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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


July 20, 1946

[This inner-Party directive was drafted by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Chiang Kai-shek tore up the "October 10th Agreement" in the winter of 1945, but his preparations for an all-out civil war were not complete, mainly because large numbers of Kuomintang troops had not yet been moved to the civil war fronts. Consequently, in January 1946, under the pressure of the demand of the entire people for peace and democracy, the Kuomintang government had to convene the Political Consultative Conference with the participation of the Communist Party of China and other democratic parties. The Conference adopted a series of resolutions favourable to peace and democracy, and on January 10 the Kuomintang government issued an order to cease fire. Chiang Kai-shek was not willing to observe the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference and the cease-fire order. In the first half of 1946 the Kuomintang troops continued to attack the Liberated Areas at many points, the attack in the Northeast being on a particularly large scale, and a situation was created with small-scale fighting south of the Great Wall and large-scale fighting north of it. Meanwhile the United States made very great efforts to transport and equip the Kuomintang troops. By the end of June 1946 Chiang Kai-shek and his U.S. masters thought that they were fully prepared and could wipe out the whole People's Liberation Army in three to six months. Accordingly, they launched an all-out offensive against the Liberated Areas, which began on June 26 with a massive encircling attack on the Central Plains Liberated Area. Between July and September the Kuomintang troops started successive large-scale attacks against the Liberated Areas of Kiangsu-Anhwei, Shantung, Shansi-Hopei-Shantung-Honan, Shansi-Chahar-Hopei and Shansi-Suiyuan. In October they launched another large-scale attack on the Northeast Liberated Area. At the same time they continued to encircle the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Liberated Area with large numbers of troops. When the country-wide civil war broke out, the Kuomintang employed 193 brigades (divisions), or some 1,600,000 of its regular troops, to attack the Liberated Areas; they constituted 80 per cent of its total strength of 248 regular brigades (divisions), or 2,000,000 men. Under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Party and its bureaus and sub-bureaus, the army and people in the Liberated Areas fought heroically against the offensive of Chiang Kai-shek's Troops. At that time there were six major theatres of war in the Liberated Areas. These six theatres of war and the forces of the People's Liberation Army fighting there were:

The Shansi-Hopei-Shantung-Honan Liberated Area with People's Liberation Army forces led by Liu Po-cheng, Teng Hsiao-ping and other comrades.
The Eastern China Liberated Area (including the Shantung and the Kiangsu-Anhwei Liberated Areas) with People's Liberation Army forces led by Chen Yi, Su Yu, Tan Chen-lin and other comrades.
The Northeast Liberated Area with People's Liberation Army forces led by Lin Piao, Lo Jung-huan and other comrades.
The Shansi-Chahar-Hopei Liberated Area with People's Liberation Army forces led by Nieh Jung-chen and other comrades.
The Shansi-Suiynan Liberated Area with People's Liberation Army forces led by Ho Lung and other comrades.
The Central Plains Liberated Area with People's Liberation Army forces led by Li Hsien-nien, Cheng Wei-san and other comrades.

The People's Liberation Army, then totalling about 1,200,000 troops, was outnumbered by the enemy. It correctly carried out the strategy laid down by Comrade Mao Tse-tung and struck incessant, powerful blows at the invading enemy. After wiping out 66 regular brigades and some irregular units of the enemy, totalling more than 710,000 men, in about eight months, the People's Liberation Army halted the enemy's all-out offensive. Then, step by step, it unfolded its strategic counter-offensive.]

1. Chiang Kai-shek, after violating the truce agreement, [1] violating the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference [2] and occupying Szepingkai, Changchun and other cities of ours in the Northeast, is now launching another large-scale offensive against us in eastern and northern China; later, he may again attack the Northeast. Only after completely smashing Chiang's offensive in a war of self-defence can the Chinese people regain peace.

2. Our Party and our army are making every preparation to smash Chiang Kai-shek's offensive and thus to win peace. Although Chiang Kai-shek has U.S. aid, the feelings of the people are against him, the morale of his troops is low, and his economy is in difficulty. As for us, although we have no foreign aid, the feelings of the people are for us, the morale of our troops is high, and we can handle our economy. Therefore, we can defeat Chiang Kai-shek. The whole Party should be fully confident of this.

3. For defeating Chiang Kai-shek the general method of fighting is mobile warfare. Therefore, the temporary abandonment of certain places or cities is not only unavoidable but also necessary. Certain places or cities are temporarily abandoned in order to win final victory, which would otherwise be impossible. We must make all Party members and all the people in the Liberated Areas understand this so that they will be mentally prepared.

4. In order to smash Chiang Kai-shek's offensive we must cooperate closely with the masses of the people and win over all who can be won over. In the rural areas, on the one hand, we should resolutely solve the land problem, rely firmly on the farm labourers and poor peasants and unite with the middle peasants; on the other hand, when solving the land problem, we should distinguish the ordinary rich peasants and middle and small landlords from the traitors, bad gentry and local tyrants. We should be more strict in our treatment of the traitors, bad gentry and local tyrants, and more lenient in our treatment of the rich peasants and middle and small landlords. In places where the land problem has already been solved, we should change to a moderate attitude towards the landlord class as a whole, with the exception of a few reactionaries. In order to reduce the number of hostile elements and to consolidate the Liberated Areas, we should help all those landlords who have difficulty in making a living and induce runaway landlords to return and give them an opportunity to earn a living. In the cities, besides uniting with the working class, the petty bourgeoisie and all progressives, we should take care to unite with all the middle elements and isolate the reactionaries. Among the Kuomintang troops, we should win over all the possible opponents of civil war and isolate the bellicose elements.

5. In order to smash Chiang Kai-shek's offensive we must plan on a long-term basis. We must use our manpower and material resources with the utmost economy and do everything possible to avoid waste. We must investigate and clean up the petty graft which has appeared in some places. We must work hard in production in order to become completely self-sufficient in all necessities and first of all in grain and cloth. We must promote the extensive planting of cotton and encourage every family to spin and every village to weave. We should start to promote this even in the Northeast. In the spheres of finance and supplies, we must meet the material needs of the war of self-defence and at the same time lighten the burden on the people, so that there will be some improvement in the livelihood of the people in our Liberated Areas even under war-time conditions. To sum up, we rely entirely on our own efforts, and our position is invincible; this is the very opposite of Chiang Kai-shek who depends entirely on foreign countries. We live plainly and work hard, we take care of the needs of both the army and the people; this is the very opposite of the situation in Chiang Kai-shek's areas, where those at the top are corrupt and degenerate, while the people under them are destitute. Under these circumstances, we shall surely be victorious.

6. Difficulties lie ahead of us but they can and must be overcome. All Party comrades and all the troops and people in the Liberated Areas must unite as one, completely smash Chiang Kai-shek's offensive and build an independent, peaceful and democratic new China.


l. The "truce agreement" was the agreement concluded on January 10, 1946 between representatives of the Communist Party of China and Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang government. It stipulated that the troops of both parties should cease military operations from their respective positions as of midnight, January 13. But in fact Chiang Kai-shek used this agreement as a smoke-screen behind which he made arrangements for a major war; at the very time the cease-fire order was being transmitted, he ordered the Kuomintang troops "to seize strategic points" and from then on moved up troops continuously to attack the Liberated Areas. By July Chiang Kai-shek had openly torn up the truce agreement and launched an all-out offensive against the Liberated Areas.

2. The Political Consultative Conference was attended by representatives of the Kuomintang, the Communist Party of China and other political parties, and by personages without party affiliation and was held in Chungking from January 10 to 31, 1946. The Conference adopted five agreements:

(1) Agreement on Government Organization. This agreement affirmed that "the Organic Law of the National Government shall be revised with a view to strengthening the National Government Council". It increased the number of National Government Councillors and provided that "the National Government Councillors shall be chosen by the President of the National Government from both Kuomintang and non-Kuomintang members"; that "the appointment of members of various parties as National Government Councillors by the President of the National Government shall be made on the recommendation of the parties concerned, which, in case of the President's disapproval, shall make new recommendations"; that "when the President of the National Government nominates as Government Councillor any personage without party affiliation, whose appointment is opposed by one-third of the Councillors already appointed, the President must reconsider the matter and make a new nomination for appointment"; and that "half the National Government Councillors shall be Kuomintang members and the other half members of other political parties and public personages". The National Government Council was nominally defined as "the supreme government organ in charge of state affairs", with powers to discuss and decide legislative principles, administrative polices and major military measures, financial plans and the budget as well as matters submitted by the President of the National Government for consideration; yet at the same time the President of the National Government was vested with great powers, including the power of nominating persons for office, the power of veto (which, though nominally limited was virtually absolute, for it required a majority of three-fifths to override a veto, while the President's own party, the Kuomintang, had half the seats) and emergency powers. The agreement also provided that "seven or eight members of the Executive Yuan shall be non-Kuomintang members who shall either hold the portfolios of existing ministries or hold the proposed posts of ministers of state without portfolio".
(2) The Programme for Peace and National Reconstruction. This programme was composed of nine sections, namely, General Principles, Rights of the People, Political Affairs, Military Affairs, Foreign Relations, Economic and Financial Affairs, Education and Culture, Relief and Rehabilitation, and Overseas Chinese Affairs. The section on "General Principles" provided that all political parties of the country shall "unite closely to build a new China, united, free and democratic"; that there shall be "political democratization, nationalization of troops, and equality and legality for all political parties"; and that "political disputes shall be settled by political means in order to ensure peace and national development". The section on "Rights of the People" provided that "the freedoms of person, thought, religious belief, speech, the press, assembly, association, residence, movement and correspondence shall be guaranteed to the people" and that "any organ or person other than the judiciary and the police is strictly forbidden to arrest, try and punish people, and anyone who violates this provision shall be punished". The section on "Political Affairs" provided that "all levels of the administration shall be overhauled, their powers and responsibilities unified and clearly defined, all duplicated agencies abolished, administrative procedures simplified and each level of administration charged with definite responsibilities"; that "competent office-holders shall be protected, appointments to government posts based not on party affiliation but on competency and seniority, and the holding of concurrent posts and the practice of favouritism forbidden"; that "the supervisory system shall be strictly enforced, corruption severely punished and facilities given to the people freely to lodge accusations against corrupt officials", that "local self-government shall be actively promoted and elections from the lower level upwards through universal suffrage carried out"; and that "the powers of the central and local governments shall be defined according to the principle of fair distribution of powers, that the local governments may take such measures as are suitable to local circumstances, but those enacted by a province or county must not contradict those of the central government". The section on "Military Affairs" provided that "the military organizations shall be adapted to the needs of national defence, the military system reformed in line with a democratic system of government and the conditions in the country, military power separated from political parties, military authority separated from civil authority, military education improved, equipment be adequate and personnel and financial systems be improved in order to build a modernized national army" and that "the numerical strength of the nation's troops shall be effectively reduced and reorganized in accordance with the provisions of the Military Reorganization Plan". The section on "Economic and Financial Affairs" provided that "the development of bureaucrat-capital shall be curbed and government officials strictly forbidden to make use of their official position and influence to engage in speculation, monopoly, tax evasion, smuggling, embezzlement of public funds and unlawful use of the means of transport"; that "rents and rates of interest shall be reduced, the rights of lessees protected, the payment of farm rents ensured, agricultural credits expanded, usury strictly prohibited in order to better the life of the peasants and an agrarian law to attain the objective of 'land to the tillers' shall be put into effect"; that "labour laws shall be put into effect to improve working conditions"; that "the administration of finance shall be made public, the budget system and the system of financial reports strictly adhered to, budget expenditures drastically reduced, revenues and expenditures balanced, central and local government finances defined, the currency in circulation contracted and the monetary system stabilized and the raising of both domestic and foreign loans and their uses made public and subject to supervision by public bodies"; and that "the system of taxation shall be reformed and all exorbitant and miscellaneous levies and illegal exactions completely abolished". The section on "Education and Culture" provided that "academic freedom shall be guaranteed, and there shall be no interference with school and college administration for reasons of religious belief or political thought"; that "the proportion of the national budget allocated to education and culture shall be increased"; and that "the war-time censorship of the press, publications, motion pictures, the drama, posts and telegrams shall be abolished".
(3) Agreement on the National Assembly. This agreement provided that "there shall be added to the National Assembly seven hundred delegates from various parties and from among public personages" and that "the duty and power of the first National Assembly shall be to frame and adopt a constitution".
(4) Agreement on the Draft Constitution. This agreement provided for the establishment of a review committee to revise the draft constitution prepared by the Kuomintang and laid down the principles for revision. In addition to prescribing the principles governing the duties and powers of the National Assembly and government organizations, special provisions were made regarding "local government" and "the rights and duties of the people". With respect to "local government", it provided that "the province shall be the highest unit of local self-government"; that "the powers of the provincial government in relation to those of the central government shall be defined according to the principle of a fair distribution of powers"; that "the provincial governor shall be elected by the people"; and that "the province may have a provincial constitution which, however, must not contravene the provisions of the national constitution". With respect to "the rights and duties of the people", it provided that "all freedoms and rights which are generally enjoyed by the people of a democratic country shall be protected by the constitution against illegal violation"; that "if any provision is made by law regarding the freedom of the people, it shall be at the protection of such freedom and not at its restriction"; that "drafting of labour may be provided for in local laws, but not in the national constitution"; and that "the right of self-government shall be guaranteed to minority nationalities who live together in specific communities".
(5) Agreement on Military affairs. This agreement provided that "the military system shall be reformed in line with a democratic system of government and the conditions in our country"; that "military conscription shall be improved"; that "military education shall be conducted on the basis of the principles governing the building of the army and shall for ever be dissociated from political parties and personal relationships"; that "military power shall be separated from political parties" and "all political parties and individuals shall refrain from using the army as an instrument of political struggle"; and that "military authority shall be separated from civil authority" and "no soldier in active service may serve concurrently as a civil official". With regard to the reorganization of the Kuomintang troops and the troops of the Liberated Areas, it provided that "the three-man military sub-committee proceed as planned with all possible speed to reach an agreement on measures for reorganizing the troops of the Communist Party of China and to complete their reorganization"; that the Kuomintang troops shall
"be reorganized according to the plan already laid down by the Ministry of War into ninety divisions and this reorganization shall be completed at the highest possible speed within six months"; and that "when the above-mentioned two items of reorganization have been completed, all troops of the entire nation shall be unified and further reorganized into fifty or sixty divisions".
These Political Consultative Conference agreements were, in varying degrees, favourable to the people and unfavourable to Chiang Kai-shek's reactionary rule. While expressing his approval of these agreements in an attempt to use them to carry out his peace fraud, Chiang Kai-shek actively made military preparations for launching a country-wide civil war. These Political Consultative Conference agreements were soon torn up by him one after another.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung