Zhang Tailei and the Spread of Bolshevism in China

Sunday, January 6, 2019: 11:20 AM
Williford C (Hilton Chicago)
Alexander Pantsov, Capital University
The paper seeks to demonstrate that in the early 1920s Zhang Tailei served as the main liaison between the Communist International (CI) and the Chinese Bolsheviks. In March 1921, before the First CCP Congress, he moved to Soviet Russia where he became a secretary of the Chinese section of the CI’s Far Eastern Secretariat. In June 1921, he became the first Chinese Communist with full voting rights to attend a CI congress and in July of that year a congress of the Young Communist International (YCI). He also was the first Chinese Communist to present a written report on the Chinese Communist movement to the CI and to be elected a member of both the Executive Committee of the Comintern (ECCI) and the Executive Committee of the YCI. In addition, he also was the first Chinese Bolshevik who grasped the meaning of the Comintern’s United Front policy and one of the first who drew close attention to the peasant question in China. He did it under the direct influence of the Soviet leaders. Long before Mao, Zhang also emphasized the role of an army in the Chinese revolution, the one that is created out of bandits, the poorest peasants, paupers, and rural lumpen proletarian elements. In 1927, he led the famous Canton Commune.Thus, Zhang’s contribution to the Chinese revolution and the spread of Bolshevik ideas in China deserves detailed investigation.