Chinese Civil War, 1945

Following the revolution that ended the Qing dynasty and gave rise to the Republic of China in 1912, tensions within the ruling Nationalist Kuomintang party (KMT) led the left wing of the group to split off and form the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the early 1920s. From 1927-2937, the KMT sought to wipe out communist influence from the country while the CPC waged an insurgency in the north. The Japanese invasion in 1937 forced the groups to put their differences aside and cooperate during the Sino-Japanese War, but less than a year after the war ended the rivalry between the KMT and CPC exploded into full scale civil war. The war with Japan had greatly strengthened the CPC’s forces; their numbers had grown from thousands to millions and the war experience had enhanced their organizational and fighting capacity. In an early proxy war of the Cold War era, Chiang Kai-shek and the KMT were supported with funds and manpower by the Americans, while the Soviet Union supplied funds and weapons to the CPC. By the winter of 1949, the KMT was dramatically weakened and Chiang Kai-shek was forced to flee to the island of Taiwan (Formosa). The CPC won full control of mainland China established the People’s Republic of China in 1950.

china_civilwarLeft: KMT leader and president Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Right: CPC chairman Mao Zedong.

Speech by President Chiang Kai-shek Before the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Government in Chungking, 1 March 1945

Mao Zedong: The Situation and Our Policy After the Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan, 13 August 1945

Mao Zedong: Chiang Kai-shek is Provoking Civil War, 13 August 1945

Mao Zedong: On a Statement by Chiang Kai-Shek’s Spokesman, 15 August 1945

President Chiang Kai-Shek’s VJ Day Broadcast, 3 September 1945

The Truth About the Kuomintang Attacks, 5 November 1945

Chiang Kai-shek’s Program for the Settlement of the Civil War, 14 August 1946

Chiang Kai-shek’s Broadcast, 10 October 1946

Statement of Chiang Kai-shek on the voluntary cease fire, 8 November 1946


Speech by President Chiang Kai-shek Before the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Government in Chungking, 1 March 1945 Top

Source: World War II Digital Archive. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1945/1945-09-03a.html

You will recall that in 1936 the Government decided to summon a National Assembly on November 12, 1937 for the inauguration of constitutional government and the termination of the period of political tutelage under the Kuomintang. On July 7, 1937 Japan suddenly made war on us, and the plan had to be shelved. However, the determination of the Kuomintang to realize constitutional government remained as strong as ever. Had it not been for the recommendation of further postponement by the People’s Political Council, the National Assembly would have been convened during 1940 in accordance with another Government decision. This year, on the first of January, on behalf of the Government, I announced that the National Assembly will be summoned before the close of the year, unless untoward and unexpected military developments should in the meanwhile intervene.

The Kuomintang is the historical party of national revolution; it overthrew the Manchu dynasty; it destroyed Yuan Shih-kai who would be emperor; it utterly defeated the militarists that succeeded Yuan Shih-kai, it brought about national unification; it achieved the removal of the unequal treaties; and it led the country into the eight-year-old struggle against Japan. It is we who are the party of liberation and progress. In summoning the National Assembly and returning the rule to the people in conformity with the sacred will of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Kuomintang is performing its historical role.

We must emerge from this war a united nation. Only a united nation can effectively perform the tasks of political and economic reconstruction to raise the lot of our toiling masses and handle the problems of external relations in a new, uncharted world. Before the Japanese invasion, we were a united nation. Today, but for the Communists and their armed forces, we are a united nation. There are no independent warlords or local governments challenging the central authority.

I have long held the conviction that the solution of the Communist question must be through political means. The Government has labored to make the settlement a political one. As the public is not well informed on our recent efforts to reach a settlement with the Communists, time has come for me to clarify the atmosphere.

As you know, negotiations with the Communists have been a perennial problem for many years. It has been our unvarying experience that no sooner is a demand met than fresh ones are raised. The latest demand of the Communists is that the Government should forthwith liquidate the Kuomintang rule, and surrender all power to a coalition of various parties. The position of the Government is that it is ready to admit other parties, including the Communist as well as non-partisan leaders, to participate in the Government without, however, relinquishment by the Kuomintang of its power of ultimate decision and final responsibility until the convocation of the National Assembly. We have even offered to include the Communists and other parties in an organ to be established along the line of what is known abroad as a “war cabinet.” To go beyond this and to yield to the Communist demand would not only place the Government in open contravention of the political program of Dr. Yat-sen, but also create insurmountable practical difficulties for the country.

During the past eight years, the country has withstood all the vicissitudes of military reverses and of unbelievable privation and has ridden through the storm for the simple reason that it has been led by a stable and strong Government. The war remains to be won, the future is still fraught with peril. If the Government shirks its responsibility and surrenders its power of ultimate decision to a combination of political parties, the result would be unending friction and fears, leading to a collapse of the central authorities. Bear in mind that in such a contingency, unlike in other countries, there exists in our country at present no responsible body representing the people for government to appeal to.

I repeat, whether by accident or design, the Kuomintang has had the responsibility of leading the country during the turbulent last decade and more. It will return the supreme power to the people through the instrumentality of the National Assembly, and in the meanwhile, it will be ready to admit other parties to a share in the government, but it definitely cannot abdicate to a loose combination of parties. Such a surrender would not mean returning power to the people.

We must emerge from the war with a united army. The Communists should not keep a separate army. Here allow me to digress a little. The Chinese Communist propaganda abroad has tried to justify this private army on the ground that if it becomes incorporated in the National Army, it will be in danger of being destroyed or discriminated against. Their propaganda also magnify, out of all proportion, the actual military strength of the Communists. To you, I need hardly say that Government forces have always without exception borne the brunt of Japanese attack and will continue to do so. Today, with the wholehearted co-operation of our Allies, powerful armies are being equipped and conditioned to assume the offensive. We are synchronizing our efforts with those of our Allies in expelling Japan from the Asiatic mainland.

The Government has not hesitated to meet squarely the issues raised by the Communists. During his recent visit the Communist representative, Mr. Chou En-lai, was told that the Government would be prepared to set up in the Executive Yuan a policy-making body to be known as the Wartime Political Council, to which other parties, including the Communists, would have representation. In addition, he was told that the Government would be ready to appoint the commission of three officers to make plans for the incorporation of the Communist forces in the National Army, composed of one government officer, one Communist and one American, provided that the United States Government would agree to allow an American officer to serve. If the United States Government could not agree, some other means of guaranteeing the safety of the Communist forces and non-discrimination in their treatment could doubtless be evolved.

The Government has gone further. To meet any fear the Communists may have the Government has expressed its willingness for the duration of the war to place an American general in command of the Communist forces under my over-all command as supreme commander-again if the United States Government could agree to the appointment of an American officer. The Communists have, however, rejected all those offers. If the Communists are sincere in their desire to fight the Japanese alongside us and our Allies, they have indeed been given every opportunity to do so.

Since the commencement of the latest phase of the negotiations with the Communists in November last year, the Government, mindful of the necessity of avoiding mutual recriminations if parties to a dispute are sincere in their desire for a settlement, has made all efforts to prevent newspaper attacks against the Communists. For this reason only the Communist version of the difficulties is being heard. The Communists have made use of the negotiations to launch a whirlwind campaign of publicity, both at home and abroad, defamatory of the Government and the Kuomintang. At the very moment that the delegates were sitting down to the conference, ridiculous charges were made that the Government was conducting negotiations with the Japanese. I consider it beneath my dignity as head of the state to answer these base charges.

No one mindful of the future of our 450,000,000 people and conscious of standing at the bar of history, would wish to plunge the country into a civil war. The Government has shown its readiness and is always ready to confer with the Communists to bring about a real and lasting settlement with them.

