Zhou Enlai

Zhou Enlai

Overview
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China
Premier of the People's Republic of China
The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , sometimes also referred to as the "Prime Minister" informally, is the Leader of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , who is the head of government and holds the highest-ranking of the Civil service of the...

, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Zhou served under Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and was instrumental in consolidating the control of the Communist Party's
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 rise to power, forming foreign policy, and developing the Chinese economy
Economy of the People's Republic of China
The People's Republic of China ranks since 2010 as the world's second largest economy after the United States. It has been the world's fastest-growing major economy, with consistent growth rates of around 10% over the past 30 years. China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of...

.

A skilled and able diplomat, Zhou served as the Chinese foreign minister
Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
The Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China is the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and one of the country's most important cabinet posts...

 from 1949 to 1958. Advocating peaceful coexistence
Peaceful coexistence
Peaceful coexistence was a theory developed and applied by the Soviet Union at various points during the Cold War in the context of its ostensibly Marxist–Leninist foreign policy and was adopted by Soviet-influenced "Communist states" that they could peacefully coexist with the capitalist bloc...

 with the West after the stalemated Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, he participated in the 1954 Geneva Conference
Geneva Conference (1954)
The Geneva Conference was a conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose was to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina...

 and helped orchestrate Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China
1972 Nixon visit to China
U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. It marked the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC, who at that time considered the U.S. one...

.
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Quotations

All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.

Saturday Evening Post (March 27, 1954)

China is an attractive piece of meat coveted by all … but very tough, and for years no one has been able to bite into it.

To Chinese Communist Party Congress, New York Times (September 1, 1973)
Encyclopedia
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China
Premier of the People's Republic of China
The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , sometimes also referred to as the "Prime Minister" informally, is the Leader of the State Council of the People's Republic of China , who is the head of government and holds the highest-ranking of the Civil service of the...

, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Zhou served under Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and was instrumental in consolidating the control of the Communist Party's
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 rise to power, forming foreign policy, and developing the Chinese economy
Economy of the People's Republic of China
The People's Republic of China ranks since 2010 as the world's second largest economy after the United States. It has been the world's fastest-growing major economy, with consistent growth rates of around 10% over the past 30 years. China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of...

.

A skilled and able diplomat, Zhou served as the Chinese foreign minister
Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
The Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China is the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and one of the country's most important cabinet posts...

 from 1949 to 1958. Advocating peaceful coexistence
Peaceful coexistence
Peaceful coexistence was a theory developed and applied by the Soviet Union at various points during the Cold War in the context of its ostensibly Marxist–Leninist foreign policy and was adopted by Soviet-influenced "Communist states" that they could peacefully coexist with the capitalist bloc...

 with the West after the stalemated Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, he participated in the 1954 Geneva Conference
Geneva Conference (1954)
The Geneva Conference was a conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose was to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina...

 and helped orchestrate Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China
1972 Nixon visit to China
U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. It marked the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC, who at that time considered the U.S. one...

. He helped devise policies regarding the bitter disputes with the U.S., Taiwan, the Soviet Union (after 1960), India and Vietnam. Zhou is best known as the long-time top aide to Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

, specializing in foreign policy. Their contrasting personalities made them an effective team, according to Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, the American diplomat who had extensive dealings with both men:
Mao dominated any gathering; Zhou suffused it. Mao's passion strove to overwhelm opposition; Zhou's intellect would seek to persuade or outmaneuver it. Mao was sardonic; Zhou penetrating. Mao thought of himself as a philosopher; Zhou saw his role as an administrator or a negotiator. Mao was eager to accelerate history; Zhou was content to exploit its currents.


Due to his expertise, Zhou was largely able to survive the purges of other top officials during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 of the 1960s. His attempts at mitigating the Red Guard
Red Guards (China)
Red Guards were a mass movement of civilians, mostly students and other young people in the People's Republic of China , who were mobilized by Mao Zedong in 1966 and 1967, during the Cultural Revolution.-Origins:...

s' damage and his efforts to protect others from their wrath made him immensely popular in the Revolution's later stages. As Mao Zedong's health began to decline in 1971 and 1972, Zhou and the Gang of Four
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes...

 struggled internally over leadership of China. Zhou's health was also failing, however, and he died eight months before Mao on 8 January 1976. The massive public outpouring of grief in Beijing turned to anger towards the Gang of Four, leading to the Tiananmen Incident
Tiananmen Incident
The Tiananmen Incident took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year...

. Although succeeded by Hua Guofeng, it was Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, Zhou's ally, who was able to outmaneuver the Gang of Four politically and eventually take Mao's place as Paramount leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

 by 1977.

Youth


Zhou Enlai was born in Huai'an
Huai'an
Huai'an , known as Huaiyin before 2001, is a prefecture-level city in northern Jiangsu province of Eastern China. It borders Suqian to the northwest, Lianyungang to the north, Yancheng to the east, Yangzhou to the southeast, and the province of Anhui to the southwest.The municipality has 4,799,889...

, Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

 province on 5 March 1898, the first son of his branch of the Zhou family. The Zhou family were originally from Shaoxing
Shaoxing
Shaoxing is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province, People's Republic of China. Located on the south bank of the Qiantang River estuary, it borders Ningbo to the east, Taizhou to the southeast, Jinhua to the southwest, and Hangzhou to the west. It was once known as "越"...

 in Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province. During the late Qing dynasty, Shaoxing was famous as the home of families such as Zhou's, whose members worked as government "clerks" (shiye) generation after generation. To move up the ladder in civil service, the men in these families often had to get transferred, and in the late years of the Qing dynasty, Zhou Enlai's branch of the family moved to Huai'an. Even after the move, however, the family continued to view Shaoxing as its ancestral home.

Zhou's grandfather, Zhou Panlong, and his granduncle, Zhou Jun'ang, were the first members of the family to move to Huai'an. Panlong apparently passed the provincial examinations, and Zhou Enlai later claimed that Panlong served as magistrate governing Huai'an county. Zhou's father, Zhou Yineng, was the second of Zhou Panlong's four sons. Zhou's birth mother, surnamed Wan, was the daughter of a prominent Jiangsu official.

Like many others, the economic fortunes of Zhou's large family of scholar-officials were decimated by a great economic recession that China suffered in the late nineteenth century. Zhou Yineng had a reputation for honesty, gentleness, intelligence, and concern for others, but was also considered "weak" and "lacking in discipline and determination." He was unsuccessful in his personal life, and drifted across China doing various occupations, working in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

, Anhui
Anhui
Anhui is a province in the People's Republic of China. Located in eastern China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River, it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny...

, Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

, Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

, and Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

. Zhou Enlai later remembered his father as being always away from home and generally unable to support his family.

Soon after birth, Zhou Enlai was adopted by his father's youngest brother, Zhou Yigan, who was ill with tuberculosis. Apparently the adoption was arranged because the family feared Yigan would die without an heir. Zhou Yigan died soon after the adoption, and Zhou Enlai was raised by Yigan's widow, whose surname was Chen. Madame Chen was also from a scholarly family and received a traditional literary education. According to Zhou's own account, he was very close to his adoptive mother and acquired his lasting interest in Chinese literature and opera from her. Madame Chen taught Zhou to read and write at an early age, and Zhou later claimed to have read the famous vernacular novel Xiyouji at the age of six. By the age of eight, he was reading other traditional Chinese novels, including the Water Margin
Water Margin
Water Margin , also known as Outlaws of the Marsh, All Men Are Brothers, Men of the Marshes, or The Marshes of Mount Liang, is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.Attributed to Shi Nai'an and written in vernacular Chinese, the story, set in the Song Dynasty,...

, Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century, is a Chinese historical novel based on the events in the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history, starting in 169 and ending with the reunification of the land in...

, and Dream of the Red Mansion.

Zhou's birth mother Wan died in 1907 when Zhou was 9, and his adoptive mother Chen in 1908 when Zhou was 10. Zhou's father was working in Hubei, far from Jiangsu, so Zhou and his two younger brothers returned to Huai'an and lived with his father's remaining younger brother Yikui for the next two years. In 1910, Zhou's uncle Yigeng, his father's older brother, offered to care for Zhou. The family in Huai'an agreed, and Zhou was sent to stay with his uncle in Manchuria at Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

, where Zhou Yigeng worked in a government office.

Education


In Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

, Zhou attended the Dongguan Model Academy, a Western style school. His previous education consisted entirely of home schooling. In addition to new subjects such as English and science, Zhou was also exposed to the writings of reformers and radicals such as Liang Qichao
Liang Qichao
Liang Qichao |Styled]] Zhuoru, ; Pseudonym: Rengong) was a Chinese scholar, journalist, philosopher and reformist during the Qing Dynasty , who inspired Chinese scholars with his writings and reform movements...

, Kang Youwei
Kang Youwei
Kang Youwei , was a Chinese scholar, noted calligrapher and prominent political thinker and reformer of the late Qing Dynasty. He led movements to establish a constitutional monarchy and was an ardent Chinese nationalist. His ideas inspired a reformation movement that was supported by the Guangxu...

, Chen Tianhua
Chen Tianhua
Chen Tianhua , was a Chinese revolutionary born in Xinhua, Hunan province into a poor peasant family during the Qing dynasty.-Early life and education:Chen did not begin his education until he was fifteen...

, Zou Rong
Zou Rong
Zou Rong . Chinese nationalist and revolutionary martyr of the anti-Qing movement. Born in Chongqing, Sichuan Province, he was sent to Japan at an early age, where he studied the successful Japanese way of modernization...

 and Zhang Binglin
Zhang Binglin
Zhang Binglin was a Chinese philologist, textual critic and anti-Manchu revolutionary.His philological works include Wen Shi , the first systematic work of Chinese etymology...

. At the age of fourteen, Zhou declared that his motivation for pursuing education was to "become a great man who will take up the heavy responsibilities of the country in the future." In 1913, Zhou's uncle was transferred to Tianjin, where Zhou entered the famous Nankai Middle School.

Nankai Middle School was founded by Yan Xiu, a prominent scholar and philanthropist, and headed by Zhang Boling
Zhang Boling
Zhang Boling was the founder of Nankai University and the Nankai system of schools.-Biography:...

, one of the most important Chinese educators of the twentieth century. Nankai's teaching methods were unusual by contemporary Chinese standards. By the time Zhou began attending, it had adopted the educational model used at Phillips academy
Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy is a selective, co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year...

 in the United States. The school's reputation, with its "highly disciplined" daily routine and "strict moral code" attracted many students who later became prominent in public life. Zhou's friends and classmates there ranged from Ma Jun (an early communist leader executed in 1927) to K. C. Wu (later mayor of Shanghai and governor of Taiwan under the Nationalist party). Zhou's talents also attracted the attention of Yan Xiu and Zhang Boling. Yan in particular thought highly of Zhou, helping to pay for his studies in Japan and later France.

Yan was so impressed with Zhou that he encouraged Zhou to marry his daughter, but Zhou declined. Zhou later expressed the reasons to his decision not to marry Yan's daughter to his classmate, Zhang Honghao. Zhou said that he declined the marriage because he feared that his financial prospects would not be promising, and that Yan would, as his father-in-law, later dominate his life.

Zhou did well in his studies at Nankai; he excelled in Chinese, won several awards in the school speech club, and became editor of the school newspaper in his final year. Zhou was also very active in acting and producing dramas and plays at Nankai; many students who were not otherwise acquainted with him knew of him through his acting. Nankai preserves a number of essays and articles written by Zhou at this time, and these reflect the discipline, training, and concern for country that Nankai's founders attempted to instill in their students. At the school's tenth commencement in June 1917, Zhou was one of five graduating students honored at the ceremony, and one of the two valedictorians.

By the time that he graduated from Nankai, Zhang Boling's teachings of gong (public spirit) and neng (ability) had made a great impression on him. His participation in debates and stage performances contributed to his eloquence and skills of persuasion. Zhou left Nankai with a great desire to pursue public service, and to acquire the skills required to do so.

Following many of his classmates, Zhou went to Japan in July 1917 for further studies. During his two years in Japan, Zhou spent most of his time in the East Asian Higher Preparatory School, a language school for Chinese students. Zhou's studies were supported by his uncles, and apparently Nankai founder Yan Xiu as well, but their funds were limited and during this period Japan suffered from severe inflation. Zhou originally planned on winning one of the scholarships offered by the Chinese government; these scholarships, however, required Chinese students to pass entrance examinations in Japanese universities. Zhou took entrance examinations for at least two schools, but failed to gain admission. Zhou's reported anxieties were compounded by the death of his uncle, Zhou Yikui, an inability to master Japanese, and an acute Japanese cultural chauvinism that discriminated against Chinese. By the time that Zhou returned to China in the spring of 1919, he had become deeply disenchanted with Japanese culture, rejecting the idea that the Japanese political model was relevant to China and disdaining the values of elitism and militarism that he observed.

Zhou's diaries and letters from his time in Tokyo show a deep interest in politics and current events, in particular, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Bolsheviks' new policies. He began to read avidly Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu played many different roles in Chinese history. He was a leading figure in the anti-imperial Xinhai Revolution and the May Fourth Movement for Science and Democracy. Along with Li Dazhao, Chen was a co-founder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. He was its first General Secretary....

's progressive and left-leaning magazine, New Youth. He probably read some early Japanese works on Marx, and it has been claimed that he even attended Kawakami Hajime
Kawakami Hajime
was a Japanese Marxist economist of the Taishō and early Shōwa periods.Born in Yamaguchi, he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University. After writing for Yomiuri shimbun, he earned an economics professorship at Kyoto Imperial University. Increasingly inclined toward Marxism, he participated in the...

's lectures at Kyoto University. Kawakami was an important figure in the early history of Japanese Marxism, and his translations and articles influenced a generation of Chinese communists. However, it now seems unlikely that Zhou met him or heard any of his lectures. Zhou's diaries also show his concern over Chinese student strikes in Japan in May 1918, when the Chinese government failed to send the students' scholarships, but he apparently was not deeply involved in the protest. His active role in political movements began after his return to China.

Early political activities



Zhou returned to Tianjin sometime in the spring of 1919. Historians disagree over Zhou's participation in the May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

 (May to June 1919). Zhou's "official" Chinese biography states that he was a leader of the Tianjin student protests in the May Fourth movement, but many modern scholars believe that it is highly unlikely that Zhou participated at all, based on the total lack of direct evidence among the surviving records from the period. On July 1919, however, Zhou became editor of the Tianjin Student Union Bulletin, apparently at the request of his Nankai classmate, Ma Jun
Ma Jun
Ma Jun , style name Deheng , was a Chinese mechanical engineer and government official during the Three Kingdoms era of China...

, a founder of the Union. During its brief existence from July 1919 to early 1920, the Bulletin was widely read by student groups around the country and suppressed on at least one occasion by the national government as "harmful to public safety and social order."

When Nankai became a university in August 1919, Zhou was in the first class, but he was an activist full time. His political activities continued to expand, and in September he and several other students agreed to establish the "Awakening Society", a small group never numbering more than 25. In explaining the goals and purpose of the Awakening Society, Zhou declared that "anything that is incompatible with progress in current times, such as militarism, the bourgeoisie, partylords, bureaucrats, inequality between men and women, obstinate ideas, obsolete morals, old ethics... should be abolished or reformed", and affirmed that it was the purpose of the Society to spread this awareness among the Chinese people. It was in this society that Zhou first met his future wife, Deng Yingchao
Deng Yingchao
Deng Yingchao , was the wife of the first Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai, Chairwoman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1983 to 1988 and a member of the Communist Party of China.-Biography:...

. In some ways, the Awakening Society resembled the clandestine Marxist study group at Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

 headed by Li Dazhao
Li Dazhao
Li Dazhao was a Chinese intellectual who co-founded the Communist Party of China with Chen Duxiu in 1921.-Early life:...

, with the group members using numbers instead of names for "secrecy." (Zhou was "Number Five," a pseudonym which he continued to use in later years.) Indeed, immediately after the group was established, it invited Li Dazhao to give a lecture on Marxism.

Zhou assumed more prominent active role in political activities over the next few months. The largest of these activities were rallies in support of a nation-wide boycott of Japanese goods. As the boycott became more effective, the national government, under pressure from Japan, attempted to suppress it. On 23 January 1920, a confrontation over boycott activities in Tianjin led to the arrest of a number of people, including several Awakening Society members, and on 29 January Zhou led a march on the Governor's Office in Tianjin to present a petition calling for the arrestees' release. Zhou and three other leaders were themselves arrested. The arrestees were held for over six months; during their detention, Zhou supposedly organized discussions on Marxism. At their trial in July, Zhou and six others were sentenced to two months; the rest were found not guilty. All were immediately released since they had already been held over six months.

After Zhou's release, he and the Awakening Society met with several Beijing organizations and agreed to form a "Reform Federation"; during these activities Zhou became more familiar with Li Dazhao and met Zhang Shenfu, who was the contact between Li in Beijing and Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu played many different roles in Chinese history. He was a leading figure in the anti-imperial Xinhai Revolution and the May Fourth Movement for Science and Democracy. Along with Li Dazhao, Chen was a co-founder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. He was its first General Secretary....

 in Shanghai. Both men were organizing underground Communist cells in cooperation with Grigori Voitinsky
Grigori Voitinsky
Grigori Naumovich Voitinsky aka Zarkhin was a Comintern official during its creation, and was sent to China in 1920 as an advisor to contact the prominent Chinese radicals such as Chen Duxiu, just before the formation of the Communist Party of China...

, a Comintern agent, but Zhou apparently did not meet Voitinsky at this point.

Soon after his release, Zhou decided to go to Europe to study. (He was expelled from Nankai University during his detention.) Although money was a problem, he received a scholarship from Yan Xiu. In order to gain greater funding, he successfully approached a Tianjin newspaper, Yishi bao, for work as "special correspondent" in Europe. Zhou left Shanghai for Europe on 7 November 1920 with a group of 196 work study students, including friends from Nankai and Tianjin.

Zhou's experiences after the May Fourth incident seem to have been crucial in his radicalization. Zhou's friends in the Awakening Society were similarly affected. 15 of the group's members became Communists for at least some time, and the group remained close later on. Zhou and six other group members wound up going to Europe in the next two years, and Zhou eventually married the group's youngest member, Deng Yingchao
Deng Yingchao
Deng Yingchao , was the wife of the first Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai, Chairwoman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1983 to 1988 and a member of the Communist Party of China.-Biography:...

.

European activities


Zhou's group arrived in Marseilles 13 December. Unlike most other Chinese students, who traveled to Europe on work-study programs, Zhou's scholarship and position with Yishi bao meant that he was well provided for and did not have to do any work during his stay. Because of his financial position, he was able to devote himself full-time to revolutionary activities. In a letter to his cousin in January 30, 1921, Zhou said that his goals in Europe were to discover the social conditions in foreign countries and their methods of resolving social issues, for the purpose of later applying these lessons to China after his return. In the same letter he told his cousin that, regarding his adoption of a specific ideology, "I still have to make up my mind."

While in Europe, Zhou studied the differing approaches to resolving class conflict adopted by various European nations. In London on January 1929, Zhou witnessed a large miners' strike and wrote a series of articles for the Yishi bao (generally sympathetic to the miners) examining the conflict between workers and employers, and the conflict's resolution. After five weeks in London he moved to Paris, where interest in Russia's 1917 October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 was high. In a letter to his cousin, Zhou identified two broad paths of reform for China: "gradual reform" (as in England) or "violent means" (as in Russia). Zhou wrote that "I do not have a preference for either the Russian or the British way... I would prefer something in-between, rather than one of these two extremes."

Still interested in academic programs, Zhou traveled to Britain in January 1921 to visit Edinburgh University. Concerned by financial problems and language requirements, he did not enroll, returning to France at the end of January. There are no records of Zhou entering any academic program in France. In spring 1921, he joined a Chinese Communist cell. Zhou was recruited by Zhang Shenfu, whom he had met in August of the previous year in connection with Li Dazhao
Li Dazhao
Li Dazhao was a Chinese intellectual who co-founded the Communist Party of China with Chen Duxiu in 1921.-Early life:...

. He also knew Zhang through Zhang's wife, Liu Qingyang, a member of the Awakening Society. Zhou has sometimes been portrayed at this time as uncertain in his politics, but his swift move to Communism suggests otherwise.

The cell Zhou belonged to was based in Paris; in addition to Zhou, Zhang, and Liu it included two other students, Zhao Shiyan and Chen Gongpei. Over the next several months, this group eventually formed a united organization with a group of Chinese radicals from Hunan, who were living in Montargis south of Paris. This group included such later prominent figures as Cai Hesen
Cai Hesen
Cai Hesen was an early leader of the Chinese Communist Party, and a friend and comrade-in-arms of Mao Zedong. His courtesy name was Run Huan , and he was also known as He Xian , Zhe Ying , and Lin Bin...

, Li Lisan
Li Lisan
Lǐ Lìsān was an early leader of the Chinese communists, and the top leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1928 to 1930, member of Polit Bureau, and later member of Central Committee.-Early years:...

, Chen Yi, Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.-Biography:...

, Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, and also Guo Longzhen, another member of the Awakening Society. Unlike Zhou, most of the students in this group were participants in the work-study program. A series of conflicts with the Chinese administrators of the program over low pay and poor working conditions resulted in over a hundred students occupying the program's offices at the Sino-French Institute in Lyon in September 1921. The students, including several people from the Montargis group, were arrested and deported. Zhou was apparently not one of the occupying students and remained in France until February or March, 1922, when he moved with Zhang and Liu from Paris to Berlin. Zhou's move to Berlin was perhaps because the relatively "lenient" political atmosphere in Berlin made it more favorable as a base for overall European organizing. In addition, the Western European Secretariat of the Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 was located in Berlin and it is clear that Zhou had important Comintern connections, though the nature of these is disputed. After moving operations to Germany, Zhou regularly shuttled between Paris and Berlin.

Zhou returned to Paris by June 1922, where he was one of the twenty two participants present at the organization of the Chinese Youth Communist Party, established as the European Branch of the Chinese Communist Party. Zhou helped draft the party's charter and was elected to the three member executive committee as director of propaganda. He also wrote for and helped edit the party magazine, Shaonian (Youth), later renamed Chiguang (Red Light). It was in Zhou's capacity as general editor of this magazine that Zhou first met Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, only seventeen years old, who Zhou hired to operate a mimeograph (copy) machine. The party went through several reorganizations and name changes, but Zhou remained a key member of the group throughout his stay in Europe. Other important activities Zhou undertook included recruiting and transporting students for the University of the Toilers of the East
Communist University of the Toilers of the East
The Communist University of the Toilers of the East or KUTV was established April 21, 1921, in Moscow by the Communist International as a training college for communist cadres in the colonial world. The school officially opened on October 21, 1921...

 in Moscow, and the establishment of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 or KMT) European branch.

In June 1923, the Third Congress of the Chinese Communist Party accepted the Comintern's instructions to ally with the KMT, led at the time by Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

. These instructions called for CCP members to join the Nationalist Party as "individuals", while still retaining their association with the CCP. After joining the CCP, they would work to lead and direct it, transforming it into a vehicle of revolution. Within several years, this strategy would become the source of serious conflict between the KMT and the CCP.

Zhou not only joined the KMT, but actually helped organize the founding of the Nationalist Party European branch in November 1923. Under Zhou's influence, most of the European branch's officers were in fact communists. Zhou's wide ranging contacts and personal relationships formed during this period were central to his career. Important party leaders, such as Zhu De
Zhu De
Zhu De was a Chinese militarist, politician, revolutionary, and one of the pioneers of the Chinese Communist Party. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, in 1955 Zhu became one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the founder.-Early...

 and Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.-Biography:...

, were first admitted to the party by Zhou.

By 1924, the Soviet-Nationalist alliance was expanding rapidly and Zhou was summoned back to China for further work. He left Europe probably in late July 1924, returning to China as one of the most senior Chinese Communist Party members in Europe.

Political and military work in Whampoa



Establishment in Guangzhou


Zhou returned to China in late August or early September 1924 to join the Political Department of the Whampoa Military Academy
Whampoa Military Academy
The Nationalist Party of China Army Officer Academy , commonly known as the Whampoa Military Academy , was a military academy in the Republic of China that produced many prestigious commanders who fought in many of China's conflicts in the 20th century, notably the Northern Expedition, the Second...

, probably through the influence of Zhang Shenfu, who had previously worked there. The exact positions Zhou held at Whampoa and the dates he held them are not clear. A few months after his arrival, possibly October 1924, he became deputy director of the Academy's Political Department, and later, possibly November 1924, director of the department. Even though it was technically responsible to the central government, Zhou's political department operated under a direct mandate to indoctrinate Whampoa's cadets in the ideology of the KMT for the purpose of improving loyalty and morale. While he was serving in Whampoa, Zhou was also made the secretary of the Communist Party of Guandong-Guanxi, and served as the CCP representative with the rank of major-general.

The island of Whampoa, ten miles downriver from Guangzhou, was at the heart of the Soviet-Nationalist Party alliance. Conceived as the training center of the Nationalist Party Army, it was to provide the military base from which the Nationalists would launch their campaign to unify China, which was split into dozens of military satrapies. From its beginning, the school was funded, armed, and partly staffed by the Soviets.

The Political Department, where Zhou worked, was responsible for political indoctrination and control. As a result, Zhou was a prominent figure at most Academy meetings, often addressing the school immediately after commandant Chiang Kai-shek. He was extremely influential in establishing the political department/party representative (commissar) system which was adopted in Nationalist armed forces in 1925.

Concurrent with his Whampoa appointment, Zhou became secretary of the Communist Party's Guangdong Provincial Committee, and at some point a member of the Provincial Committee's Military Section. Zhou vigorously extended Communist influence at the Academy. He soon arranged for a number of other prominent Communists to join the Political Department, including Chen Yi
Chen Yi (communist)
Chen Yi was a Chinese communist military commander and politician. He served as the 2nd Mayor of Shanghai and the 2nd Foreign Minister of China.-Biography:Chen was born in Lezhi, near Chengdu, Sichuan, into a moderately wealthy magistrate's family....

, Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.-Biography:...

, Yun Daiying, and Xiong Xiong. Zhou played an important role in establishing the Young Soldiers Association, a youth group which was dominated by the Communists, and Sparks, a short-lived Communist front group. He thus recruited numerous new Communist party members from cadet ranks, and eventually set up a covert Communist Party branch at the academy to direct the new members. When Nationalists concerned with the increasing number of Communist members and organizations at Whampoa set up a "Society for Sun Yatsenism," Zhou attempted to squelch it; the conflict between these student groups set the background for Zhou's removal from the academy.

Military activities


Zhou participated in two military operations conducted by the Nationalist regime in 1925, later known as the first and second Eastern Expeditions. The first was in January 1925 when Chen Jiongming
Chen Jiongming
Chen Jiongming was a revolutionary figure in the early periods of the Republic of China. Chen Jiongming was born in 1878 at Haifeng, Guangdong, China....

, an important Cantonese military leader previously driven out of Guangzhou by Sun Yat-sen, attempted to retake Guangzhou. The Nationalist regime's campaign against Chen consisted of forces from the Guangdong Army under Xu Chongzhi, and two training regiments of the Nationalist Party Army, led by Chiang Kai-shek and staffed by Academy officers and cadets. The fighting lasted through May 1925, with the defeat, but not destruction, of Chen's forces. Zhou accompanied the Whampoa cadets on the expedition as a political officer.

When Chen regrouped and attacked Guangzhou again in September 1925, the Nationalists launched a second expedition. Nationalist forces by this time had been reorganized into five corps (or armies), and adopted the commissar system with Political Departments and Nationalist party representatives in most divisions. The First Corps, made up of the Nationalist Party Army, was led by Whampoa graduates and commanded by Chiang Kai-shek, who personally appointed Zhou director of the First Corps Political Department. Soon after, the Nationalist Party's Central Executive Committee appointed Zhou Nationalist Party party representative, making Zhou chief commissar of the First Corps. The first major battle of expedition saw the capture of Chen's base in Huizhou on 15 October. Shantou was taken on 6 November, and by the end of 1925, the Nationalists controlled all of Guangdong province.

Zhou's appointment as chief commissar of the First Corps allowed him to appoint Communists as commissars in four of the Corps' five divisions. Following the conclusion of the Expedition, Zhou was appointed special commissioner for the East River District, which placed him in temporary administrative control of several counties; he apparently used this opportunity to establish a Communist party branch in Shantou and strengthen the CPC's control of local unions. This marked the high point of Zhou's time at Whampoa.

Political activities


In personal terms, 1925 was also an important year for Zhou. Zhou had kept in touch with Deng Yingchao
Deng Yingchao
Deng Yingchao , was the wife of the first Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai, Chairwoman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1983 to 1988 and a member of the Communist Party of China.-Biography:...

, who he had met in the Awakening Society while in Tianjin; and, in January 1925, Zhou asked for and received permission from CCP authorities to marry Deng. The two married in Guangzhou on August 8, 1925.

Zhou's work at Whampoa came to an end with the Zhongshan Warship Incident
Zhongshan Warship Incident
The Zhongshan Warship Incident , or "March 20th Incident", on March 20, 1926, involved a suspected plot by Captain Li Zhilong of the warship Chung Shan to kidnap Chiang Kai-shek. It triggered a political struggle between the Communist Party of China and Kuomintang...

 of March 20, 1926, in which a gunboat with a mostly Communist crew moved from Whampoa to Guangzhou without Chiang's knowledge or approval. This event led to Chiang's exclusion of Communists from the Academy by May, 1926, and the removal of numerous Communists from high positions in the Nationalist Party. In his memoirs, Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.-Biography:...

 suggested that the gunboat had moved in protest of Zhou Enlai's (brief) arrest.

Zhou's time in Whampoa was a significant period in his career. His pioneering work as a political officer in the military made him an important Communist Party expert in this key area; much of his later career centered in the military. Zhou's work in the CCP Guangdong Regional Committee Military Section was typical of his covert activities in the period. The Section was a secret group consisting of three members of the Provincial Central Committee, and was first responsible for organizing and directing CCP nuclei in the army itself. These nuclei, organized at the regimental level and above, were "illegal," meaning they were formed without Nationalist knowledge or authorization. The Section was also responsible for organizing similar nuclei in other armed groups, including secret societies and key services such as railroads and waterways. Zhou did extensive work in these areas until the final separation of the Nationalist and Communist parties and the end of the Soviet-Nationalist alliance in 1927.

Extent of cooperation


Zhou's activities immediately after his removal from his positions at Whampoa are uncertain. An earlier biographer claims that Chiang Kai-shek put Zhou in charge of "an advanced training center for the CCP members and commissars withdrawn from the army." More recent Chinese Communist sources claim that Zhou had an important role at this time in securing Communist control of Ye Ting
Ye Ting
Ye Ting , born in Huiyang, Guangdong, was a Chinese military leader. He started out nationalist and went to the communists....

's Independent Regiment. The regiment and Ye Ting later played a leading role in the Communist's first major military action, the Nanchang Revolt
Nanchang Uprising
The Nanchang Uprising was the first major Kuomintang-Communist engagement of the Chinese Civil War, in order to counter the anti-communist purges by the Nationalist Party of China....

.

In July 1926, the Nationalists began the Northern Expedition, a massive military attempt to unify China. The Expedition was led by Chiang Kai-shek and the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

 (NRA), an amalgam of earlier military forces with significant guidance from Russian military advisors and numerous Communists as both commanding and political officers. With the early successes of the Expedition, there was soon a race between Chiang Kai-shek leading the "right-wing" of the Nationalist Party and the Communists, running inside the "left-wing" of the Nationalists, for control of major southern cities such as Nanjing and Shanghai. At this point the Chinese portion of Shanghai was controlled by Sun Chuanfang
Sun Chuanfang
Sun Chuanfang aka the "Nanking Warlord" or leader of the "League of Five Provinces" was a Zhili clique warlord and protege of the "Jade Marshal" Wu Peifu .- Biography :Sun Chuanfang was born in Lichen, Shandong...

, one of the militarists targeted by the North Expedition. Distracted by fighting with the NRA and defections from his army, Sun reduced his forces in Shanghai, and the Communists, whose party headquarters was located in Shanghai, made three attempts to seize control of the city, later called "the three Shanghai Uprisings", in October 1926, February 1927, and March 1927.

Activities in Shanghai


Zhou was transferred to Shanghai to assist in these activities, probably in late 1926. It seems he was not present for the first uprising on 23–24 Oct, but he was certainly in Shanghai by December 1926. Early accounts credit Zhou with labor organizing activities in Shanghai after his arrival, or, more credibly, working to "strengthen the indoctrination of political workers in labor unions and smuggle arms for the strikers." Reports that Zhou "organized" or "ordered" the second and third uprisings on 20 February and 21 March exaggerate his role. Major decisions during this period were made by the Communist head in Shanghai, Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu played many different roles in Chinese history. He was a leading figure in the anti-imperial Xinhai Revolution and the May Fourth Movement for Science and Democracy. Along with Li Dazhao, Chen was a co-founder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. He was its first General Secretary....

, the Party's general secretary, with a special committee of eight party officials coordinating Communist actions. The committee also consulted closely on decisions with the Comintern representatives in Shanghai, headed by Grigori Voitinsky
Grigori Voitinsky
Grigori Naumovich Voitinsky aka Zarkhin was a Comintern official during its creation, and was sent to China in 1920 as an advisor to contact the prominent Chinese radicals such as Chen Duxiu, just before the formation of the Communist Party of China...

. The partial documentation available for this period shows that Zhou headed the Communist Party Central Committee's Military Commission in Shanghai. He participated in both the February and March actions, but was not the guiding hand in either event, instead working with A. P. Appen, the Soviet military advisor to the Central Committee, training the pickets of the General Labor Union, the Communist controlled labor organization in Shanghai. He also worked to make union strong arm squads more effective when the Communists declared a "Red Terror" after the failed February uprising; this action resulted in the murder of twenty "anti-union" figures, and the kidnapping, beating, and intimidation of others associated with anti-union activities.

The third Communist uprising in Shanghai took place from March 20–21. 600,000 rioting workers cut power and telephone lines and seized the city's post office, police headquarters, and railway stations, often after heavy fighting. During this uprising, the insurrectionists were under strict orders not to harm foreigners, which they obeyed. The forces of Sun Chuanfang
Sun Chuanfang
Sun Chuanfang aka the "Nanking Warlord" or leader of the "League of Five Provinces" was a Zhili clique warlord and protege of the "Jade Marshal" Wu Peifu .- Biography :Sun Chuanfang was born in Lichen, Shandong...

 withdrew and uprising was successful, despite the small number of armed forces available. The first Nationalist troops entered the city the next day.

As the Communists attempted to install a soviet municipal government, conflict began between the Nationalists and Communists, and on 12 April Nationalist forces, including both members of the Green Gang
Green Gang
The Green Gang was a Chinese criminal organization that operated in Shanghai in the early 20th century.-Origins:It was a secret society established originally by Fong Toh-tak of Shaolin Monastery to protect the Han Chinese who were oppressed by the Manchu rulers of the Qing Dynasty, and to restore...

 and soldiers under the command of Nationalist general Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi , , also spelled Pai Chung-hsi, was a Chinese general in the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and a prominent Chinese Nationalist Muslim leader. He was of Hui ethnicity and of the Muslim faith...

 attacked the Communists and quickly overcame them. On the eve of the Nationalist attack, Wang Shouhua, who was both the head of the CCP Labour Committee and the Chairman of the General Labour Committee, accepted a dinner invitation from "Big-eared Du"
Du Yuesheng
Du Yuesheng , commonly known as "Big-Eared Du", was a Chinese gangster who spent much of his life in Shanghai. He was a key supporter of the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek in their battle against the Communists during the 1920s, and was a figure of some importance during the Second Sino-Japanese...

 (a Shanghai gangster) and was strangled after he arrived. Zhou himself was nearly killed in a similar trap, when he was arrested after arriving at a dinner held at the headquarters of Si Lie, a Nationalist commander of Chiang's Twenty-sixth Army. Despite rumors that Chiang had put a high price on Zhou's head, he was quickly released by Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi
Bai Chongxi , , also spelled Pai Chung-hsi, was a Chinese general in the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and a prominent Chinese Nationalist Muslim leader. He was of Hui ethnicity and of the Muslim faith...

's forces. The reasons for Zhou's sudden release may have been that Zhou was then the most senior Communist in Shanghai, that Chiang's efforts to exterminate the Shanghai Communists were highly secretive at the time, and that his execution would have been noticed as a violation of the cooperation agreement between the CCP and the KMT (which was technically still in effect). Zhou was finally only released after the intervention of a representative of the Twenty-sixth Army, Zhao Shu, who was able to convince his commanders that the arrest of Zhou had been a mistake.

Flight from Shanghai


Fleeing Shanghai, Zhou made his way to Hankou
Hankou
Hankou was one of the three cities whose merging formed modern-day Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province, China. It stands north of the Han and Yangtze Rivers where the Han falls into the Yangtze...

 (now part of Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

), and was a participant at the CCP's 5th National Congress there from 27 April to 9 May. At the end of the Congress, Zhou was elected to the Party's Central Committee, again heading the military department. After Chiang Kai-shek's suppression of the Communists, the Nationalist Party split in two, with the Nationalist Party's "left-wing" (led by Wang Jingwei
Wang Jingwei
Wang Jingwei , alternate name Wang Zhaoming, was a Chinese politician. He was initially known as a member of the left wing of the Kuomintang , but later became increasingly anti-Communist after his efforts to collaborate with the CCP ended in political failure...

) controlling the government in Hankou, and Chiang and the party "right-wing" (led by Chiang Kai-shek) establishing a rival government in Nanjing. Still following Comintern instructions, the Communists remained as a "bloc inside" the Nationalist Party, hoping to continue expanding their influence through the Nationalists. After being attacked by a warlord friendly to Chiang, Wang's leftist government disintegrated later in May 1927, and Chiang's troops began an organized purge of Communists in territories formerly controlled by Wang. In mid-July Zhou was forced to go underground.

Pressured by their Comintern advisors, and themselves convinced that the "revolutionary high tide" had arrived, the Communists decided to launch a series of military revolts. The first of these was the Nanchang Revolt
Nanchang Uprising
The Nanchang Uprising was the first major Kuomintang-Communist engagement of the Chinese Civil War, in order to counter the anti-communist purges by the Nationalist Party of China....

. Zhou was sent to oversee the event, but the moving figures seem to have been Tan Pingshan and Li Lisan
Li Lisan
Lǐ Lìsān was an early leader of the Chinese communists, and the top leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1928 to 1930, member of Polit Bureau, and later member of Central Committee.-Early years:...

, while the main military figures were Ye Ting
Ye Ting
Ye Ting , born in Huiyang, Guangdong, was a Chinese military leader. He started out nationalist and went to the communists....

 and He Long
He Long
He Long was a Chinese military leader. He rose to the rank of Marshal and Vice Premier after the founding of the People's Republic of China.-Early life:He Long was a member of the Tujia ethnic group...

. In military terms, the revolt was a disaster, with the Communists' forces decimated and scattered.

Zhou himself contracted malaria during the campaign, and was secretly sent to Hong Kong for medical treatment by Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.-Biography:...

 and Ye Ting. After reaching Hong Kong, Zhou was disguised as a businessman named "Li", and entrusted to the care of local Communists. In a subsequent meeting of the CCP Central Committee, Zhou was blamed for the failure of the Nanchang campaign and temporarily demoted to being an alternate member of the Politburo.

The Sixth Party Congress


After the failure of the Nanchang Uprising, Zhou left China for the Soviet Union to attend the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Sixth National Party Congress in Moscow, in June–July 1928. The Sixth Congress had to be held in Moscow because conditions in China were considered dangerous. KMT control was so tight that many Chinese delegates attending the Sixth Congress were forced to travel in disguise: Zhou himself was disguised as an antiquarian.

At the Sixth Congress, Zhou delivered a long speech insisting that conditions in China were not favorable for immediate revolution, and that the main task of the CCP should be to develop revolutionary momentum by winning over the support of the masses in the countryside and establishing a Soviet regime in southern China, similar to the one that Mao Zedong and Zhu De were already establishing around Jiangxi. The Congress generally accepted Zhou's assessment as accurate. Although Xiang Zhongfa
Xiang Zhongfa
Xiang Zhongfa was one of the early senior leaders of the Communist Party of China .-Early life:Xiang was born in 1880 to a poor family living in Shanghai. He dropped out of elementary school to move with his parents to their ancestral home in Hubei...

 was made secretary general of the Party, but was soon found incapable of fulfilling his role, so Zhou emerged as the de facto leader of the CCP. Zhou was only thirty years old.

During the Sixth Congress, Zhou was elected Director of the Central Committee Organization Department. His ally, Li Lisan, took over propaganda work. Zhou finally returned to China, after more than a year abroad, in 1929. At the Sixth Congress in Moscow, Zhou had given figures indicating that, by 1928, fewer than 32,000 union members remained who were loyal to the Communists, and that only ten percent of Party members were proletarians. By 1929, only three percent of the Party were proletarians.

In early 1930, Zhou began to disagree with the timing of Li Lisan's strategy of favoring rich peasants and concentrating military forces for attacks on urban centers. Zhou did not openly break with these more orthodox notions, and even tried to implement them later, in 1931, in Jiangxi. When the Soviet agent Pavel Mif
Pavel Mif
Pavel Mif was the pseudonym of Mikhail Alexandrovich Fortus , Russian Bolshevik Party member from May 1917, historian with a Doctor's degree in economics , participant of Russian civil war , a student at Yakov Sverdlov Communist University , did communist party work in Ukraine...

 arrived in Shanghai to lead the Comintern in China in December 1930, Mif criticized Li's strategy as "left adventurism", and criticized Zhou for compromising with Li. Zhou "acknowledged" his mistakes in compromising with Li in January 1931 and offered to resign from the Politburo, but was retained while other senior CCP leaders, including Li Lisan and Qu Qiubai, were removed. Like Mao later recognized, Mif understood that Zhou's services as Party leader were indispensable, and that Zhou would willingly cooperate with whoever was holding power.

Underground work: establishment



After arriving back in Shanghai in 1929, Zhou began to work underground, establishing and overseeing a network of independent Communist cells. Zhou's greatest danger in his underground work was the threat of being discovered by the KMT secret police, which had been established in 1928 with the specific mission of identifying and eliminating Communists. In order to avoid detection, Zhou and his wife changed residences at least once a month, and used a variety of aliases. Zhou often disguised himself as a businessman, sometimes wearing a beard. Zhou was careful that only two or three people ever knew his whereabouts. Zhou disguised all urban Party offices, made sure that CCP offices never shared the same buildings when in the same city, and required all Party members to use passwords to identify one another. Zhou restricted all of his meetings to either before 7AM or after 7PM. Zhou never used public transportation, and avoided being seen in public places.

In November 1928, the CCP also established its own intelligence agency (the "Special Service section of the Central Committee", or "Zhongyang Teke" (Chinese:中央特科), often abbreviated as "Teke"), which Zhou subsequently came to control. Zhou's chief lieutenants were Gu Shunzhang
Gu Shunzhang
Gu Shunzhang , also known as Gu Fengming , born in Baoshan, Shanghai, was a Chinese Communist Party leader.In his earlier life worked at Nanyang Tobacco Factory, where he became an active participant of workers' movement, then of the Shanghai Trade Union and finally of the CCP...

, who had strong ties to Chinese secret societies and became an alternate member of the Politburo, and Xiang Zhongfa
Xiang Zhongfa
Xiang Zhongfa was one of the early senior leaders of the Communist Party of China .-Early life:Xiang was born in 1880 to a poor family living in Shanghai. He dropped out of elementary school to move with his parents to their ancestral home in Hubei...

. Teke had four operational sections: one for the protection and safety of Party members; one for intelligence gathering; one for facilitating internal communications; and, one to conduct assassinations, a team that became known as the "Red Squad" (红队).

Zhou's main concern in running Teke was to establish an effective anti-espionage network within the KMT secret police. Within a short amount of time the head of Tekes intelligence section, Chen Geng
Chen Geng
Chen Geng was a Chinese communist military leader.-Early life:Born in Hunan province, Chen was second of 12 siblings. However, because his elder brother died early due to illness, Chen became the eldest son. His grandfather, Chen Yiqong was an officer in the imperial Chinese army and was rewarded...

, succeeded in planting a large network of moles inside the Investigation Section of the Central Operations Department in Nanjing, which was the center of KMT intelligence. The three most successful agents used by Zhou to infiltrate the KMT secret police were Qian Zhuangfei, Li Kenong
Li Kenong
Li Kenong was a major figure in the early history of Chinese Communist intelligence, and was rewarded the rank of Colonel General in 1955. Recognized on the Chinese mainland as such, he is almost unknown in the West.-Early years:...

, and Hu Di, who Zhou referred to as "the three most distinguished intelligence workers of the Party" in the 1930s. Agents planted within various KMT offices were later critical in the survival of the CCP, helping the Party escape Chiang's Encirclement Campaigns
Encirclement Campaigns
Encirclement Campaigns is a term used to describe several different campaigns launched by forces of the Chinese Nationalist Government against forces of the Communist Party of China during the Chinese Civil War. The campaigns were launched between the late 1920s to the mid-1930s with the goal of...


KMT response to Zhou's intelligence work


In late April 1931 Zhou's chief aide in security affairs, Gu Shunzhang
Gu Shunzhang
Gu Shunzhang , also known as Gu Fengming , born in Baoshan, Shanghai, was a Chinese Communist Party leader.In his earlier life worked at Nanyang Tobacco Factory, where he became an active participant of workers' movement, then of the Shanghai Trade Union and finally of the CCP...

, was arrested by the KMT in Wuhan. Gu was a former labour organizer with strong mafia connections and weak commitments to the CCP. Under threat of heavy torture, Gu gave the KMT secret police detailed accounts of underground CCP organizations in Wuhan, leading to the arrest and executions of over ten senior CCP leaders in the city. Gu offered to provide the KMT with details of CCP activities in Shanghai, but only if he could give the information directly to Chiang Kai-shek.

One of Zhou's agents working in Nanjing, Qian Zhuangfei, intercepted a telegram requesting further instructions from Nanjing on how to proceed, and abandoned his cover to personally warn Zhou of the impending crackdown. The two days before Gu arrived in Nanjing to meet with Chiang gave Zhou time to evacuate Party members and to change the communication codes used by Teke, all of which were known to Gu. After meeting briefly with Chiang in Nanjing, Gu arrived in Shanghai and assisted the KMT secret police in raiding CCP offices and residences, capturing members who could not be evacuated in time. The summary executions of those suspected of Communist sympathies resulted in the largest death-toll since the Shanghai massacre of 1927
Shanghai massacre of 1927
The April 12 Incident of 1927 refers to the violent suppression of Chinese Communist Party organizations in Shanghai by the military forces of Chiang Kai-shek and conservative factions in the Kuomintang...

.

Zhou's reaction to Gu's betrayal was extreme. More than fifteen members of Gu's family, some of which worked for Teke, were murdered by the Red Squad and buried in quiet residential areas of Shanghai. The Red Squad then assassinated Wang Bing
Wang Bing
Wang Bing is a Chinese sprint canoer who competed in the mid 2000s. He finished ninth in the C-1 500 m event at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.-References:*...

, a leading member of the KMT secret police who was known for moving around Shanghai in rickshaws, without the protection of bodyguards. Most surviving CCP members were relocated to the Communist base in Jiangxi. Because most senior staff had become exposed by Gu, most of its best agents were also relocated. Zhou's most senior aide not yet under suspicion, Pan Hannian
Pan Hannian
Pan Hannian was a major figure in the Chinese Communist intelligence by the early 1930s and until 1955. He began his work with the Chinese Communist Party in 1926 as a propagandist with the editorial department of the magazine "Oazo" and later with "Crossroads"...

, became Tekes director.

The night before he was scheduled to leave Shanghai in June 1931, Xiang Zhongfa
Xiang Zhongfa
Xiang Zhongfa was one of the early senior leaders of the Communist Party of China .-Early life:Xiang was born in 1880 to a poor family living in Shanghai. He dropped out of elementary school to move with his parents to their ancestral home in Hubei...

, who was one of Zhou's most senior agents, decided to spend the night in a hotel with his mistress, ignoring Zhou's warnings about the danger. In the morning, a KMT informant who had been trailing Xiang spotted him as he was leaving the hotel. Xiang was immediately arrested and imprisoned within the French Concession. Zhou attempted to prevent Xiang's expected extradition to KMT-controlled China by having his agents bribe the chief of police in the French Concession, but the KMT authorities appealed directly to the authorities of the French Concession, ensuring that the chief of police could not intervene. Zhou's hopes that Xiang would be transferred to Nanjing, giving him an opportunity to kidnap Xiang, also came to naught. The French agreed to transfer Xiang to the Shanghai Garrison Headquarters, under the command of General Xiong Shihui, who subjected Xiang to relentless torture and interrogation. Once he became convinced that Xiang had given his torturers all the information that they requested, Chiang Kai-shek ordered Xiang to be executed.

Zhou Enlai later succeeded in secretly purchasing a copy of of Xiang's interrogation records. The records showed that Xiang had disclosed everything to the KMT authorities before his execution, including the location of Zhou's residence. Another round of arrests and executions followed Xiang's capture, but Zhou and his wife were able to escape capture because they had abandoned their apartment on the morning of Xiang's arrest. After establishing a new Politburo Standing Committee in Shanghai, Zhou and his wife relocated to the Communist base in Jiangxi near the end of 1931. By the time Zhou left Shanghai, he was one of the most wanted men in China.

The Jiangxi Soviet



Following the failed Nanchang and Autumn Harvest Uprisings of 1927, the Communists began to focus on establishing a series of rural bases of operation in southern China. Even before moving to Jiangxi, Zhou had become involved in the politics of these bases. Mao, claiming the need to eliminate counterrevolutionaries and Anti-Bolsheviks operating within the CCP, began an ideological purge of the populace inside the Jiangxi Soviet. Zhou, perhaps due to his own success planting moles within various levels of the KMT, agreed that an organized campaign to uncover subversion was justified, and supported the campaign as de facto leader of the CCP.

Mao's efforts soon developed into a ruthless campaign driven by paranoia and aimed not only at KMT spies, but at anyone with an ideological outlook different from Mao's. Suspects were commonly tortured until they confessed to their crimes and accused others of crimes, and wives and relatives who inquired of those being tortured were themselves arrested and tortured even more severely. Mao's attempts to purge the Red Army of those who might potentially oppose him led Mao to accuse Chen Yi
Chen Yi
Chen Yi may refer to:* Chen Yi , Chinese communist military commander* Chen Yi , Chief Executive of Taiwan Province* Chen Yi , Chinese composer* Chen Yi...

, the commander and political commissar of the Jiangxi Military Region, as a counterrevolutionary, provoking a violent reaction against Mao's persecutions that became known as the "Futian Incident" in January 1931. Mao was eventually successful in subduing the Red Army, reducing its numbers from forty thousand to less than ten thousand. The campaign continued throughout 1930 and 1931. Historians estimate the total number who died due to Mao's persecution in all base areas to be approximately one hundred thousand.

The entire campaign occurred while Zhou was still in Shanghai. Although he had supported the elimination of counterrevolutionaries, Zhou actively suppressed the campaign when he arrived in Jiangxi in December 1931, criticizing the "excess, the panic, and the oversimplification" practiced by local officials. After investigating those accused of Anti-Bolshevism, and those persecuting them, Zhou submitted a report criticizing the campaign for focusing on the narrow persecution of anti-Maoists as anti-Bolshevists, exaggerating the threat to the Party, and condemning the use of torture as an investigative technique. Zhou's resolution was passed and adopted on January 7, 1932, and the campaign gradually subsided.

Zhou moved to the Jiangxi
Jiangxi
' is a southern province in the People's Republic of China. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to...

 base area and shook up the propaganda-oriented approach to revolution by demanding that the armed forces under Communist control actually be used to expand the base, rather than just to control and defend it. In December 1931, Zhou replaced Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 as Secretary of the First Front Army with Xiang Ying
Xiang Ying
Xiang Ying was a war-time Chinese communist leader reaching the rank of political chief of staff of the New Fourth Army during World War II until his assassination by a member of his staff in 1941.- Biography :...

, and made himself political commissar of the Red Army, in place of Mao. Liu Bocheng, Lin Biao and Peng Dehuai all criticized Mao's tactics at the October 1932 Ningdu Conference
Ningdu Conference
The Ningdu Conference was a meeting of the Communist Party of China held in the Banshan Ancestral Hall in the village of Xiaoyuan , Ningdu County, Jiangxi Province...

.

After moving to Jiangxi, Zhou met Mao for the first time since 1927, and began his long relationship with Mao as Mao's superior. In the Ningdu conference, Mao was demoted to being a figurehead in the Soviet government. Zhou, who had come to appreciate Mao's strategies after the series of military failures waged by other Party leaders since 1927, defended Mao, but was unsuccessful. After achieving power Mao later purged or demoted those who had opposed him in 1932, but remembered Zhou's defense of his policies.

Chiang's Encirclement Campaigns



In early 1933, Bo Gu arrived with the German Comintern adviser Otto Braun (Li De)
Otto Braun (Li De)
Otto Braun was a German Communist with a long and varied career.His most significant role was as a Comintern agent sent to China in 1934, to advise the Communist Party of China on military strategy during the Chinese Civil War...

 and took control of party affairs. Zhou at this time, apparently with strong support from Party and military colleagues, reorganized and standardized the Red Army. Under Zhou, Bo, and Braun, the Red Army defeated four attacks
Encirclement Campaigns
Encirclement Campaigns is a term used to describe several different campaigns launched by forces of the Chinese Nationalist Government against forces of the Communist Party of China during the Chinese Civil War. The campaigns were launched between the late 1920s to the mid-1930s with the goal of...

 by Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist troops. The military structure that led the Communists to victory was:
Leaders Unit Designation
Lin Biao, Nie Rongzhen 1st Corps
Peng Dehuai, Yang Shangkun 3rd Corps
Xiao Jinguang 7th Corps
Xiao Ke 8th Corps
Luo Binghui 9th Corps
Fang Zhimin 10th Corps


Chiang's fifth campaign, launched in September 1933, was much more difficult to contain. Chiang's new use of "blockhouse tactics" and larger numbers of troops allowed his army to advance steadily into Communist territory, and they succeeded in seizing several major Communist strongholds. Bo Gu and Otto Braun (Li De)
Otto Braun (Li De)
Otto Braun was a German Communist with a long and varied career.His most significant role was as a Comintern agent sent to China in 1934, to advise the Communist Party of China on military strategy during the Chinese Civil War...

 adopted orthodox tactics to respond the Chiang, and Zhou, although personally opposed to them, directed these. Following their subsequent defeat, he and other military leaders were blamed.

Although Zhou's subsequently cautious military approach was distrusted by hardliners, he was again appointed to the position of vice chairman of the Military Commission. Zhou was accepted as leader largely because of his organizational talent and devotion to work, and because he had never shown any overt ambition to pursue supreme power within the Party. Within months, the continuing orthodox tactics of Bo and Braun led to a serious defeat for the Red Army, and forced the leaders of the CCP to seriously consider abandoning their bases in Jiangxi.

The Long March



After the decision to abandon Jiangxi was announced, Zhou was placed in charge of organizing and supervising the logistics of the Communist withdrawal. Making his plans in absolute secrecy and informing even senior leaders when and were they were to leave only at the last moment, Zhou's objective was to break through the enemy encirclement with as few casualties as possible, and before Chiang's forces were able to completely occupy all Communist bases. It is not known what criteria were used to determine who would stay and who would go, but 16,000 troops and some of the Communists' most notable commanders at the time (including Xiang Ying
Xiang Ying
Xiang Ying was a war-time Chinese communist leader reaching the rank of political chief of staff of the New Fourth Army during World War II until his assassination by a member of his staff in 1941.- Biography :...

, Chen Yi
Chen Yi
Chen Yi may refer to:* Chen Yi , Chinese communist military commander* Chen Yi , Chief Executive of Taiwan Province* Chen Yi , Chinese composer* Chen Yi...

, Tan Zhenlin
Tan Zhenlin
Tan Zhenlin was a political commissar in the People's Liberation Army during the Chinese Civil War, and a Communist politician after the establishment of the People's Republic of China.Tan Zhenlin was born in You County , Hunan Province...

, and Qu Qiubai
Qu Qiubai
Qu Qiubai was born in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China. He was a leader of the Communist Party of China in the late 1920s.-Early life:...

) were left to form a rear guard to divert the main force of Nationalist troops from noticing the Communists' general withdrawal.

The withdrawal of 84,000 soldiers and civilians began in early October, 1934. Zhou's intelligence agents were successful in identifying a large section of Chiang's blockhouse lines that were manned by troops under General Chen Jitang
Chen Jitang
Chen Jitang , also spelled Chen Chi-tang, was born into a Hakka family in Fangcheng, Guangxi, China. He joined the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance in 1908 and began serving in the Guangdong Army in 1920, rising from battalion to brigade commander...

, a Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 warlord who Zhou identified as being likely to prefer preserving the strength of his troops over fighting. Zhou sent Pan Hannian
Pan Hannian
Pan Hannian was a major figure in the Chinese Communist intelligence by the early 1930s and until 1955. He began his work with the Chinese Communist Party in 1926 as a propagandist with the editorial department of the magazine "Oazo" and later with "Crossroads"...

 to negotiate for safe passage with General Chen, who subsequently allowed the Red Army to pass through the territory that he controlled without fighting.

After passing through three of the four blockhouse fortifications needed to escape Chiang's encirclement, the Red Army was finally intercepted by regular Nationalist troops, and suffered heavy casualties. Of the 86,000 Communists who attempted to break out of Jiangxi, only 36,000 successfully escaped. This loss demoralized some Communist leaders (particularly Bo Gu and Otto Braun), but Zhou remained calm and retained his command.

During the Communists' subsequent Long March
Long March
The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

, there were numerous high-level disputes over the direction that the Communists should take, and on the causes of the Red Army's defeats. During the power struggles that ensued, Zhou consistently backed Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 against the interests of Bo Gu and Otto Braun. Bo and Braun were later blamed for the Red Army's defeats, and were eventually removed from their positions of leadership. The Communists eventually succeeded in re-establishing a base in northern Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

 on October 20, 1935, arriving with only 8,000-9,000 remaining members.

Zhou's position within the CCP changed numerous times throughout the Long March. By the early 1930s, Zhou was recognized as the de facto leader of the CCP, and exercised superior influence over other members of the CCP even when sharing power with Bo and Braun. In the months following the January 1935 Zunyi Conference
Zunyi Conference
The Zunyi Conference was a meeting of the Communist Party of China in January of 1935 during the Long March. This meeting involved a power struggle between the leadership of Bo Gu and Otto Braun and the opposition led by Mao Zedong. The result was that Mao left the meeting in position to take...

, in which Bo and Braun were removed from senior positions, Zhou mostly retained his position because he displayed a willingness to display responsibility, because his tactics in defeating Chiang's Fourth Encirclement Campaign were recognized as being successful, and because he supported Mao Zedong, who was gaining influence inside the Party: after the Zunyi Conference, Mao became Zhou's assistant. After the Communists reached Shaanxi and completed the Long March, Mao officially took over Zhou Enlai's leading position in the CCP, while Zhou took a secondary position as vice-Chairman. Mao and Zhou would retain their positions within the CCP until their deaths in 1976.

The Xi'an Incident



During the seventh congress of the Comintern, held in August 1936, Wang Ming issued an anti-Fascist manifesto, indicating that the CCP's previous policy of "opposing Chiang Kai-shek and resisting Japan" was to be replaced by a policy of "uniting with Chiang Kai-shek to resist Japan". Zhou was instrumental in carrying out this policy. Zhou made contact with one of the most senior KMT commanders in the northwest, Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang
Zhang Xueliang or Chang Hsüeh-liang , occasionally called Peter Hsueh Liang Chang in English, nicknamed the Young Marshal , was the effective ruler of Manchuria and much of North China after the assassination of his father, Zhang Zuolin, by the Japanese on 4 June 1928...

. By 1935 Zhang was well-known for his anti-Japanese sentiments and his doubts about Chiang's willingness to oppose the Japanese. Zhang's disposition made him easily influenced by Zhou's indications that the CCP would cooperate to fight against the Japanese.

Zhou established a "northeast working committee" for the purpose of promoting cooperation with Zhang. The committee worked to persuade Zhang's Northeast Army to unite with the Red Army to fight Japan and retake Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

. The committee also created new patriotic slogans, including "Chinese must not fight Chinese", to promote Zhou's goals. Using his network of secret contacts, Zhou arranged a meeting with Zhang in Yan'an
Yan'an
Yan'an , is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province in China, administering several counties, including Zhidan County , which served as the Chinese communist capital before the city of Yan'an proper took that role....

, then controlled by Zhang's "Northeast Army".

The first meeting between Zhou and Zhang occurred inside a church on April 7, 1937. Zhang showed a great interest in ending the civil war, uniting the country, and fighting the Japanese, but warned that Chiang was firmly in control of the national government, and that these goals would be difficult to pursue without Chiang's cooperation. Both parties ended their meeting with an agreement to find a way to secretly work together. At the same time that Zhou was establishing secret contacts with Zhang, Chiang was growing suspicious of Zhang, and became increasingly dissatisfied with Zhang's inaction against the Communists. In order to deceive Chiang, Zhou and Zhang deployed mock military units in order to give the impression that the Northeast Army and the Red Army were engaged in battle.

In December 1937, Chang Kai-shek flew to the Nationalist headquarters in Xi'an in order to test the loyalty of local KMT military forces under Marshal Zhang Xueliang, and to personally lead these forces in a final attack on Communist bases in Shaanxi, which Zhang had been ordered to destroy. Determined to force Chiang to direct China's forces against the Japanese (who had taken Zhang's territory of Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 and were preparing a broader invasion), on December 12 Zhang and his followers stormed Chiang's headquarters, killed most of his bodyguards, and seized the Generalissimo in what became known as the Xi'an Incident
Xi'an Incident
The Xi'an Incident of December 1936 is an important episode of Chinese modern history, taking place in the city of Xi'an during the Chinese Civil War between the ruling Kuomintang and the rebel Chinese Communist Party and just before the Second Sino-Japanese War...

.

Reactions to Chiang's kidnapping in Yan'an
Yan'an
Yan'an , is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province in China, administering several counties, including Zhidan County , which served as the Chinese communist capital before the city of Yan'an proper took that role....

 were mixed. Some, including Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and Zhu De
Zhu De
Zhu De was a Chinese militarist, politician, revolutionary, and one of the pioneers of the Chinese Communist Party. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, in 1955 Zhu became one of the Ten Marshals of the People's Liberation Army, of which he is regarded as the founder.-Early...

, viewed it as an opportunity to have Chiang killed. Others, including Zhou Enlai and Zhang Wentian
Zhang Wentian
Zhang Wentian . He is also known as Luo Fu . His names in Wade-Giles are Chang Wen-t'ien and Lo Fu.Born in Jiangsu, he attended engineering school in Nanjing and also spent a year at the University of California. He later joined the Communist Party and was sent to study at Sun Yat-sen University...

, saw it as an opportunity to achieve a united-front policy against the Japanese, which would strengthen the overall position of the CCP. Debate within Yan'an ended when a long telegram from Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 arrived, urging the CCP to work towards Chiang's release, explaining that a united-front was the best position from which to resist the Japanese, and that only Chiang had the prestige and authority to carry out such a plan.

After initial communications with Zhang on the fate of Chiang, Zhou Enlai reached Xi'an on December 16, on a plane specifically sent for him by Zhang Xueliang, as the chief Communist negotiator. From then until Christmas Day, 1936, Zhou attempted to negotiate with Chiang and Zhang, proposing a national united-front government with Chiang as leader, a demarcation line between KMT and CPP territories, a national conference including a CCP delegation, and a series of future negotiations in Nanjing. Through days of intense negotiation, exercising extreme caution and courtesy, Zhou was largely successful in reconciling their positions.

On December 20, T.V. Soong arrived in Xi'an, and Soong Meiling arrived two days later, in order to negotiate Chiang's release. At first, Chiang was opposed to negotiating with a CCP delegate, but withdrew his opposition when it became clear that his life and freedom were largely dependent on Communist goodwill towards him. On December 24, Chiang received Zhou for a meeting, the first time that the two had seen each other since Zhou had left Whampoa over ten years earlier. Zhou began the conversation by saying: "In the ten years since we have met, you seem to have aged very little." Chiang nodded and said: "Enlai, you were my subordinate. You should do what I say." Zhou replied that, if Chiang would halt the civil war and resist the Japanese instead, the Red Army would willingly accept Chiang's command. By the end of this meeting, Chiang promised to end the civil war, to resist the Japanese together, and to invite Zhou to Nanjing for further talks.

On December 25, 1936, Zhang released Chiang and accompanied him to Nanjing. Subsequently, Zhang was court-martialed and sentenced to house arrest, and most of the officers who participated in the Xi'an Incident were executed. Although the KMT formally rejected collaboration with the CCP, Chiang ended active military activity against Communist bases in Yan'nan, implying that he had implicitly given his word to change the direction of his policies. Following the end of KMT attacks, the CCP was able to consolidate its territories and to prepare to resist the Japanese.

After news arrived that Zhang had been betrayed and arrested by Chiang, Zhang's old officer corps became very agitated, and some of them murdered a Nationalist general, Wang Yizhe, who was seen as largely responsible for the military's lack of response. While Zhou was still in Xi'an, he himself was surrounded in his office by a number of Zhang's officers, who accused the Communists of instigating the Xi'an Incident and of betraying Zhang by convincing the general to travel to Nanjing. At gunpoint, they threatened to kill Zhou. Zhou maintained his composure and eloquently defended his position. In the end, Zhou succeeded in calming the officers, and they departed, leaving him unharmed. In a series of negotiations with the KMT that lasted until June, 1937 (when the Marco Polo Bridge Incident
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident was a battle between the Republic of China's National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army, often used as the marker for the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War .The eleven-arch granite bridge, Lugouqiao, is an architecturally significant structure,...

 occurred), Zhou attempted to gain Zhang's release, but failed.

Propaganda and intelligence in Wuhan


When the capital of Nanjing fell to the Japanese
Battle of Nanjing
The Battle of Nanking began after the fall of Shanghai on October 9, 1937, and ended with the fall of the capital city of Nanking on December 13, 1937 to Japanese troops, a few days after the Republic of China Government had evacuated the city and relocated to Wuhan...

 on December 13, 1937, Zhou accompanied the Nationalist government to its temporary capital of Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

. As the chief representative of the CCP in the nominal KMT-CCP cooperation agreement, Zhou established and headed the official KMT-CCP liaison office. While running the liaison office, Zhou established the Yangtze Bureau of the Central Committee. Under cover of its association with the Eighth Route Army
Eighth Route Army
The Eighth Route Army was the larger of the two major Chinese communist forces that formed a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China which fought the Japanese from 1937 to 1945. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist...

, Zhou used the Yangtze Bureau to conduct clandestine operations within southern China, secretly recruiting Communist operatives and establishing Party structures throughout KMT-controlled areas.

In August, 1937, the CCP secretly issued orders to Zhou that his united front work was to focus on Communist infiltration and organization at all levels of the government and society. Zhou agreed to these orders, and applied his considerable organizational talents to completing them. Shortly after Zhou's arrival in Wuhan, he convinced the Nationalist government to approve and fund a Communist newspaper, Xinhua ribao ("New China Daily"), justifying it as a tool to spread anti-Japanese propaganda. This newspaper became a major tool for spreading Communist propaganda, and the Nationalists later viewed its approval and funding as one of their "biggest mistakes".

Zhou was successful in organizing large numbers of Chinese intellectuals and artists to promote resistance against the Japanese. The largest propaganda event that Zhou staged was a week-long celebration in 1938, following the successful defense of Tai'erzhuang
Battle of Taierzhuang
The Battle of Tai'erzhuang was a battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938, between armies of Chinese Kuomintang and Japan, and is sometimes considered as a part of Battle of Xuzhou....

. In this event, between 400,000-500,000 people took part in parades, and a chorus of over 10,000 people sung songs of resistance. Fundraising efforts during the week raised over a million yuan. Zhou himself donated 240 yuan, his monthly salary as deputy director of the Political Department.

While he was working in Wuhan, Zhou was the CCP's main contact person with the outside world, and worked hard to reverse the public perception of the Communists as a "bandit organization". Zhou established and maintained contacts with over forty foreign journalists and writers, including Edgar Snow
Edgar Snow
Edgar P. Snow was an American journalist known for his books and articles on Communism in China and the Chinese Communist revolution...

, Agnes Smedley
Agnes Smedley
Agnes Smedley was an American journalist and writer best known for her semi-autobiographical novelDaughter of Earth. She was also known for her sympathetic chronicling of the Chinese revolution...

, Anna Louise Strong
Anna Louise Strong
Anna Louise Strong was a twentieth-century American journalist and activist, best known for her reporting on and support for communist movements in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.-Early years:...

, and Rewi Alley
Rewi Alley
Rewi Alley, 路易•艾黎, Lùyì Àilí, QSO, , was a New Zealand-born writer, educator, social reformer, potter, and member of the Communist Party of China....

