The “January 29th” student movement that fell for the Chinese Communist Party

It’s December 9 again. Every year on this day, universities and even some secondary schools in mainland China hold a series of commemorative activities, such as choral competitions. According to the history of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the “January 29th” Movement was a large-scale student patriotic movement under the leadership of the CPC. Specifically, on December 9, 1935, thousands of university and high school students in Beiping (Beijing) held an anti-Japanese demonstration under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party to oppose the autonomy of North China and resist Japanese imperialism, thus setting off a new national anti-Japanese national salvation movement, known as the “January 29th” movement.

The question is: Was it really to resist Japanese imperialism that the Chinese Communist Party, which had never shouted anti-Japanese and seldom fought against the Japanese since then, provoked the patriotic enthusiasm of the students? In fact, it is easy to understand the purpose of the CCP’s move when one looks at the international and domestic situation in which the Soviet Union and the CCP found themselves at that time.

After the Japanese invaded the northeast on September 18, 1931, the government forces of the Republic of China and the Japanese army were already in a state of hostility. The government of the Republic of China felt that war against Japan was inevitable, so the country was built to enrich the national strength and military preparations for war. But at this time, the Chinese Communist Party continued to expand, armed rebellion, and every way to hold back the government’s anti-war policy. In order to focus on the resistance, Chiang Kai-shek formulated the policy of “to strengthen the internal security of the country first” and launched five sieges against the CCP. In the fifth siege, the CCP was dealt a fatal blow and was forced to flee, eventually escaping to a corner of Shaanxi Province.

At that time, the National Government, in order to eliminate the CCP, specially appointed Chiang Kai-shek as the Commander-in-Chief of the Northwest Suppression, with Zhang Xueliang of the Northeast Army and Yang Hucheng, the Commander-in-Chief of the 17th Road (Northwest Army), as Vice Commanders-in-Chief, to share the task of suppressing the CCP.

And at this time the Soviet Union was facing the danger of German invasion. In order to avoid fighting with Japan on the Eastern Front, the Soviet Union asked the CPC and Chiang Kai-shek’s government to establish a “national united front” against fascism, in order to continue “defending the Soviet Union” and “armed defense of the Soviet Union” in the new international situation. “. What the Soviet Union wanted, however, was to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat through the establishment of a united front.

Faced with the encirclement of the Kuomintang by several times its own military strength, the CPC, in order to survive and in accordance with the instructions of the Soviet Union, ordered Wang Ming, the head of the delegation of the CPC Central Committee in Moscow, to write the “August 1 Declaration”, which was published on August 1, 1935, and on the other hand, it impassionedly declared its willingness to cooperate with the Kuomintang. On the other hand, the manifesto called for “all of us to rise up, break through the oppression of the Japanese and Chiang’s traitors, and bravely work with the Soviet government and the anti-Japanese governments in the northeast to organize a unified national defense government for the whole of China ……” to replace the The government of the Republic of China.

This was the first anti-Japanese declaration of the Communist Party of China in the four years after the September 18 Incident. Three months later, in mid-November 1935, the Central Red Army led by Mao Zedong and others escaped northward to Wajao Fort, where an important meeting was held. The main purpose of the meeting was to study and implement the new instructions given by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist International to the Communist Party of China, which was to “unite with Chiang against Japan”. According to the research of Mr. Xin Hao-nian, an overseas expert, Mao changed Stalin’s instruction at the Wajao-burg meeting to “use anti-Japanese resistance to fight against Chiang”.

To this end, the CCP formulated the following strategies: first, to raise the banner of “United against Chiang and Japan” politically, but in essence, to oppose Chiang but not Japan; second, to propagate to the Northeast Army and Northwest Army stationed in Shaanxi, which were responsible for fighting against the Communists; third, to make use of the anti-Japanese sentiment of the people in the Nationalist areas to plan anti-Japanese rescue movements.

After the Wajao Fort Conference, Liu Shaoqi was sent back to the Nationalist-ruled areas to restore the CCP’s underground organization in the Beijing-Tianjin area, and in December, he established the CCP’s underground supreme command in North China: the Provisional Municipal Committee of Beijing. Soon after, the first CPC-led “Beijing Students’ Union” was established, and its first task was to launch an anti-Japanese rescue movement to overthrow the Nationalist government and Chiang Kai-shek’s reactionary rule.

The modern history textbook of the CPC also clearly records that after the Wajao Fort Conference, “the CPC Provisional Working Committee in Beiping first planned the establishment of the Beiping Students’ Union, and then held several secret meetings with the Beiping Students’ Union, and after repeated studies, decided to launch and organize an anti-Japanese salvation movement by means of petitions.” This was the political background of the “January 29th” student movement, which was planned by the Chinese Communist Party.

At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party instigated its All-China Federation of Trade Unions to write to workers all over the country, calling on them to organize in solidarity with the anti-Japanese and salvation movement of the students in Beiping, in an attempt to take advantage of the patriotic and anti-Japanese sentiment of the people and to promote the movement to save the survival of the Chinese Communist Party throughout the country.

Thus, on December 9 of that year, thousands of students, knowing or not knowing the truth, followed the “Beijing Students’ Union”, a communist organization, to the streets, shouting anti-Japanese, shouting down the Kuomintang, down Chiang Kai-shek, and down the national government of the Republic of China.

In the words of Yang Mo’s “Song of Youthful Spring”, “The young students of January 29, who bravely walked on the avenues of Beijing against the swords, sticks and hoses of the Kuomintang reactionaries, shouted their anti-Japanese cries for national salvation to the whole of China. They won a complete victory over the Kuomintang reactionaries. They became a main force of the Chinese Communist Party, taking the path of integration with the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers, and later became part of many, many of the most important cadres of our new China.”

The CCP, which had never mentioned anti-Japanese resistance or launched any anti-Japanese national salvation or anti-Japanese salvation movement before August 1935, thus stirred up popular enthusiasm under the banner of “anti-Japanese resistance” and under the slogan of “stopping the civil war and uniting with the outside world”, thus seeking for itself The Chinese Communist Party, under the banner of “anti-Japanese” and with the slogan of “stopping the civil war and uniting with the outside world,” incited the people’s enthusiasm and thus sought to “survive” for itself, and achieved its intended purpose.

According to Mr. Xin Hao-nian’s testimony, the Kuomintang government used “swords, hoses and sticks” against the students in the movement depicted in “Song of Youth”, but in fact there were only hoses, and those who were arrested were released in a few days.

The “January 29th” Movement had a significant role in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. It provoked public discontent with the Nationalist government and was the indirect driving force behind the military mutiny in Xi’an; it led to the exploitation of countless young people who believed the lies of the CCP and thus embarked on the path of no return in believing in Marxism; it also undermined the Nationalist government’s war preparations and brought forward the Japanese all-out invasion of China; and it gave the CCP room to breathe.

There is no doubt that this movement was orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party using the students for their own selfish interests and had nothing to do with the war. The students just fell for another big trick of the CCP.