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view as an attack on party policy as a whole. In February 1933, Bo Gu and the Party Center attacked what it called the Luo Ming line and their success in resisting the Fourth Suppression temporarily strengthened their position and allowed them to use the situation to attack their enemies. In the Jiangxi Soviet, Mao’s brother, Mao Zetan, was criticized as was Deng Xiaoping.

With the Fifth Campaign slowly encircling the soviet, from 15 to 18 January 1934, the party convened the Fifth Plenum of the Sixth CC in Ruijin. It was attended by full and alternate CC members and some delegates from provincial party committees. Given the context, Bo Gu’s political report was a stunning example of being divorced from reality. For Bo Gu, the revolutionary situation at home and abroad was excellent, and he deemed the policies of the Comintern and the CCP infallible. Amazingly, there was no formal report on military affairs to the Plenum and all Bo had to say was that the major task was simply to continue the fight against the "right opportunists" who refused to see the excellence of the situation. Work in the GMD areas was not forgotten about and party organizations were requested to strengthen work in key industrial centers and to make the greatest efforts to "prepare, organize, and lead the working-class in strikes." The party’s entire strength was to be concentrated on "strikes in factories and trade unions." In addition the Plenum listened to a report by Chen Yun on the workers’ economic struggle and trade unions in GMD-held areas and a resolution was adopted on this question. The Plenum elected a new Politburo that included Mao Zedong, contrary to what most studies have suggested.

Immediately following the Plenum, the Second All-China Soviet Congress was held and it provided a chance for the leadership to boost morale. A giant auditorium was constructed, and the ceremonies included a military parade and gunshot salute. No effort was spared to portray the Soviet as a formal, national state rather than as a shaky local rebellious base area. This aspiration to statehood was reflected in the election once again of a full complement of people’s commissariats, including one for foreign affairs. Further, the Congress proposed that all the soviet bases be designated as provinces, no matter that their size nor the fact that they were small islands in a large sea of GMD- controlled waters meant that they hardly deserved the appellation. The Congress did at least refer to the war and called for the Red Army to adopt positional defense as its central task and basic strategy.

The meetings did little to address the crucial problem facing the CCP, namely the GMD Suppression. Effective military control of the Soviet was under Otto Braun, who had arrived in Ruijin in October 1933. After initial attempts to defend the base areas from within, Braun pursued a strategy referred to as "Short, Swift Thrusts" that also engaged the GMD through attacks in the "white areas." The hope was to pull troops away from the encirclement of the Soviet. However, this tactic also failed and a plan for the evacuation of the Soviet in late-summer of 1934 was drawn up by Bo Gu, Zhou Enlai and Braun. The plan was drawn up in great secrecy and leaders were only informed gradually and on a need to know basis. The idea of withdrawal was made public through the splendidly titled article "All for the Defense of the Soviet" written by Zhang Wentian and published in Red China on 29 September 1934. The article put forward the notion of retreating from

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