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The CCP and the Fujian Rebellion by Frederick S. Litten The following is an abridged and sU.ghtly changed translation of chapter two of my M.A. thesis on Otto Braun's early activities in China. [1] The study of CCPhistory in the 1930's still shows serious deficiencies, and one of them...- concerl}s the role of the CCP in the Fujian rebellion. This..,~'article sets out to provide new insights into some problems, historical and historiographical , connected with this event, but should also be seen as a starting point for further studies, which are surely necessary. The article begins with a short introduction to the background and then presents some information on Chinese Communist historiography of the rebellion. Additionally two important accounts by Otto Braun and the Russian A.G. Krymov are being summarized. Thereafter I will examine three p.roblems more closely: the political co-operation between the CCP and the Fuj ian rebels, the mi 1itary cooperation between them, and CCP internal discussions at that time. 1. Background[2] After their endeavor to defend Shanghai against the Japanese in January 1932, the Chinese 19th Route Army was transferred to Fujian. Personal differences with Chiang Kai-shek, dissatisfaction with his appeasement policy and the deployment to a province barely able to sustain its local warlord armies[3] created an increasingly rebellious mood among the leadership of the 19th Route Army, especially Cai Tingkai, Chen Mingshu and Jiang Guangnai. Politically they were supported by the so-called "Third Party", which, also opposing Chiang Kai-shek, had some intellectual influence on Chen Mingshu and others, at least in the beginning.[4] Plans for setting up a military government had been made by Chen Mingshu and the leaders of Guangxi and Guangdong as early as May 1933; they failed because of Chen Ji tang's stance. A few months later new schemes emerged, with Chen Ji tang being coerced into support by mutinies among his troops and external threats.[5] Help was promised by the leaders of the Guangxi-Clique, Li Zongren and Ba i Zhongx i , but also by northern war 1ords (e.g. , Feng 57 Yuxi ang); the former, however, warned against an agrarian revolution and an alliance with the Communists, while rumors of the Prelindnary J\gTeement between the Red Army and the 19th Route Army were spreading. This agreement, concluded on 26 October 1933, mainly concerned a truce between the two armies, but was also intended as a first step toward i1 fighting alliance against Chiang Kai-shek and the .Japanese, if and when the Fujian government complied with conditions regarding freedoms and revolutionary activity. [6] The rebellion began unofficially on 18 November 1933 when Cai Tingkai put the Fuj ian branches of the Central Bank and the Maritime Customs Off ices under his control and, on the following day, imposed ma~tial Jaw in Fujian. On 20 November an assembly of prov is iqna l representatives declared the People's Revolutionary Government--formally established two days later with Li .Jishen at the top; a new flag was unfurled, a new calendar introduced and the removal of Sun Yat-sen's portraits from official buildings ordered. These acts, however, proved to be more damaging than helpful, as potential allies had second thoughts while public enthusiasm was not aroused: not even the students participated actively.[7] Among the aims of the new government, stRted in various declarations at that. time, were: the overthrow of the Nanj .ing government , regaining sovereignty from the foreigners, per capita land allocation, more freedoms and so on. [8] With the possible exception of land reform in West Fujian (prompted mainly by the "Third Party"), nothing was realized and much not even attempted.[9] Besid ~s 1ack of time and money, subversion, etc. , I think there was also some kind of indiiference on the part of the military leadership , which even extended to military matters.[lO] After the initial revolutionary elan had slaekened,[11] they found themselves standing virtually Rlone against Chiang Kai-shek's armies. Demoralization and disillusionment among the troops and the terrifying air attacks of Nanjing's airforce compounded the problem and goes some way to explain the hasty retreat...


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