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Chinese Trotskyists in Soviet Russia

Alexander Pantsov

From Students to Dissidents

The Chinese Trotskyists in Soviet Russia

(Part 3)

Some of the Chinese Trotskyists who in 1927 had been left behind in the Soviet Union did keep faith with the Opposition. From the end of 1927 onwards they paid particular attention to the newest arrivals who had come to study in Soviet Russia, many of whom had already been groping empirically toward the same conclusions on the Chinese question as Trotsky and his co-thinkers.

In autumn 1928 the Opposition formed into a strongly centralized, conspiratorial organization centered on CUTC, which held the greatest concentration of Chinese Trotskyists. Its members studied, translated, and diffused Opposition literature, and did their best to enlarge the organization. All their work, however, was directed toward laying the foundations for subsequent opposition activity in China.

The destruction of the organization by the United Government Political Department (OGPU, Soviet secret police) in February 1930 resulted in the arrests of thirty-six activists. In September 1930, twenty-.four of them were sent to concentration camps or into exile. Most perished; less than ten survived.

Thus, the Chinese Left Opposition on Soviet territory shared the fate of the Russian Bolshevik-Leninists. It is true that the theoretical achievements of its members were meagre and that they left no powerful organization as their legacy. But their activities gave a strong stimulus to the emergence and growth of the Left Opposition in China itself.

* * *

The Tragedy of the First Chinese Trotskyist Organization

Those Chinese internationalists who were left behind in the Soviet Union faced the future with different problems from those who had been expelled. It seems that the first to quit the Opposition was Chiang Ching-kuo. According to Ch’i Shu-kung, “the thought of active Trotskyist activity simply terrified him”. [173] Ch’en Yuan-tao and Tung I-hsiang [174], “recovered” from their Trotskyist leanings and after finishing their courses at UTC, stayed on as translators. They broke off all relations with the remaining oppositionists, “sympathizers,” and “waverers. “However, a few students did keep faith with the Opposition. From the few scraps of evidence available, it appears that they included Wang Wen-hui, Wen Yueh, Kuo Miao-ken, Ke Ch’ung-e, Tuan Tzu-liang, Lo Han, the brothers Liu Jen-ching and Liu Jen-shou, Sung Feng-ch’un, Hsu Cheng-an, Hsu Yun-tso, T’u Ch’ing-ch’i, Feng Hung-kuo, Huang Chu, Ch’i Shu-kung, and Ch’en Ch’i. [175] Hsiao Ch’ang- pin was evidently still a “waverer,” despite his retraction at a party committee meeting on November 9 [176], as was Kao Heng.

Up until this time, the majority of the Chinese oppositionists had been students at UTC and at the end of 1927 there were still eleven of them there. There were another three, apart from Lo Han, at CUTE or on military courses run by CUTE, who could be classed as sympathizers; these were the translators Kao Heng, Hsu Yun-tso, and Ch’i Shu-kung (who had been transferred from UTC in August). [177] Kuo Miao-ken was at this time on a temporary placement at UTC. [178] Liu Jen-ching was a student at the International Lenin School, while his brother Liu Jen-shou was transferred in mid-autumn to the Moscow Military Engineering School. [179]

It appears that a large number of these people had been forgiven for their past transgressions. No administrative or party disciplinary measures were taken against Wang Wen-hui, Kao Heng, Kuo Miao-ken, Ke Ch’ung-e, Lo Han, the Liu brothers, Sung Feng-ch’un, T’u Ch’ing-ch’i, Huang Chu, Ch’i Shu-kung, Hsu Cheng-an, Hsu Yun-tso, or Hsiao Ch’ang-pin. Possibly the university authorities did not have sufficient evidence to prove their membership of the Opposition.

A different fate awaited those the university Stalinists had decided to make an example of. Following the fifteenth congress of the Soviet Communist Party, which drew up a balance sheet of the anti-Trotskyist campaign, the UTC administrators and party leaders decided to expel from the university Wen Yueh, Ch’en Ch’i, and Feng Hung-kuo, but following this did everything in their power to prevent them from leaving for China. In the case of Feng Hung-kuo, Pavel Mif petitioned the Central Committee, the United Government Political Department (OGPU, Soviet secret police), the Ministry for War and Naval Affairs, and the fourth (intelligence) directorate of the Red Army headquarters staff, requesting that, as the son of Feng Yu-hsiang, one of the leaders of the anti-communist coup in China (and besides this, a “politically unstable” element and an oppositionist), he should be detained on the territory of the USSR. Mif argued that Feng, his sister Feng Fu-neng (the wife of Chiang Ching-kuo), and another relative of one of the Chinese anti-communist generals should effectively be held as hostages. [180] But he failed to convince the authorities of the expediency of this course of action. The UTC leadership was forced to back down and on May 25, 1928 Feng Yu-hsiang’s children were allowed to return to China. [181]

Despite suffering a setback in the case of Feng Hung-kuo, whose fate had been decided by more influential people using the student as a pawn in a game of high politics, the rector of UTC continued to pursue Wen Yueh and Ch’en Ch’i with great enthusiasm and not a little subtlety. He received support from the Chinese delegation to the ECCI which, on its own initiative, proposed that they not be allowed to return to China. [182] A former CUTE student, Wang Fan-hsi, many years later recalled the impression these two men made on him during a visit to UTC:

They stayed on at the university awaiting their punishment, isolated from all others. No one dared speak to them and they, for their part, communicated with no-one. From morning to evening, the two of them sat in the library reading weighty Russian tomes. The “loyal elements” (students from the Ch’en Shao-yü group) were completely unaware of their existence, while the majority, who belonged to neither camp, looked on them with awe and amazement as if they were museum exhibits bearing the label “Trotskyists. [183]

On more than one occasion, Wen Yueh and Ch’en Ch’i petitioned the rector to be allowed to return home. But in vain; what was expected of them was repentance and an unequivocal, irreversible renunciation of Trotskyism. But they continued to stand by the Opposition, as is evidenced in their statements.

“Although we have only been studying Marxism-Leninism for a short time,” they wrote (in Russian) to Mif, “we are convinced we have already acquired the revolutionary light and spirit of Marxism-Leninism ... We support the Opposition precisely because the views of the Opposition are not just theoretically correct and follow the line of true Marxism-Leninism, but also because the facts have borne out and continue to demonstrate the correctness of the Opposition’s views.” [184]

Having been expelled from the university, Wen Yueh and Ch’en Ch’i existed in a kind of limbo, unable to return home but also unable to continue their studies. Finally, in the summer of 1928, they were exiled to Azerbaijan, near to the border with Iran. They attempted to leave the USSR illegally, and were captured and put in prison in Baku. [185] Ch’en Ch’i was freed and returned to Moscow but was then exiled to the Far East. [186] What happened to them subsequently is unknown. It is possible that they were killed. In 1928, Hsu Yun-tso was also expelled from the university and the Komsomol for his opposition activities. Like Wen Yueh and Ch’en Ch’i, he was refused permission to return to China. He worked at the Centrosoyuz (Central Cooperative) [187] in Moscow until 1930, when he was exiled to Siberia. In 1932 or 1933, he and another Chinese Trotskyist, Yao Ping-hui, who had been expelled from UTC in 1930, escaped to China. It is not known what became of him following this. [188]

Until they were exiled to Azerbaijan, Wen Yueh and Ch’en Ch’i continued their oppositional work together with those other students who remained true to their ideals, although by now only underground activity was possible. In practice, this consisted of establishing clandestine links with the Russian Bolshevik-internationalists, collecting and translating Trotskyist literature, and individual recruitment of new supporters into their circle. Toward the end of 1927, Ch’i Shu-kung met with Radek in private – about a month before the latter was exiled from Moscow. Radek “ordered” him (at least this was the interpretation put on his words by Ch’i Shu-kung) to “hold fast” to the line of the Opposition. “He told me,” Ch’i recounted later, “don’t be afraid to set up a faction. This does not mean a second party ... it doesn’t amount to a split.” And Radek gave this example, “Suppose a house has a leaky roof; it’s impossible to live in, so we would build a cabin next to it to live in while we repaired it. When the house was repaired, we would move back in. This is quite a different thing from demolishing the house.” [189]

But organizing a faction required a basic minimum of forces and everything depended on how quickly the numbers of Chinese Trotskyists could be increased. So Wen Yueh and Ch’en Ch’i did not simply sit in the library avoiding the glances of the curious but threw themselves, together with their colleagues, into the task of recruitment. From among the older students, they won over Yu Lan-t’ien (alias Kuk, who enrolled at UTC on December 20, 1926, but had remained uninvolved during the period of open struggle against the Stalinists). But the university authorities soon found out about his links with Wen and Ch’en and in the summer of 1928, like Wen and Ch’en, he was expelled from UTC. [190] (His subsequent fate is not known.) Some time after the November incident in Red Square, Kuo Miao-ken, who was temporarily on a placement at UTC from his military-political course at CUTE, managed to win over one of his colleagues from the CUTE course, Ch’en Ting-chiao, who was also temporarily at UTC. A report to the secretary of the special party group (the foreign department) describes how when they returned to CUTE they began to “carry out propaganda for Trotskyism and to talk about the mistakes of Comrade Stalin.” The report describes the support they received from their comrades at UTC in their work. “Last Saturday, a group of oppositionists arrived from Sun Yat-sen University to carry out propaganda against Leninist ideas and theory, confusing the minds of those worker and peasant comrades who have not yet fully grasped Leninist principles. The Opposition propaganda caused these students to become disillusioned with the prospects of the Chinese revolution. These activities are extremely dangerous. A number of comrades on the military-political course have already begun to waver.” [191] The author of the report asked the party secretary to “take decisive measures” to prevent any further oppositional activities by Kuo Miao-ken and Ch’en Ting-chiao. What the reaction of the party secretary was we do not know. Most probably he shelved the affair and, having taken the precaution of obtaining confessions from Kuo and Ch’en, was content to leave the threat of party sanctions hanging over them. Kuo and Ch’en continued their studies on the military-political course and at the end of 1928, they were transferred with other students to UTC. Kuo was even invited to carry on his studies at the International Lenin School. There are no more references to them in archival material relating to the Chinese student oppositionists.

The Trotskyists paid particular attention to work among the newest intakes of students, who had real, practical experience of revolutionary struggle and who had tasted the bitterness of defeat. Naturally the political orientation of the new arrivals was also a matter of great concern to the Stalinists. In November 1927 the party leadership at UTC began to gather around itself groups of students who had distinguished themselves in the anti-Trotskyist campaign. These students would be placed in shared rooms with the new students so that they could carry on all-day discussions with them. [192] But this approach was not always effective. Those who arrived from the end of 1927 onwards had all to some degree or other put their lives on the line in the cause of the revolution and felt able to draw their own conclusions as to the causes of the bitter defeat they had suffered. Their experience of armed struggle had reinforced their Communist maximalism and for the most part they were hot-blooded and fearless. And they were as hostile to any manifestation of injustice in the USSR as they were in China. Many of these militants, even before their arrival in the USSR, had been groping empirically toward the same conclusions on the Chinese question as Trotsky and his co-thinkers. The following report, written by a member of the UTC party bureau and dated November 19, 1927, is extremely revealing: “On the question of the Opposition, they absolutely do not have things sorted out. They claim to be standing aloof because they don’t yet understand the situation sufficiently well.” But, the report continues, “en route they argued a great deal about the nature of the revolution in China. The question was even put to the vote, which decided that the Chinese revolution was not a nationalist revolution.” [193] No less revealing is the following statement from Wang Fan-hsi (who arrived in Moscow in October 1927):

I began to have doubts even earlier [that is, while in China]. For a start, it had always seemed absurd to me that in the north [from 1925 to 1927 Wang was a member of the Peking party organization] we put all our energy into building up the KMT organization. (I didn’t know what the situation was in the south.) Secondly, I could not understand why we placed so much faith in KMT generals and politicians and when they betrayed us we transferred our trust to other liars. Thirdly, I could not help asking the question – Why was it necessary to hand over the guns of the Wuhan workers to T’ang Sheng-chih [194], and why did we suppress the so-called “extremist” activities of the Wuhan peasants? [195]

Such sentiments naturally rendered the newly arrived students susceptible to the propaganda of the Trotskyists.

