Militarist wars and revolution in China : a Marxian analysis of the new reactionary civil war and prospects of the revolution in China

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Militarist wars and revolution in China : a Marxian analysis of the new reactionary civil war and prospects of the revolution in China


Politics and Government - Military; Chinese Communist Party; CCP


The major part of this pamphlet was first published in a series of eight articles in the Daily Worker (Nov. 25 to Dec. 2, 1929)
Transcript of pamphlet text:

By EARL BROWDER A valuable document of the Chinese Revolution. An excellent description of events forming the historical background to the discussions in this new pamphlet. SALE AT REDU For all who have an interest in th hak-ing China directly involving one- fourth of the entire human race, this booklet is an indispensible source of information and understanding. The Chinese Revolution, which shook the entire world of imperialism in 1925- 27, is gathering its forces for a new upward swing which will have deeper and more lasting effects both upon the life of the Chinese masses and upon the rest of the world. In this booklet will be found the key to an understanding of the current' events, and the forces behind them, in China, which are a prelude to a new period of revolutionary development. Those who have followed the development of the Kuomintang, from its period of revolutionary anti- imperialist struggle when it was allied with the Chinese Communist Party and received the fraternal support of the Soviet Union ( 1924- 1927), to its breakdown in July 1927 and its surrender to the imperialists, and on to the present day when this Kuomintang has become nothing but a tool in the hands of various foreign imperialist powers, will find in the following pages the key to the understanding of the forces which made inevitable this evolution of the Kuomintang. The events of 1927, the ft Revolution, was described in a booklet (" Civil War in Nationalist China." pub-lished in 1927), in the form of the notes of an American participant in some of the events of that time. As the author of that descriptive pamphlet, which dealt with the treacherous events at the time they were happening, I wish to recommend the present booklet as the best analysis of these events and their consequences which has yet appeared in the English language. I t is a permanent contribution to the political literature on the Chinese Revolution. As such it is a con-, tribution to the world struggle to overthrow the rule of imperialism. November 21, 1929. EARL BROWDER. CONTENTS 1. Introduction.- No Stability and Peacef elopment for China under a Semi- feudal Bourgeois Regime. 2. Economic Basis of the Militaris Regime and Civil Wars in China - False Bourgeois Interpretations. 3. The Social and Political Content and Present Alignment of Reactionary Forces and the New Civil War in China. A. The Chiang Clique and the Nanking Regime. The Shanghai National Bourgeoisie and the Chiang Kai- shek Clique. Chiang Kai- shek and American Imperialism. The Nanking Regime. B. The Anti- Nanking Bloc. The Metamorphosis of the Kuomintang " Left" Wingers The " Third Party" Group. Chang Hsueh- liang and the Kwangsi Militarists. Feng Yu- Hsiang, the " Christian General." Yen Msi- shan, the " Model" Governor of Shansi. 4. Conclusion.- The Outcome of the Civil War and Prospects of the Revolution in China. The New Government Following the Present Civil War. Present Conditions in the Labor and Peasant Movements in China. The Rising Revolutionary Wave in China and the Oppor-tunist Right Wingers. The Nature and Tasks of the Revolution in China. The Chinese Communist Party and the Revolution in China. The Chinese Revolution, the American Working Class, and the Chinese Workers in America. Author's Note. 1. INTRODUCTION- D PEACEFUL DEVELOPMENT FOR CHINA UNDER A SEMI-FEUDAL BOURGEOIS REGIME. Less than two years since the so- called " unification" of China by the Kuomintang, a second civil war of reaction is raging in China. The roaring guns of the rival militarist groups are again reminding the world of the existence of grave contradictions in China, un-solved and insoluble by the semi- feudal and bourgeois regime. Any-body with a true Marxist understanding of the Chinese situation knew even at the height of the short period of peace which Chiang Kai- shek's regime enjoyed that it could never last long. I t was not surprising that soon after the fall of Peking which Chiang Kai- shek declared as the beginning of the reconstruction period, the Nanking- Kwangsi war broke out. This war, which was a clear expression of Anglo- Japanese and American antagonisms in the Far East and an inevitable result of the conflicting and irreconciliable interest of the different ruling groups of the bourgeoisie and semi- feudal landlords, ended in temporary victory for Chiang Kai- shek. In this fight, Chiang Kai- shek, although doubtless acting as agent of American Imperialism, was not a pure representative of the Chinese bourgeoisie. he ~ hineseb ourgeoisie, not being an independent force, has no pure champion in China. Chiang Kai- shek's Nanking regime thus repre-sented only a temporary combination of the bourgeoisie, particularly the Shanghai bourgeoisie, and a section of the feudal landlords of South China. Thus it was foolish to consider the victory of Chiang Kai- shek in the Nanking- Kwangsi war as the victory of the Chinese bourgeoisie which, as many asserted, would have opened up a vista of peaceful capitalist development for China with the help of Ameri-can finance capital. It is equally foolish to assume that the defeat of the Kwangsi clique meant the defeat of British imperialism and hence its retreat from China. The short period of peace that followed the conflict was pregnant with troubles. British imperialism was busily looking for another tool or strengthening the old one, and the rival militarists, reflecting the conflict between the different 6 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA strata and groupings of the ruling classes, were hastily preparing for a new trial of strength. The ~ isbandment Conference which made such a loud noise and caused many easily deluded people to believe in its effectiveness, represented merely a process of bargaining between the different militarists, a step in the preparation for a new war. But as soon as the conference ended, rumors pointing to a new conflict sifted through the most closely censored press. War clouds gathered fast. Politicians were still talking about the possibilities of a peaceful development, but even the most credulous began to doubt. Soon the truth unfolded itself. War was declared on Chiang Kai- shek by Chang Fa Kwai on September 26 and with the combined advance of the Kwangsi clique and Chang Fa Kwai's forces from the South and Feng Yu Hsiang's Kuon~ inchiun from the North against Chiang Kai- shek, the second civil war of reaction in two years has actually begun. Thus history has again confirmed the infallible truth of the Marxist dictum that the Chinese bourgeois feudal regime can never solve the contradictions and unify China. Only a Soviet govern-ment o~ f the workers and peasants of China can basically solve the Chinese question, unify the country and put it on the road of peace-ful and upward development ! 2. ECONOMIC BASIS OF THE MILITARIST REGIME AND C I V I L WARS I N CHINA. The root of the trouble in China has to be sought for in its econ-omic conditions. It is not an accident that China is not a really in-dependent and unified country but is composed of autonomous states practically governed by independent semi- feudal militarist groups, the leaders of semi- feudal landlords and native bourgeoisie, which are backed by different imperialist powers. I t is not merely because of the wickedness of individual militarists that the militarist groups fre-quently indulge in figthing against each other for the extension of their respective territories and the control of the central government. A close examination of the social forces at work in China will show that these conditions are primarily the expression of the semi- feudal character and colonial status of Chinese economy. Comrade Chiu Wito, a leading theoretician in the Chinese Comn~ unist Party, wrote a remarkable paragraph on this point in an unpublished manuscript in MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 7 which he gave a brief but clear analysis of the economic background in China in the following words: " Under the hegemony of imperialism, China is cut up into differ-ent spheres of influence- the imperialists; especially Great Britain and Japan, each occupy a certain area in China- each of the different areas in China has its own semi- independent local market, com-mercial capital of a local character, financial apparatus, and military force. The imperialists brought the economic centers of these areas into their own ( imperialist) economic organism. This is a very good basis for the ' militarists' regime' and ' the division of the country by militarists.' At the same time, each iniperialist power fights for the control of the nominal central government- the existence of such a central government provides an apparatus for ' legalizing' the ' in-fluence' or ' interests' which the imperialist powers acquired in China. Under the circumstances, the remnants of feudalism and backward agrarian relations remain completely preserved and provide a basis for the militarist regime in China." ( Translated from the Chinese version of an unpublished manuscript entitled, " Observa-tions on the Peasant Problem in China." Permission for quoting from this manuscript was obtained from the author.) In other words, there are two elements in Chinese economy which bring about the present situation. The first element is the semi-feudal pro- capitalist economy of the country whose sectionalist character provides a basis for a decentralized political system with civil strife as the necessary outcome. However, the economic con-dition of a country is not and can never be static. Had China been " left alone" and gone through a " free" and normal capitalist de-velopment, it would have been possible for China to develop into an industrial nation with the necessary political superstructure of a centralized modern state and unified native bourgeois regime. ( Of course, for the sake of clarity in discussion we assume that there is no socialist revolution which would certainly put the country on an entirely different path.) But such is not the fate of China. Just about the time when China was about to enter such a stage of de-velpoment wo'rld capitalism had already ushered in its last stage, imperialism, which in its mad grasp for colonies, speedily harnessed China to the chariot of colonial servitude. " The fundamental ten-dency of colonial exploitation acts in the direction of hindering