Wang Ming


Fifty Years of the Communist Party of China


Written: 1971.
Source: Wang Ming, Mao's Betrayal, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1979, pages 7-14.
Online Version: Wang Ming Reference Archive, 2014.
Transcription/Markup: Juan Fajardo, March 2014.


On 1 July 1971 the Communist Party of China was 50 years old.

It is a Marxist-Leninist party, the vanguard of the Chinese working class. Under guidance of the Commu-nist International and with the all-round help and support of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union it headed the long, arduous, heroic, armed and unarmed, legal and underground revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people.

Many were the splendid fighters and national heroes who grew up in the bitter contest for national and social liberation in conditions of brutal white terror and exceedingly difficult revolutionary wars. Many have laid down their lives for the cause of the Party and revolution. May their memory live forever.[1]

Soon after the founding of the Party, during the Peking-Hankow Railway strike of 7 February 1923 against the abuses of the Peiyang warlords, the strikers and their leaders displayed the astonishing fearlessness and mass heroism typical of the working class and its vanguard. After the enemy had chopped off his left hand, trying to compel him to order the workers back to work, Lin Hsiang-chien, chairman of the Peking-Hankow Railway Workers’ Union, said: “You can chop off my head, I will not order the men hack to work.” Lin died a hero’s death, followed to the grave by lawyer Shih Yang, who represented the striking workers and chose death to bowing before his tormentors.

The following met a heroic death in 1925-1927, during the memorable anti-imperialist May Thirtieth Movement (1925)[2]: Ku Chen-hung, who headed the strike at Japanese-owned textile mills in Shanghai; Ho Peng-i, organiser of a demonstration of Shanghai University students; Liu Hua, chairman of the General Trade Union Council of Shanghai, who headed a general strike of half a mil¬lion Shanghai workers.

And the following laid down their lives fighting national and class enemies: Chi Shu-feng, prominent economist and author of the well-known book, China under the Hobnailed Boot of Imperialism, who organised an anti-imperialist demonstration in Wanhsien; Chen Tsan-hsien, chairman of the General Trade Union Council of Kiangsi province; Lo I-nung and Chao Shih-yen, leaders of the third armed uprising of Shanghai workers; Wang Shou-hua, chairman of the General Trade Union Council of Shanghai; Li Ta-chao, one of the Party’s first theorist’s of Marxism-Leninism and its outstanding leader; Chiang Hsien-yun, commander of a regiment consisting mostly of Communists, which heroically stormed and captured the fortress of Chengchow held by a large force of Manchurian warlords; Kuo Mang, prominent peasant leader in Hunan province; Hsien Chin-yu, popular leader of the women’s movement, secretary of the Party's Hankow city committee and member of the Central Committee; Hsiao Chu-nu, popular youth leader; Ma Chun, a leader of the May Fourth Movement (1919), member of the CPC from 1921, worked among the Dungans, and later was secretary of the Party's Peking city committee; the brothers Chen Yen-nien and Chen Chiao-nien, both members of the Party’s Politbureau, arrested together and executed together; Chang Tai-lei, senior political and military leader of the Kwangchow (Canton) uprising and head of the Kwangchow Soviet government, member of the Party's Central Committee, and many other comrades.

Many comrades fell during the agrarian revolution and the anti-Japanese local war of 1928-1937, among them Su Chao-cheng, leader of the big 1925-1926 strike in Kwangtung province and Hongkong; he was elected chairman of the Kwangchow Soviet government[3] (during the Kwangchow uprising), was a member of the Party’s Politbureau, died from overstrain; Chang Kun-ti (secretary of the Party's Kwangtung provincial committee) and his wife Wang Lan-ying (chief of the provincial committee’s women’s department), who met their death side by side, showing great courage.

Treachery and betrayal resulted in the heroic death of Peng Pai, prominent peasant leader, chairman of the Heilufeng Soviet government and member of the Party’s Politbureau; Yang Ying, organiser of the great Kwang¬chow-Hongkong strike, member of the Kwangchow Soviet government, and alternate member of the Politbureau in charge of combatting counter-revolution; Chang Kuo-shu, secretary of the Party's Kiangsi provincial committee and his wife Yen Pi-fang, head of the committee’s women's department.

At the time of the Li Li-sen line hundreds of the Party’s finest military and political cadres were sent to various large and medium cities to organise uprisings, and there met a heroic death. Among them were Wu Chen-pen, Mao Chun-fan, Liu Yun, Chen Chi-ko, Ho Kun-jung, Wang Pu-wen, Chen Te-chen, Hu Chin-chai, Tung Jih-chang, Wang Tzu-ping, Lin Chen-tsiu, and Tang Yu-kun. Many others fell, too: Lo Teng-hsien, a popular workers’ leader and member of the Party’s Politbureau; Lin Yu¬nan and Li Chiu-shih, leaders of the Chinese YCL; the well-known writers Hu Yeh-ping and Jou Shih, active as party cadres in literature and art; Ying Fu, a young but already famous proletarian poet; Tsai Ho-sen, member of the Party’s Politbureau; Yun Tai-ying, prominent organiser of the youth movement and member of the Party’s Central Committee; Huang Kung-lueh, commander of the 3rd Red Army; Lu I, political commissar of the 2nd Red Army; Mo Ping-lan, chief of the women’s department of the Party’s Kwangsi provincial committee, and leader of the women's movement among the Chuang ethnic group; Tung Chiang-jung and Po Yang, secretaries of the Party's Manchurian provincial committee; Ho Ssu-mei, leader of anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in Manchuria; Fu Wei-yu, commander of the Shanghai workers’ volunteer unit in the battle for Shanghai and Woosung against the Japanese, and his deputy, Sun Hsiao-pao; Teng Chung-hsia, a pioneer leader of the Chinese trade union movement, organiser of the February Seventh Strike (1923) and of the Kwangtung and Hongkong (1925-1926) strikes, member of the Party’s Central Committee; Chen Yun-tao, secretary of the CC CPC Bureau for North China and chairman of the All-China Trade Union Council; Huang Li, secretary of the Party’s Kiangsu provincial and Shanghai city committees; Shen Tse-ming, deputy secretary of the Hupeh-Honan-Anhwei branch of the CC CPC Bureau for Soviet areas, secretary of the Party’s Hupeh-Honan-Anhwei provincial committee, and member of the Central Committee; Ho Tsu-shu, active in combat¬ting the Li Li-sen line, a gifted organiser of the masses; Chao Po-sheng, commander of the Red Army’s 5th Army Corps; Chi Hung-chang, commander of the 2nd Army of the Chahar-Suiyuan Anti-Japanese Union Army, com¬mander of the latter’s northern sector, and leader of the North China people’s anti-Japanese committee for armed self-defence; Nieh Erh, China’s first proletarian composer; Hsia Hsi, member of the Party’s Central Committee and secretary of the CC CPC Bureau for Soviet areas branch in the western districts of Hunan and Hupeh; Tsyui Tsyu-po, prominent Party functionary, writer, and minister of education in the Chinese Soviet Republic; Ho Shu-heng, delegate to the 1st Congress of the CPC and chief of the central worker-peasant inspection of the Chinese Soviet Republic; Chung Yu, leader of a special (security) branch unit of the CC CPC who displayed courage beyond compare in fighting traitors and enemy agents; Chien Chuang-fei, who infiltrated the enemy’s secret police and performed many important services for the Party’s Central Committee; Fang Chih-min, founder of the Soviet area in the north-east of Kiangsi province, commander of the 10th Red Army; Hsun Huai-chau, commander of the 7th Red Army; Ho Chang, deputy chief of the Red Army's main political department; Liu Po-chien, chief of the political department of the Red Army’s 5th Army Corps; Liu Chili-tan, commander of the Red Army’s 26th Army and founder of the Soviet area in the north of Shensi province; Tung Chen tang, acting commander of the western sector of the Red Army, commander of the 5th Army Corps; Ying Chien, head of the CC CPC North China Bureau’s organisational department, and many other comrades.

The following fell in the anti-Japanese war of 1937-1945: Tso Chuan, deputy chief of the 8th Army general headquarters; Hsiang Ying, prominent workers' leader and CPC functionary, deputy commander of the New 4th Army, member of the Party's Politbureau; Yuan Kuo-ping, chief of the New 4th Army's political department; Lo Ping-hui and Peng Hsueh-feng, commanders of New 4th Army formations; Chang Wen-ping, secretary of the Party's Kwangtung provincial committee, and Red Army veteran; Chen Tan-chiu, delegate to the 1st Congress of the CPC, member of the Party's Central Auditing Commission, and minister of food in the Chinese Soviet Republic; Yang Chin-yu, commander-in-chief of the Northeast Anti-Japanese Union Army and commander of the 1st Army; Chao Shang-chih, deputy commander-in-chief and commander of the 3rd Army; Tsai Shih-jung, commander of the 6th Army; Chao I-mang, regimental commissar and heroine of the anti-Japanese war, and many other comrades.

The following died during the cease-fire and the libera-tion war of 1946-1949. Prominent Party leader Chin Pang-hsien (Po Ku), Teng Fa, chairman of the State Political Department of the Chinese Soviet Republic and member of the Politbureau, Central Committee member Wang Jo-fei, and commander of the New 4th Army Yeh Ting died on 8 April 1946. Chu Jui, artillery commander of the People’s Liberation Army, and many other comrades died in 1947. Lo Shih-wen and Che Yao-hsien, leaders of the Parity’s Szechuan provincial committee active in the united national anti-Japanese front of Szechuan, and many others, died in 1949.

This is an incomplete list of Communists, YCLers, revolutionary workers and peasants, intellectuals and students who gave their lives for the lofty ideals of the revolutionary struggle. Many internationalists from the Soviet Union, too, died heroically for the Chinese revolution. May their memory live forever.

Millions of revolutionary fighters inside and outside the Party took part in the heroic 28-year-long revolutionary struggle. Thousands of men and women were reared in the struggle to become the Party's leading nucleus and backbone. As a result, the CPC became a mass party, which, furthermore, built a strong revolutionary army. This enabled it to offer leadership to many hundreds of millions of people and, with all-round Soviet assistance, to consummate the Chinese revolution. Not only did it successfully perform the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution, but it also put China on the path of socialist revolution and the building of socialism.

Those were glorious chapters inscribed by the Com-munist Party of China and the Chinese people in the country’s 5,000-year history, and their magnificent contri-bution to the world revolutionary movement. Under guidance of the Communist International and with the help of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with Leninist internationalists in the vanguard, armed with the theory and tactics of Leninism, the Communist Party of China won victory after victory in different periods of the Chinese revolution over various anti-Leninist ideas and lines. It overcame difficulties and obstacles, and continuously grew stronger.

In the summer of 1927 the Party grappled with the right-opportunism of Chen Tu-hsiu; in the spring and summer of 1928 it squashed the “left” putschist line of the November 1927 Central Committee Plenum; in the autumn of 1929 it put an end to the activity of the Trotskyite-Chen Tu-hsiu group of liquidators (who aimed at dissolving the Party), and in 1930-1931 it defeated the semi-Trotskyite Li Li-sen line and the counter-revolutionary Lo Chang-lung group. And in all periods, especially since the thirties, it continuously came to grips in long, intricate and difficult struggles with the anti-Leninist, anti-Comintern, anti-Party, anti-Soviet, and anti-people political “thoughts” and lines of Mao Tse-tung. This and only this enabled the Party to further the Chinese revolution and bring it to victory, as it also enabled the People’s Republic of China to make considerable progress in building socialism with the aid of the Soviet Union.

And yet, the victories scored by Leninist ideas and the Leninist political line over the “thoughts” and line of Mao Tse-tung in different periods of the Chinese revolution are only one side of the picture. The other side consists in crimes committed by Mao in the course of the Chinese revolution. For example, after usurping military power in the Party at the CC CPC Politbureau meeting in Tsunyi in January 1935, Mao did unprecedented damage to the CPC and the Party-led Chinese Red Army. In the early half of the forties, Mao launched a reactionary “campaign for the rectification of the style of work”. This was directed against Marxism-Leninism, the Comintern, and the Soviet Union, and inflicted terrible ideological, theoretical, political and organisational damage on the CPC. At the 2nd Plenum of the Seventh CPC Central Committee in 1949 Mao replaced Leninist ideas and the Leninist line with the ideas and the line of “new democracy”. In the late fifties and early sixties his adventurist “big leap” policy and the institution of people’s communes set China on a course of political reaction and economic bankruptcy. The living standard and cultural life of the Chinese people deteriorated. Then, from the beginning of the sixties, Mao’s home and foreign policy based on anti-Sovietism and anti-communism finally led to a counter-revolutionary coup, worked by Mao under the guise of a “cultural revolution”. This counter-revolutionary putsch was an unheard-of calamity for Party and people, and did grave harm to the world socialist system, the world communist movement, the anti-imperialist struggle, and the peace movement throughout the world.[4]

Following the “rectification of the style of work” campaign of the forties and throughout the past 30 years, Mao twisted, distorted and falsified the history of the Communist Party of China. An editorial article published on 1 July 1971 in Jenminjihpao, the journal Hungchi and the newspaper Chiehfangchiunpao, entitled “The 50th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China”, written on Mao’s express orders, was a new collection of lies and slanders, a new falsification of the history of the CPC, and a further step along the course of anti-Sovietism and anti-communism, “glorifying” Mao Tse-tung. Only a man completely devoid of shame could inspire so foolish and shabby an article. Mao made no mention of the fallen heroes of the revolution, and this was not accidental. The traitor to Party and revolution did not want—and indeed had no moral right—to honour the memory of our dead.

The Maoist falsification of the history of the CPC was meant to portray the victory of Lenin’s ideas and the Leninist line in China as a triumph for the “thoughts” and line of Mao Tse-tung. The arduous struggles and glorious victories of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people under guidance of the Comintern and with the aid of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet Union, were depicted by Mao as his own, personal doing. His fallacious “thoughts”, line and policy were passed off as “absolutely correct”. Mao shifted on others the blame for his own mistakes and crimes, and to make assurance doubly sure systematically fabricated “crimes” allegedly committed by his political opponents in the Party.

By these methods he sought to win credit for himself and to discredit and defame others. He falsified the history of the CPC in every conceivable manner to depreciate Leninism, the Comintern, and the Soviet Union, and to replace revolutionary Marxism-Leninism with counter-revolutionary Maoism. By so doing he sought to deify his own person and to usurp supreme political power in Party and country. Then, at a “propitious moment”, he would use this power to commit rank treachery against Party, state and people, and take a disgraceful course of action on the international scene against the Soviet Union, the communist parties of other countries, and the national liberation movement. This earned him favour with imperialists and other reactionaries. In 1966 and later, behind the screen of a “cultural revolution”, Mao performed a counter-revolutionary coup. Thereafter, he openly took the road of national betrayal, seeking rapprochement and cooperation with imperialist forces and revealing his true face, so carefully concealed for many years, to the whole world.

To understand the reason for the fall and disgrace of Mao Tse-tung, we must in addition to what has already been said examine more closely the historical roots of his betrayal, for they, and more specifically his “campaign for the rectification of the style of work” in the forties, have a direct and close bearing on current events. As later developments showed, this “rectification of style” campaign was a dress rehearsal of the “cultural revolution”. So, to understand the “cultural revolution” we must have a clear idea of this campaign.



[1] The list of fallen comrades given here was drawn up from memory and available material.

[2] The names are given in chronological order according to the date of death.

[3] At that time Su Chao-cheng was in Shanghai and, since the Kwangchow Soviet government survived for only three days, did not assume office.

[4] To avoid repetition, I refer the reader to Lenin, Leninism, and the Chinese Revolution, where I deal with these questions in connection with the centenary of the great Lenin's birth.