Was the 8th Route Army Underfed: the Base Area Peasantry Overtaxed? Some Numbers…

Page 8

Secret of the “359”nth success at Nanniwan:
Almost overnight construction of 窝棚 wopeng (“cattleshed”) barracks (the Nanniwan enclosure had been razed, and there were no peasant houses in which to billet the soldiers) – a building technique seemingly learned in the NW Hunan hillcountry, He Long’s birthplace

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So if He Long lent his support (via Xiao Ke and Wang Zhen) to the Nanniwan “model reclamation” campaign, he had good reason for doing so – viz. to create a “proxy” source of the added food supply that (probably) opium exports helped garner.

… Which doesn’t mean that the campaign had no other political significance.


How the opium planting guidelines worked (Xinzhou, Shanxi, 1947?)

Chen Yungfa’s accidently recovered fragmentary opium tax roster gives the following for a 10-household aggregate which may include an entire if small settlement.

Total land available for planting (all crops):
47.05 mu
(av. per household 4.7 mu)

Total planted with poppy:
8.05 mu (17% of total)

39.0 mu (+/- 4 mu/hh) = about 80 pct

Total opium product
+/- 140 liang

Average product grade: 5.4 (of 10)

liang = 31.5 grams or 50 gr. (at 10 or 16 “oz”/jin)
total product (unrefined) = 7 kg (with latter figure)

Total pro rata tax (liang)
33.10 liang = 24% (by weight)

Tax per mu in kind: (millet parity)

So: by taking 8 mu out of grain production and into poppy/opium and leaving 39 (say, 40) mu in millet (as subsistence protection):

Est total production (1941/2) 12 million liang = ? = 600,000 kg =

Tax schedule:
1、 一律按每户总产量计征。
2、 每户总产量在五两以下者免征。
3、 每户总产量满五两者征收百分之十。
4、 每户总产量在五两以上至十两者征收百分(之)十三。
5、 每户总产量在十两以上至十五两者征收百分之十六。
6、 每户总产量在十五两以上至二十两者征收百分之十九。
7、 每户总产量在二十两以上至二十五两者征收百分之二十三。
8、 每户总产量在二十五两以上至三十两者征收百分之二十六。
9、 每户总产量在三十两以上至三十五两者征收百分之二十九。

from 10 to 35 pct on amounts over 5 liang = >250 gr

Net 15.8 liang = 790 grams = 258,000 fabi (April 1948) = 5-6 bolts (yards) of cotton cloth

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