June 19, 2019

Soviets in China -1930

By L. MAGYAR 

(Translated from Russian by Comrade DAVIS from "Bolshevik,'' No. 18, September, 1930.) 

"GRAVEST peril menaces our civilization. Millions of peasants revolt in southern China. More than once have peasant up­risings taken place in, the history of China. Now, however, the re­volting peasants proclaim themselves Bolsheviks. Herein lies this gravest peril menacing our civilization." 

Thus the eminent British publicist Burt estimates the situation in China, in the pages of the quit!! respectable and conservative maga­zine Asiatic Review. Peasants have rebelled more than once in China against the landlord, the usurer, the gentry, and the greedy . merchant; against taxes, hunger, want and poverty. Peasant up­risings have overthrown the Chang, Tuan, Sun and Ming dynasties. Foreign troops have already drowned in blood a number of peasant uprisings. Only intervention put down the Tai-ping uprising. It took the imperialists to crush the Boxer uprising. Only with im­perialist aid could the Kuomintang suppress the peasant revolution in Hunan, Hupei and Kwantung in 1925-27. But now the peas­antry proclaims itself Bolshevik. Therefore, the British conserva­tive considers "civilization" in danger. And, insofar as this "civili­zation" is represented by imperialist oppression, by colonial plunder, by the land-baron, the mortgagee, the militarist, the tax-collector and the gentry; insofar as this "civilization" means perishing millions, ruination, slave-labor conditions, militarist wars and starvation­this "civilization" is in danger, indeed.

"New bandit armies spring up in southern China. They exter­minate the landlords, and the property of the rich they hand over to the poor. They confiscate the land and give it to the peasants. To fight against these bandit armies is exceedingly difficult, as the peasants aid them. And when Nanking armies advance in overwhelming force, the soldiers of these armies of ten turn into peaceful peasants and, hiding their arms, await the raising anew of the Red Flag. It cannot be said that the people consider these bandits their enemies. The landlords and the rich fear them, but the poor support them. These bandit armies have grown into a menacing force." So considers the "liberal" Japanese statesman, Vashio. 

In the British House of Commons one of the liberal leaders, the notorious chairman of the Royal Coal Commission, and former governor of Palestine, Herbert Samuels, has already raised the question of intervention:
"I have already said at the outset of my speech, that our diffi­culties arose to a considerable degree as a result of the disorganiza­tion of our distant markets. I have in view India, Ckina and Russia. The Indian market is shut off as a result partly of increased tariff, partly of the boycott on our goods. These are the chief causes for the deplorable conditions of the textile industry in Lancashire. So far as China is concerned, I consider that our Foreign Office must undertake something in the interests of British and, if you please, in the interests of world commerce in the Far East and China. We must put an end to the disorders, wars, almost total anarchy that have reigned in that country now for several years. Can the entire world look on passively, while this large part of humanity is tossing in the throes of destruction? I do not propose intervention generally. I propose intervention only upon im,itation from tke Chinese gov­ernment, and I have grounds to state, tkat tke Chinese government is considering tkis question. Should the Chinese government invite the League of Nations and the United States to come to its aid, the governments represented in the League of Nations will eagerly meet this proposal more than half-way."
The Honorable Sir Samuels does not want intervention imposed and uninvited. But should the Chinese government, i. e., Nanking or Peiping (Peking) or some other Chinese militarist clique desire it,· then intervention must be undertaken at the behest of the "Chi­nese government." Obviously, the brazen advocacy of armed inter­vention, of crushing the revolution and of further enslaving the country, is camouflaged with hypocritical sighs over the sufferings of the Chinese people.

