Red Star Over China (Speaker: Vincent Lee Kwun-leung) [Part 2]

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Information about Red Star Over China (Speaker: Vincent Lee Kwun-leung) [Part 2]

Published on March 20, 2014

Author: vincentlee9237



The "Red Star Over China" is a publication of Edgar Snow in 1968, with Victor Gollancz Limited in London as the publisher.

"Red Star Over China" recorded how the proletariat ideal of Communist Party was prospered as the mainstreamed ruling ideology in 20th-century China - from Menshevism of Chen Duxiu to Bolshevism of Mao Zedong.

Vincent Lee Kwun-leung (李冠良), the speaker of this academic talk, received the education of Prof. Cindy Chu Yik-yi (朱益宜教授) during her "Sino-American Relations" course at HKBU History Department in early 2009. Prof. Cindy Chu requested Vincent Lee and other students to do a "History Book Review" on "Red Star Over China" to analyze how an American journalist observed Communism in China.

Prof. Cindy Chu Yik-yi obtained a Ph-D qualification in University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her BA and M-Phil qualifications were from the University of Hong Kong. Prof. Chu is an alumnus of Maryknoll Convent School, and her Catholic growing background enables her to devote to the research on Maryknoll Sisters' missionary and charitable services in Hong Kong. Now, Prof. Chu is the Associate Director of HKBU David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies.

RED STAR OVER CHINA HISTORY BOOK REVIEW (Part 2) Edgar Snow London Victor Gollancz Limited, 1968 Vincent LEE Kwun-leung (06009913) BA Visual Arts, Year 3

Reasons for Edgar Snow’s ideological inclination to the Chinese Communist thought in his publication Reds: treated Edgar Snow nicely ever they didn’t have much to enjoy and eat Hoped to make Edgar Snow, the only pro-Red Caucasian journalist, live every day as comfortably as possible in order to ensure that he would write about CCP as positive and romanticized as he could after returning to the United States

Reasons for Edgar Snow’s ideological inclination to the Chinese Communist thought in his publication (continued) Edgar Snow: “I remember one old bound-footed peasant woman, with five or six youngsters to feed, who insisted upon killing one of her half-dozen chickens for me” [P.241] A Red peasant who refused money from Edgar: “We can’t have a foreign devil telling people in the outer world that we Reds don’t know etiquette”. [P.241]

Reasons for Edgar Snow’s ideological inclination to the Chinese Communist thought in his publication (continued) Fu Chin-kuei – appeased Edgar stubbornly [P.241] Looked upon Edgar Snow as a “godsend” “He regarded frankly as an imperialist, and viewed my whole trip with open skepticism. He was unfailing helpful every way.”  but Edgar became a good friend of Fu finally Fu Chin-kueiFu Chin-kuei

Reasons for Edgar Snow’s ideological inclination to the Chinese Communist thought in his publication (continued) Reflected an undesirable custom of Chinese society, even the Reds with nationalistic sentiments: Every Chinese was uniquely critical-minded, thus the Chinese people were hardly united and continuously disputed among themselves. Ironically, despite the internal divisions, the Chinese insisted in demonstrating an unexpectedly modest attitude to the outsiders!

Problems in CCP governance in the Soviet Districts Confusing dilemma of seniority in the civilian field Double identities for the Shensi villagers to protect themselves from civil-war threats [P.243] When the White army came, the villagers were accused of providing Red bandits with protective shelters and suffered from Guomindang’s execution. When the Red troops returned, there wouldn’t be any taxation but the peasants had to prevent from being regarded as “counter-revolutionaries” – Probably the private properties had to be confiscated by the “commune centres” and cooperatives.

Problems in CCP governance in the Soviet Districts (continued) CCP: still unable to offer a completely protective shelter to villagers and prevent them from Guomindang exploitation Guomindang officials: claimed for taxes from poor peasants in a brutal way [P.242] Guomindang troops: took away residents’ livestocks to sell for extra money while the Red Army didn’t station in the villages. If nothing else for stealing, peasants had to contribute their daughters for inhuman sale, or be sent to jailed.

Problems in CCP governance in the Soviet Districts (continued) Inefficient measures to accumulate wealth for CCP reserves Soviet money – high inflation rates [P.242] Necessities: only available in cooperatives, but they were just for primitive survivals [P.242] Fu Chin-kuei: resorted to rigid statement of persuasion [P.243] Superficially resorted to anti-Japanese, anti-Guomindang and anti-landlord arguments as a tactic of legitimizing Red’s approach of confiscation Lack of seaports  cut off from the contact with the big modern industrial base [P.246]

Red cooperatives were established in towns under soviet control. Here villagers examine the materials offered in Gansu.

