Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Bo Gu was Qin Bangxian's pen name. It was taken from the Chinese transliteration of two syllables of his adopted Russian name. Qin Bangxian was born into a declining scholar-official family. His father died when he was nine. He was brought up in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.
In 1925, Qin Bangxian went to study in the English Department of Shanghai University and joined the CCP. In 1926, he was sent to the Sun Yatsen University in Moscow with other young Chinese Communists. At the university, he was known as one of the Twenty-Eight Bolsheviks led by Wang Ming, and wholeheartedly believed and followed the policies of the Comintern and Wang Ming.
In March 1931, Qin Bangxian replaced Wen Yucheng as the general secretary of the Communist youth. In September 1931, Qin joined the provisional Politburo, which was formed after Xiang Zhongfa was arrested. Qin became the secretary of the CCP in November, after the Politburo decided to abolish the general secretary position. After Wang Ming left for Moscow and Zhou Enlai for the Central Soviet Region, Qin became the head of the CCP. He blindly followed the Comintern's policies and, on a few occasions, simply carried out the orders of the Shanghai Comintern office.
Because of the Comintern's hostile attitude toward middle-of-the-road forces (its “closed-doorism”)，the provisional Politburo could not survive in Shanghai and was forced to move to the Central Soviet Region in 1933. In Ruijin, Qin combined the provisional Politburo and the Central Bureau of the Central Soviet Region into the CCP Central Bureau. Qin became the secretary and head of the Central Bureau. Before Qin moved to Ruijin, he requested the Comintern to allow Li De (Otto Braun) to go with him as a military adviser.
In February 1933, Qin launched a campaign against Luo Ming, the secretary of the Min-Yue-Gan Provisional Party Committee, who did not follow Qin’s policy of military advance and adopted a more realistic
guerrilla-warfare strategy. Deng Xiaoping was among four other leaders being criticized and removed from their positions. At the same time, Qin adopted a policy to discriminate against middle and rich peasants. He also followed Shanghai Comintern representatives5 advice not to support the Fujian People's government led by Guomindang (GMD) rebel generals Chen Mingxu and Li Jishen. It was subsequently crushed by Jiang Jieshi.
In January 1934, Qin convened the Fifth Plenum of the Sixth Central Committee. Qin, under the military advice of Li De, abandoned the successful guerrilla tactics and decided to defend every inch of the Central
Soviet Region against Jiang Jieshi’s Fifth Encirclement and Suppression Campaign.The Red Army lost one-fifth ofi tstroops in the battle of Guangchang and was eventually forced to take the Long March. The Long March was led by the “military troike”（Bo Gu，Li De，and Zhou Enlai).
Because of these military defeats, Qin was replaced by Zhang Wentian as the head of the Party in the Zunyi conference (January 15-17, 1935). In August, Qin was put in charge of propaganda in the Politburo and became the Chairman of the Chinese Soviet Republic Provisional Executive Committee after the Red Army reached Yan’an.
In December 1936, Qin accompanied Zhou Enlai to Xi’an to persuade Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng to release Jiang Jieshi and to force Jiang to resist Japan’s invasion. After the peaceful resolution of the Xi an incident, Qin was sent to Nanjing as a delegate to negotiate anti-Japanese cooperation with the GMD. In Nanjing, he rebuilt the CCP organizations in the southern provinces. He also helped to reorganize the New Fourth Route Army.