the development of productive forces in the colonies, of despoiling them 8 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA of their natural riches and, above all, of exhausting the reserves of human productive forces in the colonial countries . . . This is the essence of its function of colonial enslavement: " the colonial country is compelled to sacrifice the interests of its inde-pendent development and to play the part of an economic ( agrarian-raw material) appendage to foreign capitalism . . . " ( Colonial Thesis of Sixth World Congress of the Cornintern. Inprecorr, Eng-lish Edition, Vol. 8, No. 88, Page 1663.) Yes, an economic appendage to foreign capitalism- this is what I meant by colonial status, the second element of Chinese economy. It is precisely this status that oppresses the Chinese workers and peasants by extorting surplus value from their labors, that drain the country of its riches, and hinders the development of productive forces in China. I t is precisely this status that preserves the remnants of feudalism and backward agrarian relation's which firovide a firm basis for the hated militarist regime! The presence of imperialist influences in China, which maintains the colonial status, carries with it all the inherent contradictions of imperialism. The situation is made worse and more precarious be-, cause of the fact that there is not only one imperialist power in China, like the British in India, but several imperialist powers whose con-flicting interests always collide with each other. The rival imperialist powers, by bringing each economic center of the various local areas ( spheres of influence) into their ( imperialists') respective economic organisms, inject fresh contradictions into the semi- feudal economy of China already full of sharp contradictions of its own and thus intensify the conflict between the local groups. Hence we see that the militarist regime and civil wars in China are the inevitable result of econ80mic conditions in the country, a condition that can only be changed by a workers' and peasants' revoluton! FALSE BOURGEOIS INTERPRETATIONS. Bourgeois writers naturally close their eyes to these facts and re-fuse to see the truth of such an explanation. Many have offered in-genious explanations that serve either to expose the ignorance and dishonesty of the writer or to illustrate the ridiculous stupidity of all such apologies for bourgeois policy. Some said that the corruption of Chinese officials is the cause of the troubles in China. Some even went so far as to assign official corruption as an inherent characteristic MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 9 of the Chinese race! Others try to explain the troubles in China by assigning as main causes such factors as Chinese philosophy, ancestor worship, the family system, etc., which are merely the superstructure of the semi- feudal economy that imperialism is doing its best to pre-serve and perpetuate in China. Dr. F. J. Goodnow, former president of John Hopkins University and a well known expert on Chinese affairs in the camp of American imperialism, offered a geographical explanation. He writes in the National Geographic Magazine of June, 1927, the following: " There is probably no section of the world where geographical conditions have had a more potent influence over its history and over the character of the people than! the part of Asia which we speak of as China . . . The geographical and topographical situation of China has had two important results; first, a country which is probably more suited than any other part of the world for the production of purely agricultural products; and second, a frequent political division into a north and a south China." Even if it is true that before China's contact with capitalism and western industrial development, geographical peculiarities, which excluded China from extensive commercial relations with the outside world and thus deprived her of the stimulus of a wide oversea market, might have been partly responsible for China's stagnation in her economic life, still once this isolation was broken down, and once the technology of the Industrial Revolution was introduced into China, the geographical impediments which retarded China's earlier development lost their significance. Indeed, the geographical in-heritance of China, with its rich resources, fertile soil, a n d teeming population ( if we consider population a geographic factor) should be considered as very favorable for industrial development. Dr. Good-now was probably letting his wishes run away with him when he asserted that China is " a country probably more suited than any other part of the world for the production of purely agricultural products." ( How about America and Russia?- R. D.) No doubt it has been and it still is the policy of imperia- lism to keep China an agricultural appendage of the metropolis and Dr. Goodnow's theory is nothing more than an apology and a justification of this policy. A glance at the railroad map of China is sufficient to show that the railroads of China which were mostly planned and built by the im-perialists were not laid out with the purpose of connecting up the 10 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA whole country as a unit and creating a national market but were built regionally, each imperialist power working for its own end and creating its own economic center. This is merely one concrete expression of the colonial policy of the imperialists that plunges China into economic disruption and political chaos and keeps her from entering upon the road of " freey' and " normal" industrial de-velopment! I t is imperialism and the semi- feudal economy which imperialism seeks to perpetuate in China that are responsible for the " frequent political division into a north and a south China" and not " the geographical and topographical situation" which Dr. Goodnow unsuccessfully tried to make the scapegoat. Thus the high priests of bourgeois society vainly seek an explana-tion that would exonerate the capitalist system ( imperialism) from the crime of maintaining a regime of chaos and murder, the militarist regime, in China; an explanation which would delude the masses into believing that it is the " corrupt officials," " Chinese philosophy," or " geographical peculiarities" and not imperialism that is responsible for their misery. I t is the duty of every class conscious worker and revolutionist to expose the falsehood and counter- revolutionary role of these theories and explain to the masses the real cause of the troubles in China. 3. THE SOCIAL AND POL N T AND PRESENT ALIGNMENT OF FORCES AND THE NEW CIVIL WAR IN CHINA.. Early in July this year, Comrade Chiu Wito gave us a very clear picture of the contradictions in China that were bound to bring about a civil war in the near future. He said: " The background of the militarist wars in China can be described as the following: ( 1) the struggle between British, Japanese and American imperialists for spheres of influence in China and the right to control the central government; ( 2) the struggle between the various militarist groups for territories, representing the combined interests of commercial capitalists in the local markets and the gentry and landlords; ( 3) the struggle of the Shanghai national bourgeoisie ( including banking capitalists and compradores, the capitalists of the big industrial and commercial banks) for the control of all the markets of the nation, demanding the local markets ( such as Han- MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 11 kow, Canton, Tsingtao, Tientsin, and Dairen, etc.) to abolish their semi- independent character and obey Shanghai, and thus to bring about the unification of the national market; hence the conflict with the local militarists. These three causes of civil wars in China are closely related to each other." ( Taken and translated from a Chinese pamphlet entitled " International Struggle Against Opportunism.") Two months after the above words of Comrade Chiu were writ-ten, the opening battles of the present civil war of reaction were fought. Nobody who was familiar with the situation in China was surprised; everybody who has an interest in Chinese politics was pa-tiently waiting for the curtain to rise. The general aggravation of international and internal contradictions in China made the war inevitable in the nearest future and the war came at this particular time because of the more or less simultaneous occurrence of the fol-lowing events which precipitated the inevitable clash. The urgent de-mand of the northern commercial bourgeoisie to move the capital back from Nanking to Peking, hoping thus to afford a relief to the acute economic depression in the North which was greatly aggravated by the removal of the capital to Nanking, temporarily reconciled the contradictions among the Northern militarists and hastened their suothwaid drive. The worsening of famine conditions in the north-western provinces, the territory under Feng Yu- Hsiang's control, with little or no prospect of relief, presented a grave food problem for Feng Yu Hsiang's army and thus gave the " Christian General" a strong impetus to descend southward at the earliest possible mo-ment. The prolonging of the " Sino- Soviet Crisis" weakened Nan-king's position and thus strengthened the positio'n of Feng Yu- Hsiang, and, at the same time, alienated Chang Hsueh- liang's ( the Manchu-rian war lord) support of Nanking. The Disbandment Conference last April which was nothing more than a preparation for the new civil war was used by both sides as a weapon of manouvre and pr~~ paganda. Soon after the closing of the conference Chiang Kai- shek accused Feng Yu Hsiang and his allies of defying the attempts of the " Central" Government ( Nanking) to carry out the decisions of the Disbandment Confer-ence while the insurgents declared that Chiang Kai- shek only at-tempted to disband the other's troops while re- enforcing his own. Of course it is true that, as far as the interests of the Chinese na-tional bourgeoisie are concerned, they are in favor of the disband- 12 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA ment of the Chinese troops, which are no good for modern warfare and constitute a heavy burden and nuisance to Chinese businessmen. This explains why the strongest advocate of disbandment, which meant to reduce the standing army to a minimum, was T. V. Soong, the chief spokesman of the national ( Shanghai) bourgeoisie. But the Nanking Government, as later explanations will show, is not a purely bouregois government. Chiang Kai- shek, while partly cham-pioning the cause of the national bourgeoisie, is a local militarist him-self, and also relies on the support of other local militarists. There-fore to Chiang Kai- shek, the Disbandment Conference was both a maneuver and a propaganda campaign. It was a maneuver to disarm his rivals peacefully, if he could, but if he could not, to use it as an excuse, as he did, to launch a military expedition against the rival militarists. It was, at the same time a propaganda campaign for deceiving the masses. But Chiang Kai- shek's rivals refused to be out- maneuvered. They said yes to all the empty resolutions at the Conference, but left the Conference in haste as soon as its sessions were closed, and hurried back to their respective semi- fudal " capitols" to prepare for the coming civil war. The Kwangsi militarists struck the first blow, with Feng Yu Hsiang and others hesitating and looking for a chance to get some advantage out of the Nanking- Kwangsi war. The Kwangsi militarists col-lapsed after a short struggle, and Chiang Kai- shek emerged vic-torious and proceeded to brandish his " disbandment" clubs over Feng Yu I- Isiang's head. Chang Fa Kwei, who had connections with the " Reorganizationists" and showed signs of disobeying Chiang Kai- shek was also to have his troops disbanded. Chang Fa- Kuai soon revolted, and his war cry against Chiang Kai- shek was echoed and re- echoed on all sides, by various militarist groups, each having its own particular grievances against the dictator but all working for his downfall. The reports about the war are so confusing that it is not possible to examine in detail with a fair degree of accuracy the military pro-gress of the warfare. Fortunately, such an examination is not neces-sary here. The important things to know are the political and social content of the groups involved and their part in the march of events toward the Chinese revolution. MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 13 A. THE CHIANG CLIQUE AND THE NANKING The present civil a combined attack the " Central" Government the Chiang clique. Therefore, we will begin our analysis with a brief survey of the Nanking group and its regime. THE SHANGHAI NATIONAL BOURGEO THE CHIANG KAI- SHEK CLIQUE. I t is true that Nanking serves as the agent of Am ial-ism and at the same time represents the interests of Shanghai bour-geoisie. It is also true that Nanking's tottering existence signifies, as Comrade Chiu said, " the struggle of the Shanghai national bour-geoisie for the control of all the markets of the nation, demanding the local markets ( such as Hankow, Canton, Tsingtao, Tientsin, and Darien, etc.), to abolish their semi- independentcharacter and obey Shanghai, and thus bring about the unification of the national market." But here it should be made clear that Nanking is not a real national government. I t is practically built upon the support of only a few provinces in the lower Yangtze valley. While bearing the name and having the legal status of a national government, Nan-king, ever since its beginning, has always the character of a local government. " Although Chiang Kai- shek represents the Shanghai bourgeoisie, the Shanghai bourgeoisie is grown up together and mixed with certain landlords and compradores. The fact that Chiang Kai- shek must depend upon the support of Chu Pei- Te ( of Kiangsi), Ho Ying Chin ( of Hupeh), Chen Tio- yuan ( of Anbui) and even Ho Chien ( of Huan) is an evidence of this situation!" ( from Chiu Wito's pamphlet "~ nternational Struggle Against Opportunism," pub-lished in Chinese.) In the present conflict the alliance of Chiang Kai- shek with Chen Ming- shu of Kwangtung is a very clear illus-tration of this point.) Chen Ming- shu, with the slogan " Kwang-tung for the ~& angtun~ neseis" almost a pure type of a militarist, representing the semi- feudalists and commercial capitalists of that region. Indeed, the Chinese national bourgeoisie, which is more or less concentrated at Shanghai, is not yet an independent force sufficiently strong enough to dominate the whole country! Since the 14 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA Nanking Government is not a real national bourgoeis government and must rest upon the support of local forces, it cannot proceed along the line of pure bourgeois development. Hence, the civil war in China can never be a progressive war, not even from the point of view of Nanking. The Chiang clique is not a compact body repre-senting the independent bourgeoisie of China ; like the anti- Nanking bloc, it is also a bloc, an allied group, composed of Chiang Kai- shek himself, representing the Shanghai bourgeoisie controlling Kiangsu and Chekiang, and the provincial militarists of Anhui, Kiangsi, Hupeh, Hunan, Fukian, and part of Honan. Such civil wars of reaction, even if Nanking comes out again victorious, can never bring about the real unity of China! The Tenth Plenum of the Communist International has diagnosed the Chinese situation quite correctly in the sentence which says that " the interests of the ruling clique in China are diametrically opposed to the interests of the na-tional unification of China.'' ( Inprecorr, Vol. 9, No. 46, p. 957.) CHIANG KAI- SHEK AND AMERICAN IMPERIALISM. The dual character of the National Government at Nanking to a large extent also serves to explain the sometimes wavering foreign policy of Nanking. Although Chiang Kai- shek chiefly leans upon American imperialism, the fact that the Yangtse valley is primarily a British sphere of influence together with other circumstances oblige him to flirt not infrequently with his British and Japanese masters, and sometimes he doesn't even hesitate to " pass a night" with either one of the two. The capitulation in the Tsinan case, the recognition of the infamous Nishihara loan, and the Sino- British naval agree-ment are some of the well known products of such " overnight unions." But, by and large, Chiang Kai- shek is primarily pro- American. Of course, Chiang Kai- shek's occasional overtures to Great Britain and Japan weakens America's confidence in him. However, no wise master expects complete fidelity from his servant. So long as he does not resent the master's approaches and carries out his wishes, some kind of support from the master can be assured. Thus we see, despite Chiang Kai- shek's infidelities, America still gives him help in his recent trouble. The American bourgeoisie realizes that it cannot win the Chinese market from England or Japan without a war, and she does not hesitate to start the struggle, on a smaller scale, by MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 15 helping out her agent in Chin he lifting of the arms embargo which makes it legal for forei ers to sell arms to China, but only through the central gov naturally greatly strengthens Chiang Kai- shek. The recent order from Nanking for the largest consignment of army aeroplanes that China has ever made before in any foreign country is of great significance since, owing to the poor arms of the opposing forces, this may be of decisive importance to the outcome of the war. It may be mentioned here that almost the whole air force of China, under Chiang Kai- shek's direction, organized with American capital ( the Curtis interests) and und the command of the famous American adventurer, Albert Ha masquerading as " General Chang" in China. The New York Time of November 1, carries the news that " the Nanking government i now negotiating with the American Oil Company, raise $ 10,000,000 Mexican ($ 5,000,000 gold) advance by giving a 20 per cent rebate." We do not know yet of the negotiations, but the very fact that negotiations certainly proves that American imperialists have not yet of betting on Chiang Kai- shek. The editorials of two capitalist papers in America also betray this attitude the imperialists. The New York Times ( Oct. 16, 1929) said: " whether or not the National Government be- as its supporters assert- the only hope of China, it has succeeded, longer than any of its predecessors, in maintaining a semblance of order in China." The New York Herald- Tribune, ( Oct. 13, 1929) is even more outspoken. It wries: " Chiang thus far has seemed to symbolize civil peace and national unity; that is why the successive revolts against his govern-ment have collapsed." Of course, this over- confidence of American imperialism in Chiang Kai- shek does not mean that if Chiang Kai-shek goes to the dogs, American influence in China will go with him. Imperialists can always find new agents when the old one has served its turn. But in the meantime, I think, the evidence at hand war-rants the conclusion that American imperialism has not yet aban-doned hope in Chiang Kai- shek and is still supporting him. THE NANKING REGIME. The Nanking government was born out of the womb of counter-revolution, when the Chinese bourgeoisie, under the leadership of Chiang Kai- shek, betrayed the Revolution in April, 1927 and organ- 16 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA ized a government at Nanking as a rallying center for all counter-revolutionary forces in South China. Later, as the result of the temporary defeat of the workers and peasants by the combined forces of reaction with the support of imperialism, Nanking became the " central government" of China. Every leaf of the short history of the Nanking regime is stained with the blood of the workers and peasants. It is a record of the most ruthless suppression of mass movements and mass revolts. It is, at the same time, a chronology of corruption, deceit, and failure in internal politics and the most shameful capitulation to foreign powers. Indeed, the two dominant features of the Nanking regime, white terrorist policy toward mass movements and open capitulation to reaction and imgerialism, complement each other. I t was only by the use of unprecedented terrorist methods that Nanking was able to temporarily suppress the revolution and drive the revolutionary move-ment underground, thus making it temporarily safe for the imperial-ists and native bourgeoisie and feudal elements to carry on their grim business of exploitation. Sirce the Nanking government came into power, all the privileges which the workers had gained through bloody struggle during the revolution were abolished and all the lands which the peasants took over during the revolution were taken away and given back to the landlords. All militant trade unions and peas-ant leagues were closed and in their place governmental unions were set up. The workers and peasants were deprived entirely of the freedom of speech, right of organization, and assembly, and strike. The punishment for being a member of the Communist Party or a revolutionary trade union is death. According to conservative esti-mates made in this spring, from the summer of 1927 up to the spring of 1929, within a period of one year and a half, more than half a million Chinese workers and peasants, including women and children, were executed by the Nanking regime. Just take the month of November, 1928, a normal month without mass disturbances in China; the newspapers report 2,169 arrested, 3,236 executed and 53 sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. ( The Chinese Red Flag, Dec. 18, 1928.) The reason why the number of executions exceeds the number of arrests is because many executions took place on the streets without going through the formality of trial. By the fact that many arrests and executions are done in secret and news-papers report only about 20 or 30 per cent of the actual number MILITAR 1ST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 17 of them, the extent and mass character of the white terror can be well imagined. However, while doing its utmost terrorist measures, the Nanking gcve all the contradictions in China, is unwittingly preparing the ground for a new revolution. The unprecedented crisis in agriculture which plays a dominating role in Chinese economy is very severely affecting the whole economic life of China. In July of this year, the Chinese ambassador in the United States stated officially in the press that 37 million people in China were starving. The newspapers in China, foreign or Chinese, are full of tales of horror about the famine. But the g- o vernment has not taken any fundamental measure to meet the crisis. Even in relief work, beyond appropriating the pitiful sum of a half million Mexican dollars, the government is absolutely helpless. Of course Chiang Kai- shek takes $ 1,000,000 from the public treasury for himself each month, but that does not help the situation since he is not yet a famine sufferer! The crisis is cutting; its deep wounds into the economic life of China. One of its results is bound to be the increasing pauperization of the peasantry and further concentra-tion of land into the hands of big landlords, thus strengthening the system of semi- feudalistic method of exploitation and deepening the contradictions in the villages. Nanking recognized the grave situation of class antagonisms in the villages, not only in the famine districts but throughout China, and attempts were made to minimize the con-tradictions by reformist measures. 25 per cent reduction of rents was once put through in Chekian ut the reduction was abolished as soon as the landlords felt a li fer. A commission was set up to work out measures for agrari orm, but no concrete measures could be agreed upon and so far the commission has not offered any definite proposal. The June session of the Kuomintang Executive formally announced its failure to work out measures for agrarian re-form by deciding to postpone all such measures for four & ars. sideby side with the rapid deterioration of agriculture, industry as a whole also remains depressed, especially the heavy industries. The severely oppressed condition of the Tientsin flour mill industry, the reduced production of Chinese Cigarette factories, the stagnation in the leather industry, and the crisis in the silk industry all contribute to present a gloomy picture. ( See M. Volin, China in 1928, published by the Chinese Labor University in Moscow, and also see the Commu- 18 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA nist International, Vol. 6, No. 23.). In addition to the agricultural crisis and industrial depression, Nanking is also faced with financial bankruptcy. The repeated attempts o, f T. V. Soong, Chiang Kai-shek's minister of finance and a real spokesman of the Shanghai na-tional bourgeoisie, to put the finances of the country in order met with failure at every turn. Early in August this year, Mr. Soong, in desperation, made a declaration which contains the following words : " During the last year the finances of the whole country have fallen into a most hopeless state. The people are groaning under the im-mense burden. Every one had hoped that, following the unification of the country, the military expenditure would have been reduced and brought into the regular budget. If no guarantee can be given, if even after the Disbandment Conference, the military expenditure still remains unlimited, and the estimates withold exact definition- in such a case our government's ability to obtain financial credits must be reduced to zero, and the financial burdens resting on our people will increase without limit. Life, already extremely difficult, will become impossible." ( Yeh Shih Pao, Peking. August 8, 1929). What a picture of financial bankruptcy! No government can last long under such circumstances. Thus, instead of ushering in a period of prosperity and economic development, as many well- wishers of Nanking expected, Nanking not only remains utterly helpless in the face of an agriculture crisis, industrial depression, and financial bank-ruptcy, but makes the situation worse by corruption, intensified oppression and exploitation of the masses and complete capitulation to the increasingly aggressive encroachments of the imperialist powers. The crucial problem in China's relations with the imperialist powers is the tariff question. In estimating the result of Nanking's foreign policy we must see what alterations Nanking has brought about in connectio* n with this question. Comrade Volin put the question very correctly. He said, " The future position of China in the system of international imperialism and the corresponding form and direction of China's development all depends upon how the tariff problem is solved." ( See M. Volin, China in 1928). What has Nanking done about the tariff problem? Despite the publicity wit) which Nanking tried to emphasize the importance of the empty promise of the powers to grant China tariff autonomy, the history of the tariff negotiations which Nanking conducted last year with the MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 19 powers tells a story of complete defeat. The new tariff rates for-mally promulgated by the Nanking government on December 5, 1928 and put into operation on February 1 of this year, are almost com-pletely the rates proposed by the Japanese, British and American dele-gations at the 1925- 26 Tariff Conference. According to the new rates the import duty on merchandise ranges from 27.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Such important commodities as cotton cloth, cotton yarn, cement, coal, porcelain, matches, and paper still maintain the old rate of 7.5 per cent. A glance at the above items is sufficient to show the absolute ineffectiveness of the new tariff agreemnt as a protction to Chinese industry. The new tariff agreement has not even answered the minimum requirement of the most important native industries for protection. Thus, the question of tariff autono-my turned into a question of a slight increase of tariff rates for reve-nue purposes in the hands of Nanking. The control by imperialism of Chinese industry was not even slightly altered by the new tariff agreement! And furthermore, the control of the tariff administra-tion still remains in the hands of foreigners. It is true that the powers made a little concession by allowing Nanking a higher rate than the old agreement. According to the Chinese Tariff Superin-tendent Chang Fa- Yuan's report, the new agreement will yield about 30,000,000 Haikuan Taels additional income for the government. For this meager sum, consider what China lost by the greement! Thirty million taels- what a price! The next important item in Nanking's program on foreign affairs is the abolition of unequal treaties which was later " prudently" changed into a question of mere revision. A careful study of all the " new" treaties concluded by Nanking with imperialist powers re-veals the fact that in those treaties, all the main special privileges enjoyed by foreigners and foreign capital in China are still carefully preserved and guarded. In essence, the so- called " revisions" are no revisions at all! Aside from thes " rvisions," the other dealings which Nanking made with various imperialist powers, such as the recognition of the notorious Nishihara loan, and the new Manchurian railroad agreement with Japan, the Radio and Aviation agreements with American capitalists and the naval agreement with Great Britain, and the invitation of the Kemmerer Commission to China each forms an important chapter in the history of Nanking's complete capitulation to the imperialist powers. 20 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA Thus, Nanking " sold the country," to use a Chinese expression, and intended to keep most of the " proceeds" herself. The strong resentment and dissatisfaction of the other militarist cliques and the particular interest they represent all of whom desire the right to " sell the countryv which means the control of the " central" government, are to be expected. Fanned by the ambitious imperialist powers, especially England and Japan, who desire to change the status quo of the existing division of the spheres of influence and enjoy the benefit of the change, the flame of revolt against Nanking flared up. Rally-ing all the disc0~ 11tented elements against Nanking, the extensive Anti- Nanking bloc was formed. Chang Fa- Kwei made the , rst move in Ichang, and, with a hedious howl, all jumped on Chiang Kai- shek and his clique! B. THE C. The anti- Nanking bloc is a very extensive but most heterogenous combination. It embraces the so- called " left" wingers, or the " re-organizationists," the extreme right wingers, or the Kwangsi militar-ists, Feng Yu- hsiang and his clique, and such " inactive" and seini-open adherents as Yen Hsi- shan of Shansi and Chang Hsueh- liang of Manchuria. Enemies and friends all thrown together, the only basis for a temporary united front is their common hatred for Chiang Kai- shek and his domination of the central government. This bloc has no single leader recognized by all. There is neither a common program nor a unified organization. In the following analysis I will attempt to bring out the social and political content of each group and their respective roles in the present fiasco. THE METAMORPHOSIS OF THE KUOMINTANG ' LEFT" WINGERS. Although Feng Yu- hsiang's name figures large in the press as the most outstanding military leader of the revolt against Nanking, the ideological leader of the anti- Nanking movement taken as a whole is the so- called " Left Wing" or the (' Re~ r~ anizationisgtr oup" of the Kuomintang, headed by the renegades of the last revolution, Wang Chin- wei and Chen Kui~ g- PO. I t is the most revealing thing to examine the metamorphosis of these petty- bourgeois politicians since MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION those exciting days in May, 1925, which marked the beginning of the last revolutionary wave in China. I think it is one of the most interesting and instructive objective lessons in history. During the first stage of the revolution immediately after May, 1925, when the workers a. nd peasants were just beginning to wake up and the movement was not yet strong enough to be a menace to the Chinese bourgeoisie and landlords, petty- bourgeois phillistines like Wang Chin- wei and Chen Kung- po shouted at the top of their lungs for the interests