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The CCP’s success was one major reason for its undoing. Some GMD leaders came to see it as a real threat to their leadership of the revolution. The increasing revolutionary activity in the countryside unsettled those GMD leaders who did not favor a complete break-up of the traditional power structure. In fact, the CCP was caught between the consequences of conflicting objectives. On the one hand, it was trying to promote the national revolution in cooperation with the GMD while also pursuing a social revolution that brought it into conflict with powerful elements within the GMD. As the CCP tried to restructure the GMD in order to attain its own goals, opposition within the GMD to CCP membership strengthened. This conflict with the CCP and a reassessment of cooperation were accompanied by a growing rift between the left and right wings of the GMD and the concentration of military power in the hands of the emerging leader of the GMD-right-- Chiang Kai-shek.

The CCP also remained divided on the policy of cooperation with the GMD as documents from a succession of party meetings show. However, attitudes to cooperation varied depending the specific environment under which CCP members were working. The situation looked quite different to Chen Duxiu, Voitinsky and the Party Center working illegally among the proletariat in Shanghai than it did to Borodin and the communists working openly in Canton under GMD protection and developing the peasant movement. Borodin spoke of this conflict in Moscow in 1930 during his self- defense against accusations of counter-revolutionary behavior. He remarked that here had been "two lines in the Chinese Revolution," one in Shanghai and one in Guangzhou. Friction between these two rival centers undermined the party’s capacity to act coherently when threatened by opponents in the GMD. While Chen Duxiu, on a number of occasions, called for the withdrawal of CCP members from the GMD and the creation of an open GMD-CCP alliance, the Guangzhou party organization called for the takeover of the GMD leadership. The situation was complicated by the Comintern’s repeated insistence that the CCP remain within the GMD while, at the same time, strengthening its independent position among the mass movements.

Communist influence within the GMD was helped by the aid Soviet Russia was willing to donate and by the reorganization of the GMD into a Leninist-style party. Borodin had been sent to monitor this work. Unlike Maring, he was not merely a Comintern representative but was sent by the Soviet Government and also represented the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik). Arriving in Canton early in October 1923, Borodin immediately set to work. His first task was to bring about the reorganization of the GMD and in this endeavor he found Sun Yat-sen’s willing support. Borodin acted as adviser to the Provisional CEC of the GMD set up in late-October by Sun Yat-sen to draw up plans for party reorganization and to prepare for the national GMD congress. It was Borodin who provided the draft of the GMD Constitution.

In the latter part of 1924, a major power shift in Beijing appeared to offer a favorable opportunity for the nationalist movement in general and for Sun Yat-sen in particular to exert influence on the national stage. In October 1924, a subordinate of Wu Peifu, Feng Yuxiang, disobeyed orders to march against Zhang Zuolin, the head of the Fengtian clique. Instead Feng formed an alliance with Zhang and together they seized power in

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