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Workers’ International News, June 1938


Hands Off Chen Tu-hsiu!


From Workers’ International News, Vol.1 No.6, June 1938, p.5.
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


A vigorous defence of Chen Tu-hsiu, leader of the Fourth Internationalists in China, who has been under a hail of calumny by the Chinese Stalinists ever since his release from a Kuomintang prison last autumn, has been published in Hankow, present seat of the Kuomintang government, by nine prominent Chinese scholars.

To the Stalinist slander that Chen Tu-hsiu is a Trotskyist “bandit” and a “traitorous spy for the Japanese imperialists” the scholars reply:

“It is not necessary for us, as non-communists, to interfere in the internal theoretical controversies among the communist factions, which are always attacking each other. But we were greatly surprised to discover false accusations against Chen Tu-hsiu in two Communist periodicals, The Masses and Emancipation. Under the pretext of defending the unity of the opposition to Japanese imperialism, the ridiculous accusation is made that Chen Tu-hsiu is a traitorous bandit who receives money from and conducts spying activities for the Japanese.

“But, as we know, our countrymen are well acquainted with the long career of Chen Tu-hsiu. His words and his deeds throughout this time of war are also known to everybody. If a man like Chen Tu-hsiu can be freely accused as a traitorous bandit, then everyone will have license to similarly accuse his opponents.

“We must put an end to this stream of slander! We live beside Chen Tu-hsiu. We know him very well. Whether on the score of friendship or for the sake of justice we cannot keep silent about this falsehood. We believe all friends of Chen Tu-hsiu, likewise those in whose minds justice is uppermost, will feel the truth of this declaration.”

The statement was signed by Huang Hsing-kung, Chow Fu-hai, Hua Nyi-lin, Tien Shih-ping, Liang Han-chow, Ko Yi-han, Chang Hsi-min, Tao Hsihsing, Lin King-pei.

Pursuing in China the vicious campaign against revolutionists which is being carried out by Stalin’s GPU in Spain, the Stalinists in Hankow, where Chen Tu-hsiu resides, are howling for the blood of the outstanding leaders of the Fourth Internationalists.

New China, a Stalinist rag, compelled to make some reply to the statement of the nine scholars, asks:

“Is it untrue that Chen Tu-hsiu is a traitor? Such a statement will be justified only if Chen Tu-hsiu openly renounces the organization of the Trotskyist bandits and takes part immediately in the campaign against them.”

A current number of the American Socialist Appeal reports the receipt of a letter from China which describes how agents of the Chinese Communist Party have been visiting bookshops and buying up wholesale the translated works of Leon Trotsky and other revolutionists, also all literature in any way critical of the Stalin murder regime in the Soviet Union, and consigning it to the flames in the best style of Adolph Hitler.

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Last updated on 17.11.2005