The 2nd National Congress
Date: July 16-23, 1922
Party membership: 195
The congress adopted and issued a declaration. Based on Lenin's theories on national and colonial questions and the examinations of the basic questions of the Chinese revolution made since the founding of the CPC, the declaration analyzed the world situation and the semi-colonial and semi-feudal nature of the Chinese society, expounded the character, motive force and targets of the Chinese revolution and formulated the minimum and maximum programs of the Party.
It pointed out that the Chinese revolution was a democratic revolution against imperialism and feudalism, and the motive powers of the revolution were proletariat, peasants and other petty bourgeoisie. The objectives of the minimum program included eliminating internal disorder and overthrowing the warlords to achieve peace in the country; overthrowing oppression by the world's imperialists to gain complete independence for the Chinese nation.
The objectives set by the maximum program were: to organize the proletariat to establish the dictatorship by workers and peasants by means of class struggles, eliminate the system of private ownership and gradually move into the communist society. For the first time in modern China, the congress set forth a program of democratic revolution, opposing imperialism and feudalism, and thus it unequivocally stated the tasks and orientation of the Chinese revolution. It also adopted the Constitution of the CPC.
The Central Executive Committee of the Party composed of Chen Duxiu, Zhang Guotao, Cai Hesen, Gao Junyu and Deng Zhongxia were elected, with Chen Duxiu serving as the chairman of the committee.
Mao Zedong was not on the list of attendees to the conference. Mao told American journalist Edgar Snow in 1936 that he was in Shanghai during the meeting but didn’t know the exact address and couldn’t find any “comrades,” so he missed it.
In fact, most First Congress attendees didn’t show up at the meeting. Disagreements had emerged among representatives, and some of them, including Li Da, quit the party soon after the Second National Congress took place. The conference, however, still voted to approve the Party Constitution of CPC.
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