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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


December 15, 1945

[This inner-Party directive was drafted by Comrade Mao Tse-tung Committee of the Communist Party of China.]

In the past few months our Party has gained great successes in leading the people in fierce struggles to clean up the Japanese and puppet forces and smash the attacks of the Kuomintang on the Liberated Areas. All our Party comrades have worked as one man and made marked achievements in every held. The year 1945 will soon be over, and in 1946 we must pay attention to the following points in the work in all the Liberated Areas:

1. Smash new attacks. Since our army smashed the large-scale attacks on our Liberated Areas in Suiyuan, Shansi and southern Hopei, the Kuomintang has been moving up larger forces and making preparations for new attacks. If no new development makes the Kuomintang stop its civil war quickly, the fighting in the spring of 1946 will be intense. Therefore, the central task of all the Liberated Areas is still to take a stand of self-defence and do their utmost to smash the Kuomintang attacks.

2. Spread the Kao Shu-hsun movement.[1] In order to smash the Kuomintang attacks our Party must work to disintegrate the Kuomintang troops which are preparing to attack or are already attacking. On the one hand, our army must carry on extensive, open political propaganda and political offensives to undermine the will to fight of the Kuomintang troops engaged in the civil war. On the other hand, we must prepare and organize uprisings within the Kuomintang army and spread the Kao Shu-hsun movement so that, at crucial moments in the fighting, large numbers of Kuomintang troops will follow Kao Shu-hsun's example and come over to the people, oppose the civil war and take a stand for peace. In order to do this work in a practical way and produce speedy results, every area must, in compliance with the Central Committee directive, set up a special department and assign a large number of cadres to devote themselves to it whole-heartedly and exclusively. The leading bodies of each area must give this work close direction.

3. Train the troops. The field armies of the Liberated Areas have already been formed in the main, and the regional troops are also quite numerous. Hence, for the time being, we should generally stop expanding the number of troops and should make use of the intervals between battles to stress the training of troops. This applies to field armies, regional troops and people's militia. As for the training courses, the main objective should still be to raise the level of technique in marksmanship, bayoneting, grenade-throwing and the like and the secondary objective should be to raise the level of tactics, while special emphasis should be laid on night operations. As for the method of training, we should unfold the mass training movement in which officers teach soldiers, soldiers teach officers and the soldiers teach each other. During 1946 we must further improve the political work in the army, overcome any dogmatic and formalist working styles existing in the army and strive to unite officers and soldiers, unite the army and the people, unite with friendly troops, disintegrate the enemy troops and ensure that the tasks of training, supply and fighting are accomplished. The local people's militia should be reorganized in accordance with present conditions. The army's rear services should be readjusted. Everything possible should be done to organize and expand the artillery and engineer units in all areas. The military academies should continue their work, with stress on the training of technical personnel.

4. Reduce rent. In accordance with the November 7, 1945 directive of the Central Committee,[2] all areas must launch movements in 1946 for the reduction of rent and interest in newly liberated areas, movements on a large scale, of a mass character, but with leadership. As for the workers, their wages should be appropriately raised. Through these movements the broad masses should be able to emancipate themselves, organize, and become the conscious masters of the Liberated Areas. Without these determined measures, the masses in the newly liberated areas will not be able to tell which of the two parties, the Communist Party or the Kuomintang, is good and which is bad; they will waver and will not give firm support to our Party. In the old Liberated Areas the work of rent and interest reduction should be rechecked in order to consolidate those areas further.

5. Production. All areas must follow the directive of November 7 and promptly make every preparation to ensure that in 1946 both public and private production in all Liberated Areas should surpass any previous year in scale and in achievements. The feeling of weariness which has appeared among the people can be overcome only after the two tasks of rent reduction and production are carried out in earnest and with marked success. Whether or not these two tasks are fulfilled will finally decide victory or defeat in the political and military struggles of the Liberated Areas. They must not be neglected in any area.

6. Finance. In 1946 the financial burden, which has become heavier to cover the intensive work of the recent period, must be brought back to normal in a planned and systematic way. There must be appropriate reductions for those whose burdens are too heavy. In the interest of the long-term effort, the number of people diverted from production in any area must not exceed the limits of local financial capacity. Troops are valued for quality rather than for number; in building the army this remains one of our principles. To develop production, ensure supply, centralize leadership, decentralize management, give consideration to both army and people and to both public and private interests, and stress both production and economy -- all these are still the proper guiding principles for solving our financial and economic problems.

7. Support the government and cherish the people; support the army and give preferential treatment to the families of the armymen who fought in the War of Resistance.[3] In 1946 we must perform these two tasks better than in the past few years. This will be of great significance for smashing the Kuomintang attacks and consolidating the Liberated Areas. In the army it should be handled through the ideological education of every commander and fighter, so that all thoroughly understand the importance of supporting the government and cherishing the people. As long as the army on its part does this job well, the local government and the people will also improve their relations with the army.

8. Relief. In the Liberated Areas there are many victims of natural disasters, refugees, unemployed and partially unemployed, who urgently need relief. Whether this problem is solved well or badly has a great and widespread influence. Relief should depend mainly on mutual aid by the masses themselves, in addition to government measures. The Party and the government should encourage the masses to organize relief through mutual aid.

9. Take good care of local cadres. In every Liberated Area today there are large numbers of cadres from other areas doing the leading work at all levels. This is especially true in the northeastern provinces. The leading bodies of each area must tirelessly counsel these cadres to take good care of the local cadres and treat them with great warmth and goodwill. Cadres from outside should make the selection, training and promotion of local cadres an important task for themselves. Only thus can our Party take root in the Liberated Areas. The working style of people from outside who look down on local people should be criticized.

10. Calculate everything on a long-term basis. No matter how the situation develops, our Party must always calculate on a long-term basis, if our position is to be invincible. At present, our Party on the one hand persists in its stand for self-government and self-defence in the Liberated Areas, firmly opposes attacks by the Kuomintang and consolidates the gains won by the people of these areas. On the other hand, we support the democratic movement now developing in the Kuomintang areas (as marked by the student strike in Kunming [4] ) in order to isolate the reactionaries, win numerous allies for ourselves and expand the national democratic united front under our Party's influence. Moreover, a delegation of our Party will soon attend the Political Consultative Conference of various parties and public figures without party affiliation, reopen negotiations with the Kuomintang and strive for peace and democracy throughout the country. However, there may yet be twists and turns. Ahead of us lie many difficulties. For example, our new areas and our new troops are still not consolidated, and we have problems in finance. We must face all these difficulties squarely and overcome them, arrange all our work on a long-term basis, pay the closest attention to the economical use of manpower and material resources and guard against any wishful thinking about easy success through good luck.

These ten points should receive special attention in our work in 1946, and particularly in the first half of the year. It is hoped that comrades in different places will carry out these policies flexibly in the light of local conditions. As for the work in various areas, such as building local political authority, doing united front work, spreading education on current affairs inside and outside the Party and doing work in cities and towns near the Liberated Areas -- all this is important but we shall not dwell on it here.


1. On October 30, 1945, Kao Shu-hsun, Deputy Commander of the Kuomintang's 11th War Zone, revolted at the civil war front in Hantan, southern Hopei Province, and came over to our side with one corps and one column. This had a great influence throughout the country. In order to intensify the work of dividing and disintegrating the Kuomintang troops and arousing them to revolt, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to start a propaganda campaign calling upon other Kuomintang officers and men to follow the example of Kao Shu-hsun and his troops, refuse to attack the Liberated Areas, sabotage the civil war at the front, fraternize with the People's Liberation Army, rise in revolt and come over to the side of the people. This was known as the Kao Shu-hsun movement.

2. See "Rent Reduction and Production Are Two Important Matters for the Defence of the Liberated Areas", pp. 71-73 of this volume.

3. "Support the government and cherish the people" was a slogan of the People's Liberation Army, while "Support the army and give preferential treatment to the families of the armymen who fought in the War of Resistance" was a slogan of the Party organizations, government bodies, people's organizations and the masses of the people in the Liberated Areas. The second slogan was later changed into "Support the army and give preferential treatment to the families of the revolutionary armymen".

4. On the evening of November 25, 1945, more than six thousand college and middle school students in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, assembled at the Southwest Associated University to discuss current affairs and protest against the civil war. The Kuomintang reactionaries sent troops who surrounded the assembly, fired on the students with light artillery, machine-guns and rifles and placed guards around the university to prevent teachers and students from going home. Subsequently, students from Kunming's schools and colleges joined in a strike. On December 1 the Kuomintang reactionaries dispatched a large number of soldiers and secret agents to the Southwest Associated University and the Teachers College where they threw hand-grenades, killing four people and wounding over ten. This incident was known as the "December 1st Massacre".

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung