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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


May 1963

[Source: Long Live Mao Tse-tung Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

First of all read the 20 materials in order to inspire discussion by everybody; first of all read these for three days. The various central bureaus and the provincial meetings should also be like this. You should not transmit central committee documents having only a framework. Don’t be hasty. In any case prepare to handle it for a year, two years, and if in two years it hasn’t been handled to completion then handle it for three years. This kind of big movement needs time, don’t be hasty.

This revolutionary movement is the first great struggle since land reform[1]. There has not been this sort of scope, breadth, or pervasiveness for several years. This time it is from within the Party to the outside, from the top to the bottom. The 3-evils and 5-evils campaigns were handled in the cities[2], the anti-rightist campaign in 1957 was carried out on the ideological line, and the anti-Kao, anti-Jao campaign[3] was waged within the Party. This kind of class struggle involving all, both within the Party and outside the Party, has not been waged for over ten years. This time it is from within the party to outside the Party, from top to bottom, and from the cadres to the masses. This kind of understanding is beneficial. This is the first great struggle since land reform. First of all we must train the cadres at the county level and above, retrain the cadres at the production brigade level and above, and train the cadres in production teams[4] and the positive elements among the poor and lower-middle peasants.

In areas where there are no ants we must not insist on going to find ants. For example, there was one category of communes and brigades which in the past advanced class struggle and advanced socialist education by initiating a movement to "by all means you must go and find landlords and rich peasants, there must be no exceptions" this is also bad.

Among the people there are many contradictions of practically every kind, big and small. The Honan materials speak of a party branch which is very good; other material states that after a certain commune party branch underwent cleansing, there were only two persons who truly had not been reformed. You cannot say that this branch is bad, it was still better than 95 percent. Looking at our cadre today there are those who have not reformed, but we cannot say the number is very large. There are a few who are not at all tainted with extravagance and waste, with the idea of eating more and enjoying more benefits; the majority is imbued with this. The cleansing method of handling is very good! During this ’four clean-ups’ and ’5-antis campaign’[5] everybody sweated a little and took a steam bath. Only when you are relaxed and happy can you lightly make ready for the front and unite against the enemy. Why can you unite against the enemy when you are relaxed and happy? When our bodies are dirty we have no strength, but after we became clean we are able to unite against the enemy. There are some cadres who eat more and take more advantages, and there are some who illicitly cohabit with the daughters of landlords and rich peasants. If you are not clean you are unable to face the enemy. There are some persons who are very energetic in struggling against the enemy but who are not very positive and are hesitant about confronting contradictions among the people.

In resolving contradictions among the people, eating more and taking more advantages may be resolved by merely running out yourself and returning the bribes; having done this you will no longer be considered a corrupt element. In the future, organizations, factories, and enterprises can also handle things in this manner. Announce on the spot that they will not be considered corrupt elements and that their names will not be publicized. In the Northeast Bureau there were several who were corrupted by 100 or 200 yuan. They spoke out themselves. A meeting was convened and they were not regarded as corrupt. In handling cases where the corruption is great, meaning over 10,000 yuan, if the person himself handles the matter and returns the money, the punishment may be mild. There must be both strictness and a policy. There must certainly be the four clean-ups and the five antis; without the antis it won’t do. We certainly must handle the matter clearly. Not returning the bribes and the plunder won’t do. But we must return in accord with the situation and in accord with reason. When there is a case of eating more and enjoying more benefits, we don’t want to refund with excessive humiliation; it would be bad to make it impossible for the cadre to continue to make a living. There are those who have already eaten or used what they took. In such cases educate them to undergo examination by the masses and return a portion and participate in labor. In this way the masses will not be able to demand again that there be a return and there will be a return by stages and by groups so that it will be possible to continue to make a living. It is also possible to adopt the method of self-assessment and public discussion, but this policy is complicated. One perceives himself as good.

In the course of this campaign those requiring criticism and those requiring removal from positions constitute a minority. Those requiring punishment are also a minority. Those cadres needing punishment possibly do not constitute even one percent. We don’t want too many. We must instead do more education work and strengthen leadership over the campaign. Sometimes we need to rely on the broad masses of cadres of the communes and brigades of various regions. Those who have gone to the top should not monopolize all undertakings but should mobilize the broad masses of cadres and should rely on the broad masses of cadres to handle it. When we use this sort of method - the method of self-education and the method of mobilizing the broad masses of cadres - the resulting strength is great.

One resolutely grasps the campaign, and one is afraid of stirring up trouble.

(Comrade X X says: I understand the Chairman’s mood - first of all handle, and second handle well. When we regularly reflect the situation to the Chairman and receive instructions from the Chairman, we must not create trouble.)

