Anti-Bolshevik League incident
|History of the People's
Republic of China (PRC)
|Generations of leadership|
The Anti-Bolshevik League incident, or AB League Incident (AB tuan shijian, AB 团事件), was a period of political purge in the territory of a Chinese Communist revolutionary bases in Jiangxi province. Mao Zedong accused his political rivals of belonging to the Kuomintang intelligence agency "Anti-Bolshevik League". Mao's political purge resulted in killings at Futian and elsewhere, and the trial and execution of large numbers of Red Army officers and soldiers.
One account says that in December 1926, the Kuomintang in Jiangxi created a counter-intelligence organization, known as Anti-Bolshevik League, to deal with the Communist Party of China and emergent state of civil war. And that the league consisted of handful of people and was dissolved following the April Second Uprising of 1927 in Nanchang.
The purge occurred as a result of tensions between Mao's Red Army and other local communist forces. Under the Jiangxi Soviet government, Mao started a political purge against the Jiangxi Action Committee, accusing its members of belonging to the Anti-Bolshevik League and having "liquidationist" tendencies. In response, 120 members of the JAC were arrested, and 17 executed.
In response to the purge, a local Red Army faction in Futian rebelled against Mao, claiming that Mao was attempting to arrest Zhu De and Peng Dehuai, and surrender to the KMT army. The rebel communists were destroyed by Mao's army in response. The rebellion was known as the Futian incident, highlighting the friction that existed between factions of the Red Army during the early days of the Communist revolution. The incident also vindicated Mao's position as leader of the Red Army, with generals Zhu De and Peng Dehuai giving their unequivocal support, despite their political differences.
Following the Futian incident, the purges against suspected AB League members intensified in other regions, with an estimated 70,000 suspects to have been executed as a result.
According to Agnes Smedley's 1934 account in China's Red Army Marches, another body called the 'Social Democrats' was also involved, allied to but separate from the alleged Anti-Bolshevik League. It was in favour of moderate land reform, reducing rents but not abolishing landlords.
In September 1956, Mao admitted that the purges, in particular the Futian incident, were a mistake, in which the wrong people were killed. In 1988, President Yang Shangkun commissioned an investigation into the Futian incident, which recommended the rehabilitation of the victims, but it was never followed up due to the Tiananmen Square protests.
- Tony Saich; Benjamin Yang (1996). The Rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party: documents and analysis. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-1-56324-155-0.
- "Literature of Chinese Communist Party", 1991; Issue 3