Harold R. Isaacs

The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution

X. The Coup of April 12, 1927

At four o’clock on the morning of April 12 a bugle blast sounded from Chiang Kai-shek’s headquarters at the Foreign Ministry Bureau on Route Ghisi. A Chinese gunboat at anchor off Nantao answered with a toot on its siren. “Simultaneously the machine-guns broke loose in a steady roll.”[1] The attack was launched in Chapei, Nantao, the Western District, in Woosung, Pootung, and Jessfield. It came as no surprise to anyone except the workers because “all the authorities concerned, Chinese and foreign, after midnight were secretly made cognizant of the events which were to take place in the morning.”[2]

Mobilized for action at all points, the gangsters, dressed in blue denim uniforms and wearing white arm-bands bearing the Chinese character kung (labour), “had feverishly worked through the night organizing secret parties to appear at dawn as though from nowhere. . . .”[3] The North China Daily News called them “armed Kuomintang labourers.” The Shanghai Municipal Police Report referred to “merchants’ volunteers.” The China Press contented itself with “Nationalist troops.” Franker, George Sokolsky reported: “Arrangements were made with the Green and Red Societies, so that one morning they, as ‘white’ labourers, fell upon and shot down the Communists.”[4] They did not appear from “nowhere,” but at the given signal “rushed out of the Concessions,”[5] and, joining forces with picked detachments of Pai Chung-hsi’s troops, attacked the headquarters of the working-class organizations scattered throughout the city. In most cases, as at the Foochow Guild in Nantao and the police station in Pootung, the workers’ positions were carried directly by the gangsters after brief, sharp battles. Their quarters once occupied, the pickets and their supporters were given short, brutal shrift. Their arms were seized “and even their clothes and shoes ripped from them.”[6] Every worker who resisted was shot down in his tracks. The remainder were lashed together and marched out to be executed either in the streets or at Lunghua headquarters.

Where the workers’ forces were greater and the resistance likely to be sharper, the attackers employed other tactics. A band of some sixty gangsters opened fire on the Huchow Guild in Chapei at about 4.30 a.m. This building housed the headquarters of the General Labour Union and was defended by several scores of pickets. The surprised guards asked the attackers what union they belonged to. “To the Northern Expeditionary Army,” was the reply, and the firing went on. The pickets replied in kind. The street in front of the Guild was alive with gun fire. Twenty minutes later a company of soldiers, headed by an officer named Hsin Ting-yu, appeared. Hsin shouted orders to cease firing. “Do not fire at us!” he shouted to the pickets. “We’ve come to help you disarm these men.” The firing stopped. He proposed from the street that both sides hand over their arms. Ostentatiously he proceeded to disarm some of the gangsters and, under the suspicious eyes of the pickets, even bound some of them securely. At that the gates were opened. Hsin and his men were invited in. Even tea and cigarettes, it is recorded, were laid out for them. The officer told Ku Chen-chung, commander of the pickets, that he had been appointed to conduct “armed mediation” in accordance with the regulations of martial law. He asked Ku to accompany him to headquarters. The picket leader gladly complied and with six of his men left the premises with Hsin. A few steps down the street Hsin turned to Ku.

“We’ve disarmed those guerrillas. We’ve got to disarm your squads too,” he said.

Ku stopped short. “You can’t,” he answered, “those men are gangsters. Our pickets are revolutionary workers. Why disarm us?”

Hsin did not answer. Instead his men closed in on the group. Ku and the six were disarmed and brought back to the G.L.U. headquarters. A few minutes later a force of some three hundred gangsters rushed into the building, and while the soldiers stood by they savagely attacked the astounded pickets. In the mêlée, Ku and the vice-commander, Chow En-lai, escaped. Indignant and frightened, they rushed to the headquarters of the Second Division—to protest the attack! They were thrust aside. Somehow they got out alive and escaped into hiding.[Ku remained with the Communist Party until 1931 when he turned renegade, went over to the Kuomintang, and became one of the most rabid killers, and eventually chief of Chiang Kai-shek’s anti-Communist organization. Chow En-lai fled from Shanghai and later emerged as one of the political leaders of the Kiangsi peasant Red Armies with whom he fled in 1934-5 to the distant northwest. To-day they are reunited in Chiang Kai-shek’s camp.] The Huchow Guild meanwhile had fallen to the attackers. Similar methods achieved similar results at most of the other workers’ centres in the city. By mid-morning the last stronghold of the workers was the Commercial Press where a band of about four hundred pickets continued to hold out against overwhelmingly superior attacking forces.

