The Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang and its relation to Communism

In late March 1923, Henk Sneevliet wrote bitterly to Bukharin from Shanghai. ‘The situation is such that it cannot go on. I have hardly any personal friends, mainly because I lead the existence of an Ahasverus [Ahasuerus].’ He had abandoned stable relationships and lucrative posts in the Netherlands and Java for the cause. But he lacked a definite attachment to any one movement. He had asked to work with his closest comrade, Roy, but had been sent instead to  China in 1921. His domestic situation was disastrous: he had lost money on his arrest in Vienna. He had ever since been locked in dispute – over accounting for the £4,000 he had been given for the trip – with Comintern clerks who knew nothing of the high cost of living as a European in the colonies. He had failed to support his wife and two boys, who remained in Java after his expulsion in 1918. His wife, Betsy, now forty-three years old, had made ends meet as a teacher but now needed to bring the boys on home leave to the Netherlands. Because of her marriage to Sneevliet and charges relating to her handling illegal literature, she would not return to Java. Moreover, following a three-week stay in Moscow in the summer of 1922, Sneevliet had fallen in love with a twenty-six-year-old factory worker, Sima Lvovna Zholkovskaya, a Bolshevik Party member from the illegal period. They had traveled to China together, sharing a third-class billet, and she was now pregnant with his child. Sneevliet asked to return to Europe, to work with Roy, to see his two boys, ‘and explain to my first wife, in a way that would give her the least pain, that I love another woman and live with her.’1

Sneevliet had returned to China in August 1922 with the task of enforcing the will of the Comintern as he understood it. On 29–30 August, he met the Chinese Communist Party leaders on the West Lake in Hangzhou. For the first time, the leading personalities of the movement from home and abroad were gathered in one place, many of whom had not attended the Party Congress in Shanghai the previous year. Li Dazhao traveled from Beijing; Chen Duxiu had returned to Shanghai from the south; Cai Hesen was back in China following his expulsion from France for his part in the student demonstration in Lyon. By all accounts, the meeting was tense. Sneevliet declared that party members should join the Kuomintang and act as a ‘bloc within’ its various bodies. The strategy, including Chen Duxiu, convinced not all present, but Sneevliet pressed his argument in his abrasive, commissarial way, and, invoking Comintern discipline, carried the meeting. Afterward, Li Dazhao met with Sun Yat-sen in Shanghai to secure his agreement to the first communists joining the otherwise considered right-wing Nationalist Kuomintang; these included Chen Duxiu, Cai Hesen, and Li himself. But Sneevliet could no longer claim a monopoly of Comintern wisdom. Cai Hesen’s extensive experience of Europe made him disinclined to defer Moscow's issues of revolutionary internationalism. Chen Duxiu returned from the Fourth Congress in Moscow at the end of 1922 with a concession from the central leadership that, while the ‘bloc within’ remained the priority, the Chinese Communist Party should nevertheless retain its own organization and undertake its own educational efforts among the masses. Moscow also endorsed the importance of work among the peasantry in general terms. Sneevliet returned to Moscow briefly between late December 1922 and early January 1923 to fight his corner. He rejected the notion that ‘approximately 250 Chinese communists’ alone could build a mass organization. Without cooperation with the nationalists, they were ‘a meaningless sect’.2

But a series of local experiments were already underway towards building the party through workers’ education. A group around Zhang Guotao approached the concentrations of proletarians in northern China, particularly in Shanghai and – working through an alliance of convenience with the regional warlord Wu Peifu – on the Beijing to Hankou railway, where a young Beida graduate, Deng Zhongxia, traveled as a train inspector to reach the working communities along the railway lines. Outside the oppressive political atmosphere of Beijing, he helped establish a model school at Changxindian, a railway town ten miles to the south of the capital, to instill a ‘sense of common interest and discipline.’ He and his fellow student workers adapted their scholarly persona to the new work and taught class struggle and anti-imperialism in colloquial language and everyday analogies.3 Perhaps the most successful initiative – accounting for a fifth of paid-up Chinese Communist Party members at the time – was at Anyuan, a settlement of 13,000 coal miners and 1,000 railwaymen on the mountainous border between Hunan and Jiangxi provinces. A group led it from Hunan that included Mao Zedong, who was working at the time as a schoolteacher in the provincial capital, Changsha, and two returnees from overseas: Li Lisan, expelled from France in 1921, and Liu Shaoqi, one of the first Chinese students to be sent to Moscow. Mao had never set foot overseas. His own rural childhood in the region made him particularly well placed to translate the revolutionary message to the workforce and refashion himself as a new scholar. As at Changxindian, the emphasis was not on doctrinaire Marxism, but on a more elemental call for dignity and equality under the slogan, ‘Once beasts of burden, now we will be human.’ It was pursued through workers’ night schools, cooperatives, and Red cultural activities – art, film, and drama – and when successful strike action was launched at Anyuan in 1922, it was preceded by careful negotiation with the local triads – who held the real power in the region – to maintain discipline and to avoid the snare of violence.4 Unknown to the central party leadership, another experiment led by a returned student from Waseda University in Japan, Peng Pai, set up a peasant association in Haifeng in the eastern coastal region of Guangdong province, where his family was prominent landowners.5 Over time, the workers of Anyuan would return to their homes in Hunan and Jiangxi and take the lead in establishing peasant associations of their own. 

All this was undertaken in plain sight and dependent on the tacit toleration of local warlords and the Kuomintang alliance. But Sun Yat-sen was an uncertain ally. Only his ejection from Canton by forces loyal to Chen Jiongming had persuaded him to endorse the alliance with the Communists. In February 1923, with outside troops' support – so-called ‘guest armies’ – Chen Jiongming was ousted from the city and withdrew into the northeast of Guangdong province. Sun Yat-sen was able to return to establish a new government. Before he left Shanghai, after a series of meetings at the Palace Hotel and at Sun’s mansion, on 26 January 1923, Sun signed a cooperation with the new Soviet ambassador, Adolph Joffe, the man who had led the Soviet delegation at Brest-Litovsk. Sun’s foreign affairs adviser, Eugene Chen, lauded it as a breach in the encirclement by the ‘Anglo-Latin conquerors’ that would elevate Sun to the status of a global leader. But, as Joffe was fully aware, Sun hoped that the western powers might ultimately support his goals.6 Many of his closest aides bitterly opposed the policy of cooperation with the Communists. His son, Sun Ke, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University, newly appointed as mayor of Canton, sought investment from Hong Kong. Even before the Sun-Joffe Manifesto announcement, Eugene Chen laid plans with the British for a visit by Sun to the colony on his return journey to Canton. Arriving on 17 February, Sun was warmly received by the governor and spoke to staff and students at the University of Hong Kong, his ‘intellectual birthplace,’ of his respect for British parliamentary institutions.7

Sneevliet returned to Canton in late April 1923. Since his departure a year earlier, Canton's transformation into a modernist showpiece, begun in the late Qing period and continued by Chen Jiongming, had gathered momentum. The old city walls had come down in 1920–21 to make way for modern roads – some twenty-six miles by 1922 – with trams and motor cars. Old temples and monasteries were commandeered as offices and hospitals by the city authorities. The west end of the Canton Bund was dominated by the twelve-story Sun Company building, which housed the Hotel Asia, a department store, and a roof garden: a symbol of the city as it was now promoted to the outside world. In the battle for ideas, the lines were not yet definitively drawn. What many thinkers had in common was the idea of a new science for society. For the Kuomintang leadership, the potential of Canton as a  city of futuristic vision was limitless. Here they might try to manage and discipline their citizens in ways that had never been attempted by the Qing empire, which demanded only obedience, the observance of hierarchy and orthodoxy, and that at a distance. As mayor, Sun Ke set up a municipal administration on the new eight-storeyed city bund; streets were widened into boulevards, parks, and schools built. This remodeling of the city produced a civil police force unique in its scale in China, with several hundred officers and 4,000 constables.8

The garden suburb of Tungshan, beside the Canton–Kowloon railway line, with its mission schools and villas, became an enclave for elites and was also popular with foreigners. Much of the investment for expansion came from those returning from overseas. Canton’s public works were designed above all to educate and reform the people. But despite all this, Greater Canton remained a pre-modern sprawl of workshops and artisans’ shops, and its multiple forms of transport were dependent on human labor. According to estimates at the time, only 12.5 percent of its vast workforce could be considered industrial workers; labor was still dominated by guilds and locality, kin and clan mentalities.9 But, in many ways, Canton was the apogee of Asia's village cities, on the edge of empires and of modernity. Its improvised enclaves were a place of transit for a surge of new arrivals from the countryside and abroad, an invitation to lose old markers of origin and forge new solidarities. 

Canton was a magnet for adventurers and speculators. On 19 October 1922, there were six bomb attacks in the city and suburbs. Two struck hotels: young women, it was said, came in with a handbag, took a room, then left, the explosion occurring shortly afterward. Room 7 in the Oriental Hotel was hit, and several rooms blew through on the Hotel Asia's third floor. The latter was opposite the Canton steamer wharf and described by British intelligence as a ‘hotbed of intrigue,’ handy for ‘stolen visits.’10 A bridge and a newspaper office were also targeted. A forty-eight-year-old doctor working at the Republican Hospital, Maximillian de Colbert, was arrested. A ‘stout, active man with a Hohenzollern mustache,’ he had acted as chief surgeon to Sun Yat-sen’s northern campaign. The military authorities, who initially apprehended him and claimed to have been watching him for some time, uncovered bomb 150,000 men in arms, most of them ragged and hungry, and in the aftermath of the war, large swathes of the delta region were under the local sway of an underworld of bandit gangs.11 Peasants and townsmen, rich and poor alike, were hit by a host of new taxes as Sun Yat-sen sought to rebuild his regime. Sun’s position came under renewed assault in early 1923, as the armies of neighboring provinces who had helped him regain Canton now turned on him, and Cheng Jiongming launched a new offensive. Sun’s desperate need for material aid pulled him behind the Soviet alliance. This was provided in the form of 2 million Mexican silver dollars. There was a deepening sense, too, that the revolution needed a period of military rule to secure itself, a view that, to several Sun’s advisers, had been borne out by the Red Army, in which some 10,000 Chinese had fought while in Russia.12 In this period, Sun and Sneevliet met often. But despite his advocacy for the alliance, Sneevliet felt that Sun’s military situation was desperate and planned his own escape from the city. As he told a colleague in Shanghai, ‘the Sun's soldiers will take one day or the other be defeated … When Sun has to leave, I have to take care not to stay here one day longer.’ Sneevliet sent his companion, Sima, ahead of him on the long, dangerous journey through Manchuria, but he himself tarried to make a final attempt to convince the communist leaders of the need for the alliance with the Kuomintang.13

Between 12 and 20 June 1923, the party leaders convened for the first time in Canton, in a modest house near Sneevliet’s more ambassadorial residence in Tungshan, for their Third Congress. It was the only place they could meet openly, under Sun’s protection. The mood was grim. The ‘little Moscows’ established in scattered communities of industrial workers across China had come under attack. The first leaf to fall was in October 1922, when a strike within the 30,000 labor force with the largely British-owned coal mine at Kailuan was put down when Indian guards and Chinese police fired on a crowd.14 Then, a strike on the Beijing to Hankou railway ended on 7 February 1923 in a bloodbath of thirty-seven workers at the hands of the forces of Wu Peifu. Zhang Guotao, instrumental in the party's early organization and the railway workers, reported that four labor leaders' heads were hung from telegraph poles at the railway station at Changxindian. This was a profound shock to the leaders, the end of what quickly became seen as a ‘golden era’ of labor mobilization. It also marked the breakdown of cooperation with the warlords in the north.15 In Shanghai, harassment by the police in the International Settlement drove the party deep underground. Chen Duxiu lamented that cadres ‘often do not have complete faith in the party’; regional leaders had little sense of a ‘party’ at all. In the face of these setbacks, Sneevliet argued that the Kuomintang's revolutionary potential was closer to the ideal than that of the Sarekat Islam in Java and that the Chinese Communist Party should enter it en masse. But Sneevliet then faced accusations that he wanted to dissolve the party entirely. This was baffling to Sneevliet, who thought it was clear – playing a long game. But there was little reason for the others to share his faith in it. Mao Zedong told the gathering that the party should cut its own path with the peasantry. The ‘bloc within’ strategy prevailed, only by Chen Duxiu’s casting a vote. With Chen as its chair and Mao as its secretary, the newly elected central committee quickly and quietly returned to Shanghai.16 As Sneevliet made plans to return to ‘Mecca,’ he wrote again to Bukharin to complain that the Comintern’s Executive ‘still revel in fantasies about the mass party, ours, in China.’17 Sun Yat-sen offered Sneevliet the opportunity to stay, employed within the Kuomintang as a full-time adviser. He was also offered a smaller role running the Soviet news agency, ROSTA, in Canton. Both would have stabilized his finances, but Sneevliet was disillusioned with Sun and with the Comintern, and with his capacity to shape events further.18

