publisher colophon


The Party Divided

One of the murkiest chapters in the history of KMT politics must be the origins and development of the internal divisions that culminated in the split within the Party. The strains in the Party could be traced all the way back to its origins, and were obvious the preceding year at the time of the March 20 Coup, which only centralized—temporarily—power in the hands of one faction but did not eliminate the dissidents. Regardless of who led the Nanking Incident, it definitely coincided with the decline of that centralized authority that the C-in-C had marshalled to launch the North­ern Expedition. Earlier, on January 3, 1927, elements of the KMT at Wuhan had triggered the mob action that had gained a return of authority over the British concessions at Hankow and Kiukiang to the Chinese. The Party had reached no agreement on the immediate recovery of foreign concessions. There were a multitude of other political and philosophic questions on which the CCP and many of its KMT allies disagreed wholeheartedly. The Western Hills faction had already bolted from the United Front with the CCP and its Russian patrons. March 1927 saw the long frustrated tensions between Chiang’s faction and its antagonists at Wuhan rise toward a climax.

Between March 7 and 17, Wuhan’s Joint Council, already openly defiant of Chiang’s power, first convened a plenary session and then what it called a CEC meeting. These gatherings represented mainly the interests of the KMT Left and its CCP allies. It is significant that the CCP histories term that spring of 1927 the “Communist Period of the Wuhan Government.” 119The sessions met in the highly charged atmosphere of Hankow where anti-Chiang posters and slogans welcomed the participants.1

The KMT Left and the CCP coalesced and proposed resolutions strengthening the CCP’s representation in the National Government by the appointment of its members Su Ch’ao-cheng and T’an P’ing-shan as ministers; the promotion of the CCP’s peasant and labor organs; and the dispatch of three representatives to the Third Communist International to discuss what China’s role was to be in the world revolution.

Wuhan’s CEC gathered political authority at the expense of the office of the C-in-C and those who supported him. Thus it voted to take direct control of military funds, which had been managed by Minister of Finance T. V. Soong (considered a supporter of Chiang). In order to gain influence in more of the army corps of the NRA, Wuhan strengthened the existing ideal of Party control over its army through Party Representatives whose rankings would parallel the military chain of command. The CEC ap­pointed a recruiting committee to gather suitable Party Representatives. Wuhan especially hoped to place their representatives in the many newly defected army corps—many members of which had developed ties already with the C-in-C who had been a party to their defections.

The growth of the NRA was dramatic and a cause for concern among the enemies of its C-in-C. From the eight “armies” that had participated in launching the expedition in July 1926, the NRA had expanded to include forty by March 1927. Wuhan’s fiscal and political control over the corps in the NRA would greatly undermine Chiang’s authority. The faction at Wuhan hoped that the newly incorporated armies would submit, there­fore, to its Joint Council, Standing Committee, and Military Council—as, according to its interpretation, should Chiang. Chiang’s power to strike back within Wuhan’s sphere was further curtailed when the regime there ordered the censorship of anti-Communist criticism.

The centralized power that Chiang had fought to achieve at Canton during the spring of 1926, Wuhan’s CEC divided up among its own various executive committees. In theory, the Military Council became the chief recipient. Of the leading members, Wang Ching-wei and Chiang were absent so that Hsü Ch’ien and Teng Yen-ta made the decisions. Since both were highly responsive to Russian-CCP strategy, that was the prime source of direction at Wuhan. Wuhan sought to neutralize Chiang by abolishing the posts that he held—thus apparently stripping him of legitimized au­thority and status. Chiang’s Ministry of the Military (or Soldiers) was displaced by Wuhan’s Military Council. Wuhan also whittled down the functions of the C-in-C’s headquarters as it took away the authority to allocate the output of arsenals to the various armies and gave that also to the Military Council. The direction of military education through the various academies and schools was removed from Chiang’s supervision, depriving him of the source of a loyal junior officer corps. Appointments, promo­tions, and dismissals of division and army commanders were to emanate from the Military Council, that is, from Hsü Ch’ien and Teng Yen-ta.2 When Wuhan’s Military Council relieved Ch’en Ming-shu, a Chiang supporter, 120 and replaced him with Moscow’s new star, T’ang Sheng-chih,3 it became obvious that those who owed their commands to Chiang had little security and would either have to switch their allegiance to Wuhan or chance riding out the storm with Chiang.

As Wuhan legislated away Chiang’s authority, the coordinated unity of action that had been one NRA advantage over Wu and Sun began to disintegrate. Once again the centrifugal forces in China seemed about to predominate. Without a high degree of coordination, the NRA found it difficult to confront the numerically superior warlord forces of the Ankuochün. In March 1927, Wuhan decreed the nullification of all regula­tions that Chiang’s headquarters had ordered. Although the C-in-C was to retain his authority over troops at the front, the controlling faction at Wuhan claimed control over all other troops. Obviously, units within the NRA confederation felt the contradicting pulls of the opposing factions as the Party centrifuge accelerated. Within the Party, the attack on Chiang and the confusion over what had happened at Shanghai and Nanking ripped off the thin scab that had formed during 1926 over the wounds of members of the KMT-CCP United Front. To many within the KMT, the attack on Chiang seemed to be a CCP maneuver to assume leadership of the National Revolution.

As to the expedition in Kiangsu, the momentum of the delta victories carried the pursuing NRA across the Yangtze. Although the wide, un­bridged lower Yangtze was a defensible moat, crossing was eased by the recently defected Shanghai navy, which had become part of the National Revolutionary Navy. On the other side, the timely defection of the brigade of Chang Chung-li simplified the landing (see chapter 30). Those elements that had already been operating north of the Yangtze (the Third, Seventh, and Tenth armies) pressed farther north out of recently captured Hofei and took P’engpu in early April 1927.4 As Anhui’s capital, the bridgehead over the Huai River, and a railroad supply depot for the Shantung Army of Chang Tsung-ch’ang, the capture of P’engpu could have opened the offen­sive into North China. However, the momentum of attack ground to a halt as confusion and insecurity over the direction of the expedition and its logistical support grew behind NRA lines.

To counter the Communist-dominated faction at Wuhan, Chiang ap­pealed to the Center and Right of the KMT. Even before the capture of Shanghai, an anti-Communist group including Wu Chih-hui, Niu Yung-chien, and Yang Chüan of the KMT’s Shanghai headquarters had begun to study and discuss the evidence of subversion of KMT authority by the CCP. On March 6, these men questioned CCP leader Ch’en Tu-hsiu and his Shanghai labor expert, Lo Yi-nung, as to the intentions of the CCP. Ch’en’s placatory reply probably echoed an earlier thought of Stalin. Ch’en said that since communizing China would take at least twenty more years, the CCP would continue to need the cooperation of the KMT.5 When the CCP sponsored an attack on the building holding the Western Hills headquarters in the French concession, KMT nerves were further irri­tated, as they were by a demonstration held on the Nanking Road against 121the KMT Right.6 Chiang profited from the ensuing anti-Communist reac­tion among the large KMT following at Shanghai. When the NRA did take Shanghai, Chiang wrote to members at Wuhan whom he considered independent of CCP influence and invited them to Shanghai. On March 24, Chiang addressed the following letter to T’an Yen-k’ai at KMT head­quarters in Wuhan:

Please forward this letter to the National Government. Shanghai and Nanking have been occupied and there is much work to be done here. I hope committee member T’an and Ministers Sun [Fo] and Soong and Ch’en [Eugene] will come to Shanghai to handle affairs here so I can devote my attention to military matters.7

Chiang neglected to mention the insubordination within his ranks that had precipitated the Nanking Incident to which he was rushing that day. We can see that Chiang did not try to supplant the civilian Party apparatus with his own military following, but rather tried to re-form a coalition away from CCP-Russian influence. Apparently the recipients of Chiang’s appeal already had misgivings about Borodin and the CCP at Wuhan, following the recent Joint Council decisions that increased CCP representation within the National Government and deprived Wang Ching-wei of his chairmanship, and including as well the actions taken toward Chiang.8

As March came to an end, the split within the KMT, between Communist-allied Wuhan and those supporting Chiang at Shanghai, was all but formalized. Both Wuhan and Shanghai used the press as a weapon, each attacking and censoring the other. From Wuhan, Borodin lambasted the “reactionaries” of Shanghai. At Shanghai, the Party’s Central Control Committee, which predated Wuhan’s new organs, met under Ts’ai Yüan-p’ei to discuss how to put an end to the Communist influence emanating from Wuhan. Ts’ai, a famous intellectual, has been deleted by CCP historians from that phase of history. At Wuhan, the Joint Council moved against more of Chiang’s men as it dismissed the officers of the branch headquarters of the C-in-C there, turning over those functions to Wuhan’s Military Council. Shanghai’s Control Committee retaliated against an organ in Shanghai that still followed Wuhan’s dictates, the local branch of the Political Department, which it ordered placed under surveillance.9 The contest lapped over into Kiangsi as the Joint Council decreed the KMT headquarters there disbanded and its members confined as “counterrevolutionaries.”10 Working through the Shanghai branch GLU, the CCP promoted the creation of a “provisional municipal govern­ment,” which began making political appointments in the city as a kind of workers’ soviet. Wu Chih-hui spoke for the Control Committee and Chiang when he declared the GLU’s new body to be an enemy of the KMT and not to be recognized by Party members or the army.11

Occurrences in early April reveal the escalation of tensions within the United Front to physical violence. In Shanghai, the CCP used its labor organ, the GLU, to undermine Chiang’s regime. In response Chiang placed the city on a curfew and declared at a press conference that he would 122“suppress all irregular movements.”12 It became known that Chiang had invited a group of KMT civil and military leaders from Canton to Shanghai where they discussed measures suitable for dealing with the CCP threat in the two cities.13 Shanghai received news that Wuhan’s merchants were being seized and held for ransom by radical unions and that they were then driven from their establishments.14 In Shanghai, anti-Communist and neutral workers complained that they were being persecuted and beaten by members of the CCP unions. Using the KMT unions as a nucleus, the KMT gathered non-Communist workers and created a labor organization to displace the GLU—the National Labor Union (Ch’uan-kuo Kung-hui Lien-ho-hui)—with a local branch in Shanghai.15 Labor continued to be the chief political weapon, as the GLU branches in Shanghai and Hangchow launched a general strike as leverage to force the ousting of Chiang. The KMT unions responded by burning the headquarters of the GLU branches in both Hangchow and Ningpo.16

The factional struggle polarized provincial party leadership as the vio­lence rose. Wuhan’s precipitate attack on some provincial headquarters forced some people into Chiang’s camp in self-defense. In attacking its opponents in Canton, Wuhan’s Joint Council declared the election of Canton’s branch executive committee to be illegal, and on this basis ordered it disbanded for reorganization. The response in Canton was to arrest the Investigative Agent from Wuhan, refuse Wuhan’s orders, and close the provincial border against possible attack from Hunan.17

Chiang became increasingly concerned about the halted Northern Ex­pedition and the danger of a warlord resurgence. He still hoped that he could convince key KMT leaders to turn from the CCP, provided he could isolate them from its influence. For this purpose, Chiang and his associate chairman Chang Ching-chiang in early March had dispatched a friend of Wang Ching-wei to seek him out and persuade him to return to China. Chang Ching-chiang also wrote Wang, a fellow Party cadre member since before the 1911 revolution, warning him of the threat of a CCP take-over and of China’s need for his return from Europe.18 When Wang did arrive, via Moscow and Vladivostok, in Shanghai by steamer, Chiang was promp­ted to wire his confused generals on April 1 that:

