mintang had ceased the anti-Communist campaign, the Communist Party, in order to uphold unity and the War of Resistance, expressed its willingness to resume negotiations at any time. Soon afterwards the two parties came back to the conference table as suggested.
The great change in the world situation in 1943 was a great en-couragement to the democrats and democratic parties of China . Many political figures across the world described World War II as a war between democracy and fascism. That year the Soviet Union , the United States and Britain shifted to the offensive, Italy ‘s Mussolini government was overthrown and the two fascist powers, Germany and Japan , were doomed to downfall. It was believed that the decline of fascism would be coupled with the rise of democracy. Democratic trends of thought were therefore once again on the upsurge around the world.
These developments had an impact on China , too. In September1943, Zhang Lan, Chairman of the China Democratic League, pub-lished a booklet entitled China Needs a Genuine Democratic Govern-ment. “Over the past year,” he said, “the Allied Powers which have safeguarded the freedom of mankind and promoted democracy have been winning victories, their forces are gathering momentum, and justice is being upheld. The various nations throughout the world have a fresh understanding of democracy and attach greater importance to it. They all regard this world war as a war between democracy and autocracy in the full sense, namely, a war of freedom, equality and independence vs. enslavement, oppression and aggression … it is generally believed that the collapse of Mussolini will, in terms of im-portance, exert great influence on the world, not just on the war in Europe. From now on autocracy will gradually crumble and democracy will become the only principle in the political formation of more and more countries in the world.”
Another important democrat, Zhang Shenfu, said, “Referring to China , democracy has nearly become the panacea of today. With the general trend of the international and internal situation, objectively speaking, China ‘s democratic future is a foregone conclusion, and this allows no doubt.” Because of the influence of the international situa-tion and the darkening political situation in the Kuomintang-controlled areas, because national capital was falling into dire straits, and be-cause the negotiations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party were resumed, the movement for democracy in the Kuomintang-controlled areas was on the upsurge after 1943.
In January 1944, the movement for a democratic constitutional govemment sprang into life. In early January, Huang Yanpei, Zhang Junmai, Zuo Shunsheng, Shen Junru and Zhang Bojun called a forum on constitutional government. Such meetings were held many times in the first half of the year. At the same time, Huang Yanpei and Zhang Zhirang founded Constitutional Government, a monthly magazine aimed at studying the problems of constitution and constitutional government, “assisting the government in publicity about instituting con-stitutional government.” Constitutional Government invited industri-alists, educators and bankers of Chongqing to hold forums and discuss China ‘s constitutional government and the democratic institutions required before its establishment.
In February Zhang Lan, Shao Congen and Li Huang inaugurated the “Chengdu Association for the Promotion of Democratic Constitu- tional Government” to “actively advocate democracy, practise democ- racy, promote constitutional government and study the drafting of a constitution.” In March the CPC Central Committee issued the “Di-
rective Concerning Constitutional Government,” in which it pointed out that the Kuomintang’s preparations for constitutional government were intended to dupe the people and stabilize its autocratic rule. In the same month, Zhou Enlai delivered a speech entitled “On the Problem of Constitutional Government and Unity,” pointing out that”the constitutional government needed by China should be a new- democratic constitutional government.” In May the China Democratic League issued a statement “Our Views on the Current Situation and Our Demands,” holding that ” China must become a hundred percent democratic country,” and that the Kuomintang should abandon its 10- year-old “privileged position.” In the same month, the Southwest Chi-na Industrial Association, the Union of Factories Removed to Sichuan and the China National Association for Industry held forums on con-stitutional government, demanding the Kuomintnag retract its policy of economic controls.
In institutions of higher learning in Chongqing , Chengdu and Kunming , groups and meetings were organized to study or discuss constitutional government. The Third Session of the Third People’s Political Council took place in September in Chongqing . The Chinese Communist Party, in light of the situation of the time, put forward a formal proposal that the Kuomintnag put an end to its one-party dic-tatorship and that “the national government call the representatives of all political parties, anti-Japanese armed forces, local governments and popular organizations together to hold a state conference and organize a coalition government composed of the anti-Japanese parties.” On October 10, the China Democratic League issued “Our Political Views on the Final Stage of the War of Resistance,” calling for an immediate end to the one-part dictatorship and the establishment of a coalition government and democratic rule. Thus China ‘s democratic movement entered upon a new phase.
In April 1944, Japanese imperialism launched the Henan-Hunan-Guangxi campaign in order to support the forces that had intruded into the Southeast Asian countries, relieve its native territory of the threat posed by a China-based American air force, and put up a last-ditch struggle in China’s mainland. This campaign, adopted a conservative stratgy. During the eight months of fighting, Japanese troops seized a large part of Henan, Hunan and Guangxi provinces and 146 medium and small cities including Luoyang, Changsha, Guilin, Zhengzhou and Liuzhou, “forcing China’s north-south trunk railways open for through traffic.” The Kuomintang lost 500,000 to 600,000 men and more than 200,000 square kilometres of territory, placing a population of 60 million under the iron heel of Japanese invaders. The debacle of the Kuomintnag troops was a sharp demonstration of its extreme poli-tical and military corruption, and caused a great deal of anger and resistance to the Kuomintang in the areas it controlled.
In contrast to the debacle on the Kuomintang battlefield, a local counter-offensive was launched in the theatre of the liberated areas. By April 1945, the Eighth Route Army, New Fourth Army and South-China Anti-Japanese Column had already expanded to 910,000 men, and the militia had grown to 2.2 million. The 19 liberated areas covered greater or smaller parts of the provinces of Liaoning , Rehe, Qahar, Suiyuan , Shaanxi , Gansu , Ningxia , Shanxi , Hebei , Henan , Shandong , Jiangsu , Zhejiang , Anhui , Hunan , Hubei , and Guangdong , and had a total area of 950, 000 square kilometres and a population of more than 95 million. More importantly, all these liberated areas were located in strategically significant regions of the country. Many major cities such as Beiping, Tianjin , Taiyuan , Shijiazhuang , Jinan , Zhengzhou , Xuzhou , Nanjing , Shanghai and Guangzhou were all en-circled by people’s forces, while a large number of key ports were under the control of these forces or within the scope of their opera-tions. The Communist-led troops and liberated areas had grown into a pivotal force in an all-out general counter-offensive, and a powerful base for winning the final victory in the War of Resistance. These were also a strong force in resisting the Kuomintang’s attempt to monopolize the fruits of victory in the war.
On June 6, 1944 , the allied forces of Britain and the United States landed in Normandy in northern France to open up the second front in Europe . The Soviet army’s victory in its counter-offensive and the opening of the second front pushed the anti-fascist war in Europe into a decisive stage. In the last state of the world anti-fascist war, the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain, especially the United States and the Soviet Union, who were masters of the world war and political situation, convened in February 1945 the Yalta Conference to strive for the final victory in the warand arrange the world order after the war. Present at the conference were Roosevelt , Stalin and Chur-chill. It mainly discussed the questions of dealing with Germany and Poland , and the war against Japan . The agreement on Japan signed by the three countries greatly infringed upon China ‘s sovereignty. It stipulated that the Soviet Union was to recover the rights and interests enjoyed by tsarist Russia in China’s northeast before 1904, i.e., the Soviet “favourable rights and interests” in Dalian port were to be guaranteed; it was to lease Ltishun port as its naval base; and China and the Soviet Union were to jointly operate the Chinese Eastern, and Southern Manchuria railways. This was recognized later in the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance signed soon afterwards by the National Government and the Soviet Union . The Yalta Conference affirmed the world order, including China , worked out by the United States and the Soviet Union . However, as the Chinese Communist Party had led the people in fruitful struggles and partially upset the world order under their control, the situation in China developed in a direction favourable to the Chinese people.
On May 1, 1945 , the Soviet army conquered Berlin , capital of Germany . On May 8 and 9, Germany signed the instrument of uncon-ditional surrender, and the anti-fascist war in Europe ended in victory for the Allies. The utter defeat of Japanese imperialism had by then become a foregone conclusion. On April 1, the U.S. troops landed in Okinawa . On April 5, the Soviet Union declared the abolishment of the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Treaty and swiftly moved its armed force to the Far East . The Japanese government had earlier offered to make peace with the National Government on condition that “the sta-res quo in Manchukuo remain unchanged,” while its other interests in China might be given up or negotiated. But it had been refused by Chiang Kai-shek. In short the situation of the time was that with the conclusion of the European war, the War of Resistance in China was bound to end in victory and China was on the eve of a great change.
The political struggle in China became more complicated as a re-sult of U.S. interference. In October 1944, Roosevelt , at the sugges-tion of Chiang Kai-shek, recalled General Joseph W. Stilwell, who was at odds with Chiang. On April 2, 1945 , Patrick Hurley, U.S. am-bassador to China , issued a statement in Washington , declaring that the United States would cooperate only with Chiang Kai-shek, not with the Chinese Communist Party, and that the obstacle to China ‘s”unification” lay in the “armed political party,” the Chinese Commu-nist Party. At the time, the United States was providing and equipping the Kuornintang forces with large quantities of military aid in an at-tempt to strengthen the Kuomintang’s political and military superior-ity over the Communist Party and prepare the Kuomintang to seize the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance. This would add to the U.S. strength in its contention with the Soviet Union and expand its influ-ence in China after the war.
Early in 1945, the most important task for the political parties and forces in China was still to defeat Japan, but they had already had theft eyes on the future they set about preparing for a bid to control the political situation after the war. The simultaneous convening of the Seventh National Congress of the Communist Party and the Sixth National Congress of the Kuomintang in the spring of 1945 suggested that China was at a critical juncture. Would the fruits of victory in the people’s War of Resistance go to the people or be seized by the Kuo-mintang? Would China remain a state of the comprador-feudal dicta-torship or become a people’s democracy? These were major questions to be answered by the two congresses.
The Kuomintang’s Sixth National Congress was held from May5 to 21. One of the topics for discussion was “putting constitutional government into effect,” which was actually tantamount to persisting in one-party dictatorship and refusing to establish a coalition govern-ment. In his opening speech, while talking glibly about “instituting constitutional government,” Chiang said that “after handing state power back to the people,” the Kuomintang’s responsibility for “defending the republic” would become “heavier rather than lighter.” The congress resolved to convene the National Assembly on November 12,1945 and adopt a constitution. However, the deputies to the National Assembly were still the deputies produced in 1936 from the election stage-managed by the Kuomintang. And the constitution would be formulated on the basis of the “Draft Constitution of the Republic of China” (the May 5th Draft Constitution) promulgated by the Kuo-mintang in 1936. Thus, “handing state power back to the people” was in essence handing the dictatorship from the left hand to the right one.
The second important topic for discussion was the decision to “thoroughly carry out the Principle of People’s Livelihood.” The real purpose of its implementation, in addition to the empty talk about “improving people’s livelihood,” was to “prevent the appearance of capital monopoly,” and “eliminate the cause of class struggle.” The former was meant to expand state monopoly capital and contain and swallow up national capital, while the latter was mainly intended to oppose the Communist Party. In order to achieve the above two pur-poses, the congress passed the “Political Platform and Policies,” “Ag-ricultural Policy Programme,” “Principles for Implementing the In-dustrial Construction Programme” and “the Labour Policy Pro- gramme.” These documents stipulated: “All the land in the cities should be turned over to the public … it should be immediately de-clared that all mountains, forests, waters, mineral and other natural resources should be owned by the public … All enterprises of mono-polistic nature and enterprises which individuals cannot afford to run privately should be operated by the state or the public … [and] …when privately-owned undertakings fail to fulfil the production quotas, the deficiency should be made up by the government.” This was the gist of “equalization of land ownership” and “regulation of capital” advocated by the Kuomintang.
The “Resolution on the Problem of the Chinese Communist Party” passed by the congress declared that “all problems can be set-tled through consultation provided they do not impede the War of Resistance, nor endanger the country.” The line pursued by the Kuo-mintang’s Sixth National Congress was a line which persisted in dic- tatorship and opposed democracy, expanded state monopoly capital and strangled national capital, and opposed land reform. This line not only ran counter to the will of the entire Chinese people, but to the global trend.
The Chinese Communist Party convened its Seventh National Congress at Yan’an from April 23 to June 11, 1945 . The congress heard Mat Zedong’s political report “On Coalition Government,” Zhu De’s military report “The Battle Front of the Liberated Areas,” Liu Shaoqi’s report “On Revising the Party Constitution” and Zhou En-lai’s speech “On the United Front.” The congress analysed the inter-national and domestic situation and summed up the experience of the Party in leading the new-democratic revolution, especially the experi-ence in the two-line struggle between the Kuomintang and the Com-munist party in the War of Resistance. It put forward the general line for the present-revolutionary stage and the Party’s general programme as well as its specific programme. It adopted a new Party constitution and elected a new central leading body.
In his report, Mat Zedong pointed out that victory in the world anti-fascist war was imminent. After that, the struggle between the anti-fascist people and fascist remnant forces, democracy and anti-democracy, national liberation and national oppression, would still be raging in the greater part of the world. However, it was the people who would win. The situation in China was in accord with the general situation in the world. Hence, “two roads lie before the Chinese peo-ple, the road of light and the road of darkness. Two possible destinies await China , a destiny of light and a destiny of darkness.” There were two prospects, but the bright future should be the target to strive for. The present task of the Chinese people was to establish a democratic coalition government, finally defeat the Japanese aggressors and build a new China , a China that was independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and strong. With a view to accomplishing such a task, the congress formulated the line: “Boldly mobilize the masses and expand the people’s forces, and, under our Party’s leadership, defeat the Ja-panese aggressors, liberate the entire Chinese people and build a new democratic China .’
The most striking characteristic of the new Party constitution adopted by the congress was the stipulation that “the Chinese Com-munist Party takes Mao Zedong Thought, which integrates the theory of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution, as the guide for all its work.” The new Party constitution lay much em-phasis on the mass line, pointing out that it was the Party’s “basic political line” and “basic organizational line.” The congress elected 44 members of the Central Committee, including Mao Zedong, Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi, Ren Bishi and Lin Zuhan. At the First Plenary Session of the Party’s Seventh Central Committee convened after the congress, Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the Central Committee, and Mao Zedong, Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and Ren Bishi mem-bers of the Secretariat. The congress was a gathering of unity un-precedented in the Party’s history, and provided important guarantees for victory in the War of Resistance, and the final victory in the peo-ple’s democratic revolution.
From mid-July to early August, 1945, Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers J. V. Stalin, U.S. President Harry Truman, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (later replaced by the newly-appointed Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee) held a meeting at Potsdam outside Berlin and issued the “Potsdam Declaration,” de- manding that the Japanese government immediately declare uncondi-tional surrender of all its armed forces. On August 6, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and on August 8, the Soviet government declared war on Japan . In the small hours of the following day the Soviet army launched an all-out general offensive against Japan ‘s elite Kwantung troops along a 4,000-kilometre battle line. On the same day the United States dropped another atomic bomb on Na-gasaki. The Soviet army rapidly wiped out the Kwantung forces and liberated China ‘s four northeast provinces and the province of Qahar .
On August 9, Mao Zedong, Chairman of the CPC Central Com-mittee, issued a statement, pointing out “the time has come to inflict final defeat on the Japanese aggressors and all their lackeys,” calling on the anti-Japanese army and people to vigourously expand the liber-ated areas and reduce the areas under enemy occupation, be on their guard to avert the danger of civil war, and promote the formation of a coalition government. On August 10, Commander-in-Chief Zhu De at the General Headquarters in Yan’an ordered the anti-Japanese forces in the liberated areas to quickly launch a big offensive to recover the lost territories and ordered the Japanese and puppet troops to surrender unconditionally within a stated time. On August 11, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the Kuomintang troops to “step up the war effort and actively push forward.” Ironically he “ordered” the people’s forces to “stay where they are, pending further orders,” and forbade them to “take presumptuous action on their own” against Japanese and puppet forces. In the meantime he demanded the Japanese forces “defend themselves effectively” wherever they were, so as to prevent the people’s forces from accepting their surrender. He went so far as to order the Japanese troops to recover the “lost land” from the newly liberated areas, and order the puppet troops to “be responsible for maintaining local or-der.” The people’s forces refused to execute Chiang Kai-shek’s order. The attempt of the Kuomintang army to seize the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance sharpened domestic tensions.
On August 15 Japan ‘s emperor Hirohito formally announced ac-ceptance of the unconditional surrender stipulated in the Potsdam Declaration. On September 2, a surrender signing ceremony was held on the American warship Missouri . On September 9, another ceremo-ny was held in Nanjing in the theatre of China, at which Yasuji Oka-mura, commander-in-chief of the Japanese invading forces in China , signed the instrument of surrender. Thus, the eight-year anti-Japanese war for national liberation ended in victory for the Chinese people.
With the situation viewed as a whole, the victory in the War of Resistance ended the imperialist war of aggression against China . It put an end to the situation in which China was repeatedly defeated by imperialists over the past 100 years. It was a victory for all Chinese except traitors, collaborators and the pro-Japanese group. Because of this victory, China made a big stride forward in the course of new- democratic revolution. The War of Resistance, just as Mao Zedong pointed out, was “a wonder in the history of warfare, a heroic under- taking of the Chinese nation and a great earth-shaking cause.”
Proposals of Political Parties Concerning National Reconstruction. The Political Consultative Conference
After the war, China was confronted with a new political situa-tion. The new major problems of overall importance were peace, de-mocracy, solidarity and unity, or, to put it briefly, problems of “nation- al reconstruction.” These were problems of common concern to every Chinese who stood for political democracy, a prosperous and powerful China , and social progress. Each political party made public their own positions on these problems.
The conclusion of the anti-Japanese war marked the beginning of a new phase in Chinese history. In the “Declaration on the Current situation” issued on August 25, 1945, the CPC Central Committee pointed out, “In this new historical period, the important task confron- ting the whole nation is to consolidate unity in the country, safeguard domestic peace, bring about democracy and improve the people’s livelihood, on the basis of peace, democracy and unity, so as to achieve national unification and build a new China, independent, free, prosperous and powerful.” In order to lay the groundwork for future peace and construction, the Declaration demanded the National Gov-ernment immediately take the following measures: recognize the popularly-elected governments and anti-Japanese forces in the liberat-ed areas; bring about peace and avoid civil war; effect an equitable and rational reorganization of the armed forces and start their demobi-lization; provide relief to refugees and reduce taxes to relieve the peo-pie’s distress; recognize the legal status of various parties; abolish laws and decrees which impeded people from enjoying the freedoms of assembly, association, speech, and the press; abolish the secret services and release patriotic political prisoners; and convene immedi-ately the conference of representatives of all parties, and people with no party affiliation, to discuss matters of importance after the War of Resistance, formulate a democratic administrative programme so as to terminate the Kuomintang’s political tutelage, set up a democratic coalition government representing the unanimous will of the nation, and make preparations for the convocation of the National Assembly produced from free and unrestricted elections. The Chinese Commu-nist Party stated that it was “ready to make efforts to reach an agree-ment with the Kuomintang and democratic parties of China for a quick solution to urgent problems and long-term unity to thoroughly apply Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Three People’s Principles.”
On August 15, 1945 , the China Democratic League issued an”Emergency Appeal Amidst the Cheers for the Victory of the War of Resistance,” in which the slogan of “democracy and unification; peace and national reconstruction” was brought up. In October the League convened a provisional national congress in Chongqing to pass a pro-gramme, political report, declaration and constitution. The first three documents embodied the League’s basic political theory and demands. The political report stated the belief that the post-war period was “an extremely rare opportunity for building China into a democratic country,” and that the task of the League was to “seize such an op-portunity to build China into a totally democratic country.” It main-tained that since the Anglo-American and Soviet systems each had their merits and demerits, ‘the economic democracy of the Soviet Union should be adopted to enrich the Anglo-American political de-mocracy” so as to “create a Chinese-style democracy.” This was the basic idea of the China Democratic League about democratic politics.
The programme of the League proposed that “land nationaliza-tion be accomplished step by step,” and that “the state affirm people’s private property and establish the property of the state and the public.” The declaration put forward the League’s demands and policies con-cerning the Political Consultative Conference, democratic coalition Government, National Assembly, freedom for the people, the army, economy, foreign affairs and other important matters. The declaration said,“At present a democratic coalition government enjoying nation-wide support is the country’s only road to peace, unification and soli-darity, and is also the only road to national reconstruction with con-certed efforts of the entire nation. ”
On December 16, 1945 , Hu Juewen, Zhang Naiqi, Shi Fuliang and Li Zhuchen called a meeting at Chongqing at which the Democ-ratic National Construction Association was founded; and a declara-tion and political programme adopted. The aim of the association was to “promote democratic government with joint efforts and develop various undertakings beneficial to national construction by means of mutual help.” In its declaration, it made clear its position in all fields. Intemationally, it stood for a policy of balance between the United States and the Soviet Union . In domestic politics, it advocated peace and unification, that all political parties exercise forbearance, that the armed forces be nationalized through democratization of politics, and that legislative assemblies at various levels produced by direct general elections exercise different levels of political power. Economically, it demanded a plan for democratic economic construction and full free-dom for enterprises within the guidelines of that plan, that at the pre-sent stage the state cultivate capital with all its might rather than get rid of it in the name of “regulation of capital,” and that the land prob-lem be solved by reasonable means. Socially, it demanded that the government work out an equitable and rational distribution system and lay a foundation for the cooperation between labour and capital, that “free organization of trade unions and peasant associations be encour- aged,” and that “they should not be controlled or manipulated by any political or social force not connected with the workers or peasants.” The declaration expressed its “willingness to establish a model of peaceful struggle in China by dint of concerted efforts of the honest common people, free from deviation or partiality.”
Hong Men Zhi Gong Dang issued a declaration abroad as well. The Association of Comrades in the Three People’s Principles, the China Association for Promoting Democracy, the Jiu San Society, and the Kuomintang Association for Promoting Democracy were set up in succession and issued their political proposals. Their common desire was to maintain a peaceful environment and establish a democratic government in China .
These parties and their members were making untiring efforts in order to establish a long-sought’after bourgeois democratic state when the golden opportunity came, They entered into an alliance with the Communist Party on the basis of opposing the Kuomintang’s fascist dictatorship and demanding the realization of democratic government. They played an important role in pushing the convocation of the Poli- tical Consultative Conference and upholding its line, as well as in the movement to oppose civil war, demand peace, oppose dictatorship and demand democracy.
An important aspect deciding China ‘s political situation was the Kuomintang. Its consistent policy was to exercise dictatorial rule and expand state monopoly capital, After victory in the War of Resistance, the National Government took over a large amount of enemy and puppet property. By the end of August 1946, the factories and mines taken over by the Ministry of Economy totalled 2,849, most of which re-sumed operations under the direct control of the Ministry. The Nation-al Government’s four banks and two bureaus took over the enemy and puppet banks–the Bank of Strokin, the Bank of Sumitomo, the Bank of Korea and the Central Reserve Bank. As a result, the bureaucrat capital of the Four Big Families drastically expanded to 20 billion U.S. dollars. The basic purpose of the Kuomintang’s policy was to defend this state monopoly capital and the political system built on it, Under the conditions of the time, however, it had to use the slogans of “peace and national reconstruction” and “practise democratic politics” as a camouflage. This found expression in a book entitled The New China of the Post-war Period compiled by the Ministry of Education of the National Government, which said, “Democratic constitutionalism is the predetermined goal of the national revolution which externally conforms to the trend of the world and internally meets the demand of the people. This must not and cannot be delayed, since this is the mainstream of the politics of the New China after the war.” But these slogans were nothing but a means to allay people’s demand for de- mocracy and adhere to the reactionary rule. Chiang Kai-shek, while stressing that “democraticdf constitutionalism must not be further de-layed,” put forward all kinds of “preconditions” to black the realiza-tion of democratic politics. In his “Message to the Military and Civili-an Compatriots Throughout the Country” issued on New Year’s Day of 1946, he said, “Except that revolutionary responsibility cannot be abandoned, the country’s unity cannot be damaged, the basic law can-not be changed, and the foundation of the government cannot be shaken, anything can be tolerated or negotiated.” In other words, the Chiang Kai-shek clique brooked no change in the essence of the state of the comprador-feudal fascist dictatorship. This was the basic stand of the Kuomintang on the China problem after the war.
China ‘s politics after the war were inseparable from U.S. imperi-alist policy towards China . The United States intended to use the Na-tional Government as a tool to control China , while the Chiang regime wanted to use American aid as its backing. On this basis the two sides colluded with each other more closely. Restricted by the international situation, the domestic situation of the United States and the develop- ment of the domestic problems in China , the U.S. policy of aiding Chiang and opposing the Communists went through a process of evo-lution. After the war, the United States had to make a choice from the following three possibilities in formulating its China policy:
First, extricating itself from all involvement. This was unac-ceptable to U.S. imperialism, as it could not give up its policy of ag-gression against China ;
Second, large-scale armed intervention so as to assist the Kuo-mintang in its attempt to annihilate the Communist Party. Due to the powerful forces of the Chinese people, the opposition of its own peo-ple and the people of the world, and the limitations of its national strength, the United States chose not to take such a tremendous risk as to send troops for a large-scale armed intervention when the world war was just over and people wanted peace;
Third, encourage the Kuomintang and Communist Party to nego-tiate and reach a compromise, while assisting the Kuomintang to es-tablish its power as extensively as possible.
The United States chose the third option, through which it at- tempted a makeshift measure so as to bring the Communists into the orbit of bourgeois democratic politics, and put them in a position similar to that of the Communists in Western Europe, that is, to form a pro-American, reorganized coalition government headed by Chiang Kai-shek and composed of representatives of the Kuomintang, the Communist Party and democratic parties. The United States reckoned there was such a possibility. However, as this measure was detrimental to the Chinese people, it was continuously exposed and resisted by the Communist Party. Meanwhile, it met with the opposition of the fascist forces within the Kuomintang since it did not altogether cater to the needs of the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship and Chiang Kai-shek’s personal autocratic rule. Consequently, the wishful calculations of the U.S. were out of the question. In addition, it was also impos-sible to form, with the intervention of the United States , another gov-ernment representing its interests if the Chiang Kai-shek regime was excluded. Under these circumstances, U.S. policy towards China gradually embarked on the road to supporting Chiang Kai-shek in his move to fight a civil war against the Communist Party. In his state- ment concerning the China policy issued in December 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman, while expressing his support for the proposal for convening a conference of representatives of all major political parties in China to precipitate the unity of China, deemed the exis-tence of the Communist-led armies as not in line with China’s politi-cal unity. In the same month, George C. Marshall came to China as the president’s special representative to carry out U.S. policy towards China . As a “mediator,” he participated in the negotiations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party and supported the National Government in launching a civil war. He left China in January 1947. His activities during his year in China reflected the process of evolu-tion of the U.S. policy towards China .
The Soviet Union was also a major international factor affecting China ‘s internal affairs. According to the Yalta Agreement signed by the United States , Britain and the Soviet Union in February 1945, the Soviet Union would recover all the rights and interests enjoyed by tsarist Russia in northeast China before the outbreak of the Russo- Japanese war. In the meantime, the three countries also reached an agreement on unanimous support for the National Government headed by Chiang Kai-shek. On August 14, 1945 , the National Government and the Soviet government concluded the “Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance ” and some other agreements, in which the Kuomintang accepted the Soviet demands for the rights and interests in China in exchange for the Soviet support. The Soviet leaders made it clear time and again to the United States and the Kuomintang that the Soviet Union , like the United States , would support Chiang Kai-shek in his attempt to unify China and back his National Government.
These international and domestic conditions ushered in a short period of sharp, intricate and complex struggles in Chinese history. During this period, the heart of the China problem was the Political Consultative Conference, and the key to the domestic political devel-opment at the time was the negotiations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party at Chongqing .
On August 28, 1945 , at the cabled invitation of Chiang Kai-shek, Mat Zedong, accompanied by Patrick Hurley and Zhang Zhizhong, flew to Chongqing with Zhou Enlai and Wang Ruofei for negotiations. Mat and Chiang held talks about the great issues of peace and nation-al reconstruction. Representatives of the Chinese Communist Party Zhou Enlai and Wang Ruofei negotiated with representatives of the National Government Wang Shijie, Zhang Qun, Zhang Zhizhong and Shao Lizi for 40 days, and on October 10 signed the “Summary of Conversations Between the Government and Representatives of the Chinese Communist Party,” also known as the “October 10th Agree- ment.” The chief result of the negotiations was the Kuomintang’s acceptance of the basic policy of peace and national reconstruction. The Kuomintang and the Communist Party, the Summary said, “must make joint efforts” to achieve “long-term cooperation on the basis of peace, democracy, solidarity and unity” and “resolutely avoid civil war, build a new China, independent, free, prosperous and powerful, and thoroughly bring the Three People’s Principles into effect.” With this as a prerequisite, the Communist Party would accept the leading position of Chiang Kai-shek. Both sides regarded “democratization of political life, nationalization of troops, and equality and legality of political parties as absolutely essential for achieving peace and nation-al reconstruction.” The Kuomintang should terminate political tutelage, institute constitutionalism and convene the Political Consultative Con-ference to discuss the formula for peace and national reconstruction, and the convocation of the National Assembly.
The problems of nationalization of troops and political power in the liberated areas were the point at issue during the negotiation. Still insisting on “unifying the military command and government admini-stration,” the Kuomintang refused to recognize the legal status of the people’s army and political power in tile liberated areas. On the prob-lem of troops, the Communist Party proposed reducing the anti- Japanese forces under its command to 24 divisions or to a minimum of20 divisions, and withdrawing its troops currently distributed in the south to the liberated areas north of the Longhai Railway and to those in northern Jiangsu and northern Anhui. To this, the Kuomintang did not give a definite answer. On political power in the liberated areas, the formulas proposed by the Communist Party were all refused by the Kuomintang. As for the problems on which no agreement had been reached, both sides agreed that these would be discussed later or sub-mitted to the Political Consultative Conference for solution. The signing of the “October 10th Agreement” was the prerequisite for the convocation of the conference.
During the negotiations between the Kuomintang and Commu-nist Party, civil war was being fought fiercely in some areas. In Sep-tember and October 1945, the Kuomintang troops launched attacks on the people’s forces along the Beiping-Suiyuan and Beiping-Hankou railways, and around the Shangdang area in Shanxi Province . The people’s forces counter-attacked and won the battle. Beginning in November, a popular movement against the civil war broke out in Kuomintang-controlled areas. In order to suppress the movement the National Government manufactured the “December 1 st Massacre.” To a certain extent, the victory of the people’ s forces in the counter-attack and the popular movement against the civil war temporarily contained the Kuomintang’s policy in this connection. In December the foreign ministers of the Sox;iet Union , the United States and Britain met in Moscow and reaffirmed their China policy. These factors made pos-sible the convocation of the Political Consultative Conference.The Political Consultative Conference was held at Chongqing from January 10 to 31, 1940 . Attending the conference were 38 repre-sentatives from five quarters: eight from the Kuomintang including Sun Ke (Sun Fo), Wu Tiecheng and Chen Bulei; seven from the Communist Party including Zhou Enlai, Dong Biwu and Wang Ruofei; five from the Youth Party including Zeng Qi and Chen Qitian; nine from the China Democratic League including Zhang Lan, Luo Longji, Zhang Bojun and Shen Junru; and nine public personages including Guo Moruo, Wang Yunwu, and Fu Sinian. Chiang Kai-shek convened the conference and was its natural chairman. In practice the five sides attending the conference represented three political forces. The proc- ess of the meeting was a process of sharp, complicated trial of strength among the three political forces, three positions concerning state pow-er and three roads for China to take. During the struggle, the Commu-nist Party and the middle forces joined hands to oppose the Kuomin-tang’s fascist dictatorship. Heated debates were centred around five problems government reorganization, an administrative programme, the army, the National Assembly and the draft constitution.
On the government reorganization, the Kuomintang proposed”expanding the organization of the government,” and refused to reor-ganize it. The Kuomintang’s specific proposals were that the number of National Government Councillors be increased; the appointment of National Government Councillors be approved by the Kuomintnag Central Executive Committee upon the nomination of the chairman; members of the Kuomintang make up “a specified majority” of the National Government Councillors; the National Government Council have no power of appointments to government posts; and the chair-man of the National Government be vested with emergency powers. The Communist Party took the position that it accepted the position of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang as head party, but that the gov-ernment must be reorganized; that the reorganized government must have a common programme; that the National Government Council should have the power of appointing persons for office; that the num-ber of Kuomintang members in the government should not exceed the limit of one-third; that the choice of National Government Councillors should not be approved by the Kuomintang Central Executive Com-mittee; and that governing by personal decree should be avoided.
The representatives of the China Democratic League put forward three major points on government reorganization: there must be a common programme; the decision-making bodies must be truly capa-ble of making deeigiong; and the executive organg mugt be truly capa-ble of applying the decisions.
After debate and consultation the “‘Organic Law of the National Government” was passed. It provided that the National Government Council was the supreme government organ in charge of state affairs, with powers to discuss and decide legislative principles, administra-tive policies and major military and administrative measures, financial plans and the budget as well as appoint and remove ministers of the state and appoint members of the Legislative Yuan; that half of the 40 National Government Councillors should be Kuomintang members; and that it required more than two-thirds of the councillors to pass an important motion. This in the main negated the Kuomintang proposals and embodied the demands of the Communist Party as well as democ-rates and democratic parties.
The problem of the army was the main point of contention at the conference. The Kuomintang adhered to the set principle of “unifying the military command and government administration,” maintaining that the “nationalization of troops” must be calxied out. The Youth Party stressed that “the nationalization of troops is the precondition for democratization of political life,” going along with the Kuomintang. The Democratic League proposed that “all the troops throughout the country should be immediately dissociated from political parties and put under the control of the state.” The Communist Party rejected the idea that “only by nationalizing the troops first can the democratization of political life be realized.” It held that these two must be carried out simultaneously, and that the purpose of nationalizing troops was to make them troops of the people. Through debates an agreement was reached, though with difficulty. Principled provisions were adopted, such as “the armed forces belong to the state … military power shall be separated from political parties … military authority shall be separated from civil authority … [and] the army shall be placed under the control of the government.” However, no practical problems were solved.
The Kuomintang insisted that the delegates elected. to the National Assembly in 1936 remain in office and that “a rational number of delegates be added,” nearly half nominated by the Kuomintang. This proposal met with strong opposition from the representatives of the Communist Party, Democratic League and nonparty progressives. The agreement finally reached provicded that the number of delegates to the National Assembly should be 2,050, including an additional 150 from Taiwan and the northeast, and 700 from various parties and from among public figures, The provision that “the adoption of a constitution shall require the approval of three quarters of the delegates present” basically foiled the Kuomintang’s attempt to control the National Assembly.
The Kuomintang insisted that the May 5th Draft Constitution formulated in 1936 remain valid. This, again, met with strong opposition from most representatives, who called for principled revision of the constitution. The Communist Party set forth four principles for working out a constitution: The constitution should protect, not restrict, the rights of the people; the powers of a provincial govemment in relation to those of the central government should be defined according to the principle of a fair distribution of power; the province should be a unit of local self-government, the provincial govemor should be elected by the people, and the province should have a provincial constitution; and the constitution should explicitly lay down democratic policies in military, cultural, educational and economic fields.
After debate, decisions were made regarding the principles for revising the “May 5th Constitution.” These were that “the Legislative Yuan is the highest legislative body of the state [whose] functions and powers are equivalent to those of the parliament of a democratic country … the Executive Yuan is the highest executive organ of the state, responsible and accountable to the Legislative Yuan … the province shall be the highest unit of local self-govemment … [and] the provincial governor shall be elected by the people.” These laid down a political system of parliament, cabinet and provincial self-government, denying the one-party dictatorship of the Kuomintang.
The “Programme for Peace and National Reconstruction” on the basis of the “Draft Programme for Peace and National Reconstruction” put forward by the Communist Party was formally adopted as the “administrative yardstick” before a constitutional government was established.
The Political Consultative Conference was a special episode in Chinese political history. The common struggle of the Communist Party, democrats and democratic parties and efforts of the democratic elements in the Kuomintang resulted in the adoption by the conference of some agreements that were favourable to peace, democracy and the people. The conference decided to put into effect a political system of parliament, cabinet and provincial self-government a negation of the Kuomintang’s one-party dictatorship and Chiang Kai-shek’s personal autocratic rule. Thanks to these achievements and the solution of problems through consultation, the conference had a great bearing on the political life in China .
