On Coalition Government
April 24, 1945
I. The Fundamental Demands of the Chinese People
Our congress is being held in the following circumstances. A new situation has emerged after nearly eight years of resolute, heroic and indomitable struggle waged by the Chinese people with countless sacrifices and amid untold hardships against the Japanese aggressors; in the world as a whole, decisive victory has been gained in the just and sacred war against the fascist aggressors and the moment is near when the Japanese aggressors will be defeated by the Chinese people in co-ordination with the allied countries. But China remains disunited and is still confronted with a grave crisis. In these circumstances, what ought we to do? Beyond all doubt, the urgent need is to unite representatives of all political parties and groups and of people without any party affiliation and establish a provisional democratic coalition government for the purpose of instituting democratic reforms, surmounting the present crisis, mobilizing and unifying all the anti-Japanese forces in the country to fight in effective co-ordination with the allied countries for the defeat of the Japanese aggressors, and thus enabling the Chinese people to liberate themselves from the latter’s clutches. After that it will be necessary to convene a national assembly on a broad democratic basis and set up a formally constituted democratic government, which will also be in the nature of a coalition and will have a still wider representation of people from all parties and groups or without any party affiliation, and which will lead the liberated people of the whole country in building an independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and powerful new China. In short, we must take the line of unity and democracy, defeat the aggressors and build a new China.
We believe that this alone can give expression to the fundamental demands of the Chinese people. Therefore, my report will deal mainly with these demands. Whether or not a democratic coalition government should be set up has become a matter of deep concern for the Chinese people and for democratic public opinion in the allied countries. My report will therefore lay particular stress on elucidating this question.
In the eight years of the War of Resistance Against Japan, the Communist Party of China has overcome many difficulties and achieved great successes, but as things stand serious difficulties still confront our Party and people. The present situation demands that our Party should work still more solidly and intensively and that it should continue to overcome the difficulties and strive to fulfil the fundamental demands of the Chinese people.
II. The International and the Domestic Situation
Can the Chinese people translate these basic demands into reality? This will depend on the level of their political consciousness, their unity and their efforts. At the same time, the present international and domestic situation offers extremely favourable opportunities. If the Chinese people can make good use of these opportunities and continue to fight on staunchly, vigorously and persistently, they will undoubtedly defeat the aggressors and build a new China. They must redouble their efforts in their struggle to accomplish their sacred tasks.
What is the present international situation?
The present military situation is that the Soviet Army is attacking Berlin, and the allied forces of Britain, the United States and France are attacking the Hitlerite remnants in co-ordination with this offensive, while the Italian people are launching uprisings. All this will eliminate Hitler once and for all. After Hitler is wiped out, the defeat of the Japanese aggressors will not be far distant. Contrary to the predictions of the Chinese and foreign reactionaries, the forces of fascist aggression will undoubtedly be overthrown and the people’s democratic forces will undoubtedly triumph. The world will unquestionably take the road of progress and not the road of reaction. Of course, we must remain very much on the alert and reckon with the possibility of certain temporary or perhaps even serious twists and turns in the course of events; in many countries there are still strong reactionary forces which begrudge the people at home and abroad their unity, progress and liberation. Anyone who loses sight of this possibility will make political mistakes. The general trend of history, however, is already clearly decided and will not change. This is bad only for the fascists and for the reactionaries of all countries who are in fact their helpers, but it is a blessing for the people and for the organized democratic forces in all countries. The people, and the people alone, are the motive force of world history. The Soviet-people have built up great strength and become the main force in the defeat of fascism. It is their efforts, plus those of the people in the other anti-fascist allied countries, which are making the destruction of fascism possible. War has educated the people ant it is the people who will win the war, win the peace and win progress.
This new situation is very different from that in World War I. The Soviet Union was not yet in existence then and the people were not politically awakened as they are in many countries today. The two world wars represent two entirely different epochs.
This does not mean that there will be no more struggles after the defeat of the fascist aggressor countries, the end of World War II and the establishment of international peace. The remnant forces of fascism which are still widespread will certainly continue to make trouble, while within the camp now fighting fascist aggression there are forces which oppose democracy and oppress other nations, and they will continue to oppress the people in various countries and in the colonies and semi-colonies. Therefore, after international peace is established, there will still be numerous struggles over the greater part of the world–between the anti-fascist masses and the remnants of fascism, between democracy and anti-democracy, between national liberation and national oppression. The people will achieve the most extensive victory only through long and sustained efforts, when the remaining forces of fascism, the anti-demactatic forces and all the imperialist forces are overcome. To be sure, that day will not come very quickly or easily, but come it surely will. Victory in the anti-fascist Second World War will pave the way for the victory of the people in their post-war struggles. A stable and lasting peace will be ensured only when victory is won in these struggles.
What is the present domestic situation?
China’s protracted war has exacted and will continue to exact great sacrifices from the Chinese people, but at the same time this very war has tempered them. It has awakened and united the Chinese people to a greater degree than all their great struggles in the last hundred years. The Chinese people face not only a formidable national enemy but also powerful domestic reactionary forces which are in fact helping the enemy; this is one side of the picture. But the other side is that the Chinese people are not only more politically conscious than ever before but have built powerful Liberated Areas and a nation-wide democratic movement that is growing day by day. These constitute favourable domestic conditions. If the defeats and setbacks in the Chinese people’s struggles of the last hundred years were due to the absence of certain necessary international and domestic conditions, then today the situation is different–all the necessary conditions are present. There is every possibility of avoiding defeat and winning victory. We shall be victorious if we can unite the whole people in resolute struggle and give them proper leadership.
The Chinese people now have much greater confidence that they can unite to defeat the aggressors and build a new China. The time has come for them to conquer all difficulties and achieve their fundamental demands, their great historic aspirations. Is there any doubt about it? I think not.
Such is the general international and domestic situation today.
III. Two Lines In The Anti-Japanese War
The Key To China’s Problems
In speaking of the domestic situation, we have also to make a specific analysis of China’s War of Resistance.
China is one of the five biggest countries taking part in the war against fascism and it is the principal country fighting the Japanese aggressors on the continent of Asia. Not only have the Chinese people played a very great role in the war against Japan, but they will also play a very great role in safeguarding peace in the post-war world and the decisive one in safeguarding peace in the East. China has made very great efforts to liberate herself and to help the allied countries during the eight years of the War of Resistance Against Japan. These efforts have been made primarily by the people of China. Vast numbers of officers and men in China’s armies have fought and shed their blood at the front; the workers, peasants, intellectuals and industrialists of China have worked hard in the rear; the Chinese overseas have made donations to support the war; and all the anti-Japanese political parties, except for such of their members as are opposed to the people, have played their part in the war. In short, with their blood and sweat, the Chinese people have heroically fought the Japanese aggressors for eight long years. But for a number of years the Chinese reactionaries have been spreading rumours and misleading public opinion in order to prevent the world from knowing the truth about the role played by the Chinese people in the war. Besides, there has as yet been no comprehensive summing-up of the varied experience gained by China during those eight years of war. Therefore, this congress should make a proper summing-up of all this experience in order to educate the people and provide our Party with a basis for the formulation of policy.
When it comes to such summing up, it is plain to all that there are two different guiding lines in China. One leads to the defeat of the Japanese aggressors, while the other not only makes their defeat impossible but in some respects actually helps them and undermines our War of Resistance.
The Kuomintang government’s policy of passive resistance to Japan and its reactionary domestic policy of active repression of the people have resulted in military setbacks, enormous territorial losses, financial and economic crisis, oppression and hardship for the people and the disruption of national unity. This reactionary policy has been an obstruction to mobilizing and uniting all the anti-Japanese forces of the Chinese people for the effective prosecution of the war, and has hindered the awakening and unity of the people. Yet this political awakening and this unity have never ceased to develop, but have moved forward along a tortuous course, under the twofold repression of the Japanese aggressors and the Kuomintang government. Clearly, there have been two lines in China for a long time, the Kuomintang government’s line of oppression of the people and of passive resistance, and the Chinese people’s line of enhancing their own consciousness and unity for the waging of a people’s war. Herein lies the key to all China’s problems.
History Follows A Tortuous Course
To help people understand why this question of the two lines is the key to all of China’s problems, it is necessary to trace the history of our War of Resistance Against Japan.
The Chinese people’s War of Resistance has followed a tortuous course. It began as far back as 1931. On September 18 of that year, the Japanese aggressors occupied Shenyang, and within a few months they seized the three northeastern provinces. The Kuomintang government adopted a policy of non-resistance. But against the will of the Kuomintang government and led or assisted by the Chinese Communist Party, the people and a patriotic section of the troops of these provinces organized the Anti-Japanese Volunteers and the Anti-Japanese United Army and engaged in heroic guerrilla warfare. At one time this heroic guerrilla warfare grew to great dimensions and, despite many difficulties and setbacks, it has never been put down by the enemy. When the Japanese aggressors attacked Shanghai in 1932, a group of patriots in the Kuomintang once again defied the will of the Kuomintang government and led the 19th Route Army in resisting the Japanese aggressors. In 1933 the Japanese aggressors invaded Jehol and Chahar Provinces, and for the third time a group of patriots in the Kuomintang defied the will of the Kuomintang government and co-operated with the Communist Party in organizing the Anti-Japanese Allied Army to resist the enemy. But in all this fighting against Japan support came entirely from the Chinese people, the Chinese Communist Party, other democratic groups and the patriotic Chinese overseas, while the Kuomintang government with its policy of non-resistance contributed nothing. On the contrary, the anti-Japanese actions in Shanghai and Chahar were both wrecked by the Kuomintang government itself. In 1933 it also destroyed the people’s government which had been established in Fukien by the 19th Route Army.
Why did the Kuomintang government of that day adopt a policy of non-resistance? The main reason was that it had wrecked Kuomintang-Communist co-operation and the unity of the Chinese people in 1927.
In 1924 Dr. Sun Yat-sen, accepting the proposals of the Chinese Communist Party, called the First National Congress of the Kuomintang in which Communists took part, adopted the Three Great Policies of alliance with Russia, co-operation with the Communist Party and assistance to the peasants and workers, established the Whampoa Military Academy and formed the national united front of the Kuomintang, the Communist Party and all sections of the people. As a result, the reactionary forces in Kwangtung Province were destroyed in 1924-25, the triumphant Northern Expedition was carried out during 1926-27, most of the areas along the Yangtse and Yellow Rivers were taken over, the Northern warlord government was defeated, and the people’s struggle for liberation was unfolded on a scale never before seen in Chinese history. But at a critical moment in the progress of the Northern Expedition, in the late spring and early summer of 1927, the treacherous and reactionary policies of “party purge” and massacre adopted by the Kuomintang authorities wrecked this national united front–the united front of the Kuomintang, the Communist Party and all sections of the people, which embodied the Chinese people’s cause of liberation–and all its revolutionary policies. Yesterday’s allies, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people, were now regarded as enemies, and yesterday’s enemies, the imperialists and feudalists, were now regarded as allies. So it came about that a sudden attack was perfidiously launched against the Chinese Communist Party and the people, and the great, dynamic and vigorous revolution was crushed. Thereupon unity was replaced by civil war, democracy by dictatorship, and a China full of brightness by a China covered in darkness. But the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people were neither cowed nor conquered nor exterminated. They picked themselves up, wiped off the blood, buried their fallen comrades and went into battle again. Holding high the great standard of revolution, they rose in armed resistance and over a vast territory in China they set up people’s governments, carried out land reform, built up a people’s army–the Chinese Red Army– and preserved and expanded the revolutionary forces of the Chinese people. Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary Three People’s Principles, which the Kuomintang reactionaries had discarded, were carried forward by the people, the Communist Party and other democrats.
After the invasion of the three northeastern provinces by the Japanese aggressors, the Chinese Communist Party in 1933, proposed to all the Kuomintang forces then attacking the revolutionary base areas and the Red Army that an armistice agreement be concluded to facilitate united resistance to Japan; this proposal was made with three conditions–that the attacks should stop, that the people should be granted democratic rights, and that the people should be armed. But the Kuomintang authorities rejected it.
From then on the Kuomintang government’s policy of civil war became increasingly vicious, while the voice of the Chinese people grow increasingly powerful in its demand for an end to civil war and for united resistance to Japan. All kinds of popular patriotic organizations were formed in Shanghai and many other places. Between 1934 and 1936, under the leadership of the Central Committee of our Party, the main forces of the Red Army north and south of the Yangtse River went through untold hardships and moved to northwestern China, joining forces with the Red Army units there. It was in those two years that the Chinese Communist Party decided on, and carried out, a new and comprehensive political line in keeping with the new situation–the line of the National United Front Against Japan, with united resistance to Japan and the establishment of a new-democratic republic as the goal of struggle. On December 9,1935, the student masses in Peiping launched a heroic patriotic movement under our Party’s leadership; they formed the Chinese National Liberation Vanguard Corps and spread this movement to all the big cities in China. On December 12, 1936, two patriotic Kuomintang groups which favoured resistance to Japan, the Northeastern Army and the 17th Route Army, together staged the famous Sian Incident in courageous opposition to the reactionary Kuomintang policy of compromising with Japan and massacring the people at home. Other patriots in the Kuomintang were likewise dissatisfied with the policy of the Kuomintang authorities at the time. These were the circumstances in which the Kuomintang authorities were forced to abandon their policy of civil war and to acknowledge the demands of the people. The peaceful settlement of the Sian Incident became the turning point; under the new circumstances internal co-operation took shape and the nationwide War of Resistance Against Japan began. In May 1937, shortly before the Lukouchiao Incident, our Party called the historic national conference at which the new political line followed by the Central Committee of the Party since 1935 was endorsed.