of the oppressed and advocated a workers' and peasants' revolution. They played the hero of the masses when the masses were not yet a real danger to the class which they represented. But later, in the Wuhan days, in the summer of 1927, when they saw that the influence of the labor movement was growing to tremendous proportions and when the agrarian revolution had actually started with landlords being chased away and peasants taking land over for themselves, Wang Chin- wei and Chen Kung- po and Co. took fright. They bitterly criticised the labor unions and peasants' leagues for having gone " too far" and hurriedly brought out the slogans " slow down the labor and peasant movement," " protect the land and prop-erty of the revolutionary (?) soldiers' families,'' and " protect the interests of merchants and industrialists!" Thus, they unmasked themselves and openly came out as the representatives o'f the interests of the upper strata of the petty bourgeoisie and the small landlords and, at the same time, they joined hands with the semi- feudal land-lords and militarists. Finally, as soon as it became obvious that the workers' and peasants' movement could not be checked in a peace-ful way, that the oppressed classes, once aroused from their slumbers and having tastd power, were determined to have power and fight to the finish for their emancipation, Wang Chin- wei, Chen Kung- po and Co. became desperate and immediately betrayed the revolution in the most shameful fashion. The betrayal was complete. From that time on they sank deeper and deeper into the mud of reaction. I t is a matter of common knowledge that the Canton Uprising of December, 1927, was bathed in blood under the swords of the com-bined forces of Chang Fa- kwai ( Wang Chi- wei's military ally) and Li Fu- ling and by the order of the famous Wang Chi- wei himself! The traitors of Wuhan thus came out as the executioners of Canton! Is it conceivable then that such a group can still play any role in the revolution in the future other than that of its executioner? 22 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA After having taken an active part in crushing the " rear guard fight" of the revolution, Wang Chin- wei and his associates returned ti the task of typical reactionary petty- bourgeois politicians, playing the '( opposition" to Chiang Kai- shek, begging at the doors of various militarists for a chance " to serve," while at the same time publishing magazines and papers again trying to fool the masses and bidding for their support by talking about the interests of the " people." But this time they weremore cautious. Instead of talking of the interests of the peasants and workers alone, they now added the urban petty-bourgeoisie. As for the land question, they merely reiterated the vague slogan of Sun Yat- sen of " equalizing the rights in land" with-out proposing concrete measures for its realization. They openly rejected the revolutionary methods of direct action and mass uprisings and advocated change by peaceful reform. Their hostile attitude toward the Communists and the Soviet Union was becoming increas-ingly vicious ever since the Wuhan days. But their deed were even worse than their words. They worked in the labor unions with the purpose of betraying them and sidetracking the workers. They accepted bribes from various militarists, engineered civil wars, thus trying to get back into the poliical arena for a share of the spoils. Ever since the Nanking- Kwangsi war, Wang Chin- wei, Chen Kung- po and Co. intensified their activities and succeeded in cap-turing a large number of the local branches of the Kuomintang. With these organizations as their stock in trade they bargained with various militarist groups, and took a leading part in engineering the organization of- the Anti- Nanking bloc. The compositi& of this bloc which is now playing the " rebel" against Chiang- Kai- shek is most amazing. I t ranges from the extreme right wing, the Kwangsi militarists, to the so- called " left," " iron- side" general, Chang Fa-kwei. The manifesto, bearing the names of Wang Chin- wei, Chen Kung- po and ten other members of the Central Executive Com-mittee of the Kuomintang, which declared war against Chiang Kai-shek, is a most revealing document- revealing in the sense that it reveals more of Wang Chin- wei than of Chiang Kai- shek. It con-tains ten points, five of which accuse Chiang Kai- shek of corrup-tion, employing only his relatives and friends, embezzlement and mis- appropriation of public funds; two of which expose Chiang's weak foreign policies ; another two of which protest against Chiang's despotism and packing the Third Kuomintang Congress with his MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 23 own men; and one of which objects to Chiang's " illegal murders and ruthless property confiscations against opponents!" ( Emphasis by R. D.) Of course, all these accusations against Chiang Kai- shek are true, but not a word about the rights and interests of the workers and peasants which Chiang & i- shek's regime trampled to the ground! Not a word against the white terror which took the lives of more than half a million workers and peasants but merely an objection to " illegal murders and ruthless property confiscation!"- a mere protest of the rival militarist generals and officials whose property Chiang Kai- shek confiscated! No wonder the correspondent of the London Observer speaks of the manifesto as " not an uncommon manifesto in Chinese politics." It is a typical document of a Chinese militarist, worthy of a Wu- Pei- fu or a Chang Tso- ling. It marks the final step in the complete metamorphosis of Wang- Chin- wei, Chen Kung- po and Co. from petty- bourgeois philistines into stark reac-tionary politicians, open and shameless tools o'f the semi- feudal militarists and imperialists. I dwell so much on Wang owing to the fact that they succ and enjoyed so much popularity among the workers and peasants prior to the Wuhan days, it is probably that some may still enter-tain illusions about them. Such illusions are not difficult to dispel once the facts are known. As for Chang Fa- kwei, the so- called general of " Ironsides," he is nothing more than a military chief of the Wang Chin- wei clique. No further analysis of him is necessary except to point out that his army is no more the old " Ironsides" but merely a collection of mercenaries, entirely devoid of the discipline and revolutionary zeal of the old " Ironsides" of the first Northern Expedition days which were put under his command. Almost all of the old " Ironsides" either died in the first Northern Expedition or were later massacred by reactionary generals including Chang Fa- kwei himself. The few survivors that are left are now fighting under the banner of the Chinese Red Army. THE " THIRD PARTY" GROUP. Another little group of petty- bourgeois phillistines which claims to be even more " left" than Wang Chin- wei, is still busying itself with organizing a petty- bourgeois party with a pretentious friendli- 24 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA ness for the workers. I refer to the pitiful efforts of the " third party" group which is led by Madame Sun Yat- sen, the former General Dun Yen- da, Eugene Chen, the famous foreign minister of the Wuhan government, and Tan Ping- shan, the Con~ munist rene-gade, the classical representative of opportunism. These four horse-men of Chinese social reformism are thinking of naming their party " The Chinese Revolutionary Party" whose program will be somewhat of the same nature as the platform of the Russian " Social Revolu-tionists" ( better known as the SRs). They are " opposed" to both Chiang Kai- shek and the Reorganizationists. They proclaim them-selves to be true disciples of Sun Yat- sen and profess to remain faith-ful to his principles. But there are sharp differences among them-selves as to what they think as the correct interpretation of Sun Yat- senism. However, even if they may reach some agreement in the future, Sun Yat- senism as a whole has already become a reac-tionary ideology. While it played a very useful role in the first stage of the Chinese Revolution, as a consequence of the further process of class- differentiation that has taken place in the country and of the further progress of the revolution, Sun Yat- senism has now changed from being the ideological expression of the develop-ment of that revolution into fetters of its further development, and plays the role of the ideology of counter- revolution. Even the name of Sun Yat- sen lost its magic power as soon as it was converted into a symbol of counter- revolution by the Kuomintang. It has rather become a danger signal which warns the workers and peasants away from it. With Sun Yat- sen as its prophet and the SR as it model, the pitful baby party certainly has a bad start! So far it is still in the stage of formation; it has not yet any mass following but only a small number of petty- bourgeois intellectuals and disheartened revolutionists in its ranks. I think it will never yet a mass following and has very little chance of growing into a fully developed part< The role of the national reformists in China is already filled by the Reorganizationists; there is very little chance for a new party to occupy the same position except as a possible successor. The fact that it has not yet found a militarist to serve and to attach itself to. shows that its special brand of reformism is not yet in demand, which means that it has very little chance of making its debut, at least not in the near future. MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 25 CHANG HSUEH- LIANG AND THE KWANGSI MILITARISTS. Before discussing the two militarists Hsiang, and Yen Hsi- Sha distant " brothers," Cha North East and the Kw West. About these t color is so clear and detailed analysis woul into the shoes of his leadership of the Ma churia is so openly and Hsueh- Liang is so pronouncedly a tool of Japanese imperialism that to say that Japan is behind almost every important move of Chang Hseuh- Liang is not an exaggeration. His recent statement that he found " reasonable points in the manifesto" against Chiang Kai- shek and that " the central government does not mean the government of one man," ( New York Times, Oct. 16) clearly indicates on which side of the fence he stands. His geographical position makes it in-convenient for him to take an active part in a war against Nanking. However, it would be very bad for the anti- Nanking bloc if he actively supported Chiang Kai- sl y merely remaining neutral and thus depriving Chiang ICai- s a powerful ally in the rear of the enemy, Chang Hsueh- Lia dering a great service to his " allies." Ever since their defe Nanking- Kwangsi war this spring, the Kwangsi militarists to their " home" province Kwangsi, and have been intensively preparing for revenge, and a " come back." The Kwangsi clique