I have explained the Government’s position on the Communist problem at length, because today that is the main problem to unity and constitutional government.
I now turn to the concrete measures which the Government proposes to take to realize constitutional government, which I wish to announce briefly:

(1) The National Assembly to inaugurate constitutional government will be convened on November 12, this year the eightieth birthday anniversary of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, subject to the approval by the Kuomintang Congress which is due to meet in May.
(2) Upon the inauguration of constitutional government, all political parties will have legal status and enjoy equality. The Government has offered to give legal recognition to the Communist party as soon as the latter agrees to incorporate their army and local administration in the National Army and Government. The offer still stands.
(3) The next session of the People’s Political Council with a larger membership as well as more extensive powers will soon be sitting. The Government will consider with the Council the measures in regard to the convening of the National Assembly and all related matters.

I am optimistic of national unification and the future of democratic government in our country. The torrent of public opinion demanding national unity and reconstruction is mounting ever stronger and will soon become an irresistible force. No individual or political party can afford to disregard this force any longer. Let all of us, regardless of party affiliations, work together for the twin objectives of our people-national unity and reconstruction.


Mao Zedong: The Situation and Our Policy After the Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan, 13 August 1945 Top

Source: Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/

These are days of tremendous change in the situation in the Far East. The surrender of Japanese imperialism is now a foregone conclusion. The decisive factor for Japan’s surrender is the entry of the Soviet Union into the war. A million Red Army troops are entering China’s Northeast; this force is irresistible. Japanese imperialism can no longer continue the fight.[1] The Chinese people’s hard and bitter War of Resistance is crowned with victory. As a historical stage, the War of Resistance Against Japan is now over.

In these circumstances, what are the relations among the different classes in China and what are the relations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party at present? What will they be like in the future? What is the policy of our Party? These are questions of great concern to the people of the whole country and to all members of our Party.

What about the Kuomintang? Look at its past, and you can tell its present; look at its past and present, and you can tell its future. In the past, this party carried on a counter-revolutionary civil war for ten whole years. During the War of Resistance it launched three large-scale anti-Communist campaigns, in 1940, 1941 and 1943, each time attempting to develop the attack into a country-wide civil war. It was only because of the correct policy adopted by our Party and the opposition of the people of the whole country that its attempts failed. As everyone knows, Chiang Kai-shek, the political representative of China’s big landlords and big bourgeoisie, is a most brutal and treacherous fellow. His policy has been to look on with folded arms, wait for victory, conserve his forces and prepare for civil war. Indeed, the victory he has been waiting for has arrived, and now this “generalissimo” is about to “come down from the mountain”.In the past eight years we have changed places with Chiang Kai-shek — formerly we were on the mountain and he was by the water; during the War of Resistance we were behind the enemy lines and he went up the mountain. Now he is coming down from the mountain, coming down to seize the fruits of victory.

During the past eight years the people and army of our Liberated Areas, receiving no aid whatsoever from outside and relying solely on their own efforts, liberated vast territories and resisted and pinned down the bulk of the Japanese invading forces and practically all the puppet troops. Only by our determined resistance and heroic struggle were the 200 million people in the Great Rear Area saved from being trampled underfoot by the Japanese aggressors and the regions inhabited by these 200 million people saved from Japanese occupation. Chiang Kai-shek hid on Mount Omei with guards in front of him — the guards were the Liberated Areas, the people and army of the Liberated Areas. In defending the 200 million people of the Great Rear Area, we protected this “generalissimo” as well and gave him both the time and the space to sit around waiting for victory with folded arms. Time — eight years one month. Space — an area inhabited by 200 million people. These conditions we provided for him. But for us, he could not have stood by looking on. Is the “generalissimo” grateful to us, then? No, not he! This fellow has never known what it is to be grateful. How did Chiang Kai-shek climb to power? By the Northern Expedition, by the first period of co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, by the support given him by the people, who had not yet seen through him. Once in power, Chiang Kai-shek, far from being grateful to the people, knocked them down and plunged them into the bloodbath of ten years of civil war. You comrades are familiar with this segment of history. During the present War of Resistance the Chinese people again defended him. This war is now ending in victory and Japan is on the point of surrender, but he is not at all grateful to the people. On the contrary, thumbing through the records of 1927, he wants to act in the same old way. He says there has never been any “civil war” in China, only “bandit suppression”. Whatever he likes to call it, the fact is he wants to start a civil war against the people, he wants to slaughter the people.

Until a civil war breaks out all over the country, many of the people and many of our Party comrades will not have a very clear understanding of this question. Since civil war is not yet here on a large scale, since it is not yet widespread or out in the open and since the battles are not yet numerous, many people think, “Well, there may not be a civil war after all!” Many others are afraid of civil war. Their fear is not without reason. There were ten years of fighting and then another eight years of the War of Resistance; if the fighting keeps on, where will it all end? It is quite natural that such fears should arise. With regard to Chiang Kai-shek’s plot to launch a civil war, our Party’s policy has been clear and consistent, that is, resolutely to oppose civil war, be against civil war and prevent civil war. In the days to come, we shall continue, with the utmost effort and greatest patience, to lead the people in preventing civil war. Nevertheless, it is necessary to be soberly aware that the danger of civil war is extremely serious because Chiang Kai-shek’s policy is already set. Chiang Kai-shek’s policy is civil war. Our policy, the policy of the people, is against civil war. The opponents of civil war consist only of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people — it is a pity that they do not include Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang. Here one side does not want to fight and the other does. If both did not want it, there would be no fighting. Now, since only one side is against it and this side is not yet strong enough to check the other, the danger of civil war is extremely grave.

Our Party pointed out in good time that Chiang Kai-shek would stick to his reactionary policy of dictatorship and civil war. Before, during and after the Seventh Party Congress, we did fairly adequate work to call the people’s attention to the danger of civil war, so that the whole people, our Party members and our troops should be mentally prepared well in advance. This is a very important point, and it makes a world of difference whether or not there is such preparedness. In 1927 our Party was still in its infancy and was mentally wholly unprepared for Chiang Kai-shek’s counter-revolutionary surprise attack. Consequently the fruits of victory won by the people were soon lost, the people had to undergo long suffering, and a bright China was plunged into darkness. This time things are different, our Party has acquired the rich experience of three revolutions and a much higher degree of political maturity. Time and again, the Central Committee of the Party has clearly explained the danger of civil war, and so the whole people, all Party members and the troops led by our Party are in a state of preparedness.

Chiang Kai-shek always tries to wrest every ounce of power and every ounce of gain from the people. And we? Our policy is to give him tit for tat and to fight for every inch of land. We act after his fashion. He always tries to impose war on the people, one sword in his left hand and another in his right. We take up swords, too, following his example. We found this method only after investigation and study. Such investigation and study are very important. When we see the other fellow holding something in his hands, we should do some investigating. What does he hold in his hands? Swords. What are swords for? For killing. Whom does he want to kill with his swords? The people. Having made these findings, investigate further — the Chinese people, too, have hands and can take up swords, they can forge a sword if there is none handy. The Chinese people have discovered this truth after long investigation and study. Warlords, landlords, local bullies and bad gentry and the imperialists all have swords in their hands and are out to kill. The people have come to understand this and so act after the same fashion. Some of us often neglect such investigation and study. Chen Tu-hsiu, for example, did not understand that with swords one can kill people. Some say, this is a plain everyday truth; how can a leader of the Communist Party fail to know it? But you never can tell. Chen Tu-hsiu made no investigation and study and so did not understand this, hence we called him an opportunist. He who makes no investigation and study has no right to speak, and accordingly we deprived Chen Tu-hsiu of that right. We have adopted a course different from Chen Tu-hsiu’s and enabled the people suffering from oppression and slaughter to take up swords. If ever again anybody wants to kill us, we will act after his fashion. Not long ago, the Kuomintang sent six divisions to attack our Kuanchung sub-region, and three of them drove in and seized an area measuring 20 by 100 li. We acted after their fashion and wholly, thoroughly and completely wiped out the Kuomintang troops in this area of 20 by 100 li. Our policy is to give tit for tat and fight for every inch of land; we will never let the Kuomintang easily seize our land and kill our people. Of course, to fight for every inch of land does not mean following the old “Left” line of “not abandoning a single inch of land in the base area”. This time we abandoned an area of 20 by 100 li. Abandoned late in July, it was retaken early in August. After the Southern Anhwei Incident of 1941, the Kuomintang liaison staff officer once asked me what we intended to do. I answered, “You are here in Yenan all the time and you don’t know? If Ho goes for us, we’ll go for him. If Ho stops, we’ll stop too.”At that time Chiang Kai-shek was not named, only Ho Ying-chin. Today we say, “If Chiang goes for us, we’ll go for him. If Chiang stops, we’ll stop too.” We will act after his fashion. As Chiang Kai-shek is now sharpening his swords, we must sharpen ours too.

The rights the people have won must never be lightly given up but must be defended by fighting. We don’t want civil war. However, if Chiang Kai-shek insists on forcing civil war on the Chinese people, the only thing we can do is to take up arms and fight him in self-defence to protect the lives and property, the rights and well-being of the people of the Liberated Areas. This will be a civil war he forces on us. If we do not win, we will blame neither heaven nor earth but only ourselves. However, let no one think that the people can be easily robbed or defrauded of the rights they have won; that is impossible. Last year an American correspondent asked me, “Who has given you the power to act?” I replied, “The people.” Who else indeed, if not the people? The ruling Kuomintang hasn’t given us any power. It doesn’t recognize us. We take part in the People’s Political Council in the capacity of a “cultural organization” as stipulated by its rules. But we are not a “cultural organization”, we say, we have an army and are a “military organization”. On March 1 this year Chiang Kai-shek stated that the Communist Party would have to turn over its army before it could acquire legal status. Chiang Kai-shek’s statement still stands. We have not turned over our army, and so we have no legal status and are “defying laws human and divine”. Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people’s interests, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected — that is what being responsible to the people means. Comrades! The people want liberation and therefore entrust power to those who can represent them and work faithfully for them, that is, to us Communists. As representatives of the people, we must represent them well and not act like Chen Tu-hsiu. Confronted by counter-revolutionary attacks against the people, Chen Tu-hsiu did not adopt the policy of giving tit for tat and fighting for every inch of land; as a result, in 1927, within the space of a few months, he forfeited all the rights the people had won. This time we must be on our guard. Our policy is absolutely different from Chen Tu-hsiu’s; no trickery can fool us. We must be clearheaded and have a correct policy; we must not make mistakes.

To whom should the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance belong? It is very obvious. Take a peach tree for example. When the tree yields peaches they are the fruits of victory. Who is entitled to pick the peaches? Ask who planted and watered the tree. Chiang Kai-shek squatting on the mountain did not carry a single bucket of water, and yet he is now stretching out his arm from afar to pick the peaches. “I, Chiang Kai-shek, own these peaches,” he says, “I am the landlord, you are my serfs and I won’t allow you to pick any.” We have refuted him in the press. We say, “You never carried any water, so you have no right to pick the peaches. We the people of the Liberated Areas watered the tree day in day out and have the most right to gather the fruit.” Comrades! The victory of the War of Resistance has been won by the people with bloodshed and sacrifice, it should be the victory of the people and it is to the people that the fruits of the War of Resistance should go. As for Chiang Kai-shek, he was passive in resisting Japan but active in anti-communism. He was a stumbling-block in the people’s War of Resistance. Now this stumbling-block is coming forward to monopolize the fruits of victory, wants China after victory to relapse into her old pre-war state and does not tolerate the slightest change. This gives rise to struggle. Comrades! It is a most serious struggle.

That the fruits of victory of the War of Resistance should go to the people is one thing, but who will eventually get them and whether it will be the people is another. Don’t be too sure that all the fruits of victory will fall into the hands of the people. Chiang Kai-shek will grab a lot of big peaches, such as Shanghai, Nanking, Hangchow and other big cities. He has ganged up with U.S. imperialism and in those places they have the upper hand, while so far the revolutionary people can by and large occupy only the rural areas. Another bunch of peaches will be contested by both sides. These are the medium and small towns situated along the section of the Tatung-Puchow Railway north of Taiyuan, the middle section of the Peiping-Suiyuan Railway, the Peiping-Liaoning Railway, the section of the Peiping-Hankow Railway north of Chengchow, the Chengting-Taiyuan Railway, the Paikuei-Chincheng Railway, the Tehchow-Shihchiachuang Railway, the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, the Tsingtao-Tsinan Railway and the section of the Lunghai Railway east of Chengchow. These medium and small towns must be contested; they are the medium and small peaches watered by the people of the Liberated Areas with their sweat and blood. It is difficult to say now whether these places will fall into the people’s hands. Only two words can be said now: struggle hard. Are there places which are sure to fall into the hands of the people? Yes, there are. They are the vast rural areas and the numerous towns in the provinces of Hopei, Chahar and Jehol, most of Shansi, Shantung and the northern part of Kiangsu, with villages linked together and with about a hundred towns in one area, seventy to eighty in another, forty to fifty in a third — altogether three, four, five or six such areas, big and small. What sort of towns? Medium and small towns. We are sure of them, we have the strength to pick these fruits of victory. In the history of the Chinese revolution this will be the first time that we have got such a bunch of fruit. Historically, it was only after we smashed the enemy’s third “encirclement and suppression” campaign in the latter half of 1931 that we had altogether as many as twenty-one county towns in the Central Base Area in Kiangsi Province, but there was not a single medium-sized town among them. With twenty-one small towns linked together, the total population at its height reached 2,500,000. Relying on this base, the Chinese people were able to continue the struggle for such a long time, win such big victories and smash such big “encirclement and suppression” campaigns. Later we were defeated, for which we should blame, not Chiang Kai-shek, but ourselves for not fighting well enough. This time, if scores of big and small towns are linked in a single contiguous area and if there are three, four, five or six such areas, then the Chinese people will have three, four, five or six revolutionary bases, each larger than the Central Base Area in Kiangsi Province, and the situation for the Chinese revolution will be very promising indeed.

If one looks at the situation as a whole, the stage of the War of Resistance Against Japan is over and the new situation and task is domestic struggle. Chiang Kai-shek talks about “building the country”. From now on the struggle will be, build what sort of country? To build a new-democratic country of the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat? Or to build a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country under the dictatorship of the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie? This will be a most complicated struggle. At present it takes the form of a struggle between Chiang Kai-shek who is trying to usurp the fruits of victory of the War of Resistance and ourselves who oppose his usurpation. If there is any opportunism during this period, it will lie in failing to struggle hard and in making a voluntary gift to Chiang Kai-shek of the fruits which should go to the people.

Will an open and total civil war break out? That depends on internal and international factors. The internal factors consist chiefly of our strength and the degree of our political consciousness. Given the general trend of the international and internal situation and the feelings of the people, is it possible, through our own struggles, to localize the civil war or delay the outbreak of a country-wide civil war? There is this possibility.

Chiang Kai-shek will face many difficulties if he tries to let loose a civil war. First, in the Liberated Areas there are a hundred million people, a million troops and over two million people’s militia. Second, the politically conscious people in the Kuomintang areas are against civil war, and this is some kind of check on Chiang Kai-shek. Third, inside the Kuomintang also there is a section which is not in favour of civil war. The situation today is vastly different from that in 1927. In particular, the condition of our Party today is vastly different from what it was in 1927. In those days our Party was still in its infancy and did not have a clear head or experience in armed struggle or the policy of giving tit for tat. Today the level of political consciousness in our Party is very much higher.

Apart from our own political consciousness, the political consciousness of the vanguard of the proletariat, there is the question of the political consciousness of the masses of the people. When the people are not yet politically conscious, it is entirely possible that their revolutionary gains may be handed over to others. This happened in the past. Today the level of political consciousness of the Chinese people is likewise very much higher. The prestige of our Party among the people has never been so great. Nevertheless, among the people, and chiefly among those living in the Japanese-occupied and Kuomintang areas, there are still a good many who believe in Chiang Kai-shek and have illusions about the Kuomintang and the United States of America, illusions which Chiang Kai-shek is working hard to spread. The fact that a section of the Chinese people is not yet politically conscious shows that much remains to be done in our propaganda and organizational work. The political awakening of the people is not easy. It requires much earnest effort on our part to rid their minds of wrong ideas. We should sweep backward ideas from the minds of the Chinese people, just as we sweep our rooms. Dust never vanishes of itself without sweeping. We must carry on extensive propaganda and education among the masses, so they will understand the real situation and trend in China and have confidence in their own strength.

It is up to us to organize the people. As for the reactionaries in China, it is up to us to organize the people to overthrow them. Everything reactionary is the same; if you don’t hit it, it won’t fall. It is like sweeping the floor; where the broom does not reach, the dust never vanishes of itself. There is a river called the Chieh-tse, south of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region. South of the river is Lochuan County and north of it, Fuhsien County. North and south of the river are two different worlds. The south is under the Kuomintang; since we have not reached there, the people are unorganized, and there is much filth and rottenness. Some of our comrades put their faith only in political influence, fancying that problems can be solved merely by influence. That is blind faith. In 1936, we were in Pao-an. Forty to fifty li away, there was a fortified village held by a landlord despot. The Central Committee of the Party was then in Pao-an and our political influence could be considered very great indeed, but the counter-revolutionaries in this village obstinately refused to surrender. We swept to the south, we swept to the north, all in vain. Not until our broom swept right into the village did the landlord cry out, “Ow, I give up!” That is how things are in this world. Bells don’t ring till you strike them. Tables don’t move till you shift them. Japan would not surrender until after the Red Army of the Soviet Union entered northeastern China. The enemy and puppet troops never handed over their arms until our troops fought them. Only where the broom reaches can political influence produce its full effect. Our broom is the Communist Party, the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army. Broom in hand, you must learn to sweep; don’t lie in bed, fancying that a gust of wind will somehow rise and blow all the dust away. We Marxists are revolutionary realists and never indulge in idle dreams. There is an old saying in China, “Rise at dawn and sweep the courtyard.” Dawn is the breaking of a new day. Our forefathers told us to rise and start sweeping at the very break of day. They were setting us a task. Only by thinking and acting in this way will we benefit and find work to do. China has a vast territory, and it is up to us to sweep it clean inch by inch.

On what basis should our policy rest? It should rest on our own strength, and that means regeneration through one’s own efforts. We are not alone; all the countries and people in the world opposed to imperialism are our friends. Nevertheless, we stress regeneration through our own efforts. Relying on the forces we ourselves organize, we can defeat all Chinese and foreign reactionaries. Chiang Kai-shek, on the contrary, relies entirely on the aid of U.S. imperialism, which he looks upon as his mainstay. The trinity of dictatorship, civil war and selling out the country has always been the basis of his policy. U.S. imperialism wants to help Chiang Kai-shek wage civil war and turn China into a U.S. dependency, and this policy, too, was set long ago. But U.S. imperialism while outwardly strong is inwardly weak. We must be clear-headed, that is, we must not believe the “nice words” of the imperialists nor be intimidated by their bluster. An American once said to me, “You should listen to Hurley and send a few men to be officials in the Kuomintang government.” I replied: “It is no easy job to be an official bound hand and foot; we won’t do it. If we become officials, our hands and feet must be unfettered, we must be free to act, that is, a coalition government must be set up on a democratic basis.” He said, “It will be bad if you don’t.” I asked him, “Why bad?” He said, “First, the Americans will curse you; secondly, the Americans will back Chiang Kai-shek.” I replied: “If you Americans, sated with bread and sleep, want to curse people and back Chiang Kai-shek, that’s your business and I won’t interfere. What we have now is millet plus rifles, what you have is bread plus cannon. If you like to back Chiang Kai-shek, back him, back him as long as you want. But remember one thing. To whom does China belong? China definitely does not belong to Chiang Kai-shek, China belongs to the Chinese people. The day will surely come when you will find it impossible to back him any longer.” Comrades! This American was trying to scare people. Imperialists are masters at this sort of stuff, and many people in the colonial countries do get scared. The imperialists think that all people in the colonial countries can be scared, but they do not realize that in China there are people who are not afraid of that sort of stuff. In the past we have openly criticized and exposed the U.S. policy of aiding Chiang Kai-shek to fight the Communists; it was necessary, and we shall continue to do so.

The Soviet Union has sent its troops, the Red Army has come to help the Chinese people drive out the aggressor; such an event has never happened before in Chinese history. Its influence is immeasurable. The propaganda organs of the United States and Chiang Kai-shek hoped to sweep away the Red Army’s political influence with two atom bombs. But it can’t be swept away; that isn’t so easy. Can atom bombs decide wars? No, they can’t. Atom bombs could not make Japan surrender. Without the struggles waged by the people, atom bombs by themselves would be of no avail. If atom bombs could decide the war, then why was it necessary to ask the Soviet Union to send its troops? Why didn’t Japan surrender when the two atom bombs were dropped on her and why did she surrender as soon as the Soviet Union sent troops? Some of our comrades, too, believe that the atom bomb is all-powerful; that is a big mistake. These comrades show even less judgement than a British peer. There is a certain British peer called Lord Mountbatten. He said the worst possible mistake is to think that the atom bomb can decide the war. These comrades are more backward than Mountbatten. What influence has made these comrades look upon the atom bomb as something miraculous? Bourgeois influence. Where does it come from? From their education in bourgeois schools, from the bourgeois press and news agencies. There are two world outlooks and two methodologies, the proletarian world outlook and methodology and the bourgeois world outlook and methodology. These comrades often cling to the bourgeois world outlook and methodology and often forget the proletarian world outlook and methodology. The theory that “weapons decide everything”, the purely military viewpoint, a bureaucratic style of work divorced from the masses, individualist thinking, and the like — all these are bourgeois influences in our ranks. We must constantly sweep these bourgeois things out of our ranks just as we sweep out dust.

The entry of the Soviet Union into the war has decided Japan’s surrender and the situation in China is entering a new period. Between the War of Resistance and the new period there is a transitional stage. The struggle during this transitional stage is to oppose Chiang Kai-shek’s usurpation of the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance. Chiang Kai-shek wants to launch a country-wide civil war and his policy is set; we must be prepared for this. No matter when this country-wide civil war breaks out, we must be well prepared. If it comes early, say, tomorrow morning, we should also be prepared. That is point one. In the present international and domestic situation it is possible that for a time the civil war may be kept restricted in scale and localized. That is point two. Point one is what we should prepare for, point two is what has existed for a long time. In short, we must be prepared. Being prepared, we shall be able to deal properly with all kinds of complicated situations.


Mao Zedong: Chiang Kai-shek is Provoking Civil War, 13 August 1945 Top

Source: Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/

A spokesman for the Propaganda Department of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee has made a statement describing as “a presumptuous and illegal act” the order setting a time-limit for the surrender of the enemy and the puppets, which was issued by Chu Teh, Commander-in-Chief of the Eighteenth Group Army, on August 10 from the General Headquarters in Yenan. This comment is absolutely preposterous. Its logical implication is that it was wrong of Chu Teh to act in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration and with the enemy’s declared intention of surrendering and to order his troops to effect the surrender of the enemy and the puppets, and that on the contrary it would have been right and legitimate to advise the enemy and puppets to refuse to surrender. No wonder that even before the enemy’s actual surrender, Chiang Kai-shek, China’s fascist ringleader, autocrat and traitor to the people, had the audacity to “order” the anti-Japanese armed forces in the Liberated Areas to “stay where they are, pending further orders”, that is, to tie their own hands and let the enemy attack them. No wonder this selfsame fascist ringleader dared to “order” the so-called underground forces (who are, in fact, puppet troops “saving the nation by a devious path” and Tai Li’s secret police collaborating with the Japanese and puppets) as well as other puppet troops to “be responsible for maintaining local order”, while forbidding the anti-Japanese armed forces in the Liberated Areas to “take presumptuous action on their own” against enemy and puppet forces. This transposition of the enemy and the Chinese is in truth a confession by Chiang Kai-shek; it gives a vivid picture of his whole psychology, which is one of consistent collusion with the enemy and puppets and of liquidation of all those not of his ilk. However, the people’s anti-Japanese armed forces in China’s Liberated Areas will never be taken in by this venomous scheme. They know that Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh’s order is precisely the resolute fulfilment of the provision in paragraph 2 of the Potsdam Declaration, “prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist”. On the other hand, Chiang Kai-shek’s so-called “orders” are precisely violations of the Potsdam Declaration which he himself signed. One has only to make the comparison to see at once who is not “adhering faithfully to the provisions of the common agreements of the Allies”.

Both the comment by the spokesman for the Propaganda Department of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and Chiang Kai-shek’s “orders” are from beginning to end provocations to civil war; at this moment, when attention at home and abroad is focussed on Japan’s unconditional surrender, their aim is to find a pretext for switching to civil war as soon as the War of Resistance ends. In reality, the Kuomintang reactionaries are pitifully stupid. They have sought their pretext in Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh’s order for the surrender and disarming of the enemy and puppet troops. Can this be considered a clever pretext? No. That they seek a pretext in this way proves only that the Kuomintang reactionaries are fonder of the enemy and puppets than of their fellow-countrymen and that they hate their fellow-countrymen more than they do the enemy and puppets. The Chunhua Incident was plainly an invasion of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region by Hu Tsung-nan’s troops to provoke civil war, and yet the Kuomintang reactionaries said it was a “rumour offensive” by the Communist Party of China. The Kuomintang reactionaries found their long-sought-for pretext in the Chunhua Incident, but Chinese and foreign public opinion saw through it at once. So now they are saying that the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army should not demand that the enemy and puppet troops surrender their guns. In the eight years of the War of Resistance, the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army have suffered enough from the attacks and encirclements of both Chiang Kai-shek and the Japanese. And now, with the War of Resistance coming to an end, Chiang Kai-shek is hinting to the Japanese (and to his beloved puppet troops) that they should not surrender their guns to the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army but “only to me, Chiang Kai-shek”. One thing, however, Chiang Kai-shek has left unsaid, “. . . so that I can use these guns to kill the Communists and wreck the peace of China and the world.” Isn’t this the truth? What will be the result of telling the Japanese to hand over their guns to Chiang Kai-shek and telling the puppet troops to “be responsible for maintaining local order”? The result can only be that a merger of the Nanking and Chungking regimes and co-operation between Chiang Kai-shek and the puppets will take the place of “Sino-Japanese collaboration” and of co-operation between the Japanese and the puppets, and that Chiang Kai-shek’s “anti-communism and national reconstruction” will take the place of the “anti-communism and national reconstruction” of the Japanese and Wang Ching-wei. Isn’t this a violation of the Potsdam Declaration? Can there be any doubt that the grave danger of civil war will confront the people of the whole country the moment the War of Resistance is over? We now appeal to all our fellow-countrymen and to the Allied countries to take action, together with the people of the Liberated Areas, resolutely to prevent a civil war in China, which would endanger world peace.

After all, who has the right to accept the surrender of the Japanese and puppets? Relying solely on their own efforts and the support of the people, the anti-Japanese armed forces in China’s Liberated Areas, to whom the Kuomintang government refused all supplies and recognition, have succeeded by themselves in liberating vast territories and more than 100 million people and have resisted and pinned down 56 per cent of the invading enemy troops in China and 95 per cent of the puppet troops. If not for these armed forces, the situation in China would never have been what it is today! To speak plainly, in China only the anti-Japanese armed forces of the Liberated Areas have the right to accept the surrender of the enemy and puppet troops. As for Chiang Kai-shek, his policy has been to look on with folded arms and sit around and wait for victory; indeed he has no right at all to accept the surrender of the enemy and the puppets.

We declare to all our fellow-countrymen and to the people of the whole world: The Supreme Command in Chungking cannot represent the Chinese people and those Chinese armed forces which have really fought Japan; the Chinese people demand the right of the anti-Japanese armed forces of China’s Liberated Areas under Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh to send their representatives directly in order to participate in the acceptance of Japan’s surrender and in the military control over Japan by the four Allied Powers and also to participate in the future peace conference. If this is not done, the Chinese people will deem it most improper.