When the gangsters attacked and the soldiers came on the scene with their demand for a cessation of hostilities, the workers inside the Commercial Press answered with a renewed fusillade. The soldiers were then ordered to join in the attack. All attempts at deception were discarded. Siege was laid to the building from all sides. Paoshan Road dinned with gun fire for several hours. Armed with but a few machine-guns and about fifty rifles, the workers held on. They were worthy of better leaders, these anonymous defenders of the Shanghai proletariat. Theirs was a heroism that must have been born not only of desperation but of bitterness, of a sense of having been betrayed that was to live on long after Kuomintang bullets or the broadswords of Kuomintang headsmen had snuffed the lives from their bodies. They fought back until most of them were dead and the rest without ammunition. It was nearly noon before the attackers gingerly stepped inside the bullet-ridden building.[7]

“What action the soldiers took beyond disarming the Communists is naturally not known. It is not going to be advertised by the Chinese authorities,” smirked the North China Daily News . Early foreign reports minimized the casualties, but the British-controlled Shanghai Municipal Police later came nearer the actual toll when it reported that nearly four hundred workers were killed in the day’s operations.s[8] Among the missing was Wang Shao-hua, chairman of the General Labour Union. (Not until later was it discovered that he had been kidnapped by gangsters the previous afternoon and carried off to Lunghua Military Headquarters, where he was put to death three days later.) At four o’clock the military authorities announced they had the situation “in hand.”

Chen Chuen,[Chen Chuen and Yang Hu took personal command of Chiang Kai-shek’s execution squads, making side trips to Ningpo and other neighbouring cities to complete the “reorganization” of the labour movement by executing hundreds. A saying became current: “In Shanghai wolves and tigers (hu) stalk abroad in packs (chuen).”] secretary to the gang leader Chang Siao-ling, and political director of Pai Chung-hsi’s army, announced plans for the immediate “reorganization” of the General Labour Union along the lines already made familiar by the events in Kiangsi and Chekiang in March.

“The policy of the Government is to have labour working in harmony with the revolutionary army and the Government,” he proclaimed, “but when labour becomes a disturbing element, when it arrogates to itself tasks which are detrimental to the movement and disturbing to law and order, labour must be disciplined.”

The Workers’ Trade Alliance, freshly organized, at once took over the occupied workers’ quarters and introduced themselves as follows: “The Shanghai General Labour Union was manipulated by a few Communist scoundrels. They bullied and deceived the workers and made them sacrifice themselves. Workers who have lost their jobs owing to strikes are daily increasing in number. The General Labour Union wants to starve and ruin the workers to create opportunities for committing crimes against society and the State. The aim of the Workers’ Trade Alliance is to realize the San Min Principles of the Kuomintang, to secure for the workers their most concrete interests, to aid in China’s reconstruction so as to win freedom and equality in the family of nations. . . . Now the pickets of the G.L.U. have all been disarmed. They can no longer oppress our workers. Now our workers are completely free. It is hoped that the workers will send delegations to get in touch with us and wait patiently for a settlement.”[9]

But the General Labour Union and the other Communist organizations were not yet wholly destroyed. They still had strength enough and breath enough to address new appeals and petitions to Chiang Kai-shek. The Shanghai tangpu (Kuomintang local), long since driven from its headquarters, issued an exhortation: “Our working masses must not shrink from reorganizing their ranks. . . . The military authorities should also more properly protect the workers’ organizations and return their arms to them.”[10] The virtually defunct Provisional Government addressed a letter to General Pai: “The workers’ pickets made heavy sacrifices to aid the Northern Expeditionary Army and to expel the Chihli-Shantung bandit troops. . . . After the capture of Shanghai, they co-operated with the army and the police to maintain order and they have rendered no little service to the city. Therefore even Commander-in-Chief Chiang highly approved of them and presented them with a banner inscribed Common Action.’ . . .” The letter concluded with a respectful request for the return of the arms taken from the pickets.[11] That night Communist speakers addressed the crowds in Chapei. They complained that the workers “had consistently assisted the Nationalist Government for years and had only recently captured Shanghai for them. . . . They had always maintained discipline . . . and had not only observed the law, but assisted in upholding it.” Resolutions were adopted urging “that the authorities be again requested to give back the arms taken.”[12]

All this was true, too true. Only now, with the battle lost and the moment for action irretrievably buried in the blunders of the past, the General Labour Union found the sorry courage on April 13 to declare a general strike of protest and to announce: “We shall fight to the death . . . with the national revolution as our banner. It is glorious to die in such a way.”[13]

Having led the workers bound before the puns of Chiang Kai-shek, the Communist leadership could still, on April 13, call upon the workers “to be prepared to sacrifice all, to renew the war against the forces of the Right wing.”[14]

The workers might well have asked: “WHAT war against the Right wing?”

And how were they going to fight now? The instructions of the Communist International had been to play ‘possum—to bury or hide their arms—in hopes of averting “open struggle.” Now “open struggle” had been carried to them by the enemy. They were helplessly caught.

Despite the complete collapse of the leadership in the critical hours of April 12, about one hundred thousand workers answered the call for the general strike.[15] What testimony this was to the sustained discipline and courage of the Shanghai working class! The water-front was paralysed. The tramway workers went out. Most of the textile workers in the Western district and about half the workers in the Yangtzepoo answered the strike call.

At noon on April 13 the workers gathered at a mass meeting on Chinyuen Road, Chapei. Resolutions were passed demanding the return of the seized arms, the punishment of the union wreckers and protection for the General Labour Union.[16] A petition was drawn up embodying these points and a procession was formed to march down to Second Division headquarters to present it to General Chow Feng-chi. Women and children joined. Not a man marching bore arms. They swung into Paoshan Road under a pouring rain. As they came abreast of San Teh Terrace, a short distance from the military headquarters, machine-gunners waiting for them there opened fire. Lead spouted into the thick crowd from both sides of the street. Men, women, and children dropped screaming into the mud. The crowd broke up into mad flight. Guns continued streaming fire into the backs of the fleeing workers. The muddy rain water coursing down ruts in the streets ran red. Waiting squads of soldiers streaked out of adjacent alleyways, slashing into the crowd with bayonets, swinging rifle butts and broadswords. They raced in pursuit of the fleeing demonstrators, chasing many of them right into their houses in Yi Ping Terrace, Paotung and Tientungan Roads, streets thick with working-class homes. Men and women were dragged out. “Those who resisted were either killed on the spot or wounded. . . . Many of the wounded were left to die where they dropped. It was an hour before the street was cleared.”[17] One eye-witness saw bodies carted off in vans. “There were more than eight car-loads filled with dead bodies.” More than three hundred were killed and a far larger number wounded. Not a few of the more heavily wounded “were carried away and buried with the dead.”[18]

The workers of Shanghai were shot down as “reactionaries” who were “disrupting the rear of the revolutionary army.” Chiang Kai-shek issued a manifesto[19] accusing the Communists “of conspiring with the northern militarists to ruin the cause of the revolution.”[There is nothing new in the methods of the counter-revolution. The Jacobins were guillotined as “royalists” and “agents of Pitt.” Lenin and Trotsky were “agents of the Kaiser.” Years later Trotsky would become the “agent of Hitler” and Stalin would shoot thousands of dissident workers as “Fascist spies” and “agents of the Mikado.” In Spain workers would be shot down for “sabotaging the fight against Fascism,” and revolutionists would be branded as “agents of Franco.” Only in Spain Stalin’s party would play the role played by Chiang Kai-shek’s executioners and the Mauser-squads of the Green Gang who, in Shanghai, mowed down the “agents of Chang Tso-lin.”]

Foreign forces co-operated in the reign of terror now instituted throughout the city. The indirect contribution of the French authorities was the most notable, since the head of the French Concession detective force was Pock-marked Hwang Ching-yung who sent all his men into action against the workers. In the International Settlement foreign municipal police, working in co-operation with detachments of the British and Japanese defence forces, conducted a series of raids beginning on the night of the 11th, several of them in Chinese territory adjacent to the so-called extra-concessional North Szechuen Road. These measures were taken “with permission from the Nationalist military authorities at Lunghua.”[20] On the night of April 14, British armoured cars co-operated with squads of Japanese marines in minor raids in the extraconcessional area during which machine-guns were several times brought into play.[21] Everywhere rigid house-to-house searches were conducted and wholesale arrests made.[22] Prisoners were handed over in batches to the military headquarters at Lunghua. There they faced military courts set up under martial-law regulations issued by General Chiang Kai-shek. Controlled exclusively by military officers expressly empowered to “use their own discretion” in the event of any “emergency,” these courts became the instrument for a system of official terrorism which in the coming months claimed the lives of literally thousands of workers, students, and others.

This reign of terror, directed above all at the workers and Communists, likewise for a time crossed the bounds of bourgeois property which it was instituted to keep inviolate. The Chinese bourgeoisie had found it necessary to call in Chiang Kai-shek and the gangsters against the workers. Now it was forced to submit itself to the predatory raids of its own rescuers. Like the French bourgeoisie, which, in 1852, “brought the slum proletariat into power, the loafers and tatterdemalions headed by the chief of the Society of December the Tenth,”[23] the Chinese bourgeoisie in 1927 elevated over itself the scum and riff-raff of the cities headed by the chiefs of the Green Gang and Chiang Kai-shek. Like its French prototype, the Chinese bourgeoisie had now to pay heavily for professional services rendered. It “glorified the sword; now it is to be ruled by the sword. . . . It subjected public meetings to police supervision; now its own drawing-rooms are under police supervision. . . . It had transported the workers without trial; now the bourgeois are transported without trial . . . (their) money-bags are rifled. . . . The words of the bourgeoisie to the revolution were unceasingly those of St. Arsenius to the Christians: Fuge, tace, quiesce! The words of Bonaparte to the bourgeoisie arc the same. . . .”[24]

Likewise spake Chiang Kai-shek to the moneyed men of Shanghai. Only to the admonitions to flee, be silent, and submit, he more explicitly added: “Pay!”

The bourgeoisie had rallied to Chiang’s banner solely on the understanding that he would free them of the Communists, of the workers, of strikes and insurrections. With a ruthlessness that should have satisfied the most exacting and worried capitalist he acquitted himself of his task, effecting “such a clean-up of Communists as no northern general would have dared to do even in his own territory.” But here came the hitch. “The anti-Communist campaign should have ended there and the people [sic] would have been happy. But every form of persecution was resorted to on the pretext of hunting Communists. Men were kidnapped and forced to make heavy contributions to military funds. . . . No reason or justice was evident . . . no courts of law were utilized. . . . Men possessing millions were held as Communists. . . . No one is safe, even at this moment, from the inquisition which has been established.”[25] The bourgeoisie had been kept “breathless with alarm by talking about the menace of Red Anarchy.” Now to hasten payment of his bill, Chiang “gave it a taste of the future it had prophesied.”

“The plight of the Chinese merchant in and about Shanghai is pitiable. At the mercy of General Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorship the merchants do not know what the next day will bring, confiscations, compulsory loans, exile, or possible execution. . . . The military authorities have ordered the reorganization of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and other institutions with new directors, presumably satisfactory to Chiang Kai-shek and Pai Chung-hsi, as they ordered the reorganization of the labour unions. . . . Outlawry against the better class of Chinese is rampant.”[26]

When the raising of the $30,000,000 loan for the new Nanking Government lagged, the merchants received “military advice to subscribe, with intimations that arrests may follow failure to do so. . . .”[27] Even Yung Chung-chin, the country’s leading industrialist, was not exempt. Chiang asked him for half a million dollars. When Yung tried to haggle, Chiang forthwith had him arrested. Yung was thrown into prison and reportedly bought himself out with $250,000. Others had to pay more.[28]

Fascist or military dictators are like ferocious bodyguards who sit at the table of frightened employers and help themselves almost at will to the feast that is spread there. Chiang Kai-shek came forward to serve his class by asserting his mastery over it, remaining in the process, however, nothing but its hireling.[29] If Chiang Kai-shek appeared to be a brigand garbed in the authority of State power, it was only because he had served his masters well. The price they had to pay was nothing compared to what he had saved them by smashing the mass movement. The bankers and merchants proved this when they rallied quickly to the Government Chiang set up at Nanking. They thought themselves more than well repaid when within a few days of the Shanghai coup came news of similar blows struck at the workers in Ningpo, Foochow, Amoy, Swatow, and Canton. In these cities under almost identical conditions, Chiang’s military subordinates applied the same savage measures of repression against workers equally as confused, disoriented, disarmed, and helpless as their Shanghai comrades.[30]

In the name of the “national united front” and the “bloc of four classes,” the Communist International and the Chinese Communist Party had offered sealed in bond the political liberty and independence of the Chinese working class. They had left the workers with nothing more than their lives to offer. “The Kuomintang suffers from a lack of revolutionary worker and peasant blood in its veins,” the central organ of the Comintern had Said on the very eve of the coup. “The Communist Party must infuse such blood and thereby radically change the situation.”[31] What frightful content events had given these words! The Kuomintang had now demanded—and received its pound of flesh.

History was not yet done with its grisly joke. In Hankow Wang Ching-wei had arrived to tell how Chiang had agreed to hold a joint plenary session of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee for the “peaceful” settlement of all disputes. News now came to Wuhan that Chiang was about to convene his own plenary session in Nanking with his own followers. On April 13—on April 13—with the blood-letting in Shanghai already in full flow, the delegation of the Communist International in Hankow sent Chiang Kai-shek the following telegram:

“. . . The delegation of the Third International is now in China, and has always been eager to visit you; but it could not be done because we have been visiting separately distant parts of the country. . . . Now comes news that you have decided to convene several members of the Central Committee and the Central Control Committee at Nanking. This act obviously violates your agreement with Wang Ching-wei that all questions of conflict inside the Party would be placed before a plenary session of the Central Committee, which should be called at Wuhan and in which you would participate. Your convening a meeting of a few members of the Central Committee at this critical moment will naturally be interpreted by the enemies of the revolution as a rupture in the ranks of the Kuomintang. At this moment when international imperialism unites in an insolent attack upon the Chinese Nationalist revolution, the unity of the revolutionary forces is a supreme necessity. . . . In view of the dangerous situation, we advise you to abandon the projected Nanking conference, which will practically split the Party. And the grave responsibility for breaking the Nationalist front at this critical moment will rest on you. We advise you to stand on the agreement to place all contentions on inner Party questions before a plenary session of the Central Committee. If you take this advice, we shall be glad to visit Nanking in order to discuss with you personally all outstanding questions. The Third International will lend all its services to help the formation of a united Nationalist front of all revolutionary forces.—Signed, for the delegation of the Third International, M. N. Roy, April 13, 1927.”[32]