In the three great revolutionary struggles it won’t do if we don’t grasp well; we must grasp well.

Pay attention to summing up experience. Return to the central bureaus and hold ten days of meetings, handle a month of work. In July hold a central bureau meetings to sum up experience, handle the situation for a whole, and then at the end of July and in August the central committee will convene a meeting. Besides this, you must still handle other things.

Only with strong leadership is it possible to mobilize a campaign, by stages and by groups, to criticize and handle without being considered backward. This campaign must raise high the self-awareness of various regions. The central bureau, province, municipality, and country persons must go down and campaign together.

The four clean-ups campaign has been waged, but class struggle is still unpolished. We must enhance self-awareness; we must loyally and sincerely help the communes and brigades handle work well, help the cadres bathe in warm water, and help handle well the four cleanups. Except for those cases where it would be impractical, in cases which are rotten, which are degenerate and cannot be helped, or which are too decayed, we must send a work team to handle it in their stead; otherwise we must honestly and sincerely help them to handle their work.

I am not clear as to how you have been approaching cadres. Now it seems that you must educate cadres by persuasion, and you must especially employ concrete evidence to educate by persuasion. You can speak according to reason and say that something is so or you can take concrete evidence and speak; there is concrete evidence of class struggle. The concrete evidence of Hsi-Yang County, Chekiang’s participation in labor, and the four good documents are concrete evidence. Examine for a while whether or not we have spoken more according to reason and spoken comparatively less according to evidence.

Have you had an opportunity to go to a region and handle affairs for ten days or so? (We said no.) Have you gone down to see whether or not the cadres are very anxious? Once familiar one is not so anxious. Respect people more, don’t find fault; the "three don’t" are correct. We must link up with the cadres, we must wash our hands and bathe, and we must grasp for a while.

This campaign must manifest killing without leaving any traces.

Mobilizing the masses to handle the four clean-ups is a serious matter. The Hopeh experience shows that some public security organs were perplexed in handling the mobilization of the masses in the four clean-ups. Some people said that the public security department handles class struggle while the control commission handles problems among the people. Of course we must handle, but besides this we still must thoroughly mobilize the masses and rely on the masses.

Once the program is grasped this campaign is easy to manage. Handle it by groups and by stages, handle the second and the third groups and don’t think that there is no honor; there is still honor.

(The mass opinion: there are places where we have gone on the spot and the rain has moistened our skin.) After going on the spot then handle some more, just don’t harm people, don’t act as though it is enemy against enemy, no. . .

(Everybody’s opinion: If the rascals don’t come out, it won’t do. Does the Chairman agree with our viewpoint? On the 19th there were people murdered at the big building. In Heilungkiang a landlord-rich peasant element killed 38 people and last year 13 counter-revolutionaries were executed and buried. In Shanghai a man was killed, he was hanged in a lavatory. But he had been long absent from home, a "transient gentleman." Speaking correctly, he wanted to redress a grievance; there was basically no question of struggling against him, so he died.)

We must resolutely conduct education by persuasion, undertake experiments on-the-spot by groups and by stages, draw a clear line of demarcation, and unite more than 95 percent of the masses and cadres. When there is a strong leadership, it is only necessary to handle things well and few troublemakers will emerge.

Don’t fight an unprepared war. If materials haven’t been prepared and the troops haven’t been trained well, don’t go and handle it. This war is a nationwide revolutionary movement and we must make war as we did during the War of Liberation, during the Liao-Shen campaign, and during the Chinchou, Huai-Hai, and crossing the Yangtze campaigns[6]. We don’t want to fight a great battle of 100 regiments[7], we don’t want to use the method of fighting employed during the southern Anhwei incident[8].

Secondly, during the War of Liberation several campaigns achieved a nationwide victory. In this war if we fight it well there will be a nationwide revolutionary victory, and there will be an even greater contribution to world revolution.



1. A reference to the land reform movement that was conducted during the period from October 1947 to the last quarter of 1952.

2. The Struggle against the "three evils" refers to the struggle against corruption, waste and bureaucracy unfolded in the government, army, schools and state-owned enterprises. The struggle against the "five evils" was waged in the private industrial and commercial units to oppose those capitalists who violated the law by bribery, tax evasion, theft of state property, cheating on government contracts and stealing economic information. The former began towards the end of 1951 and the latter, early the next year, both coming to a close in October 1952. As a revolutionary mass movement, this struggle repulsed the attack against the proletariat by the bourgeoisie, strengthened the ties between the People’s Government and the people, improved the style of work and brought a change in social customs and habits. It also created favourable conditions for the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce and contributed much to consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country.

