J. V. Stalin

Letter to Chugunov

Source: Works, Vol. 9, December-July, 1927, pp. 205-206
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

I am extremely late in replying. My apologies.

1) The criticism of Sun Yat-sen that Lenin gave in 19121 is, of course, not out-of-date and retains its validity. But it was a criticism of the old Sun Yat-sen. Sun Yat-sen, after all, did not remain at a stand-still. He went on developing, just as everything in the world develops. After October, and especially in 1920-21, Lenin had a great respect for Sun Yat-sen, chiefly because Sun Yat-sen began to draw closer to the Chinese Communists and to co-operate with them. This circumstance must be borne in mind when speaking of Lenin and Sun Yat-senism. Does this mean that Sun Yat-sen was a Communist? No, it does not. The difference between Sun Yat-senism and communism (Marxism) remains. If, nevertheless, the Chinese Communists cooperate with the Kuomintangists within one party, the Kuomintang party, the reason is that Sun Yat-sen’s three principles—Democracy, Nationality, Socialism—constitute a fully acceptable basis for joint work of Communists and Sun Yat-senists within the Kuomintang party at the present stage of development of the Chinese revolution.

The argument that at one time Russia was also on the eve of a bourgeois-democratic revolution, yet the Communists and the Socialist-Revolutionaries did not belong to one common party, is devoid of all foundation. The point is that Russia at that time was not a nationally oppressed country (she herself was not averse to oppressing other nations), in consequence of which there was in Russia no powerful national factor to draw the revolutionary forces of the country together into one camp; whereas in present-day China the national factor not only exists, but is the predominating factor (the struggle against the imperialist oppressors) determining the character of the relations between the revolutionary forces of China within the Kuomintang.

2) In my report at the Fourteenth Congress2 not a single word is said about “concessions to Japan,” and, what is more, “at the expense of China.” That is not being serious, Comrade Chugunov! All I spoke of was friendly relations with Japan. And what is meant by friendly relations from the diplomatic standpoint? It means that we do not want war with Japan, that we stand for a policy of peace.

3) As to the ambiguous policy of the United States, its ambiguity is so transparent and unmistakable as to need no explanation.

With communist greetings,
J. Stalin
April 9, 1927

Published for the first time



1. See V. I. Lenin, “Democracy and Narodism in China,” Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 18, pp. 143-49.

2. See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 300-301.