Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
August 13, 1945
[This was a commentary written by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Hsinhua News Agency.]
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.
1.On August 10, 1945, Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh issued an order from the General Headquarters in Yenan to all armed forces in the Liberated Areas concerning the surrender of the Japanese invaders. The order reads as follows:
Japan has announced her unconditional surrender, and the Allies will meet to discuss measures for accepting the surrender on the basis of the Potsdam Declaration. I hereby issue the following order to all our armed forces in the Liberated Areas:
(1) In accordance with the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, any anti-Japanese armed forces in the Liberated Areas may serve notice on enemy troops and headquarters in cities and towns or along communication lines in the vicinity, requiring them to hand over all their arms to our fighting forces within a given time; when they have handed over their arms, our forces will protect their lives in accordance with our regulations on the lenient treatment of prisoners of war.
(2) Any anti-Japanese armed forces in the Liberated Areas may serve notice on all the puppet troops and puppet government organs in the vicinity, requiring them to come over with their troops to our side before the signing of the surrender by the Japanese invaders and to wait for reorganization and disbandment; those who fail to comply within the time allowed shall hand over all their arms.
(3) All anti-Japanese armed forces in the Liberated Areas should resolutely wipe out all those enemy and puppet armed forces which refuse to surrender and hand over their arms.
(4) Our armed forces have full authority to send their units to take over and occupy any city, town or communication line held by the enemy and the puppets, to set up military control, to maintain order and to appoint commissioners to take charge of all administrative matters there; in case of any act of sabotage or resistance, the culprits shall be punished as traitors.
Then, on August 11 the General Headquarters in Yenan issued six successive orders, under which the armed forces of the Shansi-Suiyuan Liberated Area (led by Comrade Ho Lung), the Shansi-Chahar-Hopei Liberated Area (led by Comrade Nieh Jung-chen) and the Hopei-Jehol-Liaoning Liberated Area were to march on Inner Mongolia and the Northeast, the armed forces of the Shansi Liberated Area were to mop up the Japanese and puppet troops along the Tatung-Puchow Railway and in the Fenho River valley; and the armed forces of all the Liberated Areas were to launch vigorous offensives on all the main communication lines under enemy control to compel the Japanese and puppet troops to surrender. The units of the People's Liberation Army in all the Liberated Areas resolutely carried out these orders and won important victories.
2. Here "enemy" refers to the Japanese invading forces, and "puppets" refers to the puppet governments set up by the Japanese invaders and to the troops of these puppet governments, consisting largely of former Kuomintang officials and of troops who had surrendered to Japan.
3. This refers to the declaration made by China, Britain and the United States at the Potsdam conference on July 26, 1945, requiring Japan to surrender. The main points of the declaration were that Japanese militarism must be eliminated for good and all, Japan's military forces must be completely disarmed; Japan's war industries must be dismantled; Japanese war criminals must be tried; the Cairo Declaration must be carried out, that is, Japan must renounce the territories she had stolen, such as Korea and China's Manchuria, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, and Japan's territory must be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and various minor islands; and that the armed forces of the Allies were to occupy Japan until the establishment of a democratic Japanese government. The Soviet Union also signed the Potsdam Declaration after it declared war on Japan on August 8,1945.
4. This refers to the dastardly practice of capitulating to Japan and fighting communism followed by the Kuomintang reactionaries during the War of Resistance Against Japan. The Kuomintang reactionaries directed part of their troops and government officials to surrender to the Japanese invaders and then, as puppet troops and officials, to join the Japanese troops in attacking the Liberated Areas, this was what they cunningly named "saving the nation by a devious path".
5. Tai Li was the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Statistics of the Military Council of the Kuomintang, one of the Kuomintang's huge secret service agencies.
6. The invasion by Kuomintang troops of Chunhua, Hsunyi and Yaohsien in the Kuanchung sub-region of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region in July 1945. See "The Situation and Our Policy After the Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan", Note 12, p. 24 of this volume.
7. Wang Ching-wei's puppet regime was in Nanking and Chiang Kai-shek's regime was in Chungking. The "merger of the Nanking and Chungking regimes" was a political plot hatched by Japanese imperialism and the pro-Japanese elements within the Kuomintang.
8. Wang Ching-wei was a notorious Kuomintang leader and pro-Japanese traitor. He openly surrendered to the Japanese invaders in December 1938 when he was vice-chairman of the Kuomintang and chairman of its People's Political Council. In March 1940 he became president of the puppet central government then formed in Nanking. He died in Japan in November 1944.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung