RESOLUTION OF THE SIXTH ECCI PLENUM ON THE CHINESE QUESTION
13 March 1926 Thesen und Resolutionen, VI Plenum, p. 176
The political strikes of the Chinese workers in Shanghai and Hongkong (June- September 1925) were a turning-point in the Chinese people's fight for emancipation from foreign imperialists. They were the starting-point of a powerful national movement . . . in which the Chinese working class, organized in class trade unions and led by the communist party, appeared as the leading force in the movement of the democratic masses, as the most important protagonist of national independence and the establishment of a popular government. At the same time they led to a differentiation in the national liberation movement, in which certain sections of the Chinese large industrialists and commercial bourgeoisie broke away from the movement. . . .
The political action of the proletariat gave the movement a powerful impulse forward and strengthened all the revolutionary-democratic organizations in the country, in particular the revolutionary people's party of the Kuomintang and the revolutionary Government in Canton. The KMT, the core of whose members acted in alliance with the Chinese communists, is a revolutionary bloc of workers, peasants, intellectuals, and the urban democracy.
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The revolutionary Government established in Canton by the Kuomintang party has already established contact with the broadest masses of workers, peasants, and urban democracy, and has, by relying on these classes, annihilated the counter-revolutionary bands supported by the imperialists, and radically democratized the entire political life of the Kwantung province. The Canton Government, which thus personifies the vanguard of the Chinese people in its struggle for independence, is a model for the future revolutionary-democratic structure of the country.
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Some sections of the Chinese big bourgeoisie who for a time attached themselves to the Kuomintang have in the last year left it; this has resulted in the formation of a small group on the right wing of the Kuomintang, which comes out openly against a close alliance with the working masses, advocates the exclusion of communists from the Kuomintang, and opposes the revolutionary policy of the Canton Government. The fact that the second Kuomintang congress in January 1926 condemned the behaviour of this right wing and emphasized the need for a fighting Kuomintang-communist alliance strengthens the revolutionary trend of Kuomintang and Canton Government activity and secures for the Kuomintang the revolutionary support of the proletariat.
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The growth of the revolutionary-democratic tendency in the Chinese national liberation movement and the increasing influence of the Chinese proletariat in this movement are closely connected with the powerful moral and political support received by the liberation movement from the international proletarian revolution in the shape of the Communist International and the working masses of the USSR. The fight of the Chinese people against the rule of the imperialists and the fight of the entire international proletariat against these imperialists are developing in the closest connexion with each other. It must be the task of all sections of the CI to explain clearly to the working masses in all imperialist countries the significance of the struggle of the Chinese working people against the imperialists; they must support this movement to the utmost and wage a vigorous struggle against all imperialist attempts to defeat it by military intervention or blockade. The watchwords of this struggle must be 'Hands off China', recognition of China's complete independence, abolition of all unequal treaties, and withdrawal from China of the troops of all imperialist States. At the same time the Chinese communists must explain to the working masses of China that only the Communist International, which leads the revolutionary struggle of the world proletariat, is the revolutionary ally of the Chinese working masses in their fight for national and social liberation—
The Chinese Communist Party will be able to fulfil the historical tasks confronting it as leader of the struggle of the Chinese working masses against the imperialists only if, during the entire course of the struggle, it succeeds in strengthening its organization and its influence as the class party of the Chinese proletariat and section of the Communist International.
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Not nearly enough has been done to give organizational structure to the party. The political independence of the Chinese communists will be developed in the fight against two harmful deviations— against right liquidationism, which fails to appreciate the independent class tasks of the Chinese proletariat and leads to a formless fusion with the national movement as a whole, and against the ultra-left sentiments expressed in the attempt to skip the revolutionary-democratic stage of the movement and to turn at once to the tasks of proletarian dictatorship and Soviet power, leaving entirely out of account the peasantry, which is the basic and decisive factor of the Chinese national liberation movement. Despite the peculiarities of the setting, the tactical problems of the Chinese national-revolutionary movement have a strong resemblance to those confronting the Russian proletariat during the 1905 revolution. Only if the Chinese Communist Party learns the lessons of that revolution . . . will it be able to avoid the deviations from the correct tactical line noted above, or, where they already exist, to eradicate them . . .
The most important question of the Chinese national liberation movement is the peasant question. The victory of the revolutionary-democratic tendency . . . depends on the degree to which the 400 million Chinese peasants take part in the decisive revolutionary struggle together with the Chinese workers and under their leadership.
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The most important task of the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang is to bring home to the peasant masses throughout China that only the creation of an independent revolutionary democratic regime based on an alliance between working class and peasantry can radically improve their material and political position, to win the peasant masses for active struggle on behalf of fighting slogans which link up political and economic demands comprehensible to and important for the peasantry with the general political tasks of the fight against militarists and imperialists.
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The Communist Party of China must keep special watch on the efforts of the international reformists who want to get a foothold among the Chinese proletariat and in the national liberation movement.
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It must initiate a broad educational campaign against their propaganda, their pacifist and democratic slogans, which are designed to serve as cover for the offensive of American capitalists.
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The Chinese CP must become a mass organization of the Chinese proletariat.
Given the existence of class trade unions with a membership of hundreds of thousands, its growth during the last year cannot be regarded as satisfactory. The Chinese CP must abandon as quickly as possible the old, narrow, sectarian conception of what makes a worker a member of the communist party, and remove every unnecessary formal obstacle to the entry of workers into the party. Only if the party grows and steadily consolidates its ranks will it ensure for itself leadership of the movement.