Manifesto of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army- Mao Tse-tung- 2/10/1947
Drafted by Comrade Mao Tse-tung
SLOGAN: Overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and liberate all China!
DATE OF ISSUE-2/10/1947
For: General Headquarters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army, having smashed Chiang Kai-shek’s offensive, has now launched a large-scale counter-offensive. Our armies on the southern front are advancing on the Yangtse River valley, our armies on the northern front are advancing on the Chinese Changchun Railway and the Peiping-Liaoning Railway. Wherever our troops go, the enemy flees pell-mell before us and the people give thunderous cheers. The whole situation between the enemy and ourselves has fundamentally changed as compared with a year ago.
The aim of our army in this war, as proclaimed time and again to the nation and the world, is the liberation of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. And today, our aim is to carry out the urgent demand of the people of the whole country, that is, to overthrow the arch-criminal of the civil war, Chiang Kai-shek, and form a democratic coalition government in order to attain the general goal of liberating the people and the nation.
For eight long years the Chinese people fought heroically against Japanese imperialism for their own liberation and national independence. After the Japanese surrender the people longed for peace, but Chiang Kai-shek wrecked all their peace efforts and forced on them the disaster of an unprecedented civil war. Hence the people of all strata throughout the country were forced to unite to overthrow Chiang Kai-shek, having no other way out.
Chiang Kai-shek’s present policy of civil war is no accident but is the inevitable outcome of the anti-popular policy which he and his reactionary clique have consistently followed. As far back as 1927, Chiang Kai-shek, devoid of all gratitude, betrayed the revolutionary alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party and betrayed the revolutionary Three People’s principles and the Three Great Policies of Sun Yat-sen; then he set up a dictatorship, capitulated to imperialism, fought ten years of civil war and brought on the aggression of the Japanese bandits. In the Sian Incident of 1936, the Communist Party of China returned good for evil and, acting together with Generals Chang Hsueh-liang and Yang Hu-cheng, set Chiang Kai-shek free in the hope that he would repent, turn over a new leaf and join in the fight against the Japanese aggressors. But once again he proved devoid of all gratitude; he was passive against the Japanese invaders, active in suppressing the people and extremely hostile to the Communist Party. The year before last (1945), Japan surrendered and the Chinese people once more forgave Chiang Kai-shek, demanding that he should stop the civil war he had already started, put democracy into practice and unite with all parties and groups for peace and national reconstruction. But no sooner had the truce agreement been signed, the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference adopted and the four pledges proclaimed than the utterly faithless Chiang Kai-shek went back on his word completely. Time and again the people showed themselves forbearing and conciliatory for the sake of the common good but, aided by U.S. imperialism, Chiang Kai-shek was determined to launch an unprecedented all-out offensive against the people, in utter disregard of the fate of the country and the nation. From January last year (1946), when the truce agreement was announced, up to the present, Chiang Kai-shek has mobilized more than 220 brigades of his regular troops and nearly a million miscellaneous troops and launched large-scale attacks against the Liberated Areas which the Chinese people wrested from Japanese imperialism after bloody battles; he has seized successively the cities of Shenyang, Fushun, Penki, Szepingkai, Changchun, Yungchi, Chengteh, Chining, Changchiakou, Huaiyin, Hotse, Linyi, Yenan and Yentai and vast rural areas. Wherever Chiang Kai-shek’s troops go, they murder and burn, rape and loot, carry out the policy of three atrocities and behave exactly like the Japanese bandits. In November last year Chiang Kai-shek convened the bogus National Assembly and proclaimed the bogus constitution. In March this year he expelled the representatives of the Communist Party from the Kuomintang areas. In July he issued an order of general mobilization against the people. Towards the just movement of the people in different parts of the country against civil war, against hunger and against U.S. imperialist aggression and towards the struggle for existence waged by the workers, peasants, students, townspeople, government employees and teachers, Chiang Kai-shek’s policy is one of repression, arrest and massacre. Towards our country’s minority nationalities, his policy is one of Han chauvinism, of persecution and repression by every possible means. In all the areas under Chiang Kai-shek’s rule corruption is rife, secret agents run amuck, taxes are innumerable and crushing, prices are skyrocketing, the economy is bankrupt, all business languishes, conscription and the grain levy are imposed and voices of discontent are heard everywhere; all this has plunged the overwhelming majority of people throughout the country into an abyss of suffering. Meanwhile the financial oligarchs, corrupt officials, local bullies and bad gentry, all headed by Chiang Kai-shek, have amassed vast fortunes. Chiang Kai-shek and his like made these fortunes by using their dictatorial powers to extort taxes and levies and promote their private interests under the guise of serving the public. To maintain his dictatorship and carry on the civil war, Chiang Kai-shek has not hesitated to sell out our country’s sovereign rights to foreign imperialism, to collude with the U.S. armed forces so that they should remain in Tsingtao and elsewhere and to procure advisers from the United States to take part in directing the civil war and training troops to slaughter his own fellow-countrymen. Aircraft, tanks, guns and ammunition for the civil war are shipped from the United States in great quantities. Funds for the civil war are borrowed from the United States on a large scale. In return for its favours, Chiang Kai-shek has presented U.S. imperialism with military bases and the rights of air flight and navigation and concluded with it a commercial treaty of enslavement — acts of treason many times worse than those of Yuan Shih-kai. In a word, Chiang Kai-shek’s twenty-year rule has been traitorous, dictatorial and against the people. Today, the overwhelming majority of the people throughout the country, north and south, young and old, know his towering crimes and hope that our army will quickly launch the counter-offensive, overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and liberate all China.
We are the army of the Chinese people and in all things we take the will of the Chinese people as our will. The policies of our army represent the urgent demands of the Chinese people and chief among them are the following:
(1) Unite workers, peasants, soldiers, intellectuals and businessmen, all oppressed classes, all people’s organizations, democratic parties, minority nationalities, overseas Chinese and other patriots; form a national united front; overthrow the dictatorial Chiang Kai-shek government; and establish a democratic coalition government.
(2) Arrest, try and punish the civil war criminals headed by Chiang Kai-shek.
(3) Abolish the Chiang Kai-shek dictatorship, carry out the system of people’s democracy and guarantee freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and of association for the people.
(4) Abolish the rotten institutions of the Chiang Kai-shek regime, clear out all corrupt officials and establish clean government.
(5) Confiscate the property of the four big families of Chiang Kai-shek, T. V. Soong, H. H. Kung and the Chen Li-fu brothers, and the property of the other chief war criminals; confiscate bureaucrat-capital, develop the industry and commerce of the national bourgeoisie, improve the livelihood of workers and employees, and give relief to victims of natural calamities and to poverty-stricken people.
(6) Abolish the system of feudal exploitation and put into effect the system of land to the tillers.
(7) Recognize the right to equality and autonomy of the minority nationalities within the borders of China.
(8) Repudiate the traitorous foreign policy of Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorial government, abrogate all the treasonable treaties and repudiate all the foreign debts contracted by Chiang Kai-shek during the civil war period. Demand that the U.S. government withdraw its troops stationed in China, which are a menace to China’s independence, and oppose any foreign country’s helping Chiang Kai-shek to carry on civil war or trying to revive the forces of Japanese aggression. Conclude treaties of trade and friendship with foreign countries on the basis of equality and reciprocity. Unite in a common struggle with all nations which treat us as equals.
The above are the basic policies of our army. They will be put into practice at once wherever our army goes. These policies conform with the demands of more than 90 per cent of the people in our country.
Our army does not reject all Chiang Kai-shek’s personnel but adopts a policy of dealing with each case on its merits. That is, the chief criminals shall be punished without fail, those who are accomplices under duress shall go unpunished and those who perform deeds of merit shall be rewarded. As for Chiang Kai-shek, the arch-criminal who started the civil war and who has committed most heinous crimes, and as for all his hardened accomplices who have trampled the people underfoot and are branded as war criminals by the broad masses, our army will hunt them down, even to the four corners of the earth, and will surely bring them to trial and punishment. Our army warns all officers and men in Chiang Kai-shek’s army, all officials in his government and all members of his party whose hands are not yet stained with the blood of innocent people that they should strictly refrain from joining these criminals in their evil-doing. Those who have been doing evil should immediately stop, repent and start anew and break with Chiang Kai-shek, and we will give them a chance to make amends for their crimes by good deeds. Our army will not kill or humiliate any of Chiang Kai-shek’s army officers and men who lay down their arms, but will accept them into our service if they are willing to remain with us or send them home if they wish to leave. As for those troops of Chiang Kai-shek who rise in revolt and join our army and those who work for our army openly or in secret, they shall be rewarded.