A contributory factor influencing their political outlook was their confrontation with the realities of Soviet life. This was everywhere and in every way at odds with the illusions they had nurtured in China about a just society and a workers’ and peasants’ state. What shocked them most was the widespread social inequality they encountered. “Stalin has a fat belly, while the workers starve.” This, if we can take the word of an informer [196], was the opinion of the Soviet fatherland held by Hu Ch’ung-ku (started military-political course at CUTE in September 1927). [197] A striking picture of rural life was painted in a letter received from a comrade on holiday in the south (Chinese students were allowed trips to the Crimea for rest and recuperation). “Although ten years have passed [since the October revolution], looking from the train I saw peasants living in holes in the ground, without clothes – that’s the reality of Soviet power.” [198] The bureaucratic nature of the regime at CUTE and Sun Yat-sen University, which reflected the wider situation in the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet state, caused an equal, if not greater, degree of dissatisfaction. Judging from the recollections of Wang Fan-hsi, this factor was to a large extent responsible for the sympathy the students showed toward Trotsky and the Opposition. [199]

We can sum up the situation by saying that by mid-1928, the number of Chinese Trotskyists was steadily increasing. They recruited approximately thirty new members in that year. [200] The following people, in particular, were won over to a consciously Trotskyist position: An Fu (enrolled at UTC November 1927), Pien Fu-lin (also enrolled at UTC November 1927), Li P’ing (UTC/CUTE), Liu Ying (better known as Liu Yin, joined CUTE September 1927, pseud. Kashin; transferred in 1928 to UTC under the pseudonym Gubarev), Fan Wen-hui (alias Fan Chin-piao, enrolled at UTC mid-December 1927), Chi Wai-fang (CUTE), Chi Ta-ts’ai (September 1927–March 1928, was at CUTE, pseud. Martynov; then at UTC, pseud. Devyatkin), Chao Chi (CUTE, pseud. Lyalin; later CUTC, pseud. Dinamin), Chu Ch’ing-tan (UTC, later at military school), and Wang Fan-hsi (referred to above, real name Wang Wen-yuan). These individuals soon became the main organizers of the Chinese Trotskyist underground as around this time a number of the former leaders of the Opposition – Ke Ch’ung-e, Lo Han, Tuan Tzu-liang, Sung Feng-ch’un, Hsu Cheng-an, Hsiao Ch’ang-pin, and T’u Ch’ing-ch’i – were among a number of groups returning to China. [201]

Around this time or shortly afterwards, the following persons also threw in their lot with the Opposition: Lai Yen-t’ang, Li Ts’ai-lien, Lu Meng-i, P’u Te-chih (alias P’u Ch’ing-ch’uan), Hsieh Ying, Wu Chi-yen (alias Wu Chi-hsien, nephew of Ch’en Tu-hsiu), and Tseng Meng. All these later played prominent roles in the Trotskyist movement in China itself. [202]

The growth in the ranks of the Opposition and the necessity of avoiding its collapse in the new circumstances led to the formation of a strongly centralized, conspiratorial organization. The center of the organization was CUTC, which held the greatest concentration of oppositionists. Wang Fan-hsi describes how the organization was established:

One Sunday at the end of September or the beginning of October [1928], about ten of us Chinese students bought some food and took a tram to the end of the line. Then we walked through the outskirts of Moscow to a wood and sat down to a picnic. People lay on the ground, ate, and sang songs. And as a result of this meeting of “activists,” three persons were chosen to lead [the organization]. These were Fan Chin-piao [Fan Wen-hui], An Fu, and myself. I can no longer remember all who were present at the meeting ... I remember best of all Chi Ta-ts’ai ... and the former textile worker Pien Fu-lin made a deep impression on me. [203]

There are documents in the archives relating to this “picnic.” The most significant, Testimony of a Student, judging from the knowledge it displays of the internal life of the Trotskyist organization, was clearly written by one of its leading members. Sifting various pieces of evidence (transcripts of interrogations, lists of the events those interrogated were alleged to have taken part in) and comparing these with the testimony of other CUTE oppositionists, we can come to only one conclusion – the author of this report was Li P’ing. On February 8, 1930, he stated:

“The first meeting took place around October in a wood near the October camp. There were eight or nine persons present – Forel, Nakhodkin, Lektorov, Vitin, Kletkin, Fu Fei-jang, Wang Wen-yuan, Vershinin, and Dorodnyi. We discussed how to carry on our work at Sunovka [Sun Yat-sen University], and in the military schools. A three-person committee was elected, consisting of Lektorov, Vitin, and Dorodnyi.” [204]

The first thing to notice is that Li P’ing names Wang Fan-hsi twice, once under his pseudonym (Kletkin) and once under his real name (Wang Wen-yuan), an obvious mistake. He also refers to one Fu Fei-jang who is not referred to in any of the records of CUTC. It is possible that he was a student at one of the military schools but it is more likely that Li P’ing had in mind Fu Hsueh-Ii, who was one of the most active members of the Opposition at CUTC. (It would have been in keeping with Chinese traditions for Fu Hsueh-li to have had various pseudonyms.) In passing, we should note the Chinese names of the others referred to – Fan Wen-hui, Chu Ch’ing-tan, Li P’ing, An Fu, Pien Fu-lin, and Chi Wai-fang. Interestingly, Li P’ing makes no mention of Chi Ta-ts’ai, of whom Wang Fan-hsi had such vivid recollections. And finally, he gives a different version of the composition of the leadership trio, naming Li P’ing, An Fu, and Chi Wai-fang. So what was the truth of the matter? We can refer here to the testimony of An Fu named by both Wang Fan-hsi and Li P’ing as a member of the committee. This is his testimony (taken from the report of an interrogation which took place on February 12, 1930):

“After the departure [of a number of old oppositionists] for China, a leadership troika was chosen consisting of myself, Vitin (An Fu), (2) Lektorov (Li P’ing), and (3) Dorodnyi (Chi Wai-fang). This took place in September 1928. It was in essence the first properly organized leadership committee of the underground Trotskyist organization.” [205]

It is worth pointing out that yet another Trotskyist activist, Chao Yen-ch’ing, referred in January 1930 to the same three persons – An Fu, Li P’ing, and Chi Wai-fang – as making up the leadership trio, the so-called General Committee. [206]

The initial meeting of activists, apart from electing a leadership committee, also discussed tactics. According to Li P’ing, An Fu proposed the following approach:

“We have suffered a defeat and it is necessary to make a tactical retreat. We must begin discussions with students who are not members of the organization on questions such as their dissatisfaction with the courses and living conditions, not forgetting to raise the problems that apply to particular regional groups. Then we can move on to political questions, show people Radek’s speech on Sun Yat-sen [207], Lenin’s testament, and so on, and then material on the defeat of the Chinese revolution and on the USSR. We must listen to people’s opinions and get them involved.” [208]

This proposal was accepted without opposition, since in practice it reflected the current activity of the Chinese Trotskyists among their fellow students and among officials of the CCP who were in Moscow in particularly large numbers in the summer of 1928 for the sixth congress of their party. The student oppositionists were able to make contact during that period with Wang Jo-fei, Kuan Hsiang-ying, Lo Chang-lung, and Chang Kuo-t’ao. [209] The Trotskyists, especially Liu Jen-ching, who as a founder-member of the CCP felt at ease dealing with the party leadership, introduced CCP leaders to some of Trotsky’s writings, above all his article The Chinese Revolution and the Theses of Comrade Stalin. Having read the articles, neither Chang Kuo-t’ao, Lo Chang-lung, nor Kuan Hsiang-ying showed any great interest in the Opposition, but to their credit they did not betray the people who had given them the literature. [210] Their short-lived contact with the Opposition came to light as a result of the interrogation of some Chinese Trotskyists during an investigation into the activities of the Trotskyist underground begun in February 1930. The Chinese delegation to the ECCI denounced these revelations as a “provocation” as did the Soviet party’s Central Committee and the CCP Central Committee. Nevertheless, Chang Kuo-t’ao was forced to appear before the ECCI and the Control (i.e., purge) Commission to deny “rumors” that he had received Opposition material from Liu Jen-ching. “Perhaps these rumors arose because of my links with [Liu Jen-ching], a long-time party member who had previously co-operated with us against Ch’en Tu-hsiu,” he floundered, attempting to extricate himself.

“Hsiang Chung-fa [211] told me at the sixth congress that [Liu Jen-ching], although not a true Trotskyist, was strongly influenced by Trotskyist ideology; he himself supported the proposal that he be sent ... to do practical work.” [212]

As regards Wang Ruo-fei, after reading Trotsky, especially the articles in which he described the relation of forces within China following the defeat of the CCP and the establishment of KMT authority, he continued to have serious doubts for some time. He later confessed that “in 1928, when we discussed the Chinese question in the Eastern Secretariat of the ECCI, I held some incorrect opinions – that the bourgeoisie and the kulaks were the main social bases on which the Nanking government rested, that the Nanking government might achieve a measure of stability and, with the help of foreign capital, begin to develop capitalism in China.” [213] Such manifestly “Trotskyist” views earned Wang Jo-fei a strict rebuke on May 22, 1930, from a special commission jointly organized by the Control commissions of the Comintern and the Soviet Communist Party. [214] This punishment was enough to deter him from any further dalliance with Trotsky’s ideas.

But in 1928, Wang Jo-fei not only shared some of the views of the Opposition but also extended real material aid to it. He allowed Wang Fan-hsi to use his hotel room to complete the translation of a major article by Trotsky, A Criticism of the Basic Points of the Program of the Communist International. [215] This document, like many others, including the Trotskyist Platform [216], was given to the Chinese oppositionists by Polyakov, a former teacher at UTC and now a member of the underground organization of Bolshevik-Leninists in Moscow. According to An Fu, Polyakov used to attend the meetings of the “General Committee” as an associate member. [217] He and other Russian Trotskyists were in regular contact with An Fu, Wang Fan-hsi, Li P’ing, Hsu Yun-tso, and Liu Jen-ching. After Polyakov’s arrest at the end of 1928, the links with the Russian center were carried on via the widow of A.A. Joffe, Maria Mikhailovna, who, apparently, also replaced Polyakov on the General Committee. [218] These links were brought to an abrupt end by the destruction of the Bolshevik-Leninist group in Moscow and the arrest of Maria M. Joffe.

The material the Chinese Trotskyists translated or wrote themselves was not all destined for distribution among their fellow students. Some was sent to China with supporters who were returning home. Sums of money were also regularly sent to supporters in China, financed for the most part by voluntary contributions from those who could afford them and from membership dues. The latter, it must be said, were negligible (between thirty and fifty kopecks [219]) and were often topped up by special levies of seventy kopecks. The money was either sent via the university secretary, who was naturally unaware of the purpose of these transfers, or via Russian Trotskyists. On occasion the money would be given to students who had well-to-do relatives at home on condition that they write to their parents directing them to deliver a corresponding sum of money to such and such an address. [220] Some money was spent on subscriptions to official publications which were then dispatched to China. For example, according to Chiang Hua-an [221], Li P’ing sent Pravda to China every day. [222] The remaining sums were used for stationery, stamps, and so on, as the oppositionists carried on an active correspondence not only with supporters in China but also with Trotskyist groups in third countries, for example, the United States and Germany. [223]

(To be continued)

* * *


173. Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 2.

