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documents called for labor unions to represent all workers regardless of belief but to educate them to accept socialist and communist principles. The party, though, was seen as embodying the class-conscious elements of the proletariat who understood that the objective was to overthrow capitalism. The Congress also called for organization to be tightened to overcome anarchist tendencies and the CEC was enshrined as the party’s most powerful body entrusted to enforce party decisions. Reality was very much different and the small band of communists continued to be deeply divided over key issues of strategy and tactics, especially the question of collaboration with the GMD.

The Congress favored a horizontal alignment alongside the GMD rather than a "bloc within" as had been proposed by Maring. On his return to China (from his consultations in Moscow) in the summer of 1922, Maring found major opposition to his policy. Four of the five members of the party’s CEC belonged to a "small group" under Zhang Guotao. This "small group" was based on the Labor Secretariat and was hostile to the idea of cooperation with the GMD.

To get his ideas accepted, Maring convened the Hangzhou Plenum (28-30 August 1922), the first Plenum ever held by the CCP. To overcome the opposition of the majority, Maring was able to cite the " Instructions for the ECCI Representative in South China." This document, drafted by Radek on the basis of Maring’s statements, was an endorsement of the latter’s views. This imposition of Comintern discipline was intended to move the CCP away from its idealism and exclusionist positions to embrace the bourgeoisie in a tactical alliance. Moreover, Maring used the document to argue that CCP members accept his view that they join the GMD to form a "bloc within." The Plenum called for individuals to join the GMD while retaining their CCP membership. The CCP was to give directions for work within the GMD and was to lead the work of organizing trade unions. As far as Maring was concerned the necessary freedom for the communists existed and the Guide Weekly was to criticize the GMD and to try to prompt it toward stronger anti-imperialist actions. The Third Party Congress did eventually pass resolutions in favor of cooperation with the GMD on the lines suggested by Maring but substantial opposition remained within the party. It was left to Borodin, who was sent as Maring’s replacement to implement the policy.

The party was in bad shape by the time it convened its Third Congress (12-20 June 1923) in Guangzhou. Not only was it divided on the issue of cooperation with the GMD but also the brutal crushing of the February 1923 Zhengzhou railway workers’ strike had shattered the party’s high hopes for the workers’ movement. The destruction of the railway union, the best communist organization, and the ensuing crackdown on labor in general, made many party members realize that the strength of the proletariat alone was too weak. Chen Duxiu's work report to the Party Congress reflected the depressed atmosphere within the party as did Maring’s reporting to the Comintern.

Membership of the CEC was increased to nine but, at its first session, it was to elect a five person Central Bureau to exercise power on its behalf. The Bureau was to meet every week while the CEC was only to meet every four months. Thus, effective power was to remain centralized in a few hands. The CEC also elected a chair to preside over both

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