Red seizure of machinery from the provincial factories [P.249] Combined machine-industry investment afforded by CCP itself  Inefficient due to a lack of “big assembly branch” mechanism supported by the capitalist-operated incorporations Intensified CCP’s financial exhaustion Needed a great force of manpower to transport the machines, tools and raw materials all the way across the mountainous regions Caused dramatic loss of industrial development in the relatively-richer rural or industrial regions No techniques for machines  either borrowed techniques from the outside or invaded the rich provinces  mutual loss! Reflection of a bad intention for an emotional counteraction against Guomindang without any strategic consideration on economic compromises

Interpersonal mistrusts even within the same group of compatriots: Division among the proletariats! [P.289] Peasants / villagers joined / submitted to the Soviet governance: Raised the counteraction of min-tuan Soviet peasants disliked the min-tuan peasants (might be influenced by Guomindang’s anti-Communist ideas) Min-tuan: the group where Zhou Enlai was a member formerly, but might be later bribed by the Nationalists during the Long March “Anti-Bolshevik faction” by Fan Shih-sheng and Hu Chi-lung

Positive outcomes from CCP’s centralized economic policies Salt: principle source of CCP Soviet Government’s income Low production cost  High amount of profit gaining Operated Tungsien mines, the dominant mining province of China Oil wells in Yung Ping and Yen Chang: Self-sufficient by- product manufacture: Gasoline, Vaseline, wax etc.

Positive outcomes from CCP’s centralized economic policies (continued) Eliminated the big mortgage to landlords Installation of wireless electricity Relied on Wu Chi Chen for making extraordinary profits from secret rape-oil sales to Guangdong General, Chan Chi-tung, beyond the Guomindang blockade; with an addition of relying on the adventurous southern merchants to conduct secret foreign export trades

CCP: connived Soviet Union’s territorial ambitions in Northern China Lenin Club in North ShensiLenin Club in North Shensi

Russian maneuver on Chinese proletariat sentiments, CCP’s connivance! Edgar: “Until the Chinese Reds possessed much more territory to the north and to the west, Moscow would be unable to fill any orders.” [P.261]  bias! Russian ambitions never ended as Communists restrained Guomindang from making any military defense solely for the security of Chinese continent CCP: being accused of provoking the repulsive acts in Mongolia solely for imposing burdens on the universal economic construction of Guomindang “After the capture of Yen Chi’h, the Reds won the sympathy of the Mongols north of the Wall by agreeing to turn over part of the production to them, revoking the Guomindang’s practice of monopolizing the entire outputs.” [P.248]

Russian maneuver on Chinese proletariat sentiments, CCP’s connivance! (continued) Edgar: “Russia, in return, had no debating society in China where Marxist-Leninist doctrines could legally be preached. The Soviets from Russia had been aggressively opposed everywhere by GMD.” [P.353]  Inaccurate! 1911: Mongolia proclaimed independence after the downfall of Qing Regime 1915: Yuan Shikai preserved Mongolia as a Chinese tributary state by re-appointing Jebtsundamba Khutughtu VIII ( 哲布尊 丹巴八世 , 1870–1924) as the King of Mongolian Municipality. 1921: Comintern  Voitinsky’s assistance to Chen Duxiu  “Sun-Joffe Agreement” in 1923  Red Troops of CCP constructed on Russian military lines July 1921: Mongolian Revolution led by Jebtsundamba Khutughtu VIII  Establishment of Mongolian Constitutional Monarchy, approved by Chiang Kai-shek under the Russian pressure Nov 1924: Establishment of Mongolian Republic

Russian maneuver on Chinese proletariat sentiments, CCP’s connivance! (continued) Russians were aggressive at penetrating her influences in the northwest, northeast and Mongolian territory. She tempted Chiang Kai-shek to give up Chinese sovereignty upon her tributary state, Mongolia, who had assimilated with Confucian-Taoist civilization for a long period of time. On the other hand, Russians successfully romanticized their imperialistic images with “proletariat masks”. The Soviet Union was tactful in diverting Chinese Reds’ anti-foreign sentiments to anti- Guomindang revolutions, while the Chinese Reds rarely utilized their rational mind to notice such an on-going experience of being ideologically and sentimentally maneuvered under an invisible basis of “red colonization”. The Soviet Union fished in the trouble water while China was preoccupied by CCP-GMD disputes and the Japanese invasion. Both GMD and CCP were accused of having a lukewarm attitude towards the Russian threat in Mongolia and their disunity in safeguarding Chinese continent from Russian partition!

Reasons for Mohammedan upheaval against Communist rule till now Communist Party - underestimated the nationalist intentions of the Mohammedans [P.314] : Muslims in N.W China had been unequally treated by the Han Chinese majority under a Sinicizational mechanism of racial hierarchy. Such group of “Red Muslims” as strategically cooperated with the Reds probably had reasons of their own. If Communist Chinese offered to help them (Muslims) drive out the Guomindang, help them create and equip an army of their own, help them get a self-government, and help them despoil the rich, they were prepared to take the opportunity – and later on turn that army to uses of their own, if the Reds failed to keep their bargain. While CCP was gaining the nation-wide governance, the Muslims felt their eagerness for “rational separateness” miserably satisfied (betrayal!). They then revolted against the Communist rule for a complete level of self-autonomy.

Reasons for Mohammedan upheaval against Communist rule till now (continued) Failure of Mohammedan Revolution in China Over-reliance on Red military Internal division of views for whether to confiscate the Mohammedan landlords (strictly followed the CCP ideal) or not Communists’ maneuver upon Mohammedans’ nationalist sentiments solely for a counteraction against Guomindang! Similar to Otto von Bismarck’s realpolitik approach of making temptations with Prussia’s enemies through secret compromises but refused to fulfill the so-called “vague mutual agreements” while the goal was attained. Bismarck’s temptation to Napoleon III for an approval to French cession of Rhineland and Saar in Biarritzz Meeing during the Austro-Prussian War, but he refused to fulfill the promises after the war victory. He even distorted the Ems Telegram from Napoleon II for making France boycotted by other Powers.

Edgar Snow was a “Maosick” journalist, but could not fulfill a task of being a devoted Sinologist. He recognized Peng Dehuai’s discouragement towards filial worship  disrespected the positive ideological affection of Confucianism, which was the glorious asset of Chinese civilization.

Peng Dehuai’s radical teacher regarded children to be brought into the world while their parents were playing  Inhumane approach of over-rational thought! Peng’s grandmother was autocratic but fostered an opium-smoking habit, but it did not mean that Chinese youths had to offend elderly’s authority and neglect adults’ contributions / devotions for nurturing the growth of future generations. [P.268] The Confucian thoughts treated procreation as an “encouraging anticipation”, hoping that grandparents and parents’ spiritual, behavioural and intellectual eliteness would obtain a helping hand from the next generations to inherit nation-widely and world-widely, so as to maintain a moralistic stability throughout the future eras.

Peng Dehuai’s radical teacher regarded children to be brought into the world while their parents were playing  Inhumane approach of over-rational thought! (continued) Humans, in such sense, were born to rediscover the goodness of our parents / grandparents and possessed an obligation to further prosper it, and it was a reflection of humanist love and care. Elderly’ wrongness should be diminished only through making humble and courteous advices by the next generation with regards to the bright asset of “ethical harmony” within the system of Chinese family traditions. Communists destroyed the behavioral nourishments of Chinese ethics, leading to continuous struggles that also threatened the sense of submissiveness within the parental relationships (and there was a violation to the etiquette!)

Critical Evaluation upon the revolutionary approach of CCP

Reasons for CCP’s failure in succeeding a thorough Marxism in every part of Chinese continent even after the establishment of PRC Communist explanation [P.400] Chinese capitalist class: not a true bourgeois, but a “colonial bourgeois” They were just a “comprador class”, an excrescence of the foreign influence and monopoly capitalism which it primarily served Liberation through the fulfillment of anti-imperialist movement; an elimination of foreign influence.

Reasons for CCP’s failure in succeeding a thorough Marxism in every part of Chinese continent even after the establishment of PRC (continued) Alan Bullock: “Socialism was a product from a state with high productivity.” (high surplus values) But Communism was ironically found from later-developed societies like Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea, in which it was a difficult task for these countries to create high productivity, both agriculturally and industrially, that was comparable to Capitalistic level under the framework of “proletariat purism”. In China, Communism started from feudalist base of peasantry poverty without much capital. While the wealthy people refused to work with the Communist ideal with an addition of imperialistic economic exploitation, “Socialism in one country” and “Maoist- Totalitarianism” were adopted to get rid of enemies to better implement the proletariat reforms.

Chinese Reds: hindered the succession of Guomindang’s Republican and Democratic ideal [P.403] Chiang Kai-shek attempted to sincerely introduce the necessary capitalist “reforms” in the rural areas – Commercial banking Improved communication Centralized taxing Policing power Chiang’s aim: put Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s “Three People’s Principles” into effect Longed for a chance to realize democracy and implement Eurocentric civil governance in all the provinces once problems of rural poverty and regionalism were tackled

Chinese Reds: hindered the succession of Guomindang’s Republican and Democratic ideal (continued) But the CCP, with a coincidence of foreign imperialism, allowed no room for Chiang to regain popular trust upon Republicanism in China. The Reds resorted to repressive measures to outlaw those who wanted to rebuild and recreate class society under the framework of Socialism. Also, the Reds failed to accumulate funds due to their radical struggles against those with wealth. The CCP’s attempt to overthrow the government did impose an obstacle to Guomindang in terms of resisting Japanese invasion, while the continued practice of “Red banditry” in the interior Chinese continent, despite the grave national crisis, retarded the realization of internal reforms.

America: non-interventionist policy after Wilson’s unpopularity in May Fourth Era Hoover, Nelson and Roosevelt, from the very beginning to an end, regarded Chinese Reds as Mensheviks and supposed Chiang Kai- shek being capable enough to accommodate CCP into the republican institutions by pacifying Guomindang’s disputes with the Red banditries. (but not in reality!) America was lukewarm in internal affairs of Nationalist China with regards to her eagerness for commercial opportunities with Chinese capitalists. Some of the influential Americans, like George Kennan, even felt annoyed with Chiang Kai-shek, for his greed, political selfishness, bureaucratic inefficiency and misappropriation of American military funds solely on anti-Communist purge, as well as his incapability in restraining the threat of regionalism by building up a strong central government. The U.S remained neutral to Communist growth in China: feared for an indirect conflict with the Soviet Russians. Consequence: Allowed room for CCP to expand!

Never let “brain drain” happen from political turmoil again in CCP’s future development Fundamental ideas of Marxism: enforced the capitalists, bourgeoisie and bureaucratic class to adore the social-welfare system and redistribute some of their overwhelming wealth to the poverty class by raising their universally-moral alertness to care about the miserable needs of their compatriots hoped to strive for political participation among the proletariat class and eliminated injustice within the social stratifications as much as possible Utopian status of national integrity (nationalism): upgrading civilians’ civic awareness in terms of contributing their gifted talents to the needs of other classes

Never let “brain drain” happen from political turmoil again in CCP’s future development (continued) But Mao Zedong accommodated Marxism to totalitarian dictatorship, which reflected from his blinded approach of anti- Guomindang, anti-Capitalists, anti-Menshevik and anti-Confucian struggles. The proletariat campaigns transformed into a Bolshevik status that, even the Left-minded capitalists and economists also had to be repudiated as a mean of restraining anybody in the country from becoming extraordinarily capable (*encouragement on human jealousy) and making all the Chinese compatriots as equally poor as rural proletariats with regards to an utopian ideal! E.g.: Cultural Revolution  serious brain drain Tung Ho-wan (Tung Chee-hwa’s father), Fok Ying-tung, Ho Yin (Stanley Ho’s father), Tsang Hin-tsz etc. – the Left-minded patriotic merchants But they also had to reestablish their incorporations in Hong Kong and Macao to prevent their inherited properties from being repudiated, They made the entrepot platform of Hong Kong and Macao as a shelter to accumulate wealth and re-donate capitals to the miserable proletariats in Mainland during the turbulent era.

Never let “brain drain” happen from political turmoil again in CCP’s future development (continued) My anticipation to future Communist development in China that accommodated the universal trend Communist Government: Efficiently utilized talents of different political ideologies to construct China with a forbearance to their liberty in economic development under a framework of “collectivity”, while their utmost loyalty to Communism are ensured to be invulnerably staunch (eventual re-modification of Nomenclature in China) Compatriots with wealth should have a civic awareness to contribute their individual capabilities to the centralized governance. They enforced the CCP to redistribute the accumulated resources more efficiently to those provinces with emergent needs on poverty-solving, so as to make the science, economy and culture of China undergo a civilized status of advancement. Those devoting compatriots, specifically the merchants with a patriotic sense, would get an even greater amount of benefits, acknowledgements and achievements.


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