Passing through Shanghai, Sneevliet ran into Chiang Kai-shek, who was also traveling to Moscow. Chiang was born into a merchant family of rural Zhejiang in 1887 and escaped its constraints and an unhappy arranged marriage through his attempts to win a scholarship to study at a military school in Japan. Initiated there from 1907 into the tight-knit circles of revolution-minded cadets. After two years in a Japanese artillery regiment, he returned secretly to Shanghai in late 1911 to join the Wuchang uprising. He became actively involved in Sun Yat-sen’s operations against Yuan Shikai. Shuttling between Shanghai and Japan between 1912 and 1918, Chiang displayed an ability to cultivate personal networks among the business elite and its dark underbelly, Shanghai's urban gangs. He developed an antipathy to capitalism but was very willing to use its resources to advance the revolution. He was a military adviser to Sun Yat-sen during his first attempt to set up a Canton regime in 1918.19 He surprised Sun – surprised everyone – by responding swiftly to Sun’s plea for help when Chen Jiongming’s troops seized the presidential palace in Canton in June 1922. As they headed into exile together, the two men forged what Chiang later described as ‘a wordless rapport’. Chiang was feared and mistrusted in equal measure by the other, older members of Sun’s entourage, in his own words, for being ‘wild and ungovernable.’ Chiang’s outsider’s air and reputation for unpredictability endured. But through growing self-discipline and self-cultivation by reading, he positioned himself as one of Sun’s most steadfast followers.20

Chiang’s moment arrived when he traveled with an introduction to Lenin from Sun that named him as Sun’s ‘most trusted’ deputy. Chiang proceeded behind Sneevliet, but the two men spent a good deal of time together in Moscow, as Chiang was there for three months inspecting military facilities. Trotsky told Chiang that the Soviet Union would not send troops into China, but weapons, money, and military advisers. He urged him not to rely on military force alone: ‘a good newspaper is better than a bad division’.21 Chiang was impressed with Trotsky’s candor. He was impressed with aspects of the new society, especially the youth organizations, but recorded in his diary that many Soviet high officials were ‘cads and rascals.’His meeting with Zinoviev and the Comintern Executive did not go well. He told them the Chinese revolution happened in stages, and he was not able to embrace Bolshevism and class struggle openly. Chiang was stung by the ‘superficial and unrealistic’ Comintern communiqué that was issued after the meeting, which urged an opposite course: ‘It considers itself the center of the world revolution, which is really too fabricated and arrogant.’22 Nevertheless, Chiang’s visit raised Comintern's hopes for their alliance with the Kuomintang, and Chiang remained deeply impressed by the promise of material aid. At Harbin, Sneevliet also met the entourage of a newly formed mission en route to Sun Yat-sen. Michael Borodin (Mikhail Markovich Gruzenberg) led it. Since his return from Mexico, Borodin had continued to work underground as a Comintern talent scout. He had recently returned from a visit to Britain, as ‘Georg Braun/George Brown,’ a Czech or a Yugoslav, traveling from Hamburg to Grimsby on 15 July 1922. He was arrested on a tip-off from Scotland Yard on 22 August, only two and a half hours after he arrived in Glasgow, with £38 in his pocket but no documentation, just as he was about to begin a lecture at the Labour College. The police identified him as ‘a Communist emissary’ after gleaning from him a long, unverifiable story of complex ancestry, dubious nationality, constant movement, and an unconvincing cover which involved research on the urban motion: traffic, underground railways, the flow of crowds along thoroughfares and the provision of public toilets. He was deported after serving six months in HM Prison Barlinnie in Scotland.23 Several months after his return to Moscow, he was chosen, ahead of Voitinsky, to lead the expedition to China. This surprised some, but he had a formidable reputation as a ‘missionary’ for Bolshevism. He spoke English well so that he could speak directly to Sun Yat-sen, and he claimed that they had come across each other in his Chicago days, although it was not clear that Sun remembered this. 

From Harbin, Borodin traveled swiftly to Shanghai and steamed to Canton, managing to bypass Hong Kong, where the British watched for him. He was welcomed on the day of his arrival by Sun Yat-sen as ‘China’s Lafayette.’ On 15 October, he spoke beside Sun on several platforms in the city, the first occasions in some time that Sun had appeared at public gatherings. It was the first time that the people of Canton had seen a veteran Russian Bolshevik.24 Borodin moved swiftly to reorganize the Kuomintang along Leninist lines. He won his spurs in mid-November at a moment when Sun was preparing once more to go into exile, and the forces of Chen Jiongming looked likely to breakthrough in the north and advanced on Canton. Borodin urged mass resistance; Kuomintang cadres were dispatched to the front, and the line was held. The Borodin mansion in Tungshan became a new center of gravity within the republic. Borodin’s wife, Fanya, acted as his secretary, and as a new model of a woman in political life, her credentials burnished by the story – as recounted later by Soong Mei-ling, sister-in-law to Sun Yat-sen – that she was related to Buster Keaton.25

Borodin gathered Asian co-workers around him. Like Sneevliet before him, Borodin knew no Chinese. His principal assistant was Zhang Tailei, an activist from Tianjin, who, based on rather dubious credentials, had spoken for China at the Third Congress of the Comintern in 1921. He was an ardent follower of the Moscow line. Another ally and scribe were Qu Qiubai, a journalist who had reported from Moscow and taught Chinese to some of the Soviet advisers who came with Borodin. When he came down to Canton from Shanghai in January 1924, it provoked the caustic observation that Borodin ‘treats our party just as if we were a provider of interpreters.’26 In many ways, international communism was a mighty translation machine. Qu was indeed a brilliant renderer of Russian Marxist and sociological texts into Chinese in its newly emerging modern form.27 Like all translations, this was a creative process. By accident or design, Chinese party translations of Lenin’s theses on the ‘National and Colonial Questions’ of 1920 tended to amplify the language of M. N. Roy’s ‘supplementary’ theses and the need to confront the national bourgeoisie more immediately and cultivate the peasantry.28 To this end, cadres began to reappear in Canton and to recruit from the powerful waterfront unions and men banished from places like British Malaya.29


1. H. Maring to Bukharin, 21 March 1923, in Tony Saich, The Origins of the First United Front in China: The Role of Sneevliet (Alias Maring), vol. II, Leiden, Brill, 1991, pp. 475–80. 

2. Ibid., pp. 137–8. 

3. Zhang Guotao, ‘Report of the Beijing Communist Group’ (July 1921), in Tony Saich (ed.), The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party: Documents and Analysis, Armonk, NY, M. E. Sharpe, 1996, pp. 19–24; Daniel Y. K. Kwan, Marxist Intellectuals and the Chinese Labor Movement: A Study of Deng Zhongxia (1894–1933), Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1997, pp. 22–4, 29–30; David Strand, Rickshaw Beijing: City People and Politics in the 1920s, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1993, pp. 145–7. 

4. Elizabeth J. Perry, ‘Reclaiming the Chinese Revolution,’ Journal of Asian Studies, 67/4 (2008), pp. 1147–64, and Anyuan: Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2012. 

5. Fernando Galbiati, P’eng P’ai and the Hai-Lu-Feng Soviet, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, 1985, pp. 168–9. 

6. Allen S. Whiting, Soviet Policies in China, 1917–1924, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, 1954, pp. 181–207. For Chen see Shao Chuan Leng and Norman D. Palmer, Sun Yat-sen and Communism, New York, Praeger, 1960, pp. 64–5. 

7. F. Gilbert Chan, ‘An Alternative to Kuomintang-Communist Collaboration: Sun Yat-Sen and Hong Kong, January–June 1923’, Modern Asian Studies, 13/1 (1979), pp. 127–39. 

8. Wilbur C. Martin, ‘Problems of Starting a Revolutionary Base: Sun Yatsen and Canton, 1923’, Bulletin of the Institute of Modern History (Taipei), 2/4 (1971), pp. 1–63. 

9. For the republican city see Michael Tsin, ‘Canton Remapped’, in Joseph W. Esherick (ed.), Remaking the Chinese City: Modernity and National Identity, 1900–1950, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2000, pp. 19–29; Johnathan A. Farris, Dwelling on the Edge of Empires: Foreigners and Architecture in Guangzhou (Canton), China, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2004, ch. 4; Virgil K. Y. Ho, Understanding Canton: Rethinking Popular Culture in the Republican Period, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, esp. pp. 9–42. For labour see Ming K. Chan, ‘The Realpolitik and Legacy of Labor Activism and Popular Mobilization in 1920s Greater Canton’, in Mechthild Leutner et al. (eds), The Chinese Revolution in the 1920s: Between Triumph and Disaster, London, RoutledgeCurzon, 2002, pp. 187–221, at p. 188; Chan cites Deng Zhingxia’s 1927 survey. 

10. TNA, FO 228/3276, ‘Canton Intelligence Report, December Quarter, 1922’. 

11. Helen F. Siu, Agents and Victims in South China: Accomplices in Rural Revolution, New Haven, CT, and London, Yale University Press, 1989, pp. 4–95. 

12. Hans J. van de Ven, War and Nationalism in China, 1925–1945, London, RoutledgeCurzon, 2003, pp. 69–71. 

13. Sneevliet to Wilde, 30 May 1923, in Saich, The Origins of the First United Front in China, pp. 488–91. 

14. Tim Wright, Coal Mining in China’s Economy and Society 1895–1937, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 184–6. 

15. Zhang Guotao, The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party, 1921–1927: Volume One of the Autobiography of Chang Kuo-t’ao, Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, 1971, p. 286; the image of ‘first falling leaves’ is his. 

16. Hans J. van de Ven, From Friend to Comrade: The Founding of the Chinese Communist Party, 1920–1927, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1992, pp. 106–7; Zhang, The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party, pp. 296–312. 

17. Sneevliet to Bukharin, 31 May 1923, in Saich, The Origins of the First United Front in China, p. 496. 

18. Ibid. 

19. For Chiang’s early life see Jay Taylor, The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2009, ch. 1; Jonathan Fenby, Chiang Kai Shek: China’s Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost, part I, London, Hachette UK, 2009, chs 1–3. 

20. Pichon P. Y. Loh, The Early Chiang Kai-Shek: A Study of his Personality and Politics, 1887–1924, New York, Columbia University Press, 1971, Chiang diary quotation at p. 64; for the Canton coup see pp. 69–73. 

21. David R. Stone, ‘Soviet Arms Exports in the 1920s’, Journal of Contemporary History, 48/1 (2013), pp. 57–77, at p. 69. 

22. Taylor, The Generalissimo, pp. 43–4; Yang Tianshi, ‘Perspectives on Chiang Kaishek’s Early Thought from his Unpublished Diary’, in Leutner et al. (eds), The Chinese Revolution in the 1920s, pp. 77–97, at pp. 90–91. 

23. TNA, HO 382/2, Inspector Ewen McCaskill, ‘Michael Borodin alias Georg Braun alias George Brown’, 7 September 1922. 

24. Aleksandr Ivanovich Cherepanov, As Military Adviser in China, Moscow, Progress, 1982, pp. 29–30. 

25. Mei-ling Soong, Madam Chiang, Conversations with Mikhail Borodin, London, Free Chinese Centre, 1978, p. 4. 

26. Quoted in Ishikawa Yoshihiro, ‘The Chinese National Revolution and the Eighth ECCI Plenum: Exploring the Role of the Chinese delegate “Chugunov”’, in Roland Felber, A. M. Grigoriev, Mechthild Leutner and M. L. Titarenko (eds), The Chinese Revolution in the 1920s, pp. 141–55, at p. 148. 

27. For Zhang’s role see Cherepanov, As Military Adviser in China, p. 45, and for his background Yoshihiro Ishikawa, The Formation of the Chinese Communist Party, New York, Columbia University Press, 2013, pp. 209–20. For Qu see Elizabeth McGuire, Red at Heart: How Chinese Communists Fell in Love with the Russian Revolution, New York, Oxford University Press, 2017, p. 71; Tani Barlow, ‘“History’s Coffin Can Never Be Closed”: Qu Qiubai Translates Social Science’, Boundary 2, 43/3 (2016), pp. 253–86. 

28. Alexander Pantsov, The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution, 1919–1927, Curzon Press, Richmond, 2000, pp. 66–9. 

29. Kwan, Marxist Intellectuals and the Chinese Labor Movement, pp. 88–91; TNA, CO 537/925, MBPI, September 1924. 


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