Bandit Cameos from the Kiangxi (Jinggang shan) Soviet: Yuan Wencai and Wang Zuo
Just how tense and ever-unsettled the relationship between ML Party leaders and folk-heroic “guest people” actually turned out to be (and thus why “Hakkas” or their culture are almost completed excised from Red History) is revealed in the (resurrected) history of the two kejia (Hakka) commandos who originally cleared and then opened (invited into) the Jinggangshan/Maoping Base Area in mid-1929. The pair – Yuan Wencai were shot on order from “on high” in mid 1930, as the 4th and 5th Red Armies pulled out and headed south for Ruijin, and for obvious reason: as resurrected bandit-guerrillas they could not be entrusted with the rearguard defense of the soon-abandoned Soviet: leaving them alive without Mao-Zhou supervision would have exposed the “true” remaining cadre to sell-out and changing of sides.
Fortunately (for the historian) the execution seems not to have been “properly” endorsed by Mao (it was later blamed on Peng Dehuai) and as a result won a judicial review after 1949, and a clearing of names and reputations, a process that brought forth an extremely long list of bio-detail testimony chiefly BY or proxied by kejia militiamen (8RA re-enlistees) that casts blindingly bright light on the treachery, not of the “bandits”, but of their recruiters. (It continues of course, even in the Reenactment, where Hakka songs are pillaged and rewritten to the advantage of the “regulars”…)
The pair were Yuan Wencai (1898-1930) and Wang Zuo (also 1898-1930), men highly similar in their personal charisma but also romantic vulnerability to Mo Yan’s “greenwoods heroes”, Yu Zhan’ao and Sima Ku.