Comrade Wang has returned and I have had a serious conference with him about the Party and the country. From now on he will be responsible for the Party as well as political affairs. I will devote my attention to military operations. The military and civil administration, finance and diplomacy will all be under Wang and be consolidated in the central government. My armies and I will obey unanimously. Military authority and operation orders, however, I will direct as before. Wang has indicated that he thinks there should be no intra-Party conflict until the military operation has been completed and that everyone should support the C-in-C until a discussion of the matters involved can be held.19

Chiang’s optimism about his talks with Wang during the first week in April was premature. Although Wang did apparently feel the need for reunification of the Party, he distrusted his old rival and felt vulnerable 123without the pro-Communist faction of the KMT about him. He and that faction had risen during 1925 and 1926 partly through their identification with the Communist alliance and with Russian aid. Thus, when Borodin telegraphed Wang from Wuhan to come there quickly, Wang obeyed.20 When Wang boarded a river steamer secretly, he left behind a public letter he had signed along with CCP leader, Ch’en Tu-hsiu, which argued that the CCP neither wanted to displace the KMT nor to create a proletarian dictatorship.21

Possibly Wang wished to see for himself the extent of CCP power at Wuhan. Apparently he did not yet know that the Joint Council had relieved him of his highest posts. According to his own later version, Wang had hoped to bring the Wuhan faction back to Nanking where the power struggle could be settled democratically (to his advantage). The Party plenary session that Wang promoted for April 15 would, he hoped, reunite the KMT. However, Wang claimed that when he arrived in Wuhan he found the NRA in Hupei about to resume its offensive in Honan. He concluded that if an all-KMT gathering at Nanking decided to purge the CCP this would endanger the Honan campaign in which CCP members were attached to many units, and so he squelched the Party meeting.22

In the second week of April, clashes between CCP and KMT affiliates became more violent. Interunion fights broke out in Canton, and in Chenchiang, Kiangsu, riots between unions left 150 dead and wounded.23 The military side of the Shanghai regime became involved when the Shanghai garrison troops had to be brought in to quell attacks by the armed pickets of the GLU. Chiang had ordered the GLU to either disband the 5,000 armed pickets or be regarded as a “conspiratorial organization … not to be permitted to exist.”24 On April 6, Chiang used troops to raid and close down the Shanghai branch of the Political Department, headed by CCP member Kuo Mo-jo and under surveillance since the capture of the city.25

That same day, Peking’s ruler, Chang Tso-lin, raided the Soviet Em­bassy at Peking, and Shanghai’s concession police and those of Tientsin raided the Soviet consulates. The raids must have been coordinated; the evidence gathered in the raid found its way to the KMT at Shanghai. Although the documentation of subversion of the KMT helped to precipi­tate the ensuing “Party Purification,” the rising level of physical violence and acrimonious charges made an open conflict between the CCP and its enemies within the KMT inevitable. As for Chiang, although the entire CCP may not have sought his overthrow, the cadre at Shanghai who controlled tens of thousands of union members did hope to use that power to topple Chiang and Shanghai’s KMT rule. Chiang’s displacement was a matter of timing for the CCP, since even Stalin, who promoted the United Front in a nationalist revolution, had pronounced in early April that in the future when Chiang was no longer valuable he would be discarded like a “squeezed out lemon.”26 Who would betray whom first?

Shanghai’s Control Committee met from April 1 to 5, and pressed Chiang to use his power as C-in-C of the KMT armies to “nip the uprising in 124the bud.” On April 10, 1927, the Committee formalized its position by requesting Shanghai’s CEC to act to suppress the CCP conspirators before they could act. This request also represented Canton’s cadre, who had earlier met with Chiang and the Control Committee. They were Fifth Army Commander Li Chi-shen, Ch’en Shu-jen who spoke for Canton’s garrison commander, and Ch’ien Ta-chün whose division already defended Kwangtung’s borders against the KMT Left and the CCP from Hunan. Representing the Kwangsi leadership were Huang Shao-hsiung, Li Tsung-jen, and Pai Ch’ung-hsi, who met with Chiang and KMT leaders at the Lunghua Garrison Command.27 Circulating at these meetings were reports on CCP activities in Hunan, Hupei, Kiangsi, Chekiang, Anhui, and Shanghai. The consensus was that the CCP was well on the road to seizing the leadership of the National Revolution and suppressing the KMT’s role.28 Thus, although Communist histories have painted Chiang in auto­cratic impetuosity liquidating the CCP at Shanghai, he did in fact represent a considerable faction of the KMT.* Harold Isaacs also points out the meetings Chiang had with representatives of twenty-nine merchant associ­ations. Some of the KMT support came from the long-frustrated Western Hills faction, which had been calling for the purge of the CCP for nearly two years, as had been also Tu Yüeh-sheng and his Green Society or “gang” (a traditional secret society of local workers) of the lower Yangtze.

The Party Purification was not a bolt out of the blue striking the defense­less CCP and its unions unaware. The Chinese and Western press corps had covered the anti-Communist demands in the KMT during the first two weeks of April, and a warning reached the leader of the GLU’s 5,000 armed pickets on April 11 that military action against them was imminent. There­fore, the pickets were put on the alert at strongholds in Ch’apei, Woosung, Putung, and South Shanghai.29

The Party Purification begun in Shanghai and Canton has parallels with the breakup of the United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In both cases, while fighting a war, Chiang decided that the rival within his ranks was more dangerous than the external enemy. At both times the question of internal unity (the centrifugal forces) precluded the continua­tion of external combat. On April 12, 1927, when the NRA at Shanghai moved to “solve” the CCP problem, the purge was not launched from a position of security. In fact the atmosphere there was that of desperation—of having their backs up against the wall.

Divided We Fall

Although the NRA had pursued Sun’s retreat across the Yangtze after the capture of Nanking in March, the offensive was plagued by the uncertain­ties of the political system that supported it. After the capture of P’engpu in 125early April, the momentum of victory in Anhui and Kiangsu fizzled out. The Ankuochün licked its wounds in Shantung and, as its position consoli­dated and the pressure from the NRA slacked off, it began to push south along the Tientsin-P’u-k’ou Railroad. While the Shanghai KMT sat in judgment on the CCP conspiracy, the Ankuochün counteroffensive began in northern Kiangsu on April 3. The NRA lacked spirit and logistical support.30 Its resistance was so lackluster and ineffective that the succes­sion of defeats in April 1927 have been omitted from the official military histories of the expedition. From April 3 to 11, the NRA fell back 100 miles through Kiangsu and Anhui until it dejectedly made its way back across the Yangtze.31 This was certainly the NRA’s lowest ebb since the desperate fighting in Kiangsi the preceding autumn. This time the larger, more conglomerate NRA could not be pulled together; its C-in-C’s attention had been distracted and his authority nullified by the Wuhan faction the month before. These defeats further weakened Chiang’s position.

Chiang’s Potential at Shanghai

As a base of operations, Shanghai held certain advantages over Wuhan that enabled the KMT in Shanghai to win out in the intra-Party struggle and against the CCP. Although the Shanghai faction comprised mostly outspoken anti-Communists—dramatically so after the April 12 purge—the door remained open to all “pure” KMT members regardless of their beliefs (provided they did not openly work against Chiang). Numbers of even the KMT Left had become disillusioned with the ambitious CCP and its foreign patrons. To some, the dictatorship at Wuhan could be en­visioned as Borodin standing behind Hsü Ch’ien. Thus, Shanghai and then Nanking became havens for the dissidents of Wuhan. What did Shanghai have to offer them, and other potential allies?

