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Leon Trotsky 19300901 Letter to Chinese Comrades

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Chinese Comrades

September 1, 1930

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 2, 1930, New York 1975, p. 365 f., title: “Two Letters to China”]

Dear Comrades,

I have already received your letter of July 27 (from the Shih-yueh she). I will only answer very simply, because the International Left Opposition is at this time planning to discuss the problems of China's present situation in a special manifesto. So I will merely repeat what has been written to the other groups.

1. It is the policy of the International Opposition not to side with any particular group of the Chinese Left Opposition against any other group. The reason being: nothing in any of our materials suggests the existence of serious differences requiring continued disunity.

2. In light of this, no single group of the Chinese Left Opposition can consider itself the sole representative of the International Left Opposition and attack any other group.

3. The same goes for Comrade Ch'en Tu-hsiu's group. Not long ago I received an English translation of Comrade Ch'en's open letter of December 10, 1929. Comrade Ch'en expressed views on fundamental issues which were in total agreement with our general stand. Realizing this, I fail to understand why some of our Chinese comrades still call Comrade Ch'en’s group "rightist." At the same time, none of the other groups have furnished us with any documentary proof of this charge.

4. Because of this, we feel it is necessary that these four groups publicly unite in a sincere fashion, basing themselves on commonly held principles. Recently, the International Opposition has advised these groups on the basic points that should be incorporated in the party platform to be drafted by the platform committee, and on the methods of organizing for unification.

5. As for the question of the national assembly, I have already discussed that in previous articles. It seems that some of our Chinese comrades seek to "split hairs" with us over this question. If we struggle amongst ourselves over this question and its concomitant problems (personally, I don't think this will happen), then this dispute will certainly manifest itself throughout the drafting of a party platform. Only after we have received alternate analyses can the International Opposition gauge the depth of this dispute. However, we sincerely hope that the analyses we do receive are not written in a contentious way; rather, they should be written in such a way as to enable the Chinese Left Opposition to unify on a firm foundation of commonly held principles.

Communist greetings,


P. S. I am sending you two copies of this letter; forward one to Comrade Ch'en Tu-hsiu, as I do not know his address.