Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of Power!
THE SITUATION AND OUR POLICY AFTER THE VICTORY IN THE WAR OF RESISTANCE AGAINST JAPAN
The Red Flag
THE SITUATION AND OUR POLICY AFTER THE VICTORY IN THE WAR OF RESISTANCE AGAINST JAPAN
|This speech was delivered by Chairman Mao Tse-tung at a meeting of cadres in Yenan. Based on the Marxist-Leninist method of class analysis, it presented a penetrating study of the fundamental political situation in China after victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan and set forth the revolutionary tactics of the proletariat. As Chairman Mao Tse-tung had pointed out in his opening address at the 7th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in April 1945, China after defeating Japanese imperialism still faced two destinies, two futures — either to become a new China or to remain the old China. The big landlords and big bourgeoisie of China, represented by Chiang Kai-shek, wanted to wrest the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance from the hands of the people and to keep China a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country under their dictatorship. The Communist Party of China, representing the interests of the proletariat and the masses of the people, on the one hand strove for peace and opposed civil war with all its strength. On the other hand, it had to prepare fully against Chiang Kai-shek’s counter-revolutionary plot of launching a country-wide civil war and had to adopt the correct policy, that is to say, to harbour no illusions about imperialism and reaction, to have no fear of their threats, to resolutely safeguard the fruits of the people’s struggle and strive to build a new China — a new-democratic China of the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat. The decisive struggle between the two destinies, the two futures facing China, constituted the content of the historical period from the conclusion of the War of Resistance Against Japan to the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the historical period of the Chinese People’s War of Liberation or 3rd Revolutionary Civil War. After the War of Resistance, Chiang Kai-shek, supported by US imperialism, tore up peace agreements again and again and launched a gigantic counter-revolutionary civil war without parallel in history in an attempt to wipe out the people’s forces. Because of the correct leadership of the Communist Party of China it took the Chinese people only four years of struggle to win a great country-wide victory — the overthrow of Chiang Kai-shek and the creation of a new China.|
These are days of tremendous change in the situation in the Far East. The surrender of Japanese imperialism is now a foregone conclusion. The decisive factor for Japan’s surrender is the entry of the Soviet Union into the war. A million Red Army troops are entering China’s Northeast; this force is irresistible. Japanese imperialism can no longer continue the fight.i The Chinese people’s hard and bitter War of Resistance is crowned with victory. As a historical stage, the War of Resistance Against Japan is now over.
In these circumstances, what are the relations among the different classes in China and what are the relations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party at present? What will they be like in the future? What is the policy of our Party? These are questions of great concern to the people of the whole country and to all members of our Party.
What about the Kuomintang? Look at its past, and you can tell its present; look at its past and present, and you can tell its future. In the past, this party carried on a counter-revolutionary civil war for ten whole years. During the War of Resistance it launched three large-scale anti-Communist campaigns,ii in 1940, 1941 and 1943, each time attempting to develop the attack into a country-wide civil war. It was only because of the correct policy adopted by our Party and the opposition of the people of the whole country that its attempts failed. As everyone knows, Chiang Kai-shek, the political representative of China’s big landlords and big bourgeoisie, is a most brutal and treacherous fellow. His policy has been to look on with folded arms, wait for victory, conserve his forces and prepare for civil war. Indeed, the victory he has been waiting for has arrived, and now this „generalissimo“ is about to „come down from the mountain“.iii In the past eight years we have changed places with Chiang Kai-shek — formerly we were on the mountain and he was by the water;iv during the War of Resistance we were behind the enemy lines and he went up the mountain. Now he is coming down from the mountain, coming down to seize the fruits of victory.
During the past eight years the people and army of our Liberated Areas, receiving no aid whatsoever from outside and relying solely on their own efforts, liberated vast territories and resisted and pinned down the bulk of the Japanese invading forces and practically all the puppet troops. Only by our determined resistance and heroic struggle were the 200 million people in the Great Rear Areav saved from being trampled underfoot by the Japanese aggressors and the regions inhabited by these 200 million people saved from Japanese occupation. Chiang Kai-shek hid on Mount Omei with guards in front of him — the guards were the Liberated Areas, the people and army of the Liberated Areas. In defending the 200 million people of the Great Rear Area, we protected this „generalissimo“ as well and gave him both the time and the space to sit around waiting for victory with folded arms. Time — eight years one month. Space — an area inhabited by 200 million people. These conditions we provided for him. But for us, he could not have stood by looking on. Is the „generalissimo“ grateful to us, then? No, not he! This fellow has never known what it is to be grateful. How did Chiang Kai-shek climb to power? By the Northern Expedition,vi by the first period of co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party,vii by the support given him by the people, who had not yet seen through him. Once in power, Chiang Kai-shek, far from being grateful to the people, knocked them down and plunged them into the bloodbath of ten years of civil war. You comrades are familiar with this segment of history. During the present War of Resistance the Chinese people again defended him. This war is now ending in victory and Japan is on the point of surrender, but he is not at all grateful to the people. On the contrary, thumbing through the records of 1927, he wants to act in the same old way.viii He says there has never been any „civil war“ in China, only „bandit suppression“. Whatever he likes to call it, the fact is he wants to start a civil war against the people, he wants to slaughter the people.
Until a civil war breaks out all over the country, many of the people and many of our Party comrades will not have a very clear understanding of this question. Since civil war is not yet here on a large scale, since it is not yet widespread or out in the open and since the battles are not yet numerous, many people think, „Well, there may not be a civil war after all!“ Many others are afraid of civil war. Their fear is not without reason. There were ten years of fighting and then another eight years of the War of Resistance; if the fighting keeps on, where will it all end? It is quite natural that such fears should arise. With regard to Chiang Kai-shek’s plot to launch a civil war, our Party’s policy has been clear and consistent, that is, resolutely to oppose civil war, be against civil war and prevent civil war. In the days to come, we shall continue, with the utmost effort and greatest patience, to lead the people in preventing civil war. Nevertheless, it is necessary to be soberly aware that the danger of civil war is extremely serious because Chiang Kai-shek’s policy is already set. Chiang Kai-shek’s policy is civil war. Our policy, the policy of the people, is against civil war. The opponents of civil war consist only of the Communist Party of China (CPCh) and the Chinese people — it is a pity that they do not include Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang. Here one side does not want to fight and the other does. If both did not want it, there would be no fighting. Now, since only one side is against it and this side is not yet strong enough to check the other, the danger of civil war is extremely grave.
Our Party pointed out in good time that Chiang Kai-shek would stick to his reactionary policy of dictatorship and civil war. Before, during and after the 7th Party Congress,ix we did fairly adequate work to call the people’s attention to the danger of civil war, so that the whole people, our Party members and our troops should be mentally prepared well in advance. This is a very important point, and it makes a world of difference whether or not there is such preparedness. In 1927 our Party was still in its infancy and was mentally wholly unprepared for Chiang Kai-shek’s counter-revolutionary surprise attack. Consequently the fruits of victory won by the people were soon lost, the people had to undergo long suffering, and a bright China was plunged into darkness. This time things are different, our Party has acquired the rich experience of three revolutionsx and a much higher degree of political maturity. Time and again, the Central Committee of the Party has clearly explained the danger of civil war, and so the whole people, all Party members and the troops led by our Party are in a state of preparedness.
Chiang Kai-shek always tries to wrest every ounce of power and every ounce of gain from the people. And we? Our policy is to give him tit for tat and to fight for every inch of land. We act after his fashion. He always tries to impose war on the people, one sword in his left hand and another in his right. We take up swords, too, following his example. We found this method only after investigation and study. Such investigation and study are very important. When we see the other fellow holding something in his hands, we should do some investigating. What does he hold in his hands? Swords. What are swords for? For killing. Whom does he want to kill with his swords? The people. Having made these findings, investigate further — the Chinese people, too, have hands and can take up swords, they can forge a sword if there is none handy. The Chinese people have discovered this truth after long investigation and study. Warlords, landlords, local bullies and bad gentry and the imperialists all have swords in their hands and are out to kill. The people have come to understand this and so act after the same fashion. Some of us often neglect such investigation and study. Chen Tu-hsiu,xi for example, did not understand that with swords one can kill people. Some say, this is a plain everyday truth; how can a leader of the Communist Party fail to know it? But you never can tell. Chen Tu-hsiu made no investigation and study and so did not understand this, hence we called him an opportunist. He who makes no investigation and study has no right to speak, and accordingly we deprived Chen Tu-hsiu of that right. We have adopted a course different from Chen Tu-hsiu’s and enabled the people suffering from oppression and slaughter to take up swords. If ever again anybody wants to kill us, we will act after his fashion. Not long ago, the Kuomintang sent six divisions to attack our Kuanchung sub-region, and three of them drove in and seized an area measuring 20 by 100 li. We acted after their fashion and wholly, thoroughly and completely wiped out the Kuomintang troops in this area of 20 by 100 li.xii Our policy is to give tit for tat and fight for every inch of land; we will never let the Kuomintang easily seize our land and kill our people. Of course, to fight for every inch of land does not mean following the old „left“ line of „not abandoning a single inch of land in the support base“.xiii This time we abandoned an area of 20 by 100 li. Abandoned late in July, it was retaken early in August. After the Southern Anhwei Incident of 1941,xiv the Kuomintang liaison staff officer once asked me what we intended to do. I answered, „You are here in Yenan all the time and you don’t know? If Ho goes for us, we’ll go for him. If Ho stops, we’ll stop too.“xv At that time Chiang Kai-shek was not named, only Ho Ying-chin. Today we say, „If Chiang goes for us, we’ll go for him. If Chiang stops, we’ll stop too.“ We will act after his fashion. As Chiang Kai-shek is now sharpening his swords, we must sharpen ours too.
The rights the people have won must never be lightly given up but must be defended by fighting. We don’t want civil war. However, if Chiang Kai-shek insists on forcing civil war on the Chinese people, the only thing we can do is to take up arms and fight him in self-defence to protect the lives and property, the rights and well-being of the people of the Liberated Areas. This will be a civil war he forces on us. If we do not win, we will blame neither heaven nor earth but only ourselves. However, let no one think that the people can be easily robbed or defrauded of the rights they have won; that is impossible. Last year an American correspondent asked me, „Who has given you the power to act?“ I replied, „The people.“ Who else indeed, if not the people? The ruling Kuomintang hasn’t given us any power. It doesn’t recognize us. We take part in the People’s Political Council in the capacity of a „cultural organization“xvi as stipulated by its rules. But we are not a „cultural organization“, we say, we have an army and are a „military organization“. On March 1 this year Chiang Kai-shek stated that the Communist Party would have to turn over its army before it could acquire legal status. Chiang Kai-shek’s statement still stands. We have not turned over our army, and so we have no legal status and are „defying laws human and divine“. Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people’s interests, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected — that is what being responsible to the people means. Comrades! The people want liberation and therefore entrust power to those who can represent them and work faithfully for them, that is, to us Communists. As representatives of the people, we must represent them well and not act like Chen Tu-hsiu. Confronted by counter-revolutionary attacks against the people, Chen Tu-hsiu did not adopt the policy of giving tit for tat and fighting for every inch of land; as a result, in 1927, within the space of a few months, he forfeited all the rights the people had won. This time we must be on our guard. Our policy is absolutely different from Chen Tu-hsiu’s; no trickery can fool us. We must be clearheaded and have a correct policy; we must not make mistakes.
To whom should the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance belong? It is very obvious. Take a peach tree for example. When the tree yields peaches they are the fruits of victory. Who is entitled to pick the peaches? Ask who planted and watered the tree. Chiang Kai-shek squatting on the mountain did not carry a single bucket of water, and yet he is now stretching out his arm from afar to pick the peaches. „I, Chiang Kai-shek, own these peaches“, he says, „I am the landlord, you are my serfs and I won’t allow you to pick any.“ We have refuted him in the press.xvii We say, „You never carried any water, so you have no right to pick the peaches. We the people of the Liberated Areas watered the tree day in day out and have the most right to gather the fruit.“ Comrades! The victory of the War of Resistance has been won by the people with bloodshed and sacrifice, it should be the victory of the people and it is to the people that the fruits of the War of Resistance should go. As for Chiang Kai-shek, he was passive in resisting Japan but active in anti-Communism. He was a stumbling-block in the people’s War of Resistance. Now this stumbling-block is coming forward to monopolize the fruits of victory, wants China after victory to relapse into her old pre-war state and does not tolerate the slightest change. This gives rise to struggle. Comrades! It is a most serious struggle.
That the fruits of victory of the War of Resistance should go to the people is one thing, but who will eventually get them and whether it will be the people is another. Don’t be too sure that all the fruits of victory will fall into the hands of the people. Chiang Kai-shek will grab a lot of big peaches, such as Shanghai, Nanking, Hangchow and other big cities. He has ganged up with US imperialism and in those places they have the upper hand, while so far the revolutionary people can by and large occupy only the rural areas. Another bunch of peaches will be contested by both sides. These are the medium and small towns situated along the section of the Tatung-Puchow Railway north of Taiyuan, the middle section of the Peiping-Suiyuan Railway, the Peiping-Liaoning Railway, the section of the Peiping-Hankow Railway north of Chengchow, the Chengting-Taiyuan Railway, the Paikuei-Chincheng Railway,xviii the Tehchow-Shihchiachuang Railway, the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, the Tsingtao-Tsinan Railway and the section of the Lunghai Railway east of Chengchow. These medium and small towns must be contested; they are the medium and small peaches watered by the people of the Liberated Areas with their sweat and blood. It is difficult to say now whether these places will fall into the people’s hands. Only two words can be said now: struggle hard. Are there places which are sure to fall into the hands of the people? Yes, there are. They are the vast rural areas and the numerous towns in the provinces of Hopei, Chahar and Jehol,xix most of Shansi, Shantung and the northern part of Kiangsu, with villages linked together and with about a hundred towns in one area, seventy to eighty in another, forty to fifty in a third — altogether three, four, five or six such areas, big and small. What sort of towns? Medium and small towns. We are sure of them, we have the strength to pick these fruits of victory. In the history of the Chinese revolution this will be the first time that we have got such a bunch of fruit. Historically, it was only after we smashed the enemy’s third „encirclement and suppression“ campaignxx in the latter half of 1931 that we had altogether as many as twenty-one county townsxxi in the Central Support Base in Kiangsi Province, but there was not a single medium-sized town among them. With twenty-one small towns linked together, the total population at its height reached 2,500,000. Relying on this base, the Chinese people were able to continue the struggle for such a long time, win such big victories and smash such big „encirclement and suppression“ campaigns. Later we were defeated, for which we should blame, not Chiang Kai-shek, but ourselves for not fighting well enough. This time, if scores of big and small towns are linked in a single contiguous area and if there are three, four, five or six such areas, then the Chinese people will have three, four, five or six revolutionary bases, each larger than the Central Support Base in Kiangsi Province, and the situation for the Chinese Revolution will be very promising indeed.
If one looks at the situation as a whole, the stage of the War of Resistance Against Japan is over and the new situation and task is domestic struggle. Chiang Kai-shek talks about „building the country“. From now on the struggle will be, build what sort of country? To build a new-democratic country of the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat? Or to build a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country under the dictatorship of the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie? This will be a most complicated struggle. At present it takes the form of a struggle between Chiang Kai-shek who is trying to usurp the fruits of victory of the War of Resistance and ourselves who oppose his usurpation. If there is any opportunism during this period, it will lie in failing to struggle hard and in making a voluntary gift to Chiang Kai-shek of the fruits which should go to the people.
Will an open and total civil war break out? That depends on internal and international factors. The internal factors consist chiefly of our strength and the degree of our political consciousness. Given the general trend of the international and internal situation and the feelings of the people, is it possible, through our own struggles, to localize the civil war or delay the outbreak of a country-wide civil war? There is this possibility.
Chiang Kai-shek will face many difficulties if he tries to let loose a civil war. First, in the Liberated Areas there are a hundred million people, a million troops and over two million people’s militia. Second, the politically conscious people in the Kuomintang areas are against civil war, and this is some kind of check on Chiang Kai-shek. Third, inside the Kuomintang also there is a section which is not in favour of civil war. The situation today is vastly different from that in 1927. In particular, the condition of our Party today is vastly different from what it was in 1927. In those days our Party was still in its infancy and did not have a clear head or experience in armed struggle or the policy of giving tit for tat. Today the level of political consciousness in our Party is very much higher.
Apart from our own political consciousness, the political consciousness of the vanguard of the proletariat, there is the question of the political consciousness of the masses of the people. When the people are not yet politically conscious, it is entirely possible that their revolutionary gains may be handed over to others. This happened in the past. Today the level of political consciousness of the Chinese people is likewise very much higher. The prestige of our Party among the people has never been so great. Nevertheless, among the people, and chiefly among those living in the Japanese-occupied and Kuomintang areas, there are still a good many who believe in Chiang Kai-shek and have illusions about the Kuomintang and the United States of America, illusions which Chiang Kai-shek is working hard to spread. The fact that a section of the Chinese people is not yet politically conscious shows that much remains to be done in our propaganda and organizational work. The political awakening of the people is not easy. It requires much earnest effort on our part to rid their minds of wrong ideas. We should sweep backward ideas from the minds of the Chinese people, just as we sweep our rooms. Dust never vanishes of itself without sweeping. We must carry on extensive propaganda and education among the masses, so they will understand the real situation and trend in China and have confidence in their own strength.
It is up to us to organize the people. As for the reactionaries in China, it is up to us to organize the people to overthrow them. Everything reactionary is the same; if you don’t hit it, it won’t fall. It is like sweeping the floor; where the broom does not reach, the dust never vanishes of itself. There is a river called the Chieh-tse, south of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region. South of the river is Lochuan County and north of it, Fuhsien County. North and south of the river are two different worlds. The south is under the Kuomintang; since we have not reached there, the people are unorganized, and there is much filth and rottenness. Some of our comrades put their faith only in political influence, fancying that problems can be solved merely by influence. That is blind faith. In 1936, we were in Pao-an.xxii Forty to fifty li away, there was a fortified village held by a landlord despot. The Central Committee of the Party was then in Pao-an and our political influence could be considered very great indeed, but the counter-revolutionaries in this village obstinately refused to surrender. We swept to the south, we swept to the north, all in vain. Not until our broom swept right into the village did the landlord cry out, „Ow, I give up!“xxiii That is how things are in this world. Bells don’t ring till you strike them. Tables don’t move till you shift them. Japan would not surrender until after the Red Army of the Soviet Union entered northeastern China. The enemy and puppet troops never handed over their arms until our troops fought them. Only where the broom reaches can political influence produce its full effect. Our broom is the Communist Party, the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army. Broom in hand, you must learn to sweep; don’t lie in bed, fancying that a gust of wind will somehow rise and blow all the dust away. We Marxists are revolutionary realists and never indulge in idle dreams. There is an old saying in China, „Rise at dawn and sweep the courtyard.“xxiv Dawn is the breaking of a new day. Our forefathers told us to rise and start sweeping at the very break of day. They were setting us a task. Only by thinking and acting in this way will we benefit and find work to do. China has a vast territory, and it is up to us to sweep it clean inch by inch.
On what basis should our policy rest? It should rest on our own strength, and that means regeneration through one’s own efforts. We are not alone; all the countries and people in the world opposed to imperialism are our friends. Nevertheless, we stress regeneration through our own efforts. Relying on the forces we ourselves organize, we can defeat all Chinese and foreign reactionaries. Chiang Kai-shek, on the contrary, relies entirely on the aid of US imperialism, which he looks upon as his mainstay. The trinity of dictatorship, civil war and selling out the country has always been the basis of his policy. US imperialism wants to help Chiang Kai-shek wage civil war and turn China into a US dependency, and this policy, too, was set long ago. But US imperialism while outwardly strong is inwardly weak. We must be clear-headed, that is, we must not believe the „nice words“ of the imperialists nor be intimidated by their bluster. An American once said to me, „You should listen to Hurley and send a few men to be officials in the Kuomintang government.“xxv I replied: „It is no easy job to be an official bound hand and foot; we won’t do it. If we become officials, our hands and feet must be unfettered, we must be free to act, that is, a coalition government must be set up on a democratic basis.“ He said, „It will be bad if you don’t.“ I asked him, „Why bad?“ He said, „First, the Americans will curse you; secondly, the Americans will back Chiang Kai-shek.“ I replied: „If you Americans, sated with bread and sleep, want to curse people and back Chiang Kai-shek, that’s your business and I won’t interfere. What we have now is millet plus rifles, what you have is bread plus cannon. If you like to back Chiang Kai-shek, back him, back him as long as you want. But remember one thing. To whom does China belong? China definitely does not belong to Chiang Kai-shek, China belongs to the Chinese people. The day will surely come when you will find it impossible to back him any longer.“ Comrades! This American was trying to scare people. Imperialists are masters at this sort of stuff, and many people in the colonial countries do get scared. The imperialists think that all people in the colonial countries can be scared, but they do not realize that in China there are people who are not afraid of that sort of stuff. In the past we have openly criticized and exposed the US policy of aiding Chiang Kai-shek to fight the Communists; it was necessary, and we shall continue to do so.