174. There are differing reports concerning Tung I-hsiang. In February–March 1930, during the interrogation of Chinese Trotskyists arrested by the United Government Political Department (OGPU, Soviet secret police), several persons referred to him as “sympathizing” with the Opposition after 1927. See Russian Center 514/1/1010/53. I am not inclined, however, to believe such information concerning Tung I-hsiang, first, because it is not supported by other sources and second, because we have information concerning the close link between him and one of the leaders of the anti-Trotskyist struggle at UTC in 1927, Chou Ta-wen. Moreover, there is evidence that the accusation of “Trotskyism” levelled at Tung I-hsiang served the purposes of his personal enemies Wang Ming and Pavel Mif, who had once removed him, along with Chou Ta-wen, Yu Hsiu-sung, and other UTC students, from leading work in the university party organization and subsequently took any opportunity to settle accounts with them. Finally, Wang Ming, by the second half of 1931 the leader of the CCP delegation to the ECCI, engineered the execution in 1938, in the USSR, of Tung I-hsiang, Chou Ta-wen, and Yu Hsiu-sung as “members of the anti-Soviet bloc of rightists and Trotskyists.” In August 1957, they were rehabilitated. On this, see Russian Center 495/225/932, 1048, Interview with Wang Fan-hsi at Leeds, England, July 27, 1992.

175. Russian Center 495/225/1341; 495/225/2411; 505/1/22/13; 530/2/41; 530/2/46; Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 6–7; Conversation between Comrades Kotelnikov and Khabarov, 13–14.

176. We can make a judgment on this on the basis that on his return to China (toward October 1928) Hsiao Ch’ang-pin immediately became involved in oppositional activity. See Russian Center 495/225/2129; 530/246; Wang, Shuang-shan hui i-lu, 145.

177. See Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 3, 5. We have no information concerning Pei Yun-feng’s position. Tung Ju-ch’eng left the USSR around this time.

178. Russian Center 530/2/41.

179. Ibid., 494/225/54 7; Conversation between Comrades Kotelnikov and Khabarov, 13–14.

180. Russian Center 530/1/34.

181. Ibid., Feng Fu-fa, the sister of Feng Hung-kuo and Feng Fu-neng, left with them. She also studied at UTC under the pseudonym Sobinova. See also Ibid., 495/225/1341, 2034.

182. Ibid., 495/225/56.

183. Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 80.

184. Russian Center 495/225/2226.

185. According to other sources, admittedly undocumented, one of them was shot crossing the frontier. See Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 139.

186. Russian Center 514/1/1010/54, 55; 530/1/56.

187. Ibid., 514/1/1010/56; 530/1/56, 57.

188. The former Chinese Trotskyist P’u Te-chih (alias P’u Ch’ing-ch’uan) indicated in an article that Hsu Yun-tso was active in the Trotskyist organization in China in 1930-31. See P’u, The Birth and Death of the Chinese Trotskyists, 392. This is patently untrue. As regards Yao Ping-hui, shortly after his return to China, he was arrested by the KMT secret police and capitulated, going over to the side of the Nationalists. In 1937 he became a secret agent for the KMT guard. Interview with Wang Fan-hsi at Leeds, England, July 25, 1992.

189. Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 10. It is curious that the next time Ch’i Shu-kung met Radek, they hardly spoke. “When we met,” reports Ch’i, “he stated that the Soviet Communist Party line was correct, and that he himself had been mistaken. ‘There is no point whining on, admitting your mistakes. You just have to rejoin the ranks of the party and carry on with your work’. I didn’t manage a reply – he loved to hear his own voice and never listened to others. He was called away somewhere and left, bidding me farewell.”

190. See Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 6.

191. Russian Center 532/2/40/108, 109.

192. Ibid., 530/2/26.

193. Ibid.

194. This refers to the disarming of working class pickets in Wuhan. T’ang Sheng-chih was at that time (summer 1927) commander of the Wuhan National Revolutionary Army.

195. Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 57.

196. I have no reason to consider this and other denunciations and statements about Hu Ch’ung-ku entirely without foundation. Hu became an active member of the Chinese Trotskyist organization in the USSR.

197. Russian Center 495/225/543.

198. Ibid.

199. Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 63.

200. Calculated from Ibid., 72, 80, 83. Russian Center 495/225/57, 1100, 1116; 505/1/22/10; 530/1/62; Li P’ing, Oppositionists Returned from Moscow (August 7, 1930), Ibid., 530/1/62; Testimony of a Student, 12–13; Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 6, 7. Wang Fan-hsi maintains, however, that “without exaggeration” more than nine-tenths of the students transferred from CUTE to UTC in autumn 1928 were already Trotskyists. See Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 83. This implies a membership of at least 123 which seems completely unbelievable, the more so since there is no documented evidence to support this in the archives. According to other reports, there were about thirty members of the organization in January 1929. See Testimony of a Student, 14.

201. See Russian Center 495/225/1114, 2129; Testimony of a Student, 14; Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 145.

202. Russian Center 495/225/1153, 1157, 2050; 530/1/64; Li, Oppositionists Returned from Moscow, 1; Interview with Wang Fan-hsi at Leeds, England, July 25, 1992.

203. Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 83.

204. Testimony of a Student, 13, 14.

205. From the Testimony of Vitin, Russian Center 514/1/1012/26.

206. See Record of Communication between the Student Donbasov and a Member of the CCP Delegation, Comrade Teng Chung-hsia. Ibid., 514/1/1010/99. From July 1927 to June 1928, Chao Yen-ch’ing attended the military-political course at CUTE under the pseudonym Mamashkin (hence his nickname “Mama” by which he was known at CUTE and [C]UTC and as which he is referred to in several memoirs).

207. This probably refers to Radek’s article Sun Yat-sen. See Karl Radek, Portraits and Pamphlets (Moscow and Leningrad: Gosizdat, 1927), 156–64. This work was translated into Chinese and published by UTC during the first half of 1927. It is also very probable that this refers to Radek’s article “On the Second Anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s Death. See Izvestia, March 11 and 15, 1927.

208. Testimony of a Student, 14.

209. According to various sources, the Chinese oppositionists had specific hopes regarding Kuan Hsiang-ying, going so far as to regard him as their candidate for the post of Central Committee secretary at the forthcoming CCP congress. See Li, Oppositions Returned from Moscow, 1, 2.

210. Testimony of a Student, 14; Conversation between Comrades Kotelnikov and Nekrasov, 7; From the Testimony of Vitin, 29; Russian Center 514/1/1010/51; Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 90-92, Liu, On Trotskyists in China, 242.

211. Hsiang Chung-fa was elected general secretary of the Central Committee at the first plenum of the CCP’s Sixth Central Committee.

212. Russian Center 495/225/3078.

213. Declaration of I. Nemtsov to the International Control Commission, June 10, 1931, Ibid., 495/225/874.

214. See Extracts from the Minutes of the International Control Commission Secretariat, June 10, 1931. Ibid.

215. See Wang, Shuang-shan hui-i-lu, 91.

216. An Fu, who mentioned a Trotskyist Platform in his testimony, evidently had in mind the Draft Platform of the Bolshevik-Leninists (Opposition) for the Fifteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik) [The Crisis in the Party and the Way to Overcome It], which was submitted to the Politburo by thirteen members of the Central Committee in September 1927.

217. From the Testimony of Vitin, 30.

218. See Wu, The Left Opposition in the Chinese Communist Party (Part 1), 80. It is curious that, according to An Fu, Maria M. Joffe gave a letter to Liu Jen-ching to pass on to Trotsky as the former was about to return to China via Europe and intended to visit Trotsky at Prinkipo. See From the Testimony of Vitin, 28. What the letter contained, however, is unknown. The Trotsky archives at Harvard and Liu Jen-ching’s own memoirs record neither its receipt by Liu nor its delivery to Trotsky. Wang Fan-hsi, who was close to Liu Jen-ching in the late 1920s and early 1930s, recalls that Liu never mentioned this letter.

219. Apparently per month. See Russian Center 495/225/2045; Testimony of a Student, 14.

220. See Russian Center 495/225/1446; 503/1/22/3; Testimony of the Student Lugovoi – Minutes of Interrogation, February 9, 1930, Ibid., 514/1/1012/23; Testimony of Comrade Nekrasov, 9.

221. Chiang Hua-an arrived in the USSR at the end of September 1927 and studied on the military-political course at CUTE until the summer of 1928, then until February 1930 at CUTC. His pseudonym was Andrei Vasilevich Namyetkin.

222. Russian Center 495/225/2045.

223. From the Testimony of Vitin, 29; Testimony of the Student Lugovoi, 23.

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