People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 40

October 04, 2009

 Brief Chronology of Chinese Revolution


1919  May4th movement: an anti imperialist patriotic student movement broke out in Beijing. It prepared conditions for the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

1920  August: China's first communist group was set up in Shanghai, the centre of China's industry and worker's movement. Manifesto of the party was drafted by this group.

1921 July 23-early August:  First national Congress of the CPC was held in Shanghai. 12 delegates from various communist groups in the country took part.

1922 : Working class strike. British troops fire on them killing and wounding hundreds, -Shatian massacre. CPC leads solidarity struggles through out the country.

CPC plays a prominent part in organising the first national labour conference and the first congress of the Chinese socialist youth league held.

For the first time CPC explicitly sets forth a programme of democratic revolution opposing imperialism and feudalism and calls for the  formation of a democratic united front.

1923: Dr Sun Yat Sen establishes a government of the Generalissimo in Guangzhou.

CPC leads a mass upsurge of workers after the February 7 massacre

June: CPC holds 3rd national congress and adopts a resolution on the relation between CPC and Kuomintang(KMT).

1924: KMT holds first national congress, adapts an anti imperialist, anti feudal  declaration drafted with the help of CPC.

1925: CPC holds Fourth national congress.

With the support and assistance of the CPC, the Guangdong government launches first eastern expedition.

Sun Yat Sen dies in March

For the first time CPC puts forward land to the peasants in its resolutions.

The national revolutionary army launches its second eastern expedition.

1926: CPC decides to make all round preparations for a northern expedition.

Japanese warships launch an attack on March. CPC and KMT leftwingers organise protest demonstration. Security guards open fire, in what is known as March 18th massacre.

Chaing Kai-shek tries to  restrict communist activities and asserts leadership of the KMT.

KMT announces northern expedition. Northern expedition achieves victory over warlords.

1927: Mass movements led by CPC force British to return its concessions in Hankou and Jiujang, signifying a major victory in the anti imperialist struggle.

Under the leadership of CPC, workers in Shanghai go on a general strike which develops into a second armed uprising. It ends in defeat as Chiang Kai-shek watches idly when the warlords are ruthlessly suppressing it.

Workers in Shanghai stage the third armed uprising under the leadership of the CPC, this time defeating the warlords.

Chiang kai-shek stages a counter-revolutionary coup in Shanghai, establishes a counter-revolutionary national government in Nanjing; rounds up and murders workers and communists. Counter-revolutionary massacres also take place in many other provinces.

CPC holds its fifth national conference in Wuhan. It decides on carrying out agrarian revolution and armed resistance to the KMT. It stages autumn harvest uprisings in many provinces.

1928: The two armies led by Zhu De and Mao merge to form the most powerful workers' and peasants' armed forces-the fourth Army of the workers and peasants revolutionary army (later renamed as the fourth army of the red army)

CPC holds Sixth national congress in Moscow.

From the failure of the Great Revolution in 1927 to the end of 1928 more than 100 armed uprisings against white terror and massacres of the KMT were staged. They were victories in some and lost in many but these spread revolutionary influence and favourable conditions for the establishment of rural revolutionary base areas.

1929: The Ninth Congress of the Fourth army of the Red Army adopts an important resolution for the building of the CPC and the Red Army.

1930: Chinese Left wing Writers League was formed.

KMT launches the �encirclement and suppression� campaign against the CPC.

1931: By late May, the Red Army, employing flexible tactics, avoiding the enemy's main force, striking at his weak spots smashed the enemy's �encirclement and suppression� campaign.

1932: Japanese troops launch an attack on Shanghai. CPC leads the strike of workers and mobilises people to resist the attack.

Chiang Kai-shek continues with his policy of �encirclement and suppression� putting it before resisting the Japanese invasion.

1934: CPC starts its famous Long March. The route passed through some of the most difficult terrain of western China by traveling west, then north, to Shaanxi. They had traversed about 12,500 kilometers (8,000 miles) over 370 days.

1935: Long March concludes triumphantly in Shaanxi province.