3. Kao Kang (1905-1954) was one of the earliest CPC members in Shensi Province and played a key role in developing the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region, which served as a base of operations after the Long March in 1935. Kao became the senior CPC of official in Manchuria in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1952 he was a Political Bureau member and the chairman of the State Planning commission.

Jao Shu-shi (1903-?) was the political commissar of the New Fourth Army in 1943; the first Party secretary of the CPC East China Bureau and the Shanghai Municipal Committee in 1951 and, in 1952. the director of the CPC’s Organizational Department.

Kao and Jao formed an anti-Party clique at the National Conference on Finance and Economic Work in the summer of 1953 and at the Conference on Organizational Work of the Central Committee in September 1953. This clique inflated the role of Kao Kang in the Northeast, advocated the appointment of Guo Feng, a protege of Kao Kang, to the directorship of the Organization Department of the Central Committee, and circulated a membership list of the Political Bureau, secretly made up by An Ziwen, in an attempt to control the Political Bureau. Furthermore, they were lobbying for Kao to become first Party secretary, vice-chairman of the PRC, and premier of the State Council when Mao was on inspection tours outside the capital. The two had instigated a group of people to write a joint letter asking Mao to relinquish power. Both were expelled from the Party in 1955.

4. There were three levels of collective ownership in the Chinese countryside. The smallest unit the production team, usually consists of between fifteen and thirty-five families. The team is the basic ownership and production unit, owning the land it works, a number of draught animals, and small agricultural tools such as threshers and crushers. The next unit, the production brigade, is made up of from five to fifteen teams. The brigade owns larger means of production too expensive for the team to buy and too large for them to use effectively, such as tractors and irrigation equipment. The brigade also takes care of tasks, such as hill terracing, for which the team is too small. The commune, with a population from several thousand to some fifty thousand is composed of ten to thirty brigades. In addition to providing over all coordination among the brigades, the communes own and run large industrial enterprises and projects too large for the brigade to handle, such as large water conservancy projects.

5. The ’Socialist Education Movement’. launched by comrade Mao after the Tenth Plenum in the autumn of 1962, was known as the ’four clean-ups’ in the countryside, and as the ’five antis’ (wu-fan) in the cities. The four clean-ups were: socialist rectification in the fields of politics, ideology, organization, and economy.

6. The Liaohsi-Shenyang campaign was a gigantic campaign fought by the Northeast People’s Liberation Army in the western part of Liaoning province and in the Shenyang-Changchun area between September 12 and November 2, 1948. On the eve of the campaign, the total strength of the Kuomintang forces in northeastern China consisted of 4 armies, made up of 14 corps, or 44 divisions. These forces had shortened their lines and dug themselves in at three sectors isolated from each other, Changchun. Shenyang and Chinchow. With the aim of completely wiping out the enemy troops in the Northeast and quickly liberating the whole of the Northeast, the People’s Liberation Army in this region, supported by the broad masses of the local people, began the Liaohsi-Shenyang campaign in September 1948 with a main force of 12 columns, 1 artillery column and regional armed forces, altogether totaling 53 divisions or over 7,00,000 men. Chinchow, on the Peiping-Liaoning Railway, was the strategic link between northeastern and northern China. The enemy forces garrisoning the Chinchow sector consisted of 8 divisions, with more than 1,00,000 men under Fan Han-chieh, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Kuomintang’s Northeast "Bandit Suppression" Headquarters. The capture of Chinchow was the key to the success of the Lisohsi-Shenyang campaign. Acting on the directives of Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the Northeast People’s Liberation Army used 1 column and 7 independent divisions to continue the siege operations against Changchun; 6 columns, 1 artillery column and 1 tank battalion to surround and attack Chinchow; and 2 columns, placed in the Tashan-Kaochiao sector south-west of Chinchow, along with 3 columns in the Heishan-Tahushan-Changwu sector to intercept any reinforcements the enemy might send from Chinhsi and Hulutao and from Shenyang to relieve Chinchow. The fighting in the Chinchow area started on September 12. Just as our army was mopping up the enemy in the outskirts ! of Chinchow, after taking Ihsien, Chiang Kai-shek hurriedly flew to the Northeast to take personal charge of the operations and urgently summoned 5 enemy divisions from the Northern China "Bandit Suppression" Headquarters on the Peiping Liaoning Railway and 2 divisions from Shantung Province to join the 4 divisions in Chinhsi; all these 11 divisions began a furious attack on our positions at Tashan on October 10 but could not break through. Meanwhile, the Kuomintang 9th Army under Liao Yao-hsiang, with 11 divisions and 3 cavalry brigades, which had sallied out from Shenyang to rescue Chinchow, was intercepted by our army northeast of Heishan and Tahushan. Our army began the assault on Chinchow on October 14 and, after thirty one hours of fierce fighting, completely wiped out the defending enemy forces, capturing Fan Han-chieh, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the North east "Bandit Suppression" Headquarters, Lu Chun-chuan, Commander of the 6th Army, and more than 1,00,000 men under their command. The liberation of Chinchow impelled part of the enemy forces at Changchun to revolt against the Kuomintang and the rest to surrender. The complete collapse of the Kuomintang troops is the Northeast then became a foregone conclusion. But Chiang Kai-shek, still dreaming of recapturing Chinchow and of reopening the line of communications between northeastern and northern China, gave strict orders to the army under Liao Yao hsiang to continue its advance towards Chinchow. After taking Chinchow, the People’s Liberation Army immediately swung back to the northeast and closed in on Liao’s Army from the north and south of Heishan and Tahushan. On October 26 the People’s Liberation Army succeeded in surrounding the enemy in the Heishan. Tahushan-Esinmin sector and, after stiff fighting lasting two days and one night completely wiped them out, capturing army commander Liao Yao-hsiang, corps commanders, Li Tao, Pai Feng-wu and Cheng Ting-chi, and more than 1,00,000 men. Our army vigorously followed up this vi! ctory and liberated Shenyang and Yingkow on November 2, wiping out over 1,49,000 enemy troops. The whole of the Northeast was thus liberated. A total of more than 4,70,000 enemy troops were wiped out in the campaign.

The Huai-Hai campaign was a campaign of decisive importance fought by the People’s Liberation Army over a large territory in Kiangsu, Shantung, Anhwei and Honan Provinces, centring on Hsuchow, and extending as far as Haichow in the east, Shangchiu in the west, Lincheng (now renamed Hsuehcheng) in the north and the Huai River in the South. The Kuomintang forces massed in this theatre of war consisted of 5 armies and the troops of three Pacification Zones the 4 armies and the troops of three Pacification Zones under Liu Chih and Tu Yu-ming (respectively Commander and Deputy Commander of the Kuomintang’s "Bandit Suppression" Headquarters at Hsuchow), and the army under Huang Wei, which was later dispatched there from central China as reinforcements. On the side of the People’s Liberation Army, a force more than 6,00,000 strong took part in the campaign - it included 16 columns from the Eastern China Field Army, 7 columns from the Central Plains Field Army and regional armed forces from the Eastern China Military Area, the Central Plains Military Area and the Hopei-Shantung-Honan Military Area (then a part of the Northern China Military Area). The campaign lasted sixty-five days, from November 6, 1948 to January 10,1949; 22 corps, or 56 divisions, of the Kuomintang’s crack forces, comprising 5,55,000 men, were completely wiped out (including 4 1/2 divisions which revolted and came over), and 2 armies under Liu Ju-ming and Li Yen-nien (reinforcements from Nanking) were repulsed. As a result of the campaign, those parts of the eastern China and Central Plains areas north of the Yangtse River were almost entirely liberated. The campaign took place in three stages. During the first stage, November 6-22, the Eastern China Field Army, in co-ordination with the Central Plains Field Army, surrounded and wiped out the army under Huang Po-tao in the Hsinanchen-Nienchuang sector east of Hsuchow, killing Huang Po-tao and liberating large territories on both sides of the Hsuchow-Pengpu section ! of the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, and to the west and north of Hsuchow. In the Taierhchuang-Tsaochuang sector, 3 1/2 divisions of the Kuomintang 3rd Pacification Zone, totaling over 23,000 men, revolted and came over to us. During the second stage, from November 23 to December 15, the Central Plains Field Army, surrounded and wiped out the army under Huang Wei and Wu Shao-chou, the commander and deputy commander of the army; 1 division of this army revolted and came over to us. At the same time, our forces wiped out the army under Sun Yuan-liang which was fleeing west from Hsuchow. Only Sun Yuan-liang managed to escape. During the third stage, from January 6 to 10, 1949, the Eastern China Field Army, in co-ordination with the Central Plains Field Army, surrounded and annihilated in the Chinglungchi-Chenkuanchuang sector, northeast of Yungcheng, 2 Kuomintang armies which were fleeing westward from Hsuchow and were commanded respectively by Chiu Ching-chuan and Li Mi, under the personal command of Tu Yu-ming. Tu Yu-ming was captured, Chiu Ching-chuan was killed and Li Mi barely escaped. This marked the successful end of the great Huai-Hai campaign.