The Political Consultative Conference was held against the will of the Kuomintang ruling clique. The implementation of the agreements would mean the denial of the Kuomintang fascist dictatorship. It was natural, therefore, that the conference and its agreements would meet with strong opposition from the deep-rooted reactionary force within the Kuomintnag. During and after the conference, Kuomintang secret agents and hooligans repeatedly disrupted public lectures held at Cangbaitang Hall, beating and wounding speakers Guo Moruo and Zhang Dongsun, both delegates to the Political Consultative Conference. The military police of the National Government unlawfully searched the residence of another delegate Huang Yanpei. Kuomin-tang secret agents and hooligans engineered the “Bloody Incident of Jiaochangkuo,” attacking and wounding more than 60 people including Li Gongpu, Guo Moruo, Zhang Naiqi, Shi Fuliang and Ma Yinchu. Beginning February 22, 1946 , the Kuomintang stage-managed a series of anti-Soviet, anti-Communist demonstrations in Chongqing and some other major cities. These atrocities and demonstrations were aimed at sabotaging the ongoing Political Consultative Conference and the political atmosphere of peace and democracy that appeared after the close of the conference.
From March 1 to 17 in Chongqing the Kuomintang called the Second Plenary Session of its Sixth Central Executive Committee, at which fascist elements frenziedly opposed the agreements of the Political Consultative Conference, especially the agreement on the draft constitution. Chiang Kai-shek declared that since some points contained in the principles for revising the draft constitution “contravene the spirit of the five-power constitution … efforts must be made to remedy the situation.” The meeting passed a “Resolution on the PCC Report,” setting forth five principles for revising the draft constitution:
(1) The constitution should be formulated on the basis of the Programme of National Reconstruction;
(2) The National Assembly should be a visible organization and exercise its functions and powers through convocation of meetings;
(3) The Legislative Yuan should not be vested with the power of approval and no-confidence over the Executive Yuan;
(4) The Control Yuan should not be vested with the power of approval; and
(5) It was unnecessary for a province to draft its own constitution.
This session also decided that the Central Political Council of the Kuomintang “direct” the work of the National Government; and that the National Government Councillors chosen by various parties from their members should be appointed by the Standing Committee of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee. These points continued the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship, and utterly repudiated the principles of democratic constitutionalism decided upon at the Politi-cal Consultative Conference. These actions by the KMT made it im-possible to solve the problem of national reconstruction by peaceful democratic means and a civil war became inevitable.
The Outbreak of All-out Civil War. Radical Turn in Military and Political Situation in China
In the first half of 1946, the Kuomintang, while trampling on the PCC agreements, stepped up its preparations for an all-out civil war. It moved 210 brigades, or some 1.3 million men, to the civil war fronts, and seized 40 county towns in the liberated areas. In the northeast it pursued a policy of “taking over by military force.” In defiance of the agreement reached by the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, Du Yuming’s forces marched west from Jinzhou to attack Rehe, and reached Chifeng and Chengde. The strategic intention of the action was to cut off the link between the two liberated areas: north and northeast China . With U.S. support, the Kuomintang transported five corps, including the New First and New Sixth corps, from Shanghai , Guangzhou and Viet Nam to the northeast to fight the civil war. In May the Chiang troops invaded and occupied Siping, Changchun and Yongji, and advanced north to the southem bank of the Songhua River . Before the outbreak of an all-out civil war, a situation was already created with small-scale fighting south of the Great Wall and large-scale fighting north of it.
On June 26, 1946 , more than 300, 000 Kuomintang troops launched a massive attack on the Central Plains Liberated Area. This marked the beginning of a nationwide civil war, and also the begin-ning of a strategic offensive on the liberated areas by the Kuomintang force. On August 10, George Marshall and Leighton Stuart issued a joint statement, declaring that their “mediation” had been a failure. Immediately after the attack against the Central Plains Liberated Area, the Kuomintang employed 58 brigades totalling 460,000 men under Xue Yue and Wu Qiwei of the Pacification Headquarters in Xuzhou to attack the Jiangsu, Anhui and Shandong liberated areas; 28 brigades totalling 240,000 men under Liu Zhi of the Zhengzhou Pacification Headquarters and under the Xuzhou Pacification Headquarters to at-tack the Hebei-Shandong-Henan Liberated Area; 18 brigades totalling160, 000 men under Sun Lianzhong, governor of Hebei Province, and Fu Zuoyi to attack the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Liberated Areas; 20 bri-gades totalling 90,000 men under Yan Xishan, a portion of the troops under Fu Zuoyi and another portion under Hu Zongnan to attack the Shanxi-Suiyuan Liberated Area; 19 brigades totalling 150,000 men under Hu Zongnan to attack the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Re-gion; and nine brigades totalling more than 70,000 men to attack the guerrilla areas in Guangdong and the Qiongya Liberated Area in Hainan Island.
In early August, seven Kuomintang airplanes bombed Yan’ an. In October, Du Yuming’s 16 brigades, with 160,000 men, launched a fresh attack against the Northeast Liberated Area. From July to Octo-ber, Chiang Kai-shek employed 193 brigades, or some 1.6 million men, to mount an all-out offensive against the liberated areas; they constituted 80 percent of his total regular troops (248 brigades, or 2 million men). On October 11, the Kuomintang troops seized Zhangjia- kou, reaching the peak of the offensive, and bringing the total number of occupied cities in the liberated areas to 153. Chen Cheng, Chief of General Staff of the Kuomintang’s Ministry of Defence, bragged at a news conference at Beiping that the fighting with the Communist-led forces “can be settled within three or at most five months.”
In order to resume or establish reactionary rule in the occupied liberated areas, the Kuomintang officially set up, in October, the Gov-ernment Administration Committee for the Pacification Regions, with Song Ziwen (T. V. Soong) and Bai Chongxi as director and vicedirector. The committee divided these liberated areas and areas in the vicinity into 15 pacification regions and formulated the “Administra-tive Programme for the Pacification Regions” and “Procedures for Handling Land Problems.” Wherever the Chiang troops went, they were followed by the Kuomintang hacks, secret agents, fugitive land- lords and their “home-coming legions.” In the occupied areas, the Kuomintang set up its party organizations, and instituted the Bao-Jia system (by which families were grouped in units which were held jointly responsible for any “unlawful” act), seized the land distributed to the peasants and slaughtered the revolutionary masses. Chiang Kai-shek attempted to consolidate the occupied areas by coordinating ad- ministration with military operations.
The Chinese Communist Party had long been prepared for the outbreak of an all-out civil war. When the negotiations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party and the Political Consultative Conference were in progress, large-scale movements for the reduction of rent and interest and the development of production were initiated to consolidate the liberated areas. A movement to train troops was developed, and artillery and engineer corps were established and ex-panded. In the “Directive on Question of Account-Settling, Rent-Reduction and Land” issued on May 4, 1946 , the Party Central Corn- mittee decided to change the land policy in the period of the War of Resistance, that is, to change from the reduction of rent and interest to confiscation of the land of the landlords for distribution among the peasants. This change marked the deep-going development of the democratic revolution.
After Japan ‘s surrender, the Communist Party set the strategic policy of “expanding in the north and defending in the south,” and sent large number of cadres and troops to the northeast. In the struggle to clean out bandits, liquidate the remaining enemy and puppet forces, settle accounts with traitors, reduce rent and interest, carry out land reform and support the war for self-defence, vast base areas were gradually built in the northeast, with the people’s powers set up on the basis of the united front. The building of the Northeast Liberated Area played a tremendous role in the liberation of the whole country in1949.
At the time when the Chiang Kai-shek clique unleashed the all- out civil war, it had a total armed force of 4,300,000, with regular troops numbering some 2,000,000, controlled areas with a population of over 300 million, had taken over the military equipment from one million Japanese troops that had surrendered, and had obtained a large amount of military and economic aid from the United States. The People’s Liberation Army had just over 1,200,000, of which the regular forces numbered 610,000. They were backwardly equipped and short of weapons; and the liberated areas had a population of just over 100 million. To counter the strategic offensive of the superior enemy forces, the Military Commission of the CPC Central Commit-tee defined a correct operational principle the principle of concen-trating a superior force to wipe out the enemy forces one by one. The concentration of the forces for mobile warfare should be primary, and the dispersal of the forces for guerrilla warfare should be supplemen-tary. The principle was aimed chiefly at annihilating the enemy’s ef-fective strength, not at holding or seizing a place. It was permissible to abandon certain cities or places to lure the enemy troops in deep. The next step was to concentrate a superior force and select one of the enemy’s weak or isolated parts to destroy its forces one by one in mobile warfare.
After the Chiang troops started an offensive on the Central Plains Liberated Area, the Liberation Army there commanded by Li Xian-nian and Zheng Weisan broke through the enemy’s encirclement for a strategic shift. In July and August, the East China People’s Liberation Army under Chen Yi, Su Yu and Tan Zhenlin wiped out over 50,000 enemy troops in the Central-Jiangsu Campaign, and eight enemy bir-gades in the Subei area and southern Shandong . In February 1947, the army evacuated Linyi on its own initiative and marched northward. In the Laiwu area it annihilated 50,000 enemy troops at one fell swoop. The Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Liberation Army under Liu Bo-cheng and Deng Xiaoping attacked the Longhai Railway. In the ensu- ing Dingtao, Juancheng, Huaxian, Jujintai and southwestern Shanxi campaigns, they wiped out 70,000 enemy troops. The Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Liberation Army under Nie Rongzhen and Xiao Ke engaged the enemy advancing from the east and west to invade Zhangjiakou in September and October. After wiping out 20,000 enemy troops, they withdrew from the city to strike at the enemy in the Baoding sector. The Shanxi-Suiyuan Liberation Army under He Long and Li Jingquan, with the coordination of the Shanxi-Qahar-Hebei Liberation Army, wiped out 8,000 enemy troops in northern Shanxi . The Northeast Lib- eration Army under Lin Biao (1907-1971) and Luo Ronghuan (1902-1963) annihilated the enemy’s whole 25th Division in the Xinkailing region in south Liaoning . Between February 1946 and April 1947 they crossed the Songhua River to attack enemy positions to the south on three occasions, and held the Linjiang region by repulsing four enemy attacks. In these battles they wiped out 50,000 enemy troops and brought the enemy’s offensive in the northeast to an end.
During eight months of fighting, the People’s Liberation Army abandoned 105 towns and several areas, but wiped out 65 enemy bri-gades, or 710,000 men. The Chiang Kai-shek troops’ occupation of many towns and places in liberated areas resulted in the annihilation of his men in large numbers, an extended battle line, the dispersion of forces, and a great reduction of reserve striking units. Consequently, beginning from March 1947, he had to change the policy of an all-out offensive into one of concentrating attacks on key points in the Shan-dong and Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia liberated areas.
In April 1947, Chiang’s troops began their offensive against the Shandong Liberated Area. He moved 60 brigades, or some 450,000 men, to advance northward from the Linyi-Tai’an line. From late April to mid-May the East China Liberation Army first wiped out the en-emy’s Reorganized 72rid Division at Tai’an, and then the Reorganized74th Division, one of the enemy’s main forces, at one swoop in the Menglianggu sector. The enemy lost altogether 56,000 troops in the two battles. The Menglianggu battle was a decisive one in smashing the enemy’s concentrated attacks on key points in the Shandong Lib-erated Area. Soon afterwards, Chiang concentrated 32 brigades, or240, 000 men, to attack the Yimeng Mountain region. The Liberation Army, while employing part of its forces for head-on resistance, sent its main force to attack the enemy’s rear area, which compelled part of the Chiang troops to retreat westward from central Shandong . In March 1947, the Kuomintang massed 25 brigades, or more than200, 000 men, to attack the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Liberated Area in an attempt to capture Yan’an and smash the leading centre of the Communist Party. The Party Central Committee withdrew from Yan’an on March 19, but continued to remain in northern Shaanxi to direct the War of Liberation throughout the country and in the north-west. The Northwest Liberation Army under Peng Dehuai, which had less than 30,000 men, flexibly seized every opportunity for wiping out the enemy in accordance with the principle of “luring the enemy in deep.” Within five months, they annihilated more than 30,000 enemy troops in the battles of Qinghuabian, Yangmahe, Panlong and Sha-jiadian and frustrated Chiang’s troops’ attacks against key sectors. In the meantime, the Liberation Army in other theatres launched partial counter-offensives.
In a year of fighting, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army wiped out 1,120,000 enemy troops, and beat back their all-out offen-sive and attacks against key sectors. The total stregnth of Chiang’s army was reduced from 4,300,000 to 3,700,000, with only around 40 reserve brigades. The People’s Liberation Army lost 358,000 men. Its total number, however, grew from 1,200,000 to 1,950,000, its equip-ment was much improved and its fighting capacity much strengthened. This brought about a radical change in the war. From then on, the Liberation Army shifted from strategic defensive to strategic offensive, while the Kuomintang army was forced to switch from strategic offen-sive to strategic defensive.
The unleashing of a large-scale civil war by the National Gov-ernment deepened its dependence on the United States . And the latter also needed to sell its commodities in China . Actuated by their com-mon requirements, the foreign minister of the National Government and the U.S. ambassador to China concluded “The Sino- U.S. Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” in November 1946 in Nanjing . The unequal and aggressive content and nature of the treaty was cov-ered with phrases of “friendship” and took the form of “equality” and “mutual benefit.” It was a treaty by which the United States enslaved China and the National Government sold out China ‘s sovereignty and interests. It provided that U.S. nationals should enjoy in “the whole extent of … the territories” of China the rights to reside, travel, carry on commercial, manufacturing, processing, scientific, educational, religious and “philanthropic” activities, explore and exploit mineral resources, and hold, construct and lease land and building; that U.S. “legal persons and organizations” in China should be accorded the same treatment as Chinese; that in respect of taxation, sale, distribu-tion and use in China, U.S. commodities should be accorded treatment no less favourable than that accorded to the commodities of any third country or to Chinese commodities; that “no prohibition or restriction shall be imposed” by China on the importation from the United States of any article grown, produced or manufactured in the U.S., or on the exportation to the United States of any Chinese article. It also provid-ed that U.S. vessels should have the freedom of sailing in any of the open ports, places or waters in China . After the conclusion of the treaty, Chiang Kai-shek’s ambassador to the United States openly stated that “the entire territory of China is open to U.S. merchants.” This treaty, just as the public opinion of the time put it, was a “new unequal treaty of national betrayal and unilateral benefit which is ab-solutely unfavourable to China .” The Sino-U.S. Treaty of Commerce met with opposition from the entire Chinese people.
After the Kuomintang tore up the PCC agreements and launched the all-out civil war, with a view to decking its reactionary rule out in legal and democratic finery and currying favour with the United States for more aid, it quickened its pace to “frame a constitution.” On July 3,1946 , the Supreme Defence Committee of the National Government decided to convene the National Assembly on November 12 that year. On October 12, the day after Chiang’s troops seized Zhangjiakou , the date for convocation was officially announced. With the exception of a small number of representatives of the Youth Party and the Democ-ratic Socialist Party and certain “public figures,” all the participants were Kuomintang members. The Assembly was set the task of for-mulating a constitution, and so it was also known as “Constitution- formulation National Assembly.” It came to a close after adopting the “Constitution of the Republic of China.” On New Year’s Day of 1947, the National Government promulgated the constitution and announced that it would go into effect on December 25. The constitution copied some phrases about freedom and democracy from bourgeois constitu-tions, but in essence, it could be traced to the same origin as the “Pro-visional Constitution of the Political Tutelage Period.” Its basic fea-ture was that it affirmed in the form of fundamental law the state sys-tem of Chiang Kai-shek’ s dictatorial rule.
The holding of the National Assembly and the formulating of the Constitution were in direct contravention of the PCC agreements and the procedures for the establishment of democratic rule as provided in them. Therefore, the Communist Party deemed the Assembly illegal and refused to participate. On November 19, the CPC delegation headed by Zhou Enlai left Nanjing and Shanghai for Yan’an. Repre- sentatives of the Democratic League, and non-party democrats and democratic elements within the Kuomintang also refused to participate. To uphold its correct stand, the Democratic League decided to expel the Democratic Socialist Party, which had attended the National As-sembly, from the league.
Immediately after the convening of the National Assembly, the Kuomintang began to ¡°reorganized the government. ¡±At a joint meetin of the Supreme Defence Committee and the Standing Committee of the Kuonimtnag Centrl Executive Committee held in April 1947, Chiang Kai-shek appointed the National Government Councillors and the presidents of the five Yuans. He himself took up the post of chair- man of the National Government, and Sun Ke the vice-chairman’s post. Zhang Qun was president of the Executive Yuan; Sun Ke, presi-dent of the Legislative Yuan; Ju Zheng, president of the Judicial Yuan; Yu Youren, president of the Control Yuan; and Dai Chuanxian, presi-dent of the Examination Yuan. Of the 29 National Government Coun- cillors, 17 were Kuomintang members, four Youth Party members, four Democratic Socialist Party members, and four “public person-ages.” On April 23 the reorganized “National Government” was offi-cially formed. The Kuomintang described it as a “multi-party govern-ment” conforming to democratic principles, and that “the Kuomintang has fulfilled its promise of handing state power back to the people.” This government, with only several members of other parties and a few pro-Chiang “public figures” participating, was in practice a dic-tatorial government controlled by one person, Chiang Kai-shek, and one party, the Kuomintang. Like its predecessor, this government was anti-popular in nature.
After the outbreak of the all-out civil war, a large-scale people’s democratic movement erupted in the Kuornintang-controlled areas and was subjected to suppression. In mid-July 1946, the Kuornintang se-cret agents assassinated within one week responsible members of the Democratic League Li Gongpu (1902-1946) and Wen Yiduo, (1899-1946), who were deeply interested in the democratic movement against civil war and dictatorship. The murder case shocked the coun-try and the world. In December 1946, a female student of Beijing University was raped by U.S. soldiers in Beiping, which triggered off a nationwide movement in protest against their outrageous acts. In May 1947, another nationwide student movement was unfolding un- der the slogan of “food, peace, freedom” or “against hunger, against civil war, against persecution.” On May 20, when students from Nan-jing, Shanghai and Hangzhou petitioned at Nanjing , they were beaten by the Kuomintang soliders, policemen and secret agents and many were arrested or wounded.
The poverty-stricken people in many cities, who were suffering from hunger because of soaring grain prices, rose to seize rice in the spring of 1947. On February 28, 1947 , the people of Taiwan Province launched a large-scale uprising against the Kuomintang’s fascist rule, and were brutally suppressed. From the time when the Kuomintang began to violate the PCC agreements up to the latter half of 1947, a people’s democratic movement, developed in the Kuomintang-controlled areas. Students were the driving force behind the movement, and people from all walks of life took part. This, apart from the armed struggle, formed the second battle front in the struggle of the Chinese people against Chiang Kai-shek. In coordination with the victorious operations of the People’s Liberation Army, the movement dealt heavy blows to the Kuomintang reactionary regime. As a result, the Kuomintang government was besieged by the whole people¡ªan im-portant indication that a radical change would take place in China very soon.
The unleashing of an all-out civil war indicate Chiang Kai-shek’s determination to remain reactionary to the end. He thoroughly cut off the ties between the Kuomintnag and the Communist Party which had been maintained for a decade. In February 1947, the Kuomintang forced the representatives and personnel of the Communist Party sta- tioned in Nanjing , Shanghai and Chongqing for negotiations to leave within a limited time. In March they all returned to Yan’an. At the Third Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang, Chiang Kai-shek said that a “political settlement” had become “hopeless,” proclaiming the Kuomintang’s break with the Communist Party. On June 25, the Supreme Court’s Procuratorial Office ordered Mao Zedong to be put on the wanted list. Thus the Kuomintang reactionaries totally severed its relations with the Com-munist Party and disrupted domestic unity, and went a step further on the road to self-destruction.
Owing to the Kuomintang’s series of actions launching an all-out civil war, tearing up the PCC agreements, convening the illegal National Assembly and closing the door to peace negotiations, the hope of establishing a bourgeois republic cherished by democratic parties was getting slimmer and slimmer, a hope which had been high while the PCC was in progress. Those taking the middle road were pushed step by step down a blind alley. They were compelled to rise in struggle as a result of the pressure imposed by the Kuomintang: Be-cause of their miscalculation of the situation and the rejection of peo-pie’s democracy by those advocating old-style democracy, certain political parties and individuals assiduously spread the middle-of-the- road line and other bourgeois ideas to swell their ranks and put the line into practice. Their basic position was to achieve reconciliation be-tween the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, and maintain close relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union . The China Democratic League repeatedly indicated that as a third party, it would “continue to do its utmost to mediate the armed strife between par-ties.”
The most active advocate of the middle-of-the-road political line was Shi Fuliang (1898-1970), one of the leaders of the Democratic National Construction Association. He defined this political line as establishing a democratic govemment of the Anglo-American type and developing national capitalism. Politically, he opposed one-party or one-class dictatorship of any type. Supporters of this line, he said, stood for peaceful and reformist action, rather than violent, revolu-tionary action. It seemed to him that “the present political situation is that the Kuomintang cannot eradicate the Communist Party by mili-tary force, nor can the Communist Party overthrow the Kuomintang by military force; moreover, the intemational situation does not allow the existence of a totally Right Kuomintang regime, nor a totally Left Communist government. Under these objective conditions, the only possible correct road is to resume the middle-of-the-road line of the PCC.” For this reason, he argued, it was necessary to form a “power-ful middle-of-the-road group … occupying a decisive position” be-tween Kuomintang and the Communist Party.
Just when this group was going around spreading its ideas, the Kuomintang government had decided to thoroughly suppress it, first making an example of the China Democratic League. In May 1947 the Kuomintang Central News Agency published a fake document, “The Line and Programme of the Chinese Communist Party for Under-ground Struggle,” and a statement by a certain political observer. This statement claimed that “in fact, the China Democratic League and its incarnations–the Democratic National Construction Association, the Association for Promoting Democracy, the Association of Comrades in Three People’s Principles have been taken over by the Chinese Communist Party, and act in compliance with its wishes.” This signi-fied that the democratic parties were about to come under attack. In October the National Government’s Ministry of Internal Affairs de-clared the Democratic League an “illegal organization.” The League now was forced to issue a proclamation in the name of its Chairman, Zhang Lan, declaring that all its members would cease their political activities and the headquarters of the China Democratic League would be dissolved. Other democratic parties that had not been compelled to declare their disbandment, also lost freedom of public activities. The forced disbandment of the China Democratic League indicated that the National Government which had flaunted the banner of constitu-tional government, would not allow the existence of freedom and de-mocracy, even of the bourgeois type. The disbandment of the China Democratic League announced the total defeat of the “third-big-party movement” and the complete bankruptcy, of the middle road.
One year after the civil war began, a great change took place in the relative strength between Chiang Kai-shek’s troops and the Peo- ple’s Liberation Army. The military posture became highly unfavour- able to Chiang’s troops. As a result of concentrated offensives, his main forces were massed at the eastern and western flanks, leaving the centre and rear weakly defended. This provided objective conditions for the People’s Liberation Army to apply the strategy of breaking through the centre and advancing to the enemy’s rear. The People’s Liberation Army seized the opportunity and went over to strategic offensive. Selecting the Central Plains region as the point to effect a breakthrough, it directed its spearhead against the Dabie mountain area–the most sensitive area in the Kuomintang’s strategy, but with weak forces. In order to start a strategic offensive, the CPC Central Committee drew up a plan of “coordination among three armies” and “pinning down the enemy at both flanks.”
Coordination among three armies meant that main force of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Liberation Army led by Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping would effect a breakthrough in the centre and push towards the Dabie Mountains; the main force of the East China Liberation Army led by Chen Yi and Su Yu would sweep into the Jiangsu-Shandong-Henan-Anhui region as a force at the left rear; and the Taiyue Army led by Chen Geng and Xie Fuzhi, as a force at the right rear, would thrust into western Henan from southern Shanxi. The three armies, deployed in a triangular battle formation between the Yangtze, Hanshui and Yellow rivers, would fight in coordination.
Pinning down the enemy at both flanks meant that Northwest Liberation Army would attack Yulin in northern Shaanxi to lure Hu Zhongnan’s troops into going north; the Shandong Liberation Army would start an offensive in eastern Shandong to keep luring Chiang’s troops in Shandong towards the sea to facilitate the actions of the three armies.
On June 30, 1947 , the strategic offensive began, as the main force of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Field Army crossed the Yellow River from the Zhangqiuzhen-Linpuji sector and advanced to southwestern Shandong . Early in August, after the southwestern Shandong battle, the field army marched south along three routes, traversed the Yellow River flood plain, crossed the Shahe, Ruhe and Huaihe rivers and entered the Dabie Mountains in late August, without meeting with any forceful resistance throughout its march. By the end of October, after two months of fighting, it had established 33 county-level state powers, and got a firm foothold. On August 22, the Taiyue force of the Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan Field Army crossed the Yellow River from the Pinglu-Yuxian sector and thrust into western Henan . Soon afterwards it liberated Shanxian, Lingbao, Wenxiang and Lushi to threaten Xi’an . By the end of November, it had built the Henan-Shaanxi-Hubei base area.
In September the exterior-line corps of the East China Field Army swept into southwestern Shandong and crossed the Longhai Railway to advance southward into Henan , Anhui and Jiangsu . By the end of October, it had liberated the vast area west of Hongze Lake , east of the Beiping-Hankou Railway and north of the Huaihe River . At the end of December, the three armies joined forces at the Suiping-Xiping sector in southern Henan , linking up three new liberated ar-eas Hubei-Henan-Anhui , Henan – Anhui – Jiangsu and western He- nan—into one contiguous territory. Meanwhile, the armies also switched from each fighting in its own way to fighting in direct coor-dination. While battling against the Kuomintang troops in the Central Plains, the People’s Liberation Army in other theatres of war also went over to fighting on exterior lines or counter-offensive on interior lines. The offensives in all these theatres constituted a general, coun-trywide strategic offensive in the People’ s War of Liberation.
After six months’ fighting, the People’s Liberation Army had an-nihilated 750,000 enemy troops. At the end of 1947, the war was no longer being fought chiefly in the liberated areas but in the Kuomin-tang-controlled areas. Chiang Kai-shek’s army, which had lost practi-cally all its reserve forces, was completely on the defensive. This sent the Kuomintang reactionaries down the road to destruction, as the revolution of the Chinese people was approaching final victory. China now came to a tuming point in its history. On October 10, 1947 , the Chinese Communist Party issued the “Manifesto of the Chinese Peo-ple’s Liberation Army,” raising the general slogan “Overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and liberate all China !” This was an important strategic deci-sion during the Chinese People’s War of Liberation.
The manifesto promulgated the basic policies of the Liberation Army, which were also the basic policies of the Chinese Communist Party. These policies included: Overthrowing the dictatorial Chiang Kai-shek government and establishing a democratic coalition govern-ment; confiscating bureaucrat-capital, developing the industry and commerce of the national bourgeoisie and improving the livelihood of workers and employees; abolishing the system of feudal exploitation and putting into effect the system of land to the tillers; recognizing the right to equality and autonomy of the ethnic minorities; and abrogat-ing all treasonable treaties and concluding treaties of trade and friend- ship with foreign countries on the basis of equality and reciprocity. Since the people’s revolution was in full flood, the manifesto pointed out for the entire Chinese people the overall goal of overthrowing the reactionary Kuomintang government and building a new China .
Because of the victories in the war and because the war had been carried into Kuomintang-controlled areas, the Corrtmunist Party seized the opportunity to consolidate and build the liberated areas and de-velop production there. In July-September 1947, the Communist Party called the National Land Conference and drew up the “Outline Land Law of China.” After its promulgation, the land reform movement in the liberated areas developed more extensively. By the end of 1948, land reform in the old and semi-old liberated areas was basically completed. About 100 million peasants in the areas with a population of 150 million had received land. The reform of the land system raised their enthusiasm for revolution and production, providing an impor-tant guarantee of sources of troops, war services and the supply of food and materials needed by the army and people.
In the second half of December 1947, at a tuming point in the revolutionary war, the CPC Central Committee called a meeting to discuss the current situation and revolutionary tasks. It adopted the report “The Present Situation and Our Tasks” made by Mao Zedong, and affirmed the economic and political programmes, policies and principles for overthrowing the reactionary Chiang Kai-shek clique and founding a new China . This report expounded the Communist Party’s economic programme as “confiscate the land of the feudal class and tum it over to the peasants; confiscate the monopoly capital headed by Chiang Kai-shek, Song Ziwen, Kong Xiangxi and Chen Lifu, and turn it over to the new-democratic state; and protect the in-dustry and commerce of the national bourgeoisie.” The principle guiding the national economy was to be identical with the general objective of developing production, promoting economic prosperity, giving consideration to both public and private interests, and benefit-ing both labour and capital. In the political field, the report reaffirmed the fundamental programme for a democratic coalition government composed of workers, peasants, soldiers, intellectuals and business-men, all oppressed classes, all people’s organizations, democratic parties, ethnic minorities, overseas Chinese and other patriots.
The meeting discussed in detail erroneous tendencies current in the Party and specific policies in the land reform and other mass movements. Soon afterwards certain documents were promulgated to correct the mistakes. The guiding thoughts can be summarized as the following points:
(1) It was extremely important to correctly carry out policies and tactics in the revolution. “Policy and tactics are the life of the Party”;
(2) Specific policies could not be separated from the Party’s gen-eral line for the new-democratic revolution, and it was necessary to hold fast to the Party’s general line;
(3) It was necessary to adhere to the correct criterion for class differentiation, i.e., all different relations between the exploiter and the exploited; and
(4) Proper conditions and correct policies were required for a proletarian party to realize its leadership over its allies.
The promulgation of these correct documents practically put right the “Left” errors. As a result, the people’s democratic united front was consolidated and expanded, the Kuomintang reactionaries and other enemies were isolated and the social productive forces protected and developed. These were all indispensable conditions for a total victory in the People’s War of Liberation.
When the army commanded by Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping began to cross the Yellow River, the National Government, with a view to overcoming the crisis, adopted at a state conference held in July 1947 a bill submitted by Chiang Kai-shek, “Strictly Enforce a Countrywide General Mobilization to Suppress the Rebellion of the Communist Bandits, Remove the Obstacles to Democracy, Establish a Constitutional Government as Scheduled, and Carry Out the Principle of Peace and National Reconstruction,” and issued the “Order for General Mobilization.” In the Meantime, Chiang Kai-shek delivered the speech “Suppress the Rebellion and Build the Country.” After that the National Government promulgated the “Programme for Mobiliza-tion to Suppress the Rebellion and Establish a Constitutional Govern-ment.” The consultative councils of various provinces and cities and the so-called people’s organizations sent open telegrams to express their support. The Kuomintang called meetings in many places to enforce the “general mobilization for suppressing the rebellion.” In so doing, one of Chiang Kai-shek’s purposes was to alert his counter- revolutionary ranks to the serious danger of “destruction,” and urged them to put up a struggle with all their strength. Another purpose was to more savagely extort manpower, material and financial resources in the Kuomintang-controlled areas for the war, and more brutally sup-press the people’s democratic movements.
On the order for general mobilization to “suppress the rebellion,” the Kuomintang carried out the so-called total war. From the winter of 1947 to the first half of 1948, the Kuomintang convened numerous the “bandit-suppressing” and “pacification” meetings to study the prob-lems concerning the “total war in the pacification regions,” draw up the “General Plan for a Total War,” the “Programme for a Total War in the Pacification Regions,” and the “Directive for a Total War in the Pacification Regions.” The principle of the “total war” was that “the troops should carry out military, political and economic suppression at the same time; by ‘draining the pond to get all the fish,’ they should cut off the bandit forces’ sources for existence and growth; move or purchase the manpower and materials in the battlefields to achieve as great a degree of centralized control as possible. In this way, wherever they go, the bandits will have nothing to rely on for existence. Both the ‘hook’ and the ‘net’ should be used, luring the enemy into a con-centrated interception by the troops in the pacification regions, local forces and people’s armed forces, who will clean up in separate zones. The national troops can be organized into certain striking corps to encircle and suppress by converging columns, or pursue and suppress with light packs in order to catch the main force of the bandits and wipe them out.” This method, however, did not prove successful for the Kuomintang.
The National Government made new appointments for military commands. Minister of Defence Bai Chongxi, with his headquarters at Jiujiang, took overall charge of military affairs in central China , and directed government administration of Hubei , Henan , Anhui , Jiangxi and Hunan . In December 1947, the Baoding and Zhangjiakou pacifi- cation headquarters were dissolved and the “North China Bandit Sup- pression Headquarters” was set up, with Fu Zuoyi as the commander-in-chief. In May 1948, the Kuomintang Generalissimo’s Headquarters in Beiping was officially dissolved. In August 1947, the Kuomintang’s Peace Preservation Headquarters in the northeast was dissolved, the Generalissimo’s Headquarters there assumed the responsibility for political and military affairs, and Chen Cheng was appointed its di-rector. In January 1948 Wei Lihuang was appointed deputy director and concurrently the commander-in-chief of the Northeast “Bandit Suppression” Headquarters. But all this failed to save the Kuomintang troops from their continuous defeats.
In the summer of 1947, though battlefield superiority was still on the Kuomintang side, unfavourable and even critical situations already appeared in the military, political, and economic fields. In his telegram sent to Chiang Kai-shek in June, Hu Zongnan said, “At present our forces are almost all in an inferior position. The crisis is deeper than that in the War of Resistance.” The Kuomintang sought American aid to overcome its crisis. Sun Ke, vice-chairman of the National Gov-ernment, made a statement on two occasions in June expressing the hope of obtaining American “assistance and encouragement” in muni-tions, loans and political support, of which the munitions were the most important. However, the Americans were well aware of the cor-ruption of the Kuomintang, and so they were skeptical about the ef- fectiveness of the assistance. The U.S. government sent a mission headed by General Albert C. Wedemeyer to China to make investiga-tions so as to determine the specific way of implementing its China policy. Wedemeyer stayed in China for about a month between July and August and toured Shenyang , Beiping, Tianjin , Qingdao , Nanjing , Shanghai , Hankou, Guangzhou and Taiwan . He spoke to a state con- ference of the National Government and issued a statement before leaving China . In a written report he submitted to President Truman after his return, he said that insensitivity and laziness were a common sight in China , and that the submissive defeatism of many Chinese was discouraging. In order to regain and maintain the confidence of the people, he noted, the central government must immediately carry out thorough and far-reaching political and economic reforms. He pointed out that China ‘s recovery required a leadership with rallying power and a China under the regime of the Communist Party would be detrimental to the interests of the United States . For this reason, he said, it was necessary to aid the National Government. However, he continued, without giving consideration to the fact that there is in Chi-na an unpopular government which oppresses the people, any kind of assistance will get nowhere. Therefore, the American aid plan must be carried out under the supervision of American advisors.
At the suggestion of Wedemeyer, the U.S. government pursued a policy of rendering limited aid to the National Government under the supervision of American advisors. This demonstrated that as the tide of the Chinese revolution was surging and the National Government’s defeat was inescapable, the U.S. policy towards Chiang Kai-shek had fallen into dire straits. In October 1947, the United States decided to give the National Government aid valued at 27 million dollars; in December the U.S. Congress approved “temporary aid” of 18 million dollars. In June 1948 it decided to grant an additional 400 million dollars. The total value of U.S. aid given to the National Government in the form of loans, materials and services after Japanese surrender was 4.34 bilfion dollars.
From March 29 to May 1, 1948 , the Kuomintang convened in Nanjing the “National Assembly” to elect a president and vice-presidents so as to “hand state power back to the people” and establish a constitutional government. On this election, the United States had predicted that “One cannot expect it to produce a government more representative than the present one.” At the time it was impossible to elect anyone other than Chiang Kai-shek as president. Therefore, the United States supported Li Zongren, whose prestige was “getting higher and higher,” in his campaign for the vice-presidency, ready to replace Chiang at an opportune moment. After he politely declined and his supporters “appealed to him to accept” the nomination, Chiang Kai-shek was elected president. As for the nominees for vice-president, Chiang Kai-shek was in favour of Sun Ke and against Li Zongren. After a fierce struggle between the two, Li emerged the victor. In May, Sun Ke and Chen Lifu were elected president and vice-president of the Legislative Yuan respectively. The president and vice-president of the Republic assumed office and Weng Wenhao was appointed presi- dent of the Executive Yuan. Thus the government, allegedly produced according to the constitution, was formed. The “National Assembly” adopted a “Provisional Clause for the Period of Mobilization for Suppressing the Rebellion,” which vested Chiang Kai-shek with the power to take emergency measures. Chiang and the reactionary elements within the Kuomintnag continued to wield power of the National Government.
The National Government’s “suppression of the rebellion” failed to hold back the people’s revolutionary struggles in the Kuomintang areas. In October 1947, the National Government arrested Yu Zisan, chairman of the Student Self-government Union of Zhejiang Univer-sity, and executed him. The students of the university rose in protest with the support of President Zhu Kezhen and other professors. The murder created an upsurge against persecution in all Kuomintang ar-eas. Early in 1948, when workers at the Shanghai Shenxi Textile Mill No. 9 went on strike demanding : that docked wages be paid retroac-tively, they were brutally suppressed by reactionary police and troops. Again, when students of Tongji University in Shanghai staged a strike: in protest against the expelling of progressive students by the school authorities at the instigation of the Kuomintang, troops and policemen were called in to put down the strike. Between May and June a mas-sive patriotic movement broke out in protest against the U.S. fostering of a resurgence of Japanese aggressive forces. In addition to college students and faculty, large numbers of people of various circles also participated. The United States declared that the Chinese who had “benefited” from American relief had no right to oppose American policies, In response, about 100 people including professors Zhu Ziqing, Jin Yuelin, Zhang Xiruo and Wu Han issued a statement re- jecting American “relief materials” and refusing to buy the U.S. relief flour at the government price. The mighty movement against the Unit-ed States’ fostering of the revival of Japanese militarism further iso-lated U.S. imperialism and the Kuomintang reactionaries. From that time, because of the constant victories in the War of Liberation, the people in the Kuomintang areas shifted from large-scale struggle against Chiang Kai-shek to active coordination with the Liberation Army in the liberation of large cities.
The suppression of the China Democratic League and other de-mocratic parties by the National Government promoted a fresh inte-gration of democratic forces, which in turn further consolidated and enlarged the people’s democratic united front. In the winter of 1947, Li Jishen, Cai Tingkai and others of the Kuomintang Association for Promoting Democracy, Tan Pingshan and Cheng Mingshu of the As-sociation of Comrades in Three People’s Principles and Wang Kunlun of the Democratic Revolutionary League, together with the democ-ratic groups and democrats within the Kuomintang, called a joint meeting of the Kuomintang’s democratic groups to form the China Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang. On January 1, 1948 , the Committee issued a manifesto, a programme: for action, and a message to the comrades to officially proclaim the founding of the party. The manifesto dwelt on the Committee’s two great tasks opposition to imperialism and opposition to feudalism, and three great policies “alliance with Russia , toleration towards the Communist Party and as- sistance to the peasants and workers.” “In the present stage of Chinese national democratic revolution,” it explained, “if the Kuomintang of China adheres to the two great tasks and three great policies it will still remain in its leading position in the revolution.” It advocated land to the tillers, called for the overthrow of Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorial regime, urged the formation of a coalition government, and opposed U.S. interference in China ‘s internal affairs.
After the China Democratic League was banned, Shen Junru, Zhang Bojun and Zhou Xinmin secretly went to Hong Kong . Together with some of the members of the League’s Central Committee there, they called its third plenary session in January 1948, at which an emergency statement, a manifesto and a political report were adopted. The session negated the previous statement concerning the “disband-ment of the headquarters” and the “cessation of the League members’ activities.” It made public the League’s new policy: totally smash the reactionary dictatorial government in Nanjing and bring about a democratic, peaceful, independent and united new China . The session criticized the ideas of “neutrality” and “middle-of-the-road,” calling for “close cooperation” with the Chinese Communist Party. Most members of other democratic parties also persisted in the patriotic struggle against Chiang Kai-shek in the Kuomintang areas and Hong Kong . The founding of the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomin-tang and the convocation of the Third Plenary Session of the China Democratic League’s Central Committee signified that the bourgeois democratic movement in China and developed to a new stage.
As the Chinese revolution developed in the first half of 1948, the conditions were ready for the establishment of a nationwide democratic government. In the May Day slogans the CPC Central Committee called on “all democratic parties, people’s organizations, and public figures to quickly convene the Political Consultative Conference to discuss and carry out the convocation of a people’s congress and the formation of a democratic coalition government.” This position won an immediate warm response from the people all over the country. On May 5, in response to the call, leading members of the democratic parties and well-known figures such as Shen Junru, Zhang Bojun, Li Jishen, He Xiangning, Ma Xulun, Chen Qiyou, Peng Zemin, Li Zhangda, Cai Tingkai, Tan Pingshan and Guo Moruo sent open telegrams to compatriots both at home and abroad, appealing to them for concerted efforts in this connection. From that time, the democrats and democratic parties, centered in Hong Kong initiated a movement for the convocation of a new Political Consultative Conference. Beginning in August, a stream of democrats and leaders of the democratic parties left Hong Kong and major cities in the south for the liberated areas in northeast and north China, and together with the Communists, began the preparatory work for the new Political Consultative Conference.
The Downfall of the Nanjing Regime and the Founding of the Pople’s Republic of China
After two years of fighting, a radical change took place in the war. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army grew to 2,800,000 men, of which regular forces numbered 1,490,000. Their military and poli-tical qualities, tactics and fighting skill were greatly improved. The army boasted fairly powerful artillery and engineer corps and mas-tered the tactics for taking strong fortifications. It had organized five powerful field armies Northwest, North China , Central Plains, East China and Northeast. In two years, Chiang’s troops had lost 2,600,000 men, and their total military strength was reduced to 3,650,000, of which 1,980,000 were regular forces. Chiang Kai-shek’s army, though it still had considerable strength, had been strategically split by the Liberation Army into six isolated military groups northeast China , north China , Xuzhou , central China , northwest China and Shanxi . The relative strength and military posture suggested the possibility of a strategically decisive engagement between the Liberation Army and that of Chiang Kai-shek. Reviewing the situation as a whole, the CPC Central Committee and Mao Zedong made a correct assessment, and resolved to wage a strategic decisive battle
As the war situation was changing in favour of the revolution, the Chiang Kai-shek clique started to seek a military way out. At the be-ginning of 1948, within his army, discussions were held about the withdrawal from the northeast, but the problem remained unsolved. Early in August at a military meeting in Nanjing , the National Gov-ernment decided to “defend key points.” As for the northeast, it re- solved “not to abandon Shenyang in principle, but that preparations be made to pull out.” With the Chiang clique unable to make up its mind, the Liaoxi-Shenyang Campaign had got off to a good start.
Between September 16 and 24, 1948, the East China Field Army launched the Jinan Battle. It took the enemy’s heavily fortified city of Jinan , completely wiped out 110,000 garrison troops and captured Wang Yaowu, commander of the Kuomintang Second Pacification Zone and concurrently governor of Shandong Province . This was the prelude to capturing the enemy’s heavily guarded large cities and sur-rounding and annihilating his main force on a large scale.
Between September 12 and November 2, 1948 , the Northeast Field Army commanded by Lin Biao and Luo Ronghuan launched the Liaoxi-Shenyang Campaign with 700,000 men. On September 12, it made a surprise attack on the Jinzhou-Shanhaiguan section of the Beiping-Liaoning Railway to cut off the railroad and encircle Jinzhou . On October 15, it liberated the city, wiped out more than 100,000 enemy troops and captured Fan Hanjie, deputy commander-in-chief of the Kuomintang Northeast “Bandit Suppression” Headquarters. The links between Chiang Kai-shek’s troops in the northeast and those in north China were cut off. Immediately afterwards, part of he enemy forces at Changchun revolted and the rest surrendered. After the lib- eration of Jinzhou and Changchun , Chiang Kai-shek decided to order his troops in Jinxi and Huludao and Liao Yaoxiang’s army in Zhang-wu to advance on Jinzhou from opposite directions in an attempt to recapture the city. On October 26, the Liberation Army succeeded in surrounding Liao’s troops on the move in Heishan-Dahushan sector and the sector to the east. Two days later it completely wiped out the enemy’s 100,000 men there and captured Army Commander Liao Yaoxiang. The Liberation Army followed up this victory with the liberation of Shenyang and Yingkou on November 2, wiping out over 149, 000 enemy troops. In the campaign, which lasted 52 days, a total of more than 470,000 enemy troops were annihilated. The whole of the northeast was thus liberated.
The East China Field Army under Chen Yi, Su Yu and Tan Zhen-lin, the Central Plains Field Army under Liu B ocheng and Deng Xia-oping, and armed forces flom military areas, totalling 600,000 strong, fought the Huai-Hai Campaign from November 6, 1948 to January 10,1949 . On November 6, the East China Field Army launched an attack on Huang B otao’s army, which had fallen back from the East China Sea on the area west of the Grand Canal . The enemy fled west, with the Liberation Army in hot pursuit. On November 8, He Jifeng and Zhang Kexia, deputy commanders of the Kuomintang’s Third Pacifi- cation Zone, revolted with their men, and left the arena. On the llth the Liberation Army surrounded Huang Botao’s army at the Nian-zhuang sector east of Xuzhou . By the 22nd, 100,000 enemy troops were wiped out and the commander Huang Botao was killed in action.
After the the Huai-Hai Campaign broke out, Chiang Kai-shek summoned the army under Huang Wei to reinforce Xuzhou . While marching to the Shuangduizi sector southwest of Suxian, it was encir-cled by the Central Plains Field Army. By December 15, the army was completely annihilated, and Huang Wei, its commander, was captured.
While Huang Wei’s army was being surrounded, C, hiang Kai-shek ordered Du Yuming, deputy commander of the Kuomintang’s “Bandit Suppression” tteadquarters at Xuzhou , to give up the city to reinforce Huang’s army with the three armies under Qiu Qingquan, Li Mi and Sun Yuanliang, and then flee south together. On December 4, the Liberation Army surrounded all three enemy armies at the area northeast of Yongcheng. Sun Yuanliang’s troops attempted to break through, but were completely wiped out. On January 6, 1949 , the East China Field Army launched a fierce attack on Du Yuming’s forces and completely annihilated the two armies under Qiu Qingquan and Li Mi on the 10th. Qiu was killed and Du captured. The campaign lasted 65 days, and a total of 555,000 enemy troops were put out of action. As a result, the regions of east China and the Central Plains north of the Yangtze River were in the main liberated. Nanjing , centre of the Kuomintang regime, became subject to direct threat by the People’s Liberation Army, creating the conditions for the army to advance to the area south of the Yangtze River .
From November 29, 1948 to January 31, 1949 , the Northeast Field Army, totalling 800,000 men, and two armies under Yang Dezhi and Yang Chengwu in north China jointly fought the Beiping-Tianjin Campaign. The Liberation Army began its attack on Zhangjiakou on November 29, and launched a powerful offensive on December 5. By the 20th the enemy troops had been encircled and separated at five points– Zhangjiakou , Xinbao’an, Beiping, Tianjin and Tanggu, which were isolated from each other. On December 22, the enemy troops at Xinbao’an were completely wiped out. On the 24th, 54,000 enemy troops, which had intended to flee Zhangjiakou , were put out of action. On January 14, 1949 , the Liberation Army started a general offensive against Tianjin ‘s enemy troops, which refused to accept peace terms. On the 15th the city was liberated, the garrison of more than 130,000 was completely wiped out, and Chen Changjie, its commander, was captured. On the 16th the enemy troops at Tanggu fled by sea. The following day, the district was liberated. After the fall of Zhangjiakou and Tianjin , the Kuomintang troops at Beiping under Fu Zuoyi were deprived of any possible way out. Therefore, they had to accept the peace terms put forward by the Beiping-Tianjin Front Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army. Beginning from the 22nd, they moved out of the city waiting for reorganization. On the 31 st, the Liberation Army entered Beiping to take it over. On February 3, the Liberation Army held a grand ceremony for marching into the city. The peaceful liberation of China ‘s famous ancient cultural capital brought the Beiping-Tianjin Campaign to a close. In this campaign, a total of520, 000 enemy troops were put out of action or reorganized.
In the three great campaigns–Liaoxi-Shenyang, Huai-Hai and Beiping-Tianjin, which lasted four months and 19 days altogether, a total of over 1,540,000 enemy troops were wiped out. The whole of northeast and north China , except such isolated points as Taiyuan and Datong , were all liberated.
While the Kuomintang militarily suffered fatal blows and found itself politically at a dead end, the finance and economy in the areas under its control also sank into total collapse. Since the later stage of the War of Resistance, the economy there had deteriorated. After the all-out civil war began, the Kuomintang’s treasury was overburdened with the huge military expenditure. In 1948 the financial deficit reached 900,000 billion yuan. In June of that year, the revenue merely accounted for 5 percent of the expenditure. The only way out was to issue bank notes in large amounts. By August 1948, the total amount of Fabi (legal tender) issued by the Kuomintang government had reached 663,690 billion yuan, 470,000 times that issued in June 1937. The exchange rate between Fabi and US dollars was 178,000:1 in January, and 11,088,000:1 in August. The Fabi’s purchasing power dropped drastically, while commodity prices skyrocketed. The price of rice in Shanghai , for example, was 1,500,000 yuan per picul in Janu-ary, and 65 million yuan per picul in August. The value of Fabi dropped to such an extent that it could not balance the paper and printing cost incurred for producing this legal tender. The vicious in-flation, the flood of American goods, the annexation by bureaucrat capital and heavy taxation forced the industrial and commercial enter-prises owned by the national bourgeoisie to cease production or close down. In 1948, the 3,000 large factories in Shanghai were running at only 20 percent capacity. Even normal industrial production and busi- ness operations could not be maintained. With a view to preventing its finance and economy from collapse, the National Government prom-ulgated on August 19, 1948 an emergency order and four remedies:
(1) The gold certificate, of which the total amount issued by the National Government was 2,000 million yuan, was adopted as the standard money. Fabi were to be exchange for gold certificates at the ratio of 3,000,000 yuan: 1 yuan within a limited period;
(2) All the gold, silver and foreign currencies owned by the peo-ple were to be converted within a limited period. These valuables would be confiscated if the holder failed to convert or deposit them within the time limit.
(3) People were required to register any foreign exchange de- posited in a foreign country within a limited period. Those who failed to do so would be punished.
(4) Commodities and services in all places in the country were to be sold for the prices current on August 19, 1948 and converted into gold certificates. This was to be enforced under the strict supervision of the local office in charge. All practices of paying out salaries according to the cost of living index were to be abolished. Workers were forbidden to stage strikes or slowdowns.
These were the socalled monetary reform and price control policy.
The National Government set up management areas in Shanghai , Guangzhou and Tianjin , and appointed Jiang Jingguo, Song Ziwen (T.V. Soong) and Zhang Lisheng economic control inspector or deputy inspector of the three cities respectively. It sent large numbers of spe-cial agents and policemen to set up special criminal courts, resorting to arrest and execution by shooting, to compel people to submit. With the extreme shortage of goods and materials, the “government price level” created by robbing industrialists and businessmen could no longer be maintained. Panic purchasing started in early October and spread rapidly to all the large cities in the Kuomintang areas. In No-vember, the National Government had to repeal the “controlled prices” and rescind the gold certificate’s limited issue amount of 2,000 mil-lion yuan. The gold certificate was devalued at lightning speed as it was printed and issued in large amounts. On April 15, 1949 , its value dropped 40 percent within one day. This meant the certificate had practically become waste paper. Still more appalling was the frenzied soaring of comomdity prices. Taking the general price index for August 1948 as the standard, it rose 25-fold in November, 35-fold in December, and 128-fold in January 1949. The National Government’s attempt to overcome the economic crisis with gold certificates had totally failed. The complete collapse in the economy accelerated the downfall of the National Government. The only gain was its trans-portation to Taiwan of the large quantities of gold, silver and foreign currencies it had plundered.
In the second half of 1948, the situation was so unfavourable to the Chiang Kai-shek government in Nanjing that its fate of utter defeat was sealed. Now the United States ‘ plan to compel Chiang Kai-shek to resign, and support Li Zongren as the initiator of peace negotiations, was out into the open. Under pressure from the United States and the Guangxi clique, Chiang issued a statement on New Year’s Day of 1949 expressing his desire for “peace negotiations” and “retirement.” He alleged that he was willing “to discuss concrete measures to stop the war and restore peace with the Communist Party,” on condition that the constituted authority, the constitution and the armed forces must be preserved; and that he would “retire” if peace was achieved. This peace proposal was sternly rejected by the Communist Party. On January 21, Chiang Kai-shek, under the pretext that he could no more attend to business, went to Xikou in Fenghua, asking Vice-President Li Zongren to act for him.
Li Zongren, after taking up the post as acting president, invited Li Jishen and others to promote the peace movement together, and accepted the peace terms set by the Communist Party as the basis for negotiations. However, Chiang Kai-shek continued to control the gov-ernment, and command the army and special agent system in the ca- pacity of director-general of the Kuomintang. The Propaganda De-partment under the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee issued instructions against peace negotiations. After Sun Ke offered his re-signation as president of the Executive Yuan on March 8, Li Zongren appointed He Yingqin to be his successor. On the 24th of the same month, a peace negotiation delegation of the Nanjing government was formed, consisting of Zhang Zhizhong (1890-1969), Shao Lizi, Huang Shaohong, Zhang Shizhao, Li Zheng and Liu Pei (a later participant). The delegation’s minimum demands in the negotiations were: “on-the- spot ceasefire,” the formation of the Political Consultative Conference and coalition government composed of equal numbers of the Kuo- mintang and Communist Party members, and the realization of “ruling the country by both parties with the Yangtze River as the boundary” and “honourable peace.” During the negotiations the Communists adopted a tolerant attitude to win Li Zongren over but did not agree to his terms for peace. On March 26, the Communist Party sent Zhou Enlai, Lin Boqu, Lin Biao, Ye Jianying, Li Weihan and Nie Rongzhen (a later participant) as delegates to the peace negotiations which would begin on April 1. After repeated discussions, the “Agreement on In-ternal Peace” (final amended version) was reached. According to this agreement, war criminals, officers and men in the Kuomintnag army and the government personnel would be accorded lenient treat-ment. Meanwhile, other problems would also be properly solved. The delegates of the Communist Party declared that the deadline for sign-ing the agreement was April 20. As Li Zongren and He Yingqin re-fused to sign, the People’s Liberation Army began to cross the Yangtze River in the small hours of April 21.
