Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact


SDHF Newsletter No. 408 The Road to the Greater East Asian War Part 27, Chapter 8-2

Nakamura Akira, Dokkyo University Professor Emeritus
(English Translation: Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact)
Part 27, Chapter 8: Revolutionary China and Communism – II

June 21, 2024

In December 1921 the Comintern directed Dutch operative Maring, an Asian specialist, to approach Sun Yat-sen.
When the two men met, Maring stressed the flexibility of Soviet policies, maintaining that their emphasis was not specifically on practicing communism, but on implementing a new economic policy (NEP). It is obvious that Sun believed Maring and that the NEP piqued his interest.

On January 26, 1923 the Sun-Joffe Manifesto was announced. It contained the acknowledgement that neither communism nor the Soviet system was suitable for introduction into China. The Soviet government offered its sympathy and support to China as it strived to accomplish its most pressing tasks: national unification and full national independence. Joffe reaffirmed the principles outlined in the Karakhan Manifesto, and promised Sun that the Soviet government was prepared to negotiate with China about the renunciation by Russia of all treaties, etc., imposed upon China during the Tsarist era.

Then work began on a scheme for collaboration between the CCP and GMD.

In August 1923 Chiang Kai-shek visited the USSR as a member of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mission to Soviet Russia. Among his impressions of the USSR and the conclusions he reached about communism were: Soviet political organizations are “instruments of tyranny and terror, and basically incompatible with the Kuomintang’s political ideals;” the Soviet Communist Party’s China policy is first to “convert the Northern Provinces, Mongolia, Singkiang, and Tibet into parts of a “sovietized domain,” and may even harbor sinister designs on China’s other provinces; the tactics and purpose of the Soviet “world revolution” posed a greater danger to national independence and movements in the Far East than Western colonization policies.

However, upon hearing Chiang’s reports, Sun told him that his views about the future of Sino-Soviet relations were overly pessimistic and unsuited to the realities of revolution. Sun was convinced that the CCP could not succeed in sabotaging the national revolution by launching a class conflict if the GMD took control.

In October 1923 the USSR dispatched communist agent Borodin to China. He met with Sun and indicated several major flaws in the GMD: lack of a unified party organization, strict principle, and a popular support base. Sun agreed with every one of Borodin’s suggestions and immediately appointed him his adviser.

The 1st National Congress of the GMD took place in Guangdong from January 20 to 30, 1924. Some highlights follows:
(1) Reorganization of the GMD
The new GMD,fashioned under the guidance and influence of Borodin and his group of Soviet advisers, almost completely replicated the structure of the Soviet Communist Party.
(2) GMD-CCP United Front
Sun used the following argument to convince the United Front’s opponents: “The principle of livelihood, which our part already espouses, includes socialism, communism, and collectivism. The policies that Russia is implementing at this time are not pure communism, but simply policies intended to resolve problems relating to livelihood.”
More and more CCP members joined the GMD and ensconced themselves in important positions. The 24-member Central Executive Committee welcomed three communists. Among 17 alternate members were seven communists, including Mao Zedong.
(3) Founding of the Whampoa Military Academy
Under the leadership of Borodin and with Comintern financial aid, the military academy was established. A political department was created for the political education of soldiers. Zhou Enlai of the CCP became deputy chairman of this department; Chiang Kai-shek was installed as superintendent of the academy.

A noteworthy item in the platform of the GMD concerns foreign policy: “All unequal treaties, such as foreign concessions, extraterritoriality, foreign control of customs, and all categories of political power exercised by foreigners in China and prejudicial to her sovereignty should be cancelled, and new treaties based on the principle of equality and mutual respect for the sovereign rights of both parties should be negotiated to take their places.”


MOTEKI Hiromichi, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact