Jiang Jieshi: “Communists hiding in our party” (1927)




In August 1927, four months after orchestrating the Shanghai Massacre, Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) resigned as commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Army and a member of the Guomindang government. In this statement, issued on August 13th, Jiang claimed that internal divisions were undermining the effectiveness of the Northern Expedition and the Guomindang. He blamed these problems on “Communists hiding in our party”. Most historians now believe Jiang’s resignation was a tactical move to prove his indispensability as a military commander. He returned as commander-in-chief in January 1928.



“The Communists hiding in our party became jealous of the progress of our revolution. Following the instructions of Borodin, at a time when our comrades in Wuhan and Nanchang were temporarily separated, they made up all sorts of malignant lies, saying that I was a ‘warlord’ and ‘dictator’. They wanted to defeat me directly and defeat our revolution indirectly…

At the time when our comrades in uniform were fighting hard in Chekiang [Zhejiang] and Kiangsu [Jiangsu], our party organisation in Wuhan was seized by Communists. Pay for the soldiers was stopped, and also munitions for the war. We were endangered in a hundred ways. I had to bear them all in silence. Not that I did not think of resigning… but I could not bear to leave my men at the front line in the lurch. Overcoming every hardship, I struggled on to consolidate our position in Kiangsu and Anhwei [Anhui].

After my capture of Nanking and Shanghai, the Communists, finding their tricks didn’t work, proceeded to incite the mob to create diplomatic trouble and misled the workers to organise disturbances behind the fighting lines. As their outrageous deeds became more apparent, public anger became more acute. Loyal comrades rose to protect our party by clearing it of the Communists…

Since then, our party and our army have been virtually divided and the doomed life of the warlords has been allowed to linger on temporarily. The eyes and ears of the common people have begun to lose their clearness and sharpness. For three or four months, the advance of the Northern Expedition has merely reached the border of Shantung [Shandong]. Why is it that we had pushed forward so quickly [and] now go forward so slowly? Think quietly and reflect carefully, the reason is easy to understand…

I wonder what would have happened if I had given up my command at the time when Shanghai and Nanking had just been taken and slanders and abuse had been heaped upon me? That outrageous acts of the Communists in Hunan, Kwangtung [Guangdong] and Kiangsi during the past few months are clear indications of what would have happened… Our soul would have been lost, merely our corpse left behind.”

jiang jieshi

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