|Portrait of Bo Gu from the 1930s|
|3rd General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China|
|Preceded by||Xiang Zhongfa|
|Succeeded by||Zhang Wentian|
|Born||May 14, 1907|
|Died||8 April 1946|
|Political party||Chinese Communist Party|
Qin Bangxian (Chinese: 秦邦憲; pinyin: Qín Bāngxiàn), better known as Bo Gu (Chinese: 博古; pinyin: Bó Gǔ) (May 14, 1907 – April 8, 1946) was a senior leader of the Chinese Communist Party in its early stages, and well known as a member of the group of 28 Bolsheviks.
A native of Wuxi, Jiangsu, Qin was born in 1907. He studied at the Suzhou Industrial School in his early years, and took an active role in the activities against imperialism and warlords tyrannizing China at that time. In 1925 Qin entered Shanghai University, known for its impact on young revolutionists, with early CCP leaders such as Qu Qiubai and Deng Zhongxia being its teachers and introducing Marxism and Leninism. It was there that Qin showed great interest in Marxism and Leninism. In the same year, Qin joined the May 30th Movement for protests and boycotts against imperialism; and he joined the CPC before long.
In 1926 Qin was sent to Russia Moscow to study Marxism and Leninism at Moscow Sun Yat-sen University, a university established under Kuomintang founder Sun Yat-sen's policy of alliance with the Soviet Union and CPC, with the aim of training young revolutionists for Chinese revolution in the Russian way. Using the alias Bo Gu, which means familiar with histories in Chinese, Qin began to learn Marxism and Leninism in a systematic way. Moreover, he became acquainted with Wang Ming, who had come to this university a year earlier. Wang and Qin, along with other prominent figures in Chinese students, such as Zhang Wentian, Wang Jiaxiang and Yang Shangkun, founded a group known as the 28 Bolsheviks. They regarded themselves as orthodox Marxists, destined to take charge of Chinese revolution. Furthermore, with Wang's connection to Paul Mif, who was vice-president of Sun Yat-sen University and then vice minister of Eastern Department of Comintern, the 28 Bolsheviks had more and more influence, one example being their role as missionaries and interpreters for the 6th National Congress of the CPC held in Moscow, with chances to comment on Chinese affairs.
With Mif succeeding Radek as president, his protégés were sent back to take charge of CPC. But for their poor record for Chinese revolution compared with old CPC members such as Zhou Enlai and Zhang Guotao, Wang and his associates including Bo Gu were assigned insignificant jobs first. Then with the direct support from Mif, who came to China as envoy of Comintern, in the 4th Plenary Meeting of 6th National Congress of CPC in 1931 Wang and his associates won the battle with Li Lisan, who was incumbent paramount leader of CPC at that time, and Li's opponents of old CPC members, such as Labor activists He Mengxiong and Lin Yuying. Wang was appointed as member of politburo of CPC, with Mif took charge of CPC headquarter, Wang became the No1 in practice. As a reward, Bo Gu was appointed to be placed in charge of CY. When Wang returned Moscow for medical treatment, Qin was promoted to become a member of the Central Bureau of CPC, and then to be the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in charge of daily work of CPC. Under the policy of extremism and leftism of Li and Wang, CPC suffered great loss in their power struggle with KMT in cities. In 1933 Bo Gu and other members of the Central Bureau such as Zhou Enlai had to evacuate to Soviet Territory, which was the power base set up by CPC, in the countryside, in Jiangxi. Bo Gu, Zhou and Otto Braun or Li De, the military advisor from Comintern, found a military command team to replace Mao Zedong's control over the military, who was chairman of the Chinese Soviet Government at that time. Due to a change in Nationalist tactics, the CPC Red Army suffered great losses in Chiang Kai-shek's 5th Suppression against them. Bo Gu and his team had to launch a strategic diversion. Although it was called Long March later, it should rather have been called "A big escape in disorder" for its having no destination or plan at first.
During the Long March, the Red Army suffered heavy casualties from time to time, due to no plan and incompetence of command of the three-man leadership team. Especially, when the Red Army crossed the Xiang River, the Red Army was near a rat trap, and half of its elites were annihilated by the KMT army. Discontent and fury over the three-man leadership team increased. Under these circumstances, Mao used his diplomatic skills to communicate with Wang Jiaxiang, General Commissar of Red Army at that time, and got support from most of the generals that once had been loyal to him.
Then in January 1935 came the convening of Zunyi Conference, and with the defection of 28 Bolsheviks members Zhang Wentian, Wang Jiaxiang and Yang Shangkun to Mao's camp, the three-man team's command over military was discharged, Mao, Wang and Zhou Enlai composed a new three-man team to replace them; and Bo Gu's title of General Secretary was replaced by his former associate Zhang, but he remained a member of the politburo.
Time In The Army
When Bo Gu reached Yan'an with the Red Army, he was still a young man, longing for a bright future of Chinese revolution. In order to make a clear distinction from his past, Bo Gu preferred others called him by his real name Qin instead of his alias. Mao still needed Gu and others of the 28 Bolsheviks such as Zhang, Wang Jiaxiang for their support in Mao's later power struggle with Wang Ming and Zhang Guotao. So some important assignments were given to them from time to time. During which, Qin was appointed as representative of CPC with Zhou Enlai, Ye Jianying and went to Xi'an to handle the Xi'an Incident in 1936, and made a contribution for the establishment of United Front against Japan. In 1937 Qin was appointed as Minister of Organization Department of CPC, which was in charge of CPC cadres' promotion and nomination. In 1938 he was the Minister of Organization Department of Yangtze River and then Southern China Division of CPC. In 1941 he was appointed as head of Jie Fang Daily and Xinhua News Agency. Qin showed great enthusiasm in promoting the newspaper and exercised his best endeavor to make it a mouthpiece of CPC. Qin pledged his allegiance to Mao in Mao's struggle with Zhang Guotao, and in Cheng Feng he criticized his former close friend Wang Ming. But Qin still could not obtain favor from Mao and he had suffered greatly from stress and humiliation. His kindness and leniency towards the Cheng Feng movement by the newspaper under his direction, received heavy criticism from Mao and his secret police boss Kang Sheng. They regarded Qin's action being inefficient and too merciful. As a result, although Qin was elected as Commissioner of the Central Committee of CPC in the 7th National Congress of CPC in 1945, he was listed as the last one.
After the end of the China anti-Japan war in 1945 (WWII), Mao was invited by Chiang to Chongqing for peace negotiation in order to avoid civil war between CPC and KMT. Qin was one of the delegate of CPC with Mao, which indicated his appealing to Mao and prominence in CPC. Qin attended the following Political Consulting Congress held in Chongqing as delegate of CPC in Feb 1946. When Qin was on his way to Yan'an to report on his work to CPC, he died in an airplane crash in Shanxi. Among the other victims were several senior CPC leaders such as General Ye Ting, notorious secret police boss Deng Fa, and old CPC member Wang Ruofei (王若飞) besides Qin.
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