Students led by the CPC organise massive protest demonstrations against Japanese imperialism in Beiping (Beijing) popularly known as the December 9th movement.

Polit Bureau adopts a resolution on the tactics against Japanese imperialism, pointing out that under the new circumstances the workers, peasants urban petty bourgeoisie and the large numbers of intellectuals were the basic forces resolute in resistance to Japanese aggression. It explains that it is possible to form an anti-Japanese national united front.

1936: CPC calls for an end to the civil war and for the formation of an united front against Japanese imperialism.

Dissatisfied with Chiang Kai-shek's failure to stop the civil war and put up an united front against Japanese aggression, KMT's North east army headed by Zhang Xueliang, took Chiang Kai-shek into custody in Xi'an. He was forced to accept the terms of uniting with the CPC to resist Japan. The incident was settled peacefully.

1937: The CPC puts forward 'five demands and four pledges' to the KMT for Kuomintang-Communist cooperation to resist Japan.

Japanese troops launch an attack on the Chinese troops in Wanping county on the outskirts of Beiping. The resistance of the Chinese troops ushered the nationwide war of resistance against Japan.

1938: The nationwide war of resistance switches from the stage of strategic defence to the stage of strategic stalemate. The initial comparative enthusiasm of the KMT in resisting Japanese troops fades away during the 15 months from July 1937 to October 1938 when they lost large tracts of territory. This was due to the implementation of Chiang Kai-shek's line of partial resistance and principle of pure defence.

CPC persists in the protracted and arduous guerilla war against Japan and opens up the south China battlefield behind the enemy lines.

1939: CPC reiterates its desire to develop cooperation with the KMT and points out the need of consolidating and expanding the anti-Japanese national united front, while the KMT continued with its attacks on the Red Army. Induced by Japan and persuaded by Britain and United States to capitulate, the KMT diehards escalate armed friction to a new high.

1940: The Eighth Route Army led by the CPC launches the �hundred regiment campaign� which was fought by 105 regiments in north China.

1941: The Southern Anhui incident, in which the KMT army lays ambush on the New Fourth Army troops in Southern Anhui leaving only 2000 survivors. The CPC leadership shows lot of maturity and still puts up the resistance against Japanese aggression above everything else and upheld the policy of both unity and struggle and of seeking unity through struggle, winning the sympathy and support of large number of people.

Japanese imperialists launch the campaign of �mopping up� and �nibbling� operation against the liberated areas and continue their attempts to induce KMT to capitulate.

1942: In the midst of the war of resistance, the CPC takes up the rectification campaign to fight subjectivism in order to rectify the style of study, fight sectarianism in order to rectify the style in party relations and fight stereotypes to rectify the style in party writings. The guiding principle of the movement is �learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the sickness to save the patient�.

1943: Mao Zedong elected the Chairman of the CPC.

This year the army and the people continued their resistance to the enemy's �suppression�, �mopping up� and �nibbling� campaigns, frustrated it, liberated and recovered a large number of base areas.

1944: The KMT became more and more corrupt politically, were landed in an all-round crisis economically and adopted the policy of avoiding fighting and looking on during the war of resistance.

The US government sent envoys to China to prop up Chiang Kai-shek's rule in China.

The Eighth Route Army, New Fourth Army and the South China Column of the CPC launches counter offensive against the Japanese troops through out the country. In more than 11,000 battles that were fought in this year, large number of enemy troops are annihilated, number of villages and cities are liberated and ended the situation in which the liberated areas are cut from each other.

1945: The Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army continue their war of liberation and liberate more than 950,000 sq kms of area inhabited by 95.5 million people.

KMT rejects the proposal made by Zhou Enlai, on behalf of the CPC for calling a all party meeting to discuss the forming of a democratic coalition government and instead proposes a Group of Three with an American in it to 'reorganise' the armies of the CPC.

The US government issues a statement stating that it is willing to cooperate only with the KMT and not the CPC. It stated its aim to disarm Communist Army. The US airforce airlifts three KMT corps and its navy shifts nine KMT corps to various parts of China spending over $600 million. The US commander states that this is the largest army movement in air in the world history.

