Sun Yat-sen, the
son of a farmer, was born in 1866. He moved to Hawaii where he was
brought up by his older brother. He studied medicine in Hong
Kong and after graduating in 1892 he worked in Macao, Guangzhou
and Honolulu. Sun Yat-sen became interested in politics and established
the Revive China Society.
In 1895 Sun Yat-sen
took part at Guangzhou in his first abortive uprising. Forced into
exile he lived in Japan, the United
States and Britain.
While in London he was kidnapped and imprisoned
in the Chinese legation. In danger of being executed the British Foreign
Office got involved and obtained his release.
The Qing dynasty
was finally overthrown in the Chinese Revolution of 1911. Sun Yat-sen
briefly became president
and with Song Jiaoren established he Kuomintang
(National People's Party). When the party was
suppressed in 1913 by General Yuan Shikai, Sun Yat-sen escaped to
returned to Guangzhou and with the the help of advisers from the Soviet
Union the Kuomintang gradually increased its power in China. In
1924 it adopted the "Three Principles of the People" (nationalism,
democracy and social reform). He also established the Whampoa Military
Academy under Chiang
died of cancer in Beijing in 1925.
Kaiming, Modern China (1985)
In February 1923, Sun
Yat-sen returned to Guangzhou where he immediately set up a headquarters
of a new revolutionary government. Soviet Russia sent Michael Borodin
(1884-1951) and some military advisers to help him, and a provisional
central committee of the Kuomintang which included a number of Communists
The Chinese Communist Party
held its Third National Congress in Guangzhou in June 1923, and the
question of forming a revolutionary united front with the Kuomintang
was discussed. The congress affirmed Sun Yat-sen's contribution to
the Chinese revolution and resolved to help him in reorganizing the
Kuomintang and establishing cooperation between the two parties.
The gap between Sun Yat-sen
and the West continued to widen. When he threatened in December to
seize the customs revenues in the port of Guangzhou, the powers staged
a naval demonstration to preserve the status quo. Thwarted, Sun angrily
stated, "We no longer look to the Western powers.
Our faces are turned toward Russia."
In January 1924, Sun Yat-sen
called the First National Congress of the reorganized Kuomintang in
Guangzhou. Among the Communists who attended were Li Dazhao, Mao Zedong
and Qu Qiubai (Chu Chiu-pai, 1899-1935). The congress adopted the
anti-imperialist, anti-feudal policy advanced by the Communists, agreed
to absorb individual Communists and Socialist Youth League members
into the Kuomintang, and decided to reorganize the Kuomintang into
a revolutionary alliance of workers, peasants, the petty-bourgeoisie
and national bourgeoisie. In this way, new blood was infused into
the ranks of the Kuomintang and Sun Yat-sen became the leader of a
revitalized revolutionary movement.
Wen, China (1979)
In 1923, the Chinese Communist
Party decided to establish a revolutionary united front. It helped
Sun Yat-sen reorganize the Kuomintang (the old Tong Meng Hui was reorganized
into the Kuomintang after the Revolution of 1911). With the formation
of the Kuomintang-Communist united front, the Chinese Communist Party
mobilized the masses on a broad scale, and the revolutionary situation
developed vigorously. It continued to rise after the death of Sun
Yat-sen in 1925. Organized and energized by the Party, the revolutionary
forces swept away the reactionary forces in Guangdong, and in 1926
the Northern Expeditionary War began. Supported by the masses, the
revolutionary army defeated the counter-revolutionary armies of the
Northern warlords and occupied central and south China. The worker-peasant
movement grew rapidly throughout the country.
Seeing that the warlord
regime they supported was tottering in the sweep of the revolutionary
tide, the imperialist forces hastily looked for new agents and finally
picked Chiang Kai-shek who had worked his way into the position of
Commander-in-Chief of the National Revolutionary Army". In April
1927, at a crucial moment in the forward advance of the Northern Expeditionary
War, Chiang staged, with the active support of the big bourgeoisie
and landlord class, a counter-revolutionary coup d'etat against the
Chinese Communist Party and the revolutionary people.
Yat-sen, letter to the Kuomintang
For 40 years I have devoted
myself to the cause of the people's revolution with but one end in
view: the elevation of China to a position of freedom and equality
among the nations. My experience during these 40 years has convinced
me that to attain this goal we must bring about an awakening of our
own people and ally ourselves in common struggle with
those people of the world who treat us as equals.
Yat-sen, letter to Joseph Stalin and the
Soviet Communist Party (1925)
I leave behind me a party
which, as has always been my wish, will be bound up with you in the
historic work of the final liberation of China and other exploited
nations from the imperialist order. By the will of fate, I must leave
my work unfinished and hand it over to those who, remaining true to
the principles and teachings of the party, will show themselves to
be my true followers.
Taking leave of you, dear
comrades, I want to express the hope
that the day will come when the U.S.S.R. will welcome a friend and
ally in a mighty, free China, and that in the great struggle for the
liberation of the oppressed peoples of the world, both these allies
will go forward to victory hand in hand.
from Amazon Books (order below)