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The Chinese Communist Treatment of Counterrevolutionaries, 1924-1949

The Chinese Communist Treatment of Counterrevolutionaries, 1924-1949

Patricia E. Griffin
Copyright Date: 1976
Pages: 270
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  • Book Info
    The Chinese Communist Treatment of Counterrevolutionaries, 1924-1949
    Book Description:

    During the period 1924-1949, amid civil war with the KMT, war with the Japanese, internal leadership disputes, and other chaotic conditions, rapid shifts occurred in the political culture of China. Patricia Griffin contends that an understanding of how the Chinese Communists created a legal system at this time is essential to a grasp of more recent events. Focusing on the Communists' definition and treatment of counterrevolutionaries, she describes and assesses the contribution of environment, ideology, and leadership in the development of legal techniques used by the Communists in their rise to power.

    In this book, translations of the major statutes concerning counterrevolutionaries during the period, together with an account of the growth of counterrevolutionary law and the legal structure, explain how the counterrevolutionaries were dealt with and how their treatment changed in response to external and internal stimuli. The author analyzes the roles of ideology and experience as determinants of law toward counterrevolutionaries and, in a final chapter, discusses the implications of the early experience for future legal developments in China. Her topic is of vital importance because of the politically sensitive nature of the subject matter and because of the time period examined.

    Originally published in 1976.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6925-1
    Subjects: Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Note on Sources
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Chapter I. Introduction
    (pp. 3-10)

    THE AIM of this study is to present a clear impression of how and why the Chinese Communist legal system functioned as it did with respect to counterrevolutionaries from 1924 to 1949. This topic is of vital importance both because of the politically sensitive nature of the subject matter and because of the time period examined. During the 1924 to 1949 period, China’s current leadership was experimenting with local governments, at first in the Kiangsi Soviet, then in the border regions of the northwest, especially around the capital of Yenan and later in enclaves over all of the country. In...

  6. Chapter II. Beginning of the Kiangsi Soviet, 1924-1933
    (pp. 11-44)

    THE EVOLUTION of the policies of the Chinese Communists toward counterrevolutionaries from 1924 to 1933 is primarily a saga of trial-and-error experimentation with methods of controlling opposition. Policies of this period should be viewed as possible alternatives and not as a firm doctrine of the Communist Party. The experimental nature of CCP policies is particularly evident from the discussion of the 1924 to 1927 period. During this time, the Chinese Communists’ ideas of the treatment of counterrevolutionaries first sprouted during the peasant movements in Hunan and Kwangtung provinces. Concerned primarily with arousing the apathetic peasants, the Communists experimented with temporary...

  7. Chapter III. Crisis in the Kiangsi Soviet, 1933-1934
    (pp. 45-63)

    DURING the 1924 to 1933 period, the Chinese Communist Party evolved from a splinter group of political activists into a governing body with the ensuing problems of territorial control. A direct correlation was noted between the degree of governmental control and the degree of flexibility sanctioned. As the Communists satisfied their objective of territorial and finally governmental takeover, they turned to more precise rules of punishment. Conversely, the reversal of the trend toward regularization is an understandable response to the initiation of the Fifth Encirclement Campaign by the KMT in November 1933. Since 1933 is a pivotal year, is it...

  8. Chapter IV. Yenan, 1935-1944
    (pp. 64-94)

    FOLLOWING the bitter campaigns of 1934 and the losses of the Long March, the Communists found themselves in a position of comparative weakness. While trying to reorganize and to establish governmental control over their new base areas in the northwest, they were hindered by another factor: the war with Japan. Growing in scope and intensity, the war against the Japanese dominated the 1935 to 1944 period. To augment their weak position, as well as to repel the advancing Japanese, the CCP wisely adopted a united front strategy that permeated all policies. Translated into actions against counterrevolutionaries, the united front policy...

  9. Chapter V. Civil War, 1945-1949
    (pp. 95-108)

    THE IMMINENCE of the civil war became apparent in 1946 following a brief interlude (1944-1946) during which the uncertainty of the post-war situation stifled drastic policy changes. The Communists were once again involved in a bitter struggle for political and territorial control of much of China. The civil war period offers a critical test of the role of the environment in affecting the law. As noted in previous periods, the definition of counterrevolutionary activity changed to reflect the political and economic environment. It is important to consider what definitional differences occurred as a consequence of the renewed struggle with the...

  10. Chapter VI. Prison Management
    (pp. 109-135)

    PREVIOUS chapters provide a chronological description of the legal process from the definition of what constitutes counterrevolutionary activity through the arrest-and-trial process. There is a somewhat natural reaction to merely halt the analysis at this point, thereby overlooking the process that begins with the prisoner’s incarceration and ends with his release. An implicit assumption underlying such a decision is that the latter process is unimportant since prisons merely serve their traditional function of removing the criminal from society. The Chinese Communists would vehemently reject such an assumption, for they consider imprisonment only the beginning of the criminal’s “reform.” Therefore, it...

  11. Chapter VII. Conclusions
    (pp. 136-152)

    AT THIS POINT, it is necessary to extricate one’s self from the aforementioned details in order to pose some important questions suggested from this data and to give at least partial answers, while at the same time realizing the risks in constructing a house from straw. One major question of interest is “What are the principal determinants of the Chinese Communists’ policies for dealing with counterrevolutionaries over the sample period?” In the following three sections of this chapter, we hypothesize that the three principal variables that seem capable of explaining policy changes over the period are the environment, ideology, and...

  12. Appendix A: Draft Statute of the Chinese Soviet Republic Governing Punishment of Counterrevolutionaries
    (pp. 155-160)
  13. Appendix B: Statute of the Chinese Soviet Republic Governing Punishment of Counterrevolutionaries
    (pp. 161-167)
  14. Appendix C: The Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia Border Region Statute Protecting Human and Property Rights
    (pp. 168-171)
  15. Appendix D: Draft Statute of the Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia Border Region Governing Punishment of Traitors During War Times
    (pp. 172-174)
  16. Appendix E: Draft Statute of the Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia Border Region Concerning Martial Law During War
    (pp. 175-177)
  17. Appendix F: Revised Method of Handling Traitors’ Property
    (pp. 178-180)
  18. Appendix G: Separate Statute of the Shansi-Chahar-Hopei Border Region Concerning Voluntary Surrender and Confession of Traitors (Tzu-Shou)
    (pp. 181-183)
  19. Appendix H: Method for Temporarily Handling Criminals in Prison in Extraordinary Times
    (pp. 184-185)
  20. Appendix I: Statute Concerning Voluntary Surrender and Confession (Tzu-Shou) of Traitors by the Nationalist Government’s Military Affairs Commission
    (pp. 186-190)
  21. Appendix J: Revised Laws Governing Emergency Crimes Endangering the Republic
    (pp. 191-192)
  22. Appendix K: Revised Statute Concerning Punishment of Traitors
    (pp. 193-196)
  23. Appendix L: Temporary Statute of Shantung Province for Punishing War Criminals and Traitors
    (pp. 197-200)
  24. Glossary
    (pp. 201-232)
  25. Bibliography
    (pp. 235-250)
  26. Index
    (pp. 251-256)
  27. Back Matter
    (pp. 257-258)