In order to solve a series of important problems facing it, the Seventh CPC Central Committee held its Second Plenary Session in Xibaipo Village, Pingshan County, Hebei Province, from March 5 to13, 1949, on the eve of the countrywide victory of the Chinese peo-ple’s revolution. Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De and Ren Bishi were present. Mao Zedong made a report. The session dis-cussed a number of major problems such as the strategic plan for the final destruction of the Kuomintang regime and the nationwide victory, the shift of the focus of work of the Party, the basic political and economic policies to be adopted, and strengthening the Party ideologi-cally after the victory of the revolution. Previously the centre of grav- ity of the Party’s work was in the village, the session pointed out. The period of “from the city to the village” and of the city leading the vil-lage had now begun. The focus of the Party’s work must be in the cities. It was necessary to learn how to administer and build the cities. Of course, attention had to be given to both city and village, the ses-sion concluded.
In his report, Mao Zedong pointed out the basic problems to be solved in Chinese society after the countrywide victory and the gener-al tasks of developing from new-democracy to socialism. Considering the forms the class struggle would take in future, and the change in the position of the Communist Party, the session gave timely warning to the whole Party against the growth of arrogance, and the airs of self- styled heroes, and the attack of the “sugar-coated bullets” of the bour-geoisie. A salient aspect of the content of the meeting was to analyse China ‘s economic structure and define economic policies and princi-ples. Before this, the Chinese Communist Party had proceeded with wide-ranging economic work. After conscientious studies on economic problems, Zhang Wentian, standing committee member of the Northeast Sub-bureau of the CPC Central Committee, wrote in September 1948 the “Outline of the Economic Structure and the Guidelines in Economic Construction in the Northeast.” This docu-ment, to which the Party Central Committee attached great importance, became the foundation for the analysis of China ‘s economic structure and the formulation of basic economic policies.
In his report, Mao Zedong pointed out that the wide gap between industry, agriculture and handicrafts in proportion to China ‘s entire national economy, or the extreme backwardness in industrial produc-tion, was the basic poim of departure for all questions in China , and that “this gives rise to a series of problems regarding our Party’s strat-egy, tactics and policy.” The sectors of China ‘s economy, the report continued, would include the state-owned economy, cooperative econ-omy, private capitalism, individual economy and state-capitalist econ-omy. These sectors of the economy, which were different in character, and their interrelations would “constitute the new-democratic economic structure.” As for private capitalism, on the one hand, it should be allowed to exist and expand. On the other, it should be sub-ject to restrictions. “Restriction versus opposition to restriction will be the main form of class struggle in the new-democratic state.” These were the guiding ideas for the Common Programme adopted by the Political Consultative Conference convened soon afterwards. After the session, the CPC Central Committee moved from Xibaipo to Beiping and stepped up the preparatory work for the founding of a new China .
A million PLA troops had already been concentrated in the first half of April on the northern bank of the Yangtze River . After the or-der to advance was issued on April 21, the army forced their way ac-ross the river on a front extending more than 500 kilometres from Hukou in the west to Jiangyin in the east. The Seventh and Ninth ar-mies of the Third Field Army marching along the central route first broke through the enemy’s defence line between Anqing and Wuhu, and captured Fanchang and Tongling. The Third, Fourth and Fifth armies of the Second Field Army advancing along the western route broke through the enemy’s Guichi-Hukou line on the afternoon of the21st and seized Dongliu and Pengze. At the same time, the Eighth and10th armies of the Third Field Army along the eastern route broke through the Zhejiang-Jiangyin line to capture both places. Under the leadership of the Communist Party’s underground organization, the officers and men guarding the fortifications of Jiangyin renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang and blockaded the water route in the Yangtze River .
After the successful crossing of the river by the main forces of the Liberation Army, the Kuomintang’s high-ranking officials in Nan- jing fled. On April 23, the Liberation Army marched into Nanjing and planted a red flag on top of Chiang Kai-shek’s presidential palace. The liberation of Nanjing proclaimed the downfall of the Kuomintang regime.
The Nanjing government had broken up before its collapse. On February 5, the Executive Yuan declared of its own accord that it was “moving the government to Guangzhou ” (soon it was moved back). In March, He Yingqin was appointed president of the Executive Yuan to replace Sun Ke. On the morning of April 23, the presidential palace and the Executive Yuan moved to Guangzhou and Acting President Li Zongren fled to Guilin . On June 12, Yan Xishan served as president of the Executive Yuan and Zhu Jiahua as vice-president. On July 16, Chiang Kai-shek organized the Kuomintang’s Extraordinary Com-mittee at Guangzhou as the highest decision-making organ of the Kuomintang’s renmant forces. Chiang was its chairman, and the members included Yan Xishan, He Yingqin, Zhang Qun, Sun Ke and Chen Lifu. This arrangement was designed to move Chiang Kai-shek from a wire puller to a commander on the stage. This was soon fol-lowed by the setting up of a branch committee at Taibei headed by Chen Cheng. After the liberation of Guangzhou , the Kuomintang gov-ernment fled to Chongqing , and then to Taiwan .
Following the liberation of Nanjing , the main forces of the PLA thrust south along several routes to pursue the enemy. On May 3, they lbierated Hangzhou and put the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Railway under their control. In mid-May, the Liberation Army crossed the Yangtze River from the Tuanfeng-Wuxue sector and liberated Hankou, Hanyang, and Wuchang, three important cities in central China . On the 22nd, Nan- chang was liberated. After the liberation of Nanjing , more than200, 000 Kuomintang troops under Tang Enbo entrenched themselves in the Wusong-Shanghai area. On May 12, the PLA launched the Wu-song-Shanghai campaign and on the 27th liberated Shanghai, China’s largest city and most important economic centre, wiping out more than150, 000 enemy troops. The remnant forces under Tang Enbo fled Shanghai by sea.
The Yangtze Crossing Campaign, fought from April 21 to May27, ended in the wiping out of more than 400,000 enemy troops. Meantime, while the North China Liberation Army captured Taiyuan , Datong , Anyang , Xinxiang and other enemy strongholds, the First Field Army liberated Xi’an . The PLA then continued their advance towards the northwest, southwest and south to liberate the whole country.
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In east China , the Zhejiang area was liberated between May and July 1949 with the exception of Dinghai. Fuzhou was liberated on August 17, and Xiamen on October 17. Thus the whole of east China was liberated. After that, the PLA fought battles to capture the offshore islands. In the northwest, Lanzhou was liberated on August 26, Xining on September 5, and Yinchuan on September 23. In the latter haft of the same month, Tao Zhiyue, garrison commander of Xinjiang Prov-ince, and Burhan, the governor, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang. On October 20, the PLA forces under Wang Zhen marched into Dihua (now Urumqi ), and Xinjiang was peacefully lib- erated. On September 19, Dong Qiwu, deputy director of the Kuo-mintang Bureau of Military and Administrative Affairs in the North- west and governor of Suiyuan Province , renounced his allegiance and the province was peacefully liberated.
After the PLA’s Yangtze Crossing Campaign most of the Kuo-mintang remnant forces were concentrated in south and southwest China . Bai Chongxi’s military group was entrenched in Hunan and Guangxi, Yu Hanmou’s group entrenched in Guangdong , and Hu Zongnan’s group and the local forces of Sichuan , Yunnan and Gui-zhou entrenched in the southwest. Totalling over 1,000,000 men, these groups Organized the Hunan-Guangdong joint defence and the south- western defence line to put up stubborn resistance. If this failed, they would withdraw to Yunnan , Guizhou and southern Guangxi. If they still could not gain a foothold within the country, they would flee abroad. To the Bai Chongxi group and the enemy in the southwest, the PLA adopted a policy of going all out to outflank, encircle and then swing back to eradicate the enemy as much as possible within the boundary of China . In July 1949 the Liberation Army mounted a powerful attack on Bai’s group, which fled south from the Changsha sec-tor. On August 4, Cheng Qian, governor of Hunan Province , and Chen Mingren, commander of the First Army, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang, and Changsha was peacefully liberated. In the Heng-yang-Baoqing battle fought between September and October, the bulk of Bai’s army was wiped out. On October 14, Guangzhou was liber-ated. On October 26, the forces under Yu Hanmou were annihilated in the Yangjiang sector when they attempted to flee to the Leizhou Pen-insula. On November 22, Guilin was liberated. On December 4, Nan-ning was liberated, and two armies of the forces under Bai were encir-cled and annihilated on the border between Guangdong and Guangxi. All the forces of the Guangxi clique were wiped out except some 10,000 men who fled to Viet Nam .
The People’s Liberation Army started the battle to encircle and annihilate the enemy in the southwest in early November. It liberated Guiyang on November 15, and Chongqing on the 30th. Then it pushed on to Chengdu . In coordination with the peoples’ forces marching south from Shaanxi , it forced Hu Zongnan’s troops and the remnant enemy troops in Sichuan , totalling several hundred thousand men, to dig themselves in at the Chengdu sector. Awed by the might of the victorious Liberation Army, Lu Han, governor of Yunnan Province, Liu Wenhui, governor of Xikang Province, and Deng Xihou and Pan Wenhua, deputy directors of the Bureau of Military and Administra- tive Affairs in the Southwest, renounced their allegiance to the Kuo- mintnag on December 9, and the two provinces of Yunnan and Xikang were peacefully liberated. Chengdu was liberated on December 27. The forces under Hu Zongnan and other remnant enemy troops which had retreated to and assembled in the Chengdu sector were completely wiped out. Thus, China ‘s entire mainland except Tibet was liberated. From July I946 to September 1949, the People’s Liberation Army wiped out a total of 6,250,000 enemy troops. While mopping up the enemy remnants, it crushed the Kuomintang local political powers at different levels and established people’s democratic governments, preparing for the founding of a new China .
While the PLA mopped up the enemy remnants and smashed the Kuomintang reactionary political powers at various levels, preparatory work for the establishment of the central people’ s government, symbol of the new China , was being speeded up. The Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference held its inaugural ses-sion at Beiping from June 15 to 19, 1949 . Thetask of this committee was to complete all necessary preparations for swiftly convening the New Political Consultative Conference and forming a democratic coalition government. Present at the session were 134 members repre-senting 23 organizations and groups, including the Chinese Commu-nist Party, the democratic parties, the people’ s organizations, democ- rats from all walks of life, the ethnic minorities of the country and overseas Chinese. It adopted the “Organic Rules of the Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference” and the “Provisions Regarding the Organizations and Groups Participating in the New Political Consultative Conference and the Size of Their Delegations” and elected a standing committee with Mao Zedong as director and Zhou Enlai, Li Jishen, Shen Junru, Guo Moruo and Chen Shutong as deputy directors. Six groups under the standing committee were responsible for various aspects of the preparatory work.
A new China would be born. What was its nature and character? What were the position, role and interrelations of the classes in this country? What were the political and economic systems? And what were its basic political and economic policies? The Chinese Commu-nist Party had expounded on these issues long before, but under the new historical conditions, it was necessary to elaborate them further. On June 30, 1949 , Mao Zedong published an article entitled “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship,” explaining the theory and basic policies of a new-democratic state, or a people’s democratic dictator-ship. It provided the guiding ideology and theoretic basis for discus-sions on major problems relating to the new state and the institution of a state system.
In his article, Mao Zedong first brought up the question of the long-range perspective of the people’s democratic dictatorship and the extinction of the state, and made clear the basic viewpoints of the Communists about classes, state power, and political parties. He de-clared to the whole country that the Chinese Communist Party, unlike the exploiting classes which worked for the interests of a few, was selfless in its aim to lead the Chinese people in establishing a people’s democratic government. Then Mao Zedong went on to explain how the Chinese people found in Marxism-Leninism the ideology to guide the revolution, how the old-democratic revolution had failed and the new-democratic revolution had triumphed, and elucidated the histori-cal inevitability of establishing a people’s republic in China. He also discussed democracy and dictatorship, the central issue of the theory of the state. This republic would enforce its dictatorship over the landlord class, bureaucrat-bourgeoisie, and the Kuomintang reaction-aries. Democracy would be practised within the ranks of the people the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. The working class was the leading class. The people’s democratic dictatorship was based on the alliance of the workers and peasants. The national bourgeoisie at the present stage was of great importance. The state would eventually be abolished, but at present it must be strengthened. Without the existence of the state, it would be impossible for China to develop from an agricultural into an industrialcountry and from a new-democratic into a socialist and Communist society. These were the basic problems discussed in “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship.”
What was the economic system of the new state? This would decide the nature of the state and hence was a major concern to people in all walks of life, and also the problem the session of the Political Consultative Conference discussed most. Some Communists, according to the decision of the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC Central Committee, further explained this question. In June, Liu Shaoqi talked at an inner Party meeting about the guidelines for the economic construction of New China. The economy of New China, or the new democratic economy, he said, mainly consisted of the state-owned economy, the cooperative economy, the statecapitalist economy, private capitalism, small commodity economy and seminatural economy. These five economic sectors should all be encouraged, but the development of the state-owned economy should take first place. Cooperatives should be extensively established and closely combined with the state-owned economy. Assistance should be given to independent small producers, and their individual economy be led step by step towards cooperation. The state-capitalist economy should be organized. Private capitalist economy should be allowed to expand insofar as it was beneficial to the national economy and the people’s liveli-hood. However, the economy that was monopolistic in character should be gradually nationalized and operated by the state, or operated in the form of state-capitalism and under the supervision of the state. As far as possible, socialist elements should be gradually increased in the national economy, and the planning of the national economy should be strengthened so as to steadily and safely achieve the transition to socialism. This transition was to go through a long, intense and arduous struggle. On September 22, Zhou Enlai explained at a meeting of the Political Consultative Conference the basic spirit of the new-democratic economic policy.
The collapse of the Nanjing government and the preparations for the founding of New China indicated the complete bankruptcy of the U.S. policy towards China . This fact shocked the U.S. govemment and provoked an argument within the ruling party over its China policy. Douglas MacArthur and others attacked the China policy formulated by President Truman and Secretary of State Acheson. In order the defend themselves, Truman and others published on August 5, 1949 the U.S. White Paper, “United States Relations with China .” The White Paper, divided into eight chapters, dealt with Sino-U.S. relations’in the period from 1844, when the United States forced China to sign the “Treaty of Wanghea,” to 1949, when the whole country was basically liberated. It went into particular detail about how, during the War of Resistance and the War of Liberation, the United States interfered with the intemal affairs of China and met with defeat. Thus, in its objective effect, the White Paper became a confession of the United States to its crimes of aggression against China , and useful material with which the Chinese people exposed the aggression.
On August 12, 1949 , the Xinhua News Agency published an article “A Confession of Helplessness,” starting the criticism of the White Paper. It was followed by five commentaries written by Mao Zedong for the Xinhua News Agency. Under the sponsorship of this news agency, all democratic parties, people’s organizations, the press, universities and schools, and public figures from all walks of life held extensive discussions and issued many declarations, statements and comments. The discussions covered Sino-U.S. relations, China’s foreign relations, the mutual relation between the Chinese revolution and the revolutionary forces of the world, the relationship between the Kuomintang reactionaries and the Chinese people, the proper attitude to be adopted by the democratic parties, people’s organizations and public figures in the struggle against imperialism, the proper attitude to be adopted by liberals or democratic individuals towards the country’s internal and external relations as a whole, and how the Chinese people should deal with new imperialist intrigues, etc. These wide-ranging discussions on so many important problems were unprece-dented in China ‘s modern history. The publication of the white paper and the criticism of it proclaimed the conclusion of imperialist aggres-sion against China over the past 100 years one of the major indications of the victory in the new-democratic revolution. It was a big clearing-out of devotion to and worship of America , and was a further criticism of the bourgeois-republic road. This criticism swept away many ideological obstacles to the founding of a state of the people’s democratic dictatorship.
On September 21, 1949 , the first plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference opened in Beiping. The conference was composed of 662 delegates representing all political parties the Chinese Communist Party, the China Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, the China Democratic League, the Democratic National Construction Association, the China Association for Promoting Democracy, the Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party, the Chinese People’s Association for National Salvation, the Association of Comrades in Three People’s Principles, the China Kuomintang Association for Promoting Democracy, the China Zhi Gong Dang, the Jiu San Society, and the Taiwan Democratic Self- Government League; the non-Party patriotic democrats, the various regions and ethnic groups of the country, the People’s Liberation Army, the people’s organizations, the patriotic overseas Chinese and the religious circles. There were also representatives by special invitation. This was an unprecedented, impressive gathering. In his opening address, Mao Zedong, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, said,”Ours is a conference embodying the great unity of the people of the whole country Our work will go down in the history of mankind, demonstrating that the Chinese people, comprising one quarter of humanity, have stood up… from now on our nation will belong to the community of the peace-loving and freedom-loving nations of the world, and work courageously and industriously to foster its own civilization and well-being, and at the same time to promote world peace and freedom.”
Through full discussion and consultations, the session adopted the “Common Programme of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference” on September 29. On the 30th, it elected the First National Committee of the CPPCC, with Mao Zedong as chairman, and the Central People, s Government Council with Mao Zedong as chairman of the Central People’s Government, Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi, Soong Ching Ling, Li Jishen, Zhang Lan, and Gao Gang as vicechairmen, and composed of 63 members, including Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Dong Biwu, He Long, Lin Boqu, Ye Jianying, Chen Yun, Deng Xiaoping, Tan Kah-kee, Ma Yinchu, Ma Xulun, Guo Moruo, Shen Junru, Shen Yanbing, Huang Yanpei, Zhang Zhizhong and Fu Zuoyi. The delegates unanimously passed a declaration, a message of greetings to the People’s Liberation Army, the measures to erect a monument to the heroes of the people and the epitaph on it. The session chose Beiping as the capital of the People’s Republic of China , and renamed the city Beijing . It adopted the Christian era as the chronological system of the People’s Republic of China , March of the Volunteers as the national anthem until a formal one was composed, and a flag With five stars on a field of red as the national flag. On the afternoon of that day, the delegates went to Tiananmen Square for the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the Monument to the People’ s Heroes.