From the Lukouchiao Incident of July 7, 1937 to the fall of Wuhan in October 1938, the Kuomintang government was relatively active in the war against Japan. During that period the large-scale Japanese attacks and the mounting patriotic indignation of the whole people compelled the Kuomintang government to make resistance to the Japanese aggressors the centre of gravity of its policy, which made it easier to bring about an upsurge in the struggle of the whole army and people against Japan, and for a time there was a new and dynamic atmosphere. All the people, including the Communists and other democrats, earnestly hoped that the Kuomintang government would seize the opportunity, at a time when the nation was in peril and the people were filled with enthusiasm, to institute democratic reforms and put Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary Three People’s Principles into practice. But their hopes came to nought. Even in those two years of relatively active resistance, the Kuomintang authorities continued to oppose the mobilization of the masses for a people’s war and to place restrictions on the people’s spontaneous efforts to unite for anti-Japanese and democratic action. While the Kuomintang government had somewhat changed its previous attitude to the Chinese Communist Party and the other anti-Japanese parties, it continued to deny them equal status and restrict their activities in many ways. Patriotic political prisoners were still kept in jail in large numbers. Above all, the Kuomintang government still maintained the oligarchic dictatorship it had established after launching the civil war in 1927, so that it was impossible to set up a democratic coalition government representing the unanimous will of the nation.
At the very beginning of this period we Communists pointed out that there were two alternative lines for China’s war of Resistance Against Japan, an all-embracing people’s war leading to victory, or a partial war in which the people remained oppressed, leading to defeat. We also pointed out that the war would be protracted and would inevitably involve many obstacles and hardships, but that by their exertions the Chinese people were sure to win the final victory.
The People’s War
During the same period the main forces of the Communist-led Red Army, which had moved to northwestern China, were redesignated as the Eighth Route Army of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army, while the Chinese Red Army’s guerrilla units, which had remained in various places on both sides of the Yangtse River, were redesignated as the New Fourth Army of the Chinese National Revolutionary Army. The former went to fight on the northern China front and the latter on the central China front. During the civil war period, the Chinese Red Army, which had preserved and developed the democratic tradition of the Whampoa Military Academy and of the National Revolutionary Army of the Northern Expedition days, had at one time grown to several hundred thousand men. But by the beginning of the War of Resistance Against Japan it had been reduced to a few tens of thousands as a result of the ruthless destruction wrought in our southern base areas by the Kuomintang government, our losses during the Long March, and other causes. Consequently there were some who looked down on this army and thought that the main reliance for resistance to Japan should be placed on the Kuomintang. But the people are the best judges. The people knew that despite their small number at the time, the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies were of high quality, that they alone could wage a real people’s war and that boundless prospects would open up before them once they reached the anti-Japanese fronts and joined with the broad masses there. And the people were right. By now, as I make this report, our army has already expanded to 910,000 men, and the number of our rural militia, who are not withdrawn from normal productive work, has grown to more than 2,200,000. Despite the fact that our regular army is still numerically much smaller than that of the Kuomintang (counting the Kuomintang units under local as well as central control), it has already become the main force in China’s War of Resistance, judging by the number of Japanese and puppet forces it is engaging and the extent of its battle fronts, by its combat effectiveness, by the mass support it enjoys in its operations, and by its political quality, cohesion and unity.
This army is powerful because all its members have a discipline based on political consciousness; they have come together and they fight not for the private interests of a few individuals or a narrow clique, but for the interests of the broad masses and of the whole nation. The sole purpose of this army is to stand firmly with the Chinese people and to serve them whole-heartedly.
Guided by this purpose, this army has an indomitable spirit and is determined to vanquish all enemies and never to yield. No matter what the difficulties and hardships, so long as a single man remains, he will fight on.
Guided by this purpose, this army has achieved remarkable unity in its own ranks and with those outside its ranks. Internally, there is unity between officers and men, between the higher and lower ranks, and between military work, political work and rear service work, and externally, there is unity between the army and the people, between the army and government organizations, and between our army and the friendly armies. It is imperative to overcome anything that impairs this unity.
Guided by this purpose, this army has a correct policy for winning over enemy officers and men and for dealing with prisoners of war. Without exception all members of the enemy forces who surrender, who come over to our side or who, after laying down their arms, wish to join in fighting the common foe, are welcomed and given proper education. It is forbidden to kill, maltreat or insult any prisoner of war.
Guided by this purpose, this army has built up a system of strategy and tactics which is essential for the people’s war. It is skilled in flexible guerrilla warfare conducted in accordance with the changing concrete conditions and is also skilled in mobile warfare.
Guided by this purpose, this army has built up a system of political work which is essential for the people’s war and is aimed at promoting unity in its own ranks, unity with the friendly armies and unity with the people, and at disintegrating the enemy forces and ensuring victory in battle.
Guided by this purpose, the entire army, operating under conditions of guerrilla warfare, is able to utilize, and has in fact utilized, the intervals between battles and between training periods to produce grain and other necessities, thus becoming wholly, half or at least partly self-supporting, so that economic difficulties are overcome, living conditions improved and the burden on the people lightened. Every possibility has been exploited to establish a number of small-scale armament works in various military base areas.
Furthermore, this army is powerful because it has the people’s self-defence corps and the militia–the vast armed organizations of the masses–fighting in co-ordination with it. In the Liberated Areas of China all men and women, from youth to middle age, are organized in the people’s anti-Japanese self-defence corps on a voluntary and democratic basis and without giving up their work in production. The cream of the self-defence corps, except for those who join the army or the guerrilla units, is brought into the militia. Without the cooperation of these armed forces of the masses it would be impossible to defeat the enemy.
Finally, this army is powerful because of its division into two parts, the main forces and the regional forces, with the former available for operations in any region whenever necessary and the latter concentrating on defending their own localities and attacking the enemy there in co-operation with the local militia and the self-defence corps. This division of labour has won the whole-hearted support of the people. Without this correct division of labour–if, for example, attention were paid only to the role of the main forces while that of the regional forces were neglected–it would likewise be impossible to defeat the enemy in the conditions obtaining in China’s Liberated Areas. Under the regional forces, numerous armed working teams have been organized, which are well trained and hence better qualified for military, political and mass work; they penetrate into the rearmost areas behind the enemy lines, strike at the enemy and arouse the masses to anti-Japanese struggle, thus giving support to the frontal military operations of the various Liberated Areas. In all this they have achieved great success.
Under the leadership of their democratic governments, all the anti-Japanese people in the Liberated Areas of China are called upon to join organizations of workers, peasants, youth and women, and cultural, professional and other organizations, which will wholeheartedly perform various tasks in support of the armed forces. Those tasks are not limited to rallying the people to join the army, transporting grain for it, caring for soldiers’ families and helping the troops in meeting their material needs. They also include mobilizing the guerrilla units, militia and self-defence corps to make widespread raids and lay land mines against the enemy, gather intelligence about him, comb out traitors and spies, transport and protect the wounded and take direct part in the army’s operations. At the same time, the people in all the Liberated Areas are enthusiastically taking up various kinds of political, economic, cultural and health work. The most important thing in this connection is to mobilize everybody for the production of grain and other necessities and to ensure that all government institutions and schools, except in special cases, devote their free time to production for their own support in order to supplement the self-suffidency production campaigns of the army and the people and thus help to create a great upsurge of production to sustain the protracted War of Resistance. In China’s Liberated Areas, the enemy has wrought great havoc, and floods, droughts and damage by insect pests have been frequent. However, the democratic governments there have been leading the people in overcoming these difficulties in an organized way, and unprecedented results have been achieved by the great mass campaigns for pest extermination, flood control and disaster relief, thus making it possible to persevere in the protracted War of Resistance. In a word, everything for the front, everything for the defeat of the Japanese aggressors and for the liberation of the Chinese people–this is the general slogan, the general policy for the whole army and the whole people in the Liberated Areas of China.
Such is a real people’s war. Only by waging such a people’s war can we defeat the national enemy. The Kuomintang has failed precisely because of its desperate opposition to a people’s war.
Once it is equipped with modern weapons, the army of China’s Liberated Areas will become still more powerful and will be able to accomplish the final defeat of the Japanese aggressors.
Two Battle Fronts
From the very beginning there have been two fronts in China’s War of Resistance, the Kuomintang front and the front of the Liberated Areas.
After the fall of Wuhan in October 1938, the Japanese aggressors stopped their strategic offensive against the Kuomintang front and gradually shifted their main forces to the front of the Liberated Areas; at the same time, taking advantage of the defeatist sentiments of the Kuomintang government, they declared their willingness to arrive at a compromise peace with it, and, adopting a policy designed to deceive the Chinese nation, they induced the traitor Wang Ching-wei to leave Chungking and establish a puppet government in Nanking. The Kuomintang government then began to change its policy, gradually shifting the emphasis from resistance to Japan to opposition to the Communist Party and the people. This shift first made itself apparent in the military sphere. To conserve its own military strength, the Kuomintang government adopted the policy of passive resistance to Japan; it threw the burden of fighting onto the front of the Liberated Areas by letting the Japanese invaders attack the Liberated Areas in force, while itself “sitting on top of the mountain to watch the tigers fight”.
In 1939, the Kuomintang government adopted the reactionary “Measures for Restricting the Activities of Alien Parties” and completely deprived the people and the anti-Japanese parties of whatever rights they had won during the early period of the War of Resistance. From then on, in the Kuomintang areas, all the democratic parties, and first and foremost the Communist Party of China, have been driven underground by the Kuomintang government. In every province in those areas the prisons and concentration camps are packed with Communists, young patriots and other fighters for democracy. In the five years from 1939 to the autumn of 1943, the Kuomintang government launched three anti-Communist onslaughts to split national unity, and thus created serious danger of civil war. It was in this period that the “disbanding” of the New Fourth Army was ordered and more than nine thousand of its troops in southern Anhwei were annihilated–an event which shocked the world. To this very moment the attacks by Kuomintang troops on the forces of the Liberated Areas have not ceased, nor is there any sign that they will. At the same time, the Kuomintang reactionaries have been pouring out slanders and calumnies of all sorts. It is they who have fabricated such labels and expressions as “traitor party”, “traitor army”, “traitor areas”, and “sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the state”, for the purpose of maligning the Communist Party, the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies and the Liberated Areas. To meet the crisis, on July 7, 1939 the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party issued a manifesto setting forth the following slogans, “Persist in resistance and oppose capitulation! Persist in unity and oppose a split! Persist in progress and oppose retrogressions!” In those five years, our Party, acting on these timely slogans, vigorously repulsed the three reactionary and anti-popular anti-Communist onslaughts and overcame the crisis on each occasion.
There was actually no serious fighting on the Kuomintang front during those years. The sword-edge of Japanese aggression was mainly directed against the Liberated Areas. By 1943, the army and the people of the Liberated Areas were pinning down 64 per cent of the Japanese forces invading China and 95 per cent of the puppet troops, while the Kuomintang front faced only 36 per cent of the former and 5 per cent of the latter.
In 1944 the Japanese aggressors launched operations to force China’s north-south trunk railways open for through traffic; panic-stricken, the Kuomintang forces were totally incapable of offering resistance. Within a few months extensive areas in Honan, Hunan, Kwangsi and Kwangtung Provinces had fallen into the enemy’s hands. It was not until then that some change took place in the proportion of enemy forces engaged on the two fronts. Even so, at the moment of making this report, of the 40 divisions comprising 580,000 Japanese soldiers in China (not counting those in the three northeastern provinces), 22 1/2 divisions, comprising 320,000 men or 56 per cent of the total forces, are engaged on the front of the Liberated Areas, and no more than 17 1/2 divisions, comprising 260,000 men or 44 per cent, are engaged on the Kuomintang front. As for the puppet troops engaged on the two fronts, the ratio has not changed at all.
It should also be pointed out that the puppet troops, numbering more than 800,000 men (in both the regular and the local forces), are chiefly composed either of units that surrendered under their Kuomintang commanders or of units organized by the Kuomintang officers after their surrender. The Kuomintang reactionaries have furnished these puppet troops in advance with a false and traitorous theory, namely, “saving the nation by a devious path”, and have given them moral and organizational support since their surrender, directing them to attack the Chinese people’s Liberated Areas in co-ordination with the Japanese aggressors. These reactionaries have also mustered large forces, totalling no less than 797,000 men, to blockade and attack the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region and other Liberated Areas. This grave situation is being kept from the knowledge of many Chinese and foreigners by the Kuomintang government’s policy of suppressing news.
China’s Liberated Areas
China’s Liberated Areas, led by the Communist Party, now have a population of 95,500,000. They exist from Inner Mongolia in the north to Hainan Island in the south; almost everywhere the enemy goes, he finds the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army or some other people’s forces in operation. This vast liberated territory consists of nineteen major Liberated Areas, covering greater or lesser parts of the provinces of Liaoning, Jehol, Chahar, Suiyuan, Shensi, Kansu, Ningsia, Shansi, Hopei, Honan, Shantung, Kiangsu, Chekiang, Anhwei, Kiangsi, Hupeh, Hunan, Kwangtung and Fukien. Yenan is the centre from which guidance is given to all those Liberated Areas. The Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region west of the Yellow River, with a population of only 1,500,000, is but one of the nineteen areas forming this vast liberated part of China and, indeed, the smallest in population except for one in eastern Chekiang Province and another on Hainan Island. Unaware of this, some people think China’s liberated territory consists chiefly of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region. This misconception arises from the Kuomintang government’s blockade. In every one of the Liberated Areas, all the requisite policies of the Anti-Japanese National United Front have been put into practice, and popularly elected governments, that is, local coalition governments, have been or are being set up, in which Communists and representative personalities of other anti-Japanese parties or without any party affiliation are co-operating. The entire strength of the people has been mobilized in the Liberated Areas. As a result, despite the formidable pressure of the enemy, the Kuomintang’s military blockade and attacks and the complete absence of outside help, China’s Liberated Areas have stood firm and have grown steadily, reducing the territory occupied by the enemy and extending their own; they have become the model for a democratic China and the main force driving out the Japanese aggressors and liberating the Chinese people in military co-operation with the allied countries. The armed forces of China’s Liberated Areas, the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and the other armed forces of the people, have not only set a heroic example in fighting Japan, but have also set an example in carrying out the democratic policies of the Anti-Japanese National United Front. The declaration issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on September 22, 1937 affirming 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”, has been completely carried into effect in China’s Liberated Areas.
The Kuomintang Areas
Persisting in its dictatorial rule, the chief ruling clique of the Kuomintang has followed a policy of passive resistance to Japan and a domestic policy directed against the people. In consequence, its armed forces have shrunk to less than half their original size and most of them have virtually lost their combat effectiveness; there is a profound rift between this clique and the broad masses and a grave crisis of mass impoverishment, seething discontent and widespread revolt; not only has its role in the war been sharply reduced, but it has also become an obstacle to the mobilization and unity of all the anti-Japanese forces of the Chinese people.
Why has such a grave situation arisen under the leadership of the Kuomintang’s chief ruling clique? It has arisen because that clique represents the interests of China’s big landlords, big bankers and big compradors. The handful of people forming this reactionary stratum monopolize all the important military, political, economic and cultural organizations under the Kuomintang government. They place the safeguarding of their own interests above resistance to Japan. They too say “the nation above all”, but their actions do not accord with the demands of the great majority of the nation. They too say “the state above all”, but what they mean is the feudal-fascist dictatorship of the big landlords, big bankers and big compradors, and not a democratic state of the people. Therefore they are afraid of the rise of the people, afraid of the democratic movement and afraid of full mass mobilization for war against Japan. Herein lies the root cause of their policy of passive resistance to Japan and their reactionary domestic policy against the people, democracy and the Communist Party. They have a double-faced policy in everything. For instance, on the one hand they are resisting Japan but on the other they are pursuing a passive war policy, and moreover they are the constant target of Japanese inducements to surrender. They talk about developing China’s economy, but in fact they build up their own bureaucrat-capital, i.e., the capital of the big landlords, bankers and compradors, and monopolize the lifelines of China’s economy, ruthlessly oppressing the peasants, the workers, the petty bourgeoisie and the non-monopoly bourgeoisie. They talk about putting “democracy” into practice and “handing state power back to the people”, yet they ruthlessly suppress the people’s movement for democracy and refuse to introduce the mildest democratic reform. They say that “the Communist problem is a political one and should be solved politically”, yet they ruthlessly suppress the Chinese Communist Party militarily, politically and economically, regarding it as “enemy No. 1” and the Japanese aggressors as only “enemy No. 2”, and day in and day out they busy themselves with preparations for a civil war and plots to annihilate the Communist Party. They say they will establish a “modern state”, yet they work desperately to maintain the feudal-fascist dictatorship of the big landlords, bankers and compradors. While maintaining formal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, they are in fact hostile to it. They chant “Asia before Europe” in chorus with the U.S. isolationists in order to prolong the life of fascist Germany, which amounts to prolonging the life of fascists everywhere, including their own fascist rule over the Chinese people, yet at the same time they indulge in diplomatic manoeuvres, masquerading as anti-fascist heroes. If you look for the root of these contradictory double-faced policies, you will find they all stem from the social stratum of the big landlords, bankers and compradors.
Nevertheless, the Kuomintang is not a homogeneous political party. Though it is controlled and led by the reactionary clique representing the stratum of the big landlords, bankers and compradors, it must not be entirely identified with this clique. Some Kuomintang leaders do not belong to this clique by which they are even slighted, pushed aside or attacked. Many of its cadres and rank and file and many members of the Three People’s Principles Youth League are dissatisfied with the leadership of this clique, and some even oppose it. The same is true of all the Kuomintang armies, government organs and economic and cultural institutions which this reactionary clique controls. There are quite a number of democratic elements in all of them. Moreover, the reactionary clique itself, divided as it is into several contending factions, is not a close-knit body. Undoubtedly it is wrong to regard the Kuomintang as a homogeneous body of reactionaries.
The Chinese people have come to see the sharp contrast between the Liberated Areas and the Kuomintang areas.
Are not the facts clear enough? Here are two lines, the line of a people’s war and the line of passive resistance, which is against a people’s war; one leads to victory even in the difficult conditions in China’s Liberated Areas with their total lack of outside aid, and the other leads to defeat even in the extremely favourable conditions in the Kuomintang areas with foreign aid available.
The Kuomintang government attributes its failures to lack of arms.
Yet one may ask, which of the two are short of arms, the Kuomintang troops or the troops of the Liberated Areas? Of all China’s forces, those of the Liberated Areas lack arms most acutely, their only weapons being those they capture from the enemy or manufacture under the most adverse conditions.
Is it not true that the forces directly under the Kuomintang central government are far better armed than the provincial troops? Yet in combat effectiveness most of the central forces are inferior to the provincial troops.
The Kuomintang commands vast reserves of manpower, yet its wrong recruiting policy makes manpower replenishment very difficult. Though cut off from each other by the enemy and engaged in constant fighting, China’s Liberated Areas are able to mobilize inexhaustible manpower because the militia and self-defence corps system, which is well-adapted to the needs of the people, is applied everywhere, and because misuse and waste of manpower are avoided.
Although the Kuomintang controls vast areas abounding in grain and the people supply it with 70-100 million tan annually, its army is always short of food and its soldiers are emaciated because the greater part of the grain is embezzled by those through whose hands it passes. But although most of China’s Liberated Areas, which are located in the enemy rear, have been devastated by the enemy’s policy of “burn all, kill all, loot all”, and although some regions like northern Shensi are very arid, we have successfully solved the grain problem through our own efforts by increasing agricultural production.
The Kuomintang areas are facing a very grave economic crisis; most industries are bankrupt, and even such necessities as cloth have to be imported from the United States. But China’s Liberated Areas are able to meet their own needs in cloth and other necessities through the development of industry.
In the Kuomintang areas, the workers, peasants, shop assistants, government employees, intellectuals and cultural workers live in extreme misery. In the Liberated Areas all the people have food, clothing and work.
It is characteristic of the Kuomintang areas that, exploiting the national crisis for profiteering purposes, officials have concurrently become traders and habitual grafters without any sense of shame or decency. It is characteristic of China’s Liberated Areas that, setting an example of plain living and hard work, the cadres take part in production in addition to their regular duties; honesty is held in high esteem while graft is strictly prohibited.
In the Kuomintang areas the people have no freedom at all. In China’s Liberated Areas the people have full freedom.
Who is to blame for all the anomalies which confront the Kuomintang rulers? Are others to blame, or they themselves? Are foreign countries to blame for not giving them enough aid, or are the Kuomintang government’s dictatorial rule, corruption and incompetence to blame? Isn’t the answer obvious?
Who Is “Sabotaging The War Of Resistance And Endangering The State”?
In the light of the indisputable evidence, is it not the Kuomintang government itself that has been sabotaging the Chinese people’s War of Resistance and endangering our country? For fully ten years that government devoted itself wholly to civil war, turning the edge of its sword against the people while utterly neglecting national defence, and by its policy of non-resistance it gave away the four northeastern provinces. When the Japanese aggressors drove south of the Great Wall, it put up a flurry of resistance and then retreated from Lukouchiao all the way to the province of Kweichow. Yet the Kuomintang alleges that “the Communist Party is sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the state” (see resolutions of the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang, held in September 1943). Its only evidence is that the Communist Party has united with all sections of the people to create the Liberated Areas which are heroically resisting Japan. The logic of the Kuomintang is so different from that of the Chinese people that the failure to arrive at a common language on many problems is not to be wondered at.
Here are two questions.
First, what exactly has made the Kuomintang government abandon so vast and so well populated a territory, stretching from Heilungkiang Province to Lukouchiao and from Lukonchiao to Kweichow? Can it be anything other than its policy first of non-resistance and then of passive resistance to Japan, and its domestic policy of opposing the people?
Second, what exactly has enabled China’s Liberated Areas to smash the ruthless and prolonged attacks of the Japanese and puppet forces, to recover such vast territories and liberate such an immense population from the grip of the national enemy? Can it be anything other than our correct line, the line of a people’s war?
“Disobedience To Governmental And Military Orders”
The Kuomintang government also constantly accuses the Chinese Communist Party of “disobedience to governmental and military orders”. All we need say is that fortunately the Chinese Communists, sharing the common sense of the Chinese people, have not obeyed such “governmental and military orders” as in fact would have meant handing over to the Japanese aggressors the Liberated Areas which the Chinese people had recaptured from them amid great difficulties and hardships. Some examples are the “Measures for Restricting the Activities of Alien Parties” in 1939, the orders for the “disbandment of the New Fourth Army” and for its “withdrawal north of the old course of the Yellow River” in 1941, the order for the “dissolution of the Communist Party of China” in 1943, the order for us to “disband all the troops except for ten divisions within a definite time limit” in 1944, and the proposal which the Kuomintang government called “a concession” in the recent talks with us and which would require us to hand over our armed forces and local governments in exchange for a few posts in its dictatorial government, but without the formation of a coalition government. Fortunately we have not submitted to this sort of thing and have thus preserved an undefiled stretch of soil and a heroic anti-Japanese army for the Chinese people. Should not the Chinese people congratulate themselves on such “disobedience”? Does not the Kuomintang government feel it has done enough after presenting the Japanese aggressors with the vast populated area from Heilungklang to Kweichow through its own fascist government decrees and defeatist military orders? The Japanese aggressors and the reactionaries welcome these “governmental and military orders”, but can such things be welcomed by any upright Chinese patriot? Unless there is a coalition government, not in form but in fact, not a fascist dictatorship but a democratic government, is it conceivable that the Chinese people would permit the Chinese Communists to hand over the Liberated Areas where the people have won freedom as well as the people’s armies that have performed signal service in the War of Resistance to the present Kuomintang government, which is defeatist, fascist and dictatorial? Without the Liberated Areas and the people’s army, could the anti-Japanese cause of the Chinese people be what it is today? And can one possibly conceive what the future of the Chinese nation would be?
The Danger Of Civil War
To this day the chief ruling clique in the Kuomintang is persisting in its reactionary policy of dictatorship and civil war. There are many signs that it has long been making, and is now stepping up, preparations to unleash civil war as soon as the forces of a certain allied country have cleared a considerable part of the Chinese mainland of the Japanese aggressors. It also hopes that the generals of certain allied countries will do the same job in China as the British General Scobie has been doing in Greece. It applauds the butchery perpetrated by Scobie and the reactionary Greek government. It is planning to plunge China once again into the maelstrom of civil war, as in 1927-37. Behind the smokescreen of “convening the national assembly” and “political settlement”, it is secretly preparing civil war. If our fellow-countrymen fail to take note, fail to expose its schemes and put a stop to these preparations, then one fine morning they will hear the cannonade of civil war.
After obtaining the consent of other democratic parties, the Communist Party of China put forward the demand at the People’s Political Council in September 1944 that the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship be abolished immediately and a democratic coalition government be formed for the purpose of defeating the Japanese aggressors, building a new China and preventing civil war. This was undoubtedly a timely demand, and in the space of a few months it has won the warm response of the broad masses.
We have had many rounds of negotiations with the Kuomintang government on the question of abolishing the one-party dictatorship, forming a coalition government and instituting essential democratic reforms, but it has rejected all our proposals. Not only is the Kuomintang unwilling to abolish the one-party dictatorship and form a coalition government, it is unwilling to introduce a single one of the urgently needed democratic reforms, such as the abolition of the secret police, the annulment of the reactionary laws and decrees that suppress the people’s freedom, the release of political prisoners, recognition of the legal status of the political parties, recognition of the Liberated Areas and the withdrawal of the armies blockading and attacking them. Consequently political relations in China have become very strained.
In the light of the situation as a whole and of the above analysis of the actual international and domestic state of affairs, I would ask everyone here to be on the alert and not to expect that our cause will proceed smoothly and easily. No, it will not. Actually there are two possibilities, two prospects, one good and one bad. One possibility or prospect is that the fascist dictatorship will continue and democratic reforms will not be allowed, that the stress will be on opposing the people instead of the Japanese aggressors, and even that civil war may break out after the Japanese aggressors are defeated, dragging China back into her old miserable state, without independence, freedom, democracy, unity, prosperity or strength. This possibility or prospect is still there, and it has not ceased to exist or has not automatically vanished simply because of the favourable international situation and the increased political consciousness and organized strength of our people. Those who hope that this possibility or prospect will become a reality in China are the reactionary clique within the Kuomintang at home and the imperialist-minded reactionaries abroad. This is one aspect which must be taken into account.
But there is another aspect and, again in the light of the situation as a whole and the foregoing analysis of the international and domestic state of affairs, we can gain added confidence and courage in striving for the second possibility or prospect. It is that of overcoming all difficulties, uniting the whole people, abolishing the Kuomintang’s fascist dictatorship, carrying out democratic reforms, consolidating and expanding the anti-Japanese forces, thoroughly defeating the Japanese aggressors and building an independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and powerful new China. Those who hope that this possibility or prospect will become a reality in China are the masses, the Communist Party and the other democratic parties at home, and all the nations that treat us as equals and the progressives and the masses abroad.
We know full well that we Communists together with the whole Chinese people still face great difficulties and many obstacles and have a long and tortuous road to travel. But we know equally well that, together with the whole Chinese people, we shall overcome all the difficulties and obstacles and accomplish the task which history has entrusted China. The great task for us and for the whole people is to avert the first possibility or prospect and work for the second with every ounce of our energy. Essentially the international and domestic situation favours us Communists together with the Chinese people as a whole. This I have already made quite clear. We hope that the Kuomintang authorities will have the courage to change their present wrong policies in view of the general world trend and the popular feeling in China, so that the war can be won, the sufferings of the Chinese people can be reduced and a new China can soon be brought into being. It must be understood that, however tortuous the road, the Chinese people will certainly accomplish the task of achieving independence and liberation, and that the time has come for them to do so. It falls to our generation to fulfil the great aspirations cherished by countless martyrs in the past century, and any attempt to stop us will undoubtedly end in failure.
IV. The Policy Of The Chinese Communist Party
I have analysed the two lines in China’s War of Resistance. Such an analysis is absolutely necessary. For up to this very moment many Chinese people still do not know what is really going on in this war. Many people in the Kuomintang areas and in foreign countries are being kept in the dark by the Kuomintang government’s policy of blockade. They knew practically nothing about China’s Liberated Areas until a group of Chinese and foreign correspondents came here in 1944 on a tour of observation. As soon as this group returned, the Kuomintang government, which was very much afraid of the true situation in the Liberated Areas becoming known outside, bolted the door and refused to let any other correspondent come here. Similarly it has suppressed the truth about the Kuomintang areas. Therefore I feel that we have the duty to give the public as much of the true picture of “the two areas” as possible. Only when people see the whole situation in China clearly will they understand why there is such a difference in policy between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang, the two biggest political parties in China, and why there is such a struggle between the two lines. Only then will people understand that the dispute between the two parties is not an unnecessary or unimportant or merely captious dispute, as some have alleged, but is one of principle on which the lives of hundreds of millions of people depend.
In China’s present grave situation, the people, the democrats and democratic parties at home and the people in other countries who are concerned about the Chinese situation all hope that unity will replace disunity and that democratic reforms will be introduced, and they all want to know what the policy of the Chinese Communist Party is for solving the many vital problems of today. The members of our Party, of course, have a still deeper interest in these matters.
Our policies of the Anti-Japanese National United Front in the war have always been clear and definite, and they have been tested in the eight years of war. Our congress should draw conclusions from them as a guide for our future struggles.
Here I shall explain a number of the definite conclusions arrived at by our Party concerning the major policies for solving China’s problems.
Our General Programme
An agreed common programme is urgently needed by the Chinese people, the Chinese Communist Party and all the anti-Japanese democratic parties for the purpose of mobilizing and uniting all the anti-Japanese forces of the Chinese people, completely wiping out the Japanese aggressors and building a new China that is independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and powerful.
Such a common programme may be divided into two parts, the general and the specific. Let us consider first the general and then the specific programme.
On the major premise that the Japanese aggressors must be completely destroyed and a new China must be built, we Communists and the overwhelming majority of the population are agreed on the following fundamental propositions at the present stage of China’s development. First, China should not have a feudal, fascist and anti-popular state system under the dictatorship of the big landlords and big bourgeoisie, because eighteen years of government by the chief ruling clique of the Kuomintang have already proved its complete bankruptcy. Second, China cannot possibly establish the old type of democratic dictatorship–a purely national-bourgeois state–and therefore should not attempt to do so, because on the one hand the Chinese national bourgeoisie has proved itself very flabby economically and politically, and on the other, for a long time now a new factor has been present, namely, the awakened Chinese proletariat with its leader, the Chinese Communist Party, which has demonstrated great capacity in the political arena and assumed leadership of the peasant masses, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia and other democratic forces. Third, it is likewise impossible for the Chinese people to institute a socialist state system at the present stage when it is still their task to fight foreign and feudal oppression and the necessary social and economic conditions for a socialist state are still lacking.
What then do we propose? We propose the establishment, after the thorough defeat of the Japanese aggressors, of a state system which we call New Democracy, namely, a united-front democratic alliance based on the overwhelming majority of the people, under the leadership of the working class.
It is this kind of state system that truly meets the demands of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese population, because it can win and indeed has been winning the approval, first, of millions of industrial workers and tens of millions of handicraftsmen and farm labourers, second, of the peasantry, which constitutes 80 per cent of China’s population, i.e., 360 million out of a population of 450 million, and third, of the large numbers of the urban petty bourgeoisie as well as the national bourgeoisie, the enlightened gentry and other patriots.
Of course, there are still contradictions among those classes, notably the contradiction between labour and capital, and consequently each has its own particular demands. It would be hypocritical and wrong to deny the existence of these contradictions and differing demands. But throughout the stage of New Democracy, these contradictions, these differing demands, will not grow and transcend the demands which all have in common and should not be allowed to do so; they can be adjusted. Given such adjustment, these classes can together accomplish the political, economic and cultural tasks of the new-democratic state.
The politics of New Democracy which we advocate consists in the overthrow of external oppression and of internal feudal and fascist oppression, and then the setting up not of the old type of democracy but of a political system which is a united front of all the democratic classes. These views of ours are completely in accord with the revolutionary views of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. In the Manifesto of the First National Congress of the Kuomintang, Dr. Sun wrote:
The so-called democratic system in modern states is usually monopolized by the bourgeoisie and has become simply an instrument for oppressing the common people. On the other hand, the Kuomintang’s Principle of Democracy means a democratic system shared by all the common people and not privately owned by the few.
This is a great political injunction of Dr. Sun’s. The Chinese people, the Chinese Communist Party and all other democrats must respect it, firmly put it into practice and wage a determined fight against all individuals and groups that violate or oppose it, and so defend and develop this perfectly correct political principle of New Democracy.
The organizational principle of the new-democratic state should be democratic centralism, with the people’s congresses determining the major policies and electing the governments at the various levels. It is at once democratic and centralized, that is, centralized on the basis of democracy and democratic under centralized guidance. This is the only system that can give full expression to democracy with full powers vested in the people’s congresses at all levels and, at the same time, guarantee centralized administration with the governments at each level exercising centralized management of all the affairs entrusted to them by the people’s congresses at the corresponding level and safeguarding whatever is essential to the democratic life of the people.
The army and the other armed forces constitute an important part of the apparatus of the new-democratic state power, without which the state cannot be defended. As with all other organs of power, the armed forces of the new-democratic state belong to the people and protect the people; they have nothing in common with the army, police, etc. of the old type which belong to the few and oppress the people.
The economy of New Democracy which we advocate is likewise in accord with Dr. Sun’s principles. On the land question, Dr. Sun championed “land to the tiller”. On the question of industry and commerce, Dr. Sun stated in the Manifesto quoted above:
Enterprises, such as banks, railways and airlines, whether Chinese-owned or foreign-owned, which are either monopolistic in character or too big for private management, shall be operated and administered by the state, so that private capital cannot dominate the livelihood of the people: this is the main principle of the regulation of capital.
In the present stage, we fully agree with these views of Dr. Sun’s on economic questions.
Some people suspect that the Chinese Communists are opposed to the development of individual initiative, the growth of private capital and the protection of private property, but they are mistaken. It is foreign oppression and feudal oppression that cruelly fetter the development of the individual initiative of the Chinese people, hamper the growth of private capital and destroy the property of the people. It is the very task of the New Democracy we advocate to remove these fetters and stop this destruction, to guarantee that the people can freely develop their individuality within the framework of society and freely develop such private capitalist economy as will benefit and not “dominate the livelihood of the people”, and to protect all appropriate forms of private property.
In accordance with Dr. Sun’s principles and the experience of the Chinese revolution, China’s national economy at the present stage should be composed of the state sector, the private sector and the co-operative sector. But the state here must certainly not be one “privately owned by the few”, but a new-democratic state “shared by all the common people” under the leadership of the proletariat.
The culture of New Democracy should likewise be “shared by all the common people”, that is, it should be a national, scientific and mass culture, and must under no circumstances be a culture “privately owned by the few”.
Such is the general or fundamental programme which we Communists advocate for the present stage, the entire stage of the bourgeois-democratic revolution. This is our minimum programme as against our future or maximum programme of socialism and communism. Its realization will carry the Chinese state and Chinese society a step forward, from a colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal to a new-democratic state and society.
The political leadership of the proletariat and the proletarian-led state and co-operative sectors of the economy required by our programme are socialist factors. Yet the fulfilment of this programme will not turn China into a socialist society.
We Communists do not conceal our political views. Definitely and beyond all doubt, our future or maximum programme is to carry China forward to socialism and communism. Both the name of our Party and our Marxist world outlook unequivocally point to this supreme ideal of the future, a future of incomparable brightness and splendour. On joining the Party, every Communist has two clearly-defined objectives at heart, the new-democratic revolution now and socialism and communism in the future, and for these he will fight despite the animosity of the enemies of communism and their vulgar and ignorant calumny, abuse and ridicule, which we must firmly combat. As for the well-meaning sceptics, we should explain things to them with goodwill and patience and not attack them. All this is very clear, definite and unequivocal.
But all Communists and sympathizers with communism in China must struggle to achieve the objective of the present stage; they must struggle against foreign and feudal oppression to deliver the Chinese people from their miserable colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal plight and establish a proletarian-led new-democratic China whose main task is the liberation of the peasantry, a China of the revolutionary Three People’s Principles of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a China which is independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and powerful. This is what we have actually been doing. Together with the masses of the Chinese people, we Communists have been fighting heroically for this objective for the past twenty-four years.
If any Communist or Communist sympathizer talks about socialism and communism but fails to fight for this objective, if he belittles this bourgeois-democratic revolution, relaxes or slows down ever so slightly and shows the least disloyalty and coolness or is reluctant to shed his blood or give his life for it, then wittingly or unwittingly, such a person is betraying socialism and communism to a greater or lesser extent and is certainly not a politically conscious and staunch fighter for communism. It is a law of Marxism that socialism can be attained only via the stage of democracy. And in China the fight for democracy is a protracted one. It would be a sheer illusion to try to build a socialist society on the ruins of the colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal order without a united new-democtatic state, without the development of the state sector of the new-democratic economy, of the private capitalist and the co-operative sectors, and of a national, scientific and mass culture, i.e., a new-democratic culture, and without the liberation and the development of the individuality of hundreds of millions of people–in short, without a thoroughgoing bourgeois-democratic revolution of a new type led by the Communist Party.
Some people fail to understand why, so far from fearing capitalism, Communists should advocate its development in certain given conditions. Our answer is simple. The substitution of a certain degree of capitalist development for the oppression of foreign imperialism and domestic feudalism is not only an advance but an unavoidable process. It benefits the proletariat as well as the bourgeoisie, and the former perhaps more. It is not domestic capitalism but foreign imperialism and domestic feudalism which are superfluous in China today; indeed, we have too little of capitalism. Strangely enough, some spokesmen of the Chinese bourgeoisie fight shy of openly advocating the development of capitalism, but refer to it obliquely. There are other people who flatly deny that China should permit a necessary degree of capitalist development and who talk about reaching socialism in one stride and “accomplishing at one stroke” the tasks of the Three People’s Principles and socialism. Obviously, these opinions either reflect the weakness of the Chinese national bourgeoisie or are a demagogic trick on the part of the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie. From our knowledge of the Marxist laws of social development, we Communists clearly understand that under the state system of New Democracy in China it will be necessary in the interests of social progress to facilitate the development of the private capitalist sector of the economy (provided it does not dominate the livelihood of the people) besides the development of the state sector and of the individual and co-operative sectors run by the labouring people. We Communists will not let empty talk or deceitful tricks befuddle us.
There are some people who doubt whether we Communists are sincere when we declare that “the Three People’s Principles being what China needs today, our Party is ready to fight for their complete realization”. This is the result of their failure to understand that the basic tenets of the Three People’s Principles, which Dr. Sun Yat-sen enunciated in the Manifesto of the First National Congress of the Kuomintang in 1924 and which we have accepted, coincide with certain basic tenets of our Party’s programme for the present stage, that is, of our minimum programme. It should be pointed out that these Three People’s Principles of Dr. Sun Yat-sen coincide with our Party’s programme for the present stage only in certain basic tenets and not in everything. Our Party’s programme of New Democracy is of course much more comprehensive than Dr. Sun’s principles, particularly as our Party’s theory, programme and practice of New Democracy have greatly developed with the development of the Chinese revolution in the twenty years since Dr. Sun’s death, and will develop still further. In essence, however, these Three People’s Principles are a programme of New Democracy, as distinguished from the previous, old Three People’s Principles; naturally they are “what China needs today” and naturally “our Party is ready to fight for their complete realization”. To us Chinese Communists, the struggle for our Party’s minimum programme and the struggle for Dr. Sun’s revolutionary, or new, Three People’s Principles are basically (though not in every respect) one and the same thing. Therefore, as in the past and the present, the Chinese Communists will prove to be the most sincere and thoroughgoing executors of the revolutionary Three People’s Principles in the future as well.
Some people are suspicious and think that once in power, the Communist Party will follow Russia’s example and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and a one-party system. Our answer is that a new-democratic state based on an alliance of the democratic classes is different in principle from a socialist state under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Beyond all doubt, our system of New Democracy will be built under the leadership of the proletariat and of the Communist Party, but throughout the stage of New Democracy China cannot possibly have a one-class dictatorship and one-party government and therefore should not attempt it. We have no reason for refusing to co-operate with all political parties, social groups and individuals, provided their attitude to the Communist Party is cooperative and not hostile. The Russian system has been shaped by Russian history; in Russia the exploitation of man by man has been abolished as a social system, the political, economic and cultural system of the newest type of democracy, i.e. socialism, has been put into effect, and the people support the Bolshevik Party alone, having discarded all the anti-socialist parties. All this has shaped the Russian system, which is perfectly necessary and reasonable there. But even in Russia, where the Bolshevik Party is the sole political party, the system practised in the organs of state power is still one of an alliance of workers, peasants and intellectuals and an alliance of Party members and non-Party people, and not a system in which the working class and the Bolsheviks alone may work in the organs of government. The Chinese system for the present stage is being shaped by the present stage of Chinese history, and for a long time to come there will exist a special form of state and political power, a form that is distinguished from the Russian system but is perfectly necessary and reasonable for us, namely, the new-democratic form of state and political power based on the alliance of the democratic classes.
Our Specific Programme
Our Party must also have a specific programme for each period based on this general programme. Our general programme of New Democracy will remain unchanged throughout the stage of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, that is, for several decades. But from phase to phase during this stage, conditions have changed or are changing and it is only natural that we have to change our specific programme accordingly. For example, our general programme of New Democracy has remained the same throughout the periods of the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War and the War of Resistance Against Japan, but there have been changes in our specific programme, because our friends and enemies have not remained the same in the three periods.
The Chinese people now find themselves in the following situation:
(1) the Japanese aggressors have not yet been defeated;
(2) the Chinese people urgently need to work together for a democratic change in order to achieve national unity, rapidly mobilize and unite all anti-Japanese forces, and defeat the Japanese aggressors in co-operation with the allies; and
(3) the Kuomintang government is disrupting national unity and obstructing such a democratic change.
What is our specific programme in the circumstances or, in other words, what are the immediate demands of the people?
We consider the following to be appropriate and minimum demands:
Mobilize all available forces for the thorough defeat of the Japanese aggressors and the establishment of international peace in co-operation with the allies;
Abolish the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship and establish a democratic coalition government and a joint supreme command;
Punish the pro-Japanese elements, fascists and defeatists who are opposing the people and disrupting national unity, and so help to build national unity;
Punish the reactionaries who are creating the danger of civil war, and so help to ensure internal peace;
Punish the traitors, take punitive action against officers who surrender to the enemy, and punish the agents of the Japanese;
Liquidate the reactionary secret service and all its repressive activities and abolish the concentration camps;
Revoke all reactionary laws and decrees aimed at suppressing the people’s freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, political conviction and religious belief and freedom of the person, and guarantee full civil rights to the people;
Recognize the legal status of all democratic parties and groups;
Release all patriotic political prisoners;
Withdraw all troops encircling and attacking China’s Liberated Areas and dispatch them to the anti-Japanese front;
Recognize the anti-Japanese armed forces and popularly elected governments of China’s Liberated Areas;
Consolidate and expand the Liberated Areas and their armed forces, and recover all lost territory;
Help the people in the Japanese-occupied areas to organize underground armed forces for armed uprisings;
Allow the Chinese people to arm themselves and defend their homes and their country;
Bring about the political and military transformation of those armies directly under the Kuomintang supreme command, which constantly lose battles, oppress the people and discriminate against armies not directly under it, and punish the commanders who are responsible for disastrous defeats;
Improve the recruiting system and the living conditions of the officers and men;
Give preferential treatment to the families of the soldiers fighting in the anti-Japanese war, so that the officers and men at the front are free from domestic worries;
Provide preferential treatment for disabled soldiers and for the families of the soldiers who give their lives for the country, and help demobilized soldiers to settle down and earn a living;
Develop war industries to facilitate the prosecution of the war;
Distribute the military and financial aid received from the allies impartially to all the armies fighting in the War of Resistance;
Punish corrupt officials and institute clean government;
Improve the pay of the middle and lower grade government employees;
Give the Chinese people democratic rights;
Abolish the oppressive pao-chia system;
Provide the war refugees and the victims of natural disasters with relief;
Appropriate substantial funds after the recovery of China’s lost territory for the extensive relief of people who have suffered under enemy occupation;
Abolish exorbitant taxes and miscellaneous levies and establish a consolidated progressive tax;
Introduce rural reforms, reduce rent and interest, provide suitable safeguards for the rights of tenants, grant low-interest loans to impoverished peasants and help the peasants to organize, in order to facilitate the expansion of agricultural production;
Abolish the present policy of economic controls;
Check the unbridled inflation and rocketing prices;
Assist private industry and provide it with facilities for obtaining loans, purchasing raw materials and marketing its products;
Improve the livelihood of the workers, provide relief for the unemployed and help the workers to organize, in order to facilitate the expansion of industrial production;
Abolish Kuomintang indoctrination in education and promote a national, scientific and mass culture and education;
Guarantee the livelihood of the teachers and other staff members of educational institutions and guarantee academic freedom; protect the interests of the youth, women and children–provide assistance to young student refugees, help the youth and women to organize in order to participate on an equal footing in all work useful to the war effort and to social progress, ensure freedom of marriage and equality as between men and women, and give young people and children a useful education;
Give the minority nationalities in China better and grant them autonomous rights;
Protect the interests of the overseas Chinese and assist those who have returned to the motherland;
Protect foreign nationals who have fled to China from the Japanese oppression and support their struggle against the Japanese aggressors;
Improve Sino-Soviet relations.
To achieve these demands, the most important thing is the immediate abolition of the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship and the establishment of a democratic provisional central government, a coalition government enjoying nation-wide support and including representatives of all the anti-Japanese parties and people without party affiliation. Without this prerequisite it is impossible to make any genuine change in the Kuomintang areas, and therefore in the country as a whole.
These demands voice the desires of the Chinese masses and also of broad sections of democratic public opinion in the allied countries.
A minimum specific programme which is agreed upon by all the anti-Japanese democratic parties is absolutely indispensable, and we are prepared to consult with them on the basis of the programme outlined above. Different parties may have different demands, but all should reach agreement on a common programme.
As far as the Kuomintang areas are concerned, such a programme is still at the stage of being a demand of the people; as far as the Japanese-occupied areas are concerned, it is a programme whose fulfilment must await their recovery, except for the item on the organization of underground forces for armed uprisings; as far as the Liberated Areas are concerned, it is a programme which has already been, is being and should continue to be, put into practice.
The immediate demands or specific programme of the Chinese people outlined above involve many vital war-time and post-war problems which require further elucidation. In explaining these problems below we shall criticize some of the wrong viewpoints held by the chief ruling clique of the Kuomintang and at the same time answer some questions raised by other people.
- Destroy the Japanese Aggressors Completely, Allow No Compromise Halfway
The Cairo conference rightly decided that the Japanese aggressors mast be made to surrender unconditionally. But the Japanese aggressors are now working behind the scenes for a compromise peace, while the pro-Japanese elements in the Kuomintang government are hitching up with Japan’s secret emissaries through the Nanking puppet government, and no stop has been put to this. Hence the danger of a halfway compromise is not yet entirely over. The Cairo conference made another good decision, namely, that the four northeastern provinces, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands should be returned to China. But, given its present policies, the Kuomintang government cannot possibly be relied upon to fight all the way to the Yalu River and recover all our lost territory. What should the Chinese people do in these circumstances? They should demand that the Kuomintang government should destroy the Japanese aggressors completely and allow no compromise halfway. All intrigues for a compromise must immediately be stopped. The Chinese people should demand that the Kuomintang government should change its present policy of passive resistance and employ all its military strength in active warfare against Japan. They should expand their own armed forces–the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and the other armed units of the people–and on their own initiative develop anti-Japanese armed forces on an extensive scale wherever the enemy has reached, and they should prepare to recover all the lost territory by fighting in direct co-operation with the allies; under no circumstances must they place their reliance solely on the Kuomintang. It is the sacred right of the Chinese people to defeat the Japanese aggressors. If the reactionaries try to deprive them of this right, suppress their anti-Japanese activities or undermine their strength, then the Chinese people should firmly strike back in self-defence if persuasion proves unavailing. For such acts of national treachery on the part of the Chinese reactionaries only aid and abet the Japanese aggressors.
- Abolish the Kuomintang One-Party Dictatorship, Establish a Democratic Coalition Government
To wipe out the Japanese aggressors it is necessary to effect democratic reforms throughout the country. Yet this will be impossible unless the one-party dictatorship of the Kuomintang is abolished and a democratic coalition government is established.
The one-party dictatorship of the Kuomintang is in reality the dictatorship of the anti-popular clique within the Kuomintang, and this dictatorship is the disrupter of China’s national unity, the author of the defeats on the Kuomintang front in the war, and the basic obstacle to the mobilization and unification of the anti-Japanese forces of the Chinese people. The Chinese people have become fully aware of the evils of this dictatorship through eight years of bitter experience in the War of Resistance, and they naturally demand its immediate abolition. This reactionary dictatorship is also the breeder of civil war and, unless it is immediately abolished, it will again bring the calamity of civil war upon them.
So widespread and resounding is the outcry of the Chinese people for the abolition of the anti-popular dictatorship that the Kuomintang authorities themselves have been forced to agree publicly to the “earlier termination of political tutelage”, which shows how far this “political tutelage” or one-party dictatorship has forfeited popular support and prestige. There is not a single person in China who still dares to assert that “political tutelage” or one-party dictatorship is any good or that it should not be abolished or “terminated”, and that marks a great change in the situation.
It is definite and beyond all doubt that it should be “terminated”. But opinions differ as to how to do it. Some say, terminate it at once and establish a provisional democratic coalition government. Others say, wait a bit, convene the “national assembly”, and “hand state power back to the people” and not to a coalition government.
What does this mean?
It means there are two ways of doing things, the honest way and the dishonest way.
First, the honest way. The honest way is immediately to proclaim the abolition of the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship, to establish a provisional central government composed of representatives of the Kuomintang, the Communist Party, the Democratic League and people with no party affiliation, and to promulgate a democratic programme of political action such as the immediate demands of the Chinese people which we have set forth above, with the aim of restoring national unity and defeating the Japanese aggressors. A roundtable conference of the representatives of the various parties and people with no party affiliation should be convened to discuss and reach agreement on these matters, and action should then be taken accordingly. This is the road of unity, which the Chinese people will firmly support.
Second, the dishonest way. The dishonest way is to disregard the demands of the masses and of all the democratic parties and to insist on convening a so-called national assembly stage-managed by the anti-popular clique in the Kuomintang and have it adopt a “constitution” which in practice will be anti-democratic and will buttress the dictatorship of this clique, for the purpose of providing a cloak of legality for an illegal “National Government”–a government formed privately through the appointment of a few dozen Kuomintang members, imposed on the people and utterly devoid of any foundation in the popular will–thus making a pretence of “handing state power back to the people” while actually “handing it back” to the selfsame reactionary clique within the Kuomintang. Whoever disapproves will be accused of sabotaging “democracy” and “unity”, which will then be a “reason” for ordering punitive action against him. This is the road of disruption, which the Chinese people will firmly oppose.
The steps our reactionary heroes are preparing to take in line with this splitting policy will probably lead them to destruction. They are putting a noose round their own necks and fastening it there, and this noose is the “national assembly”. Their intention is to use the “national assembly” as a magic weapon, first, to prevent the formation of a coalition government, second, to maintain their dictatorship, and third, to prepare a justification of civil war. However, the logic of history runs counter to their wishes, and they will be “lifting a rock only to drop it on their own toes”. For it is now obvious to all that the people in the Kuomintang areas have no freedom and the people in the Japanese-occupied areas cannot take part in elections, while the Liberated Areas which have freedom are not recognized by the Kuomintang government. Such being the case, how can there be national delegates? How can there be a “national assembly”? The national assembly they are clamouring for is the one the Kuomintang dictatorship rigged up in every detail eight years ago during the civil war period. If such an assembly is convened, the whole nation will inevitably rise up against it, and how, it may be asked, will our reactionary heroes get out of that predicament? All in all, the convening of the bogus national assembly will only lead them to destruction.
We Communists propose two steps for the termination of the Kuomintang one-party dictatorship. First, at the present stage, to establish a provisional coalition government through common agreement among representatives of all parties and people with no party affiliation. Second, in the next stage, to convene a national assembly after free and unrestricted elections and form a regular coalition government. In both cases there will be a coalition government in which the representatives of all classes and political parties willing to take part are united on a democratic common programme in the fight against Japan today and for national construction tomorrow.
This is the only course China can take, whatever the intentions of the Kuomintang or other parties, groups or individuals, whether they like it or not, and whether or not they are conscious of it. This is a historical law, an inexorable trend which no force can reverse.
On this and all other problems of democratic reform, we Communists declare that although the Kuomintang authorities are still stubbornly persisting in their wrong policies and using negotiations to play for time and allay public opinion, we are ready to resume negotiations with them the moment they show willingness to renounce their present wrong policies and agree to democratic reforms. But the negotiations must be based on the general principle of resistance, unity and democracy, and we will not agree to any so-called measures, plans or empty pronouncements that depart from this general principle, however pleasing they may sound.
- Freedom for the People
At present the Chinese people’s struggle for freedom is primarily directed against the Japanese aggressors. But the Kuomintang government is preventing them from fighting the Japanese aggressors by depriving them of their freedom and binding them hand and foot. Unless this problem is solved, it will be impossible to mobilize and unify all the anti-Japanese forces of the nation. It is precisely to untie the people’s bonds so that they can have the freedom to resist Japan, to unite and to win democracy that our programme puts forward such demands as the abolition of the one-party dictatorship; the establishment of a coalition government; the liquidation of the secret police; the revocation of repressive laws and decrees; the punishment of traitors, spies, pro-Japanese elements, fascists and corrupt officials; the release of political prisoners; the recognition of the legal status of all the democratic parties; the withdrawal of troops encircling or attacking the Liberated Areas; the recognition of the Liberated Areas the abolition of the pao-chia system; and the many other demands relating to the economy, culture and the mass movement.
Freedom is won by the people through struggle, it is not bestowed by anyone as a favour. The people in China’s Liberated Areas have already won freedom, and the people can and must win freedom in the other areas too. The greater the freedom of the Chinese people and the stronger their organized democratic forces, the greater the possibility of forming a provisional and unified coalition government. Once formed, this coalition government will in its turn provide full freedom for the people and so consolidate its own foundations. Only then will it be possible to hold free and unrestricted elections throughout the land after the overthrow of the Japanese aggressors, to create a democratic national assembly and to establish a regular and unified coalition government. Unless the people have freedom, there can be no national assembly or government genuinely elected by the people. Is this not clear enough?
Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, political conviction and religious belief and freedom of the person are the people’s most important freedoms. In China only the Liberated Areas have given full effect to these freedoms.
In 1925 Dr. Sun Yat-sen declared in his deathbed Testament:
For forty years I have devoted myself to the cause of the national revolution with the aim of winning freedom and equality for China. My experience during these forty years has firmly convinced me that to achieve this aim we must arouse the masses of the people and unite in a common fight with those nations of the world who treat us as equals.
The unworthy successors of Dr. Sun, who have betrayed him, oppress the masses of the people instead of arousing them, and deprive them of all their freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, political conviction and religious belief and freedom of the person. They attach the labels “traitor party”, “traitor army”, and “traitor areas” to the Communist Party, the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies and the Liberated Areas, which are all genuinely arousing the masses of the people and protecting their freedoms and rights. We hope that there will soon be an end to this reversal of right and wrong. If it lasts much longer, the Chinese people will lose all patience.
- Unity of the People
It is imperative to turn a divided China into a united China in order to destroy the Japanese aggressors, prevent civil war and build a new China; such is the historical task of the Chinese people.
But how is China to be united? Through autocratic unification by a dictator or democratic unification by the people? From the time of Yuan Shih-kai the Northern warlords concentrated on autocratic unification. But what was the result? Contrary to their desires, what they obtained was not unification but division, and finally they tumbled from power. Following in Yuan Shih-kai’s footsteps, the anti-popular clique of the Kuomintang sought autocratic unification and waged civil war for fully ten years, only to let in the Japanese aggressors while they themselves withdrew to Mount Omei. And now from their mountain top they are again shouting about their theory of autocratic unification. To whom are they shouting? Will any upright patriotic Chinese listen to them? Having lived through sixteen years of Northern warlord rule and eighteen years of dictatorial Kuomintang rule, the people have acquired ample experience and discerning eyes. They want democratic unification by the masses and not autocratic unification by a dictator. As early as 1935, we Communists put forward the policy of the Anti-Japanese National United Front, and we have fought for it ever since. In 1939, when the Kuomintang was enforcing its reactionary “Measures for Restricting the Activities of Alien Parties”, thus creating the imminent danger of capitulation, split and retrogression, and when it was shouting about its theory of autocratic unification, we again declared: There must be unification based on resistance and not on capitulation, on unity and not on splitting, on progress and not on retrogression. Only unification based on resistance, unity and progress is genuine and any other kind would be a sham. Six years have passed, but the issue remains the same.
