The rise and fall of the Second Chinese Revolution of 1925-1927 was one of the most significant political events in the history of the twentieth century. It ended with the deaths of tens of thousands of communist workers and the total destruction of the Chinese Communist Party as an organised movement of the working class. One cannot understand modern Chinese history, in particular the nature of the Maoist regime established in 1949, without understanding the lessons of 1925-27.
In 1930, Trotsky made the following appeal: “A study of the Chinese revolution is a most important and urgent matter for every communist and for every advanced worker. It is not possible to talk seriously in any country about the struggle of the proletariat for power without a study by the proletarian vanguard of the fundamental events, motive forces, and strategic methods of the Chinese revolution. It is not possible to understand what day is without knowing what night is; it is not possible to understand what summer is without having experienced winter. In the same way, it is not possible to understand the meaning of the methods of the October uprising without a study of the Chinese catastrophe.”