In the years immediately prior to 1949, the social system in China was a colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.
Present-day Chinese society is a colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. (Mao Tse-tung: “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party”, 1939; in: “Selected Works”, Vol.2, Peking; 1965; P.315).
The Chinese-Revolution was aimed at the foreign imperialists, the Chinese landlord class and those sections of the Chinese capitalist class dependent on foreign imperialism (the comprador big bourgeoisie).
The chief targets or enemies at this stage of the Chinese revolution ... are...... the bourgeoisie of the imperialist countries and the landlord class of our country. ...
The comprador big bourgeoisie is a class which directly serves the capitalists, of the imperialist counties and is nurtured by them; countless ties link it closely with the feudal forces in the countryside. Therefore, it is a target of the Chinese revolution.” (Mao Tse-tung: ibid.; p.315, 320).
The basic and leading force of the Chinese Revolution was the Chinese working class.
The, Chinese proletariat is ... the basic motive force of the Chinese revolution. Unless it is led by the proletariat, the Chinese revolution cannot possibly succeed. (Mao Tse-tung: ibid., p.325).
The main, ally, of the working class in the Chinese Revolution was the poor peasantry.
The poor peasants in China ... are ... the biggest motive force of the Chinese revocation, the natural and most reliable ally of the proletariat and -the main contingent of China’s revolutionary forces. (Mao Tse-tung: ibid., p.324).
The middle peasantry and the urban petty bourgeoisie were reliable allies of the working class and poor peasantry.
These (i.e., the urban – Ed.) sections of the petty bourgeoisie constitute one of the motive forces of the revolution and are a reliable ally of the ... proletariat. ..
The whole middle peasantry can be a reliable ally of the proletariat and is an important motive force of the revolution. (Mao Tse-tung: ibid., p.321, 323).
Finally, those sections of the Chinese capitalist class not dependent on foreign imperialism (the national bourgeoisie) formed an unstable ally of the working class and poor peasantry in the Chinese Revolution.
The national bourgeoisie is a class with a dual character. On the one hand, it is oppressed by Imperialism and fettered by feudalism and consequently is in contradiction with both of them. In this respect it constitutes one of the revolutionary forces. ...But on the other hand, it lacks the courage to oppose imperialism and feudalism thoroughly because it is economically and politically flabby and still has economic ties with imperialism and feudalism. ...
It follows from the dual character of the national bourgeoisie that, at certain times and, to a certain extent, it can take part in the revolution against imperialism and the governments of bureaucrats and warlords and can become a revolutionary force, but that at other times there is the danger of its following the comprador big bourgeoisie and acting as its accomplice in counter-revolution. ...In the present war it...so far has been a fairly good ally of ours. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to have a prudent policy towards the national bourgeoisie. (Mao Tse-tung; ibid; p. 320-321).
Here, the task of the proletariat is to form a united front with the national bourgeoisie against imperialism and the bureaucrat and warlord governments without overlooking its revolutionary quality. (Mao Tse-tung; “On New Democracy”, 1940; in: “Selected Works”, Vol.2, Peking; 1965 p. 348-9).
The middle bourgeoisie constitutes the national bourgeoisie as distinct from the comprador class. ...
On the question of political power in the anti-Japanese base areas, we must make sure that the political power established there is that of the anti-Japanese National United Front. ...It is...the joint democratic dictatorship of several revolutionary classes.
...Places in the organs of political power should be allocated as follows: one third to the Communists, representing the proletariat and poor peasantry; one-third to the left progressive, representing the petty bourgeoisie; and the remaining one-third to the middle and other elements, representing the middle bourgeoisie and the enlightened gentry. (Mao Tse-tung; “Current Problems of Tactics in the Anti-Japanese United Front”, 1940; in “Selected Works”, Vol.2; Peking; 1965; p. 423, 427).
The Chinese Revolution was thus one of the working class, the poor and middle peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie, led by the working class under the leadership of its Marxist-Leninist Party, the Communist Party of China – against foreign imperialism, the Chinese landlord class and the Chinese comprador big bourgeoisie.
In short, it was a bourgeois-democratic revolution.
The character of the Chinese revolution at the present time is not proletarian-socialist but bourgeois-democratic. (Mao Tse-tung; “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party”, in: “Selected Works”, Vol.2, Peking; 1965; p. 326).
It was, however, a bourgeois-democratic revolution of a new type compared with the bourgeois-democratic revolutions which took place, for example, in Europe in the 19th century and earlier: It was a new-democratic revolution.
Firstly, it was led by the working class.
Although such a revolution in a colonial and semi-colonial country is still fundamentally bourgeois-democratic in its social character during its first stage ... it belongs to the new type of revolution led by the proletariat.” (Mao Tse-tung: “On New Democracy”, in: “Selected Works”, Vol.2, Peking, 1965; P. 344).
Secondly, in being directed against imperialism, it formed part of the world-proletarian-socialist revolution.
The new-democratic revolution is part of the world proletarian-socialist revolution, for it resolutely opposes imperialism, i.e., international capitalism. (Mao Tse-tung: “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party”; in: “Selected Works”, Vol.2, Peking; 1965; p.326-7).
Thirdly, it brought to power, not the capitalist class, but a united front of several classes (including the capitalist class), led by the working class.
The numerous types of state system in the world can be reduced to three basic kinds according to the class character of their political power: (1) republics under bourgeois, dictatorship; (2) republics under the dictatorship of the proletariat; and (3) republics under the joint dictatorship of several revolutionary classes. ...
The third kind is the transitional form of state to be adopted in the revolutions of the colonial and semi-colonial countries. Each of these revolutions will necessarily have specific characteristics of its own, but these will be miner variations on a general theme. So long as they are revolutions in colonial and semi-colonial countries, their state and governmental structure will of necessity be basically the same, i.e., a new-democratic state under the joint dictatorship of several anti-imperialist classes. In present-day China, the anti-Japanese united front represents the new-democratic form of state. (Mao Tse-tung:. “On New Democracy”, in: “Selected Works”, Vol. 2; Peking, 1965; P. 350-351).