2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

Elites and the Masses: The Kuomintang-Chinese Communist Party Collaboration and Peasant Uprisings in Western Fujian during Northern Expedition

Yao-huang Chen

Graduate Institute of History, National Chenchi University

This article examines the Minxi region (western Fujian) around the time of the Northern Expedition to exemplify the role the local elite played in the early stage of the Chinese Communist Revolution. As everyone knows, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) often had no choice but to penetrate into countryside through the mediation of intellectuals from rural elite families who studied in cities. However, this strategy might be counter productive because most of these CCP agents had only a superficial knowledge of communist revolution. Besides political faith, they might have participated in or collaborated with CCP for reasons of private interests, personal connections, or local interests and so on. After the split between the Kuomintang and CCP in 1927, these party members from local elite families used their personal connections and status to mobilize peasants, not only for the communist cause, but also for other reasons. Despite the CCP’s employment of the connection and status of local elites to absorb new party members and mobilize peasants, these party members and peasants did not necessarily have any genuine faith in party, or were simply ignorant of it. Moreover, this strategy was not under the supervision of the party initially, it could be contrary to the party’s interests and instructions, and it might even be free of party controls. How to deal with the relation between the party and local elites became an urgent problem at this early stage of Chinese Communist Revolution.


Keywords: the Chinese Communist Party, the Kuomintang-Chinese Communist Party collaboration, peasant uprising, local elite, Mingxi, the Longyan uprising, the Yongding uprising, the Pinghe uprising, the Shanghang uprising