From The Militant, Vol. IV No. 31 (Whole No. 90), 14 November 1931, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
At this writing the state of war between Japan and China on the fields of Manchuria continues and the death toll increases. All forms of “legal” and diplomatic measures, threats of economic boycott and severance of diplomatic relations, the demands of the League of Nations, the invoking of the Kellogg Pact, have failed to deter the Japanese government from sharp military aggression and actions against the Chinese. Japanese imperialism pillages and kills At Tienstin, U.S. infantry troops have been called out, prepared to add their bit of slaughtering.
From the start it has been clear that the Chinese National Government, directed by the policies of the Kuo Min Tang and Chiang Kai-Shek, is helpless in a military sense before the Japanese (even as are the Northern war-lords), and is compelled to call for a cessation of hostilities through the medium of the League of Nations and for open or secret support from the United States. Chiang Kai-Shek, the militarist, the murderer of tens of thousands of the Chinese masses, is suddenly become an advocate of the policy of non-resistance. Such resistance as has been directed against the Japanese aggression, has been the result of pressure of protest from the masses, as well as from sections of the Chinese nationalist bourgeoisie who see in Japan’s invasion a blow at their economic and political supremacy in Manchuria.
Japan, to justify her invasion of Manchuria, puts forward economic and political considerations, legal excuses (violation of treaty agreements by China, that is, the infamous 21 points enforce upon them at the point of a pistol), historical analogies with other nations, including the United States. And, of course, and not least, are not the Japanese keeping the “Red Menace” out of Manchuria! The Nipponese maintain they are in Manchuria merely to repair and protect their railroads in which they have enormous investments, and to protect their treaty rights. At the same time Japan is already directing her military operations to the south, as well as in Manchuria. Manchuria must be developed economically, says Japan; it is Japan’s “manifest destiny”, its economic and social necessity to do so. Their acts are neither acts of war nor intended as such. After all, the Japanese state, they are merely following the “peaceful” procedure of the United States in the latter’s frequent interventions into Nicaragua, Santa Domingo, Cuba, Mexico and other South and Central American countries. The Japs therefore plainly say: What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
The United States is still proceeding discreetly, and in the main is giving its support to the Chiang Kai-Shek government from whom it is receiving and will receive much more support for Wall Street in the future, if the Kuo Min Tangists last. While the economic and physical partition of China and of Manchuria is uppermost in the minds of the imperialist powers, there must be method in the slicing. All of them are jockeying for political, diplomatic, economic and military positions for that time when the economic difficulties, ambitions and contradictions of each imperialist nation compel an attempt at a solution on the arena of capitalist war on a world scale. In the present Manchurian fighting, therefore, there are all the ingredients for immediate war on a world-wide scale, although present indications are that these developments and war skirmishes are only same of the preludes to the impending world war crash.
The Japanese are now also in the Soviet sphere of influence. All imperialist powers, and the Chinese government included, are endeavoring to place the Soviet Union into a bad and false position, to put the onus of difficulties upon the Workers’ Republic, and are increasing their propaganda and preparations for an imperialistic war combination against the Soviet Republic. The Soviets are using all efforts to maintain a condition of peace, to demand the cessation of hostilities between the Japanese and Chinese governments. Everybody knows that the policy of the Soviet Union is for peace; that the workers’ road is the road of peace and collaboration between the workers of all nations. The imperialists will not succeed in their campaign to provoke the Soviets into war.
Nevertheless, the Soviet Union and the workers in every country are supporters and friends of the Chinese masses, and will do everything possible to enforce the resistance of the Chinese masses against the economic and military aggression of the Japanese imperialists, as well as to support the Chinese people against the blood-brothers of the Nipponese invaders, the Chinese Chiang Kai-Shek government. Manchuria and China are the property neither of the Japanese warlords nor the Chinese militarists and bourgeoisie. The American bourgeoisie, too, are sticking their hands into the bloody affair, and their paws drip with gold, coined from blood. Sales of military supplies are being made to Japan and no doubt to China too. Every factory becomes a potential arsenal. The resources of China and Manchuria belong to its mass occupants, the workers and peasants, whose main job it is to wring the necks of both the foreign and native exploiters and establish their own Soviet government.
On previous occasions The Militant has examined the causes and objectives of the Manchurian invasion by Japan; the article in The Militant (11-7-31) by comrade Niel-Sih of Shanghai has graphically portrayed the political situation in China, particularly the impotence of the Communist Party of China and. the Comintern in the present situation. The official Communist movement is today paying the price of Stalinist policies, Stalinist “victories” and “Soviets” in China, by an inability to organize the Chinese workers and peasants in the dual task of resistance against the Japan invasion into Manchuria, and for the overthrow of the Chiang Kai-Shek government and all other bourgeoisie and war-lords in China. It is imperative, moreover, that efforts in all countries be organized to the maximum against the imperialist bourgeoisie in every nation, in order for each Communist movement best to carry out its respective tasks in defense of the Chinese revolution, against the Japanese aggression, for support and defense of the Soviet Union against any and all forms of attack, and against the war danger.
Upon the Chinese Communists, particularly its most militant, resolute and determined section, the Left Communists, devolves the task of mobilization of the Chinese people against Japanese imperialism, for resistance against the invaders. The surest way to effect this is a struggle to defeat the bourgeoisie Of China, to achieve the destruction of the Kuo Min Tang movement, whether that of the bloody militarists led by Chiang Kai-Shek, or the “Left” Kuo Min Tang headed by Wang Chin Wei. The intensification of the CIVIL WAR IN CHINA is the best weapon of defense against Japan. It is fundamentally that correct tactic proposed by the revolutionists in 1870 during the invasion of France by Prussia, when, as the best defense of Paris against the Prussian invaders, it was necessary and correct to work for the overthrow of the bourgeois government of Thiers and its replacement by a people’s government. The Japanese Communists need to increase their struggle against the Japanese imperialists. In the last analysis, the native Chinese bourgeoisie will divide the spoils with foreign exploiters, rather than to give up everything to the masses.
In the United States all forces must be mobilized to demand that the imperialistic paws of the United States be kept off China; to demand that the Japanese get out of Manchuria. War exists. It can easily spread till it engulfs the entire world. The propagation of the ideals of the Soviet Union and of the principles of Communism must be increased manifold as measures of preparation and defense of the proletariat against the objectives of the bourgeoisie.
Among the tasks and duties that fall to the lot of entire working class, and especially the American workers and revolutionists, are the exposure of the hypocritical game of the American imperialists who are getting ready, when the opportunity arises, for military action in the Manchurian situation, with the aim to advance their own interests in the guise of “protection” of China, thereby accelerating a world war. We must demand that the imperialist powers end their pillage of China.
Full support, must be given to the Chinese workers and peasants in their struggle against the foreign Japanese invaders and their enemies at home – the Chinese bourgeoisie, militarists and landlords, their Kuo Min Tang agents and the Northern militarists. The Chinese Communist Party must adopt the policy by the unity of all Communist forces, particularly with the Left Opposition, and gird itself for a bitter fight against foreign and internal aggression and exploitation. The attempts to provoke the Soviet Union into war must be combated, and workers everywhere must be on guard at all times for the defense of the Workers’ fatherland, the Soviet Republic. All forces must be mobilized against the world war which, all the imperialist forces are preparing.
Last updated: 12.2.2013