China class 2: National liberation and class struggle (1919-1949)

May 27, 2020

Photo: Great Job! (Investigating the Peasant Movement in Hunan). Lin Yong, 1970.

Class description: This second class covers the 30 years from 1919 to 1949, during which the revolution grew from a collection of Marxist reading groups to the establishment of the People’s Republic. We examine the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, the quest for a revolutionary strategy suited to the actual conditions of China’s economy and society, and the emergence of the CCP and the Red Army as the leading force in the struggle for a New China. We look at the Jiangxi Soviet–which began to experiment with innovative social policies like land reform and the modernization of gender and family relations–and the Long March, an epic venture to relocate the Party’s base area to northwestern China in the face of Nationalist attacks. The Red Army waged prolonged war against the Japanese invaders from 1937-1945. And in the final clashes of the Civil War from 1945 to 1949 the CCP united the Chinese people and triumphed over the reactionary Nationalists of the Guomindang, who fled to Taiwan in 1949. Chairman Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic from the rostrum at Tiananmen on October 1, 1949.

This class was originally held and recorded on May 24, 2020.

Course description: As China’s global rise rivals U.S. hegemony, the number one priority of U.S. foreign policy is to wage a demonization campaign against China. Since the Obama administration announced the Pivot to Asia, the U.S. has spent countless military dollars in the Pacific to encircle China. While the demonization and propaganda campaign against China has been at an all time high, the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the anti-China narrative.

As the outrageous demonization campaign against China continues to grow amidst this crisis, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, in partnership with the Qiao Collective, is holding a five-part class series on China. The course will examine the construction of modern day China in the context of global imperialism, starting from the very first Opium war between China and Britain in the early 1800s. Imperial China, which was one of the most advanced civilizations of the world, quickly became a country looted and torn apart by many imperialist nations who wanted a piece of the pie. The course will examine China’s century-long national liberation struggle and the construction of socialism. The purpose of the class is to provide the necessary context for understanding modern China today, especially under the weight of U.S. imperialism.

Return to the course page here.