Shanghai’s tangible assets outweighed those of Wuhan—partly due to the economic breakdown upriver that had ensued from radical labor dis­ruptions. In union with its Canton supporters, Shanghai had a more reliable fiscal base. Shanghai was a repository of Chinese capital, and its tax revenues were far higher and had been undisturbed by the violent confis­cations and terrorism that was crippling Wuhan’s economy. Wuhan’s total annual revenues from affiliated provinces had shrunk, despite more effi­cient collection methods, to only one-fourth those brought in from Shang­hai’s territories—C$200 million from Kwangtung, Fukien, Chekiang, and the prosperous delta.32 At Canton the Central Bank continued to hold the bulk of the KMT’s hard currency—the largest Chinese silver re­serves by 1927—and chose to underwrite Shanghai rather than Wuhan. Wuhan’s branch of the Central Bank found itself printing a devaluing paper money. Finance Minister T.V. Soong had moved to Wuhan from Canton, but once there he felt increasingly frustrated with the emphasis given politics and ideology over his expertise. When Soong’s own car was menaced by a politicized crowd on the Hankow bund, he packed his bags for the familiar surroundings of newly conquered Shanghai, his home town.33

126Chiang and his supporters had managed to gain the confidence of the financial and commercial leaders of the great port city, who seemed to have no better alternative. The KMT’s Three People’s Principles and the ideal of the all-class union in a national movement had long appealed to Shanghai’s capitalists and was successful in eliciting their continuing financial support. Chiang reaffirmed these attractive principles and de-radicalized the KMT through Party Purification, thus guaranteeing against a reoccurrence of Wuhan’s apparent class struggle and confiscations. Chiang called for arbi­tration between workers and management and spoke of goodwill and harmony.34 Chiang’s own origins near Ningpo, Chekiang, coincided with those of an important segment of Shanghai’s commercial element, which eased his communication. However, chafed by daily contact with foreign arrogance and inequality, the Chinese of the treaty ports like Shanghai were the mainspring of Chinese nationalism and Chiang also had to address those feelings.

There have been speculations that Chiang tried to deal with the Japanese upon entry into Shanghai—apparently he did see Chinese representatives of Japanese firms and on March 28 did call on the Japanese consul.35 There was, of course, the need to soothe the offended sensibilities of the Japanese—and other foreign powers—after what the foreigners called the “anti-foreign outrages at Nanking.” The massed military presence of the powers could not be ignored after the Japanese and English presented their formal protests on March 26.36 Chiang felt constrained to repeat his guarantee that he would be responsible for protecting foreign lives and property, and to differentiate his policy from that of the radicals at Wuhan,37 but at the same time he could not offend the inflamed nationalis­tic feelings among his supporters. The Japanese intervention in Shantung later in June was a decision made by the Japanese cabinet in late May; it turned Chiang’s eastern flank and helped push his troops back south again. Since the Japanese decision was made in May, it would seem to preclude Chiang’s having made a deal with them in March or April.

During press interviews in late March, Chiang calmed the foreign powers, but firmly stated that an “objective of the national revolution is to seek international equality…. If a nation treats China fairly, China will return friendship.”38 In an interview with a German agency, Chiang supported Shanghai’s Foreign Minister who had called for the withdrawal of foreign troops and a return of the foreign concessions. But, Chiang stated that lacking the means to conquer the concessions militarily, he would leave that to the peaceful means of the Chinese politicians.39 Later, while conceding that he was investigating the responsibility for the Nanking Incident, he parried that “…as long as foreign troops and warships undertake to protest … we will not be responsible…. Incidents are unavoidable in a revolution.”40

127That the powers could not be trilled with was evidenced a few days later at Hankow when GLU workers rioted against the Japanese concession. With their affinity for “direct action,” the Japanese commander there immediately had several hundred marines landed, armed another hundred Japanese nationals, and trained the guns of the Japanese cruisers out on the Yangtze toward the Chinese bund.41 Using machine guns to halt the mob, the Japanese marines killed over ten Chinese and wounded another ten, according to KMT accounts.42 The threat of a Japanese intervention con­tinued to distract Wuhan until an uneasy settlement was reached on April 27.43 This provocation of the Japanese presaged the policy of the CCP’s November Plenum of 1927—“Attack the Foreigners” (Ta wai-kuo-jen).44

In Shanghai, Chiang stuck prudently to the use of rhetoric against the powers. When he called for the powers to negotiate the return of the concessions, he still denied them a tangible pretext for military interven­tion. His strategy brought a tacit acceptance of the KMT regime, which contributed to the increasing potential at Shanghai. Where the Wuhan KMT found themselves hampered by large-scale unemployment, a dis­rupted economy, dwindling revenue, political tensions, and the hostility of the powers, Shanghai began to see developing fiscal and economic stabil­ity, financial resources, and a degree of internal political consensus over the Communist question.

As Wuhan’s chief mentor, Borodin saw the regime weakening and advised a cooling off of labor radicalism and the peasants’ movement in order to begin reconstructing the economy.45 If Wuhan’s affiliated armies were to defend the regime and launch a military campaign into Honan, its units would need more tangible support than exhortations and slogans.

Thus despite the weakness of Shanghai’s military position in April as the NRA’s solidarity crumbled, there was more potential for power there than Wuhan could muster. It became necessary, however, for KMT civilians to face up to their dependence on the Party’s military arm. Following the Party Purification, the Shanghai KMT established the “permanent” Na­tional Government capital at Nanking, in accordance with the wishes of Sun Yat-sen. But even as Hu Han-min and Ts’ai Yüan-p’ei presided at opening ceremonies, the threatened bombardment of Chang Tsung-ch’ang’s artillery boomed ominously across the Yangtze and ham­mered at Nanking’s waterfront.46 The Party announced resolutions to put down the chün-fa (warlords) and to “knock down all evidence of im­perialism,” thereby committing itself anew to the Northern Expedition. Following the ceremony, a more crucial meeting commenced, a meeting composed of the generals who had allied themselves with Nanking and the leadership of Chiang. They coordinated plans for the renewal of the offen­sive and considered the possibilities of being attacked from Wuhan.

In April it was difficult for Nanking and Wuhan to set priorities on which opponent to deal with first—the rival faction or the northern warlords. Within the divided KMT, each side nullified the authority of the other, claiming to represent the will of the Party. Having already downgraded the powers of the C-in-C, Wuhan dismissed Chiang from the post and canceled 128his Party membership. This was mainly a gesture, since both Wuhan and Nanking temporarily turned their attention toward the warlords. In late April, Wuhan began to concentrate its NRA units for an offensive into Honan.47 Combat in this sector, centering on the Peking-Hankow Rail­road, had lapsed for seven months following the capture of Hupei in the fall of 1926.


1. Wang Chien-min, vol. 1, p. 253. Documents, p. 393.

2. Kuowen (April 3, 1927), “Record of the CEC Meeting.”

3. Kuowen (March 20, 1927).

4. Ta-shih chi, p. 251. SCMP (April 4, 1927), p. 10.

5. History of Political Work, vol. 1, pp. 303-313.

6. SCMP (March 19, 1927), p. 13.

7. Translation from the photograph of the original in the National Military Museum, Taipei, collection. A brush written “828” appears on the top margin and a stamped “00904” in the bottom margin.

8. Documents, pp. 400-401. T’ang Leang-li, p. 264.

9. SCMP (April 6, 1927), p. 10. Originated in Nan-chung pao [S. China daily]. Kuowen (April 10, 1927), n. p.

10. SCMP (April 4, 1927), p. 12. Wang Chien-min, vol. 1, p. 275.

11. Harold R. Isaacs, The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951), p. 166. Hereafter cited as Isaacs.

12. Kuowen (April 3, 1927), “Weekly News Diary.” SCMP (April 6, 1927), p. 11.

13. SCMP (April 4, 1927), p. 12.

14. H. Owen Chapman, The Chinese Revolution 1926-27: A Record of the Period under Communist Control as Seen from the Nationalist Capital, Hankow (London: Constable & Co., 1928), p. 66. Hereafter cited as Chapman.

15. Hsü Wen-t’ien, ed., Chung-kuo kung-jen yün-tung shih-kao [A history of the Chinese workers’ movement] (Chungking: Central Social Department, 1940?), p. 101. Hereafter cited as CKYS.

16. SCMP (April 2, 1927), p. 12.

17. SCMP (April 8, 1927), p. 10, and (April 12, 1927), p. 12.

18. Letter published in Ch’ing-tang yün-tung [The party purification movement], ed. by the Committee to Encourage Party Purification (Nanking: 1927), pp. 38-39.

19. Kuowen (April 10, 1927), n. p.

20. Borodin, p. 78.

21. Kuowen (April 10, 1927), n. p.

22. Wang Ching-wei, pp. 5-6. See also Wang’s letter quoted in Ch’ing-tang yün-tung, pp. 39-40.

23. SCMP (April 13, 1927), p. 10, and (April 9, 1927), p. 10.

24. Isaacs, p. 172. SCMP (April 8, 1927), p. 12.

25. Isaacs, p. 172. History of Political Work, vol. 1, p. 312.

26. Documents, p. 403.

27. SCMP (April 4, 1927), p. 12. See Wu T’ien-wei, “Chiang Kai-shek’s April Twelfth Coup d’Etat of 1927,” in Twentieth Century China, vol. 1 of Nationalism and Revolution: China in the 1920’s, ed. by F. Gilbert Ch’an (New York: New Viewpoints, 1976).

28. Wang Chien-min, vol. 1, p. 229, quotes extensively from Wu Chih-hui’s report.

29. 1st Workers’ Movement, pp. 494-500.

30. Kuowen (April 10, 1927), n. p.

31. SCMP (April 12, 1927), p. 10, and (April 18, 1927), p. 12.

32. Kuowen (May 15, 1927), n. p.

33. Sheean, pp. 815-817.

34. SCMP (March 31, 1927), p. 12.

35. SCMP (March 31, 1927), p. 12. Kuowen (April 2, 1927), “Diary of Weekly News.”

36. Ta-shih chi, p. 251.

37. Kuowen (April 3, 1927), n. p.

38. Chiang Chieh-shih Yao-lun Chi (Taipei: Shih-chieh Book Co., 1955), p. 37.315

39. SCMP (April 1, 1927), p. 10.

40. SCMP (April 2, 1927), p. 10.

41. SCMP (April 20, 1927), p. 12.

42. Ta-shih chi, p. 252.

43. Kuowen (May 1, 1927), n. p.

44. Schram, p. 126.

45. Borodin, p. 175.

46. Ta-shih chi, p. 255. Kuowen (April 24, 1927), n. p.

47. Kuowen (May 1, 1927), n. p.

* When Wang Ching-wei arrived in Shanghai, T. V. Soong, who had come from Wuhan, met him at the steamer and took him to the Soong house where they met with Chiang, Wu Chih-hui, Li Shih-tseng, and Chang Ching-chiang. Other participants in the Shanghai meetings over the CCP question included Po Wen-wei, Ku Ying-fen, Kan Nai-kuang, and two-thirds of the old Control Committee, who had gathered there under Ts’ai Yüan-p’ei.

Mao Tse-tung had the same awareness of the violence of political change in China, but he stated it more poetically: “A revolution is not the same as inviting people to dinner, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing fancy needlework; it cannot be anything so restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an uprising, an act of violence….”

Additional Information

MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Creative Commons
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.