After the reactionary Kuomintang government refused to sign the Agreement on Internal Peace, the People’s Liberation Army acted on the order issued by Chairman Mao Tse-tung and Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh and embarked upon a general advance, unprecedented in scale, into the vast areas which had not yet been liberated. On the morning of April 21, 1949, the Second Field Army led by Liu Po-cheng, Teng Hsiao-ping and other comrades, forced the Yangtse River on a front extending more than five hundred kilometres from Hukou (northeast of Kiukiang) in the west to Kiangyin in the east and completely destroyed the defence line along the Yangtse which the enemy had painstakingly built in three and a half months. On April 23 these forces liberated Nanking, which had been the centre of the counter-revolutionary rule of the Kuomintang regime. Then they thrust south along separate routes, liberated Hangchow on May 3 and Nanchang on May 22 and captured Shanghai, China’s biggest city, on May 27. In June they began their march into Fukien Province; they liberated Foochow on August 17 and Amoy on October 17. On May 14 the Fourth Field Army led by Lin Piao, Lo Jung-huan and other comrades forced the Yangtse on a front of more than one hundred kilometres in the Tuanfeng-Wuhsueh sector east of Wuhan. On May 16 and 17 it liberated Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankow, cities of strategic importance in central China. Then it marched south into Hunan. Cheng Chien, Kuomintang governor of Hunan Province, and Chen Ming-jen, Commander of the 1st Army, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang on August 4, and Hunan Province was peacefully liberated. The Fourth Field Army fought the Hengyang-Paoching campaign in September and October, wiped out the main force of the Kuomintang troops under Pai Chung-hsi and then pushed on to Kwangsi Provinces. It liberated Canton on October 14, Kweilin on November 22 and Nanning on December 4. While the Second and Third Field Armies were forcing the Yangtse River, the armies in northern Chin! a led by Nieh Jung-chen, Hsu Hsiang-chien and other comrades captured Taiyuan on April 24, 1949. The First Field Army led by Peng Teh-huai, Ho Lung and other comrades, after liberating Sian on May 20, continued its march into the Kuomintang areas in the Northwest together with two armies from northern China. They captured Lanchow on August 26, liberated Sining on September 5 and Yinchuan on September 23 and completely annihilated the Kuomintang troops under Ma Pu-fang and Ma Hung-Kuei. Late in September Tao Chih-yueh, Kuomintang Garrison Commander-in-Chief of Sinkiang Province, and Burhan, the governor, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang, and Sinkiang was peacefully liberated. At the beginning of November the Second Field Army led by Liu Po-cheng, Teng Hsiao-ping and other comrades, together with the 18th Army of the Northern China Field Army and part of the First Field Army led by Ho Lung Li Ching-Chuan and other comrades, began their march into southwestern China. They liberated Kweiyang on November 13 and Chungking on November 30. On December 9 Lu Han, Kuomintang governor of Yunnan Province, Liu Wen-hui, Kuomintang governor of Sikang Province, and Teng Hsi-hou and Pan Wen-hua, deputy directors of the Kuomintang Bureau of Military and Administrative Affairs in the Southwest, renounced their allegiance to the Kuomintang, and the two provinces of Yunnan and Sikang were peacefully liberated. In late December the People’s Liberation Army which had entered the Southwest fought the Chengtu campaign, completely wiped out the Kuomintang troops under Hu Tsung-nan and liberated Chengtu on December 27. By the end of December 1949 the People’s Liberation Army had wiped out all the Kuomintang troops on China’s mainland and liberated the entire mainland except Tibet. For comrade Mao’s directives for these campaigns see "Concept of Operations for the Liaohsi-Shenyung Campaign", "The Concept of Operations for the Huai-Hui Campaign" "Order to the Army for the Country-wide Advance", ! Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Volume IV, pp. 261 266, 279-282, 387-396.

7. The ’Hundred Regiments Offensive’ launched by P’eng Te-huai in August 1940 inflicted very extensive damage on the Japanese forces, but provoked a reaction which ultimately inflicted very heavy damages on the PLA. Peng launched this campaign without consulting comrade Mao.

8. In January 1941, as demanded by Chiang Kai-shek, the Headquarters of the New Fourth Army led by the Communist Party of China and the units under the direct command of this headquarters moved north from southern Anhwei Province to cross the Yangtse River. While on the march they were encircled and ambushed by Chiang Kai-shek’s troops and lost more than 9,000, killed, wounded and captured. Subsequently Chiang Kai-shek’s announced the cancellation of the designation of the New Fourth Army and ordered attacks against its other units. The event was called the Southern Anhwei Incident.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung