The 5th National Congress
Date: April 27-May 9, 1927
Number of delegates: 80
Party membership: 57,967
In 1925, the May 30th Movement took place in Shanghai, marking the beginning of a nationwide revolutionary upsurge and laying the foundation for the revolutionary war against the Northern warlords. Known as the Northern Expedition, the war was launched under the slogan -- oppose imperialism and warlords -- raised by the Communist Party. The mainstay of the Northern Expeditionary Army was formed of Communist Party members, members of the Communist Youth League and progressive personages of the Kuomintang (KMT). Along with the victorious advance of the Northern Expedition, the Party-led workers' and peasants' movement grew rapidly, shaking the reactionary rule of the imperialist and feudal forces in China. However, at the critical moment of the struggle, the big bourgeoisie betrayed the revolution, and Chen Duxiu, general secretary of the CPC, pursued an erroneous line of capitulationism. As a result, the revolution failed.
The congress was held at the critical moment of the Chinese revolution after Chiang Kai-shek staged a counter-revolutionary coup in Shanghai on 12 April 1927 of the same year, disarming the workers and having them and Communists rounded up and murdered. It accepted the resolution on the Chinese revolution adopted at the Seventh Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the Communist International Executive Committee. In accordance with the spirit of this resolution, the congress criticized Chen Duxiu for his Right deviationist mistakes as manifested in his neglect in the struggle with the bourgeoisie for leadership over the revolution.
But it did not put forward any practical measures for correcting the mistakes so that Chen continued his Right deviationist mistakes after the meeting. The congress set the major tasks for the time being as to launch agrarian revolution and establish the rural revolutionary democratic power, but failed to put forward specific programs to meet the peasants' demand for land. As a result, the congress actually did not finish the task of rescuing the revolution at the crucial moment. It elected the Central Committee composed of 29 members and 10 alternate members.
The Central Committee elected Chen Duxiu, Zhang Guotao, Li Weihan, Cai Hesen, Li Lisan, Qu Qiubai and Tan Pingshan to form the Political Bureau. Chen Duxiu was elected general secretary.
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