Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!
A COMMENT ON THE SESSIONS OF THE KUOMINTANG CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OF THE PEOPLE‘S POLITICAL COUNCIL
Chairman Mao Tse-tung
|Selected Works, Vol. 3|
Foreign Languages Press
The Red Flag
A COMMENT ON THE SESSIONS OF THE KUOMINTANG CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OF THE PEOPLE‘S POLITICAL COUNCIL
|This editorial was written by Chairman Mao Tse-tung for the Liberation Daily, Yenan.|
The Kuomintang held the 11th Plenum of its Central Executive Committee from September 6th to 13th, and the Kuomintang government held the 2nd Session of the 3rd People‘s Political Council from September 18th to 27th. Now that all the documents of both these meetings are at hand, we can make a general comment.
The international situation is on the threshold of a great change, whose imminence is sensed on all sides. The European Axis Powers have sensed it, and Hitler is adopting a desperate last-ditch policy. In the main, it is the Soviet Union that is bringing this change about. The Soviet Union is now taking advantage of it — the Red Army has already fought its way to the Dnieper, sweeping all before it, and another winter offensive will bring it to the old, if not to the new, Soviet boundaries. Britain and the United States, too, are taking advantage of the change; Roosevelt and Churchill are waiting for the first sign of Hitler‘s downfall to thrust into France. In short, the German fascist war machine will soon fall apart, the problem of the anti-fascist war in Europe is on the eve of total solution, and the Soviet Union is the main force in annihilating fascism. As the world anti-fascist war has its pivot in Europe, once the problem there is solved, the fate of the two great world camps, the fascist and the anti-fascist camps, will be decided. The Japanese imperialists feel themselves cornered, and their policy, too, can only be to muster all possible strength for a desperate last-ditch struggle. In China, they will try to „mop up“ the communists and entice the Kuomintang to capitulate.
The Kuomintang has also sensed the change. Faced with this situation it feels both joy and fear. Joy, because it imagines that with the war in Europe over, Britain and the United States will be left free to fight Japan on its behalf, and that it will be able to return to Nanking without any effort. Fear, because with the downfall of all three fascist powers the world will enter a great and unprecedented age of liberation, and the Kuomintang‘s comprador-feudal fascist dictatorship will become a small island in a vast ocean of freedom and democracy; it fears that its own brand of fascism with its „one party, one doctrine, one leader“ will be buried beneath the waves.
Originally the Kuomintang hoped to have the Soviet Union fighting it out with Hitler single-handed and to instigate the Japanese to attack the Soviet Union, so that the land of socialism would be destroyed or at least badly mauled; it also hoped that Britain and the United States would shift all their forces to the East and first smash Japan and then wipe out the Communist Party of China, before bothering about any second or third front in Europe. It was for this ulterior purpose that the Kuomintang first clamoured for a strategy of „Asia before Europe“ and then for „equal attention to Europe and Asia“. In August this year, towards the end of the Quebec conference, when Roosevelt and Churchill summoned T. V. Soong, the foreign minister of the Kuomintang government, to Quebec and spoke a few words to him, the Kuomintang started shouting that „Roosevelt and Churchill are turning to the East“, that „the ‚Europe before Asia‘ plan is changed“, that „Quebec is a conference of the three great powers, Britain, the United States and China“, and so on, and joyfully indulged in self-glorification. But this was the Kuomintang‘s last occasion to rejoice. Since then its mood has changed somewhat; „Asia before Europe“ and „equal attention to Europe and Asia“ have been consigned to the museum of history, and now the Kuomintang is probably cooking up new schemes. Perhaps the 11th Plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and the 2nd Session of the Kuomintang-controlled People‘s Political Council mark the beginning of these new schemes.
The 11th Plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee slanderously accused the Communist Party of „sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the State“, and at the same time declared itself in favour of a „political solution“ and of „preparations for constitutional government“. Controlled and manipulated by its Kuomintang majority, the 2nd Session of the 3rd People‘s Political Council passed resolutions against the Communist Party to roughly the same effect. In addition, the 11th Plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee „elected“ Chiang Kai-shek president of the Kuomintang government in order to strengthen its dictatorial machine.
What can the Kuomintang be planning to do now, following the 11th Plenum? There are only three possibilities:
- Capitulation to Japanese imperialism.
- Dragging along on the old road.
- A change in its political line.
Serving the Japanese imperialists‘ purpose of „hitting the communists and courting the Kuomintang“, the defeatists and capitulationists within the Kuomintang have all along advocated surrender. They have constantly endeavoured to unleash an anti-Communist civil war which, once started, would naturally make resistance to Japan impossible, leaving capitulation as the only alternative. The Kuomintang has concentrated 400,000 to 500,000 troops in northwestern China and is stealthily diverting still more forces there from other fronts. It is said that the generals are in good fettle and are proclaiming: „Taking Yenan is no problem.“ This is how they have been talking since Mr. Chiang Kai-shek‘s speech at the 11th Plenum in which he described the communist problem as „a political one and should be solved politically“ and since the Session‘s resolutions to roughly the same effect. Similar resolutions were adopted last year at the 10th Plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, and the ink was hardly dry before the generals were ordered to draw up military plans for liquidating the Border Region; in June and July this year forces were deployed in preparation for a blitz against the Border Region, and the scheme was temporarily shelved only because public opinion at home and abroad was against it. Now once again, no sooner have the resolutions of the 11th Plenum been put down in black and white than there are reports of the generals‘ braggadocio and of troop movements. „Taking Yenan is no problem“ — what does this signify? It signifies a decision to capitulate to Japanese imperialism. Not all the Kuomintang militants who favour „taking Yenan“ are necessarily conscious and determined capitulationists. Some of them may think: „We shall still resist the Japanese while fighting the communists.“ This is probably what many officers of the Huangpu clique1 are thinking. To these gentlemen we communists would like to put the following questions. Have you forgotten the lessons of the ten years of civil war? Once another civil war starts, will the determined capitulationists allow you to continue the war against Japan? Will the Japanese and Wang Ching-wei allow you to continue the war against Japan? Are you really so strong that you can fight a civil war and a war against the foreign foe at the same time? You claim to have 3,000,000 troops, but your armies are so demoralized that people have compared them to two baskets of eggs on the ends of a carrying pole — one collision and they are finished. This is what has happened in all the campaigns in the Chungtiao Mountains, the Taihang Mountains, Chekiang and Kiangsi, western Hupeh and the Tapieh Mountains. The simple reason is that you have followed the fatal policy of being „active against the communists“ and „passive against the Japanese“. A national enemy has penetrated deep into our country, and the more actively you fight the communists and the more passively you resist the Japanese, the lower will be the morale of your troops. If you make such a poor show in fighting the foreign aggressor, can you expect your troops suddenly to become tough in fighting the communists and the people? It is out of the question. Once you start civil war, you will have to give it your undivided attention and inevitably abandon all thought of „simultaneous resistance“; in the end you will inevitably find yourselves signing a treaty of unconditional surrender to Japanese imperialism, with capitulation as the only policy left to you. Those of you in the Kuomintang who do not really wish to capitulate will inevitably end up as capitulationists if you take an active part in instigating or prosecuting civil war. This will surely happen if you lend yourselves to the manoeuvres of the capitulationist clique and use the resolutions of the 11th Plenum and the People‘s Political Council as an instrument for mobilizing public opinion and preparing for anti-communist civil war. Even if you do not want to capitulate in the first place, you will end up by surrendering in the wake of the capitulationist clique if you lend yourselves to their manoeuvres and take a wrong step. That is the first possibility concerning the direction the Kuomintang may take after the 11th Plenum, and there is an extremely serious danger that it may materialize. From the position of the capitulationist clique, talk about a „political solution“ and „preparations for constitutional government“ is the best means of camouflaging its preparations for civil war, that is, for surrender; all communists, all patriotic members of the Kuomintang, all anti-Japanese parties, and all our fellow-countrymen who are opposed to Japan should be sharply on the alert against this extremely grave danger and should not be fooled by the camouflage. It must be recognized that the danger of civil war has never been so great as it is now after the Kuomintang‘s 11th Plenum.
There is another direction in which these resolutions may lead, that of „stalling for a while and starting the civil war later“. This course, which differs somewhat from that of the capitulationist clique, may be taken by those people who still want to keep up the appearance of resistance to Japan while absolutely refusing to abandon anti-communism and dictatorial rule. They may move in this direction since they see that great changes in the international situation are inevitable and Japanese imperialism is doomed; that civil war would mean capitulation and the people throughout the country are for resistance and against civil war; that the Kuomintang is in a state of serious crisis, having alienated itself from the masses, lost popular support and become more isolated than ever; and that the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union are all opposed to the launching of civil war by the Chinese government. All this may force them to postpone their civil-war schemes and play for time with empty talk about a „political solution“ and „preparations for constitutional government“. These people are past masters in the tactics of deception and stalling. Even in their dreams they do not forget their desire to „take Yenan“ and „liquidate the Communist Party“. On this point they are entirely at one with the capitulationist clique. Nevertheless they do wish to keep up the pretence of resistance to Japan, they do not wish the Kuomintang to forfeit its international standing, and they sometimes fear the censure of domestic and foreign public opinion; therefore they may stall behind the smokescreen of a „political solution“ and „preparations for constitutional government“ while waiting for more favourable conditions. They have no sincere desire for a „political solution“ or „constitutional government“, at least certainly not at the moment. Last year, about the time of the 10th Plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, Comrade Lin Piao was sent to Chungking by the Central Committee of the Communist Party to confer with Mr. Chiang Kai-shek. He waited in Chungking for ten long months, but Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang had no desire to discuss a single concrete problem with him. In March this year, Mr. Chiang Kai-shek published his book „China‘s Destiny“ in which he emphasizes his opposition to communism and liberal ideas, shifts the blame for the ten years of civil war on to the Communist Party, slanders the Communist Party, the 8th Route Army and the New 4th Army as „warlords of a new type“ and „separatists of a new type“, and implies that he will finish off the communists within two years. On June 28 this year, Mr. Chiang Kai-shek permitted Chou En-lai, Lin Piao and other comrades to return to Yenan, but at that very moment he ordered his defence forces on the Yellow River to march on the Border Region, and he also ordered the local authorities throughout the country to seize the opportunity of the dissolution of the 3rd International to demand, in the name of so-called people‘s organizations, that the Communist Party of China be dissolved. In these circumstances, we communists were obliged to call on the Kuomintang and the whole nation to avert civil war, and we were obliged to expose all the Kuomintang‘s sinister schemes and conspiracies which were sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the state. Our patience has been taxed to the limit, as the historical facts show. Ever since the fall of Wuhan, there has been no end to the anti-communist battles, large or small, in northern and central China. It is now two years since the Pacific war broke out, and throughout this time the Kuomintang has been attacking the Communists in central and northern China, apart from the troops originally stationed there, it has dispatched the group armies under Wang Chung-lien and Li Hsien-chou to attack the communists in Kiangsu and Shantung. Pang Ping-hsun‘s group army in the area of the Taihang Mountains is under orders to concentrate exclusively on the communists; so are the Kuomintang troops in Anhwei and Hupeh. For a long time, we did not make even these facts public. The Kuomintang newspapers and periodicals have never for a moment stopped vilifying the Communist Party, but for a long time we did not say a word in reply. Without any justification, the Kuomintang disbanded the New 4th Army which was heroically fighting Japan, wiped out over 9,000 troops of its contingents in southern Anhwei, arrested Yeh Ting, killed Hsiang Ying2 and imprisoned hundreds of its cadres; although this was a monstrous betrayal of the people and the nation, we maintained our forbearance for the country‘s sake, simply lodging a protest and demanding redress. When Mr. Chiang Kai-shek met Comrade Chou En-lai, the representative of the Communist Party, at Lushan in June and July 1937, he promised that the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region would be designated by decree as an administrative division under the direct jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan of the National Government and that its officials would receive formal appointments. Now Mr. Chiang Kai-shek has not only eaten his own words, he has gone so far as to encircle the Border Region with 400,000 to 500,000 troops to enforce a military and economic blockade; he will not be happy with anything less than the destruction of the people of the Border Region as well as the rear headquarters of the 8th Route Army. It is particularly notorious that promised supplies have been cut off from the 8th Route Army and that the Communist Party is abused as the „traitor party“, the New 4th Army as the „rebel army“, the 8th Route Army as the „traitor army“, and so on. In short, all the Kuomintang people who are behaving in this way see the Communist Party as the enemy. To the Kuomintang, the Communist Party is ten times, nay, a hundred times more hateful than the Japanese. The Kuomintang concentrates its hatred on the Communist Party and has little, if any, to spare for the Japanese. This resembles the behaviour of the Japanese fascists, who treat the Kuomintang and the Communist Party differently. Concentrating their hatred on the Communist Party of China, the Japanese fascists have become more and more gentle with the Kuomintang; of their two slogans: „Oppose the Communists!“ and „Annihilate the Kuomintang!“, only the first now remains. The newspapers and periodicals controlled by the Japanese and Wang Ching-wei no longer print such slogans as „Down with the Kuomintang!“ and „Overthrow Chiang Kai-shek!“. Japan is bearing down on the Communist Party with 58% of its forces in China and is just using 42% to keep watch on the Kuomintang; it has recently relaxed this watch and withdrawn many of its troops from Chekiang and Hupeh in order to make it easier to inveigle the Kuomintang into capitulation. The Japanese imperialists have never dared utter a single word to persuade the Communist Party to capitulate, but they have no hesitation in directing an endless stream of words to persuade the Kuomintang to do so. The Kuomintang is fierce only towards the Communist Party and the people, but it drops all its ferocity in the face of the Japanese. Not only has it changed from being a participant to being a mere spectator in the war as far as fighting is concerned, but even in words it dares not offer as much as a single sharp rebuff to the insults and blandishments of Japanese imperialism. The Japanese say: „There is nothing wrong with the line of argument in Chiang Kai-shek‘s ‚China‘s Destiny‘.“ Has Mr. Chiang or any militant of his party ever rebutted this? No, they have not and dare not. How can the Japanese help despising the Kuomintang when they see that Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang use „military and governmental orders“ and „discipline“ only against the communists, and neither desire nor dare to use them against the 20 members of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and the 58 Kuomintang generals who have deserted to the enemy? The people throughout the country and the friendly nations throughout the world have seen Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang disbanding the New 4th Army and attacking the 8th Route Army, encircling the Border Region, maligning them with such labels as „traitor party“, „traitor army“, „warlords of a new type“, „a new type of separatist regime“, „sabotaging the War of Resistance“ and „endangering the State“, and constantly invoking „military and governmental orders“ and „discipline“; they have never seen Mr. Chiang and the Kuomintang enforcing any military orders, government decrees or disciplinary measures against the 20 members of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and the 58 Kuomintang generals who went over to the enemy. Similarly, the resolutions recently passed at the 11th Plenum of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and at the meeting of the People‘s Political Council are all directed against the Communist Party, while not a single one is directed against the many members of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee itself and the many army generals who have turned traitor and defected. What are the people throughout the country and the friendly nations throughout the world to think of the Kuomintang? As was to be expected, there was once again talk about a „political solution“ and „preparations for constitutional government“ at the 11th Plenum; well and good, we welcome such talk. But judging by the political line the Kuomintang has consistently followed all these years, we consider this talk to be just so many empty words designed to dupe the people, the real purpose being to gain time for preparing civil war so as to perpetuate its dictatorial rule over the people.
Is there a third direction in which the current situation may develop? Yes, there is. It is what a number of Kuomintang militants, all the people and we communists are hoping for. What is this third course? A just and reasonable political settlement of the relations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, a genuinely democratic and free constitutional government, the abolition of the fascist dictatorship with its „one party, one doctrine, one leader“ and the convening during the War of Resistance of a national assembly genuinely elected by the people. We communists have advocated this course from the very beginning. A number of Kuomintang militants will also agree to it. For a long time we hoped that even Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and his own faction in the Kuomintang might pursue this course. But judging from what has happened in the last few years and what is happening now, there is nothing to show that Mr. Chiang and the majority of the Kuomintang personages in power are willing to do so.
A number of conditions, international and domestic, are needed before this course can be realized. At the present time (with fascism in Europe on the eve of complete collapse) the international conditions are favourable to China‘s War of Resistance, but it is at this very moment that the capitulators are especially eager to instigate civil war so that they can capitulate, and that the Japanese and Wang Ching-wei, too, are particularly keen on civil war, so as to inveigle them into capitulation. Wang Ching-wei said (according to the Domei News Agency, October 1st): „Devoted brothers always remain brothers, and Chungking will certainly follow our road, the sooner the better, we hope.“ What affection, confidence and eagerness! Thus in the present situation the best that can be expected from the Kuomintang is stalling, while the danger of a sudden deterioration is very grave indeed. The conditions necessary for the third course are not all present yet, and patriots of all parties and the people throughout China must make many-sided efforts to bring them into being.
Mr. Chiang Kai-shek announced at the 11th Plenum:
„It should be stated clearly that the central authorities make no demands upon the Communist Party other than that it should give up its armed separatist regime and cease its surprise attacks on the National Army, which sabotage the War of Resistance; it is to be hoped that the Communist Party will carry out its declaration made in the 26th year of the Republic  calling for united efforts to save the nation and will put into effect the four pledges given in that declaration.“
Mr. Chiang‘s talk of „surprise attacks on the National Army, which sabotage the War of Resistance“ ought to be applied to the Kuomintang itself, and it is a pity that he is so prejudiced and malicious as to slander the Communist Party in this way. Since the fall of Wuhan the Kuomintang has launched three anti-communist onslaughts, in each of which, as the facts show, the Kuomintang troops sprang surprise attacks on the communist forces. In the first campaign, from the winter of 1939 to the spring of 1940, the Kuomintang troops in their surprise attacks captured five county towns garrisoned by the 8th Route Army in the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region, Chunhua, Hsunyi, Chengning, Ninghsien and Chenyuan, even employing aircraft in these operations. In northern China, Chu Huai-ping‘s troops were dispatched to the Taihang Mountain region for a surprise attack on the 8th Route Army forces, which only fought back in self-defence. The second campaign was launched in January 1941. Earlier, on October 19th, 1940, Ho Ying-chin and Pai Chung-hsi had telegraphed a categorical order to Chu Teh, Peng Teh-huai, Yeh Ting and Hsiang Ying, commanding all units of the 8th Route and New 4th Armies south of the Yellow River to move north of the river within a month. We promised that our troops in southern Anhwei would move north; as for the others, while it was impossible for them to be shifted in the circumstances, we promised that they would move to the assigned positions after victory in the anti-Japanese war. Yet, before our 9,000 troops in southern Anhwei began moving north on January 5th in compliance with the order, Mr. Chiang Kai-shek had already issued another order to „catch them all in a dragnet“. Between January 6th and 14th, the Kuomintang troops in southern Anhwei actually did catch these New 4th Army units in a dragnet. Moreover, on January 17th, Mr. Chiang Kai-shek ordered the whole New 4th Army to be disbanded and Yeh Ting to be court-martialled. The 8th Route and New 4th Armies have since been attacked wherever there are Kuomintang troops in the anti-Japanese base areas in central and northern China, and they have only fought back in self-defence. The third campaign began in March of this year and is still going on. The Kuomintang forces have continued their assaults on the 8th Route and New 4th Armies in central and northern China. In addition, Mr. Chiang Kai-shek has published his „China‘s Destiny“, which is a diatribe against communism and against the people. He has diverted many of his Yellow River defence forces for a lightning attack on the Border Region. He has instigated so-called people‘s organizations all over the country to demand the dissolution of the Communist Party. He has mobilized the Kuomintang majority in the People‘s Political Council to endorse Ho Ying-chin‘s military report vilifying the 8th Route Army and to adopt anti-communist resolutions. He has thus turned the Council, which should be a symbol of anti-Japanese unity, into a private agency of the Kuomintang for manufacturing anti-communist public opinion in preparation for civil war, with the result that Comrade Tung Pi-wu, the communist member of the Council, had to walk out in protest. These three anti-communist onslaughts were deliberately planned and launched by the Kuomintang. We may well ask, what are they if not actions which „sabotage the War of Resistance“?
On September 22nd of the 26th year of the Republic (1937), the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a declaration calling for united efforts to save the nation. In it we said:
„To strip the enemy of any pretext for his intrigues and to remove any misunderstanding among all well-intentioned doubters, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China finds it necessary to proclaim its heartfelt devotion to the cause of national liberation. Therefore, it once again solemnly declares to the whole nation: (1) that Dr. Sun Yat-sen‘s ‚Three People‘s Principles‘ being what China needs today, our Party is ready to fight for their complete realization; (2) that we shall discontinue the policies of insurrection to overthrow the Kuomintang regime and of forcible confiscation of the land of the landlords; (3) that we shall reorganize the present Red government as the democratic government of a special region in the hope that state power will be unified throughout the country; and (4) that the Red Army will change its name and designation, will be reorganized as part of the National Revolutionary Army and placed under the Military Council of the National Government, and will be ready for orders to march to the anti-Japanese front and do its duty.“
We have completely fulfilled these four pledges; neither Mr. Chiang Kai-shek nor anyone else in the Kuomintang can charge us with having defaulted on a single one of them. In the first place, the policies practised by the Communist Party in the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region and in the anti-Japanese base areas behind the enemy lines are in keeping with Dr. Sun Yat-sen‘s „Three People‘s Principles“, and not a single one runs counter to them. In the second place, as long as the Kuomintang does not capitulate to the national enemy, disrupt Kuomintang-Communist Party cooperation or launch civil war against the communists, we will always keep our promise not to overthrow the Kuomintang regime or to confiscate the land of the landlords by force. We have kept this pledge in the past, are doing so now and will continue to do so in the future. That means that only when the Kuomintang capitulates to the enemy, disrupts cooperation and launches civil war will we be forced to cancel our pledge, for these are the only circumstances which would make it impossible for us to keep it. In the third place, the original Red government was reorganized in the very first year of the War of Resistance, and the „three thirds system“ of democratic government has long been in operation, but to this day the Kuomintang has not fulfilled its promise to recognize the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region and, what is more, it accuses us of „feudal separatism“. Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and other militants of the Kuomintang! You should know that what you call „separatism“ — the state of affairs in which the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region and other anti-Japanese base areas are not recognized by the Kuomintang government — is not of our seeking but has been entirely forced on us by yourselves. What reason do you have for accusing us of „separatism“ while you go back on your own words, refuse the recognition you pledged to the Border Region and refuse to acknowledge its democratic government? Day in day out we ask for recognition and you refuse — who then is responsible? What reason does Mr. Chiang have for railing against „separatism“ in his „China‘s Destiny“, without showing the slightest sense of his own responsibility in the matter, though he himself is General Director of the Kuomintang and head of its government? Availing ourselves of the occasion of the 11th Plenum at which Mr. Chiang Kai-shek has again demanded that we fulfil our promise, we demand that he fulfil his promise to give legal recognition to the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region, where the Principle of Democracy has long been in practice, and to the anti-Japanese democratic base areas behind the enemy‘s lines as well. If you persist in your policy of non-recognition, it will mean that you want us to continue with „separatism“, and that, as in the past, the blame will fall entirely on you and not on us. In the fourth place, it is a long time since the Red Army changed its „name and designation“, became „reorganized as part of the National Revolutionary Army“ and was „placed under the Military Council of the National Government“; this pledge was fulfilled long ago. The only force directly under the Central Committee of the Communist Party and not under the Military Council of the National Government is the New 4th Army of the National Revolutionary Army; the reason is that it was proscribed as a „rebel army“ and „disbanded“ on January 17th, 1941 by the Military Council in a counter-revolutionary order sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the state, and was, moreover, subjected to daily attacks by the Kuomintang troops. Yet this army has consistently fought the Japanese in central China and fulfilled the first three of the four pledges; furthermore, it is willing to come „under the Military Council of the National Government“ once again, and asks Mr. Chiang Kai-shek to repeal the order for its disbandment and restore its designation so as to enable it to fulfil the fourth pledge.
The document concerning the Communist Party adopted at the 11th Plenum also stated:
„As for the other problems, they can all be raised at the national assembly for discussion and solution, since the present session has resolved that a national assembly should be convened and a constitution drawn up and promulgated within one year after the conclusion of the war.“
The „other problems“ here referred to are the abolition of the Kuomintang dictatorship, the abolition of the fascist secret service, the establishment of democratic rule throughout the country, the abolition of economic controls, exorbitant taxes and miscellaneous levies harmful to the people, the application on a nation-wide scale of the agrarian policy of reducing rent and interest and of the economic policy of helping small and medium scale industries and improving the workers‘ livelihood. In its declaration of September 22nd, 1937 calling for united efforts to save the nation our Party stated:
„Democracy should be put into effect and a national assembly convened to frame and adopt a constitution and draw up a policy of national salvation. To enable the Chinese people to lead a happy and prosperous life, effective measures must first be taken to provide famine relief, ensure a stable livelihood, develop defence industries, deliver the people from suffering and improve their living conditions.“
Since this declaration was accepted in its entirety by Mr. Chiang Kai-shek in a statement on the very next day (September 23rd), he should not merely ask the Communist Party to keep the four pledges it set forth, he should also ask himself, the Kuomintang and the Kuomintang government to carry out the provisions we have quoted. Mr. Chiang Kai-shek is not only the General Director of the Kuomintang, he has also become president of the Kuomintang government (nominally the National Government); he should therefore conscientiously carry out these provisions about democracy and the people‘s livelihood, honour the innumerable promises he himself has made to us communists and to the people throughout the country, and should stop repudiating his promises and acting high-handedly, saying one thing and doing another. Together with the whole people, we communists want deeds and not more empty, deceitful words. If deeds are forthcoming, we shall rejoice; empty words without deeds will not deceive the people for long. What we ask of Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang is the following: Carry the War of Resistance through to the end, avert the danger of capitulation; continue cooperation, avert the crisis of civil war; recognize the democratic government in the Border Region and in the anti-Japanese base areas behind the enemy lines, reinstate the New 4th Army, stop the anti-communist campaign, withdraw the 400,000 to 500,000 troops now encircling the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region; stop using the People‘s Political Council as a private agency of the Kuomintang for stirring up anti-communist opinion, lift the ban on freedom of speech, assembly and association, abolish the one-party dictatorship of the Kuomintang; reduce rent and interest, improve the living and working conditions of the workers, help the small and medium scale industries; abolish the secret service, put an end to fascist education and introduce democratic education. You yourselves have promised to do most of these things. If you fulfil these demands and promises, we assure you that we shall continue to fulfil our promises. We are ready to resume the talks between the two parties at any time, if Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang are ready.
In short, of the three possible directions which the Kuomintang may take, the first, capitulation and civil war, is the road of destruction for Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang. The second, demagogic deception for the purpose of gaining time while clinging to fascist dictatorship and actively conducting secret preparations for civil war, likewise offers no salvation for Mr. Chiang and the Kuomintang. Only the third direction, the complete abandonment of the erroneous course of fascist dictatorship and civil war and the pursuit of the correct course of democracy and cooperation, can bring Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang on to the road of salvation. However, Mr. Chiang and the Kuomintang have so far done nothing to convince the people that they intend to move in the third direction; hence, the people throughout the country must remain on guard against the extremely grave danger of capitulation and civil war.
Let all patriotic militants of the Kuomintang unite and forbid the Kuomintang authorities to go in the first direction, prevent them from continuing in the second and demand that they take the third!
Let all patriotic anti-Japanese parties and people unite and forbid the Kuomintang authorities to go in the first direction, prevent them from continuing in the second and demand that they take the third!
An unparalleled change is imminent in the world. We hope that Mr. Chiang Kai-shek and the militants of the Kuomintang will conduct themselves well at this great turning point of our era. We hope that all patriotic parties and patriotic people will conduct themselves well at this great turning point of our era.
1The Huangpu clique refers to those Kuomintang generals and officers who had once been instructors or cadets at the Huangpu Military Academy. They were Chiang Kai-shek‘s closest followers in the Kuomintang army.
2Yeh Ting and Hsiang Ying were respectively Commander and Deputy Commander of the New 4th Army.