The Seventh National Congress of the CPC, called as a congress of 'unity and victory', covnenes and sums up the experience in armed struggle.

Soviet Union enters China's north east territories and launches large scale offensive against the Japanese fascists, hastening their defeat.

September 2, the Emperor of Japan announces unconditional surrender. The war of resistance against Japan was a national liberation war in which the Chinese people won complete victory for the first time in a century long struggle against foreign invaders.

On October 10, after 43 days of negotiations KMT and CPC sign �Summary of conversations between the representatives of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China�. KMT agreed with the basic policy of peace and national reconstruction, democratisation of political life, some democratic rights to the people and equal and legal status to various parties.

1946: Chiang Kai-shek insists on excluding the Northeast from the truce agreement that the CPC and KMT had signed earlier, so as to have a free hand in fighting a large scale war there. At the same time he sends confidential order to his troops to 'seize strategic points'.

KMT sabotages the Political Consultative Conference, known as 'Jiaochangkou incident', openly calls for undermining the agreements reached at the Political Consultative Conference and launches an all-out offensive against the liberated areas. This initiates a new nationwide civil war.

CPC calls out for wiping out the enemy and to isolate US and Chiang Kai-shek and oppose their attempts to colonise China. Workers, students, teachers respond and rose up in unity turning it into a wide mass movement.

In November, KMT and the US sign 'Sino-US treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation' which is one among the series of treaties of national betrayal and humiliation, turning the KMT areas into a colony of the US.

1947: CPC notes the broad united front that is formed in the country against the KMT and US. It issues a directive on unfolding rural guerrilla warfare in Chiang Kai-shek's areas.

CPC adopts an 'outline land law' to eliminate feudal exploitation in the entire country and that land of the landlord class to be confiscated and equally distributed among the landless.

The Students movement against hunger and  civil war spreads to 60 odd cities in the region controlled by Chiang Kai-shek. Workers join them by striking work and thus a second battle front of the great peoples revolution is formed.

In September, the CPC issues a directive that in the second year of the war of liberation, the basic task is to launch a countrywide counter offensive. This is regarded as a turning point in the history. The Peoples' Armies led by the CPC achieve victories in many regions across China.

CPC conducts large-scale ideological education movement to improve the military strength and political awareness of the PLA and increase its fighting capability.

1948: CPC gives the slogan to fight all the way to Nanjing, the capital of KMT and calls for holding the political consultative conference and the establishment of a democratic coalition government.

Students come out in large numbers demonstrating against the US policy of propping up Japan. They were joined by professors, cultural workers, celebrities, merchants and even some organisations and people belonging to the KMT.

By autumn, feudal relations of production had been eradicated among the 100 million inhabitants of the Liberated areas. During this period the war of liberation entered a decisive phase. The liberated areas had been linked to form a total territory of 2,355,000 sq kms or 24.5 percent of total territory and a population of 168 million or 35.3 percent of the total.

The CPC launches three great campaigns of Liaoxi-Shenyang, Huai-Hai and Beiping-Tianjin that were unprecedented in the Chinese military history. Over the course of four months nineteen days from September 12, 1948 to January 31, 1949 large numbers of enemy troops were annihilated and caused the collapse of the military strength of the KMT, laying the firm foundation for the nationwide victory of the Chinese revolution.

In November, Chiang Kai-shek sends a letter to US President to quickly provide military aid

1949: Chiang Kai-shek announces his retirement from office in January 21 but continues manoeuvres from behind.

PLA troops march into Beiping, peacefully liberating the city on January 31.

KMT rejects the CPC  proposals on an 'Agreement of Internal Peace' in April. CPC calls for countrywide advance and seizes Nanjin on April 23 proclaiming the downfall of the KMT government.

Two preparatory meetings of the Political consultative conference were held in June and September. The first plenary session of the Chinese Peoples' Political Consultative Conference held from 21-30 September.

On October 1, Mao Zedong proclaims the formation of the Peoples Republic of China.