May 30 Movement

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

May 30 Movement


an upsurge in the mass anti-imperialist struggle of the Chinese people in the summer of 1925. The movement, which marked the beginning of the Revolution of 1925–27 in China, was provoked when foreign police of the international settlement in Shanghai fired on a student demonstration on May 30,1925. The primary motive force of the May 30 Movement was the working class, headed by the Communist Party of China.

On May 31 the Communists established a general council of Shanghai trade unions, which was headed by Li Li-san, Liu Shaoch’i, Liu Hua, and others. In response to a call of the general council, a general strike of 200,000 workers began on June 1 and 2 in Shanghai. It was joined by students as well as the petite and middle bourgeoisie. A united committee of workers, merchants, and students was formed in Shanghai on June 7 to lead the general strike and an antiforeign boycott. The committee drew up 17 demands of an anti-imperialist nature and presented them to the foreign powers. The economic life of Shanghai came to a halt, and demonstrations and mass meetings were held daily. The anti-imperialist struggle spread to such cities as Peking, Tientsin, Wuhan, and Tsingtao under slogans of solidarity with revolutionary Shanghai. In response to an appeal of the Comintern, the working people of many countries, including the Soviet Union, gave great moral and material support to the Chinese workers.

Toward the end of June 1925, the general strike in Shanghai began to abate. The merchants ended their strike. The Chinese militarists took repressive measures against the workers: the general council of trade unions was suppressed, and the popular labor leader Liu Hua was killed. After the bourgeoisie withdrew from the struggle, the workers continued the strike until the middle of August. In September 1925 the forces of reaction temporarily triumphed in North and Central China, but the struggle intensified in Kwangtung Province, where the revolutionary forces had a base and where the Hong Kong-Canton Strike of 1925–26 was organized.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.