Far Eastern Governments and Politics: China and Japan

By Paul M. A. Linebarger; Djang Chu et al. | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER NINE
Communist China: the People's Republic

DURING their long and industrious struggle with the Kuomintang, the Chinese Communists learned that revolution is a grim business. Bitter experience taught them that the possession of a government was a luxury rather than an asset. The earlier history of the Communist struggle for power in China can be divided into two phases. From 1921 to 1927, the formative years, the Chinese Communist Party participated in the regeneration of the revolution and in the Northern Expedition of the Kuomintang, with which it joined in a short-lived coalition. The alliance abruptly ended in 1927. From 1927 to 1937, the Communists prematurely set up governments which they then had to abandon. The later history of the Chinese Communists saw government used as a means to power, not as an end in itself. The final proclamation of a Communist-controlled government was delayed until Chinese Communist power had permeated all of the mainland provinces by military and party method.

The Formative Years of the Chinese Communist Party . The stage for the introduction of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism into China was set by the Student Movement of 1919 when a group of intellectuals started a series of demonstrations against the decision of the Versailles Conference which conceded to Japan the former German rights in the province of Shantung. The Student Movement led to a general awakening of national consciousness and a popular demand for political and social reform.

It was against this background that the Chinese Communist Party came into being. A young professor and popular literary figure, Ch'en Tu-hsiu, organized the Institute of Marxism in 1920. In the same year, Lenin sent to China his secretary, Marin, as his representative to help in the organization of the Chinese Communist Party; its First National Congress was held in Shanghai in 1921. Meanwhile, Chinese students in Europe also organized

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