Chiang Kai-shek is talking to the workers of Shanghai in the language of machine-guns, but the delegates of the Communist International, Roy, Earl Browder, Jacques Doriot, Tom Mann, Borodin, and the rest, can still come scraping before him, begging for the “unity of the revolutionary forces.” Perhaps the wires are clogged between Shanghai and Hankow. They are still “propitiating” the haughty general. His acts, they plead, “will practically split the Party.” Was the calling of a conference at Nanking all the more Chiang had to do to convince the gentlemen of the Comintern that a split in the Party was exactly what he wanted and was driving for? Surely he was not loath to oblige! With the workers of Shanghai crushed and bleeding, the “grave responsibility” would rest lightly indeed upon his shoulders. Shanghai streets are running red with workers’ blood, workers’ bodies are still warm, still unburied, but if, if Chiang would only accept the “advice” of Stalin, Roy & Co., the Comintern would continue to “lend all its services” to the Nationalist united front. But if not? If Chiang turns them down? Why, the enemies of the revolution will understand that a rupture has occurred in the ranks of the Kuomintang! Damned clever these enemies of the revolution. This crawling plea to the executioner, who probably did not even stop in the work of slaughter to laugh at it, summed up the whole viciously anti-working class policy dictated by the Comintern to the Chinese Communist Party.

In Moscow, the delegates of the various parties in the International, to say nothing of the national sections themselves, had been kept completely in the dark concerning the developments in China. News of the Shanghai events came like some incredible, shattering catastrophe for which there was no warning. Information circulated in the Soviet capital by rumours alone. A whole day passed before any official statement was made. There is no record available of what went on behind the Kremlin walls during those hours. “After persistently denying reports of serious discord between Chiang Kai-shek and the extremists of the Kuomintang,” a bourgeois correspondent was at last able to wire, “the Soviet authorities at Moscow this evening announced it was unfortunately true, and deplored the fact that fighting occurred at Shanghai between detachments of the Nationalist army and ‘armed labour fraternities‘ and that the Nationalist army is busy disarming labour fraternities in other southern towns.”[33] Throughout the ranks of the Comintern the surprise was complete, and consternation unbounded. It took days for an appreciation of the realities to sink in. Articles written by Comintern specialists right up to the very day of the coup d’état firmly denying any and all possibility of a coup were still published in the central organs of the Comintern for days after it occurred. On April 16, for example, La Correspondance Internationale featured an article by Ernst Thaelmann, the German Communist master-mind, who in a few years would hand his Party helpless over to the Nazi executioners, which declared that “the bourgeois Right wing in the Kuomintang and its leadership had been defeated”—in 1926! Chiang Kai-shek, he boasted, “must submit . . . to the supreme military council, whose majority is composed of Communists and members of the Kuomintang.” The leadership, Left-wingers and Communists together, “are struggling in common accord . . . for the democratic dictatorship of all the popular classes!” He ended deriding the “illusions” of the imperialists concerning Chiang Kai-shek’s defection.[34]

On April 20—a full eight days after the coup— La Correspondance Internationale issued an article by Victor Stern of Prague which proudly announced that “the hopes of a split . . . and a compromise of the Right wing with the militarists . .. are lies and have no chance of succeeding.”[35] On the same date it reported in a “special number”—”The Treason of Chiang Kai-shek”![36] Complete failure and complete success for the traitors—all on the same day! On April 23 the same organ unblinkingly declared: “The treason of Chiang Kai-shek was not unexpected.”[37]

Then came the first of a stream of documents and theses”justifying” the policies pursued and their results. The tone was set by Stalin himself on April 21 when he solemnly announced that “events have fully and entirely proved the correctness “of the Comintern” line.”[38]

From Peking the well-informed Walter Duranty wired his conviction that “the Moscow leaders will do their utmost to restore Kuomintang unity, even at the sacrifice of the more extreme Chinese Communists.”[39] He was right. Stalin had not yet finished making sacrifices on the altar of unity with the Chinese bourgeoisie. Events might prove Trotsky right, but the struggle against “Trotskyism” had to go on. In Shanghai, the Central Committee, in Malraux’s words, “knowing that the Trotskyist theses were attacking the union with the Kuomintang, was terrified by any attitude which might, rightly or wrongly, seem to be linked to that of the Russian Opposition.” So it obediently led the workers to the slaughter. The iron vice of the class struggle was more compelling than papal bulls from Moscow. The workers died for “unity,” but the only unity achieved was the unity of the oppressors against all the oppressed. The tawdry, torn cloak of the “bloc of four classes” was ripped away. There was only the crucified body of the Shanghai working class. Under the corpse the militarists and the bankers gambled and bargained for the spoils.


1 China Press, Shanghai, April 13, 1927.

2 North China Daily News, April 13, 1927.

3 Ibid.

4 China Year Book, 1928, p. 1362.

5 Shun Pao, Shanghai, April 13, 1925.

6 Ibid.

7 Cf. “Workers’ Delegates’ Report,” and corroborative accounts in the Sin Wen Pao and other Shanghai papers.

8 “Police Report for April,” Municipal Gazette, May 21, 1927. Shanghai delegates to the Fourth All-China Trade Union Conference at Hankow reported that 140 known union leaders and 500 workers lost their lives in resisting Chiang’s coup.— People’s Tribune,June 30, 1927.

9 Sin Wen Pao, Shanghai, April 13, 1927. For a good picture of the “reorganization,” see “Chiang Kai-shek’s Fascist Trade Unions,” People’s Tribune, June 17, 1927.

10 Sin Wen Pao, April 13, 1927.

11 Ibid.

12 North China Herald, April 16, 1927.

13 Sin Wen Pao, April 13, 1927.

14 China Press, April 13, 1927.

15 “90,000 workers were out.”— China Press, April 14, 1927. “An appeal by the Communist Party for a general strike as a protest against the anti-Communist coup was obeyed at noon on April 13 by no less than 1 11,800 workers.”— Shanghai Municipal Police Annual Report for 1927 .

16 “Workers’ Delegates’ Report.”

17 China Press, April 14, 1927.

18 Hua Kang, Great Chinese Revolution, Chap. V, Section 2 ; “Workers’ Delegates’ Report.”

19 Chiang Kai-shek, Manifesto to the People, Shanghai, April, 1927, p. 11.

20 North China Herald, April 16, 1927.

21 Ibid.

22 Peking Morning Post, April 15, 1927, said official reports gave the number of arrests as totalling 1,000.

23 Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, New York, 1926, p. 127.

24 Ibid., p. 128.

25 China Year Book, 1928, p. 1374.

26 New York Times, May 4, 1927.

27 Ibid., May 19, 1927.

28 China Weekly Review, Shanghai, June 25, 1927.

29 “True, this hireling straddles the boss’s neck, tears from his mouth at times the juiciest pieces, and spets on his bald spot besides. Say what you will, a most inconvenient hireling ! But nevertheless, only a hireling. The bourgeois abides with him, because without him, it and its regime would absolutely go to the dogs. . . . The dictatorship of the bourgeoisie remains inviolate because all the conditions of its social hegemony have been preserved and strengthened.”— Leon Trotsky, The Soviet Union and the Fourth International, New York, 1934, pp. 7, 19.

30 A delegation of Soviet trade unionists en route to Hankow arrived at Canton on April 14. They were treated the next day to the spectacle of the raids on the trade unions, mass arrests, and executions in the streets carried out at the orders of General Li Chi-sen who, too, only a few months previously, had been listed in the Stalin-Bukharin directory of “revolutionary Generals.”— Cf. People’s Tribune, May 15, 1927. Fleeing Canton trade unionists brought to Hankow the belated message : “We regret to say that the cradle of the national revolution has become a stronghold of reaction.”— People’s Tribune, May 6, 1927.

31 Communist International, April 15, 1927.

32 Released by the official (Wuhan) Nationalist News Agency and published in the China Press, April 14, 1927.

33 New York Times, April 14, 1927.

34 E. Thaelmann, “La Revolution Chinoise et les Tâches du Proletariat,” La Correspondance Internationale, April 16, 1927.

35 La Correspondance Internationale, No. 43, April 20, 1927.

36 Ibid., No. 44, April 20, 1927.

37 Liau Han-sin, “Le Traitre au Peuple, Chiang Kai-shek,” La Correspondance Internationale, April 23, 1927.

38 Stalin, “The Questions of the Chinese Revolution,” International Press Correspondence, April 28, 1927.

39 New York Times, April 23, 1927.