Reflections by comrade Fidel




(Part II)


When the First World War broke out in 1914, China joined the allies. As recompense, China was promised that the German concessions in the province of Shandong would be returned at war's end. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which President Woodrow Wilson imposed on friends and foes alike, the German colonies were transferred to Japan, a more powerful allied than China.


Thousands of students gathered in Tiananmen Square on May 4, 1919 to protest this move. The first triumphant nationalist movement in China was born there. Called the “May 4th Movement”, it brought the petite and national bourgeoisie and the workers and peasants under one coalition.


The founding of the Kuomintang or National People’s Party had consolidated the nationalist currents that emerged at the close of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. It was headed by Dr. Sun Yatsen, a progressive intellectual and revolutionary heavily influenced by the October Revolution, with which he strengthened his party’s ties.


The Chinese Communist Party was founded at a congress held from July 23 to August 5, 1921. Lenin sent representatives of the International to that Congress.


The Communist movement devoted efforts to reunite China. The young Mao Zedong was among its founding members. Between 1923 and 1924, the Chinese Communist Party and Kuomintang joined forces to form the First United Front.


Following Sun Yatsen’s death in 1925, Chiang Kai-shek took command of the Kuomintang. He focused on establishing firm control of southern China, the Shanghai region in particular.


Kaishek did not sympathize with the communist doctrine and, in 1927; he undertook a large-scale repression of communists within the National Revolutionary Army, unions and other social institutions in the country, especially in Shanghai. The Left within the Kuomintang was also heavily repressed.


In 1932, following the five-month military occupation of Manchuria, Japan established the state of Manchukuo, which posed a great threat to China. Chiang Kaishek launched five campaigns to besiege and eliminate the communists, who had gathered strength in the bases set up in southern China.


In 1927, leading those who had managed to evade Chiang Kai-shek’s treacherous move to the mountainous region of Jiangsu and Fujian, Mao Zedong established an encompassing center of armed resistance, primarily made up of devoted and well-organized communists. This center came to be known as the Soviet Republic of China.

In 1934, pitted against Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist forces, which were vastly superior in number, nearly 100 thousand Chinese combatants under Mao’s command undertook the Great March towards China’s northeast. Skirting China’s central region, the combatants traversed over 3,750 miles and fought almost continually through a year. This unprecedented feat made Mao the undisputed leader of both China's Communist Party and Revolution. The application of Marx's and Lenin's ideas to China’s political, economic, natural, geographic and cultural conditions established him as the brilliant political and military strategist who liberated a country whose significance in today’s world cannot be underestimated.


The second Sino-Japanese War broke out on July 7, 1937. The Japanese deliberately brought about the incident that sparked the war. A Japanese soldier disappeared while his troop was in a military parade at the Marco Polo Bridge, over a river located some 10 miles west of Beijing. China’s army, based across the river, was accused of kidnapping the soldier, and an armed conflict which lasted several hours ensued. The soldier reappeared, almost immediately after combat began. The accusation was false, but the Japanese commander had already ordered the attack. With its usual arrogance, Tokyo made unacceptable demands from China and ordered the deployment of three divisions, equipped with the country’s best weapons. In a few weeks’ time, the Japanese army secured control of the East-West corridor between the Gulf of Chihli (today Bo Hai) and Beijing.


From Beijing, the Japanese army headed to Nanjing, where Chiang Kai-shek’s government was headquartered. They carried out one of the most horrendous of terrorist campaigns known to modern warfare. The city was razed to the ground, as were others. Tens of thousands of women were raped and hundreds of thousands of people brutally murdered.


China’s Communist Party had prioritized the struggle for national unity and against Japanese designs, aimed at taking control of the enormous country and its natural resources and to condemn over 500 million of its citizens to merciless bondage.


Japan was looking for lebensraum. It was guided by a mixture of capitalist and racist values: it was Japan’s version of fascism.


The Anti-Japanese United Front had already been created that same year, in 1937. The nationalists were also aware of the danger. Japan occupied most of the coastal cities. At the end of the Second World War, there were millions of Chinese casualties.


During the epic war, the communists stepped up their struggle against the invaders and caused them significant damage.


The United States aided the communists and nationalists. Sensing that its entry into the war was imminent, it asked the Chinese government permission to send a volunteer squadron as well. The Flying Tigers were thus created. Roosevelt deployed Captain Lee Chenault, who was retired at the time, whose conduct expressed his admiration towards the discipline, tactics and efficacy shown by the communist combatants.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States entered the war. However, at no point during the war was Japan able to withdraw its best troops, which, near war’s end, numbered a million soldiers.


The Truman administration, which, in an act of terror, dropped nuclear weapons over Japan's civilian population, made Chang Kaishek the United States' right hand man. He took up the anti-communist struggle again, but his demoralized troops were unable to hold up against the irrepressible advance of the Chinese People’s Army.


When the war ended in October 1949, Kuomintang members, backed by the United States, fled to Taiwan, where they set up an anti-communist government fully supported by the United States. Chiang Kai-shek used the U.S. Naval Fleet to travel to Taiwan.


Might China be yet another dark corner of the world?


Before Troy was built and the Greek city-states knew the Iliad and Odyssey, unquestionably marvelous fruits of human intelligence, a civilization that encompassed millions of people were already taking shape on the long shores of the Yellow River.


