or Hongchianghui, a rural self-defense organization in China whose members were armed with red-tasseled spears. The Red Spears arose in the 1920’s to combat the looting and tyranny of the militaristic troops. The main regions of Red Spear activity were the provinces of Honan, Shantung, and Hopeh. The Red Spears consisted mainly of peasants. Their form of organization had elements of traditonal Chinese secret societies, including veneration of spirits and belief in the magical power of incantations. In Honan the reactionary general Wu Pei-fu made use of Red Spears detachments in the struggle against the revolution of 1925–27. When the National Revolutionary Army arrived in Honan in the summer of 1927, the Red Spears were changed to peasant unions, known as the Red Spears Association. Their activity acquired a significant antifeudal and antiimperialist tinge. The Red Spears Association was dissolved after 1927, with some of its former members joining the ranks of the armies of generals subordinate to the Nanking Kuomin-tang government.
A. S. KOSTIAEVA