Credit is due the American imperialists for openly saying what other imperialists dare only think. At Williamstown, in the Insti­tute of Politics, that shrine of enlightened bourgeois public opinion, Charles Batchelder, former commercial representative of the U. S. A. in China, and chief of the Far Eastern Division in the Department of Commerce, came out with the following cynically open declaration:
"Foreign intervention in China may become necessary in the nearest future. The conviction grows, that intervention is neces­sary out of humanitarian considerations. Two hundred thousand foreign soldiers, aided by picked native troops, could restore order in the entire country. I consider that the cost of such an undertaking would not exceed $500,000,000. This sum could be raised in the form of a loan, secured by the revenues from customs and the salt monopoly."
Here, too, intervention is proposed out of humanitarian con­siderations, but the bookkeeper's .figures are immediately adjoined. Two hundred thousand foreign troops, picked native troops, .fiv,􀀃 hundred million American dollars, secured by seaport customs and salt revenues-all .figured out to a nicety that would do any American business man honor. Another American journalist, Ran­dolph Gilbert, already computed in advance how many human lives such intervention would cost: "The suppression of the Tai-ping uprising cost twenty million Chinese lives; suppressing the Boxer uprising cost one million Chinese lives. And to suppress the pres­ent revolution will cost the lives of .fifteen million Chinese." 

The figure obtained is preternaturally simple: Five hundred mil­lion American dollars, two hundred thousand foreign troops, fif­teen million Chinese workers and peasants slaughtered; but then a most sizable potential foreign market would be regained to stabilize capitalism, with rich sources of raw material and excellent opportunities to invest capital at colonial super-pro.fits. So simple and sensible is this .figure, that international .finance-capital is taking sun­dry steps to realize it. Germany sends a delegation of representative industrialists to study the Chinese market; the U. S. Senate names a special commission, headed by Senator Pitman, to study the possi­bilities for re-establishing and extending the Chinese market; the "labor'' government of His Majesty, the King of Great Britain and Dominions Overseas dispatches a special commission to study the Chinese question; and a member of the "Labor" Party, presi­dent of the Board of Trade, Graham, gloomily declares that, as there are nine hundred million inhabitants in China, India and the U .S.S.R., if these markets could only be secured, there would be no crisis nor unemployment. 

The road for these commissions is already being cleared. At Chang-sha, in the valley of the Y angtse and at Hankow, foreign warships are already bombarding detachments of the "Workers' - Peasants'" Red Army. American, British, Japanese, French and Italian cruisers and gunboats have already opened war upon the Chinese Soviets. Japanese infantry has already fought the Chinese Soviets' Red Army at Ya-chow and twice recaptured the industrial city of Da-e (Dairen? ). French troops and aeroplanes have already fought against the Soviets in southern K wang-si and have tempo­rarily retaken Lung-chow. When the Red Army entered Chang­sha they met with American bayonets. And upon the fall of Chang­sha, international imperialism concentrated at Hankow land and naval forces equivalent to ten European divisions. In Shanghai, the heart of China, there are concentrated over fifty naval vessels, and thousands upon thousands of military . and police. 

The imperialists' crumbling hopes of stabilizing China did not at all remove the question of imperialism attempting to further subjugate China. Imperialism has not at all given up the struggle for a Chinese colony. Quite the contrary. 

The imperialists are preparing to give the workers' and peasants' revolution in China short shrift. For the revolution did not die after its def eat in 1927; it is victoriously unfurling the Red Flag of the Soviets. And the workers' and peasants' revolution in China is smashing the most precise, dollar-and-penny figures of the im­perialists. 

THE CRISIS AND THE NEW REVOLUTIONARY UPSURGE 

The Chinese revolution, after its defeat in 1927, was being buried by the bourgeois-feudal Kuomintang; it was being buried by the imperialists; it was being buried by Trotsky, who predicted protracted stabilization of Kuomintang rule; it was being buried by Chen Du-su, together with the right renegades of Commu­nism. And after all these prophecies we see a new upsurge of the Chinese revolution, because imperialism and the counter-revolu­tion could not on their own, by counter-revolution, solve the prob­lems called forth by the revolution. 

The revolution posed the problem of overthrowing imperialism. To this the counter-revolutionary Kuomintang counterposed its own program: Capitulation before imperialism, in consideration of the joint suppression of the revolution ; attraction of foreign capi­tal, and the accelerating of the industrial development of the country at the price of further enslaving the country to foreign capital. These plans collapsed. For this counter-revolutionary service the Kuomintang received only crumbs from imperialism. Foreign capital dared not rush into China. 

The revolution set as its task the revolutionary solution of the agrarian question. The counter-revolutionary Kuomintang could not solve the agrarian problem. So closely is the national bourgeoisie knit together with the landowners, the usurers and the system of buying up taxes, that it is incapable of struggling against the pre­capitalist means of exploitation and for even some serious accel­eration of the "Prussian-like" development towards more modern capitalist means of exploitation, as, for instance, the Kemalist bourgeoisie is attempting in Turkey. After a wave of present up­risings had already flooded southern China, the Kuomintang de­cided to issue a new agrarian law, in order the better to struggle against the revolution. The agrarian law adopted by the Legisla­tive Council on June 14, 1930, provides: for a reduction in the ground rent; that the share-crop tenant farmers are to pay only 37 .5 per cent of the yield instead of the former 50 to 7 5 per cent; that the share-cropper has the right of perpetual ten­ancy, so long as he pays rent, and that the landlord has the right to dispossess a tenant only in case he is to cultivate the land him­self, or if the arrears in rentals due exceed two years' rental. 

The system of tenants depositing with the landlords certain sums in advance as security is abolished. The landlord is deprived of the right to auction tenants' livestock and implements for rental ar­rears. Where the landlord does not live on the soil, or the tenant has worked the land for over ten years, the latter is privileged to buy the lands from the landlord. The law provides for a new cadastre ( registration and assessment of land) and, in connection with it, a more orderly system of land taxation. At that, the tax is inversely progressive; more fertile lands pay lower taxes than the less fertile. The law provides for taxing the appreciation of land; where land is bought or sold, the landowner must turn over to the state a certain percentage of the increased value of the land in the form of taxes. 

To encourage colonization, the law provides for taxing fallow lands and for exempting from taxes for five years all new colo­nists. Rentals or taxes must not exceed 15 per cent of the crop on all newly cultivated lands. This is approximately all that the counter-revolution, caught in the grip of a crisis, promises the peasantry. At that, the law is to be applied not immediately and universally, but only in some parts of the country, and then only by special decree. The Kuomintang, although in the face of a peasant war, could not offer further concessions to the peasantry. The Kuomintang dared not even to attempt to realize a project similar to Stolypin's ( the czar's premier after the 1905 revolu­tion). For the Kuom,i.ntang agrarian law is not even a caricature of the Stolyj,in ,project. This Kuomintang reform, by-product of the agrarian revolution, is borrowed from the arsenal of British agrarian policy in its colonies, but could not satisfy even a kulak. 

The revolution posed the problem of unifying the country. In 1928, when the slight rise in the world's economic conjuncture boosted even Chinese economy, Nanking consolidated-if only for­mally and tentatively--eight provinces under its rule. Subsequently, a row of war lords' wars broke out-and the feudal crumbling of the country grew worse than ever. 

The new revolutionary upsurge developed against a background of world economic crisis, sharpened in the case of Chinese economy by special circumstances. Nowhere, in no other country, is the  economic crisis so all-sided, so all-embracing and so deep-going, as in China. 

China had its bourse ( stock exchange) crash. The depreciation of silver, causing the fall of all currency, became for China an economic rout. In the course of one year the basic standard and treasure-trove of the country, silver, depreciated 40 per cent­this alone almost doubling the national debt to the imperialists. The industrial crisis grips all branches of industry. Iron ore min­ing is cut even in Japanese mines, let alone Chinese. Smelting cast­iron is reduced even in Japanese blast furnaces; mining coal is cut even in British and Japanese mines. The textile industry is suffering a chronic crisis in all countries, and in China it is suf­fering besides from severed means of communication, from in­tensified British and Japanese competition and from raised tariff in India. The raw silk· industry cut its production 60 to 70 per cent. The .flour milling industry has been paralyzed as a result of three successive catastrophic famines. 

The tobacco industry is ruined by competition on the part of the British-American Tobacco Company, and the match industry is razed to the ground by the cut-throat competition of the Swe­dish Match Trust. The crisis hit hardest the small and medium handicraft and manufacturing enterprises: They are closing down by the thousands and tens of thousands. Foreign commerce dimin­ished catastrophically. Imports fell off 37 per cent and exports 10 per cent. Underproduction, chronic agrarian crisis, which led to famine on an unprecedented scale { 192 7, nine million; 1928, thirty-seven million; 1929, fifty-six million starving), is aggra­vated by world overproduction of the most important commercial and technical products cultivated in China. Prices are falling on soya beans, raw silk, tea, cotton, and oil seeds, and thereby depre­ciating Chinese exports. Mass bankruptcy has broken out, even among the larger and largest firms, in the course of which a number of foreign firms have already failed. Chinese firms going into the hands of foreign capital has become an every-day occur­rence. The bourse, valuta, industrial and agrarian crises, all have: simultaneously descended upon the Chinese semi-colony of im­perialism. 

The economic crisis develops into a political crisis. This crisis ex­presses itself in: the collapse of the ruling classes. The camp of the counter-revolution is rent asunder. 

Already for the past few months a militarist war is raging in northern China. An alliance of fifty-seven northern war lords, headed by Yen Hsi-shan and Feng Yu-hsiang, took the field against Nanking. Chiang Kai-shek mobilized five hundred and fifty thousand troops, and the Northern Alliance, six hundred and ntty thousand troops, at the front. The Northern Alliance has more troops, Nanking has better troops and better military technique. The forces at the front balance. Mukden for several months has stayed neutral. Both Nanking and Peiping keep trying to win over to their sides the Mukden group which continues playing in this struggle the role of an indicator on a pair of scales. At the same time there is a war going on down south, of another militarist group. The remnants of the Kwangsi group joined forces with Chang Fa-guy, with the province Kwangsi as their military-territorial base, and are waging war against Nanking. And Nanking, on its part, scraped up an alliance of militarist groups in K wantung, Hunan, and Kuy­chow against the alliance of Kwangsi and Chang Fa-guy. 

Wherein lie the social and political roots of this militarist war? The Nanking program in no wise differs essentially from the Pd­ping program. When the Northern Alliance comes out against Chiang Kai-shek's dictatorship, it fights, not against dictatorship in general, but against the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek, and for the dictatorship of Feng Yu-hsiang, Yen Hsi-shan and the other generals. When Peiping points to the corruption, sell-out, degen­eration and decomposition of Nanking, then Nanking retaliates by stigmatizing the Peiping group as corrupt, sold-out, decomposed and degenerate. When Peiping wars against Nanking in the name of democracy, it is ridiculous enough to make Chinese fowl laugh, even as is Nanking's warring against Peiping in the name of Sun Yat-sen's Testament. Nanking has no other answer to the prob­lems of the Chinese revolution than Peiping, and Peiping essen­tially has the same answer as Nanking. 

Uneven economic development, feudal, dismemberment, influ­ence of different imperialist powers in different parts of the country -these are the main causes of th4 m,i/,itansts' wars in China. Nan­king, undoubtedly, bases itself on the provinces more developed eco­nomically-Tsien-tsien, Tsien-soo, K wantung and Hupei-and thereby on the big bourgeoisie, including the com,pradore (labor­contractor) bourgeoisie and the big land barons of these provinces. At the same time Feng Yu-hsiang, undoubtedly, and Yen Hsi-shan base themselves on the bourgeoisie and landlords of Shansi, Shensi, Kwangsu, etc. They base themselves on the big bourgeoisie and landlords of these provinces, but the big bourgeoisie of these prov­inces is rather merchant-usurer than industrial, as compared with the Nanking provinces, whereas Wang Tsin-hwei and his grouping reflect the interests of the middle bourgeoisie and landlords. The basic and decisive difference, however, between the two warring camps of the ruling classes is contained in the outer-political or­ientation of these groups. 

The war between N anking and P eifmg in the North is a war between the United States and Japan! 

Behind Nanking's back looms American imperialism, and behind Peiping, Japanese imperialism. The war between Nanking and the Northern Alliance, the war between Kwantung and Kwansi re­flect the sharpened struggles among the imperialists. With bayo­ nets of Chinese generals, through mercenary troops of the mili­tarists, war is being waged by American, British and Japanese capital for a Chinese semi-colony. America supplies Nanking with armaments, munitions, war rupplies and money. The preparations for Chiang Kai-shek's last offensive in Shantung cost American capital $27,000,000, in return for which American capital cornered the concession for air communications in China. Obviously, it is not without the knowledge of and directions from the U. S. that German imperialism supplies Chiang Kai-shek not only with war supplies, but also with military experts. Under the leadership of notorious fascists, Generals Wetzel and Kribbel, over seven hundred officers of the German General Staff are serving in Chiang Kai­shek's armies. 

At the same time Japanese imperialism is supplying the Peiping group with arms, munitions, areoplanes and military advisers. If the Japanese fascist Tanaka government at one time attempted to seize Shantung for Japanese capitalism by military intervention, the present "liberal" government of Hamaguchi-Shidehara seeks to seize Shantung through a more "delicate" method-through the Chinese war lords. In the North, England is flirting with both groups. British capital, personified by the "labor" government, is mainly striving to undermine and weaken the· position of the U. S. in Nanking. In the South, behind the Kwantung grouping, and sup­ porting Nanking stands British capital. The Kwantung grouping is the agency of the Hong-Kong dollar in southern China.

The, war in China is not only between two groupings of the Chinese counter-revolution, but also between various imperialist groupings. 

In this militarists' war the split in the ruling party of the Chi­nese bourgeois landlords' counter-revolutionary Kuomintang cul­minated and finally took form. 

A new Kuomintang has been formed in Peiping, with a new Central Committee, with a new plenum of the C. C. and a new government. The new Kuomintang consists of two basic groups: the "reorganizationists," headed by Wang Tsin-hwei, Cheng Gumho and other leaders of the "left" Kuomintang, and of the so­called Sishan group. The Sishan group is the extreme right wing of the Kuomintang, representing the interests of the compradore bourgeoisie. They were expelled from the Kuomintang when Sun Y at-sen was yet alive, as a compradore, counter-revolutionary group. If Wang Tsin-hwei and the reorganizationists in this bloc camou­flage the bayonets of Feng Yu-hsiang and give them an ideological background, the Sishan group masks politically the bayonets of Yen Hsi-shan. At any rate, this unprincipled bloc with the com­pradores has completely unmasked Wang Tsin-hwei before the urban petty-bourgeoisie and before the student elements. 

If the bloc with Feng Yu-hsiang, Yen Hsi-shan and the rest of the war lords has undermined politically the "left" Kuomin­tang's remnants of authority among the petty-bourgeoisie and the student elements, then their servility before the Mukden group, their bowing before the son worthy of his father, before Chan Hsue-liang, capped the\ process. 

The decomposition (disintegration), the split among the ruling classes and their party, the Kuomintang, is complete. Their com­plete and final bankruptcy came about not merely for the reason that behind these various groups stood different imperialist powers. The support of the imperialists only lent the warring groups added force and resistance before the oncoming revolutionary storm. 
The general economic crisis, the nation-wide political crisis, the civil war in the very camp of the ruling class, the barely disguised war among the imperialists for a Chinese semi-colony, the exodus from the bourgeois-landowners' Kuomintang of a considerable number of betrayed and disillusioned petty-bourgeois elements, and the complete political bankruptcy of the Kuomintang-this is the soil on which thrives the new upsurge of the revolution. 

UPSURGE OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT 

The temporary victory of the counter-revolution in 1927 and the economic and political crisis meant, for the workers, losing whatever gains the revolution had made, falling real and often times even nominal wages, a merciless offensive on the part of capital in the form of a lengthened and intensified working day, the driving of working class organizations deeply underground, unprecedented unemployment, further sharpened by hundreds of thousands of ruined peasants and handicraftsmen flowing into the labor market, increased cost of living, Kuomintang provocation and betrayal in the trade unions, the physical decimation of the active elements in the revolutionary labor movement, complete political disf ran­chisement, the sway of the military and the police club in the street and rule of the overseer's club in the shops, mills and mines. Still the Kuomintang could not fulfill one of the major tasks set for it by the imperialists and the bourgeoisie. It could not crush the labor movement. 

During 1928 about four hundred thousand workers participated in strikes. During 1929 about seven hundred and .fifty ·thousand workers participated. The strike wave spread in width and in depth all over the country. In far-off Sichuan the salt distillers in the most ancient salt works struck. In the most ancient com­mercial center in the world, in Tsin De Tchenk, the workers of the oldest chinaware factories struck. In Tang-chang-the miners, in Tsing-tao-the textile workers, on the Peking-Mukden Railroad line-the railway workers, and in Hong-Kong-the marine workers, the dockers and the building trades workers demonstrated the splendid .fighting qualities of the Chinese proletariat. In Shanghai and in Hankow down to the very beginning of the summer of 1930 the strike wave kept growing consistently. It has grown weaker only during the last few weeks. In Shanghai, Hankow, Tsing-tao and in Canton the proletariat proved in mass aemonstra­tions and in street .fighting that it has recovered from the bloody knocks of the counter-revolution and that it continues to struggle as the leading class. 

Painfully, slowly, through hard struggles, the Red trade unions are being reconstituted and are beginning to penetrate into ever bigger, and some of the largest enterprises in the most important branches of industry. The Red unions are not yet mass organiza­tions, comprising only sixty thousand to seventy thousand workers. They have not yet by far, nor could they have, succeeded in con­solidating organizationally the rapidly growing ideologico-political influence of the revolutionary wing upon the proletariat. But the work has already begun. In the yellow Kuomintang unions, by far not everywhere, not in all the larger centers, not in all the most important industries, not in all the larger enterprises, have organi­zations of the revolutionary wing been established. But even here the work is successfully begun, and initial victories are already recorded. 

Not always or everywhere could the Red unions head the strikes flaring up spontaneously; not always could they organize and pre­pare economic struggles or guide them. In the main, only the van­guard has participated so far in meetings and political demonstra­tions. But, on the other hand, nearly every economic strike carries within itself the elements of imminent civil war, becomes a struggle against the Kuomintang, against the military and police forces of the counter-revolution and imperialists. The degree of organization, the level of consciousness of the workers' struggles varies in different parts of the country, the class struggle of the proletariat develops exceedingly unevenly. 

But the workers' movement in China is mounting up-grade. The fact that the class struggle of the proletariat, precisely in the larger proletarian centers, is developing unevenly, overcoming tremendous difficulties, under most difficult conditions, and at a relatively slow tempo, is explained by the fact that the larger industrial centers are often in foreign concessions, under direct military-political con­trol of the imperialists, or under the immediate threat of imperialist intervention. Besides, the Kuomintang also concentrates its main forces in the large proletarian centers. 

The imperialists and the Kuomintang have transformed Shang­hai, Uhan, Nanking, Tien-tsin, Tang-shan, and Dairen into armed camps. The class struggle of the proletanat is proceeding under the very mouths of imperialist cannon. 

THE PEASANT WAR UNDER THE BANNER OF THE SOVIETS 

Most remarkable, most characteristic of the present phase of the Chinese revolution is the upsurge of the peasant movement, the ever-spreading peasant war. 

The Kuomintang counter-revolution, even with the aid of the im­perialists, could not stifle the peasant movement after the defeat of the revolution in 1927. The village was seething all the while. Hunger riots; the appearance and growth of spontaneous peasant organizations, like the Union of Red Lances, Big Knives, etc.; the peasant struggles against the plunder and the requisitions of the war lords; the slaughter of the mortgagees, and the riots against them, were going on all the while. In 1928 a terrific peasant up­rising broke out in the province of Kiangsu. As the main force in this uprising, appeared the Moslem peasantry of Kiangsu, particu­larly the Tunguans. 

But the nationalist character in spite of its religious outer shell could not hide the real class character of this huge movement. The Moslem peasant Tunguan rebelled against the Chinese war lord, against the Chinese landlord, against the usurer, and tax collector; the Chinese peasants of Kiangsu joined in with this movement, while the Moslem generals and landlords helped Feng Yu-hsiang crush it. The line of division was a class line and the nationalist-religious phase played but a secondary role. The Moslem uprising again broke out in the summer of 1929. 