The Common Programme defined the character of the People’s Republic of China and the fundamental principles governing the structure of the state, its military system, and its economic, cultural, educational and foreign policies. The programme was an important document with the nature of a provisional constitution. It stipulated that “the People’s Republic of China is a new-democratic, or a people’s democratic, state, a people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants, uniting all democratic classes and ethnic groups of the country”; that “state power belongs to the people. The organs through which the people exercise power are the people’s congresses and people’s governments at all levels”; and that “the guideline for economic construction is to develop production and promote economic prosperity by giving consideration to both public and private interests, benefiting both labour and capital, stressing mutual assistance between city and country and exchange between China and other countries.” All sectors of the economy should be readjusted so that, under the leadership of the state sector, they would function satisfactorily with a due division of labour to promote the development of the whole economy. Culture and education was new-democratic, namely, national, scientific and of mass character. All the ethnic groups would be equal. Regional national autonomy would be exercised. The tenet in foreign affairs was to safeguard the country’s independence, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity, uphold international lasting peace and friendly cooperation between peoples of various countries, and oppose imperialist policies of aggression and war.
The session decided that the People’s Political Consultative Conference was the organizational form of the national people’s democratic united front. It exercised the functions and powers of the National People’s Congress until the convocation of the congress. After the convocation of the congress, the CPPCC would continue to exist for a long time as a consultative organ of all the democratic parties and peoples organizations.
At 2 p.m. on October 1, the Central People’s Government Council took office in Beijing . It appointed Zhou Enlai premier of the Goveminent Administration Council of the Central People’s Government, Mao Zedong chairman of the Revolutionary Military Commission, Zhu De commander-in-chief of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Shen Junru president of the Supreme People’s Court, and Luo Ronghuan chief procurator of the Supreme Procuratorial Office. At 3 p.m. 300,000 people of Beijing assembled at Tiananmen Square to participate in the inauguration ceremony at which the establishment of the People’ s Republic of China was proclaimed.
The founding of the People’s Republic of China marked the victory of the new-democratic revolution in China . Several thousand years of feual oppression, 100 years of imperialist aggression and 22 years of Kuomintang rule were buried by the Chinese people. The semicolonial, semifeudal age was over and Chinese history entered a new era.
The founding of the People’s Republic of China marked the end of a longterm struggle between three political lines, or three destinies of the state a comprador-feudal dictatorship, a bourgeois republic and a people’s republic. From that time, the people became the masters of the country, the working class became the leading class, and the socialist state-owned economy became the leading sector of the national economy. This not only provided China with essential conditions to become a prosperous, powerful and modernized country, but it also opened up a road to socialism.
The victory of the revolution in China dealt a severe blow to the world colonial system, hence greatly weakening the strength of imperialism and promoting the growth of the national liberation movement around the world.
The victory of the Chinese people’s revolution added a glorious chapter to the history of mankind.
Philosophy, Historiography, Natural Science and Literature
From 1919 to 1949 was a period in Chinese history of victory in the new-democratic revolution, and featured prominently the change of China from old to new. This was an epoch in which the people’s will and enthusiasm for revolution were high and they forged ahead courageously. It was also an epoch of initiations. Almost everything in this period had a transitional character. In the sphere of learning and culture, in many respects the significance lay in the beginning of studies rather than actual achievements; towards foreign things, attention was focused on introducing and copying rather than careful digestion and assimilation; towards Chinese traditions, stress was on contempt and discarding rather than reasonable development and utilization. The refining and distillation of theories lagged far behind what the masses had achieved in their revolutionary practice. In scientific research no brilliant results from a comprehensive study of things both Chinese and western, ancient and modem, were registered at the time. On the whole, however, the achievements in learning and culture were worthy of this great epoch. In this changeable, abrupt, transitional period in history, immaturity in many respects was inevitable. In some areas, however, not a few achievements were among the best either viewed from the world spectrum or the history of the development of Chinese learning. Of course, the development in each specific cultural field was not uniform, and hence the attainments could not be equal either.
Just as the Chinese grow up in the land of China , their culture grows in the soil of previous society and culture shaped over a long period of time. The development in modem culture, positive or negative, cannot be divorced from the country’s tradition. In this period, therefore, while fine heritage was inherited and carried forward, dregs also came to the surface. Of the foreign things introduced to China by the Chinese, some were good, and some were bad. The bad ones, like the good ones, also had their influence on the country.
Since it is impossible to touch on culture in all its aspects, accounts of only a few are given below.
Western philosophy began to spread to China towards the end of the Qing Dynasty. Marxist philosophy was introduced to this country during the Marxist publicity campaign started after the May 4th Movement. Basic rudimentary ideas of historical materialism were spread through early Communist’s works. My Conception of Marxism by Li Dazhao and Marxist Theory and Reply to Shizhi by Chen Duxiu played an important role in publicizing Marxism and criticizing non-Marxist ideas. In the meantime, schools of philosophical thought in the West such as pragmatism, Machism, the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and the philosophy of Georg W. E Hegel were also introduced to China. Between 1924 and 1926, Qu Qiubai published Modern Sociology, An Introduction to Social Philosophy, An Introduction to Social Science, and An Introduction to the Materialist Worm Outlook, making a systematic exposition of historical and dialectical materialism. Qu made indelible contributions in introducing Marxist philosophy and promoting its development in China.
In the 1930s, large quantities of original works on Marxism and works on Marxist philosophy from other countries were translated into Chinese, such as On Feuerbach, Anti-Diihring, Dialectics of Nature, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism and On the Development of the Monastical Outlook on History. For a while dialectical materialism and materialist dialectics became popular across the country, which aroused worry and opposition among bourgeois scholars and idealists. As a result, polemics on the new philosophy and materialist dialectics continued for several years from 1931 in philosophical circles. Zhang Dongsun published articles–such as “I Also Comment on Dialectical Materialism,” “General Review of Materialist Dialectics” and “Is the Logic on Motion Possible?”！and books entitled Theory of Knowl-edge, Moral Philosophy and Value Philosophy. He also edited the book Polemics on Materialist Dialectics. Through these writings he propagated his, own philosophy in opposition to Marxism. Zhang’s Framework Doctrine” maintained that the objective world “is merely an empty framework”; that “there is physics but no matter,” and “there is physiology but no life”; that “everything is a framework but without substance,” but the “framework” could not be separated from “our knowledge.” In theory of knowledge, Zhang held that knowledge consisted of four essential factors proper arrangement of the external world, innate pattern, standards set by name and reason, and experience conception. He called this the pluralistic theory of knowledge. He denied the three laws of dialectics, describing dialectics as an”outdated curio” and Marxist dialectics as “hopelessly erroneous.”
Ye Qing, who styled himself defender of the new materialism and dialectics, rose to criticize Zhang Dongsun’s philosophy and wrote Whither Philosophy, Critique of Zhang Dongsun’s Philosophy and other books. Ye stood for “abolishing philosophy.” “In an age when science dominates exclusively the intellectual world,” he argued,”philosophy has lost its ground”; therefore, “any attempt to establish any philosophical system is reactionary.” Thus he negated completely the Marxist philosophy.
Ai Siqi and others published a series of articles to rebuff Zhang Dongsun’s attack, expose Ye Qing’s true colours as a false Marxist, and propagate Marxist philosophy. The struggle in the realm of philosophical thought promoted the growth of Marxist philosophy in China. Beginning from November 1934, Ai Siqi published in succession in Study and Life, a magazine published in Shanghai , “Talks on Philosophy.” He explained in popular, vivid language the basic principles of dialectical materialism and basic laws of materialist dialectics. The fourth edition of his Talks on Philosophy offprint published in1936 was renamed Popular Philosophy. Up to 1948, a total of 32 editions were printed. The book played an important part in popularizing Marxist philosophy.
Li Da printed Outline Sociology and published its revised and enlarged edition in May 1937; it was a systematic exposition of Marxist philosophy. Li Da, on the basis of studies by Soviet scholars, correctly explained that “the law of the unity of opposites is the basic law and kernel of dialectics,” and this law was “a basic law governing the knowledge of all things.” He set forth the idea of antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions. Regarding the Marxist-Leninist theory of knowledge, he discussed the dynamic theory of reflection and the “movement in cycles” in relation to knowledge, stressing that practice was of decisive importance to knowledge. Outline Sociology occupied a very important position in the history of development of Marxist philosophy in China.
In the later half of the 1930s, Mao Zedong researched philosophy. The outstanding characteristic of his studies was the close combination of the tenets of Marxist philosophy with China ‘s revolutionary practice, using the former to guide the latter, and using the experience of the latter to explain and enrich the content of the former. In On Practice and On Contradiction written in 1937, he made scientific explanations of the theory of contradiction, the kernel of Marxist theory of knowing and doing, or the theory of knowledge, and dialectics. In On Practice, he stressed the dependence of knowledge on practice, pointing out that “practice should be first and fundamental in the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge.” He expounded and proved the whole process of cognition, pointing out, “Practice, knowledge, again practice, and again knowledge. This form repeats itself in endless cycles, and with each cycle the content of practice and knowledge rises to a higher level. Such is the whole of the dialectical-materialist theory of knowledge, and such is the dialectical-materialist theory of the unity of knowing and doing.”
In the 1930s and 40s, the Chiang Kai-shek clique, in order to tighten its reactionary rule, energetically peddled the “philosophy of constancy of action” (also called the philosophy of devotion) and vitalism. Chiang Kai-shek set forth a philosophy which distorted Sun Yat-sen’s theory of knowing and doing, and drew on fascist philoso-phical standpoints. He said, “Through the ages, only by ‘action’ can everything be created in the universe The philosophy of ‘action’ is the sole philosophy of life The starting point in constancy of action lies in ‘devotion’… [and] devotion is the moving force of action.” This philosophy was the fascist doctrine of action.
It was Chen Lifu who strongly advocated vitalism. Quoting the term “shengyuan” (origin of life) used by Sun Yat-sen, he wrote On Vitalism and Principles of Life. He opposed both “idealistic monism” and “materialistic monism,” but stood for “vitalistic monism.” He held that the noumenon of the universe was “shengyuan.” “Shengyuan,” which “has admirable wisdom and great ability,” was the “all powerful, highly intelligent arbiter who creates life without cessation in the universe.” This was “what the Westerners call ‘God,’ and what we call the ‘creator’.” This idea was utterly idealistic.
In addition to the above, those who had their own philosophical systems and views included Feng Youlan, Jin Yuelin, Xiong Shili and He Lin. Their philosophical ideas and systems took shape mainly in the 1940s. Among Feng Youlan’s representative works were Xin Li Xue or New Neo-Confucianism, Xin Shi Lun or China’s Road to Free-dom, Xin Yuan Ren or New Treatise on the Nature of Man, Xin Yuan Dao or The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy, Xin Zhi Yan or New Treatise on the Methodology of Metaphysics, and Xin Shi Xun or New Social Admonitions–all about new Neo-Confucianism.
The new Neo-Confucianism principally inherited and developed the Neo-Confucianism formulated by Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao and Zhu Xi. Meanwhile it incorporated some elements from Buddhism, Taoism and Western philosophy. Feng invented a “rationalistic world… prior to the practical world,” where “all reasons are ready.” The “matter” of the actual world, he believed, was nothing but the, realization of reason.” This was objective idealism. On the question of life, Feng divided it into four “realms,” of which the loftiest was the “realm of heaven and earth.” In this realm, “all things on earth are prepared for myself.” In this context, “self” became the “arbiter of the universe.” Here Feng switched from objective idealism to subjective idealism.
Jin Yuelin’s representative works were On Dao and On Knowledge. In On Dao, he formulated the conception of dao, shi and neng. According to him, “shi is similar to reason and shape;” “neng is similar to vital energy and quality,” and dao is the combination of neng and shi. “There is no shi without neng, and no neng without shi It makes no difference as to which one should come first.” He believed that neng could not be felt or described. Jin’s philosophical system tended to materialism.
Xiong Shili’s representative work was New Theory of Knowledge. He maintained that the noumenon meant function and phenomenon. The three were the same thing. He opposed taking the noumenon, which was above the world of phenomena, as the basis of phenome- non. He insisted that “the mind of man” was the noumenon. Xiong’s philosophy was subjectively idealistic. Hard to understand, it carried little weight at the time.
Representatives of He Lin’s works were Chinese Philosophy of the Contemporary Era and Brief Explanations of Modern Idealism. His philosophy was the product of integrating Lu Jiuyuan-Wang Shouren school with Neo-Hegelianism of the West. He Lin believed that “the mind is the noumenon of matter and matter is the use of the mind. The mind is the essence of matter, and matter is the manifestation of the mind.” On the relations between knowing and doing, he advocated the unity of the two. He held that knowing and doing “take place at the same time… with neither being the first”; that knowledge was the essence and conduct was the phenomenon; knowledge was primary and conduct was secondary. At the same time, however, he asserted that the materialist conception of history only studied the “outward phenomenon” with the “method of outside observation.” Only the “method of inside observation” of the idealist conception of history “gives attention to the essence.” He Lin’s philosophy was also idealistic.
Chen Jiakang, Du Guoxiang and Hu Sheng wrote articles pointing out Feng Youlan and He Lin’s mistakes in their philosophical views.
After the May 4th Movement, Chinese historiography stepped into a new stage. With the spread of Marxism , China ‘s Marist historical science began to make its appearance. Li Dazhao,” who was the first to disseminate Marxism in China , was also the pioneer and founder of Marxist history science. He published a series of articles on history, and opened courses such as “materialist conception of history” and “history of thoughts on historiography” in universities in Beijing , starting to bring Marxism to history studies in China . His Important Points on History (published in May 1924) was the first introduction to the science of history written from a Marxist viewpoint in China .
In the 1930s, polemics on the nature of Chinese society and the history of social development were conducted among people in China ‘s theoretical and historical circles in a bid to probe into the nature of Chinese revolution and its perspective. These touched on questions such as: was China at that time a capitalist, or a semicolonial, semifeudal society?, had a slave society ever existed in Chinese history?, was China after the Qin and Han dynasties a feudal or a commercial capitalist society, or a society of some other sort?, why had China failed to enter an industrial capitalist age?, and the question of the Asian mode of production. Participants in the polemics were Marxist theoretical workers and historians, Chinese Trotskyites, people of the “New Life” school and scholars in other fields. Through the debates, rudimentary principles of materialist conceptions of history were extensively propagated, a variety of historical problems were discussed and historical science was promoted in China . Marxist historical and theoretical workers refuted all sorts of erroneous views which mispresented Marxism and which did not give a true picture of how matters stood in Chinese history. They expounded and proved that the Chinese society over the past hundred years was a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, and initially sorted out the historical sequence of Chinese social development–from primitive society through slave society, feudal society to semi-colonial, semi-feudal society.
Guo Moruo’s Essays on Ancient Society of China published in1930 was the first work in China to apply Marxist theories to explain historical events in the country. The later works of Guo Moruo (1892-1978) on oracle-bone and bronze inscriptions included Studies of Oracle-Bone Script, Studies of Inscriptions on Bronzes of the Yin and Zhou Dynasties, Notes on Bronze Inscriptions, Compilations of Oracle-Bone Inscriptions, and The System of the Inscriptions on Chinese Bronzes of the Zhou Dynasty, Illustrated and Annotated. These works provided a basis of philological and documentary studies for the research on the social history of the Yin and Zhou periods.
Lti Zhenyu, another Marxist historian, wrote between 1934 and1937 Studies of the Chinese Society During the Pre-Historical Period, Chinese Society in the Yin and Zhou Periods and History of Chinese Political Thought. Mao Zedong directed the writing of the textbook The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party in the winter of 1939. It scientifically discussed China ‘s feudal society in ancient times, the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society in modem times, the revolutionary movements over the past 100 years and all funda- mental problems of the Chinese revolution.
Marxist historical science further developed in the 1940s. The outstanding achievements in this field were the completion of a number of works on general history. These included A Concise History of China by Lti Zhenyu; A Brief History of China and A Modern History of China (Volume I) by Fan Wenlan; and An Outline History of China (Vols. I and II) by Jian Bozan. In addition, progress was also made in the research on social history, history of thought and history of other fields. Works on these subjects included A Course in History of Chinese Society by Deng Chumin; On History of Ancient Chinese Society; A History of Thought of Ancient China, A History of Thought of Modern China and A General History of Thought of China (Vol. I) by Hou Wailu; Studies of the Schools of Thought in the Pre-Qin Period and Essentials of the Schools of Thought in the Pre-Qin Period by Du Guoxiang; The Bronze Age and Ten Critiques by Guo Moruo; and Imperialism and Chinese Politics by Hu Sheng.
As Marxist historical science took shape and developed, and a number of historians made many contributions in the fields of their studies. Liang Qichao, founder of the Chinese bourgeois theory of history, wrote On History of China and New Historical Science as early as the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1920s, he wrote some more works including An Introduction to the Qing Dynasty Learning, History of Political Thought in the Pre-Qin Period, The Method of Studying Chinese History and History of Chinese Scholarship During the Past Three Centuries. Liang Qichao made wide-ranging studies which touched on historical theories and some important aspects in Chinese history. He also drew up a tentative plan for writing a general history of China and a history of Chinese culture.
