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A Hakka established the first Chinese Soviet Government in Hailufeng
A Hakka established the first Chinese Soviet Government
The cradle of the modern Chinese peasant associations were in the two
counties of Haifeng and Lufeng, in the East River districts of Guangdong
province, where majority of the residents there were and still are Hakka.
The pioneer of the peasant movement was Peng Pai who was born into a wealthy
Haifeng landlord Hakka family. He became a school teacher in his native
village. He was one of the first in the district to join the Chinese
Communist Party. He soon engaged in trying to organize the peasants.
Peng Pai led his students to stage the 1921 May Day demonstration. For
this he was dismissed by his school principal.
After the dismissal Peng Pai went out into the country side devoting
himself entirely to the business of rousing the peasants. As the son of a
landlord he was first received with mistrust and hostility. He used
gramophone to play music and songs to attract the villagers to his
meetings. Peng Pai told the village audiences to form peasant
organization to fight for their own interest. Soon they were convinced
and the first Peasant Association was formed in 1922. More organizations
were established and they spread rapidly to neighbouring districts and
a Guangdong Provincial Peasant association was founded.
At the high of this movement the peasant organizations contained
more than 200,000 members in these two counties of Hailu and Haifeng.
Thus they became the model and the bastion for the peasant movement in
China especially in Guangdong province.
In Febuary 1924 the Kuomintang established a Peasant Department in
the city of Guangzhou and Peng Pai became the first secretary of the
Department. In July 1924 Peng Pai4 set up the Peasant Movement Training
Institute and became its first director. Mao Ze-dong (Mao Tse-tung) and
Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai) also gave lectures in this Institute.
In 1925 Peng Pai left Guangzhou to resume his work to organize peasants
to form Peasant Associations in Guangdong province. Mao Ze-dong took over
from Peng Pai and became the second director of the Institute. Mao's
brother Mao Zemin (Mao Tse-min) was one his students, who included a large
percentage of Hunanese probably recruited by Mao's provincial Party
committee. In September 1925 Mao Zedong took the whole student body of the
Peasant Movement Training Institute on a two-week visit to Haifeng, where
they were given lectures by Peng Pai and shown an agrarian revolution in
In July 1926 the Northern Expedition got under way with Jiang Jieshi
(Chiang Kai-shek) as commander-in-chief selected jointly by the
Kuomintung and the Communists. Peng Pai took part in the expedition and
was ordered to arouse the peasants to help the expedition forces.
To cut the story short; on 12 April 1927 the KMT and CCP coalition
abruply ended and on 1 August 1927 the Communists staged a uprising
in the city of Nanchang in Jiangxi province, later it was called the
Nanchang Uprising .
After the collapse of the Uprising the Communist, including Peng Pai,
retreated to Shantou (Swatow) in Guangdong province where they held for
ten days against assaults from both the foreign gunboats and native
troops of militarists. The Communists, later, withdrew to Hunan.
In October 1927 Peng Pai went bck to his hometown and staged an
insurrection during which a Soviet Government was established in
Hailufeng (Hailu and Haifeng). The following month in November 1927 Mao
Ze-dong set up a Soviet Government in Jing Gang Shan in the border
between the tow provinces of Hunan and jiangxi. A peasant army was
organized, and it was announced that land would be taken from the
landlords and distributed to the peasants. The peasant army took the
neighbouring counties of Jieshi (Chiehshih) and Jiecheng (Chiencheng).
The warlord of Guangdong province Chen Jiong-min (Chen Chiung-ming)
sent troops to encircle the counties under the control of the Soviet
Government. The warlord troops constantly attacked the Peasant Soviet.
Eventually the peasant movement in Hailufeng was destroyed by the
warlord Chen Jiong-min.
Peng Pai escaped to Guangzhou and joined up with Zhang Da-lei, another
Hakka, to stage the Guangzhou (Canton) insurrection on 11 December 1927.
After the failure of the insurrection Zhang Dalei was killed and Peng
Pai was captured by the warlord soldiers and was executed in 1929.......
The Canton insurrection is another story to be told later..........
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Mao Tse-tung Selected Works volume 1
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan firstname.lastname@example.org