Mao Zedong: On a Statement by Chiang Kai-Shek’s Spokesman, 15 August 1945 Top

Source: Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/

A spokesman for Chiang Kai-shek, commenting on the alleged violation by the Communist Party of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s order to Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh, said at a press conference in Chungking on the afternoon of August 15, “The orders of the generalissimo must be obeyed” and “Those who violate them are enemies of the people.” A Hsinhua News Agency correspondent states: This is an open signal by Chiang Kai-shek for all-out civil war. On August 11, at the critical moment when the Japanese invaders were being finally wiped out, Chiang Kai-shek issued an order of national betrayal forbidding the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and all the other armed forces of the people to fight the Japanese and the puppet troops. Of course, this order cannot and should not be accepted. Soon afterwards, Chiang Kai-shek through his spokesman proclaimed the armed forces of the Chinese people to be “enemies of the people”. This shows that Chiang Kai-shek has declared civil war against the Chinese people. Chiang Kai-shek’s plotting of civil war did not of course begin with his order of August 11; it has been his consistent plan throughout the eight years of the War of Resistance. During those eight years, Chiang Kai-shek launched three large-scale anti-Communist campaigns, in 1940, 1941 and 1943, each time attempting to develop the attack into a country-wide civil war, and only the opposition of the Chinese people and of public figures in the Allied countries prevented its occurrence, much to Chiang’s regret. Thus he was forced to postpone the country-wide civil war until the end of the War of Resistance Against Japan, and so came the order of August and the statement of August 15. For the purpose of unleashing civil war, Chiang Kai-shek had already invented many terms, such as “alien party”, “traitor party”, “traitor army”, “rebel army”, “traitor areas”, “bandit areas”, “disobedience to military and government orders”, “feudal separatism”, “undermining the War of Resistance” and “endangering the state”; and he had alleged that, since in the past there had been only “suppression of Communists” in China and not “civil war”, there would be no “civil war” in the future either, and so on and so forth. The slight difference this time is the addition of a new term, “enemy of the people”. But people will perceive that this is a foolish invention. For whenever the term, “enemy of the people”, is used in China, everyone knows who is meant. There is a person in China who betrayed Sun Yat-sen’s Three People’s Principles and the Great Revolution of 1927. He plunged the Chinese people into the bloodbath of ten years of civil war and thereby invited aggression by Japanese imperialism. Then, scared out of his wits, he took to his heels and led a flock of people in a flight all the way from Heilungkiang to Kweichow Province. He became an onlooker and sat around, waiting with folded arms for victory to come. Now that victory has come, he tells the people’s armies to “stay further orders” and tells the enemy and the traitors to “maintain order” so that he can swagger back to Nanking. One need only mention these facts for the Chinese people to know that this person is Chiang Kai-shek. After all he has done, can there be any dispute as to whether Chiang Kai-shek is an enemy of the people? Dispute there is. The people say “Yes”. The enemy of the people says “No”. And that is the only dispute. Among the people it is becoming less and less a matter of dispute. The problem now is that this enemy of the people wants to start a civil war. What are the people to do? The Hsinhua News Agency correspondent says: The policy of the Communist Party of China in regard to Chiang Kai-shek’s launching a civil war is clear and consistent, namely, to oppose it. As far back as the time when Japanese imperialism began to invade China, the Communist Party of China demanded an end to civil war and unity against foreign aggression. In 1936-37 the Party made tremendous efforts, forced Chiang Kai-shek to accept its proposal and so carried out the War of Resistance Against Japan. During the eight years of resistance, the Communist Party of China never once relaxed its efforts to alert the people to check the danger of civil war. Since last year, the Communist Party has time and again called the people’s attention to the huge plot being hatched by Chiang Kai-shek to unleash a country-wide civil war as soon as the War of Resistance ended. The Communist Party, like the rest of the Chinese people in the world concerned for peace in China, holds that a new civil war would be a calamity. But the Communist Party maintains that civil war can still be prevented and must be prevented. It is in order to prevent civil war that the Communist Party has advocated the formation of a coalition government. Now Chiang Kai-shek has rejected this proposal, and so civil war is touch-and-go. But there is definitely a way of checking this move of Chiang Kai-shek’s. The people’s democratic forces must strive to expand resolutely and rapidly; the people must liberate the big cities under enemy occupation and disarm the enemy and puppet troops; and if an autocrat and traitor to the people dares to attack them, the people must act in self-defence and resolutely strike back to frustrate the designs of the instigator of civil war.

That is the way, the only way. The Hsinhua News Agency correspondent calls on the whole nation and the whole world to repudiate the utterly hypocritical and shameless lie which asserts that, on the contrary, civil war in China can be averted if Chiang Kai-shek forbids the Chinese people to liberate the enemy-occupied big cities, forbids them to disarm enemy and puppet forces and forbids them to establish democracy, if he himself goes to these big cities to “inherit” (not to smash) enemy and puppet regimes. This is a lie, the Hsinhua News Agency correspondent points out, and this lie obviously runs counter to the national and democratic interests of the Chinese people and also in the face of all the facts of modern Chinese history. It must always be remembered that it was not because the big cities were in the hands of the Communist Party rather than in his own hands that Chiang Kai-shek waged the ten-year civil war from 1927 to 1937; on the contrary, since 1927 none of the big cities has been in the hands of the Communist Party but all have been in Chiang’s hands or have been yielded by him to the Japanese and the traitors, and this is the very reason why the civil war lasted for ten years on a country-wide scale and has continued on a local scale to this day. It must always be remembered that the ten-year civil war was stopped and that the three large-scale anti-Communist campaigns and countless other provocations during the War of Resistance were checked (up to and including Chiang Kai-shek’s recent invasion of the southern part of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region) not because Chiang Kai-shek was strong, but on the contrary because Chiang was relatively not strong enough, while the Communist Party and the people were relatively strong. The ten-year civil war was stopped, not by the appeals of public figures throughout the country who desired peace and feared war (such as those of the former “League for Banning Civil War” and similar bodies), but by the armed demand of the Communist Party of China and the armed demands of the Northeastern Army under Chang Hsueh-liang and the Northwestern Army under Yang Hu-cheng. The three large-scale anti-Communist campaigns and countless other provocations were not beaten back by unlimited concessions and submission by the Communist Party, they were beaten back by the Communist Party’s persistence in a just, stern attitude of self-defence — “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counter-attack.” If the Communist Party had been utterly powerless and spineless and had not fought to the finish for the interests of the nation and the people, how could the ten-year civil war have been ended? How could the War of Resistance Against Japan have started? And even though started, how could it have been carried on resolutely until victory today? How else could Chiang Kai-shek and his ilk be alive now, issuing orders and making statements from a mountain retreat so far from the front lines? The Communist Party of China is firmly opposed to civil war. The Soviet Union, the United States and Britain declared in the Crimea, “establish conditions of internal peace” and “form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments responsive to the will of the people”. That is exactly what the Communist Party of China has persistently advocated — the formation of a “coalition government”. The carrying out of this proposal can prevent civil war. But there is one precondition — strength. If people unite and increase their strength, civil war can be prevented.


President Chiang Kai-Shek’s VJ Day Broadcast, 3 September 1945 Top

Source: Keesing’s Record of World Events Volume VI, February, 1946 China, Chinese, Page 7705

On VJ-Day (Sept. 3, 1945) Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek made the following broadcast to the Chinese nation on the National Government’s aims:

“I wish to make known on this occasion of nation-wide rejoicing the most important and fundamental domestic policies of the National Government.

First, the fundamental object of our national revolution and war of resistance is not only the defeat of the enemy but also the establishment of a new China based on the Three Principles.
Second, now that the war is over we shall brook no further delay in the inauguration of constitutional democracy. The highest ideal of the national revolution is the participation of all the people in national politics. The most important measure for the realisation of this ideal is to return the power of government to the people. The convocation of the National Assembly is indispensable to the return of such power to the people. I earnestly hope that the people as a whole and leaders of all walks of life will give sincere support to the Government for the early convocation of the National Assembly and the attainment of democracy. No hindrance should be allowed.

The successful conclusion of the prolonged war is the time to begin the task of national reconstruction. The Government’s administrative policy will be guided by impartiality and sincerity. A rational and reasonable solution of all problems will be sought through sincere and honest discussion in so far as they do not undermine the Three Principles and the position of the National Government. . . . The Government is prepared to consult all leaders before the convocation of the National Assembly. It is also ready to consider a reasonable increase in the number of delegates to the Assembly and to seek a rational settlement of other related problems.

As a safeguard to the freedoms of the people, the National Government has, besides the enforcement of the law for the protection of personal freedom, decided to abolish the war-time press censorship so that the people may have freedom of speech. It will promulgate a law to facilitate political assembly and organisation so that the people may have freedom of association and all political parties may enjoy the same legalised status. Only thus can we tread the path of democracy traversed by the United States and Great Britain and establish a model democratic state in the Far East.

If we want to attain democracy, we must have the rule of law as the foundation of constitutional government, and the Constitution as the safeguard of the people. Disreputable practices like the employment of armed force in political controversy and the seizure of territory in defiance of Government orders are relics of the days of the war lords. They should not be found in a modern democratic state and could not be tolerated in national rebuilding. Only when domestic problems are peacefully solved by political means, and all shades of opinion observe the law of the country, can we avoid the mistakes made in the early days of the Republic and establish a great charter worthy of the heroic efforts of our revolutionary martyrs and the freedom-loving people during the past 50 years.

Third, national unity is the absolute requirement of a modern State. National unity ensured victory in war. We must realise also that it is the prerequisite of democracy and constitutionalism. Only a united nation can reap fully the fruits of victory. Only a united nation can safeguard democracy, mobilise the people’s will, and protect its independence and integrity. Only a united nation can accomplish the task of national reconstruction and contribute to international peace and world prosperity.

The most important condition for national unity is the nationalisation of all armed forces in the country. There should be no private army within the country’s boundaries, nor should armed forces be kept by any political party. Only when armed forces are no longer guided by the wishes of a political party can national unity be secured. On behalf of the Government I solemnly state that all armed forces, if they submit to recognition by the Government, shall receive the same treatment without discrimination. The Kuomintang branch headquarters, which existed in the armed forces during the past 20 years, have been entirely abolished as the first step towards the nationalisation of the armed forces. We hope the whole nation will realise that the unity of military command and the integrity of political authority is a factor that determines the survival or extinction of a country. We hope that they will, with concerted effort, bring about and safeguard this integrity. With the greatest sincerity I make this appeal for the future of our country and our people.

The three points above mentioned are the least we should accomplish at present. They are very important requisites. Our task is not only to return from a war to a peace footing but also to replace unemployment with employment. Our foundation as a modern state is the weakest among the United Nations. Our war of resistance was the longest of any member of the United Nations. It is not only necessary for us to unite with one soul and one heart in order to build a modern state on the ruins of war, but also to increase our national strength in order to shoulder the responsibility jointly with the other United Nations in promoting international peace and world prosperity.”


Mao Zedong: The Truth About the Kuomintang Attacks, 5 November 1945 Top

Source: Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. Retrieved 26 March 2012 from http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/

In a dispatch from Chungking, dated November 3, the United Press reported that Wu Kuo-chen, Director of the Propaganda Department of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, had declared that “the government is entirely on the defensive in this war” and had proposed measures for “restoring communications”. A Hsinhua News Agency reporter asked the spokesman for the Communist Party of China about this.

The spokesman for the Communist Party of China replied to the reporter as follows: What Wu Kuo-chen said about being “on the defensive” is a complete lie. The Kuomintang, besides occupying the five Liberated Areas evacuated by our troops in eastern Chekiang, southern Kiangsu, central and southern Anhwei and Hunan and trampling on the people there, has moved more than seventy divisions of its regular troops into or close to most of the other Liberated Areas for example, those in Kwangtung, Hupeh, Honan, northern Kiangsu, northern Anhwei, Shantung and Hopei — and has been oppressing the people there and attacking or preparing to attack our troops. Furthermore, scores of other Kuomintang divisions are heading for the Liberated Areas. Can this be described as being on the defensive? Of the eight Kuomintang divisions which reached the Hantan area in their drive northward from Changteh, two opposed civil war and favoured peace, while the other six (including three U.S.-equipped divisions) were compelled to lay down their arms after the troops and people of the Liberated Areas counter-attacked in self-defence. Many officers of these Kuomintang troops, including war-zone deputy commanders’ corps commanders and deputy corps commanders, are now in the Liberated Areas and can confirm the whole truth about where they came from and how they were ordered to attack. Can this, too, be described as being on the defensive? Our troops in the Liberated Areas in Honan and Hupeh Provinces are now completely encircled by more than twenty Kuomintang divisions from the 1st, 5th and 6th War Zones, with Liu Chih as field commander in charge of the “suppression of Communists”. Our Liberated Areas in western and central Honan and southern, eastern and central Hupeh have all been invaded and occupied by the Kuomintang forces, which burned and killed so wantonly that our troops commanded by Li Hsien-nien and Wang Shu-sheng could find no shelter and had to seek quarters on the Honan-Hupeh border in order to survive. But there again they have been closely pursued and attacked by Kuomintang troops. Can this, too, be described as being on the defensive? It is the same in the three provinces of Shansi, Suiyuan and Chahar. In early October, Yen Hsi-shan ordered thirteen divisions to attack the Hsiangyuan-Tunliu sector in the Shangtang Liberated Area. Fighting in self-defence, our troops and the people there disarmed them all, and several commanders of corps and divisions were among the captured. They are now in the Taihang Liberated Area, every one alive, and can confirm the whole truth about where they came from and how they were ordered to attack. In Chungking recently, Yen Hsi-shan told all sorts of lies about how he had been attacked and how he had merely been “on the defensive”. Probably he had forgotten all about his generals: Shih Tse-po, Commander of the 19th Corps; Kuo Jung, Commander of the Provisional 46th Division; Chang Hung, Commander of the Provisional 48th Division; Li Pei-ying, Commander of the 66th Division; Kuo Tien-hsing, Commander of the 68th Division and Yang Wen-tsai, Commander of the Provisional 37th Division. They are now living in our Liberated Areas and can refute any lies told by Wu Kuo-chen, Yen Hsi-shan and all the other reactionary instigators of civil war. General Fu Tso-yi, under orders, has been attacking our Liberated Areas in Suiyuan, Chahar and Jehol for over two months and on one occasion pushed right to the gates of Changchiakou and occupied our entire Suiyuan Liberated Area and western Chahar. Can this, too, be described as being on the defensive and not firing “the first shot”? Our troops and people in Chahar and Suiyuan rose in self-defence and in their counter-attacks also captured large numbers of officers and men who can all testify where they came from, how they attacked, and so on. In various battles of self-defence we have captured piles of “bandit suppression” and anti-Communist documents, among which are the Handbook on Bandit Suppression, orders for “bandit suppression” and other anti-Communist documents issued by the highest Kuomintang authorities but dismissed as a “joke” by Wu Kuo-chen; these are now being forwarded to Yenan. All these documents are iron-clad proofs that Kuomintang troops have attacked the Liberated Areas.

The Hsinhua News Agency reporter went on to ask the spokesman for the Communist Party of China about his views on the measures proposed by Wu Kuo-chen for restoring communications. The spokesman replied: These are nothing but stalling tactics. The Kuomintang authorities are mustering large forces and are trying to swamp all the Liberated Areas as in a great flood. Following the failure of several attacks in September and October, they are preparing new attacks on an even larger scale. And one way to obstruct these attacks and effectively check the civil war is not to let them transport their troops by rail. Like everybody else, we advocate speedy restoration of the lines of communication, but this can be done only after the settlement of the three problems of accepting the Japanese surrender, disposing of the puppet troops and realizing self-government in the Liberated Areas. Which should be settled first, the problem of communications or these three problems? Why are the troops of the Liberated Areas, which fought strenuously and bitterly against Japan for eight years, not qualified to accept the Japanese surrender? And why should other troops be put to the trouble of coming from afar to accept it? Every citizen has the right to punish the puppet troops; why are they all being incorporated into the “national army” and ordered to attack the Liberated Areas? Local self-government is explicitly stipulated in the “October 10th Agreement”, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen long ago advocated the popular election of provincial governors; why does the Kuomintang government still insist on dispatching local officials? The problem of communications should be speedily settled, but even more so, the three major problems should be speedily settled. To talk of restoring communications without first settling the three major problems can only serve to spread and prolong the civil war and help its instigators achieve their purpose of swamping the Liberated Areas. In order quickly to stop the anti-popular and anti-democratic civil war which has now spread all over the country, we advocate the following:

(1) All the Kuomintang government forces that have entered the Liberated Areas in northern China, northern Kiangsu, northern Anhwei, central China and nearby regions to accept the Japanese surrender and to attack us should be withdrawn immediately to their original positions; the troops of the Liberated Areas should accept the Japanese surrender and garrison the cities and lines of communication; and the Liberated Areas which have been invaded and occupied should be restored.
(2) All puppet troops should be immediately disarmed and disbanded, and in northern China, northern Kiangsu and northern Anhwei the Liberated Areas should take charge of such disarming and disbanding.
(3) The people’s democratic self-government in all the Liberated Areas should be recognized; the Central Government should not appoint and send out local officials; the provisions of the “October 10th Agreement” should be carried out.
The spokesman said: Only in this way can civil war be averted; otherwise there is absolutely no safeguard against it. The documents captured during the three battles we fought in self-defence in Suiyuan, Shangtang and Hantan and such concrete actions as massive troop movements and attacks all give the lie to the claim of the Kuomintang authorities that the so-called restoration of communications is for the sake of the people and not of civil war. The Chinese people have been fooled long enough and can be fooled no longer. At present, the central problem is for the people of the whole country to mobilize to stop the civil war by every means.


Chiang Kai-shek’s Program for the Settlement of the Civil War, 14 August 1946 Top

Source: Keesing’s Record of World Events Volume VI, November, 1946 China, China, Chinese, Page 8298

President Chiang Kai-shek, on Aug. 14 (the anniversary of the Japanese surrender), announced a programme for the settlement of the political crisis and the cessation of the civil war, as follows:

(1) Convening of the National (Constituent) Assembly on Nov. 12 as scheduled; (2) both sides to abide by agreements reached by the Political Consultative Council and to execute them; (3) enlargement of the Government by the inclusion of members of all political parties; (4) the upholding of the truce agreement of Jan. 10, 1946, with the proviso that Communist troops would ” withdraw from areas where they threaten peace and obstruct communications “; (5) political means only to be used for the settlement of political problems, providing the Communists carried out the truce agreement, restored communications, and integrated their forces with the National Army. ” Our one important demand,” he said, ” is that the Communist party change its policy of seizing power by military force and transform itself into a peaceful party. We want them to help us win the peace in China. . . We must put down rebellions and make China a peaceful, democratic, unified, and strong nation.”


Chiang Kai-shek’s Broadcast, 10 October 1946 Top

Source: Keesing’s Record of World Events Volume VI, November, 1946 China, China, Chinese, Page 8298

On Oct. 10 President Chiang, in a broadcast, said:
“The Government asks the Chinese Communist Party to abandon its plan to achieve regional domination and disintegration of the country by military force, and participate, along with all parties, in the National Government and the National Assembly. The Communists have not only rejected the two proposals concerning the organisation of the National Government and the integration of Communist troops into the National Army, but have also turned down the truce proposals made by General Marshall and Ambassador Stuart. The Government, however, does not intend to abandon its policy of peaceful settlement, and will continue to seek a settlement by mediation and consultation. Political and military conditions in the country as they are to-day must not be allowed to continue and thus intensify the ordeal of the people.”


Statement of Chiang Kai-shek on the voluntary cease fire, 8 November 1946 Top

Source: Republic of China (Taiwan). Civil War in China, 1945-1950. Translated by the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army.

On 8 November, for the sake of implementing the policy of political solution, Chairman CHIANG voluntarily promulgated the overall unconditional cease fire order with no time limit. (This was the Third cease fire order). All Armed Forces of the country were to cease firing at noon on 11 November except as necessary to defend their present position. The main points of his statement are described as follows:

a. I wish to reassert the consistent policy of the government to promote internal peace and national unity and to carry through to consummation the conclusion of the period of poltiical tutelage and the inauguration of constitutional democracy. As a further evidence of the sincere desire of the Government to achieve a lasting peace and political stability orders have been issued for all Government Forces in China proper and the Northeast to cease firing except as may be necessary to defend their present positions.

b. As legally elected delegates to the National Assembly have already arrived in Nanking and further postponement of the assembly would serve not only to intensify political and military instability, but would deny the only legal step by which the Government can return political power to the people. Therefore, it is the decision of the Government that the assembly be formally convened on 12 November as scheduled.

c. In the meeting of the National Assembly, the Government will reserve quotas of the delegates for the Communists as well as for the other parties, in the hope they will participate in the making of the Constitution. The Government also hopes that Communists will authorize their representatives to participate in meetings of the Committees to discuss the implementation of the cessation of hostilities, the distribution of troops, the restoration of communications and the reorganization and integration of armies as proposed in my statement of 16 October.

d. It is hoped that an agreement can be reached concerning the reorganization of the State Council and the Council formally established. The executive Yuan cannot be effected before the adjournment of the present National Assembly.

e. As regards the draft of the Constitution, the government will submit to the National Assembly the unfinished draft of the Constitutional Drafting Committee.

Chairman CHIANG’s wise and decisive action was respected by the people of the country. It was thought that the Communist would surely be satisfied this time, as the unconditional cease fire without time limit, insisted upon since their defeat at the siege of Ta-t’ung, was now fulfilled. But their greed was unlimited. (to get an inch then a foot) They declared that this ceasefire was no different than the past cease fire orders; it did not mean a cessation of hostilities but the continuation of fierce fighting as usual. If the Government is sincere, it should take the steps summarized below:

a. Dissolve the National Assembly convened by the one party Government only and hold a democratic National Assembly joined by all political parties in accordance with the decisions agreed upon by the Political Consultative Committee.

b. Withdraw these armies that had entered the LIberated Areas; halt the movement of troops, and resume the positions held in January when the cease fire was ordered.

Thus, the Communist conspiracy for destroying the peace and obstructing the enactment of the Constitution was revealed. On 11 November, the Government announced the postponement of the inauguration of National Assembly for three days in order for the parties concerned to submit their name lists as required by the third side: During the informal general discussions held by the Three Man Military council, no conclusions were ever reached.

When the Cessation of Hostilities Order was effected, National Forces all over the country stopped their military operations. But the COmmunists in Yen-an held a mobilization rally in the Shensi-Kansy Ninghsia border districts, and concentrated their forces to attack Yu-lin. Communists at other places were also ordered to intensify their attack after the National Force were ordered to stop fighting. Now, the Governments forbearance had reached its limit, yet the Communist deliberate conspiracy for insurgency persisted. The third party also found the peace nogtitaitons hopeless, most of them were considering taking individual actions. The nNational Assembly was formally convened on 15 November. When Chou En-lai’s Communist would never recognize the National Assembly inspite of the fact that all other parties and non-partisans participated in the Assembly. They claimed that the government should be held responsible for the failed negotiation. On 19 November, Chou En-lai and his Truce Representative Group flew back to Yen-an. From that time on the military insurgency of the Communist Forces continued to increase and the last resort for peace negotiations failed….

It has been more than three months since the government issued a cease-fire order on 8 November 1946. The Communists did not comply with this order, but instead have taken advantage of the opportunity and launched a general offensive on all fronts from the northeast to the eastern section of the Lunghai Railway. The Communist offensive has been further intensified recently. For the cause of peace and the interest of the country and the people, the government made one concession after another in the hope that a political solution could be found. It is indeed regrettable that the Communists refused both the government proposal of sending a representative to Yenan for the resumption of negotiations and the four point peace proposal of the government….

Now, the Communists have formally refused all peace negotiations and insisted upon the government’s acceptance of their dictates, namely the restoration of the military positions of 13 January 1946 and the absolution of the Constitution. This equivalent to putting both the National Government and the National Assembly under the toke of the Communist Party and subjecting them to the orders of the Communists. What would the Chinese Republic be like and what would be left of the rights of the people?

During the one-year period after PCC and the Committee of Three, the government has spared no effort in inviting the Communist and minority parties to join the government.

All such endeavors in achieving an understanding with the Communists have been in vain. Since the Communists have taken such an obdurate stand, the only course at the present is for the government to carry out its fixed policy of “political democratization”.

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