As a keen student of history and world politics Eric D. Butler wrote in 1965:
 “Vladimir I. Lenin, architect of the Communists’ basic revolutionary strategy for world conquest, stressed, "He who controls China, controls the world."

Lenin originally thought that his programme for world revolution would, following the establishment of the Communist base in Russia, be initiated through revolution in Germany. He was at this time still wedded to Marx's teaching that historically revolutionary conditions must first develop in the more highly advanced industrial nations. But when Lenin realised in 1920 that he had misjudged the situation in Germany, he demonstrated that remarkable flexibility which characterised all his teaching and activities by urging that the Communists concentrate upon Asia and the Western European nations’ colonies.

Lenin's strategy was crystallised in his famous observation that the shortest route to London and Paris was through Peking. Unless the Communist advance along the Lenin road in Asia can be halted, then the position of Western Europe, and ultimately of the United States, becomes increasingly perilous. Australians and New Zealanders should take note that on the Communists’ strategical maps they are shown as part of Asia. One of the early Communists, Bukharin, an ardent disciple of Marx who acted as a sort of "ambassador at large" in Asia, wrote as far back as 1874 that Indonesia is "a bridge from Asia to Australia."

Western man lost contact with the spiritual traditions which had served him…
Lenin's concept of defeating Western Europe through Asia was not a sudden development. As far back as 1908 Lenin had noticed the "sharpening of the revolutionary struggle in Asia." He grasped the significance of how Western economic and social influence had shattered the traditional Eastern order of society, leading to a convulsive search for new forms of society based upon Western concepts. A number of eminent sociologists have stressed how in attempting to adapt himself to the material changes flowing from the Industrial Revolution, Western man lost contact with the spiritual traditions which served him in a less complex and more slowly-changing society. The result is the rootless, mass-man, emotionally starved and ideal raw material for all totalitarians.

As the traditional social structures of the East were completely different from those of the West, the East possessing no comparable political institutions with those of the West, which were shaped by the Christian concept of the unique value of every individual and the Roman ideal of law it is not surprising that the impact of the West's material achievements has resulted in far more revolutionary ferment in Asia than has been the case in European countries. One result of this ferment was the Chinese revolution early this century, directed towards creating a Western-type nation-State. The driving forces behind this revolution were young intellectuals educated abroad, who rejected the traditional Chinese social structure based upon Christian ethics and the clan-family.

The leader of these intellectuals striving to westernise the Chinese was Sun Yat-sen, who headed the Kuomintang, or National People's Party, until his death in 1925.  Sun Yat-sen was responsible for the famous ‘Three Principles" programme, an attempted mixture of nationalism, democracy and socialism. While rejecting Communism as an ideal, Sun Yat-sen proved to be extremely gullible concerning Communist tactics.

Impressed with the revolution taking place in China, Lenin commented in 1911 about a "progressive Asia" and suggested that perhaps a Communist victory was closer in Asia than in Europe. Looking ahead, Lenin ordered his assistant, Veltman Pavlovich, to make close contacts with Oriental liberation movements.  From 1912 until the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917, Lenin was feverishly concentrating upon European affairs. But in various writings on the "national question", he continued to refer to the importance of developments in China and the colonies of the European nations. It was during this period that Lenin produced his major work on "Imperialism", in which his central thesis was that the colonial powers were only able to avoid economic collapse and to keep the proletariat down, by exploiting the "colonial slaves." It was logical, therefore, that the most effective way to weaken the European nations, thus producing revolutionary conditions, was to concentrate upon fomenting subversion in the colonies.

Speaking to the second congress of the Communist International in July 1920, he developed his strategy further when he formally removed one of the oldest tenets of Marxism, that a capitalist mode of production was first essential for the production of a proletariat without which socialist revolution was impossible. Lenin said: "The communist international must lay down, and give the theoretical grounds for, the proposition that, with the aid of the proletariat of the most advanced countries, the backward countries may pass to the soviet system and, after passing through a definite stage of development, to communism, without passing through the capitalist stage of development."

The second congress adopted the "conditions of admission to the Communist International" as drafted by Lenin. Colonial liberation movements were to be supported, the imperialists expelled. This congress is of great historic importance. It formally adopted Lenin's strategy for the advance to London and Paris through Peking.

The First Step on the Lenin Road
A few months later, in September 1920, the first major step was taken towards the implementation of Lenin's strategy with the holding of a Congress of Eastern Peoples in Baku, the oil centre on the Caspian Sea. This Congress is one of the great landmarks in the Communist advance towards world conquest, and yet it has received comparatively little attention. Presiding over the Congress, the pioneer Bolshevik leader Zinoviev said: "We believe this Congress to be one of the greatest events in history, for it proves not only that the progressive workers and working peasants of Europe and America are awakened, but that we have at last seen the day of the awakening, not of a few, but of tens of thousands, of millions of the labouring classes of the East. These peoples form a majority of the world's whole population, and they alone, therefore, are able to bring the war between capital and labour to a conclusive decision...

The Communist International said from the very first day of its existence:
There are four times as many peoples living in Asia as live in Europe. We will free all peoples, all who labour... Comrades, our Moscow International discussed the question whether a socialist revolution could take place in the countries of the East before they had passed through the capitalist stage... We now believe that this is no longer valid. Russia has done this, and from now on the Eastern countries can, and must, prepare themselves to be Soviet republics."

The Communist leaders were delighted with the results of the Baku conference, which was attended by 1900 delegates. Lenin predicted: "The East will one day put an end to the West." Zinoviev was frank when he told the Congress: "Russia holds out her hand to Asia, not to make Asia a partner in her own ideal, nor because Asia pays homage to Russia's ideas, but because she needs 800 million Asiatics to smash the imperialism and capitalism of Europe." The Communists made the most thorough preparations for their assault on Asia. The University of the Peoples of the East was established in 1921. Also created was a Scientific Group for the Study of the Orient. Every aspect of Asian life and history was closely studied. Increasing numbers of experts on Asian countries were produced. It is interesting to note that the University of the Peoples of the East came into existence several years before the creation of the famous Lenin Institute for the training of Western Communists.

The most important part of Asia was China, and it was not long before large numbers of skilled Soviet agents started to move into China. Top Soviet specialist was Mikhail M. Borodin. Progress was rapid and in 1921 the Chinese Communist Party was formally established. This was a period of intense civil strife inside China, with the Kuomintang, based upon Canton in the South, seeking to expand its influence and to bring the rival warlords under control. The Communists gravitated to Canton and by January 1923, the situation had developed to the stage where the Kuomintang leader Sun Yat-sen had worked out with Soviet emissary Adolf A. Joffe, a programme for co-operation between the Bolsheviks and the Kuomintang. It is significant that Joffe had in 1918 been Soviet Ambassador to Germany, where he had attempted to further Lenin's strategy of world revolution. Joffe's switch to China was further evidence of Lenin's shift of strategy.  China now becoming the main Communist target.  Joffe was applying for the first time what later came to be known as Trojan Horse tactics; the infiltration of other organisations as a prelude to taking them over.

Lenin's article, Better Fewer, But Better, dictated on March 2, 1923, leaves no doubt that in his last coherent statement the Bolshevik leader expressed his view that only through Asia could the victory for world socialism be secured. He said: "In the last analysis, the outcome of the struggle will be determined by the fact that Russia, India, China, etc., constitute the overwhelming majority of the population of the globe. And it is precisely this majority of the population that, during the past few years, has been drawn into the struggle with extraordinary rapidity, so that in this respect there cannot be the slightest shadow of doubt what the final outcome of the world struggle will be. In this sense, the final victory of socialism is fully and absolutely assured."

Stalin's Contribution
Lenin's successor, Stalin, had agreed with the strategy of concentrating upon Asia. As early as 1918 Stalin had explained that Asia provided "the inexhaustible reserve and reliable base of world imperialism." This reserve, said Stalin, was not only of material wealth, but also of "obedient manpower." Stalin was the Communists' expert on the national question. Speaking at the tenth congress of the Russian Communist Party on March 10, 1921, (Immediate Tasks of the Party in Connection with the National Problem) Stalin said that "The abolition of national oppression in Europe is inconceivable without the emancipation of the colonial people of Asia and Africa from the oppression of imperialism... The former is organically bound up with the latter."

Relationships between Moscow and the Kuomintang developed so favourably - - from the point of view of the Communists - - that a formal alliance was entered into following the visit of Chiang-Kai-shek to Moscow in August 1923. A few months later a new Communist revolutionary attempt failed in Germany. This was the final Communist attempt to capture Germany, and the next year, in 1924, the fifth congress of the Communist International decided that the major revolutionary offensive must be concentrated upon Asia. Shortly after the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin delivered his famous lectures, Foundations of Leninism at the University of Sverdlov. These lectures were Stalin's claim to the ideological leadership of the Communist Movement. Stalin made several major points, the first being that Germany was no longer the centre of the revolutionary movement. Stalin summarised his strategical concept as follows:
"A coalition between the proletarian revolution in Europe and the colonial revolution in the East in a united world front of revolution against the world front of imperialism is inevitable." The whole Communist strategy now rested upon what could be achieved in Asia, particularly in China. And the road to power in China was through Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang.  Sun Yat-sen was so naive that after stating that "there is no room in China for the simultaneous existence of the Kuomintang and Communism", he then went on to say, "We must receive the Communists in our midst and convert them. The three principles can in this respect play the same part as mortar in the building of houses." The Communists were delighted.

It did not take the Communists long to capture the key positions within the Kuomintang, a fact which resulted in growing internal strife as the non-Communists realised what was happening. Sun Yat-sen's death in 1925 removed his moderating influence and immediately the Communists implemented their classical revolutionary tactics such as strikes and demonstrations. But the new Kuomintang leader, General Chiang Kai-shek, following a successful Kuomintang military offensive against the Northern warlords, soon moved against the Communists, purging the Kuomintang of all Communist influence.

Chiang-Kai-shek subsequently published official documents showing how the Communists had captured most of the Kuomintang's organisational machinery and were plotting to dissolve the Kuomintang and to replace it with the Communist Party.  If Chiang Kai-shek had not taken the drastic action he did in 1927, including the expulsion of Borodin and other Soviet agents from China, there is little doubt that the Communist victory in China would have come about 20 years earlier than it did. The Communists never forgave Chiang Kai-shek for denying them victory with his coup of 1927.”
- - -  Source: The New Times October 1965