Mao Tse-tung: “Order to the Army for the Country-Wide Advance”

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

ORDER TO THE ARMY FOR THE COUNTRY-WIDE ADVANCE

Mao Tse-tung
21.04.1949

Selected Works
Vol. 4
Reproduced by
The Red Flag

ORDER TO THE ARMY FOR THE COUNTRY-WIDE ADVANCE

This order was drafted by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. After the reactionary Kuomintang government refused to sign the Agreement on Internal Peace, the People’s Liberation Army acted on this order issued by Chairman Mao Tse-tung and Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh and embarked upon a general advance, unprecedented in scale, into the vast areas which had not yet been liberated. On the morning of April 21, 1949, the Second Field Army led by Liu Po-cheng, Teng Hsiao-ping and other comrades and the Third Field Army led by Chen Yi, Su Yu, Tan Chen-lin and other comrades, forced the Yangtse River on a front extending more than five hundred kilometres from Hukou (northeast of Kiukiang) in the west to Kiangyin in the east and completely destroyed the defence line along the Yangtse which the enemy had painstakingly built in three and a half months. On April 23 these forces liberated Nanking, which had been the centre of the counter-revolutionary rule of the Kuomintang for twenty-two years, and proclaimed the downfall of the reactionary Kuomintang regime. Then they thrust south along separate routes, liberated Hangchow on May 3 and Nanchang on May 22 and captured Shanghai, China’s biggest city, on May 27. In June they began their march into Fukien Province; they liberated Foochow on August 17 and Amoy on October 17. On May 14 the 4th Field Army led by Lin Piao, Lo Jung-huan and other comrades forced the Yangtse on a front of more than one hundred kilometres in the Tuanfeng-Wuhsueh sector east of Wuhan. On May 16 and 17 it liberated Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankow, cities of strategic importance in central China. Then it marched south into Hunan. Cheng Chien, Kuomintang governor of Hunan Province, and Chen Mingjen, Commander of the 1st Army renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang on August 4, and Hunan Province was peacefully liberated. The 4th Field Army fought the Hengyang-Paoching campaign in September and October, wiped out the main force of the Kuomintang troops under Pai Chung-hsi and then pushed on to Kwangtung and Kwangsi Provinces. It liberated Canton on October 14, Kweilin on November 22 and Nanning on December 4. While the 2nd and 3rd Field Armies were forcing the Yangtse River, the armies in northern China led by Nieh Jung-chen, Hsu Hsiang-chien and other comrades captured Taiyuan on April 24, 1949. The 1st Field Army led by Peng Teh-huai, Ho Lung and other comrades, after liberating Sian on May 20, continued its march into the Kuomintang areas in the Northwest together with two armies from northern China. They captured Lanchow on August 26, liberated Sining on September 5 and Yinchuan on September 23 and completely annihilated the Kuomintang troops under Ma Pu-fang and Ma Hung-kuei. Late in September Tao Chih-yueh, Kuomintang Garrison Commander-in-Chief of Sinkiang Province, and Burhan, the governor, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang, and Sinkiang was peacefully liberated. At the beginning of November the 2nd Field Army led by Liu Po-cheng, Teng Hsiao-ping and other Comrades, together with the 18th Army of the Northern China Field Army and part of the First Field Army led by Ho Lung, Li Ching-chuan and other comrades, began their march into southwestern China. They liberated Kweiyang on November 15 and Chungking on November 30. On December 9 Lu Han, Kuomintang governor of Yunnan Province, Liu Wen-hui, Kuomintang governor of Sikang Province, and Teng Hsi-hou and Pan Wen-hua, deputy directors of the Kuomintang Bureau of Military and Administrative Affairs in the Southwest, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang, and the two provinces of Yunnan and Sikang were peacefully liberated. In late December the People’s Liberation Army which had entered the Southwest fought the Chengtu campaign, completely wiped out the Kuomintang troops under Hu Tsung-nan and liberated Chengtu on December 27. By the end of December 1949 the People’s Liberation Army had wiped out all the Kuomintang troops on China’s mainland and liberated the entire mainland except Tibet.

Comrade commanders and fighters of all field armies, Comrades of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the guerrilla areas of the south!

The Agreement on Internal Peace, drafted after long negotiations between the delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPCh) and the delegation of the Nanking Kuomintang government, has been rejected by that government. The responsible members of the Nanking Kuomintang government have rejected the agreement because they are still obeying the orders of US imperialism and Chiang Kai-shek, the chieftain of the Kuomintang bandit gang, and because they are trying to block the progress of the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation and prevent the internal problem from being solved by peaceful means. The Agreement on Internal Peace, comprising eight sections with twenty-four articles formulated by the two delegations in the negotiations, is lenient on the problem of war criminals, is lenient towards the Kuomintang officers, soldiers and government personnel and provides appropriate solutions for other problems, all proceeding from the interests of the nation and the people. The rejection of this agreement shows that the Kuomintang reactionaries are determined to fight to the finish the counter-revolutionary war which they started. The rejection of this agreement shows that in proposing peace negotiations on January 1 of this year the Kuomintang reactionaries were only trying to check the advance of the PLA and thus gain a breathing space for a later comeback to crush the revolutionary forces. The rejection of this agreement shows that the Li Tsung-jen government at Nanking was utterly hypocritical in professing to accept the CPCh’s eight terms for peace as the basis for negotiations. Inasmuch as the Li Tsung-jen government had already accepted such fundamental terms as the punishment of war criminals, the reorganization of all the reactionary Kuomintang troops on democratic principles and the handing over of all power and authority by the Nanking government and its subordinate governments at all levels, it had no reason to reject the specific measures which were drawn up on the basis of these fundamental terms and which are most lenient. In these circumstances, we order you as follows:

1. Advance bravely and annihilate resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely all the Kuomintang reactionaries within China’s borders who dare to resist. Liberate the people of the whole country. Safeguard China’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

2. Advance bravely and arrest all the incorrigible war criminals. No matter where they may flee, they must be brought to justice and punished according to law. Pay special attention to arresting the bandit chieftain Chiang Kai-shek.

3. Proclaim to all Kuomintang local governments and local military groups the final amended version of the Agreement on Internal Peace. In accordance with its general ideas, you may conclude local agreements with those who are willing to cease hostilities and to settle matters by peaceful means.

4. After the PLA has encircled Nanking, we are willing to give the Li Tsung-jen government at Nanking another opportunity to sign the Agreement on Internal Peace, if that government has not yet fled and dispersed and desires to sign it.

Mao Tse-tung
Chairman of the Chinese People’s Revolutionary Military Commission

Chu Teh
Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army