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world revolution was imminent nor did they dare to exclude the possibility of a successful revolution in China. The letter did not oppose the idea of taking over Wuhan and one or more provinces but it seemed to oppose Li’s notion of an "immediate nationwide revolution."

It is a moot point as to when Li Lisan and the Party Center knew of the Comintern’s views. Letters could take up to one or two months to arrive and the full text probably did not arrive until early September. However, CCP leaders were already informed of its contents by late-July from telegraphic messages received by the ECCI Far East Bureau in Shanghai.

While it is uncertain just how much Li knew and when, he certainly rejected Comintern concern. On 6 August, Li Lisan chaired the first meeting of the Central Action Committee calling the whole party to mobilize for immediate revolution. By this time, the Comintern was more clearly of the opinion that Li had gone too far. Qu Qiubai and Zhou Enlai were sent back to China to moderate Li’s excesses but not yet to repudiate his policy wholesale. This is not surprising given that it would be difficult to extricate the Comintern from sharing the blame.

While the Comintern refrained from criticism of Li Lisan while the strategy was in operation, as soon as it failed harsh condemnation followed. Between the Third and Fourth Plenums (September 1930 – January 1931), factional conflicts and power struggles within the CCP increased. Li Lisan’s strongest opponents were Wang Ming and the "returned students" group. They had as their principal supporter Pavel Mif, the Comintern representative in China. Yet, opposition had little to do with current or future policy and was not based on opposition to a "leftist" line. Wang Ming, in an article published four days after the 11 June resolution, only differed from Li in his assessment that the Chinese Revolution could occur immediately without depending on world revolution as its precondition.

Also, the Comintern began to toughen its stance as Pavel Mif and his supporters in the Comintern became dissatisfied with the decisions of the Third Plenum. In October 1930, the ECCI sent members of the CC a letter stating that Li Lisan’s mistakes were ones of line. It labelled Li Lisan "anti-Comintern" and a "semi-Trotskyite." Mif himself arrived in China in mid-December 1930 and proposed that the Fourth Plenum be convened as soon as possible. The Plenum was held in Shanghai on 7 January and was dominated by Mif and his protégé, Wang Ming.

The resolution of the Fourth Plenum drafted under Mif’s guidance was harsh in its condemnation of Li Lisan. Li was accused of betraying the correct instructions of the Comintern and bringing havoc to the party. Li’s "line" was summed up as being contradictory to that of the Comintern and comprising "a policy of opportunism under the camouflage of ‘leftist phrases,’ and an opportunistic passivism in regard to the task of organizing the masses in a practical and revolutionary way." Betraying the Comintern line was true to the extent that the Comintern itself had abandoned the idea of using the Red Army to seize the urban areas.

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