The Soviet Union has sent its troops, the Red Army has come to help the Chinese people drive out the aggressor; such an event has never happened before in Chinese history. Its influence is immeasurable. The propaganda organs of the United States and Chiang Kai-shek hoped to sweep away the Red Army’s political influence with two atom bombs.xxvi But it can’t be swept away; that isn’t so easy. Can atom bombs decide wars? No, they can’t. Atom bombs could not make Japan surrender. Without the struggles waged by the people, atom bombs by themselves would be of no avail. If atom bombs could decide the war, then why was it necessary to ask the Soviet Union to send its troops? Why didn’t Japan surrender when the two atom bombs were dropped on her and why did she surrender as soon as the Soviet Union sent troops? Some of our comrades, too, believe that the atom bomb is all-powerful; that is a big mistake. These comrades show even less judgement than a British peer. There is a certain British peer called Lord Mountbatten. He said the worst possible mistake is to think that the atom bomb can decide the war.xxvii These Comrades are more backward than Mountbatten. What influence has made these Comrades look upon the atom bomb as something miraculous? Bourgeois influence. Where does it come from? From their education in bourgeois schools, from the bourgeois press and news agencies. There are two world outlooks and two methodologies, the proletarian world outlook and methodology and the bourgeois world outlook and methodology. These comrades often cling to the bourgeois world outlook and methodology and often forget the proletarian world outlook and methodology. The theory that „weapons decide everything“, the purely military viewpoint, a bureaucratic style of work divorced from the masses, individualist thinking, and the like — all these are bourgeois influences in our ranks. We must constantly sweep these bourgeois things out of our ranks just as we sweep out dust.
The entry of the Soviet Union into the war has decided Japan’s surrender and the situation in China is entering a new period. Between the War of Resistance and the new period there is a transitional stage. The struggle during this transitional stage is to oppose Chiang Kai-shek’s usurpation of the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance. Chiang Kai-shek wants to launch a country-wide civil war and his policy is set; we must be prepared for this. No matter when this country-wide civil war breaks out, we must be well prepared. If it comes early, say, tomorrow morning, we should also be prepared. That is point one. In the present international and domestic situation it is possible that for a time the civil war may be kept restricted in scale and localized. That is point two. Point one is what we should prepare for, point two is what has existed for a long time. In short, we must be prepared. Being prepared, we shall be able to deal properly with all kinds of complicated situations.
iOn August 8, 1945, the Soviet government declared war on Japan. On August 10 the Mongolian government declared war on Japan. The Soviet Red Army moved by land and sea into China’s Northeast and into Korea and swiftly routed the Japanese Kwantung Army. The joint Soviet-Mongolian armies crossed the Inner Mongolian desert and entered Jehol and Chahar Provinces. On August 10 the Japanese government was compelled to send a note begging to surrender and on the 14th it formally announced its unconditional surrender. The Kwantung Army was the cream of the main force of the Japanese army and constituted Japan’s general strategic reserve. The Japanese imperialists had dreamed of relying on this force to carry on a long-drawn-out war from their favourable strategic position in China’s Northeast and in Korea. This scheme was completely wrecked by the entry of the Soviet Union into the war, and the Japanese government had to admit defeat and surrender.
iiFor details, see „A Comment on the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Kuomintang’s Central Executive Committee and the Second Session of the Third People’s Political Council“, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. III.
iii„Mountain“ here refers to Mount Omei in Szechuan Province and more generally to the mountainous areas in southwestern and northwestern China. After Wuhan was occupied by the Japanese army in 1938, Chiang Kai-shek and the main force under his command took refuge in these mountainous areas and sat there watching the bitter struggle against the Japanese aggressors which was being waged behind the enemy lines by the army and people of the Liberated Areas.
ivPrior to the War of Resistance Against Japan, most of the revolutionary support bases led by the Communist Party of China were in mountainous regions. At that time Chiang Kai-shek’s rule was centred in the large cities along the big rivers and the coast. Accordingly, Chairman Mao Tse-tung said „we were on the mountain and he was by the water“.
vDuring the War of Resistance the front lines were in northern, eastern, central and southern China. People usually referred to the Kuomintang areas in southwestern and northwestern China which were not occupied by the Japanese invaders as the Great Rear Area.
viThe Northern Expedition was the punitive war against the Northern warlords launched by the revolutionary army which marched north from Kwangtung Province in May-July 1926. The Northern Expeditionary Army, with the Communist Party of China taking part in its leadership and under the Party’s influence (the political work in the army was at that time mostly under the charge of Communist Party members), gained the warm support of the broad masses of workers and peasants. In the second half of 1926 and the first half of 1927 it occupied most of the provinces along the Yangtse and Yellow Rivers and defeated the Northern warlords. In April 1927 this revolutionary war failed as a result of betrayal by the reactionary clique under Chiang Kai-shek within the army.
viiIn 1924, with the help of the Communist Party of China, Sun Yat-sen reorganized the Kuomintang and effected co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. The Revolutionary War of 1924-27 was launched on the basis of this cooperation. This first co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party was wrecked as a result of betrayals by Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Ching-wei in 1927.
viiiThis refers to Chiang Kai-shek’s betrayal of the revolution in 1927. After betraying the revolution, Chiang Kai-shek massacred great numbers of Communists workers, peasants and revolutionary intellectuals and unleashed a counter-revolutionary war against the revolutionary masses.
ixThis Congress was held in Yenan in April 1945. It was there that Chairman Mao Tse-tung delivered the political report „On Coalition Government“ (see Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. III).
xThe first revolution was the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolutionary struggle waged from 1924 to 1927 by the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China; the Northern Expedition was the main content of this revolution. The second revolution was the revolutionary struggle from 1927 to 1937 to create and develop Red political power. The third revolution was the War of Resistance Against Japan from 1937 to 1945.
xiChen Tu-hsiu was originally a professor at Peking University and became famous as an editor of New Youth. He was one of the founders of the Communist Party of China. Owing to his reputation at the time of the May 4th Movement and owing to the Party’s immaturity in its initial period, he became General Secretary of the Party. In the last period of the revolution of 1924-27, the rightist thinking in the Party represented by Chen Tu-hsiu developed into a line of capitulationism. In „The Present Situation and Our Tasks“, Chairman Mao Tse-tung said that the capitulationists at that time „voluntarily gave up the Party’s leadership of the peasant masses, urban petty bourgeoisie and middle bourgeoisie, and in particular gave up the Party’s leadership of the armed forces, thus causing the defeat of the revolution“ (p. 171 of this volume). After the defeat in 1927 Chen Tu-hsiu and a handful of other capitulationists lost faith in the future of the revolution and became liquidationists. They took the reactionary Trotskyist stand and together with the Trotskyites formed a small anti-Party group. Consequently Chen Tu-hsiu was expelled from the Party in November 1929. He died in 1942. With reference to Chen Tu-hsiu’s right-opportunism, see the introductory notes to „Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society“ and to „Report on the Investigation into the Peasant Movement in Hunan“, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. I, and „Introducing ‚The Communist‘“, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II.
xiiOn July 21, 1945, the Provisional 59th Division and 2nd Cavalry Division under Hu Tsung-nan, Commander of the Kuomintang’s 1st War Zone, suddenly attacked Yehtai Mountain in Chunhua County in the Kuanchung sub-region of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region. On July 23 Hu Tsung-nan sent his 3rd Reserve Division to join in the attack. On July 27 our forces withdrew on their own initiative from Yehtai Mountain and forty-one villages west of it. The Kuomintang forces continued their attacks on Hsunyi, Yaohsien and other points. On August 8 our forces struck back at the invading Kuomintang troops and recovered the Yehtai mountain area.
xiiiThis slogan was raised by the „left“ opportunists during the period from October 1933 to October 1934 when the Red Army of the Central Support Base was repulsing the Kuomintang’s fifth encirclement campaign. The slogan was diametrically opposed to the strategy formulated by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, which was to lure the enemy deep into our territory, concentrate a superior force and select the enemy’s weak points in order to wipe him out in mobile warfare.
xivIn January 1941, as demanded by Chiang Kai-shek, the Headquarters of the New Fourth Army led by the Communist Party of China and the units under the direct command of this headquarters moved north from southern Anhwei Province to cross the Yangtse River. While on the march they were encircled and ambushed by Chiang Kai-shek’s troops and lost more than 9,000, killed, wounded and captured. Chiang Kai-shek announced the cancellation of the designation of the New Fourth Army and ordered attacks against its other units. The event was called the Southern Anhwei Incident.
xvDuring the War of Resistance the Kuomintang kept a staff officer in Yenan for liaison. „Ho“ refers to Ho Ying-chin, Chief of the Kuomintang General Staff. On October 19 and December 8,1940, Chiang Kai-shek sent two telegrams in the names of Ho Ying-chin and Pai Chung-hsi, Deputy Chief of the Kuomintang General Staff, outrageously slandering the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army, which were fighting stubbornly behind the Japanese lines, and arbitrarily ordering the people’s anti-Japanese armed forces operating south of the Yellow River to withdraw north of the river within a definite time-limit. The Kuomintang reactionaries then launched a sudden attack on units of the New Fourth Army which were moving north and thus created the Southern Anhwei Incident. At that time the Communist Party of China pointed to Ho Ying-chin as the representative of the Kuomintang reactionaries who had launched the large-scale anti-Communist campaign, but actually Chiang Kai-shek was meant.
xviThe „People’s Political Council“ was an advisory body set up by the Kuomintang government after the start of the War of Resistance. Its members were all „selected“ by the Kuomintang government; the majority belonged to the Kuomintang, and only a very few belonged to the Communist Party of China and other political parties. Moreover, the Kuomintang government did not recognize the equal and legal status of the parties which were opposed to Japanese aggression, nor did it allow their members to sit in the „People’s Political Council“ as representatives of their parties. One of the stipulations of the „Organic Rules of the People’s Political Council“ promulgated by the Kuomintang government was that those persons might become members of the Council „who have served in important cultural or economic organizations for three years or more and enjoy prestige, or those who devote themselves to affairs of state and have long enjoyed prestige“. It was on the basis of this stipulation that the Kuomintang „selected“ some counselors from the Communist Party of China.
xviiThis refers to the commentary, „Chiang Kai-shek Is Provoking Civil War“, written by Chairman Mao Tse-tung for the Hsinhua News Agency, pp. 27-31 of this volume.
xviiiAn unfinished railway line in southeastern Shansi Province, between Paikuei in Chihsien County and Chincheng.
xixThe province of Chahar was abolished in 1952. The province of Jehol was abolished in 1955. The territories originally under their jurisdiction were transferred to Hopei, Shansi and Liaoning Provinces and the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.
xxFrom July to September 1931 Chiang Kai-shek personally held the post of commander-in-chief and moved 300,000 reactionary troops in an encirclement campaign against the Kiangsi Red Base Area. The Red Army smashed this encirclement campaign and won a great victory. For details, see „Strategic Problems of the Chinese Revolutionary War“, Chapter 5, Section 5, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. I.
xxiThe twenty-one county towns here referred to were Juichin, Huichang, Hsunwu, Anyuan, Hsinfeng, Yutu, Hsingkuo, Ningtu, Kuangchang, Shihcheng and Lichuan in Kiangsi Province, and Chienning, Taining, Ninghua, Chingliu, Kueihua, Lungyen, Changting, Liencheng, Shanghang and Yungting in Fukien Province.
xxiiPao-an was a county in the northwestern part of Shensi Province. It is now called Chihtan County. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China had its headquarters there from early July 1936 to January 1937. Later it moved to Yenan.
xxiiiThe fortified village referred to was Tanpachai in the southwest of Pao-an County. There were over two hundred households in the village, which occupied a highly strategic position. Tsao Chun-chang, a landlord despot who headed a reactionary local armed band of over a hundred men, had long entrenched himself in this village. The Chinese Red Army repeatedly besieged the village but failed to capture it. In August 1936 the Red Army, while surrounding Tanpachai with the local armed forces, proceeded to win over the basic masses in the village and disintegrate the enemy from within. In December of the same year the bandit Tsao fled with a handful of his men, and Tanpachai was liberated.
xxivFrom „Maxims for the Good Household“, written by Chu Po-lu in the 17th Century.
xxvThe American referred to was Colonel David D. Barrett, head of the US Army Observer Group in Yenan. With the consent of the Communist Party of China, this group was sent to Yenan in 1944 by the US forces fighting against Japan. Patrick J. Hurley, a reactionary politician of the Republican Party, came to China in September 1944 as the personal representative of the US president and at the end of the year became US ambassador to China. See „The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains“, Note 1, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. III.
xxviThe United States dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and another on Nagasaki on August 9. The propaganda organs of the United States and of the Kuomintang made much of the event, alleging that the Japanese government had surrendered because it was afraid of the US atom bombs. By such propaganda they hoped to belittle the decisive role played by the entry of the Soviet Union into the war in compelling Japan to surrender.
xxviiMountbatten, then Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Southeast Asia, made a statement on August 9, 1945, welcoming the entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan. He also said that the worst possible mistake would be to believe that the atom bomb could end the war in the Far East.