most outspokenly championed the cause of the semi- feudal gentry and the old trade compradore bour-geoisie connected with British capital, and constituted the extreme right wing of the Kuomintang. Whether the Kwangsi clique will emerge from the struggle weaker or stronger, the semi- feudal gentry and the old trade compradore bourgeoisie will remain a potent force in Chinese politics as long as semi- feudal economy and imperialism hold sway in the country. FENG YU- HSIANG, THE " CHRISTIAN GENERAL" Now we come to Feng Yu- Hsiang, the so- called " Christian Gen-eral," who is a Christian not by birth, but by choice. I want to 26 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA emphasize the word choice because, like everything else that Feng Yu- Hsiang advocated and believed in, he became a Christian to serve his own purpose. I t is not necessary to mention the advantage of having a close connection with the Christian church and the well organized Y. M. C. A. in China. Even the Christian title, which he earned by allowing a priest to sprinkle a few drops of water on him, no doubt serves him as a good letter of introduction to his imperialist masters and, I may add, it also happily possesses the great quality of saving his masters the trouble of memorizing his name. But he is not merely a tool of the imperialists. Every Chinese militarist plays a double role, first as an agent of a certain brand of foreign imperialism, and second as the leader of the native semi- feudal landlords and bourgeoisie of the particular region over which the militarist has control. I t is true that Feng Yu- Hsiang put through some petty " reformist" measures in Shensi, Honan and Kansu, such as the prohibition of luxurious habits, the decree forcing all men living in his territory to shave their heads, the closing of houses of prostitution, the building of workers' baths in one or two cities and official labor unions ( these only in a few localities in Honan). But these measures are either of a distinctly backward character ( prohibition of luxurious habits such as wearing good clothing and giving entertainments and feasts) or reformist demonstrations ( exhibitions) with the specific purpose of fooling the masses and bidding for their support. The fact that he builds a few bath houses for workers while they are starving indicates clearly the purpose of these establishments. Comrade Dun Tsun- Shia of the Profintern correctly calls this a " policy of charity." I disagree with some Comrades who consider Feng Yu- Hsiang as representing the petty bourgeoisie. Considering the economic structure of the provinces he controls, where the system of small landholdings dom-mates, with little or no modern industry, it is very likely that Feng Yu- Hsiang represents the interests of the dominant social strata, the landowners ( whose holding are usually smaller than those of southern landowners) and local commercial capitalists. Most of the officers in his army come from landowning families. His ruthless suppres-sion of the Mohammedan peasant revolt in Kansu and the latter's bitter hatred for him is another indication of the direction of Feng Yu- Hsiang's political orientation. Backed by the landowning class and commercial capitalist ( who MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 27 are closely related to each other), of the Northwestern provinces, and under the direction of his Japanese advisers whom he engaged since his betrayal of the revolution in 1927, Feng Yu- Hsiang is now pushing southward to wrest the hegemony of the national govern-ment from the hands of Chiang Kai- shek, who is the agent of Ameri-can in~ perialism, and also the representative of the Shanghai bour-geoisie and landlords and local commercial capitalists of the South-eastern provinces. In Feng's demand for the removal of the capital back toPeking, which hemade public through an interview with the Associated Press ( New York Times, Nov. 5), we see clearly the working of the hand of the commercial capitalists in the north. If we recall the grave economic crisis which Peking and almost the whole of North China ( except Manchuria) suffered ever since last year, owing to the removal of the capital to Nanking, we will under-stand the full significance of this demand. YEN HSI- SHAN, THE " MODE OVERNOR OF Nort e removal of the capital to ~ e k i nh~ e , sp eaks for all the Northern Chinese land-lords and capitalists, his main support comes from the Northwest. Another war lord of North China is the so- called " model governor" of Shansi- Yen Hsi- Shan. The son of a native banker and pawn broker, he ruled Shansi with semi- feudal methods, more or less suc-cessfully for eighteen years. The secret of his success, to a great extent, lies in his " village policy," by which he consolidated village organizations by conferring governmental appointments upon village elders, thus increasing their power and responsibility and bringing them closer to the higher authorities. This amounts to a conversion of the old self- governing autonomous village system into an almost military organization, which naturally greatly increased the efficiency of the governmental machinery. Here we must point out that since the so- called " villnqe eldersJ' come almost exclusively from the land-lord commercial capitalist class, the tightening up of the village organizatiorn and the increasing of the efficiency of the village gov-ernment means the ti. qlztenirig ufi of the control of the exploiting class over the exploited. Herein lies the secret of the comparatively " peace-ful and orderly" condition of Shansi. This situation cannot last 28 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA long, because, no matter how tightly and efficiently exploitation is organized, the exploited cannot always be kept down. A better means of robbery may prolong a little the grim business, but it can never be a guarantee for the perpetuation of the system of robbery. And further, partly on account of the protection afforded him by the favorable geographical position of the province, Yen Shi- Shan for many years successfully manouvered to remain outside of the various civil war combinations in the country and thus postponed his down-fall. At the brink of every civil war he walked on a precipice and every time, somehow or other, he balanced himself successfully and was saved. But the situation is becoming more critical; every addi-tional civil war deepens the contradictions in China and it is becom-ng increasingly more difficult for the " Model Governor" to hold his balance. Since 1926 he has already lost his balance twice. For-tunately for him, each time he fell in a pool of water and was saved. But there cannot be a pool of water waiting for him all the time! Those who believe that Yen Hsi- Shan is immune to the fate of all militarists in China are undoubtedly betting on a losing horse. However, this time Yen Hsi- Shan may be saved again. Although he is as conscious of the interests of the Northern landowners and bourgeoisie as his temporary ally, Feng Yu- Hsiang, and though he himself controls both Shansi and Chihili, which includes the im-portant cities of Peking and Tientsin, Yen Hsi- Shan is not unaware of the favorable position which he now occupies. He takes full advantage of the situation and is letting Feng Yu- Hsiang fight the battle for him, while he is saving his military strength for later use. Th- - e- fact that Yen Hsi- Shan did not come out openly against Chiang Kai- shek earlier does not mean that he was wavering. The hatred of the Northern landlords and comn~ ercial capitalists toward Chiang Kai- shek, their resentment of the domination of the Central Govern-ment by the Shanghai bourgeoisie, and their determination to remove the capital from Nanking back to Peking, is strong enough, I think, to bring about a temporary united front of the two leaders of the Northern ruling classes, Feng Yu- Hsiang and Yen Hsi- Shan. Recent reports that Yen Hsi- Shan, speaking as a mediator, considers Chiang Kai shek's resignation necessary as a condition for peace, and that he has refused to receive Nanking's delegates, certainly confirms this i e w . However, he is not likely to relinquish the favorable position of a " neutral" unless it becomes absolutely necessary for him to do MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 29 so. He is taking part in the struggle as an arbiter , and after the conclusion of the war, will place himself in a con~ fortables eat in the new government. 4. CONCLUSION- THE OUTCOME OF THE CIVIL WAR AND PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION I N CHINA. THE NEW GOVERNMENT FOLLOWING THE PRES-ENT CIVIL WAR. What will be the outcome of the war? The milita the question does not concern us much; we are not speculating about the possible victory of either side. If, however, it is a question of the nature of the new government that is likely to be organized after the war, it is not amiss to say a few words here. It is obvious that if Chiang Kai- shek comes out of the war victori-ous, he shall have to distribute the spoils not according to the shares which the various groups in the present government hold, but according to their services in this war and the respective military strength which each group or general is able to keep at the end of the war. Such a government, though necessarily different from the present government in composition, will undoubtedly follow the old political ( line of counter- revolution. If the Anti- NanHng bloc comes out victorious in the war, or if a compromise brings about a temporary peace without victory to either side, the new government will certainly continue the reactionary policy of the present Nan-king government, with possible alterations as to the regional distri-bution of power and the relative positions that various imperialist powers will hold in the new division. But the present civil war, while itself is an expression of contradictions in China, will further intensify and deepen those contradictions, and a government founded upon such a shaky basis will inevitably be less stable than its pre-decessor. A glance at the names composing the Anti- Nanking bloc is enough to convince the most optimistic observer of the storms and stress that lie ahead of its voyage. Its wrekage can fairly accurately be predicted. If it is not wrecked because of its own contradictions soon enough, the storm of the revolution will certainly blow it to pieces, and in its place a strong and sturdy ship of Soviet State will surely be established ! 30 MILITARIST WARS AN DREVOLUTION IN CHINA PRESENT CONDITIONS IN THE LABOR AND PEASANT MOVEMENTS IN CHINA. But there is another aspect of the question of the outcome of the civil war which is of the utmost importance. I mean the effect of the war upon the revolution. However, before entering into a dis-cussion of this question, it is necessary to examine the conditions and the tendency of development of the mass movement at the outbreak of the war. The depression in the labor movement which immediately fol-lowed the defeat of the Chinese revolution in 1927 has long since passed away. The mass movement of protest against the Japanese massacre at Tsinan in May, 1928 ushered in a period of recovery, and the workers have shown a growing spirit of militancy ever since the Postal Strike in October, 1928. Comrade Dun Chin- shia, repre-sentative of the All- China Labor Federation in the R. I. L. U., and the best authority on the Chinese Trade Union movement, has com-piled a statistical table of the number of workers taking part in economic strikes at Shanghai, which shows that in 1928, the year following the defeat of the revolution, there were 239,000 strikers as compared with 202,000 strikers in 1926 and 230,000 in 1927. ( See the Pan- Pacific Worker, April, 1929.) This means that the number of workers taking part in economic strikes at Shanghai has actually increased instead of decreased since the last revolution. Shanghai being the industrial center of China, the facts brought out by the statistics are quite significant. In 1929 the strikes grew in extent both as to area and trades involved. In the various industrial centers such as Shanghai, Tientsin, and Hongkong, workers of such varied trades as dock workers, seamen, railway men, tramway work-ers, electricians, miners, textile workers, store employees, etc., were among the strikers. In Shanghai alone, the number of strikers has varied between 10,000 and 60,000 each month. As for their de-mands, there is a growing tendency of turning more and more from economic to political demands. Strikes for purely political demands are becoming more frequent. The political clashes between the workers and the reactionary government are developing into street demonstrations. On the 30th of May this year, the fourth anniver-sar oyf the Shanghai incident, 30,000 came out on demonstration, despite police orders to the contrary, and smashed the editorial offices MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 31 of two Kuomintang papers, held up the traffic in several streets, and even made organized efforts to build barricades. In July and on the International Red Day, there were demonstrations at Shanghai, Canton, Wuchang, Tientsin, and Peking. Space does not permit me to cite more facts, but those cited above are sufficient to sh'ow the upward surge of the Chinese labor movement which has distinctly entered upon a stage of revival. Coupled with the rapid advan the workers' movement, the peasant movement is also march rward, and sometimes, with bursts of sudden fury, resembles a volcano in the initial stages of its developn~ ent. The Mohammedan Peaant uprisings in Kansu are attaining tremendous proportions, although the isolated position of the province prevents us from getting detailed information on the subject. The semi- mystical organizations of the Chinese villages, such as the " Red Spears," " Big Swords," etc., which, although of a backward character, represent genuine peasant organizations fost-ering revolt, are reviving. Guerilla warfare between various peasant detachments and government troops is increasing. The famous de-tachments under the leadership of Comrade Chu T e and Mao Tzu-tung, numbering several thousand men, are broadening and deepen-ing the agrarian revolution wherever they go. An uprising of 70,000 peasants occurred in Nimpo, the home county of Chiang Kai- shek in Chekiang province, this March. In April, Soviets were established in six villages in Finchung in Kwangtung province as the result of a peasant uprising. Yes, the slogan of the Soviet has actually pene-trated into the farthest corners of the villages, especially in South China. The strength of the slogan is already felt. In the coming revolutionary wave, this slogan is bound to play a leading role in concretizing and consolidating the victories of the workers and peasants into a Soviet state! THE RISING RE THE OP A detailed survey of the mass movements in China would require a much larger space than I have devoted to it in the above para-graphs. But what I have said is sufficient to bring out the fact that, at the outbreak of the present civil war, both the labor and peasant movements had already entered upon a very active stage and that offensive fights on the part of the masses took place in many places 32 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA and were developing both in magnitude and intensity. No matter whether Chiang Kai- shek or his reactionary rivals win the war, the greatest and most significant outcome of the war will be its effect on the developing mass movement in the country. It will undoubted-ly further deepen the economic crisis in the country and bring about a more intensified exploitation of the masses, which will, in turn, stir the masses to greater activity and a more determined struggle. I t will completely destroy the illusion of the masses in regard to the Kuomintang and the Chinese Bourgeoisie's ability to unify and stabi-lize China, and thus it will bring about a more resolute fight on the part of the masses against the Kuomintang and the ~ hinese bour-geosie. In a word, the present civil war will certainly deepen the class contradictions in China and hasten the coming of the next revolutionary wave! This, I think, will be the most important effect of the war on the Chinese revolution. This will be the most significant and far- reaching outcome of the war. Together with reports of the reactionary civil war in China, news about mass riots and the growing influence of the Comn~ unist Party also appear in the press. On October 22, the Associated Press re-ported a serious mass riot of rickshaw men which " took place through-out the city" of Peking and lasted more than three hours. On October 29th, the New York Times correspondent in Shanghai reported that " a body of 5,000 communists descended from the moun-tains" and captured the city of Bingyuan in Kwangtung. A special Inprecorr telegram to the Daily Worker reported that about 20,000 communists, under the leadership of Chu T e and Mao Tsu- tung, have recently reoccupied Hailufeng in Kwangtung. If we recall that Hailufeng is the place where the peasant movement is more devel-oped than in any other part of China and that, for more than a year, i t was the seat of a soviet government which ruled a large section of rural Kwangtung, the full significance of this development will be clear. These facts all prove that the effect of the war on the revo-lution is already felt throughout the country. The opportunists will undoubtedly underestimate the importance of these facts. They will underestimate the importance of the facts that indicate the rising of a new revolutionary wave just as they overestimated the possibility of the American imperialists and the Chinese bourgeoisie's ability to bring about unity and stabilty in China. Right after the fall of Peking and when Chiang Kai- shek at the height of his power, the opportunists maintained that era of peaceful capitalist development was dawning in China advocated opportunist tactics of retreat and moderation in the nese Communist Party. ( Pepper, et als). When the Nanking-angsi war broke out, the opportunists advanced a theory which signed to Chiang Kai- shek the role o, f a pure bourgeois, fighting progressive war against feudal reaction in China, which entirely epresented the nature and significance of the war. They would likely try to apply again this counter- revolutionary and utterly theory to the explanation of the present war. But facts un-tedly speak more eloquently and convincingly than the false eories of the opportunists, and I am confident that enough has appened since the fall of Peking to convince the class- conscious revolutionist of the true state of affairs which I try to analyze here. opportunists are deceivinw themselves by their short- sightedness. he Tenth Plenum of the Comintern, in July, Comrade Molotov correctly that " although it is too early to speak of a new revo-ry wave in China, it would be nothing short of contemptible short- sightedness to deny the growth of class contradictions in China and the fact that premises are being created for another evolutionary wave." ( Inprecori- Vol. 9, No. 49, p. 1047). Much appened since last July and subsequent facts have definitely ed the truth of Comrade Molotov's remarks. Born in con-ions, nurtured by the continuous growth of these co~ ztradic-nd spurred on ' by the roaring tide of revolution in India, the tremendous success of socialist construction in the Soviet Union, and the upsurge of the international revolutionary labor movement, the new revolutionary wave in China is rising- rising much more rapidly than the opportunists are willing to believe. THE NATURE AND TASKS OF THE REVOILJTION IN CHINA. 34 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA the development of productive forces and the socialization of labor stands at a comparatively low level. This circumstance, together with the fact of foreign domination and also the presence of powerful relics of feudalism and pre- capitalist relations, determines the charac-ter of the immediate stage of the revolution in these countries. In the revolutionary movement of these countries we have to deal with the bourgeois democratic revolution, i. e., of the stage signifying the preparation of the prerequisites for proletarian dictatorship and socialist revolution. Corresponding to this, the following kinds of tasks can be pointed out, which may be considered as general basic tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution in the colonies nad semi-colonies : "( a) A shifting in the relationship of forces in favor of the pro-letariat : emancipation of the country from the yoke of imperialism ( nationalization of foreign concessions, railways, banks, etc.) and the establishment of the national unity of the country where this has not yet been attained : overthrow of the power of the exploiting classes at the back of which imperialism stands; organization of Soviets of workers and peasants and organization of the Red Army; establish-ment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry; consolida-tion of the hegemony of the proletariat. ' ( b) The carrying through of the agrarian revolution; emanci-pation of the peasants from all pre- capitalist and colonial conditions of exploitation and bondage ; nationalization of the land ; radical measures for alleviating the position of the peasantry with the object of establishing the closest possible economic and political union be-tween the town and village. "( c) In correspondence with the further development of in-dustry, transport, etc., and with the accompanying growth of the proletariat, the widespread development of trade union organizations of the working class, strengthening of the Communist Party and its conquest of a firm leading position among the toiling masses; the achievement of the 8- hour working day. "( d) Establishment of equal rights for nationalities and of sex equality ( equal rights for women) ; separation of the church from the state and the abolition of caste distincions; political education and raising of the general cultural level of the masses in town and counry, etc. " How far the bourgeois- democratic revolution will be able in prac- MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 35 to realize all its basic tasks, and how far it will be the case that of these tasks will be carried into effect only by the socialist volution, will depend on the course of the revolutionary movement the workers and peasants and its successes or defeats in the strug-ainst the imperialists, feudal lords and the bourgeoisie. In par-the emancipation of the colony from the imperialist yoke is ted by the development of the socialist revoltuion in the capi-orld and can only be completely guaranteed by the victory of e proletariat in the leading capitalist countries." ( Inprecorr, Vol. , No. 88, p. 1665.) THE CHINE HE REVOLUTIO Vho will be the leader in stion can be answered c ice. The vanguard of the 1st Party, is the only hinese masses and will be the only leader in the coming: revolution. e Kuomintang has long since trrned counter- revokitionary. The ctionary role of the " left" Kuomintang group or Reorganization-and the " Third Party" group both of which plpiy the part of ional reformist wing of the Kuomintang, is becoming more and e clear to the masses. The possibility of a peasant party leading e revolution is out of the question because, even if we assume that h a party can be successfully organized in China, it will neces-step into the camp of reaction when the revolution develops ill never be able to lead the revolution. The lesson in the the Russian Social Revolutionaries should be sufficient to warn inese masses against entertaining any illusions regarding a y peasant party. The Chinese peasants can only win their om and liberation under the leadership of the proletariat. Only nese Communist Party, the Chinese Section of the Communist tional, the only truly revolutionary party in China, is lead- Chinese masses in their daily struggles now and is vigorously zng for the rising revolutionary wave, and only under the hip of the Chinese Communist Party can the Chinese workers peasants win the fight in the revolution! ^ Ã ˆ 36 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA THE CHINESE REVOLUTION, THE AMERICAN WORK-ING CLASS, AND THE CHINESE WORKERS IN AMERICA. War is a continuation of politics. But the civil war in China is not merely a continuation of civil or internal politics. Since the Chinese civil war represents preliminary skirmishes between the im-perialist powers in the Pacific, it is also a continuation of international politics and an expression of international antagonisms. The Chinese civil war marks a step forward in the onward march of world capi-talism to its grave. It is one of the many signs which announce the accentuation of the general crisis of world capitalism, and the ap-proach of a world war. The working class of the world, especially the American working class, should not lose sight of this fact. They must not think that the Chinese civil war signifies only a maturing crisis of world capitalism in China. The same cause that brought about the present economic crisis in America, that is responsible for the revolutionary struggles in India, and in Palestine, etc., is also the cause of the civil war in China. The American working class should learn to look at the problems of the world situation as a whole. They should strongly combat the " theory" of exceptionalism which artificially builds a Chinese wall around the " good old U. S. A." The world edifice of capitalism is crashing and we should consider every crack in its process of coming down as heralding the approach-ing end of the whole edifice, rather than merely a sign of the break-ing down of an " isolated" part of the building. The connection between the Chinese revolution and the welfare of the working class of western industrial countries has been dealt with in many publications, and I will not repeat in detail what should be common knowledge to every class conscious worker. Suffice it to point out that, by holding China down to a colonial status and by thus seeking to perpetuate semi- feudal conditions in China, the ruling class of the imperialist powers is trying to keep the standard of living of the Chinese workers down to the starvation point, which will inevitably pull down the standard of living of the working class MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 3' 7 rialist countries as well. Herein lies the basis of the f interest between the workers in the colonial countries in imperialist lands. The only complete guarantee of ard of living for the workers in imperialist countries lies 1 revolution in the colonies and semi- colonies just as the guarantee for the emancipation of the colonies from imperialist yoke is the victory of the proletariat in the leading italist countries. Only through the concerted action of all can workers of both colonial and imperialist countries win a com-te victory in their fight for emancipation. are playing in the world revolution and the Chinese revolution? immediate task of the Chinese workers in America, of course, fight for every day demands. Their immediate enemy is, na-ly, their bosses, the majority of whom are Chinese capitalists. is generally believed that the Chinese in America are mostly re-ed to each other and that family ties are stronger than class divi-s so that it is very difficult to agitate among the Chinese in Amer-le not underestimating family ties and all other feudal rela-ideologies as obstacles in the way of the class struggle, it pointed out here that class consciousness among the Chinese ot as difficult to arouse as it is generally supposed. rteen or sixteen hour day and unusually low wages are strong h to break any family ties and arouse class consciousness among orkers. Contrary to the general belief that they are immune struggle, the Chinese workers in America can be proud ikes since the world war. Ten years ago there was a restaurant workers' strike. Five years ago, the Chinese tisans' League in San Francisco conducted a strike. two big strikes, Chinese workers in Los Angeles, and Philadelphia all have strikes to their credit. Recently, se laundry workers went on strike in San Francisco and won a partial victory. Increasing numbers of workers have joined American Revolutionary Unions the leadership of the T. U. U. L. There are also tions of Chinese workers in America such as the hinese Workers' Alliance which have been in existence for 38 MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA . nearly two years. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of America, the T. U. U. L. and fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Negro and white workers, the Chinese workers in America are doing their part in the militant fight against the capitalist class. The political fight of the Chinese workers in America also has a glorious past to its credit. When Chiang Kai- shek betrayed the Chinese revolution in April, 1927, the Chinese workers here led the fight against Chiang in the Kuomintang in America and con-solidated the left wing movement in this country. After the betrayal of the revolution by Wang Chin- wei and Co., the Chinese workers in America openly denounced the renegades, and, realizing that the Kuomintang banner had turned into an emblem of counter- revolu-tion, they dissolved the Kuomintang organizations under their con-trol in many cities and led the petty bourgeois elements who were still sympahizing with the revolution into an independent united front organization called " The Alliance for the Support of the Work-ers' and Peasants' Revolution in China," which is not a party but a mass organization similar to the Anti- Imperialist League. During all these fights, militant Chinese workers in America were struggling under the guidance of their only party organization, the Communist Party of America. Side by side with their Negro and white com-rades, militant Chinese workers in America have already taken up the fight for the common cause and against the common enemy, the world capitalism in general and American imperialism in particular. American imperialists have their agents in China, in the persons of the Chinese militarists, to fight for their interests, and their right to exploit and enslave the Chinese masses. But the Chinese workers and peasants also have their brothers in America, in the persons of Negro, white and yellow workers, to fight for their emancipation and independence. The fight is international and is going on in all parts of the world! The outcome is certain- the victory even-tually belongs to the working class! MILITARIST WARS AND REVOLUTION IN CHINA 39 eries of t articles in the Dail orker ( Nov. 25 to De Chapter 2 also ap d in the November iss ts Monthly. Some additions and minor revisions are made he present edition. uch water has pas hlet was en a little over a month ago, but what happened in China dur-his short interval proves t othing more than a logical ent of the shifting re1 p of social forces in China his pamphlet attempts to analyse. I think this pamphlet can e as an introduction to an understanding of the present hap-ite the complaint of some ending enough money to n imperialists have not he help of American m n " advisers," Chiang Ka hen, according to Chiang's own admission, the fate of Nan- ' hanging on a hair." Now Chiang Kai- shek is again play-ro who has '( unified" China and is making a fresh gesture about administrative " reforms" and " reconstructing" . Here it is important to point out that it is not an at the news of the '( victory" of Chiang Kai- shek and the the report of the Kemmerer Commission in China came at time. American imperialism's strong support of Chiang to the Improvement and Sustainance Fund of " THE CHINES- E VANGUARD Organ of the All- American Alliance for the Support of Chinese Worker- peasant Revolution and the ONLY Chinese weekly that fighte against a dozen of reac-tionary Chinese dailies in this Continent and mobilizes Chinese workers in America for the support of the Chinese and World revolutionary movement. 1. Send subscriptions to your Chinese friends as New Year gifts. 2. Rush money to: " THE CHINESE VANGUARD" 26- 28 Union Square New York City 1 year ............... $ 2.00 Subscription Rates: 6 months ......... 1.25 3 months


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Doonping, Richard, “Militarist wars and revolution in China : a Marxian analysis of the new reactionary civil war and prospects of the revolution in China,” ASIANetwork IDEAS Project, accessed December 17, 2017,