, many of whom became sympathetic to the Communist cause and wrote about their sympathies in foreign publications. In sympathy with his efforts to promote the CCP to the outside world, Zhou arranged for a Canadian medical team, headed by Norman Bethune
Norman Bethune
Henry Norman Bethune was a Canadian physician and medical innovator. Bethune is best known for his service in war time medical units during the Spanish Civil War and with the Communist Eighth Route Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War...

, to travel to Yan'an, and assisted the Dutch film director Rodney Evans in producing a documentary, 400 Million People.

Zhou was unsuccessful in averting the public defection of Zhang Guotao
Zhang Guotao
Zhang Guotao was a founding member and important leader of the Chinese Communist Party and bitter rival to Mao Zedong. During the 1920s he studied in the Soviet Union and became a key contact with the Comintern and organized the CCP labor movement in the United Front with the Guomindang...

, one of the founders of the CCP, to the KMT. Zhang was prepared to defect due to a disagreement with Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 over the implementation of the united front policy, and because he resented Mao's authoritarian leadership style. Zhou, with the aid of Wang Ming
Wang Ming
Wang Ming was a senior leader of the early Chinese Communist Party and the mastermind of the famous 28 Bolsheviks group. Wang was also a major political rival of Mao Zedong during the 1930s, opposing Mao's nationalist deviation from the Comintern and orthodox Marxism and Leninism lines...

, Bo Gu, and Li Kenong
Li Kenong
Li Kenong was a major figure in the early history of Chinese Communist intelligence, and was rewarded the rank of Colonel General in 1955. Recognized on the Chinese mainland as such, he is almost unknown in the West.-Early years:...

, intercepted Zhang after he arrived in Wuhan, and engaged in extensive negotiations through April, 1938, in order to convince Zhang not to defect, but these negotiations were unsuccessful. In the end, Zhang refused to compromise and placed himself under the protection of KMT secret police. On April 18, the CCP Central Committee expelled Zhang from the Party, and Zhang himself issued a statement accusing the CCP of sabotaging efforts to resist the Japanese. The entire episode was a serious setback for Zhou's attempts to improve the prestige of the Party.

Military strategy in Wuhan


In January 1938, the Nationalist government appointed Zhou as the deputy director to the Political Department of the Military Committee, working directly under General Cheng Cheng. As a senior Communist statesman holding the rank of lieutenant-general, Zhou was the only Communist to hold a high-level position within the Nationalist government. Zhou used his influence within the Military Committee to promote Nationalist generals that he believed were capable, and to promote cooperation with the Red Army.

In the Tai'erzhuang campaign
Battle of Taierzhuang
The Battle of Tai'erzhuang was a battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938, between armies of Chinese Kuomintang and Japan, and is sometimes considered as a part of Battle of Xuzhou....

, Zhou used his influence to ensure that the most capable Nationalist general available, Li Zongren
Li Zongren
Li Zongren or Li Tsung-jen , courtesy name Delin , was a prominent Guangxi warlord and Kuomintang military commander during the Northern Expedition, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War...

 be appointed overall commander, despite Chiang's reservations about Li's loyalty. When Chiang was hesitant to commit troops to the defense of Tai'erzhuang, Zhou convinced Chiang to do so by promising that the Communist Eighth Route Army
Eighth Route Army
The Eighth Route Army was the larger of the two major Chinese communist forces that formed a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China which fought the Japanese from 1937 to 1945. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist...

 would simultaneously attack the Japanese from the north, and that the New Fourth Army
New Fourth Army
The New Fourth Army was a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China established in 1937. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist Party of China and not by the ruling Kuomintang. The New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army...

 would sabotage the Tianjin-Pukou railroad
Tianjin–Pukou Railway Operation
The Japanese 津浦線作戦 or Tientsin–Pukow Railway Operation was a follow up operation to the Peiking Tientsin Operation of the Japanese army in North China at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese advanced following the line of the Tianjin-Pukou Railway to the Yellow River....

, cutting off Japanese supplies. In the end, the defense of Tai'erzhuang was a major victory for the Nationalists, killing 20,000 Japanese soldiers and capturing a large amount of supplies and equipment.

Adoption of orphans


While serving as the CCP ambassador to the KMT, the childless Zhou met and befriended numerous orphans. While in Wuhan Zhou adopted a young girl, Sun Weishi
Sun Weishi
Sun Weishi, was the first female director of modern spoken drama in Chinese history. Sun's father was killed by the Kuomintang in 1927, and Sun was eventually adopted by Zhou Enlai, who later became the first Premier of the People's Republic of China...

, in 1937. Sun's mother had taken her to Wuhan after Sun's father was executed by the KMT in 1927, during the White Terror
Shanghai massacre of 1927
The April 12 Incident of 1927 refers to the violent suppression of Chinese Communist Party organizations in Shanghai by the military forces of Chiang Kai-shek and conservative factions in the Kuomintang...

. Zhou came upon the sixteen-year-old Sun crying outside of the Eighth Route Army Liaison Office because she had been refused permission to travel to Yan'an, due to her youth and lack of political connections. After Zhou befriended and adopted her as his daughter, Sun was able to travel to Yan'an. She pursued a career in acting and direction, and later became the first female director of spoken drama (huaju) in the PRC.

Zhou also adopted Sun's brother, Sun Yang. After accompanying Zhou to Yan'an, Sun Yang became Zhu De's personal assistant. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Sun Yang became the president of Renmin University.

In 1938 Zhou met and befriended another orphan, Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

. Li was only three when, in 1931, his father was also killed by the Kuomintang. Zhou subsequently looked after him in Yan'an
Yan'an
Yan'an , is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province in China, administering several counties, including Zhidan County , which served as the Chinese communist capital before the city of Yan'an proper took that role....

. After the war, Zhou systematically groomed Li for leadership and sent him to be educated in energy-related engineering in Moscow. Zhou's placement of Li within the powerful energy bureaucracy shielded Li from Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

, and Li's eventual rise to the level of Premier surprised no one.

Flight to Chongqing


When the Japanese army approached Wuhan in the fall of 1938, the Nationalists abandoned the city without a fight and withdrew farther inland, to Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

. While he was en route to Chongqing, Zhou was nearly killed in the "fire of Changsha"
1938 Changsha Fire
The Changsha Fire of 1938 , also known as Wenxi Fire , was the greatest human-caused city-wide fire that ever besieged China. It happened in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War...

, which lasted for three days, destroyed two thirds of the city, killed twenty thousand civilians, and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. This fire was deliberately caused by the retreating Nationalist army in order to prevent the city from falling to the Japanese. Due to an organizational error (it was claimed), the fire was begun without any warning to the residents of the city.

After escaping from Changsha, Zhou took refuge in a Buddhist temple in a nearby village and organized the evacuation of the city. Zhou demanded that the causes of the fire be thoroughly investigated by authorities, that those responsible by punished, that reparations be given to the victims, that the city be thoroughly cleaned up, and that accommodations be provided for the homeless. In the end, the Nationalists blamed three local commanders for the fire and executed them. Newspapers across China blamed the fire on (non-KMT) arsonists, but the blaze contributed to a nation-wide loss of support for the KMT.

Early activities in Chongqing


Zhou Enlai reached Chongqing in December, 1938, and resumed the official and unofficial operations that he had been conducting in Wuhan in January, 1939. Zhou's activities included those required by his formal positions within the Nationalist government, his running of two pro-Communist newspapers, and his covert efforts to form reliable intelligence networks and increase the popularity and organization of CCP organizations in southern China. At its peak, the staff working under him in both official and covert roles totaled several hundred people. After finding that his father, Zhou Shaogang, was unable to support himself, Zhou looked after his father in Chongqing until his father's death in 1942.

Soon after arriving in Chongqing, Zhou successfully lobbied the Nationalist government to release Communist political prisoners. After their release, Zhou often assigned these former prisoners as agents to organize and lead Party organizations throughout southern China. The efforts of Zhou's covert activities were extremely successful, increasing CCP membership across southern China tenfold within months. Chiang was somewhat aware of these activities and introduced efforts to suppress them, but was generally unsuccessful.
In July, 1939, while in Yan'an to attend a series of Politburo meetings, Zhou had an accident horseback riding in which he fell and fractured his right elbow. Because there was little medical care available in Yan'an, Zhou traveled to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 for medical treatment, using the occasion to brief the Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 on the status of the united front. Zhou arrived in Moscow too late to mend the fracture, and his right arm remained bent for the rest of his life. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 was so displeased with the CCP's refusal to work more closely with the Nationalists that he refused to see Zhou during his stay. Zhou's adopted daughter, Sun Weishi, accompanied Zhou to Moscow. She remained in Moscow after Zhou left in order to study for a career in theatre.

Intelligence work in Chongqing


On May 4, 1939, the Politburo accepted Zhou's assessment that Zhou should focus his efforts on creating a network of secret CCP agents working covertly and for long periods. Communists were directed to join the KMT, if doing so would increase the ability of agents to infiltrate the KMT administrative, educational, economic, and military establishments. Under the cover of the Office of the Eighth Route Army (moved to a stately building on the outskirts of Chongqing), Zhou adopted a series of measures to expand the CCP intelligence network.

By the time that Zhou returned to Chongqing in May, 1940, a serious rift had formed between the KMT and the CCP. Over the course of the next year, the relationship between the two parties degenerated into arrests and executions of Party members, covert attempts by agents of both sides to eliminate each other, propaganda efforts attacking each other, and major military clashes. The united front was officially abolished after the Anhui Incident
New Fourth Army Incident
The New Fourth Army Incident , also known as the Wannan Incident , occurred in China in January 1941 during the Second Sino-Japanese War, during which the Chinese Civil War was in theory suspended, uniting the Communists and Nationalists against the Japanese...

 in January, 1941, when 9,000 Communist soldiers of the New Fourth Army
New Fourth Army
The New Fourth Army was a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China established in 1937. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist Party of China and not by the ruling Kuomintang. The New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army...

 were ambushed, and their commanders either killed or imprisoned by government troops.

Zhou responded to the rift between the KMT and CCP by directing Party leaders to conduct their operations more secretly. He maintained propaganda efforts via the newspapers that he directed and kept in close contact with foreign journalists and ambassadors. Zhou increased and improved CCP intelligence efforts within the KMT, Wang Jingwei's Nanjing government, and the Empire of Japan, recruiting, training, and organizing a large network of Communist spies. Yuan Baohang, a secret Party member active in Chongqing diplomatic circles, informed Zhou that Hitler was planning to attack the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Under Zhou's signature, this information reached Stalin on June 20, two days before Hitler attacked.

Economic and diplomatic activities


Despite worsening relations with Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

, Zhou operated openly in Chongqing, befriending Chinese and foreign visitors and staging public cultural activities, especially Chinese theater. Zhou cultivated a close personal friendship with General Feng Yuxiang
Feng Yuxiang
Feng Yuxiang was a warlord and leader in Republican China. He was also known as the Christian General for his zeal to convert his troops and the Betrayal General for his penchant to break with the establishment. In 1911, he was an officer in the ranks of Yuan Shikai's Beiyang Army but joined...

, making it possible for Zhou to circulate freely among the officers of the Nationalist Army. Zhou befriended the General He Jifeng
He Jifeng
He Jifeng is a Chinese computer scientist.He Jifeng was a Senior Research Fellow at the Programming Research Group in the Oxford University Computing Laboratory from 1984 to 1998. He worked extensively on formal aspects of computing science...

, and convinced He to secretly become a member of the CCP during an official visit to Yan'an. Zhou's intelligence agents penetrated the Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

ese army of General Deng Xihou
Deng Xihou
Deng Xihou was a Chinese general and politician.-Biography:Deng was born 1889, Yingshan, Sichuan, China. In 1906 he was admitted to the Sichuan Military School, and in 1909 graduated, and entered the Nanjing Army School. After the Xinhai Revolution, he discontinued his studies and returned to...

, resulting in Deng's secret agreement to supply ammunition to the Communist New Fourth Army. Zhou convinced another Sichuanese general, Li Wenhui, to covertly install a radio transmitter that facilitated secret communication between Yan'an and Chongqing. Zhou befriended Zhang Chong and Nong Yun, commanders in the Yunnan
Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

 armed forces, who became secret CCP members, agreed to cooperate with the CCP against Chiang Kai-shek, and established a clandestine radio station that broadcast Communist propaganda from the provincial government building in Kunming
Kunming
' is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. It was known as Yunnan-Fou until the 1920s. A prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of Yunnan, and is the seat of the provincial government...

.

Zhou remained the primary CCP representative to the outside world during his time in Chongqing. Zhou enjoyed receiving foreign visitors and reportedly made a favorable impression among American, British, Canadian, Russian, and other foreign diplomats, despite Chiang's attempts to isolate him from the international community. Zhou was variously described by visitors as being charming, urbane, hard-working, and living a very simple lifestyle. In 1941, Zhou received a visit from Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 and his wife, Martha. Martha later wrote that she and Ernest were extremely impressed with Zhou (and extremely unimpressed with Chiang), and they became convinced that the Communists would take over China after meeting him.

Because Yan'an was incapable of funding Zhou's activities, Zhou attempted to fund himself through various means. Zhou partially funded his efforts though donations from sympathetic foreigners, overseas Chinese, and the China Defense League
China Welfare Institute
The China Welfare Institute which grew out of the China Defense League was founded by Soong Ching-ling in Hong Kong on June 14, 1938. She was then the chairman of the Central Committee...

 (supported by Sun Yat-sen's widow, Song Qingling). Because Zhou was not able to fund his operations solely through donations, Zhou also undertook efforts to start and run a number of businesses throughout KMT- and Japanese- controlled China. Zhou's businesses grew to include several trading companies operating in a variety of Chinese cities (primarily Chongqing and Hong Kong), a silk and satin store in Chongqing, an oil refinery, and numerous factories for producing industrial materials, various cloths, Western medicines, and other commodities.

Under Zhou, Communist businessmen made great profits engaging in currency trading and commodity speculation, especially in the international markets for American dollars and gold. Zhou's most lucrative business was generated by several opium plantations that Zhou established in remote areas. Although the CCP had been engaged in the eradication of opium smoking since its establishment, Zhou justified opium production and distribution in KMT-controlled areas by the huge profits generated for the CCP, and by the debilitating effects that opium addiction might have on KMT soldiers and government officials.

Relationship with Mao Zedong


In 1943, Zhou's relationship with Chiang Kai-shek deteriorated, and he returned permanently to Yan'an. By then, Mao Zedong had emerged as the most powerful leader of the CCP, and was attempting to have his political theories (literally "Mao Zedong Thought"
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

) accepted as the Party's dogma. Following his ascent to power, Mao organized a campaign (really a "brainwashing" or "hearts and minds" operation) to eliminate his political enemies and to indoctrinate the members of the CCP. This campaign became the foundation of the Maoist personality cult that later dominated Chinese politics until the end of the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

.

After returning to Yan'an, Zhou Enlai was strongly and excessively criticized in this campaign. Zhou was labelled, along with the generals Peng Dehuai
Peng Dehuai
Peng Dehuai was a prominent military leader of the Communist Party of China, and China's Defence Minister from 1954 to 1959. Peng was an important commander during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese civil war and was also the commander-in-chief of People's Volunteer Army in the Korean War...

, Liu Bocheng
Liu Bocheng
Liu Bocheng was a Chinese Communist military commander and Marshal of the People's Liberation Army.Liu is known as one of the "Three and A Half" Strategists of China in modern history...

, Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying was a Chinese communist general and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from 1978 to 1983.-Biography:...

, and Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen
Nie Rongzhen was a prominent Chinese Communist military leader, and one of ten Marshals in the People's Liberation Army of China. He was the last surviving PLA officer with the rank of Marshal.-Biography:...

, as an "empiricist" because he had a history of cooperating with the Comintern and with Mao's enemy, Wang Ming
Wang Ming
Wang Ming was a senior leader of the early Chinese Communist Party and the mastermind of the famous 28 Bolsheviks group. Wang was also a major political rival of Mao Zedong during the 1930s, opposing Mao's nationalist deviation from the Comintern and orthodox Marxism and Leninism lines...

. Mao publicly attacked Zhou as "a collaborator and assistant of dogmatism... who belittled the study of Marxism-Lenninism". Mao and his allies then claimed that the CCP organizations that Zhou had established in southern China were in fact led by KMT secret agents, a charge which Zhou firmly denied, and which was only withdrawn after Mao became convinced of Zhou's subservience in the latest period of the campaign.

Zhou defended himself by engaging in a long series of public reflections and self-criticisms, and he gave a number of speeches praising Mao and Mao Zedong Thought and giving his unconditional acceptance of Mao's leadership. He also joined Mao's allies in attacking Peng Shuzhi, Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu
Chen Duxiu played many different roles in Chinese history. He was a leading figure in the anti-imperial Xinhai Revolution and the May Fourth Movement for Science and Democracy. Along with Li Dazhao, Chen was a co-founder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. He was its first General Secretary....

, and Wang Ming
Wang Ming
Wang Ming was a senior leader of the early Chinese Communist Party and the mastermind of the famous 28 Bolsheviks group. Wang was also a major political rival of Mao Zedong during the 1930s, opposing Mao's nationalist deviation from the Comintern and orthodox Marxism and Leninism lines...

, who Mao viewed as enemies. The persecution of Zhou Enlai distressed Moscow, and Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov Mikhaylov , also known as Georgi Mikhaylovich Dimitrov , was a Bulgarian Communist politician...

 wrote a personal letter to Mao indicating that "Zhou Enlai... must not be severed from the Party." In the end, Zhou's enthusiastic acknowledgement of his own faults, his praise for Mao's leadership, and his attacks on Mao's enemies eventually convinced Mao that Zhou's conversion to Maoism was genuine, a precondition for Zhou's political survival. By the seventh congress of the CCP in 1945, Mao was acknowledged as the overall leader of the CCP, and the dogma of Mao Zedong Thought was firmly entrenched among the Party's leadership.

The Dixie mission



After the United States joined the war against Japan in 1941, American politicians and military advisors became increasingly interested in making contact with the Communists in order to coordinate attacks on the Japanese. In June 1944, Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 agreed to allow an American military observation group, known as the "Dixie mission", to travel to Yan'an. Mao and Zhou welcomed this mission and held numerous talks in the interest of gaining access to American aid. They pledged support for any future American military actions on Chinese soil, and attempted to convince the Americans that the CCP was committed to a united KMT-CCP government. In a gesture of goodwill, People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 (PLA) guerrilla units were instructed to rescue Allied soldiers held prisoner in China (who were mostly American airmen). By the time that the Americans left Yan'an, many had become convinced that the CCP was "a party seeking orderly democratic growth towards socialism", and the mission formally suggested greater cooperation between the CCP and the American military.

1944-1945


In 1944, Zhou wrote to General Joseph Stillwell, the American commander of the China Burma India war theater
China Burma India Theater of World War II
China Burma India Theater was the name used by the United States Army for its forces operating in conjunction with British and Chinese Allied air and land forces in China, Burma, and India during World War II...

, attempting to convince Stillwell of the need for the Americans to supply the Communists, and of the Communist's desire for a united Chinese government after the war. Stillwell's open disenchantment with the Nationalist government in general, and with Chiang Kai-shek specifically, motivated President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 to remove him that same year, before Zhou's diplomacy could be effective. Stillwell's replacement, Patrick J. Hurley
Patrick J. Hurley
Patrick Jay Hurley was an American soldier, statesman, and diplomat....

, was receptive to Zhou's appeals, but ultimately refused to align the American military with the CCP unless the Party made concessions to the KMT, which Mao and Zhou found unacceptable. Soon after Japan surrendered in 1945, Chiang invited Mao and Zhou to Chongqing to take part in an American-endorsed peace conference.

The Chongqing negotiations


There was widespread apprehension in Yan'an that the invitation from Chiang was a trap, and that the Nationalists were planning to assassinate or imprison the two instead. Zhou took control over Mao's security detail, and his subsequent inspections of their plane and lodgings found nothing. Throughout the trip to Chongqing, Mao refused to enter his accommodations until they had been personally inspected by Zhou. Mao and Zhou traveled together to receptions, banquets, and other public gatherings, and Zhou introduced him to numerous local celebrities and statesmen that he had befriended during his earlier stay in Chongqing.

During the forty-three days of negotiations, Mao and Chiang met eleven times to discuss the conditions of post-war China, while Zhou worked on confirming the details of the negotiations. In the end, the negotiations resolved nothing. Zhou's offer to withdraw the Red Army from southern China was ignored, and P.J. Hurley's ultimatum to incorporate the CCP into the KMT insulted Mao. After Mao returned to Yan'an on October 10, 1945, Zhou stayed behind to sort out the details of the conference's resolution. Zhou returned to Yan'an on November 27, 1945, when major skirmishes between the Communists and Nationalists made future negotiations pointless. Hurley himself subsequently announced his resignation, accusing members of the US embassy of undermining him and favoring the Communists.

The Marshall negotiations



After the Harry Truman became President of the United States on December 15 1945, Truman nominated General George Marshall
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

 as his special envoy to China. Marshall was charged with brokering a ceasefire between the CCP and KMT, and to influence both Mao and Chiang to abide by the Chongqing agreement, which both had signed. The top leadership within the CCP, including Zhou, viewed Marshall's nomination as a positive development, and hoped that Marshall would be a more flexible negotiator than Hurley had been. Zhou arrived in Chongqing to negotiate with Marshall on December 22.

The first phase of talks went smoothly. Zhou represented the Communists, Marshall represented the Americans, and Zhang Qun (later replaced by Zhang Zhizhong
Zhang Zhizhong
Zhang Zhizhong was a general in the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China. He was born in Chaohu, Anhui, and attended the Baoding Military Academy from which he graduated in 1916...

 represented the KMT. In January 1946 both sides agreed to cease hostilities, and to reorganize their armies on the principle of separating the army from political parties. Zhou signed these agreements in the knowledge that neither side would be able to implement these changes. Chiang delivered a speech promising political freedom, local autonomy, free elections, and the release of political prisoners. Zhou welcomed Chiang's statements and expressed his opposition to civil war.

The leadership of the CCP viewed these agreements optimistically. On January 27 1946 the CCP Secretariat appointed Zhou as one of eight leaders to participate in a future coalition government (other leaders included Mao, Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi was a Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and theorist. He was Chairman of the People's Republic of China, China's head of state, from 27 April 1959 to 31 October 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China...

, and Zhu De). It was suggested that Zhou be nominated as China's vice president. Mao expressed a desire to visit the United States, and Zhou received orders to manipulate Marshall in order to advance the peace process.

Marshall's negotiations soon deteriorated, as neither the KMT nor the CCP were willing to sacrifice any of the advantages that they had gained, to de-politicize their armies, or to sacrifice any degree of autonomy in areas that they side controlled. Military clashes in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 became increasingly frequent in the spring and summer of 1946, eventually forcing Communist forces to retreat after a few major battles. Government armies increased their attacks in other parts of China.

On May 3 1946, Zhou and his wife left Chongqing for Nanjing, where the Nationalist capital returned. Negotiations deteriorated, and on October 9 Zhou informed Marshall that he no longer had the confidence of the CCP. On October 11 Nationalist troops seized the Communist city of Zhangjiakou
Zhangjiakou
Zhangjiakou, also known also by several other names, is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Hebei province of North China, adjacent to Beijing to the southeast. Its administrative area has a population of 4.35 million, and covers...

 in northern China. Chiang, confident in his ability to defeat the Communists, called the National Assembly into session without the participation of the CCP and ordered it to draft a constitution on November 15. On November 16 Zhou held a press conference, in which he condemned the KMT for "tearing up the agreements from the political consultative conference". On November 19 Zhou and the entire CCP delegation left Nanjing for Yan'an.

Military strategist and intelligence chief


Following the failure of negotiations, the Chinese Civil War resumed in earnest. Zhou turned his focus from diplomatic to military affairs, while retaining a senior interest in intelligence work. Zhou worked directly under Mao as his chief aide, as the vice chairman of the Military Commission of the Central Committee, and as the general chief of staff. As the head of the Urban Work Committee of the Central Committee, an agency established to coordinate work inside KMT-controlled areas, Zhou continued to direct underground activities.

A superior force of Nationalist troops captured Yan'an in March 1947, but Zhou's intelligence agents (primarily Xiong Xianghui
Xiong Xianghui
Xiong Xianghui was a Chinese spy and later diplomat. He played a role in the victory of the Communist Party of China over the Kuomintang in the Chinese Civil War, acted as an aide to Zhou Enlai and then served in China's diplomatic service, helping to broker a thaw in Sino-American...

) were able to provide Yan'an's commanding general, Peng Dehuai, with details of the KMT army's troop strength, distribution, positions, air cover, and dates of deployment. This intelligence allowed Communist forces to avoid major battles and to engage Nationalist forces in a protracted campaign of guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 that eventually led to Peng achieving a series of major victories. By February 1948 over half the KMT troops in the northwest were either defeated or exausted. On May 4 1948 Peng captured 40,000 army uniforms and over a million pieces of artillery. By January 1949 Communist forces seized Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 and Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

, and were firmly in control of north China.

Diplomacy


On January 21 1949 Chiang stepped down as president of the Nationalist government and was succeeded by General Li Zongren
Li Zongren
Li Zongren or Li Tsung-jen , courtesy name Delin , was a prominent Guangxi warlord and Kuomintang military commander during the Northern Expedition, Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War...

. On April 1 1949 Li began a series of peace negotiations with a six-member CCP delegation. The CCP delegates were led by Zhou Enlai, and the KMT delegates were led by Zhang Zhizhong.

Zhou began the negotiations by asking: "Why did you go to Xikou (where Chiang had retired) to see Chiang Kai-shek before leaving Nanjing?" Zhang responded that Chiang still had power, even though he had technically retired, and that his consent would be needed to finalize any agreement. Zhou responded that the CCP would not accept a bogus peace dictated by Chiang, and asked whether Zhang had come with the necessary credentials to implement the terms desired by the CCP. Negotiations continued until April 15, when Zhou produced a "final version" of a "draft agreement for internal peace", which was essentially an ultimatum to accept CCP demands. The KMT government did not respond after five days, signaling that it was not prepared to accept Zhou's demands.

On April 21 Mao and Zhou issued an "order to the army for country-wide advance". PLA troops captured Nanjing on April 23, and captured Li's stronghold of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 in October, forcing Li to go into exile in America. In December 1949 PLA troops captured Chengdu
Chengdu
Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

, the last KMT-controlled city on mainland China, forcing Chiang to evacuate to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

.

Diplomatic situation of the PRC in 1949


By the early 1950s, China's international influence was extremely low. By the end of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 in 1911, China's pretentions of universalism had been shattered by a string of military defeats and incursions by Europeans and Japanese. By the end of Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

's reign and the subsequent Warlord Era
Warlord era
The Chinese Warlord Era was the period in the history of the Republic of China, from 1916 to 1928, when the country was divided among military cliques, a division that continued until the fall of the Nationalist government in the mainland China regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia,...

, China's international prestige had declined to "almost nothing". In World War II, China's effective role was sometimes questioned by other Allied leaders. The 1950–1953 Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 greatly exacerbated China's international position by fixing the United States in a position of animosity, ensuring that Taiwan would remain outside of PRC control and that the PRC would remain outside of the United Nations for the foreseeable future.

Following the establishment of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in October 1 1949, Zhou was appointed both Premier of the Government Administration Council (later replaced by the State Council) and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Through the coordination of these two offices and his position as a member of the five-man standing committee of the Politburo, Zhou became the architect of early PRC foreign policy, presenting China as a new, yet responsible member of the international community. By the early 1950s, Zhou was an experienced negotiator and was respected as a senior revolutionary within China.

Zhou's earliest efforts to improve the prestige of the PRC involved recruiting prominent Chinese politicians, capitalists, intellectuals, and military leaders who were not technically affiliated with the CCP. Zhou was able to convince Zhang Zhizhong to accept a position inside the PRC in 1949, after Zhou's underground network successfully escorted Zhang's family to Beijing. All of the other members of the KMT delegation that Zhou had negotiated with in 1949 accepted similar terms.

Sun Yat-sen's widow, Song Qingling, who was estranged from her family and who had opposed the KMT for many years, readily joined the PRC in 1949. Huang Yuanpei, a prominent industrialist who had refused offers of a government post for many years, was persuaded to accept a position as vice premier in the new government. Fu Zuoyi
Fu Zuoyi
Fu Zuoyi was a Chinese military leader. He began his military career in the service of Yan Xishan, and he was widely praised for his defense of Suiyuan from the Japanese. During the final stages of the Chinese Civil War, Fu surrendered the large and strategic garrison around Beiping to Communist...

, the KMT commander who had surrendered the Beijing garrison in 1948, was persuaded to join the PLA, and to accept a position as the minister of water conservation.

Diplomacy with India


Zhou's first diplomatic successes came as the result of successfully pursuing a warm relationship, based on mutual respect, with India's first post-independence prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

. Through his diplomacy, Zhou managed to persuade India to accept China's occupation of Tibet in 1950 and 1951. India was later persuaded to act as a neutral mediator between China and the United States during the many difficult phases of the negotiations settling the Korean War.

The Korean War



When the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 broke out on June 25 1950, Zhou was in the process of demobilizing half of the PLA's 5.6 million soldiers, under the direction of the Central Committee. Zhou and Mao discussed the possibility of American intervention with Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung was a Korean communist politician who led the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death...

 in May, and urged Kim to be cautious, but Kim refused to take these warnings seriously. On June 28, 1950, after the United States pushed through a UN resolution condemning North Korean aggression and sent the Seventh Fleet
United States Seventh Fleet
The Seventh Fleet is the United States Navy's permanent forward projection force based in Yokosuka, Japan, with units positioned near Japan and South Korea. It is a component fleet force under the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with...

 to "neutralize" the Taiwan Strait
Taiwan Strait
The Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait, formerly known as the Black Ditch, is a 180-km-wide strait separating Mainland China and Taiwan. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to East China Sea to the northeast...

, Zhou criticized both the UN and US initiatives as "armed aggression on Chinese territory."
Although Kim's early success led him to predict that he would win the war by August, Chinese leaders were more pessimistic. Zhou did not share Kim's confidence that the war would end quickly, and became increasingly apprehensive that the United States would intervene. To counter the possibility of American invasion, Zhou secured a Soviet commitment to have the USSR support Chinese forces with air cover, and deployed 260,000 soldiers along the Korean border, under the command of Gao Gang
Gao Gang
Gao Gang was a Chinese Communist Party leader during the Chinese Civil War and the early years of the People's Republic of China , before becoming the victim of the first major purge within the CCP since before 1949...

. Zhou commanded Chai Chengwen to conduct a topographical survey of Korea, and directed Lei Yingfu, Zhou's military advisor in Korea, to analyze the military situation in Korea. Lei concluded that Macarthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 would most likely attempt a landing at Incheon
Incheon
The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

.

On September 15 1950 MacArthur landed at Incheon, met no resistance, and captured Seoul on September 25. Bombing raids destroyed most North Korean tanks and much of its artillery. North Korean troops, instead of withdrawing north, rapidly disintegrated. On September 30 Zhou warned the United States that "the Chinese people will not tolerate foreign aggression, nor will they supinely tolerate seeing their neighbors being savagely invaded by imperialists."

On October 1, on the first anniversary of the PRC, South Korean troops crossed the Thirty-Eighth Parallel into North Korea. Stalin refused to become directly involved, and Kim sent a frantic appeal to Mao to reinforce his army. On October 2 the Chinese leadership continued an emergency meeting at Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai is an area in central Beijing, China adjacent to the Forbidden City which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The term Zhongnanhai is closely linked with the central government and senior Communist...

 to discuss whether China should sent military aid, and these talks continued until October 6. At the meeting, Zhou was one of the few firm supporters of Mao's position that China should send military aid, regardless of the strength of American forces. With the endorsement of Peng Dehuai, the meeting concluded with a resolution to send military forces to Korea.

In order to enlist Stalin's support, Zhou traveled to Stalin's summer resort on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 on October 10. Stalin initially agreed to send military equipment and ammunition, but warned Zhou that the USSR's air force would need two or three months to prepare any operations. In a subsequent meeting, Stalin told Zhou that he would only provide China with equipment on a credit basis, and that the Soviet air force would only operate over Chinese airspace after an undisclosed period of time. Stalin did not agree to send either military equipment or air support until March 1951.

Immediately on his return to Beijing on October 18 1950, Zhou met with Mao Zedong, Peng Dehuai, and Gao Gang, and the group ordered two hundred thousand Chinese troops to enter North Korea, which they did on October 25. After consulting with Stalin, on November 13, Mao appointed Zhou the overall commander and coordinator of the war effort, with Peng as field commander. Orders given by Zhou were delivered in the name of the Central Military Commission.

By June 1951 the war had reached a stalemate around the Thirty-eighth Parallel, and the two sides agreed to negotiate an armistice. Zhou directed the truce talks, which began on July 10. Zhou chose Li Kenong
Li Kenong
Li Kenong was a major figure in the early history of Chinese Communist intelligence, and was rewarded the rank of Colonel General in 1955. Recognized on the Chinese mainland as such, he is almost unknown in the West.-Early years:...

 and Qiao Guanghua to head the Chinese negotiating team. The negotiations proceeded for two years before reaching a ceasefire agreement on July 1953, formally signed at Panmunjom.

The Korean War was Zhou's last military assignment. In 1952, Peng Dehuai succeeded Zhou in managing the Central Military Commission (which Zhou had headed since 1947). In 1956, after the eighth Party Congress, Zhou formally relinquished his post in the Military Commission and focused on his work in the Standing Committee
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is a committee of about 150 members of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China , which is convened between plenary sessions of the NPC. It has the constitutional authority to modify legislation within limits set by...

, the State Council
State Council of the People's Republic of China
The State Council of the People's Republic of China , which is largely synonymous with the Central People's Government after 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency...

, and on foreign affairs.

Diplomacy with China's communist neighbors


After Stalin died in 1953, Zhou left for Moscow and attended Stalin's funeral. Mao, curiously, decided not to travel to Moscow, possibly because no senior Soviet politician had yet travelled to Beijing, or because Stalin had rejected an offer to meet with Mao in 1948. While in Moscow, Zhou was notably received with considerable respect by Soviet officials, being permitted to stand with the USSR's new leaders (Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

, Georgi Malenkov, and Lavrenti Beria), instead of with the other "foreign" dignitaries who attended. With these three leaders, Zhou walked directly behind the gun carriage bearing Stalin's coffin. Zhou's diplomatic efforts on his travel to Moscow were rewarded shortly after when, in 1954, Khrushchev himself visited Beijing to take part in the fifth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

Throughout the 1950s, Zhou worked to tighten economic and political relations between China and other Communist states, coordinating China's foreign policy with Soviet policies promoting solidarity among political allies. In 1952, Zhou signed an economic and cultural agreement with the Mongolian People's Republic, giving de facto recognition of the independence of what had been known as "Outer Mongolia
Outer Mongolia
Outer Mongolia was a territory of the Qing Dynasty = the Manchu Empire. Its area was roughly equivalent to that of the modern state of Mongolia, which is sometimes informally called "Outer Mongolia" today...

