peasantry, special funding for river control and the creation of armed peasant self-defense corps. The importance of the peasantry was recognized by splitting the former worker and peasant committee into two. Despite this stress on the peasantry, the main revolutionary force was still the working-class. The proclamation for the peasantry made it clear that to achieve its aims it must ally with the working-class.
The success of the CCP and its more aggressive attempts to organize and expand brought concern within the ranks of the GMD and as the right began to gain control of the movement, clashes became inevitable.
The tensions were particularly highlighted after the "Zhongshan Incident" of March 20, 1926. Chiang Kai-shek ordered martial law claiming that a gunboat under communist command, the Zhongshan, was planning to kidnap him. Whether the plot was real or not it provided Chiang with the chance to clip the wings of the communists. He placed some 50 together with the soviet advisers under house arrest. Borodin was able to negotiate their release but at a price. This included restricting CCP activity within the GMD, providing a name list of all its members in the GMD, and abandoning its separate organizations in the GMD. Further, CCP members could no longer serve as bureau head in nationalist organizations. This last point meant that the communist, Tan Pingshan, had to give up the powerful post of head of the organization department to Chiang Kai-shek. Borodin was also forced to support the Northern Expedition to which he had previously been opposed in return for Chiang’s promises to curb the GMD-right. Chiang was still, of course, dependent on Soviet arms and aid for the Northern Expedition and made it clear that his original actions had not been against the alliance with Soviet Russia as such. The Northern Expedition was officially launched at the beginning of July 1926 even though some units had gone north earlier.
These events caused the communists further confusion. Publicly, they accepted the new regulations passed by the GMD CEC in May but privately there were conflicts about the way forward. It appears that the Guangzhou area proposed an immediate counter-attack against Chiang and the take over of the GMD from within while Chen Duxiu proposed withdrawal. In June, a compromise was suggested, cooperation would continue but as a bloc without rather than a bloc within. However, this alternative was blocked by the Comintern.
Withdrawal from the alliance with the GMD or some elements of it was consistently rejected by the Comintern even after the massacre of the communists by Chiang Kai-shek in April 1927. The tenure of Comintern policy was set in the "Theses on the Chinese Question" adopted at the Seventh Plenum of the ECCI (November-December 1926). This called for continued CCP cooperation with the GMD-left to bring about the success of the nationalist revolution. The GMD-right was not to be allowed to turn the GMD into a bourgeois party. At the same time, the "Theses" called for the CCP to take control of the social revolution. The agrarian revolution was defined as the central component in the revolutionary struggle and the communists were to gain "real power" in the rural areas through the peasant associations. According to the "Theses," the fear that intensification of class struggle in the village would weaken the united anti-imperialist front was