Can there be unity if the people have no freedom or democracy? There will be unity as soon as they have both. The Chinese people’s movement for freedom, democracy and a coalition government is at the same time a movement for unity. When we put forward many demands for freedom, democracy and a coalition government in our specific programme, we are at the same time aiming at unity. It is plain common sense that unless the dictatorship of the anti-popular Kuomintang clique is abolished and a democratic coalition government is formed, not only will it be impossible to carry out any democratic reform in the Kuomintang areas or to mobilize the armies and the people there for the defeat of the Japanese aggressors, but the calamity of civil war will ensue. Why do so many democrats, with and without party affiliation, including many in the Kuomintang, unanimously demand a coalition government? Because they are clearly aware of the present crisis and realize that there is no other way to overcome it and achieve both unity against the enemy and unity for national construction.
- The People’s Army
Without an army standing on the people’s side, it is impossible for the Chinese people to win freedom and unification, establish a coalition government, thoroughly defeat the Japanese aggressors and build a new China. At present the only armed forces that stand wholly on the people’s side are the Liberated Areas’ Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies, which are not very large; they are far from sufficient. Yet the Kuomintang group which opposes the people is ceaselessly intriguing to undermine and destroy the armies of the Liberated Areas. In 1944 the Kuomintang government presented a so-called memorandum demanding that the Communist Party should “disband, within a definite time limit”, four-fifths of the armed forces of the Liberated Areas. In 1945, during the most recent negotiations, it has further demanded the handing over of all the armed forces of the Liberated Areas by the Communist Party, after which it would grant the Communist Party “legal status”.
These people tell the Communists, “Hand over your troops and we will grant you freedom.” According to their theory, a political party that does not have any army should enjoy freedom. Yet whatever freedom the Chinese Communist Party enjoyed during 1924-27, when it had only a small armed force, vanished with the Kuomintang government’s policies of “party purge” and massacre. And today, the China Democratic League and the democrats within the Kuomintang, who have no armed forces, have no freedom either. Let us take the workers, peasants and students and the progressively inclined people in cultural, educational and industrial circles under the Kuomintang regime–for the last eighteen years none of them have had any armed forces, and none of them have had any freedom. Can it be that all these democratic parties and people have been denied freedom because they organized armies, perpetrated “feudal separatism”, created “traitor areas” and violated “governmental and military orders”? Not in the least. On the contrary, they have been denied freedom precisely because they have done none of these things.
“The army belongs to the state”–that is perfectly true, and there is not an army in the world that does not belong to a state. But what kind of state? A state under the feudal and fascist dictatorship of the big landlords, big bankers and big compradors, or a new-democratic state of the broad masses of the people? The only kind of state for China to establish is a new-democratic state and, on this basis, she should establish a new-democratic coalition government; all the armed forces of China must belong to such a government of such a state so that they may safeguard the people’s freedom and effectively fight foreign aggressors. The moment a new-democratic coalition government comes into being in China, the Liberated Areas of China will hand their armed forces over to it. But all the Kuomintang armed forces will have to be handed over to it at the same time.
In 1924 Dr. Sun Yat-sen said, “Today should mark the beginning of a new epoch in the national revolution…. The first step is to unite the armed forces with the people, and the next step is to turn them into the armed forces of the people.” It is because they have applied this policy that the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies have become “the armed forces of the people”, that is, the people’s army, and have been able to win victories. During the earlier period of the Northern Expedition, the Kuomintang armies took Dr. Sun’s “first step”, and hence won victories. In the latter period of the Northern Expedition they abandoned even the “first step”, took a stand against the people, and hence from that time right down to the present they have become more and more corrupt and degenerate; in their element when fighting internal war, they cannot but be out of their element when it comes to fighting external war. Every patriotic officer in the Kuomintang army who has a conscience should set about reviving the Sun Yat-sen spirit and transforming his troops.
In the work of transforming the old armies, a suitable education should be given to all officers who are capable of being reeducated to help them to get rid of their obsolete outlook and acquire a correct outlook, so that they can remain and serve in the people’s army.
It is the duty of the whole nation to struggle for the creation of the army of the Chinese people. Without a people’s army the people have nothing. On this question there must be no empty theorizing whatsoever.
We Communists are ready to give our support to the task of transforming the Chinese army. All those military forces which are willing to unite with the people and to oppose the Japanese aggressors instead of opposing the armed forces of the Chinese Liberated Areas should be regarded as friendly troops and be given proper assistance by the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies.
- The Land Problem
To wipe out the Japanese aggressors and build a new China, it is imperative to reform the land system and emancipate the peasants. Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s thesis of “land to the tiller” is correct for the present period of our revolution, which is bourgeois-democratic in nature.
Why do we say our revolution in the present period is bourgeois-democratic in nature? We mean that the target of this revolution is not the bourgeoisie in general but national and feudal oppression, that the measures taken in this revolution are in general directed not at abolishing but at protecting private property, and that as a result of this revolution the working class will be able to build up the strength to lead China in the direction of socialism, though capitalism will still be enabled to grow to an appropriate extent for a fairly long period. “Land to the tiller” means transferring the land from the feudal exploiters to the peasants, turning the private property of the feudal landlords into the private property of the peasants and emancipating them from feudal agrarian relations, thereby making possible the transformation of an agricultural country into an industrial country. Thus, “land to the tiller” is in the nature of a bourgeois-democratic and not a proletarian-socialist demand; it is the demand of all revolutionary democrats and not the demand of us Communists alone. The difference is that, in China’s circumstances, we Communists alone treat this demand with special seriousness, and do not just talk about it but put it into practice. Who are the revolutionary democrats? Apart from the proletariat who are the most thoroughgoing of the revolutionary democrats, the peasants form by far the largest group. The overwhelming majority of the peasants, that is, all except the rich peasants who have a feudal tail, actively demand “land to the tiller”. The urban petty bourgeoisie are also revolutionary democrats and “land to the tiller” will prove to be to their advantage as well, for it will help to develop the productive forces in agriculture. The national bourgeoisie are a vacillating class–they also approve of “land to the tiller” because they need markets, but many of them are afraid of it because for the most part they have ties with landed property. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was the earliest revolutionary democrat in China. Representing the revolutionary section of the national bourgeoisie as well as the urban petty bourgeoisie and the peasants, he carried out an armed revolution and put forward his thesis of “equalization of landownership” and “land to the tiller”. But unfortunately he did not take the initiative and reform the land system when he was in power. And when the anti-popular clique of the Kuomintang took power, it completely betrayed what he stood for. It is this clique that is now stubbornly opposing “land to the tiller” because it represents the stratum of big landlords, bankers and compradors. As China has no political party exclusively representing the peasants and the political parties of the national bourgeoisie have no thoroughgoing land programme, the Chinese Communist Party has become the leader of the peasants and all the other revolutionary democrats, being the only party that has formulated and carried out a thoroughgoing land programme, fought earnestly for the peasants’ interests and therefore won the overwhelming majority of the peasants as its great ally.
From 1927 to 1936, the Chinese Communist Party adopted various measures for the thorough reform of the land system and put Dr. Sun’s “land to the tiller” into effect. It was precisely the reactionary clique of the Kuomintang, that gang of unworthy followers of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who bared their teeth, showed their claws and fought against “land to the tiller” in ten years of war against the people.
The Communist Party has made a major concession in the anti-Japanese war period by changing the policy of “land to the tiller” to one of reducing rent and interest. This concession is a correct one, for it helped to bring the Kuomintang into the war against Japan and lessened the resistance of the landlords in the Liberated Areas to our mobilization of the peasants for the war. If no special obstacle arises, we are prepared to continue this policy after the war, first extending rent and interest reduction to the whole country and then taking proper measures for the gradual achievement of “land to the tiller”.
However, those who have betrayed Dr. Sun oppose the reduction of rent and interest, let alone “land to the tiller”. The Kuomintang government has not carried out the decree for a “25 per cent reduction in rent” and similar decrees which it has promulgated itself; only we in the Liberated Areas have enforced them, and for this crime the Liberated Areas have been labelled “traitor areas”.
In the course of the anti-Japanese war a so-called theory of two stages, a stage of “national revolution” and a stage of “revolution for democracy and the people’s livelihood”, has made its appearance. This theory is wrong.
“Faced with a formidable enemy, we should not raise the question of democratic reforms or the people’s livelihood; better wait until the Japanese are gone”–such is the absurd theory put forward by the reactionary clique of the Kuomintang for the purpose of preventing complete victory in the war. Yet there are people who have been echoing this theory and have become its servile adherents.
“Faced with a formidable enemy, it is impossible for us to build up bases against the Japanese and resist their attacks unless we settle the question of democracy and the people’s livelihood”–this is what the Chinese Communist Party has been advocating and, moreover, has already put into practice with excellent results.
In the period of the anti-Japanese war, reduction of rent and interest and the other democratic reforms all serve the war. In order to lessen the landlords’ resistance to the war effort we have abstained from abolishing their ownership of land and have only reduced rent and interest; at the same time, we have encouraged them to transfer their assets to industry and given the enlightened gentry the opportunity to take part in public activities for the war and in the work of government alongside other representatives of the people. As for the rich peasants, we have encouraged them to develop production. All this is part of the resolute line of democratic reforms in the rural areas and is absolutely necessary.
There are two lines. Either stubbornly oppose the Chinese peasants’ endeavour to settle the problem of democracy and the people’s livelihood, and become corrupt, ineffectual and utterly incapable of fighting Japan; or firmly support the Chinese peasants in their endeavour, and gain the greatest of allies, constituting 80 per cent of the population, thereby forging tremendous fighting strength. The former is the line of the Kuomintang government, the latter is the line of China’s Liberated Areas.
The line of the opportunists is to vacillate between the two, to profess support for the peasants and yet lack the resolve to reduce rent and interest, arm the peasants or establish democratic political power in the rural areas.
Using all the forces at its command, the anti-popular clique of the Kuomintang has directed every kind of vicious attack, open and secret, military and political, both with bloodshed and without, against the Chinese Communist Party. Taken in its social setting, the dispute between the two parties is essentially over this issue of agrarian relations. Where exactly did we give offence to the Kuomintang reactionary clique? Is it not on this score? Has it not been precisely by rendering the Japanese aggressors great help on this score that this clique has won favour and encouragement from them? Have not all the charges against the Chinese Communist Party–“sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the state”, “traitor party”, “traitor army”, “traitor areas”, and “disobedience to governmental and military orders”–been levelled precisely because it has done conscientious work in the true interests of the nation in this sphere?
It is the peasants who are the source of China’s industrial workers. In the future, additional tens of millions of peasants will go to the cities and enter factories. If China is to build up powerful national industries and many large modern cities, there will have to be a long process of transformation of rural into urban inhabitants.
It is the peasants who constitute the main market for China’s industry. Only they can supply foodstuffs and raw materials in great abundance and absorb manufactured goods in great quantities.
It is the peasants who are the source of the Chinese army. The soldiers are peasants in military uniform, the mortal enemies of the Japanese aggressors.
It is the peasants who are the main political force for democracy in China at the present stage. Chinese democrats will achieve nothing unless they rely on the support of the 360 million peasants.
It is the peasants who are the chief concern of China’s cultural movement at the present stage. If the 360 million peasants are left out, do not the “elimination of illiteracy”, “popularization of education”, “literature and art for the masses” and “public health” become largely empty talk?
In saying this, I am of course not ignoring the political, economic and cultural importance of the rest of the people numbering about 90 million, and in particular am not ignoring the working class, which is politically the most conscious and therefore qualified to lead the whole revolutionary movement. Let there be no misunderstanding.
It is absolutely necessary not only for Communists but for every democrat in China to grasp these points.
When there is reform of the land system–even such an elementary reform as reduction of rent and interest–the peasants become more interested in production. Then as the peasants are helped to organize farming and other co-operatives step by step on a voluntary basis, the productive forces will grow. The farming co-operatives at present can only be collective, mutual-aid labour organizations based on an individual peasant economy (i.e., on private ownership by the peasants), such as labour-exchange teams, mutual-aid teams and work-exchange groups; even so the increase in labour productivity and output is already astonishing. Such organizations have been widely developed in China’s Liberated Areas and from now on should be spread as much as possible.
It might be mentioned that co-operative organization of the labour-exchange team type has existed among the peasants for a long time, but in the past it was only a means by which they tried to alleviate their wretchedness. Today the labour-exchange teams in China’s Liberated Areas are different both in form and in content; they have become a means by which the peasant masses increase production and strive for a better life.
In the last analysis, the impact, good or bad, great or small, of the policy and the practice of any Chinese political party upon the people depends on whether and how much it helps to develop their productive forces, and on whether it fetters or liberates these forces. The social productive forces of China can be liberated only by destroying the Japanese aggressors, carrying out land reform, emancipating the peasants, developing modern industry and establishing an independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and powerful new China–and this will win the approbation of the Chinese people.
It should be pointed out further that it is not easy for city intellectuals who come to work in the countryside to understand the characteristics of the rural areas, i.e., that they are still based on a scattered and backward, individual economy, and that, moreover, the Liberated Areas are temporarily cut off from one another by the enemy and involved in a guerrilla war. Failing to understand these characteristics, they often inappropriately approach and handle rural problems and rural work from the viewpoint of life and work in the cities, and so divorce themselves from the realities of the countryside and fail to identify themselves with the peasants. It is necessary to overcome this by education.
China’s numerous revolutionary intellectuals must awaken to the necessity of becoming one with the peasants. The peasants need them and await their help. They should go to the countryside enthusiastically, doff their student garb and put on rough clothing, and willingly start with any work however trivial; they should learn what the peasants want and help to arouse and organize them in the struggle to accomplish the democratic revolution in the countryside, which is one of the most important tasks in China’s democratic revolution.
After the Japanese aggressors are wiped out, we should confiscate the land usurped by them and the chief traitors and distribute it among those peasants who have little or no land.
- The Problem of Industry
In order to defeat the Japanese aggressors and build a new China it is necessary to develop industry. But under the Kuomintang government there is dependence on foreign countries for everything, and its financial and economic policy is ruining the entire economic life of the people. A few small industrial enterprises are all that is to be found in the Kuomintang areas, and in most cases they have been unable to avoid bankruptcy. In the absence of political reforms all the productive forces are being ruined, and this is true both of agriculture and of industry.
By and large, it will be impossible to develop industry unless China is independent, free, democratic and united. To wipe out the Japanese aggressors is to seek independence. To abolish the Kuomintang’s one-party dictatorship, establish a democratic and united coalition government, transform all China’s troops into a people’s armed force, carry out land reform and emancipate the peasants is to seek freedom, democracy and unity. Without independence, freedom, democracy and unity it is impossible to build industry on a really large scale. Without industry there can be no solid national defence, no well-being for the people, no prosperity or strength for the nation. The history of the 105 years since the Opium War of 1840, and especially of the eighteen years since the Kuomintang came to power, has brought this important point home to the Chinese people. A China that is not poor and weak but prosperous and strong implies a China that is not colonial or semi-colonial but independent, not semi-feudal but free and democratic, not divided but united. In semi-colonial, semi-feudal and divided China, many people have for years dreamed of developing industry, building up national defence, and bringing well-being to the people and prosperity and power to the nation, but all their dreams have been shattered. Many well-intentioned educators, scientists and students have buried themselves in their own work or studies and paid no attention to politics in the belief that they could serve the country with their knowledge, but this too has turned out to be a dream, a dream that has been shattered. This indeed is a good sign, for the shattering of these childish dreams marks a starting-point on China’s road towards prosperity and strength. The Chinese people have learned many things in the war; they know that after the defeat of the Japanese aggressors they must build a new-democratic China enjoying independence, freedom, democracy, unity, prosperity and strength, all of which are interrelated and indispensable. If they do so, then a bright future lies before China. The productive forces of the Chinese people will be released and given every possibility to develop only when the political system of New Democracy obtains in all parts of China. More and more people are coming to understand this point every day.
When the political system of New Democracy is won, the Chinese people and their government will have to adopt practical measures in order to build heavy and light industry step by step over a number of years and transform China from an agricultural into an industrial country. The new-democratic state cannot be consolidated unless it has a solid economy as its base, a much more advanced agriculture than at present, and a large-scale industry occupying a predominant position in the national economy, with communications, trade and finance to match.
We Communists are ready to fight for this objective in co-operation with all the democratic parties and industrial circles throughout the country. The Chinese working class will play a great role in this undertaking.
Ever since World War I, the Chinese working class has consciously fought for the independence and liberation of China. The year 1921 witnessed the birth of the Communist Party of China, the vanguard of the working class, and China’s struggle for liberation then entered a new stage. During the ensuing three periods, the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War and the War of Resistance Against Japan, the working class and Communist Party of China have worked extremely hard and made an invaluable contribution to the cause of the liberation of the Chinese people. In the struggle for the final defeat of the Japanese aggressors, and especially for the recovery of the big cities and important lines of communications, the Chinese working class will play a very great role. And it can be predicted that after the anti-Japanese war, the effort and contribution of the Chinese working class will be even greater. The task of the Chinese working class is to struggle not only for the establishment of a new-democratic state but also for China’s industrialization and the modernization of her agriculture.
The policy of adjusting the interests of labour and capital will be adopted under the new-democratic state system. On the one hand, it will protect the interests of the workers, institute an eight- to ten-hour working day according to circumstances, provide suitable unemployment relief and social insurance and safeguard trade union rights; on the other hand, it will guarantee legitimate profits to properly managed state, private and co-operative enterprises–so that both the public and the private sectors and both labour and capital will work together to develop industrial production.
The enterprises and property in China of the Japanese aggressors and of the chief traitors will be confiscated and placed at the disposal of the government when Japan is defeated.
- The Problem of Culture, Education and the Intellectuals
The calamities brought upon the Chinese people by foreign and feudal oppression also affect our national culture. The progressive cultural and educational institutions and progressive cultural workers and educators have particularly suffered. To sweep away foreign and feudal oppression and build a new-democratic China, we need large numbers of educators and teachers for the people, and also people’s scientists, engineers, technicians, doctors, journalists, writers, men of letters, artists and rank-and-file cultural workers. They must be imbued with the spirit of serving the people and must work hard. Provided they serve the people creditably, all intellectuals should be esteemed and regarded as valuable national and social assets. The problem of the intellectuals becomes particularly important in China because the country is culturally backward as a result of foreign and feudal oppression and because intellectuals are urgently needed in the people’s struggle for liberation. The numerous revolutionary intellectuals have played a very great role in the people’s struggle for liberation in the past half-century, and especially since the May 4th Movement of 1919 and in the eight years of the anti-Japanese war. They will play an even greater role in the struggles to come. Therefore, the task of a people’s government is systematically to develop all kinds of intellectually equipped cadres from among the ranks of the people and at the same time take care to unite with and re-educate all the useful intellectuals already available.
The elimination of illiteracy among 80 per cent of the population is a vital task for the new China.
Proper and firm steps should be taken to eliminate all enslaving feudal and fascist culture and education.
Vigorous action should be taken to prevent and cure endemic and other diseases among the people and to expand the people’s medical and health services.
The old type of cultural and educational workers and doctors should be given suitable re-education so that they can acquire a new outlook and new methods to serve the people.
The Chinese people’s culture and education should be new-democratic, that is to say, China should establish her own new national, scientific and mass culture and education.
As for foreign culture, it would be a wrong policy to shut it out, rather we should as far as possible draw on what is progressive in it for use in the development of China’s new culture; it would also be wrong to copy it blindly, rather we should draw on it critically to meet the actual needs of the Chinese people. The new culture created in the Soviet Union should be a model for us in building our people’s culture. Similarly, ancient Chinese culture should neither be totally rejected nor blindly copied, but should be accepted discriminatingly so as to help the progress of China’s new culture.
- The Problem of the Minority Nationalities
The anti-popular clique of the Kuomintang denies that many nationalities exist in China, and labels all excepting the Han nationality as “tribes”. It has taken over the reactionary policy of the governments of the Ching Dynasty and of the Northern warlords in relation to the minority nationalities, oppressing and exploiting them in every possible way. Clear cases in point are the massacre of Mongolians of the Ikhchao League in 1943, the armed suppression of the minority nationalities in Sinkiang since 1944 and the massacres of the Hui people in Kansu Province in recent years. These are manifestations of a wrong Han-chauvinistic ideology and policy.
In 1924 Dr. Sun Yat-sen wrote in the Manifesto of the First National Congress of the Kuomintang that “the Kuomintang’s Principle of Nationalism has a twofold meaning, first, the liberation of the Chinese nation, and second, the equality of all the nationalities in China” and that “the Kuomintang solemnly declares that it recognizes the right to self-determination of all the nationalities in China and that a free and united republic of China (a free union of all the nationalities) will be established when the anti-imperialist and anti-warlord revolution is victorious”.
The Communist Party of China is in full agreement with Dr. Sun’s policy on nationalities as stated here. Communists must actively help the people of all the minority nationalities to fight for it, and help them, including all their leaders who have ties with the masses, to fight for their political, economic and cultural emancipation and development and to establish their own armies which will safeguard the people’s interests. Their spoken and written languages, their manners and customs and their religious beliefs must be respected.
The attitude which the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region and the Liberated Areas in northern China have for years adopted towards the Mongolian and Hui nationalities is correct, and the work they have done has been fruitful.
- The Problem of Foreign Policy
The Communist Party of China agrees with the Atlantic Charter and with the decisions of the international conferences of Moscow, Cairo, Teheran and the Crimea, because these decisions all contribute to the defeat of the fascist aggressors and the maintenance of world peace.
The fundamental principle of the foreign policy advocated by the Chinese Communist Party is as follows: China shall establish and strengthen diplomatic relations with all countries and settle all questions of common concern, such as co-ordination of military operations in the war, peace conferences, trade and investment, on the basic conditions that the Japanese aggressors must be completely defeated and world peace maintained, that there must be mutual respect for national independence and equality, and that there must be promotion of mutual interests and friendship between states and between peoples.
The Chinese Communist Party fully agrees with the proposals of the Dumbarton Oaks conference and the decisions of the Crimea conference on the establishment of an organization to safeguard international peace and security after the war. It welcomes the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco.
It has appointed its own representative on China’s delegation to this conference in order to express the will of the Chinese people.
We hold that the Kuomintang government must cease its hostility towards the Soviet Union and speedily improve Sino-Soviet relations. The Soviet Union was the first country to renounce the unequal treaties and sign new, equal treaties with China. At the time of the Kuomintang’s First National Congress called by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1924 and the subsequent Northern Expedition, the Soviet Union was the only country to help China’s war of liberation. When the anti-Japanese war broke out in 1937, the Soviet Union was again the first country to help China against the Japanese aggressors. The Chinese people are grateful to the Soviet government and people for this help. We believe that no final and thorough settlement of the problems of the Pacific is possible without the participation of the Soviet Union.
We ask the governments of all the allied countries, and of the United States and Britain in the first place, to pay serious attention to the voice of the Chinese people and not to impair friendship with them by pursuing foreign policies that run counter to their will. We maintain that if any foreign government helps the Chinese reactionaries and opposes the Chinese people’s democratic cause, it will be committing a gross mistake.
The Chinese people welcome the steps taken by many foreign governments in renouncing their unequal treaties and concluding new, equal treaties with China. However, we maintain that the conclusion of equal treaties does not in itself mean that China has actually won genuine equality. Genuine and actual equality is never the gift of foreign governments, but must be won mainly by the Chinese people through their own efforts, and the way to win it is to build a new-democratic China politically, economically and culturally; otherwise there will be only nominal and not actual independence and equality. That is to say, China can never win genuine independence and equality by following the present policy of the Kuomintang government.
We consider that, after the defeat and unconditional surrender of the Japanese aggressors, it will be necessary to help all the democratic forces of the Japanese people to establish their own democratic system so that Japanese fascism and militarism may be thoroughly wiped out, together with their political, economic and social roots. Unless the Japanese people have a democratic system, it will be impossible thoroughly to wipe out Japanese fascism and militarism and impossible to ensure peace in the Pacific.
We consider the decision of the Cairo conference regarding the independence of Korea to be correct. The Chinese people should help the Korean people to win liberation.
We hope that India will attain independence. For an independent and democratic India is not only needed by the Indian people but is essential for world peace.
As regards the Southeast Asian countries–Burma, Malaya, Indonesia, Viet Nam and the Philippines–we hope that after the defeat of the Japanese aggressors their people will exercise their right to establish independent and democratic states of their own. As for Thailand, she should be treated like the fascist satellite states in Europe.
So much for the major points of our specific programme.
To repeat, none of the points in this specific programme can be successfully carried out on a nation-wide scale without a democratic coalition government enjoying the support of the entire nation.
By its twenty-four years of struggle for the cause of the liberation of the Chinese people, the Communist Party of China has attained a position such that any political party or social group or any Chinese or foreigner ignoring its opinion on questions concerning China will be making a serious mistake and courting certain failure. There were, and still are, people who try to ignore our opinions and to follow their own bigoted course, but they have all ended in a blind alley. Why? Simply because our opinions conform to the interests of the Chinese masses. The Chinese Communist Party is the most faithful spokesman of the Chinese people, and whoever fails to respect it in fact fails to respect the Chinese masses and is doomed to defeat.
The Tasks In The Kuomintang Areas
I have now given a detailed explanation of our Party’s general and specific programmes. There is no doubt that these programmes will eventually be put into effect throughout China; this is the vista that the international and domestic situation as a whole has opened up for the Chinese people. However, at the moment conditions in the Kuomintang areas, the enemy-occupied areas and the Liberated Areas differ from each other, making it necessary for us to distinguish between them in implementing our programme. Different conditions give rise to different tasks. Some of these tasks I have already explained above, while others still need elaboration.
In the Kuomintang areas, the people are not free to engage in patriotic activity, and democratic movements are considered illegal, and yet various social strata, democratic parties and individuals are becoming increasingly active. The China Democratic League issued a manifesto in January this year demanding the termination of the Kuomintang’s one-party dictatorship and the establishment of a coalition government. Many sections of the people have made similar declarations. Within the Kuomintang, too, many people are showing increasing doubt and discontent over the policies of the leading bodies of their own party, are becoming increasingly aware of the danger of their party’s isolation from the people, and are therefore demanding democratic reforms suited to the times. In Chungking and other places democratic movements are growing among the workers, the peasants, cultural circles, the students, educational circles, women, industrial and commercial circles, government employees and even among some of the soldiers and officers. Those facts indicate that the democratic movements of all the oppressed strata are gradually converging on a common objective. One weakness of the present movements is that the basic sections of society have not yet joined it on a wide scale and that the most important forces, namely, the peasants, workers, soldiers and the lower-ranking government employees and teachers, who are all suffering so bitterly, are not yet organized. Another weakness is that many of the democratic personalities in the movement are still unclear and hesitant about the fundamental policy, namely, that a change in the situation must be sought through the waging of struggle on a democratic mass basis. However, the objective situation is compelling all the oppressed strata, political parties and social groups gradually to awaken and unite. No suppression by the Kuomintang government can stop the advance of this movement.
All the oppressed strata, political parties and social groups in the Kuomintang areas must extend their democratic movement on a broad scale and gradually weld their scattered forces together in order to fight for national unity, the establishment of a coalition government, the defeat of the Japanese aggressors and the building of a new China. The Communist Party of China and the people of the Liberated Areas should give them every possible help.
In the Kuomintang areas the Communists should continue to pursue the policy of a broad National United Front Against Japan. In the fight for common objectives, we should co-operate with anyone who does not oppose us today, even though he might have done so yesterday.
The Tasks In The Japanese-Occupied Areas
In the occupied areas, Communists should call on all who oppose Japan to follow the French and Italian examples and form organizations and underground forces to prepare armed uprisings, so that when the time comes they can act from the inside in co-ordination with the armies attacking from the outside and so wipe out the Japanese aggressors. The atrocities, plunder, rape and humiliation suffered by our brothers and sisters in the occupied areas at the hands of the Japanese aggressors and their servile lackeys have aroused the burning wrath of all Chinese, and the hour of revenge is fast approaching. The victories in the European theatre of war and the victories of our Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies have stimulated and heightened the anti-Japanese spirit of the people in the occupied areas. They urgently want to become organized so as to achieve liberation as quickly as possible. Therefore, we must raise our work in the occupied areas to the same level of importance as that in the Liberated Areas. Large numbers of our working personnel must be sent to work there. Large numbers of activists among the people there must be trained and promoted and must take part in local work. We must intensify our underground work in the four northeastern provinces which have been occupied longer than any other region and which form a key industrial and troop concentration area for the Japanese aggressors. With a view to the recovery of these lost territories, we should strengthen our solidarity with the people who have fled south from the Northeast.
Communists should pursue the broadest united front policy in all the occupied areas. For the overthrow of the common enemy they must unite with anyone who is opposed to the Japanese aggressors and their servile lackeys.
We should warn all the puppet armies, the puppet police and others who are helping the enemy and opposing their countrymen that they must quickly recognize the criminal nature of their actions, repent in time and atone for their crimes by helping their countrymen against the enemy. Otherwise the nation will certainly call them to account the day the enemy collapses.
Communists should direct persuasive propaganda at all puppet organizations with a mass following so as to win the masses who have been misled over to our side against the national enemy. At the same time, evidence should be collected about those impenitent collaborators who have committed the most heinous crimes, so that they can be brought to justice when the lost territories are recovered.
Those Kuomintang reactionaries who have betrayed the nation by organizing open collaborators to fight the Chinese people, the Communist Party, the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and other armed forces of the people must be warned to repent in time. Otherwise, when the lost territories are recovered, they will certainly be punished for their crimes along with the collaborators with Japan and will be shown no mercy.
The Tasks In The Liberated Areas
Our Party has put its whole new-democratic programme into practice in the Liberated Areas with striking results, and so built up tremendous anti-Japanese strength, and from now on this strength should be developed and consolidated in every way.
In the prevailing circumstances, the troops of the Liberated Areas should launch extensive attacks on all places that can be captured from the Japanese and puppets in order to expand the Liberated Areas and reduce the occupied areas.
But at the same time it should be borne in mind that the enemy is still strong and may launch further attacks on the Liberated Areas. The army and the people of our areas must be ready at all times to smash his attacks and must work in every way to consolidate these areas.
We must expand the armies, the guerrilla units, the people’s militia and the self-defence corps of the Liberated Areas, and increase their combat effectiveness by speeding up their training and consolidation in order to build up adequate strength for the final defeat of the aggressors.
The army in the Liberated Areas must support the government and cherish the people, while the democratic governments must lead the people in the work of supporting the army and taking good care of the families of soldiers fighting Japan. In this way relations between the army and the people will become still better.
In the work of the local coalition governments and mass organizations, Communists should continue to co-operate closely with all anti-Japanese democrats on the basis of the new-democratic programme.
Similarly in military work, Communists should co-operate closely with all anti-Japanese democrats who are willing to co-operate with us, whether or not they are members of the armies of the Liberated Areas.
To increase the enthusiasm of the masses of the workers, peasants and other working people for the war and for production, we must thoroughly apply the policy of reducing rent and interest and of increasing the pay of workers and office staff. The cadres of the Liberated Areas must diligently learn to do economic work. All available forces must be mobilized for the extensive development of agriculture, industry and trade and the improvement of the livelihood of the soldiers and the people. For this purpose there must be labour emulation campaigns, and rewards should be given to labour heroes and model workers. When the Japanese aggressors are driven out of the cities, our personnel must rapidly learn how to do urban economic work.
Our cultural and educational work must be developed in order to raise the level of political consciousness of the people in the Liberated Areas and, above all, of the masses of the workers, peasants and soldiers, and in order to train large numbers of cadres. In carrying forward this work, those engaged in it should adopt forms and select contents suited to the existing rural conditions and to the needs and wishes of the people in the countryside.
In all our work in the Liberated Areas, manpower and material resources must be used most sparingly, and in every field long-term plans must be made, and misuse and waste must be avoided. This is needed both for defeating the Japanese aggressors and for building up the new China.
In all our work in the Liberated Areas, we must take great care to help the local people administer local affairs and to cultivate many local cadres from among the best local people. It will be impossible to accomplish the great task of the democratic revolution in the rural areas unless comrades who come from other places identify themselves with the local people and help the local cadres whole-heartedly, painstakingly and in ways that fit the actual conditions, and unless they cherish them like their own brothers and sisters.
When a unit of the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army or any other armed force of the people arrives at a place, it should immediately help the local people to organize forces led by the local cadres, including not only militia and self-defence corps but also local troops and regional forces. This will make possible the eventual creation of regular forces and regular army formations led by local people. This is an extremely important task. Unless it is accomplished, we can neither build stable anti-Japanese base areas nor expand the people’s army.
Of course the local people for their part should warmly welcome and help the revolutionary workers and people’s forces coming from other areas.
Everybody should be alerted on the question of dealing with covert wreckers. For it is easy to spot and handle overt enemies and wreckers of the national cause, but not those who work under cover. Therefore we should take up this matter in all seriousness and at the same time be very careful in dealing with such people.
All religions are permitted in China’s Liberated Areas, in accordance with the principle of freedom of religious belief. All believers in Protestantism, Catholicism, Islamism, Buddhism and other faiths enjoy the protection of the people’s government so long as they are abiding by its laws. Everyone is free to believe or not to believe; neither compulsion nor discrimination is permitted.
Our congress should propose to the people of the Liberated Areas that a people’s conference of the Chinese Liberated Areas be held in Yenan as soon as possible to discuss the questions of co-ordinating the activities of the various Liberated Areas, strengthening their work in the War of Resistance, helping the people’s anti-Japanese democratic movement in the Kuomintang areas, helping the underground armed forces of the people in the occupied areas, and promoting national unity and the formation of a coalition government. Now that China’s Liberated Areas have become the centre of gravity in the nationwide people’s struggle to resist Japan and save the country, the broad masses throughout the country pin their hopes on us and it is our duty not to disappoint them. Such a conference would give great impetus to the Chinese people’s cause of national liberation.
V. Let The Whole Party Unite And Fight To Accomplish Its Tasks!
Comrades! Now that we understand our tasks and the policies for accomplishing them, what should be our attitude in carrying out these policies and performing these tasks?
The present international and domestic situation opens up bright prospects and provides unprecedentedly favorable conditions for us and the Chinese people as a whole; this is evident and beyond doubt. But at the same time there are still serious difficulties. Anyone who sees only the bright side but not the difficulties cannot fight effectively for the accomplishment of the Party’s tasks.
Together with the Chinese people, our Party has built up immense strength for the Chinese nation in the twenty-four years of the Party’s history, including the eight years of the War of Resistance Against Japan; the success of our work is obvious and beyond doubt. But at the same time there are still defects in our work. Anyone who sees only the successful side but not the defects likewise cannot fight effectively for the accomplishment of the Party’s tasks.
In the twenty-four years since its birth in 1921, the Communist Party of China has gone through three great struggles–the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War and the War of Resistance Against Japan which is still going on. From its very beginning our Party has based itself on the theory of Marxism-Leninism, for Marxism-Leninism is the crystallization of the most correct and most revolutionary scientific thought of the world proletariat. When the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism began to be integrated with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, the Chinese revolution took on an entirely new complexion and the entire historical stage of New Democracy emerged. Armed with Marxist-Leninist theory, the Communist Party of China has brought a new style of work to the Chinese people, a style of work which essentially entails integrating theory with practice, forging close links with the masses and practicing self-criticism.
The universal truth of Marxism-Leninism, which reflects the practice of proletarian struggle throughout the world, becomes an invincible weapon for the Chinese people when it is integrated with the concrete practice of the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese proletariat and people. This the Communist Party of China has achieved. Our Party has grown and advanced through staunch struggle against every manifestation of dogmatism and empiricism, which runs counter to this principle. Dogmatism is divorced from concrete practice, while empiricism mistakes fragmentary experience for universal truth; both kinds of opportunist thinking run counter to Marxism. In the course of its twenty-four years of struggle our Party has successfully fought such wrong thinking and it is still doing so, thus greatly consolidating itself ideologically. Our Party now has 1,210,000 members. The overwhelming majority have joined during the War of Resistance, and there are various impurities in their ideology. The same is true of some of the members who joined the Party before the war. The work of rectification in the last few years has been most successful and has gone a long way towards removing these impurities. This work should be continued and ideological education within the Party should be developed still more extensively in the spirit of “learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones” and “curing the sickness to save the patient”. We must enable the Party’s leading cadres at all levels to understand that close integration of theory and practice is a hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties. Therefore ideological education is the key link to be grasped in uniting the whole Party for great political struggles. Unless this is done, the Party cannot accomplish any of its political tasks.
Another hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties is that we have very close ties with the broadest masses of the people. Our point of departure is to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from the interests of individuals or groups, and to understand the identity of our responsibility to the people and our responsibility to the leading organs of the Party. Communists must be ready at all times to stand up for the truth, because truth is in the interests of the people; Communists must be ready at all times to correct their mistakes, because mistakes are against the interests of the people. Twenty-four years of experience tell us that the right task, policy and style of work invariably conform with the demands of the masses at a given time and place and invariably strengthen our ties with the masses, and the wrong task, policy and style of work invariably disagree with the demands of the masses at a given time and place and invariably alienate us from the masses. The reason why such evils as dogmatism, empiricism, commandism, tailism, sectarianism, bureaucracy and an arrogant attitude in work are definitely harmful and intolerable, and why anyone suffering from these maladies must overcome them, is that they alienate us from the masses. Our congress should call upon the whole Party to be vigilant and to see that no comrade at any post is divorced from the masses. It should teach every comrade to love the people and listen attentively to the voice of the masses; to identify himself with the masses wherever he goes and, instead of standing above them, to immerse himself among them; and, according to their present level, to awaken them or raise their political consciousness and help them gradually to organize themselves voluntarily and to set going all essential struggles permitted by the internal and external circumstances of the given time and place. Commandism is wrong in any type of work, because in overstepping the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of voluntary mass action it reflects the disease of impetuosity. Our comrades must not assume that everything they themselves understand is understood by the masses. Whether the masses understand it and are ready to take action can be discovered only by going into their midst and making investigations. If we do so, we can avoid commandism. Tailism in any type of work is also wrong, because in falling below the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of leading the masses forward it reflects the disease of dilatoriness. Our comrades must not assume that the masses have no understanding of what they themselves do not yet understand. It often happens that the masses outstrip us and are eager to advance a step when our comrades are still tailing behind certain backward elements, for instead of acting as leaders of the masses such comrades reflect the views of these backward elements and, moreover, mistake them for those of the broad masses. In a word, every comrade must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a Communist is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of the people. Every comrade must be helped to understand that as long as we rely on the people, believe firmly in the inexhaustible creative power of the masses and hence trust and identify ourselves with them, no enemy can crush us while we can crush every enemy and overcome every difficulty.
Conscientious practice of self-criticism is still another hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties. As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly. Our comrades’ minds and our Party’s work may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing. The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms. To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop a democratic style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good popular Chinese maxims as “Say all you know and say it without reserve”, “Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words” and “Correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not”– this is the only effective way to prevent all kinds of political dust and germs from contaminating the minds of our comrades and the body of our Party. The reason for the great effectiveness of the rectification movement, the purpose of which was “to learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and to cure the sickness to save the patient”, was that the criticism and self-criticism we carried out were honest and conscientious, and not perfunctory and distorted. As we Chinese Communists, who base all our actions on the highest interests of the broadest masses of the Chinese people and who are fully convinced of the justice of our cause, never balk at any personal sacrifice and are ready at all times to give our lives for the cause, can we be reluctant to discard any idea, viewpoint, opinion or method which is not suited to the needs of the people? Can we be willing to allow political dust and germs to dirty our clean faces or eat into our healthy organism? Countless revolutionary martyrs have laid down their lives in the interests of the people, and our hearts are filled with pain as we the living think of them–can there be any personal interest, then, that we would not sacrifice or any error that we would not discard?
Comrades! When this congress is over, we shall go to the front and, guided by its resolutions, fight to bring about the final defeat of the Japanese aggressors and to build a new China. To achieve this aim, we shall unite with all the people of our country. Let me repeat: We shall unite with any class, any party, any group or individual if they are for the defeat of the Japanese aggressors and the building of a new China. To achieve this aim, we shall solidly unite all the forces of our Party on democratic centralist principles of organization and discipline. We shall unite with any comrade if he abides by the Party’s Programme, Constitution and decisions. In the period of the Northern Expedition our Party had a membership of less than 60,000, most of whom were later dispersed by the enemy; in the period of the Agrarian Revolutionary War we had a membership of less than 300,000, most of whom were likewise dispersed by the enemy. Now we have more than 1,200,000 members; this time we must in no circumstances allow ourselves to be dispersed by the enemy. If we can profit from the experience of those three periods, if we are modest and guard against conceit and are able to strengthen unity among all comrades inside the Party and with all the people outside the Party, we can rest assured that, far from being dispersed by the enemy, we shall destroy the Japanese aggressors and their servile running dogs resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely, and thereafter build a new-democratic China.
The experience of the three periods of the revolution, and especially that of the War of Resistance Against Japan, has convinced us and the whole Chinese people that without the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party, without the Chinese Communists as the mainstay of the Chinese people, China can never achieve independence or liberation, or industrialization and the modernization of her agriculture.
Comrades! I firmly believe that with the Communist Party of China armed with the experience of the three revolutions, we can accomplish our great political task.
Thousands upon thousands of martyrs have heroically laid down their lives for the people; let us hold their banner high and march ahead along the path crimson with their blood!
A new-democratic China will soon be born. Let us hail that great day!