Fujian People's Government
|People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China
|Historical era||Interwar period|
|a.||Min, Hakka, She, Gan and Wu languages.|
The People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China (1933–1934) (Chinese: 中華共和國人民革命政府; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Gònghéguó Rénmín Gémìng Zhèngfǔ), also known as the Fujian People's Government (Chinese: 福建人民革命政府; pinyin: Fújiàn Rénmín Zhèngfǔ), was a short-lived anti-Kuomintang government in the Republic of China's Fujian Province. The rebellion that led to its formation and its collapse are known as the Fujian Incident (閩變 Mǐnbiàn or 福建事變 Fújiàn Shìbiàn) or Fujian Rebellion.
In November 1933, some leaders of the National Revolutionary Army's 19th Route Army including Cai Tingkai, Chen Mingshu, and Jiang Guangnai, who had gained fame for their role in the January 28 Incident, were deployed to southern China to suppress communist rebellion, but instead they negotiated peace with the rebels. In alliance with other Kuomintang forces under Li Jishen (李濟深), the 19th Route leaders broke with Chiang Kai-shek and took control of Fujian where they were stationed and, on November 22 1933, proclaimed a new government. The chairman of the government was Li Jishen, Eugene Chen (陳友仁) was foreign minister, Jiang Guangnai was finance minister, and Cai Tingkai was military head and governor of Fujian Province. A flag of red (proletariat) over blue (peasantry) with a yellow star was used and the Chinese era name of the new state was "Republic of China" (中華共和國) with its founding being year one. The 19th Route Army was renamed the People's Revolutionary Army.
Chen Mingshu led the newly created Productive People's Party while it had support from the "Third Party". The Chinese Youth Party considered supporting them but were put off by their leftism and lack of realistic sustainability. The rebellion initially enjoyed popular support among most Fujianese but high taxes to support the army decreased its popularity. In addition, the new government's decision to break continuity by issuing a new flag, new symbols, and occasionally removing the portrait of Sun Yat-sen caused hesitation in many quarters. After adopting a wait and see approach, the New Guangxi clique declined to support the rebels.Feng Yuxiang was widely expected to be supportive but he stayed silent. Chen Jitang and Hu Hanmin were sympathetic to their goals but condemned them for dividing the country. The fear of a new civil war at a time of Japanese aggression was the biggest reason why the rebellion had very little popularity.
The rebels were motivated by, among other things, personal disagreements with Chiang Kai-shek, opposition to perceived appeasement of Japan, and their assignment to the then relatively poor Fujian. The goals of the new government included the overthrowing of the Kuomintang government in Nanjing, various social and political reforms, and a stronger resistance to foreign interference in China. The rebellion brought a temporary halt to the central government's Fifth Encirclement Campaign in southeast China. However, implied or promised aid to the rebellion from the Communist Party's Jiangxi Soviet failed to materialize due to opposition by the 28 Bolsheviks and the effort began to collapse.
The Kuomintang responded to the rebellion first with air attacks and, in January 1934, with a ground offensive that quickly led to the defeat to the formerly prestigious 19th Route Army. On 13 January 1934, the government was defeated and its leaders fled or defected to Chiang Kai-shek's forces.
- Although the government bore the same English name as Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang regime in Nanjing, i.e. "Republic of China," the Chinese forms names were different: 中華共和國 (Zhōnghuá Gònghéguó) for the Fujian People's Government vs. 中華民國 (Zhōnghuá Mínguó) in Nanjing.
References and further reading
- William F. Dorrill. The Fukien Rebellion and the CCP: A Case of Maoist Revisionism The China Quarterly, No. 37. (Jan. - Mar., 1969), pp. 31-53.
- Frederick S. Litten. "The CCP and the Fujian Rebellion." Republican China, vol. XIV, number 1, November 1988, pp. 57-74. Accessed 20 February 2007.