Historic story behind a representative card


Updated: 2021-03-22


Deng Yingchao's representative card to the Sixth National Congress of the CPC

In July 1926, the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomingtang (KMT) formed an alliance to launch the Northern Expedition, in a bid to reunify China and defeat the Beiyang-affiliated warlords. The alliance was formally initiated by KMT founder Sun Yat-sen after his discussion with the Soviet Union's representative. The latter promised to offer financial and military aid for the revolution. The CPC were nominally incorporated into the army individually and the two parties retained separate commands.

But, the following year, with the revolution half-completed, KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek sought to take control of the CPC and China. He killed a large number of Communist forces and purged the Communists from the National Revolutionary Army.

"Since the terror rule under the Kuomintang, the CPC, which had just suffered heavy losses, urgently needed a relatively stable environment to take stock of their failures and plan for the future," said Nankai University professor Zhang Jian. "Therefore, after the CPC Central Committee reported to Communist International, it decided to hold the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Moscow. Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao were among the representatives to Moscow."

At the beginning of May 1928, Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao departed from Shanghai to Dalian, and then transferred to Moscow via the northeast.

They disguised themselves as a couple of businesspeople. When the ship docked at Dalian, they were closely questioned by the Japanese maritime police.

Deng recalled: "I stayed in the hotel and worriedly waited for Enlai to come back. It was difficult to predict whether he would be come back alive."

"After getting out of danger, the couple came to Harbin. Afterwards, they arrived in the land port of Manzhouli by train. With the help of the Soviet Union, they and other representatives risked their lives, broke through numerous obstacles, and successfully crossed the border to reach Moscow," said Li Qin.

From June 18 to July 11, 1928, the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in a Moscow suburb. A total of 142 delegates attended the meeting, 84 of whom had the right to vote.

"This is the only time in the history of the Communist Party of China that the National Congress has been convened abroad," said Zhang Jian. "The congress provided basic correct answers to major issues such as the nature, dynamics, and future of the Chinese revolution, and clarified the long-term internal party thinking on a series of fundamental issues. The misunderstandings that existed generally unified the thinking of the whole party and played a positive role in the recovery and development of the Chinese revolution."

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