" in Qing times. Zhou also worked to conclude an agreement with Kim Il Sung in order to help the postwar reconstruction of North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

's economy. Pursuing the goals of peaceful diplomacy with China's neighbors, Zhou held amicable talks with Burma's prime minister, U Nu
U Nu
For other people with the Burmese name Nu, see Nu .U Nu was a leading Burmese nationalist and political figure of the 20th century...

, and promoted China's efforts to send supplies to Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

's Vietnamese rebels.

The Geneva Conference


In April 1954, Zhou attended the Geneva Conference
Geneva Conference (1954)
The Geneva Conference was a conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose was to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina...

, convened to settle the ongoing Franco-Vietnamese War. His patience and shrewdness were credited with assisting the major powers involved (the Soviets, French, Americans, and North Vietnamese) to iron out the agreement ending the conflict. According to the negotiated peace, French Indochina was to be partitioned into Laos, Cambodia, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam. Elections were agreed to be called within two years to create a coalition government in a united Vietnam, and the Vietminh agreed to end their guerilla activities in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia

During one early meeting in Geneva, Zhou found himself in the same room with the staunchly anti-Communist American secretary of state, John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

. After Zhou offered his hand, Dulles rudely turned his back and walked out of the room, saying "I cannot". Zhou was interpreted by onlookers as turning this moment of possible humiliation into a small victory by giving only a small, "Gallic-style" shrug to this behaviour. Zhou was equally effective in countering Dulles' insistence that China not be given a seat at the sessions. Furthering the impression of Chinese urbanity and civility, he had lunch with Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

, who had been living in Switzerland since being blacklisted in the United States for his radical politics.

The Asian–African Conference


In 1955, Zhou was a prominent participator in the Asian–African Conference held in Indonesia. The conference in Bandung
Bandung
Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

 was a meeting of twenty-nine African and Asian states, organized by Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and India, and was called largely to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism or neocolonialism by either the United States or the Soviet Union in the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. At the conference, Zhou skillfully gave the conference a neutral stance that made the United States appear as a serious threat to the peace and stability of the region. Zhou complained that, while China was working towards "world peace and the progress of mankind", "aggressive circles" within the United states were actively aiding the Nationalists in Taiwan and planning to rearm the Japanese. He was widely quoted for his remark that "the population of Asia will never forget that the first atom bomb was exploded on Asian soil." With the support of its most prestigious participants, the conference produced a strong declaration in favour of peace, the abolition of nuclear arms, general arms reduction, and the principle of universal representation at the United Nations.

On his way to the Bandung conference, an assassination attempt was made against Zhou when a bomb was planted on the Air India plane Kashmir Princess
Kashmir Princess
The Kashmir Princess was a chartered Lockheed L-749A Constellation aircraft owned by Air India, which exploded in midair and crashed into the South China Sea following a bomb explosion, on 11 April 1955 while en route from Bombay, India and Hong Kong to Jakarta, Indonesia. Sixteen of those on board...

, chartered for Zhou's trip from Hong Kong to Jakarta. Zhou avoided the attempt when he changed planes at the last minute, but all 11 of the flight's other passengers were killed. A recent study has blamed the attempt on "one of the intelligence agencies of the KMT." Journalist Joseph Trento
Public Education Center
The Public Education Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative journalism organization based in Washington, DC. Through its National Security News Service and Natural Resources News Service , PEC employs career investigative journalists to develop nationally significant, general-interest...

 has also alleged that there was a second attempt on Zhou's life at the Bandung conference involving "a bowl of rice poisoned with a slow-acting toxin."

According to one account based on recent research, Zhou found out about the bomb on the Kashmir Princess after being warned of the plot by his own intelligence officers and did not attempt to stop it because he viewed those that died as disposable: low-level cadres and international journalists. After the crash, Zhou used the incident to warn the British about the KMT intelligence operatives active in Hong Kong and pressured Great Britain to disable the Nationalist intelligence network operating there (with himself playing a support role). He hoped that the incident would improve Britain's relationship with the PRC, and damage Britain's relationship with the ROC. The official explanation for Zhou's absence on the flight, however, remains that Zhou was forced to change his schedule due to having had surgery for appendicitis.

After the Bandung conference, China's international political situation began to gradually improve. With the help of many of the nonaligned powers who had taken part in the conference, the US-backed position economically and politically boycotting the PRC began to erode, despite continuing American pressure to follow its direction. In 1971, the United States finally gave up its opposition, and the PRC gained China's seat within the United Nations.

Position on the ROC


When the PRC was founded on October 1 1949, Zhou notified all governments that any countries wishing to have diplomatic contact with the PRC must end their relationship with the Taiwan, and support the PRC's claim to China's seat in the United Nations. This was the first foreign policy document issued by the new government. By 1950 the PRC was able to gain diplomatic relationships with other communist countries and with thirteen non-communist countries, but talks with most Western governments were unsuccessful.

Zhou emerged from the Bandung conference with a reputation as a flexible and open-minded negotiator. Recognizing that the United States would back the de facto independence of ROC-controlled Taiwan with military force, Zhou persuaded his government to end the shelling of Kinmen
Kinmen
Kinmen , also known as Quemoy , is a small archipelago of several islands administered by the Republic of China : Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of its...

 and Matsu
Matsu
Matsu may refer to:* Matsu Islands, islands of the Republic of China* Matsu , a sea goddess in Chinese folk religion* Matsu, a book by Osamu Dazai* Matanuska-Susitna Valley, an area in south-central Alaska...

, and to search for a diplomatic alternative to the confrontation instead. In a formal announcement in May, 1955, Zhou declared that the PRC would "strive for the liberation of Taiwan by peaceful means so far as it is possible." Whenever the question of Taiwan was raised with foreign statesmen, Zhou argued that Taiwan was part of China, and that the resolution of the conflict with the ROC was an internal matter.

In 1958 the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs was passed to Chen Yi
Chen Yi (communist)
Chen Yi was a Chinese communist military commander and politician. He served as the 2nd Mayor of Shanghai and the 2nd Foreign Minister of China.-Biography:Chen was born in Lezhi, near Chengdu, Sichuan, into a moderately wealthy magistrate's family....

, a general with little prior diplomatic experience. After Zhou resigned his office in Foreign Affairs, the PRC diplomatic corps was reduced dramatically. Some were transferred to various cultural and educational departments to replace leading cadres who had been labelled "rightists"
Anti-Rightist Movement
The Anti-Rightist Movement of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of a series of campaigns to purge alleged "rightists" within the Communist Party of China and abroad...

 and sent to work in labour camps.

The Shanghai communique





By the early 1970s, Sino-American relations
Sino-American relations
For the article on U.S.-Taiwan relations, see Republic of China – United States relations.Sino-American or People's Republic of China–United States relations refers to international relations between the United States of America and the government of People's Republic of China...

 had begun to improve. Mao's workers in the petrolium industry, one of China's few growing economic sectors at the time, advised the Chairman that, in order to consider growth at levels desired by the Party's leadership, large imports of American technology and technical expertise were essential. In January, 1970, the Chinese invited the American ping-pong team to tour China, initiating an era of "ping-pong diplomacy".

In 1971, Zhou Enlai met secretly with President Nixon's security advisor, Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, who had flown to China to prepare for a meeting between Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and Mao Zedong. During the course of these meetings, the United States agreed to allow the transfer of American money to China (presumably from relatives in the United States), to allow American-owned ships to conduct trade with China (under foreign flags), and to allow Chinese exports into the United States for the first time since the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. At the time, these negotiations were considered so sensitive that they were concealed from the American public, the State Department, the American secretary of state, and all foreign governments.

On the morning of February 21, 1972, Richard Nixon arrived in Beijing, where he was greeted by Zhou, and later met with Mao Zedong. The diplomatic substance of Nixon's visit was resolved on February 28, in the Shanghai Communique
Shanghai Communiqué
The Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China, also known as the Shanghai Communiqué , was an important diplomatic document issued by the United States of America and the People's Republic of China on February 27, 1972 during President Richard Nixon's visit...

, which summarized both sides' positions without attempting to resolve them. The "US side" reaffirmed the American position that America's involvement in the ongoing Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 did not constitute "outside intervention" in Vietnam's affairs, and restated its commitment to "individual freedom", and pledged continued support for South Korea. The "Chinese Side" stated that "wherever there is oppression, there is resistance", that "all foreign troops should be withdrawn to their own countries", and that Korea should be unified according to the demands of North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

. Both sides agreed to disagree on the status of Taiwan.The closing sections of the Shanghai Communique encouraged further diplomatic, cultural, economic, journalistic, and scientific exchanges, and endorsed both sides' intentions to work towards "the relaxation of tensions in Asia and the world." The resolutions of the Shanghai Communique represented a major policy shift for both the United States and China.

The Great Leap Forward



In 1958, Mao Zedong began the Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China , reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern...

, aimed at increasing China's production levels in industry and agriculture with unrealistic targets. As a popular and practical administrator, Zhou maintained his position through the Leap. Zhou has been described by at least one historian as the "midwife" of the Great Leap Forward, turning Mao's theory into reality and in the process causing a "minimum of 45 million" deaths.

By the early 1960s, Mao's prestige was not as high as it had once been. Mao's economic policies in the 1950s had failed, and he had developed a lifestyle that was increasingly out of touch with many of his oldest colleagues. Among the activities that seemed contrary to his popular image were the swims in his private pool in Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai is an area in central Beijing, China adjacent to the Forbidden City which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The term Zhongnanhai is closely linked with the central government and senior Communist...

, his many villas around China that he would travel to on a private train, his private, book-lined study, and the companionship of an ever-changing succession of enthusiastic young women whom he met either on weekly dances in Zhongnanhai or on his journeys by train. The combination of his personal eccentricities and public policy failures produced criticism from such veteran revolutionaries as Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi was a Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and theorist. He was Chairman of the People's Republic of China, China's head of state, from 27 April 1959 to 31 October 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China...

, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun
Chen Yun
Chen Yun was one of the most influential leaders of the People's Republic of China during the 1980s and 90s, and one of the top leaders of the Communist Party of China for almost its entire history. He was also known as Liao Chengyun ; it's unclear whether this was his original name or a pseudonym...

, and Zhou Enlai, who seemed less and less to share an enthusiasm for his presence or his vision of continuous revolutionary struggle.

Initial efforts of Mao and Lin


To improve his image and power, Mao, with the help of Lin Biao
Lin Biao
Lin Biao was a major Chinese Communist military leader who was pivotal in the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeastern China...

, undertook a number of public propaganda efforts. Among the efforts of Mao and Lin to improve Mao's image in the early 1960s were Lin's forging of the Diary of Lei Feng and his compilation of Quotations from Chairman Mao. The last and most successful of these efforts was the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

.

Whatever its other causes, the Cultural Revolution, declared in 1966, was overtly pro-Maoist, and gave Mao the power and influence to purge the Party of his political enemies at the highest levels of government. Along with closing China's schools and universities, its exhortations of young Chinese to randomly destroy old buildings, temples, and art, and to attack their teachers, school administrators, party leaders, and parents, the Cultural Revolution also increased Mao's prestige so much that entire villages adopted the practice of offering prayers to Mao before every meal. In both national politics and Chinese popular culture, Mao established himself as a demigod accountable to no one, purging any that he suspected of opposing him. After the Cultural Revolution was announced, many of the most senior members of the CCP who had shared Zhou's hesitation in following Mao's direction, including Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi was a Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and theorist. He was Chairman of the People's Republic of China, China's head of state, from 27 April 1959 to 31 October 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China...

 and Deng Xiaoping, were removed from their posts almost immediately; and, with their families, subjected to mass criticism and humiliation.

Political survival


Soon after they had been removed, Zhou argued that Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi was a Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and theorist. He was Chairman of the People's Republic of China, China's head of state, from 27 April 1959 to 31 October 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China...

 and Deng Xiaoping "should be allowed to come back to work", but this was opposed by Mao, Lin Biao
Lin Biao
Lin Biao was a major Chinese Communist military leader who was pivotal in the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeastern China...

, Kang Sheng
Kang Sheng
Kang Sheng , Communist Party of China official, oversaw the work of the People's Republic of China's security and intelligence apparatus at the height of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s. He was a close associate of Mao Zedong and remained at or near the pinnacle of power for decades...

 and Chen Boda
Chen Boda
Chen Boda was born in 1904 in Hui'an and died on 20 September 1989 in Beijing.He was a member of the Chinese Communist Party, a secretary to Mao Zedong and a prominent member of the leadership during the Cultural Revolution, chairing the Cultural Revolution Group.-Early life:Chen Boda was born...

. Chen Boda even suggested that Zhou himself might be "considered counter-revolutionary", if he did not toe the Maoist line. Following the threats that he would share in the fate of his comrades if he did not support Mao, Zhou ceased his criticisms and began to work more closely with the Chairman and his clique.

Zhou gave his backing to the establishment of radical Red Guard organizations in October, 1966, and joined Chen Boda
Chen Boda
Chen Boda was born in 1904 in Hui'an and died on 20 September 1989 in Beijing.He was a member of the Chinese Communist Party, a secretary to Mao Zedong and a prominent member of the leadership during the Cultural Revolution, chairing the Cultural Revolution Group.-Early life:Chen Boda was born...

 and Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing was the pseudonym that was used by Chinese leader Mao Zedong's last wife and major Communist Party of China power figure. She went by the stage name Lan Ping during her acting career, and was known by various other names during her life...

 against what they considered "leftist" and "rightist" Red Guard factions. This opened the way for attacks on Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and Tao Zhu
Tao Zhu
Tao Zhu is a Former Member of the 8th Communist Party of China Politburo Standing Committee.-Biography:He was Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee and Commander of the Guangzhou Military Region....

 in December 1966— January 1967. By September, 1968, Zhou candidly described his strategy for political survival to Japanese LDP parliamentarians visiting Beijing: "one’s personal opinions should advance or beat a retreat according to the direction of the majority." When he was accused of being less than enthusiastic in following Mao's leadership, he accused himself of "poor understanding" of Mao's theories, giving the appearance of compromising with forces that he secretly loathed and referred to in private as his "inferno". Following the logic of political survival, Zhou worked to aid Mao, and restricted his criticisms to private conversations.

Although Zhou escaped being directly persecuted, he was not able to save many of those closest to him from having their lives destroyed by the Cultural Revolution. Sun Weishi, Zhou's adopted daughter, died in 1968 after seven months of torture and imprisonment by Maoist Red Guards
Red Guards (China)
Red Guards were a mass movement of civilians, mostly students and other young people in the People's Republic of China , who were mobilized by Mao Zedong in 1966 and 1967, during the Cultural Revolution.-Origins:...

. After the end of the Cultural Revolution, Sun's plays were re-staged as a way of criticizing the Gang of Four
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes...

, whom many thought were responsible for her death.

Throughout the next decade, Mao largely developed policies while Zhou carried them out, attempting to moderate some of the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Despite his best efforts, the inability to prevent many of the events of the Cultural Revolution were a great blow to Zhou. Over the last decade of his life, Zhou's ability to implement Mao's policies and keep the nation afloat during periods of adversity was so great that his practical importance alone was sufficient to save him (with Mao's assistance) whenever Zhou became politically threatened. At the latest stages of the Cultural revolution, in 1975, Zhou pushed for the "Four Modernizations
Four Modernizations
The Four Modernizations were goals, set forth by Zhou Enlai in 1963, to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, national defense, science and technology...

" in order to undo the damage caused by the Mao's policies.

During the later stages of the Cultural Revolution, Zhou became a target of political campaigns orchestrated by Chairman Mao and the Gang of Four
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes...

. The "Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius" campaign of 1973 and 1974 was directed at Premier Zhou because he was viewed as one of the Gang's primary political opponents. In 1975, Zhou's enemies initiated a campaign named "Criticizing Song Jiang
Song Jiang
Song Jiang was the leader of a group of outlaws who lived during the Song Dynasty. The outlaws were active in the present-day provinces of Shandong and Henan before their eventual surrender to the government. Song Jiang is also featured as a character in the Water Margin, one of the Four Great...

, Evaluating the Water Margin
Water Margin
Water Margin , also known as Outlaws of the Marsh, All Men Are Brothers, Men of the Marshes, or The Marshes of Mount Liang, is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.Attributed to Shi Nai'an and written in vernacular Chinese, the story, set in the Song Dynasty,...

", which encouraged the use of Zhou as an example of a political loser.

Tensions with Mao


By the end of Zhou's life, there were many signs that the long relationship between Zhou and Mao had become very poor. To many observers' surprise, Mao did not visit Zhou in his last months, and did not issue any personal message affirming Zhou's achievements or contributions to the revolution upon his death. Mao did not send any condolences to Zhou's widow, who was herself a significant and lifelong contributor to the revolution and to the CCP. Mao also did not attend any of the imposing funeral services held in the Great Hall of the People the following week.

Mao famously attacked a proposal to have Zhou publicly declared a great Marxist, reflecting the bitterness that he had felt whenever Zhou had gained influence over others. When forty Chinese marshals and generals proposed that Mao make a brief appearance at Zhou's funeral the Chairman refused, instructing his nephew, Mao Yuanxin
Mao Yuanxin
Mao Yuanxin was the liaison between Chinese leader Mao Zedong and the Communist Party's Central Committee in the former's ailing years, when he was no longer able to regularly attend political functions...

, to explain to the Chinese Politburo that Mao could not attend because doing so would be seen as a public admission that he was being forced to "rethink the Cultural Revolution", which Zhou had privately opposed. Mao worried that public expressions of mourning would later be directed against him and his policies, and backed the "five nos" campaign to suppress public expressions of mourning for Zhou after the late Premier's death.

Official explanations for Mao's failure to recognize Zhou's achievements have focused on a supposed illness of Mao, although Mao was not too ill to receive the president of Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about apart and about , respectively, off...

 two weeks before Zhou's death, or to receive Richard Nixon several months before. Perhaps reflecting the public perception of the rift between Mao and Zhou, there were rumors that Mao had denied Zhou cancer treatment and had ordered fireworks to be set off in Beijing to celebrate Zhou's death, but these rumors cannot be confirmed.

Illness and death


After discovering that he had bladder cancer
Bladder cancer
Bladder cancer is any of several types of malignant growths of the urinary bladder. It is a disease in which abnormal cells multiply without control in the bladder. The bladder is a hollow, muscular organ that stores urine; it is located in the pelvis...

, Zhou began to pass many of his responsibilities on to Deng Xiaoping. Zhou was hospitalized in 1974, but continued to conduct work from the hospital, with Deng Xiaoping, as the First Deputy Premier, handling most of the important State Council matters. Zhou died on the morning of 8 January 1976, aged 77, eight months before Mao Zedong. Zhou's death brought messages of condolences from many non-aligned states
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 that he had affected during his tenure as an effective diplomat and negotiator on the world stage, and many states expressed that his death was a terrible loss. Zhou's body was cremated and the ashes scattered by air over hills and valleys, according to his wishes.

Memorial


Whatever Mao's attitudes may have been, the rest of the nation was plunged into mourning. Beijing was described by foreign correspondents, shortly after Zhou's death, as looking like a ghost town. The news that Zhou had willed his ashes to be scattered across the hills and rivers of his hometown, rather than stored in a ceremonial mausoleum, was met with deep emotion by the public. With Zhou gone, it became clear how many people had revered him, and how they had viewed him as a symbol of stability in an otherwise chaotic period of history.

Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping gave the eulogy at Zhou's state funeral on January 15, 1976. Although much of his speech echoed the wording of an official statement by the Central Committee immediataly following Zhou's death or consisted of a meticulous description of Zhou's remarkable political career, near the end of the eulogy he offered a personal tribute to Zhou's character, speaking from the heart while observing the rhetoric demanded of ceremonial state occasions. Referring to Zhou, Deng stated that:

He was open and aboveboard, paid attention to the interests of the whole, observed Party discipline, was strict in "dissecting" himself and good at uniting the mass of cadres, and upheld the unity and solidarity of the Party. He maintained broad and close ties with the masses and showed boundless warmheartedness towards all comrades and the people.... We should learn from his fine style - being modest and prudent, unassuming and approachable, setting an example by his conduct, and living in a plain and hard-working way. We should follow his example of adhering to the proletarian style and opposing the bourgeois style of life


This passage has been interpreted as a subtle criticism of Mao and the other leaders of the Cultural Revolution, who could not possibly be viewed or praised as being "open and aboveboard", "good at uniting the mass of cadres", for displaying "warmheartedness", or for modesty, prudence, or approachability. Regardless of Deng's intentions, the Gang of Four, and later Hua Guofeng
Hua Guofeng
Su Zhu, better known by the nom de guerre Hua Guofeng , was Mao Zedong's designated successor as the Paramount Leader of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. Upon Zhou Enlai's death in 1976, he succeeded Zhou as the second Premier of the People's Republic of China...

, increased the persecution of Deng shortly after he delivered this eulogy.

Suppression of public mourning


After Zhou's single official memorial ceremony on January 15, Zhou's political enemies within the Party officially prohibited any further displays of public mourning. The most notorious regulations prohibiting Zhou from being honoured were the poorly observed and poorly enforced "five nos": no wearing black armbands, no mourning wreaths, no mourning halls, no memorial activities, and no handing out photos of Zhou. Years of resentment over the Cultural Revolution, the public persecution of Deng Xiaoping (who was strongly associated with Zhou in public perception), and the prohibition against publicly mourning Zhou became associated with each other shortly after Zhou's death, leading to popular discontent against Mao and his apparent successors (notably Hua Guofeng
Hua Guofeng
Su Zhu, better known by the nom de guerre Hua Guofeng , was Mao Zedong's designated successor as the Paramount Leader of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. Upon Zhou Enlai's death in 1976, he succeeded Zhou as the second Premier of the People's Republic of China...

 and the Gang of Four).

Official attempts to enforce the "five nos" included removing public memorials and tearing down posters commemorating his achievements. On March 25, 1976, a leading Shanghai newspaper, Wenhui Bao, published an article stating that Zhou was "the capitalist roader inside the Party [who] wanted to help the unrepentant capitalist roader [Deng] regain his power". This and other propaganda efforts to attack Zhou's image only strengthened the public's attachment to Zhou's memory. Between March and April, 1976, a forged document circulated in Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

 that claimed itself to be Zhou Enlai's last will. It attacked Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing was the pseudonym that was used by Chinese leader Mao Zedong's last wife and major Communist Party of China power figure. She went by the stage name Lan Ping during her acting career, and was known by various other names during her life...

 and praised Deng Xiaoping, and was met with increased propaganda efforts by the government.

The Tiananmen incident



Within several months after the death of Zhou, one of the most extraordinary spontaneous events in the history of the PRC occurred. On April 4, 1976, at the eve of China's annual Qingming Festival
Qingming Festival
The Qingming Festival , Pure Brightness Festival or Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice , usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar...

, in which Chinese traditionally pay homage to their deceased ancestors, thousands of people gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People's Republic of China.The Monument was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries...

 in Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 to commemorate the life and death of Zhou Enlai. On this occasion, the people of Beijing honoured Zhou by laying wreaths, banners, poems, placards, and flowers at the foot of the Monument. The most obvious purpose of this memorial was to eulogize Zhou, but Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao
Zhang Chunqiao
Zhang Chunqiao was a prominent Chinese political theorist, writer, and politician...

, and Yao Wenyuan
Yao Wenyuan
Yao Wenyuan was a Chinese literary critic, a politician, and a member of the "Gang of Four" during China's Cultural Revolution.-Biography:...

 were also attacked for their alleged evil actions against the Premier. A small number of slogans left at Tiananmen even attacked Mao himself, and his Cultural Revolution.

Up to two million people may have visited Tiananmen Square on April 4. First-hand observations of the events in Tiananment Square on April 4 report that all levels of society, from the poorest peasants to high-ranking PLA officers and the children of high-ranking cadres, were represented in the activities. Those who participated were motivated by a mixture of anger over the treatment of Zhou, revolt against Mao and his policies, apprehension for China's future, and defiance of those who would seek to punish the public for commemorating Zhou's memory. There is nothing to suggest that events were coordinated from any position of leadership: it was a spontaneous demonstration reflecting widespread public sentiment. Deng Xiaoping was notably absent, and he instructed his children to avoid being seen at the square.

On the morning of April 5, crowds gathering around the memorial arrived to discover that it had been completely removed by the police during the night, angering them. Attempts to suppress the morners led to a violent riot, in which police cars were set on fire and a crowd of over 100,000 people forced its way into several government buildings surrounding the square.

By 6:00 pm, most of the crowd had dispersed, but a small group remained until 10:00 pm, when a security force entered Tiananmen Square and arrested them. (The reported figure of those arrested was 388 people, but was rumored to be far higher.) Many of those arrested were later sentenced to "people's trial" at Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

, or were sentenced to prison work camps. Incidents similar to those which occurred in Beijing on April 4 and 5 occurred in Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou , is the capital and largest city of Henan province in north-central China. A prefecture-level city, it also serves as the political, economic, technological, and educational centre of the province, as well as a major transportation hub for Central China...

, Kunming
Kunming
' is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. It was known as Yunnan-Fou until the 1920s. A prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of Yunnan, and is the seat of the provincial government...

, Taiyuan
Taiyuan
Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6959 km² whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km². The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River...

, Changchun
Changchun
Changchun is the capital and largest city of Jilin province, located in the northeast of the People's Republic of China, in the center of the Songliao Plain. It is administered as a sub-provincial city with a population of 7,677,089 at the 2010 census under its jurisdiction, including counties and...

, Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

, and Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

. Possibly because of his close association with Zhou, Deng Xiaoping was formally stripped of all positions "inside and outside the Party" on April 7, following this "Tiananmen Incident
Tiananmen Incident
The Tiananmen Incident took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year...

".

After ousting Hua Guofeng
Hua Guofeng
Su Zhu, better known by the nom de guerre Hua Guofeng , was Mao Zedong's designated successor as the Paramount Leader of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. Upon Zhou Enlai's death in 1976, he succeeded Zhou as the second Premier of the People's Republic of China...

 and assuming control of China in 1980, Deng Xiaoping released those arrested in the Tiananmen Incident as part of a broader effort to reverse the effects of the Cultural Revolution.

Legacy


By the end of his lifetime, Zhou was widely viewed as representing moderation and justice in Chinese popular culture. Since his death, Zhou Enlai has been regarded as a skilled negotiator, a master of policy implementation, a devoted revolutionary, and a pragmatic statesman with an unusual attentiveness to detail and nuance. He was also known for his tireless and dedicated work ethic, and his unusual charm and poise in public. He was reputedly the last Mandarin bureaucrat in the Confucian tradition. Zhou's political behaviour should be viewed in light of his political philosophy as well as his personality. To a large extent, Zhou epitomized the paradox inherent in a Communist politician with traditional Chinese upbringing: at once conservative and radical, pragmatic and ideological, possessed by a belief in order and harmony as well as a faith, which he developed very gradually over time, in the progressive power of rebellion and revolution.

Though a firm believer in the Communist ideal on which the People's Republic was founded, Zhou is widely believed to have moderated the excesses of Mao's radical policies within the limits of his power. It has been assumed that he protected imperial and religious sites of cultural significance (such as the Potala Palace
Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara...

 in Lhasa
Lhasa
Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining. At an altitude of , Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world...

, Tibet) from the Tibetan Red Guards, and shielded many top-level leaders, including Deng Xiaoping, as well as many academics and artists from purges.

While many earlier Chinese leaders today have been subjected to criticism inside China, Zhou's image has remained positive among contemporary Chinese. Many Chinese continue to venerate Zhou as possibly the most humane leader of the twentieth century, and the CCP today promotes Zhou as a dedicated and self-sacrificing leader who remains a symbol of the Communist Party. Even historians who list Mao's faults generally attribute the opposite qualities to Zhou: Zhou was cultured where Mao was crude; consistent where Mao was unstable; stoic where Mao was paranoid.

However, recent academic criticism of Zhou has focused on his late relationship with Mao, and his political activities during the Cultural Revolution, arguing that the relationship between Zhou and Mao may have been more complex than is commonly portrayed. Zhou has been depicted as unconditionally submissive and loyal to Mao and his allies, going out of his way to support or permit the persecution of friends and relatives in order to avoid facing political condemnation himself. After the founding of the PRC, Zhou was unable or unwilling to protect the former spies that he had employed in the Chinese Civil War and the Second World War, who were persecuted for their wartime contacts with the enemies of the CCP. Early in the Cultural Revolution, he told Jiang Qing "From now on you make all the decisions, and I'll make sure they're carried out," and publicly declared that his old colleague, Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi
Liu Shaoqi was a Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and theorist. He was Chairman of the People's Republic of China, China's head of state, from 27 April 1959 to 31 October 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China...

, "deserved to die" for opposing Mao. In the effort to avoid being persecuted for opposing Mao, Zhou passively accepted the political persecution of many others, including his own brother.

Zhou's involvement in the Cultural Revolution is defended on the grounds that he had no other choice, other than political martyrdom. Zhou's influence and political ability was such that, without his cooperation, the entire government, which Zhou had spent his entire life building, may have collapsed. Given the political circumstances of the last decade of Zhou's life, it is unlikely that he could have survived being purged without cultivating the support of Mao through active assistance.

A popular saying within China once compared Zhou to a budaoweng (a tumbler
Roly-poly toy
A roly-poly toy, round-bottomed doll, tilting doll, tumbler or wobbly man is a toy that rights itself when pushed over. The bottom of a roly-poly toy is round, roughly a hemisphere. Many roly-poly toys are hollow, with a weight inside the bottom. It has a center of mass below the center of the...

), which can imply that he was a political opportunist. Some observers have criticized him as being too diplomatic: avoiding clear stands in complex political situations and instead becoming ideologically elusive, ambiguous, and enigmatic.

The American statesmen who met Zhou in 1971 later wrote that they were deeply affected by his qualities. In 1979, Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

 wrote that he had been extremely impressed with Zhou's intelligence and character, describing him as "equally at home in philosophy, reminiscence, historical analysis, tactical probes, humorous repartee... [and] could display an extraordinary personal graciousness." Kissinger called Zhou "one of the two or three most impressive men I have ever met," stating that "his commands of facts, in particular his knowledge of American events and, for that matter, of my own background, was stunning", despite Kissinger's dislike of the Communist ideology that Zhou represented. Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, in his own memoirs, stated that he was impressed with Zhou's exceptional "brilliance and dynamism".

After coming to power, Deng Xiaoping may have overemphasized Zhou Enlai's achievements to distance the Communist Party from Mao's Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China , reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern...

 and Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

, both of which had seriously weakened the Party's prestige. Deng observed that Mao's disastrous policies could no longer represent the Party's finest hour, but that the legacy and character of Zhou Enlai could. By actively associating itself with an already popular Zhou Enlai, Zhou's legacy may have been used (and possibly distorted) as a political tool of the Party after his death.

Zhou remains a widely commemorated figure in China today. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Zhou ordered his hometown of Huai'an
Huai'an
Huai'an , known as Huaiyin before 2001, is a prefecture-level city in northern Jiangsu province of Eastern China. It borders Suqian to the northwest, Lianyungang to the north, Yancheng to the east, Yangzhou to the southeast, and the province of Anhui to the southwest.The municipality has 4,799,889...

 not to transform his house into a memorial and not to keep up the Zhou family tombs. These orders were respected within Zhou's lifetime, but today his family home and traditional family school have been restored, and are visited by a large number of tourists every year. In 1998, Huai'an, in order to commemorate Zhou's one hundredth birthday, opened a vast commemorative park with a museum dedicated to his life. The park includes a reproduction of Xihuating, Zhou's living and working quarters in Beijing.

The city of Tianjin has established a museum to Zhou and his wife, and the city of Nanjing has erected a memorial commemorating Communist negotiations in 1946 with the Nationalist government which features a bronze statue of Zhou. Stamps commemorating the first anniversary of Zhou's death were issued in 1977, and in 1998 to commemorate his 100th birthday.

See also

  • History of the People's Republic of China
    History of the People's Republic of China
    The history of the People's Republic of China details the history of mainland China since October 1, 1949, when, after a near complete victory by the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China from atop Tiananmen...

  • Republic of China
    Republic of China
    The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

  • Chinese Civil War
    Chinese Civil War
    The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

  • Second Sino-Japanese War
    Second Sino-Japanese War
    The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

  • Chiang Kai-shek
    Chiang Kai-shek
    Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

  • Kuomintang
    Kuomintang
    The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

  • Whampoa Military Academy
    Whampoa Military Academy
    The Nationalist Party of China Army Officer Academy , commonly known as the Whampoa Military Academy , was a military academy in the Republic of China that produced many prestigious commanders who fought in many of China's conflicts in the 20th century, notably the Northern Expedition, the Second...

  • Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary
    Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary
    Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary, ISBN:1586486454, is a book written by Gao Wenqian. Before escaping to the United States in 1993, Gao had been a researcher at CPC Central Party Literature Research Center, where he penned the official biographies of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. The book was...

    by Gao Wenqian
    Gao Wenqian
    Gao Wenqian is the Senior Policy Advisor at Human Rights in China.He was previously a researcher at CPC Central Party Literature Research Center, where he penned the official biographies of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong after the Cultural Revolution...

  • Long March
    Long March
    The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

  • Mao Zedong
    Mao Zedong
    Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

  • Xian Incident
  • Bandung Conference
  • Geneva Conference
    Geneva Conference (1954)
    The Geneva Conference was a conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, whose purpose was to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina...

  • Shanghai Communique
    Shanghai Communiqué
    The Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China, also known as the Shanghai Communiqué , was an important diplomatic document issued by the United States of America and the People's Republic of China on February 27, 1972 during President Richard Nixon's visit...

  • Great Leap Forward
    Great Leap Forward
    The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China , reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern...

  • Cultural Revolution
    Cultural Revolution
    The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

  • Tiananmen Incident
    Tiananmen Incident
    The Tiananmen Incident took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year...

  • The former residence of Prime Minister Zhou

External links



  • Zhou Enlai Biography From Spartacus Educational
  • Zhou Enlai, Stephan Landserger's Chinese Propaganda Pages http://www.iisg.nl/landsberger/zel.html
  • The Mystery of Zhou Enlai by Jonathan Spence
    Jonathan Spence
    Jonathan D. Spence is a British-born historian and public intellectual specializing in Chinese history. He was Sterling Professor of History at Yale University from 1993 to 2008. His most famous book is The Search for Modern China, which has become one of the standard texts on the last several...

     from The New York Review of Books
    The New York Review of Books
    The New York Review of Books is a fortnightly magazine with articles on literature, culture and current affairs. Published in New York City, it takes as its point of departure that the discussion of important books is itself an indispensable literary activity...


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