1st National Congress of the Communist Party of China

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Site of the 1st Congress, Shanghai

The 1st National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Chinese: 中国共产党第一次全国代表大会) was held in Shanghai and Jiaxing between July 23 and August 2, 1921. The Congress established the Communist Party of China. The congress began in a shikumen building of the French Concession area of Shanghai (near present-day Xintiandi in Huangpu District). In early June 1921, Dutch national Henk Sneevliet, also known as Ma Lin, a representative of Comintern, arrived in Shanghai, and urged various Communist cells in the country to get together for a national-level meeting. Russian Comintern representative Nikolski also attended the meeting. At the time, there were 57 members of the Communist Party of China.[1]

Of the representatives in attendance at the Congress, only Mao Zedong and Dong Biwu survived 'in good standing' towards the end of the Cultural Revolution. Others were persecuted to death, left the Communist Party, were expelled, or defected to the Wang Jingwei government. Delegate Wang Jinmei died from illness in 1927.[1]

The meeting was put to an end due to harassment from the French Concession police on July 30. The delegates then agreed to move the meeting to South Lake in Jiaxing. The Congress elected Chen Duxiu as Secretary, Zhang Guotao as director of organization, and Li Da as director of propaganda.[1]

The site of the conference in Shanghai has been converted into a museum since 1961. The South Lake Revolutionary Museum in Jiaxing located on a central island of the lake was constructed in 1959; a complex hosting more exhibits was constructed north of South Lake in 2011, also to commemorate the 1st Congress.

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