Chinese culture finds its roots in the Zhou Dynasty, which existed 2,000 years before Christ was born. Its peculiar writing system comprises several thousand graphic signs, which generally represent the language’s words or morphemes, a term coined by modern linguistics which is little known to the lay public. The mysterious magic of this language, which the natural intelligence of Chinese children assimilates in the learning process, is beyond our grasp.     


Many of the products which first emerged in China, such as gunpowder, the compass and other inventions, were totally unknown in the Old Continent. Had the winds blown in a direction opposite the route followed by Columbus, perhaps the Chinese would have discovered Europe.


Since 2000, the Taiwanese government had been controlled by a party whose neo-liberal and pro-imperialistic policies were even worse than the Kuomintang's stances, a staunch opponent of the principle of a unified China, the Chinese Communist Party's historical proclamation. This thorny issue threatened to unleash a war of unforeseeable consequences, a new sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of over 1,300 million Chinese people.


The election, this past March 23, of a candidate from the party that provided Chiang Kaishek with his political foundations, was undoubtedly a political and moral victory for China. It removes from the Taiwanese government a party which, in office for nearly 8 years, was about to take new, nefarious steps.


According to press agencies, the party lost by a landslide, securing a mere 4.4 million votes, from a population of 17.3 million people entitled to vote.


The new President will be sworn in on May 20. “We will sign a peace treaty with China,” he declared.

The cables report that Ma Ying-Jeou supports the creation of a Common Market with China, the island's main trade partner.


The People’s Republic of China maintains a dignified and cautious attitude towards the thorny issue. At Beijing's State Council, Taiwan's official spokesperson declared that Ma Ying-Jeou's victory proves that “independence is not a popular issue among the Taiwanese.”


This short statement speaks volumes.


The works of prestigious U.S. historical researchers divulge what took place in the Chinese territory of Tibet.


Kenneth Conboy’s The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet (University Press, Kansas) describes the sordid details of the conspiracy. William Leary calls it “an excellent and impressive study of a major CIA covert operation during the Cold War”.


For over two centuries, no country in the world had recognized Tibet as an independent nation. It was considered to be an integral part of China. In 1950, India conceived it as such, following the triumph of the communist revolution. England assumed the same stance. Until the Second World War, the United States considered it a part of China and even brought pressures to bear on England in this connection. Following the war, however, they saw it as a religious stronghold that could be used against communism.


When the People’s Republic of China implemented the agrarian reform on Tibetan soil, the elite saw its properties and interests undermined and opposed the measures. This led to an armed uprising in 1959. Tibet's armed rebellion —as opposed to those in Guatemala, Cuba and other nations, where fighting took place under truly harsh conditions— was prepared for years by US secret services, as these studies reveal.


Another book —which essays an apology of the CIA— Mikel Dunshun's Buddha’s Warriors, tells the story of how the agency took hundreds of Tibetans to the United States, led and equipped the rebellion, parachuted armaments to Tibetan fighters and trained them in their use. The rebels moved on horseback, as Arab warriors once did. The book's prologue was written by the Dalai Lama, who writes: “Though I am deeply convinced that the struggle of Tibetans will succeed only through a long-term and peaceful process, I have always admired these freedom fighters for their courage and their unwavering determination.”


The Dalai Lama, bestowed with the US Congress' Gold Medal, praised George W. Bush for his efforts in defense of freedom, democracy and human rights.


The Dalai Lama called the war in Afghanistan a war of “liberation”, the Korean War a war of "semi-liberation” and the Vietnam War a “failure”.


I have summarized information taken from the Internet, from the site Rebelión, specifically. Because of space and time limitations, I have not included the pages where the quoted paragraphs were taken from.

There are those who suffer from Chino-phobia, a condition shared by many Westerners, accustomed by their education and cultural differences to regard whatever comes from China contemptuously.


I was still virtually a child when people already spoke of a "yellow menace". The Chinese revolution seemed impossible back then. The true causes behind anti-Chinese sentiments were racist at root.


Why is imperialism so intent on forcing China, directly or indirectly, to lose its international significance?


Some time ago, that is to say, 50 years ago, it sought to deny it the prerogatives it had heroically earned for itself as a full member of the Security Council. Later, highlighting the mistakes that led to the Tiananmen Square protests, it deified the Statue of Liberty, the emblem of an empire which today embodies the negation of all freedoms.


The People’s Republic of China passed legislation which stood out in proclaiming and enforcing respect for the rights and cultures of 55 ethnic minorities.


The People’s Republic of China is, at the same time, highly sensitive with regards to all things related to the integrity of its territory.


The campaign orchestrated against China is like a bugle call aimed at unleashing an attack on the country's well-earned success and against its people, who will host the next Olympic Games.


The Cuban government issued a declaration categorically expressing its support of China in connection with the campaign undertaken against it on the issue of Tibet. This was the right stance to assume. China respects the rights of its citizens to hold religious beliefs or not. In China, there are Muslim, Catholic and non-Catholic Christian and other religious groups, not to mention dozens of ethnic minorities, whose rights are guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.


In our Communist Party, one's religion does not represent an obstacle in the way of becoming a Party member.       


I respect the Dalai Lama’s right to believe, but I am not obliged to believe in the Dalai Lama.


I do have many reasons to believe in China's victory.



Fidel Castro Ruz

March 31, 2008

5:15 p.m.