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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


October 10, 1939

[This was a decision drafted by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.]

1. The outbreak of the imperialist world war is the result of the attempt of the imperialist countries to extricate themselves from a new economic and political crisis. Whether on the German side or the Anglo-French, the war is unjust, predatory and imperialist in character. The Communist Parties throughout the world must firmly oppose this war and also the criminal action of the social-democratic parties in betraying the proletariat by supporting it. The socialist Soviet Union is persevering as before in its policy of peace, is maintaining strict neutrality towards both belligerents and, by sending its armed forces into Poland, has checked the eastward expansion of the German forces of aggression, strengthened peace in Eastern Europe, and liberated its brother nations in western Ukraine and Byelorussia from the oppression of the Polish rulers. The Soviet Union has concluded a number of pacts with neighbouring countries to prevent any possible attacks by the forces of international reaction and is endeavouring to restore world peace.

2. The policy of Japanese imperialism in this new international situation is to concentrate its attacks on China in order to settle the China question, in preparation for extending its international adventures in the future. The policy by which it is attempting to settle the China question is as follows:

(a) With regard to the occupied areas, its policy is to tighten its hold on them in preparation for subjugating the whole of China. To do this it has to "mop up" the anti-Japanese guerrilla base areas, exploit economic resources, set up puppet regimes and break the people's national spirit.

(b) With regard to China's rear areas, its policy is to launch mainly political offensives, supplemented by military offensives. Political offensives mean concentration not on launching large scale military attacks but on disrupting the anti-Japanese united front, breaking up Kuomintang-Communist co-operation and inducing the Kuomintang government to capitulate.

In the present period the enemy is not likely to launch big strategic offensives like the one against Wuhan, because of the blows dealt by China's heroic resistance during the past two years and of the inadequacy of his armed strength and financial resources. In this sense, basically the War of Resistance has reached the stage of strategic stalemate. And the stage of strategic stalemate is the stage of preparation for our counter-offensive. But first, when we say that basically a stalemate has been reached, we do not rule out the possibility of further offensive campaigns by the enemy; Changsha is now being attacked and other places may be attacked later. Second, as the possibility of a stalemate at the front grows, the enemy will intensify his "mopping-up" operations against our guerrilla base areas. Third, if China should fail to disrupt the enemy's occupation of the areas he has seized and allow him to succeed in his attempts to tighten his hold on them and exploit them, if China should fail to repulse the enemy's political offensives and to persist in resistance, unity and progress and thus fail to accumulate strength for the counter-offensive, or if the Kuomintang government should capitulate of its own accord, then the enemy may still launch bigger offensives. In other words, the stalemate that has now been reached may still be broken by the enemy or by the capitulators.

3. The danger of capitulation, a split and retrogression within the anti-Japanese united front is still the greatest current danger, and the present anti-Communist and retrogressive actions of the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie continue to be preparatory steps to their capitulation. In order to build up strength for the counter-offensive, it is still our task, in co-operation with all Chinese patriots, to mobilize the masses for the effective application of the three great political slogans put forward in our Party's Manifesto of July 7: "Persist in resistance and oppose capitulation", "Persist in unity and oppose a split", and "Persist in progress and oppose retrogression". To achieve this objective, behind the enemy lines it is imperative to keep up guerrilla warfare, defeat the enemy's "mopping-up" operations, disrupt the enemy's occupation of the areas he has seized, and introduce radical political and economic changes beneficial to the masses who are resisting Japan. At the front, it is imperative to sustain military defence and repel any offensive campaigns the enemy may launch. In China's rear area, it is imperative to introduce speedy and genuine political reforms, end the Kuomintang's one-party dictatorship, convene a national assembly truly representative of the people's will and invested with real power, draw up and adopt a constitution, and put constitutional government into practice. Any vacillation or procrastination, any contrary policy, is absolutely wrong. At the same time the leading bodies of our Party at all levels and all Party members must exercise more vigilance in the present situation and do their utmost to achieve the ideological, political and organizational consolidation of our Party and of the armed forces and organs of political power under its leadership, in order to be ready for any emergency endangering the Chinese revolution and to prevent unexpected losses to the Party and the revolution.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung