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Mao Zedong

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Mao Zedong (1893-1976) was a great Marxist, proletarian revolutionary, strategist and theorist, and the main founder and leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the People's Republic of China. He was born into a peasant family on December 26, 1893, in Xiangtan, Hunan Province. First, he served in the insurgent Republican Army for half a year following the outbreak of the Revolution of 1911. Then he studied at Hunan First Teachers College from 1914 to 1918 and established the revolutionary Society of the New Masses in collaboration with Cai Hesen and others shortly before his graduation from the college. He first started studying and believing in Marxism around the May 4th Movement in 1919 and founded a communist organization in Hunan Province in 1920.

In July 1921, Mao Zedong attended the First National Congress of the CPC, which marked its inauguration. Later on, he became Secretary of the CPC Hunan Committee and led the workers' movement in Changsha, Anyuan and other cities. In 1923, he attended the Third CPC National Congress at which he was elected into the Central Executive Committee of the CPC, thus becoming involved in the central leadership. Following the establishment of the Kuomintang-Communist cooperation in 1924, he was elected alternate member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang at both its first and second national congresses. He was the acting head of the Central Propaganda Department of the Kuomintang in Guangzhou and the chief editor of the Political Weekly. He also directed the Sixth Class at the Peasant Movement Institute. In November 1926, he became Secretary of the CPC Central Committee's Peasant Movement Commission.

In his works "Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society" and "Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan" published between the winter of 1925 and the spring of 1927, he underlined the important role of the peasant issue in the Chinese revolution and the paramount significance of the leadership of the proletariat over the peasant struggle and criticized the Right deviationist thinking of Chen Duxiu.

At an emergency meeting of the CPC Central Committee in August 1927 following the total breakdown of the Kuomintang-Communist cooperation, Mao Zedong presented the idea that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." By this he meant that political power must be seized by the means of the revolutionary armed forces. He was elected alternate member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the meeting. After the meeting, he went to the Hunan-Jiangxi border to lead the Autumn Harvest Uprising . Then he led the insurgent troops to the Jinggang Maintains to launch an agrarian revolution and set up the first rural revolutionary base area of the CPC. In 1928, his troops joined forces with the insurgent troops of Zhu De to form the Fourth Army of the Workers' and Peasants' Revolutionary Army (later renamed the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army), with Mao Zedong as Party representative and Secretary of the Front Committee, and Zhu De as Army Commander. Proceeding from the reality of China, the Chinese Communists with Mao Zedong as their chief representative developed armed struggle in rural areas where the forces of the Kuomintang rule were weak, and opened up the road to the final seizure of the country's political power by encircling the cities from the rural areas and then capturing them. Mao Zedong expounded this issue theoretically in his works such as "Why Is It That Red Political Power Can Exist in China?" and "A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire." In his "Oppose Book Worship" written in May 1930, he made the famous assertion "no investigation no right to speak." In August of the same year, the First Front Army of the Red Army was established with Mao Zedong as general political commissar. In 1931, the Provisional Central Government of the Chinese Soviet Republic was established in Ruijin, Jiangxi Province, and Mao Zedong was elected its Chairman. In a by-election in 1933, he was elected into the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Beginning from the end of 1930, Mao Zedong and Zhu De led the First Front Army of the Red Army in defeating Kuomintang campaigns of encirclement and suppression. Arriving in the Central Revolutionary Base Area, the "Left" deviationist leadership collective represented by Wang Ming deprived Mao Zedong of his leadership in the Party and the Red Army and adopted different strategies and policies, leading to the failure in the fight against the fifth Kuomintang campaign of encirclement and suppression. In October 1934, Mao Zedong joined the First Front Army of the Red Army in the Long March. In January 1935, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held an enlarged meeting (known as the Zunyi Meeting) on the way of the Long March, at which the new central leadership represented by Mao Zedong was established. In October of the same year, the CPC Central Committee and the First Front Army of the Red Army arrived in northern Shaanxi, and the Long March ended. In December 1935, Mao Zedong delivered the report "On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism" to expound the policy of national united front against Japanese aggression. In October 1936, the Fourth and Second Front Armies of the Red Army completed the Long March and reached Gansu to join forces successively with the First Front Army. Working together with Zhou Enlai and others in December of the same year, Mao Zedong brought about the peaceful settlement of the Xi'an Incident. This was crucial for a shift in the national situation from the civil war to the second period of Kuomintang-Communist cooperation against Japanese aggression. In December 1936, Mao Zedong wrote "Problems of Strategy in China's Revolutionary War." He wrote "On Practice" and "On Contradiction" in the summer of 1937.