Commentary Magazine

Mao and Stalin

To the Editor:

Mr. William Herrick, in your July issue, queried my interpretation of the relations between Mao and Stalin, on the ground that Stalin personally invested Mao with the leadership of Chinese Communism at the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern in 1928. Actually, at that Congress Stalin did nothing of the sort. The Sixth World Congress endorsed the demotion from leadership of Ch’en Tu-hsiu and his replacement by Ch’ü Ch’iu-tai. The latter in his turn was demoted the year after and replaced by Li Li-san, who in his turn, two years after, was replaced by Wang Ming. In the meantime, behind the back of both Moscow and of Wang Ming, Mao with the help of Chu Teh acquired real control in the Kiangsi partisan area and later in the Chinese Communist party as a whole. The fait accompli of his dominant position was endorsed by the Seventh (not Sixth) World Congress in 1935. Mr. Herrick’s seven years’ error explains his misunderstanding of my presentation of the situation.

Franz Borkenau
Zurich, Switzerland



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