Continue Your Glorious War of Liberation

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

CONTINUE YOUR GLORIOUS WAR OF LIBERATION

THE CORRESPONDENCE OF J. V. STALIN AND MAO TSE-TUNG IN JANUARY 1949

J. V. Stalin
Chairman Mao Tse-tung
January 1949

Sino-Soviet Relations, 1911-57
Moscow 1959
Reproduced by
The Red Flag

CONTINUE YOUR GLORIOUS WAR OF LIBERATION

1. THE TELEGRAM FROM J. V. STALIN TO MAO TSE-TUNG DATED THE 10TH OF JANUARY, 1949

Comrade Mao Tse-tung,

On January 9th we received a note from the Nanking Government with a proposal to the Soviet Government to take upon itself the mediation between the Nanking Government and the Communist Party of China on the question of the cessation of hostilities and for the conclusion of peace. At the same time, a similar proposal has also been sent to the Governments of the USA, Britain and France. The Nanking Government has not yet received any reply from these governments. The Soviet government has also not yet given a reply. By all means it is obvious that the proposals of the Government have been dictated by the Americans. The aim of these proposals is to make the Nanking Government look like a proponent of ending the war and establishing peace and to brand the Communist Party of China as proponents of war if it straight away declines to have peace talks with the Nankingists. We are considering replying in the following manner: The Soviet Government stood and continues to stand for the cessation of war and the establishment of peace in China. But before it gives its consent for mediation it would like to know whether the other side — the Communist Party of China has agreed to accept the mediation of the USSR. In view of this the USSR would want that the other side — the Communist Party of China — be informed of the peace action of the Chinese government and asked about its consent regarding the mediation of the USSR. We are thinking of responding in this way and request you to inform us whether you agree to this. If you disagree then prompt a more appropriate reply.

Similarly, we think that your reply, if you are asked, should be tentatively like this:

The Communist Party was always in favour of peace in China because the civil war in China was started not by the Communist Party, but by the Nanking Government, which should be held responsible for the consequences of the war. The Communist Party of China is prepared for talks with the Kuomintang however, without the participation of those war criminals who unleashed the civil war in China. The Communist Party of China stands for direct talks with the Kuomintang without any foreign mediators. The Communist Party of China specifically considers the mediation of such foreign powers that are themselves participating in the civil war by using their air force and navy against the Chinese People‘s Liberation Army, as such a power cannot be acknowledged to be neutral and objective in the task of stopping the war in China. We think this is what, tentatively, your reply should be.“

If you do not agree, let us know your opinion.

Concerning your visit to Moscow, we think, in view of the circumstances mentioned above you should, unfortunately, once again put off departure for some time as your visit to Moscow in such circumstances will be used by the enemies to discredit the Communist Party of China as a force reliant and dependent on Moscow. That of course is disadvantageous for the Communist Party of China and also for the USSR.

Awaiting your reply,

10.01.1949
FILLIPOV
1


2. CONTINUATION AND THE END OF THE PRECEDING TELEGRAM FROM J. V. STALIN TO MAO TSE-TUNG DATED THE 11TH OF JANUARY, 1949

As is obvious from has been said above, our draft of your reply to the Kuomintang‘s proposal is aimed at the failure of the peace talks. It is clear that the Kuomintang will not opt for peace talks without the mediation of foreign powers, specifically without the mediation of the USA. Similarly, it is also clear that the Kuomintang will not want to conduct peace talks without the participation of Chiang Kai shek and other war criminals.

We reckon, therefore, that the Kuomintang will reject the peace talks under the conditions that the Communist Party of China is putting forward. Consequently, it will turn out that the Communist Party of China is ready for peace talks, in view of which it cannot be blamed as being party to the continuation of the civil war. In this instance, the Kuomintang will be seen as the culprit for ruining the peace talks. In this way the peace manoeuvre of the Kuomintangists and the USA will fail and you may continue your glorious war of liberation.

Awaiting your reply,

11.01.1949
FILLIPOV


3. THE TELEGRAM FROM MAO TSE-TUNG TO J. V. STALIN DATED THE 13TH OF JANUARY, 1949

Comrade Fillipov,

I received your telegram dated 10th of January.

1. We consider that in relation to the note of the Nanking Government with a proposal to the USSR to accept mediation on ending the civil war in China, the Government of USSR should proceed to reply in the following way:

The Government of the USSR always wished and continues to do so now to see a peaceful, democratic and peaceful China. However, in what way peace, democracy and the unity of China is to achieved is exclusively the concern of the people of China. The Government of USSR, being founded on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, considers the participation in the mediation between the two sides in the civil war in China as unacceptable.“

2. We assume that the USA, England and France, specifically the USA, although they are extremely desirous of participating in the mediation on ending the civil war in China and by doing so to achieve the goal — restoration of the Kuomintang‘s power, but the governments of these states, particularly the Government of the USA have lost authority among the people of China, and along with it the victories of the People‘s Liberation Army all over the country and the loss of the Kuomintang‘s power has already become a fact that is for all to see — whether they want to continue to support the Nanking Government and thereby continue to offend the People‘s Liberation Army also remains unclear.

Only the USSR commands very high authority among the people of China, and therefore, if regarding the note of the Nanking Government the USSR will take up the position outlined in your telegram of the 10th January 1949, then it will result in the USA, England and France concluding that their participation is a must that would lead to a situation wherein the Kuomintang would get an occasion to discredit us as warmongers.

And the large masses of people who are dissatisfied with the Kuomintang and are nursing hopes of an early victory of the People‘s Liberation Army will be disheartened.

Therefore, if the USSR, keeping the interests of international relations as a whole in mind, in its reply to the note would want to occupy the position that is being suggested by us, then we would greatly desire that you endorse our proposals. If you can take such a step you will render us a great help.

3. Whether it is possible to allow individuals from the Nanking Government including the war criminals to enter into talks with us on peace — we need to think over it yet. At present we are inclined to take the following position: the unconditional surrender of the Nanking Government is required in order that the people of China achieve real peace quickly.

It was the Nanking Government that started the war and it committed a big crime. Already the people of the country do not trust it. For the earliest possible end of the war and the establishment of peace, the Nanking Government must transfer the power to the people. It does not have any grounds to continue to linger in power.

We consider that if at present we hold talks with Chien Chi-chun, Shao Li-tsi and other such persons and form a coalition government on behalf on them together with ourselves then it would be just what the Government of the USA wishes to see.

But this would lead the people of China, the democratic parties and people‘s organisations, sections of the People‘s Liberation Army and even the rank and file of the Communist Party of China to great commotion and would seriously harm our position by virtue of which the righteousness of the cause is with us.

Beginning from July 1947 we are cautiously and continuously paying attention to the delusiveness of talks which the Government of the USA and the Kuomintang will have to unavoidably hold in the event of the latter‘s military defeat and also to the degree of influence which this deception is having on the people of China.

We were profoundly concerned that this deception would create a big impact on the people and would lead to our being forced to make a political somersault, that is, not to decline holding talks with the Kuomintang. We shall be delaying the formation of the Coalition Government. The main reason behind this is to let the Americans and the Kuomintangists reveal their trump cards, while we will reveal ours at the last moment.

Recently we have published a list of war criminals — 45 persons. This was done unofficially (statement of a competent authority). The People‘s Liberation Army has not as yet issued any order about the arrest of these war criminals.

On the 1st of January Chiang Kai-shek put forward the peace proposal. We have replied unofficially (article by a journalist).

In short we have left a number of points for later changes in order to see how the Chinese people and the international community react to the Kuomintang‘s deceit of peace talks.

Presently we are inclined towards righteously refuting the Kuomintang‘s peaceful deceit, because at present, the balance of forces in China has undergone a radical change and the international community too is not in favour of the Nanking Government, the People‘s Liberation Army can this year itself cross the Changkiang and attack Nanking.

Apparently we shall not be required to again carry out a circumventing political manoeuvre. In the present situation there is more harm than good in following such a circumventing manoeuvre.

4. I thank you for the fact that you ask our opinion on such an important issue. If you do not agree with my above stated opinion, or if you make some changes, I request you to let me know.

12.01.1949
MAO TSE-TUNG


4. THE TELEGRAM FROM J. V. STALIN TO MAO TSE-TUNG DATED THE 14TH OF JANUARY, 1949

Comrade Mao Tse-tung,

Received your long telegram regarding the Nanking peace proposal.

1. Of course, it would have been better if the peace proposal of the Nanking Government did not exist, if the whole of this peace manoeuvre of the USA did not exist. It is clear that this manoeuvre is not desirable as it may cause a nuisance for our common cause. However, unfortunately, the manoeuvre is a fact and we cannot close our eyes, we are obliged to take it into consideration.

2. Undoubtedly, the peace proposal of the Nankingists and the USA is a manifestation of the politics of illusion. First of all, because in reality the Nankingists do not want any peace with the Communist Party, for peace with the Communist Party would mean the Kuomintang‘s rejection of its own policy of annihilation of the Communist Party and its army and this rejection would lead to the political death of the Kuomintangist leaders and to complete disorder among the Kuomintang‘s troops. Secondly, because they know that the Communist Party will not accept peace with the Kuomintang as it cannot abandon its fundamental policy of annihilation of the Kuomintang and its army.

What do the Nankingists want after all? They want not peace with the Communist Party but an armistice with it, a temporary cessation of hostilities in order to make use of the truce to gain a respite and then bring into order the Kuomintang army, bring arms from the USA, accumulate forces and then wreck the armistice and attack the People‘s Liberation Army after blaming the Communist Party for the breakdown of the peace talks. The minimum that they want is to check the Communist Party from finishing off the Kuomintang army.

This is the essence of the current policy of deceit being conducted by the Nankingists and the USA.

3. How should such manoeuvres of the Nankingists and the USA be countered? Two options are possible. The first is to decline the peace proposals of the Nankingists and thereby declare openly the necessity of continuation of the civil war. But what shall it mean? This means, first of all, that you have put your main trump card on the table and will pass into the hands of the Kuomintang such an important weapon as the banner of peace. This means in the second place that you are helping your enemies in China, and outside China you are slighting the Communist Party as the perpetrator of the civil war and praising the Kuomintang as the supporter of peace. This means, thirdly, that you are giving an opportunity to the USA to muster public opinion in Europe and America in such direction that peace is impossible with the Communist Party as it does not want peace, that the sole means to achieve peace in China is to organize an armed intervention in China of the powers similar to the intervention which was conducted in Russia during the course of the four years from 1918 to 1921.

We think that a straight and clear reply is good when you are dealing with honest people. But if you are dealing with political rogues like the Nankingists, a straight and open answer can become dangerous.

But a second answer is possible. That is:

  • Recognize the establishment of peace in China as a desirable objective.
  • Talks to be between the two sides without any foreign intermediary as China is an independent country and does not need any foreign intermediaries.
  • Talks to be held between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang as a party and not as the Government which is guilty of conducting a civil war and which, in view of this, has lost the trust of the people.
  • As soon as the sides reach an agreement on the issue of peace and leadership in China the military actions are to come to an end.

Can the Kuomintang accept these conditions? We think that it will not. But if the Kuomintang does not accept these conditions, people will understand that the Kuomintang is the culprit for the continuation of the civil war and not the Communist Party. The banner of peace in this case will continue to remain in the hands of the Communist Party. This circumstance is particularly important at present when in China there has emerged a majority that is tired of the civil war and is ready to support those defending peace.

But let us assume the incredible and assume that the Kuomintang accepts these conditions. What must be the plan of action of the Communist Party?

It will be necessary in the first place not to discontinue military actions, create Central Coalition Government Bodies with the objective that in the Consultative Council 3/5 of the seats and 2/5 of the portfolios in the Government go to the Communist Party whereas the rest of the seats and portfolios be distributed amongst other democratic parties and the Kuomintang.

It is necessary, in the second place, that the posts of the Premier, Commander-in-Chief and, if possible, of the President should go to the communists.

It is necessary, thirdly, that the Consultative Council declare the Coalition government so created as the sole government of China and that any government pretending to the role of the government of China to be declared as rebel, as an impostor group which is liable to be abolished.

Finally, it is necessary that the Coalition Government issue orders both to your forces and to the forces of the Kuomintang to take an oath of loyalty to the Coalition Government and also that military actions against such troops as have taken the oath of allegiance end immediately and that military actions be continued against those troops as have refused to take the oath.

It is doubtful whether the Kuomintang will accept these measures. But if they will not, it will be still worse for them as ultimately they will be isolated and these measures shall be carried out even without the Kuomintangists.

4. This is our understanding of this issue and such are our suggestions to you. It is possible that in the preceding telegram we did not state our advice clearly and in full detail.

We request you to examine our suggestions just as suggestions which do not compel you to do anything and also which you may accept or decline. You may rest assured that a refusal to accept our suggestions will in no way affect our relations and we will continue to be the same friends that we always have been.

5. Concerning our reply to the Nankingists‘ proposal on mediation our response will be composed in accordance with your wishes.

6. But we do insist that you postpone your visit to Moscow for the time being as your presence in China is very necessary at present. If you want we can send immediately a responsible member of the Political Bureau to you at Harbin or some other place for talks on issues of interest to you.

14.01.1949
FILLIPOV


5. THE TELEGRAM FROM MAO TSE-TUNG TO J. V. STALIN DATED THE 14TH OF JANUARY, 1949

Comrade Fillipov,

1. I was happy to receive your supplementary telegram dated 11th of January. Regarding the basic direction (failure of the broad talks with the Kuomintang, continuation of the revolutionary war up to the end) we are perfectly united.

Today we have published the eight conditions on the basis of which we agree to conduct the peace talks with the Kuomintang. These conditions are put forward to counter the five reactionary conditions which had been put by Chiang Kai shek on the 1st of January in his peace proposal.

Some days back prior to that the Americans sought to know our opinion — whether we wish to conduct peace talks with the Kuomintang without the participation of the 43 war criminals. Therefore only one minimum condition namely participation in the peace talks without the war criminals is already not sufficient for wrecking the Kuomintang‘s plot of peace talks.

2. [Details concerning radio stations.]

3. After the publication of the peace proposals by the Kuomintang in the areas under the Kuomintang there is big turmoil, the population is demanding peace in massive numbers and is complaining that the Kuomintang‘s conditions are extremely rigid.

The propaganda organs of the Kuomintang are giving explanations as to why it is necessary for the Kuomintang to defend its legal status and maintain the army. We think that the disarray in the Kuomintang is going to spread even further.

14.01.1949
MAO TSE-TUNG


6. THE TELEGRAM FROM J. V. STALIN TO MAO TSE-TUNG DATED THE 15TH OF JANUARY, 1949

Comrade Mao Tse-tung,

We have just received your latest and short telegram, from which it is evident that unity of opinion on the issue of the peace proposals of the Nankingists has been established between us and that the Communist Party of China has already started the „peace“ campaign. Thereby, the issue can be considered exhausted.

15.01.1949
FILLIPOV


1In his correspondance with Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Comrade J. V. Stalin used the pseudonym „Fillipov“ for reasons of security.