‘The Execution of Comrade Li Tai-Chao and Nineteen of his Fellow Workers in Peking’ by Tang Shin-She from the Daily Worker. Vol. 4 No. 115. May 27, 1927.

李大釗 shortly before his execution.
‘The Execution of Comrade Li Tai-Chao and Nineteen of his Fellow Workers in Peking’ by Tang Shin-She from the Daily Worker. Vol. 4 No. 115. May 27, 1927.

On the 28th of April 20 of the best fighters of the Communist Party of China and the revolutionary Kuomintang were executed in Peking by strangulation. Chang Tso-Lin has murdered 20 revolutionaries at the order of the imperialists. The murdered comrades were arrested on 6th April during the raid on the Soviet Embassy in Peking which was inspired by the diplomatic corps. Five hundred armed bandits of Chang Tso-Lin [Zhang Zuolin] entered the foreign legation, which, according to the agreement forced upon China by the imperialists in 1900 after the Boxer rising had not been entered by any armed Chinese. As no “suitable material” against the arrested was found, the necessary documents were quickly fabricated. Upon the basis of these forged documents an “extraordinary court” then sentenced the arrested to death by strangulation after farcical proceedings lasting two hours. The sentences were immediately executed.

Amongst the murdered was the prominent leader of the Chinese revolution and of the Communist Party, comrade Li Tai-Chao. His death like the deaths of the others means a tremendous loss for the Chinese proletariat and for the Communist Party.

Comrade Li Tai-Chao was one of the founders of the Communist Party of China. He was a permanent member of the Central Committee of the Party. The Party had instructed him to work especially in North China. After the insurrection against the imperialists on the 18th of March in Peking, the Peking government issued an arrest warrant against him. He fled and remained for some time in Moscow, but soon afterwards he returned to Peking in order to continue his work illegally. Despite the fearful white terror of Chang Tso-Lin; Li Tai-Chao and his comrades fearlessly and tirelessly continued the work of organizing the revolutionary struggle. For this reason the militarists of North China and their imperialist supporters cherished a special hatred of Li Tai-Chao.

Comrade Li Tai-Chao rendered special services in the establishment of co-operation between the communists and the Kuomintang. At the instance of Comrade Lenin he tried as early as 1921 to persuade the Chinese communist group to participate in the national revolution. As long as General Wu Pei-fu gave himself out as a friend of the national emancipation of China, Li Tai-Chao maintained touch with him, but immediately Wu Pei-Fu commenced his reactionary activities. He was abandoned by Li Tai-Chao. In 1922 Li Tai-Chao joined Sun Vat-Sen. Li Tai-Chao was the first communist member of the Kuomintang and Sun Yat-Sen accepted him with enthusiasm. Li Tai-Chao was elected a member of the Executive Committee of the Kuomintang at the first congress of the Kuomintang in 1924.

Another great service rendered by Li Tai-Chao was the organisation of the railwaymen’s union which today plays a great role in the revolutionary movement. Previous to 1921 the railwaymen were organised in the “transport association” under the influence of a reactionary monarchist clique. Li Tai-Chao utilizedd his temporary connection with Wu Pei-fu in order to organise the railwaymen and draw them over to the side of the revolution. The great Tangsan miners’ strike and the railwaymen’s strike in 1923 took place under his leadership. Whilst the imperialists regarded him as their irreconcilable enemy, the workers regarded him as their true leader and were passionately attached to him.

As early as 1919 comrade Li Tai-Chao played a leading role during the student unrests. Together with Comrade Cheu Tu-Shu, the present general secretary of the Communist Party of China, he was one of the heads of the “free thought” movement. He also rendered valuable assistance to the movement of the Corean people for emancipation.

Comrade Li Tai-Chao was a well-known and popular author and professor of the Peking University for Law and National Economy. He once contributed a splendid article for the jubilee of a bourgeois newspaper, the “Shanghai Shuh Pao” upon the Paris Commune which drew thousands of Chinese students into the revolutionary movement.

Before the extraordinary court comrade Li Tai-Chao declared proudly and openly that he was a follower of Marx and Lenin and that he would fight for the emancipation of the proletariat with the last breath in his body.

Li Tai-Chao and the other executed comrades will live forever in the hearts of the Chinese workers and peasants, in the hearts of the international working class. The Chinese revolutionaries and the proletariat of all countries will continue the work of these comrades until the final victory.

PDF of full issue: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020097/1927-05-27/ed-1/seq-1/

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