In the vicinity of large industrial centers also, particularly around Shanghai and Hankow, peasant uprisings have been breaking out frequently. Discharged revolutionary workers, returning to the vil­lages, have been the initiators and leaders of these movements.
In the South, at the junction of three provinces-Kwantung, Futsian and Tsiansi--small detachments of the incipient Red Army, under the leadership of the Communists, Mao Tse-du and Chu-de, held aloft the banner of the Soviets. In various countries in small territories, sprang up separate Soviet islets, which survived in a sea of Kuomintang counter-revolution. The Soviet movement moved to the south and developed there. In South Hunan, Holoong's detach­ments fought under the banner of the Soviets against the landlords. Thence the movement jumped to south Hupei and later to western Hupei. In the summer of 1929 all the detachments of the Red Army, taken together, counted ten thousand bayonets and the Soviet islets spread over several counties. But the Soviet movement stirred the villages, roused them and called forth into life the partisan (guerilla) movement of the immense peasant masses. In March, 1930, the Red Army already counted over sixty thousand troops, the power of the Soviets extended to 127 out of 760 counties in southern China; guerilla warfare raged in 170 counties, and hun­dreds and hundreds of thousands participated in the guerilla bands. 

At the present writing the Soviet power is already established in two hundred counties in southern and central China. The Soviet movement spread to the province of Tsien-tsien, into the back­ward, remote Sichuan, into northern Hupei; it is beginning to em­brace southern Hunan and Anhuei. On the northern shores of the Yang Tse-tsien, also, the Red banner of the Soviets is already wav­ing. The Red Army of the Chinese Soviets now consists of twenty­two army corps, and counts in its ranks nearly three hundred thou­sand troops. In the guerilla movement participate somewhere between three million and four million peasants. 

In southern and central China, there has already grown up a revolutionary power that menaces the bourgeois-landlord civilization and the imperialist colonial regime. Only on the waves of the greatest mass peasant movement could such a power grow up. The peasant revolted against the landlord, against the mortgagee, against the gen­try, the tuhao, the tax collector, and the wave of peasant revolt wipes out the bourgeois-landlord's power. The peasant masses indeed turn the war lords' wars into wars against the war lords, against the landlord, against the Kuomintang. 

The "left" renegade Trotsky, as far back as 1928, prophesied the stabilization of Chiang Kai-shek's power for many years to come. The right renegade, Chen Du-su, prophesied a prolonged period of consolidation for the Kuomintang, which became, in the opinion of Chen Du-su, the bourgeois power. The Chinese peasant smashed these conceptions. Simultaneously, the Chinese peasant set­ tled the argument over the main slogan of the present stage of the revolution. The "left" and right renegades, with froth at their mouths, defended the slogan of a constituent assembly. The Co­mintern and the CPC put forth the slogan of Soviets. 

Ten millions of Chinese peasants decided this question by voting for Soviet power. They voted with rifles, lances, halberds, pitch­ forks, clubs, and whatever else came to hand, for Soviets. And when masses vote with arms, it is the most effective, the most un­deniable vote. The Chinese peasant is at present procreating into life the ingenious statement of Lenin, that the Soviets can and must become the organs of revolt and of power, even in the backward agrarian countries. The Chinese peasant is at present voting for Lenin's thesis of the Second Congress of the Comintern. 


TRANSLATOR'S FOOTNOTE: A significant event has taken place since the writing of this article. The war lords, with the "good offices" of Mukden, and at the order of world imperialism, have buried the hatchet. Bolshevism in China has assumed such proportions that the antagonisms between the imperialists and their Chinese compradore-groupings, tend to recede into second place. All forces must now be joined for a concerted attack upon the Chinese Revolution. Already the news comes that Chiang Kai-shek is heading an army of 300,000 against the Reds. A wave of white terror may soon be ex­pected, and it becomes the task of the world proletariat to counteract it. 

Yet so basic are the antagonisms of world imperialism, on the one hand, and such deep roots has the revolution struck in the Chinese masses, on the other hand, that the imperialist "truce'' serves only to add further point to the analysis presented in this article. 


The Communıst January 1931