Gu Jiegang, known for being sceptical about things ancient, set out the idea that the “history” of ancient China was invented layer after layer. Having studied ancient history for a long time, he put out Investigations on Ancient History in seven volumes, a collection of articles published at the time. His work, aimed at ascertaining authenticity, helped to clean up some preposterous legends and push forward the study of ancient Chinese history. However, it basically remained in the stage of sorting out related documents, and went a little too far in his doubts about certain specific problems in ancient history. Wang Guowei (1877-1927), Chen Yinke and Chen Yuan also contributed to history and the textual research on historical documentation. Wang initiated the study of oracle bones. He was the first to apply the oracle-bone inscriptions to the studies of history and institutions and systems of the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th-11th centuries B.C.). A man of great erudition, he made achievements in ancient script and vessels, epitaphs of the Han and Wei dynasties, literature relating to the Dun-huang Grottoes, and in the history of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the history of the Han and Tang periods, the history and geography of the northwest and the history of Mongolia . Among his important works were: A Study of the Inscriptions from the Yin Ruins Preserved in the Hall of Bliss and Longevity, Studies on Great Kings and Dukes of Early Periods as Seen in Oracle,Bone Inscriptions of the Yin Dynasty, and its sequel, Discourses on Systems of the Yin and Zhou Dy- nasties, Investigations of Guifang, Kunyi and Xianyun Ethnic Groups, Investigations .on the Tartars, and History of Drama of the Song and Yuan Dynasties.
Chen Yinke devoted himself to studies on the history of ethnic groups on the border regions, history of the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties, and the history of the Sui and Tang periods, blazing a new trail by proving historical oevents through the study of poetry and essays. His Sketch on the Origin of the Systems of the Sui and Tang Dynasties and Discourse on the Political History of the Tang Dynasty had great impact on the study of the history of the Sui and Tang dynasties.
Chen Yuan contributed much to the history of Chinese religions and the study of historical literature, with emphasis on historical origin and examples. His Investigations on the People in the Western Regions Assimilated by the Hans, Outline History of the Introduction of Islam into China , An Introduction of Historical Records of Bud, dhism in China , and Doubtful Chronicles About Sakyamuni were important works on the history of ancient religions, relations between ethnic groups and relations between China and other countries. He made contributions to subjects relating to the science of historical literature, such as bibliography, chronology, study of historical taboos and textual criticism. His main works included the List of the First Day of Each Lunar Month and Intercalary Years in the Twenty Histo- ries, The Calendar of the History of Islam in China and Western Countries, Examples of Historical Taboos and Examples of Textual Criticism.
In the early years of the Republic of China, institutions and or-ganizations engaged in the study of natural science appeared in China, such as the Institute of Geological Survey under the Ministry of Agri-culture and Commerce, and the Chinese Society of Science. The Chi-nese Society of Science was set up in 1915 in the United States by Zhao Yuanren, Bing Zhi, Yang Quan, Ren Hongjun and other Chinese students studying there. It moved to China in 1918 and settled in Shanghai 10 years later. Most of its members were people known for achievements made in scientific research, engineering and technology at home or abroad. Quite a few were founders of various branches of China ‘s modem science. The activities of the society ranged from publishing and circulating Science and Science Pictorial, establishing the Mingfu Library, a museum and a biological research institute, to sponsoring lectures and exhibitions on science, and holding academic seminars. With a membership of 3,776 in 1949, the society played an important role in the development of scientific undertakings. The Biological Research Institute of the China Society of Science, under the direction of Bing Zhi and Hu Xiansu, was contributive to the development of zoology and botany. It featured prominently in the academic circles of the world.
In May 1927 the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang decided to set up the Academia Sinica, which was officially established in June the following years, with Cai Yuanpei as president. It was the state’s highest academic organ of the time. By early 1930, it had nine research institutes–institutes of physics, chemistry, engineering, geology, astronomy, meteorology, history, linguistics, psychology and social science–and a museum of natural history. The institutes had altogether 91 fulltime, part-time, honorary and specially invited research fellows, and 64 assistants, initially forming a contingent for scientific research made up of specialists and scholars in many branches of natural and social sciences. By 1949, the number of research institutes had increased to 12. The Beiping Research Institute came into being in September 1929. Universities across the country also set up quite a number of research institutes, which, up to 1947, totalled 157, mainly engaged in science and engineering. In addition to Science, a periodical of general interest, major academic periodicals on natural science were Records of the Chinese Society of Geology, Book Series Published by the Biological Research Institute of the China Society of Science, Physiology in China, Chinese Journal on Physics, Journal on Meteorology and Records of the Chinese Society of Chemistry.
In a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country like China, the low standard of knowledge, shortage of trained personnel and administratin expenses, plus the constant political upheaval, all placed great restrictions on research on natural science. However, thanks to the industrious efforts of scientists and technological workers, a great many successes were registered in research and invention in natural scientific This enabled China to switch from simply introducing scientific achievements from other countries to boasting of its own fruits in scientific research, some of which were up to the world’s advanced level. Meanwhile, personnel was trained and experience accurmulated.
Major achievements in natural scientific research and inventions inventions engineering and technology can be listed as following:
Mathematics: Chen Jiangong, Su Buqing and Hua Luogeng made important contributions in the research on the Fourier series, series, differenttial geometry and analytic theory of numbers respectively.
Geology: The Institute of Geological Survey, under the successsive leadership of Ding Wenjiang, Weng Wenhao and Li Siguang, conducted field surveys and theoretical research in laboratories, advancing geological science in China . Li Siguang, in his article “Several Special Structure Types in East Asia,” set forth principles and methods in geomechanics. He did research on the glacier geology of China ‘s mountain regions and advanced his own views. Huang Jiqing came up with the idea that the earth’s crust structure in China could be divided into units in accordance with the relations between platform, geosyncline, and orogenic movement.
Physics: Wu Youxun, Qian Sanqiang and Qian Xuesen made achievements in the research on the Compton effect, the atomic nucleus of uranium and the theory of thinair dynamics respectively
Geophysics: Zhu Kezhen, in his “‘The Motion of Air-Currents in China,” found the law governing China ‘s climatic changes in four seasons according to large quantities of observation data. Tu Chang-wang’s “The Relation Between Atmospheric Motion and the World’s Atmospheric Temperature” provided a foundation for the restarch on long-term weather forecasting in China .
Anthropology and Palaeontology: Pei Wenzhong discovered at Zhoukoudian the first skull-cap of Peking Man and a large quantity of palaeontological fossils. The great event caused a sensation through-out the world and played an important role in anthropological research.
Astronomy: The Academia Sinica’s Research Institute of Astronomy established an observatory on Purple Mountain in Nanjing to start observations by Chinese astronomers themselves. When a total solar eclipse occurred on September 21, 1941, China sent an observation team to the northwest where it recorded data which had been hard to secure before.
Archaeology: Between 1928 and 1929, the Research Institute of History and Linguistics began digging at the site of the Yin ruins at Xiaotun Village near Anyang, Henan Province. This was the first large-scale underground excavation Chinese archaeologists conducted with modern scientific methods. It yielded an abundance of bronze vessels and oracle bones. The excavation was among the great events in the archaeological history of China and the world.
Industrial Chemistry: Hou Debang invented a new soda-manufacturing method, an internationally-renowned contribution to industrial chemistry.
Bridge Engineering: The Qiantang River Bridge was built under the direction of Mao Yisheng.
One of the important aspects of the new cultural movement was the literary revolution. In January 1917, the New Youth magazine carfled Hu Shi’s “Some Suggestions for the Reform of Literature” marking the rise of the new literary movement from the stage of deliberations by a few. This was immediately followed by the publication of “On Literary Revolution” by Chen Duxiu, “raising high the banner of the ‘literary revolutionary army’.” This was an official manifesto of the literary revolution. Before and after the May 4th Movement of 1919, discussions about the revolution became more extensive and deepgoing; human literature, literature for the common people, realistic literature and literature for life’s sake were advocated, and more complete and systematic theories of the new literature were put forward. After the May 4th Movement, writing in the vernacular became the main vehicle for literary expression. The literary revolution vigorously expedited the movement for the liberation of the ously expedited the movement for the liberation of the mind, and thus played an effective supporting role in the anti-imperialist patriotic struggle of the May 4th Movement. It was a truly great revolution in the history of the development of Chinese literature. It laid the foundation for contemporary literature and opened a new chapter in the history of literature.
After the May 4th Movement, sprang up like mushrooms, giving According to statistics, more than pure literary groups and societies rise to different literary schools.100 such societies and about the same number of literary periodicals appeared from 1921 to 1925, and these could be found in almost all large and medium-sized cities. The most influential and successful of these organizations were the Literary Research Society and the Creation Society. The Literary Research Society was founded at Beijing in January 1921 under the sponsorship of Zheng Zhenduo, Shen Yanbing and Ye Shaojun. It stood for literature for life’s sake, belonging to the realistic school.
The Creation Society was established in July 1921 in Tokyo by Chinese students in Japan , such as Guo Moruo, Yu Dafu, Tian Han and Cheng Fangwu. It believed in art for art’s sake, belonging to the romantic school.
The literary revolutionary movement which arose during the May 4th Movement was moving step by step towards “revolutionary lit-erature.” This manifested itself in the following respects:
First, the guidance of Communist ideology in culture over the new literature movement was further strengthened. The Chinese Communist Party took New Youth, reorganized in June 1923, as a compass through which to guide all ideological fields with Marxism. The “New Manifesto” of New Youth declared that it would inherit and carry forward the militant tradition of the May 4th new cultural movement, an indication of the Communist Party’s conscious direc-tion over the new literature.
Secondly, the elements of proletarian thinking in literature and art were on the increase in literary theoretical proposals. After 1923, Deng Zhongxia, Yun Daiying, Xiao Chunti and other Communists published articles initially popularizing Marxist ideas on literature. In 1925 Shen Yanbing published an article entitled “On the Proletarian Art,” tentatively explaining the proletarian literature and art in nature, subject matter, content and form. One year later Guo Moruo published”Revolution and Literature,” pointing out the literature needed by the time was “literature that sympathizes with proletarian socialism and realism.”
This period witnessed unprecedented achievements in creative writing. These included short stories by Lu Xun (1881-1936), such as A Madman’s Diary, The New-Year Sacrifice and The True Story of Ah Q and Guo Moruo’s Goodesses, a collection of new poetry. In The True Story of Ah Q, Lu Xun created a typical image of backward peas- ants exploited by feudal forces. Ah Q habitually uses the self- respecting, self-consoling, self-abasing and self-deceiving “method of spiritual victory” to relieve his sufferings and satisfy his mentality of resistance and retaliation. However, this can only bring him greater humiliation. Once the revolution comes, Ah Q, burning with sponta-neous revolutionary zeal, also wants to make revolution. But the countery-revolutionary forces will not allow him to do so and sentence him to death.
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The Left-wing writers conscientiously put their creative activities at the service of the Chinese revolutionary struggle and declared the literature to be part of the entire proletarian revolutionary cause. To this end, they produced many indelible works. Revolutionary realism was the greatest and most important school in China ‘s literary world. In the final analysis, however, literature is the reflection of social life. As aspects of people’s life are manifold, it can be reflected from different literary angles. Meanwhile, the varied life in society can be partially reflected in different artistic ways. The rich and varied liter-ary and artistic works of different schools and styles reflecting different aspects of life are what people need to cater to their literary and artistic taste. Apart from the proletarian revolutionary literature, of the writers of other literary schools with different styles, quite a few wrote widely appreciated works. Though not directly dealing with revolutionary themes, some of these works delineated people’s social life, thoughts and feelings more extensively and more deeply, and may be handed down from generation to generation. Some produced tremendous effects at their time.
Great achievements were made in literary creation in this period. In the last 10 years of his life Lu Xun wrote a large amount of prose, mainly in the form of short satirical essays known as zawen. His works of this type covered a broad range of topics, which centred around the exposure and criticism of political and social reality and touched on a series of political and ideological struggles. They were political commentaries of a literary nature with a trenchant, pungent and humourous style. They achieved the unity of great ideological content and high artistic quality. In addition to Lu Xun, Qu Qiubai also wrote many satirical essays.
Achievements in fiction were also outstanding. The novel Mid-night and the short story The Shop of the Lin Family by Mao Dun (1896-1981) were famous masterpieces. Midnight shook the literary world of China after its publication in January 1933. It vividly and realistically depicted China ‘s social reality and class contradictions in the 1930s, and successfully created typical representative figures of the comprador bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie. Through concrete and vivid artistic portraits, the author explained why semi-colonial, semi-feudal China could not step into a developed capitalist society. This novel was a major achievement in revolutionary realist literature.
Ba Jin’s best-known novel was Family. With Chinese society around the May 4th Movement as its background, it described the collapse of a big feudal family, laid bare the darkness and decadence of feudal society and praised the awakening of young intellectuals and their anti-feudal struggle. The novel had great impact on young peo-ple.
Camel Xiangzi, also known as Rickshaw-Boy, was a fine, realistic work by Lao She. Through the tragedy of a rickshaw puller named Xiangzi in Beiping, the novel portrayed the miserable life of the urban poor. The justified pursuit of the upright, honest and kind-hearted ordinary labourer Xiangzi for a decent life finally vanished like soap bubbles in the dark, evil old society, and he himself also became de- generate. The tragic life of Xiangzi was a devastating indictment of the old society. Major novelists of this period also included Ye Shao-jun, Shen Congwen, Zhang Tianyi, Ding Ling and Xiao Jun.
Cao Yu is a well-known playwright who came to the fore in this period. His plays Thunderstorm and Sunrise enjoy popularity in the history of literature. Thunderstorm, a tragedy delineating the family life of an extremely feudal capitalist, reveals this family’s evil history and reality, reflecting the corruption of upper class society in China . This play, with strong artistic appeal, reached the peak in dramatic literature of this period. Other notable playwrights of this period in- cluded Tian Han and Hong Shen.
Major poets of the period were Xu Zhimo and Zang Kejia. Xu’s poems, though some had serious defects in ideological content, were noted for their high level of artistry. His poems, admired for vivid images, succint language, colourful ornate phrases and sonorous, har-monious tones, contributed to the development of new poetry. Zang Kejia’s poems, solidly based on life, were filled with sincere thoughts and feelings. In terse verses, the poet described the peasants’ industry, perseverance, sufferings and adversities, and expressed the longing for the light and the hatred for the darkness of society. His major works included The Brand and others.
After the War of Resistance Against Japan broke out in July 1937, large numbers of cultural workers plunged into the mighty struggle against the enemy and directly served the resistance by making propa-ganda in various forms of literature and art.
In March 1938, the Na-tional Chinese Writers’ Anti-Aggression Association was established in Wuhan , calling on writers to “use our pens to mobilize the masses to defend the motherland, smash the enemy and win victory.” In April of the same year, the Third Section of the Political Department under the National Government’s Military Commission was set up, with Guo Moruo as its head. The section carried out literary and art propa-ganda work. In order to bring the literary and art movement into the orbit of its partial resistance line, the Kuomintang advocated the lit-erature and art on the Three People’s Principles, namely, works were required to take the Chiang Kai-shek clique’s Three People’s Princi-ples as their “central theme.” Meanwhile, there were also some other en’oneous ideas on literature, such as the theory of opposition to”stereotyped writing on the War of Resistance,” theory of “opposing writers doing political work,” and the fascist concept on literature and art. These ideas were criticized by progressive writers. Running counter to the global situation and not conforming to China ‘s reality, they had little influence. Discussions were conducted around 1940 in the literary and art circles about the question of national form a con-tinuation of the question of the popular-style literature and art in the first half of the 1930s. The discussions advanced the development of literature.
The gunfire of resistance sparked off the writers’ patriotic actions and their creative enthusiasm. For a period of time literary and art works in different forms emerged in large numbers which roused peo-ple to rise up in resistance and exposed negative phenomena hampering them from doing so, bringing about the flourishing of literary creation. Nevertheless, after the fall of Wuhan , especially after the Southern Anhui Incident, as the Kuomintang stepped up its cultural tyranny, the resistance literary and art propaganda movement, once extremely active, was reduced. Under these circumstances, many writers switched their main energy to literary creation, with the result that a multitude of finer literary works were produced.
Among the historical plays intended to serve the present, the best was Qu Yuan. In it, Guo Moruo created a typical figure the patriotic, open and aboveboard, and strong-willed Qu Yuan who gave his life for justice. The performance of the play achieved tremendous political as well as artistic effect. Xia Yan’s The Fascist Bacillus was a popular short story written in the early stage of the War of Resistance. In a satirical tone the author lashed out at the bureaucrats of the Kuomin-tang and the darkness and corruption under its regime. The story was quite a hit at the time. Successfully-written novels included Mao Dun’s Decay. Best-known works of new poetry included Ai Qing’s Dayanhe, Facing the Sun and The Torch, and Tian Jian’s To the Fighters.
In May 1942, the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art was convened, at which Mao Zedong delivered his famous Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art. In it he explained a series of fundamen-tal questions relating to revolutionary literature, such as: literature and art must adhere to the orientation of serving the workers, peasants and soldiers; writers must go deep among the masses and familiarize themselves with social life; and the petty-bourgeois literary and art workers must reform their own world outlook. After the forums, the literary and art world took on a brand-new appearance. With its influence spreading to the whole country, Chinese literature developed to a new phase. New changes took place in all aspects of many writers’ works-ranging from content, thoughts and feelings, and characterization to language, artistic style and technique of expression. From then until the founding of the People’s Republic of China , outstanding works appeared one after another. Zhao Shuli’s novels The Marriage of Young Blacky, Rhymes of Li Youcai and Changes in Li Village reflected profoundly the transformation of old villages in China into new ones, creating images of peasants of a new type. His works, char acterized by marked Chinese flavour and style, were well received by the masses, and made important contributions to national and mass literary style. Sun Li’s Lotus Lake was a short story with a unique style. Ding Ling’s The Sun Shines over the Sanggan River and Zhou Libo’s The Hurricane were two best-know novels dealing with struggles in the land reform movement.
A new art form new opera came into being in the librated areas. The most famous new opera was The White-Haired Girl. It was created by adding elements from traditional Chinese drama and West-ern opera to a foundation of a new yangge opera, and reached a higher plane both in ideological content and artistic quality.
Li Ji’s long narrative poem Wang Gui and Li Xiangxiang was the most important achievement in new poetry. Using the folksong form and the traditional literary devices of metaphor and allusion, the poem exprssed new revolutionary content and achieved the harmonious unity of ideological content and artistic quality. The Waters of the Zhang River by Ruan Zhangjinang was another well-comosed long poem.
The founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 marked the end of the semi-feudal, semi-colonial age in Chinese history and the beginning of its advance to the socialist epoch. With the political and economic developments, philosophy, history science, natural science and literature entered a new era.