In order to overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and form a democratic coalition government at an early date, we call on our fellow-countrymen in all walks of life to co-operate actively with us wherever our army goes in cleaning up the reactionary forces and setting up a democratic order. In places we have not yet reached, they should take up arms on their own, resist pressganging and the grain levy, distribute the land, repudiate debts and take advantage of the enemy’s gaps to develop guerrilla warfare.
In order to overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and form a democratic coalition government at an early date, we call on the people in the Liberated Areas to carry through the land reform, consolidate the foundations of democracy, develop production, practice economy, strengthen the people’s armed forces, eliminate the remaining strongholds of the enemy and support the fighting at the front.
All comrade commanders and fighters of our army! We are shouldering the most important, the most glorious task in the history of our country’s revolution. We should make great efforts to accomplish our task. Our efforts will decide the day when our great motherland will emerge from darkness into light and our beloved fellow-countrymen will be able to live like human beings and to choose the government they wish. All officers and fighters of our army must improve their military art, march forward courageously towards sure victory in the war and resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely wipe out all enemies. They must all raise their level of political consciousness, learn the two skills of wiping out the enemy forces and arousing the masses, unite intimately with the masses and rapidly build the new Liberated Areas into stable areas. They must heighten their sense of discipline and resolutely carry out orders, carry out policy, carry out the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention — with army and people united, army and government united, officers and soldiers united, and the whole army united — and permit no breach of discipline. All our officers and fighters must always bear in mind that we are the great People’s Liberation Army, we are the troops led by the great Communist Party of China. Provided we constantly observe the directives of the Party, we are sure to win.
Down with Chiang Kai-shek!
Overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and liberate all China!
Long live New China!
NOTES BY EDITOR
1. See “The Situation and Our Policy After the Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan”, Note 7, p. 23 of this volume.
2. See “On a Statement by Chiang Kai-shek’s Spokesman”, Note 2, pp. 44-45 of this volume.
3. The “four pledges” were made by Chiang Kai-shek at the opening session of the Political Consultative Conference in 1946. They were, to guarantee freedom of the people, to guarantee the legal status of political parties, to hold a general election and to release political prisoners.
4. By miscellaneous troops are meant the Kuomintang’s irregular troops which included the local peace preservation corps, communications police corps, gendarmes, the puppet troops taken over and reorganized by the Kuomintang, etc.
5. The Japanese invaders carried out the policy of three atrocities — burn all, kill all, loot all — against the Liberated Areas in China.
6. On July 4, 1947, the reactionary Kuomintang government adopted Chiang Kai-shek’s “General Mobilization Bill” and immediately afterwards issued the “Order for General Mobilization to Suppress the Insurrection of the Communist Bandits”. In fact, Chiang Kai-shek had carried out a general mobilization for his counterrevolutionary civil war much earlier. By that time the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had begun to shift to a country-wide offensive. Chiang Kai-shek himself admitted that his regime was in a “serious crisis”. The “Order for General Mobilization” was merely his dying kick.
7. This refers to the “Sino-U.S. Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” concluded between the Chiang Kai-shek government and the U.S. government on November 4, 1946. The treaty sold out China’s sovereign rights to the United States. See “Greet the New High Tide of the Chinese Revolution”, Note 6, p. 126 of this volume.
8. Yuan Shih-kai was the head of the Northern warlords in the last years of the Ching Dynasty. After the Ching Dynasty was overthrown by the Revolution of 1911, he usurped the presidency of the Republic and organized the first government of the Northern warlords, which represented the big landlord and big comprador classes; he did this by relying on a counter-revolutionary armed force and the support of the imperialists and by taking advantage of the compromising nature of the bourgeoisie then leading the revolution. In 1915 he wanted to make himself emperor and, to gain the support of the Japanese imperialists, he accepted Japan’s Twenty-one Demands which were designed to obtain exclusive control of all China. In December of the same year an uprising against his assumption of the throne took place in Yunnan Province and promptly won country-wide response and support. Yuan Shih-kai died in June 1916.
9. This refers to the four big monopoly capitalist groups of Chiang Kai-shek, T. V. Soong, H. H. Kung and Chen Li-fu. See “The Present Situation and Our Tasks”, Section 6, pp. 167-69 of this volume.