Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
January 5, 1949
[This commentary was the first of a series written by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Hsinhua News Agency to expose the Kuomintang's use of peace negotiations in order to preserve the counter-revolutionary forces. Other commentaries in the series included "Why Do the Badly Split Reactionaries Still Idly Clamour for 'Total Peace'?", "The Kuomintang Reactionaries Turn from an 'Appeal for Peace' to an Appeal for War", "On the Kuomintang's Different Answers to the Question of Responsibility for the War" and "Whither the Nanking Government?" ]
In order to preserve the forces of Chinese reaction and U.S. aggression in China, Chiang Kai-shek, China's No. 1 war criminal and chieftain of the Kuomintang bandit gang, issued a statement on New Year's Day suing for peace. The war criminal Chiang Kai-shek says:
I have no desire of my own other than that the peace negotiations should not impair the country's independence and integrity but instead should help the rehabilitation of the people; that the sacred constitution should not be violated by my action and that democratic constitutionalism should not be thereby undermined; that the form of government of the Republic of China should be guaranteed and the legally constituted authority of the Republic of China should not be interrupted; that the armed forces should be definitely preserved and that the people should be allowed to continue their free way of life and maintain their present minimum standard of living.
. . . If only peace can be realized, I certainly do not care whether I remain in office or retire, but will abide by the common will of the people.
People should not think that there is something ridiculous about a war criminal suing for peace, nor should they think that such a bid for peace is really disgusting. It should be understood that for the No. 1 war criminal and chieftain of the Kuomintang bandit gang to sue personally for peace and issue such a statement is obviously of some benefit to the Chinese people, because it enables them to see through the plots of the Kuomintang bandit gang and the U.S. imperialists. For the Chinese people can tell from this that the "peace" about which there has lately been so much clamour is exactly what this Chiang Kai-shek gang of murderers and their U.S. master urgently need.
Chiang Kai-shek has confessed the gang's whole plot. The main points of this plot are as follows:
"The peace negotiations should not impair the country's independence and integrity" -- this is first in importance. "Peace" is all right, but "peace" is a million times wrong if it impairs the "independence and integrity" of the state of the four big families and the comprador and landlord classes. "Peace" is absolutely all wrong if it impairs such treaties as the Sino-U.S. Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, the Sino-U.S. Air Transport Agreement  and the Sino-U.S. bilateral agreement,  or if it impairs such prerogatives enjoyed by the United States in China as the stationing of ground, naval and air forces, the building of military bases, the exploitation of mines and the monopoly of trade, or if it interferes with China's becoming a U.S. colony -- in short, if it impairs any such measures as protect the "independence and integrity" of Chiang Kai-shek's reactionary state.
"Help the rehabilitation of the people" -- that is, "peace" must help the rehabilitation of the Chinese reactionaries, who have been defeated but not yet wiped out, so that, once rehabilitated, they can stage a comeback and extinguish the revolution. This is exactly what "peace" is for. The war has been going on for two and a half years, "the running dog can no longer run" and the Americans are angry; a rest-cure, however brief, is better than none.
"The sacred constitution should not be violated by my action and democratic constitutionalism should not be thereby undermined; the form of government of the Republic of China should be guaranteed and the legally constituted authority of the Republic of China should not be interrupted" -- all this means guaranteeing the ruling position of China's reactionary classes and reactionary government and guaranteeing that the "legally constituted authority" of these classes and their government will not be "interrupted". This "legally constituted authority" certainly must not be "interrupted", for to "interrupt" it would be very dangerous -- it would mean the finish of the whole of the comprador and landlord classes, the end of the Kuomintang gang of bandits and the arrest and punishment of all the war criminals, big, medium and small.
"The armed forces should be definitely preserved" -- they are the lifeline of the comprador and landlord classes, and although several millions have been wiped out by the detested People's Liberation Army, there still remain one million several hundred thousand troops which must be "preserved", and "definitely" so. If they were "preserved", but not "definitely", the comprador and landlord classes would lose their capital, their "legally constituted authority" would still be "interrupted", the Kuomintang bandit gang would still be finished, all the war criminals, big, medium and small, would still be arrested and punished. Just as the life of Chia Pao-yu of the Grand View Garden depended upon a piece of jade in his necklace, the life of the Kuomintang depends upon its army, so how can one say that its army should not be "preserved", or should only be "preserved" but not "definitely" so?
"The people should be allowed to continue their free way of life and maintain their present minimum standard of living" -- this means the Chinese comprador and landlord classes must preserve their freedom to oppress and exploit the people of the whole country and their freedom to maintain their present standard of lordly, luxurious, loose and idle living, while the Chinese working people must preserve their freedom to be oppressed and exploited and maintain their present standard of living, a life of cold and hunger. That is the ultimate aim of the war criminals in suing for peace. What is the use of peace, if the war criminals and the classes to which they belong cannot preserve their freedom to oppress and exploit and cannot maintain their standard of lordly, luxurious, loose and idle living? To preserve all this, it is of course necessary for the workers, peasants, intellectuals, government employees and teachers to maintain their present "free way of life and minimum standard of living", a life of cold and hunger. Once our beloved President Chiang puts forward this condition, the tens of millions of workers, handicraftsmen and professionals, the hundreds of millions of peasants, and the millions of intellectuals, government employees and teachers can only clap their hands in unison, prostrate themselves and shout, "Long live the President!" If the Communist Party still refuses peace, so that this wonderful way of life and standard of living cannot be maintained, then it will be guilty of a crime for which it deserves to die ten thousand deaths, and "the Communist Party will be held responsible for all the consequences".
In saying all this, however, we have not exhausted the whole treasury of wonderful ideas in the war criminal's statement of January 1 suing for peace. Here is another gem -- what Chiang Kai-shek in his New Year message calls "a decisive battle in the Nanking-Shanghai sector". Where is the strength for such a "decisive battle"? Chiang Kai-shek says, "It must be understood that today the strength of the government in the military, political, economic or any other field is several times or even tens of times greater than that of the Communist Party." Oh! Ho! How can people not be scared to death by such immense strength? Leaving political and economic strength aside and taking only military strength, one sees that the People's Liberation Army now has over three million men, that two times "greater" than this number is over six million and that ten times "greater" is over thirty million. And how many will "tens of times" be? All right, let's take twenty times, which gives over sixty million men; no wonder President Chiang says he has "full confidence in winning the decisive battle". Why then should he beg for peace? Certainly not because he can no longer fight. For if he were to bring the pressure of over sixty million troops to bear, could there be any chance of survival for the Communist Party or any other party in the world? All of course would be crushed to powder. It is clear then that when he begs for peace, it is certainly for no other reason than "to plead for the life of the people".
But is everything going well, without any hitch? There is a hitch, it is said. What is the hitch? President Chiang says:
It is regrettable that there are people in our government who have come under the influence of malicious Communist propaganda and are consequently in a wavering state of mind, having almost lost their self-confidence. Spiritually menaced by the Communists, they see only the enemy's strength but not our own huge strength, which is tens of times greater than the enemy's.
Well, every year brings its crop of news, but this year's is something very special. Isn't it an extra-special piece of news that members of the Kuomintang, with their sixty million odd officers and men, see only the People's Liberation Army of three million odd men but not their own army of over sixty million?
One may ask, "Is there a market for such news?" and "Is it worth even a glance?" According to information received from inside the city of Peiping, "On New Year's Day prices dropped slightly in the morning but recovered in the afternoon." And a foreign news agency reports, "Shanghai's response to Chiang Kai-shek's New Year message is cold." This answers the question as to whether the war criminal Chiang Kai-shek has any market. As we said long ago, Chiang Kai-shek has lost his soul, is merely a corpse, and no one believes him any more.
1. The "Sino-U.S. Air Transport Agreement" between the Chiang Kai-shek government and U.S. imperialism was signed on December 20, 1946. In this agreement, Chiang Kai-shek completely sold out China's sovereignty over her air space. According to its provisions, U.S. aircraft were allowed to fly, load and unload or trans-ship anywhere within China, and the United States gained complete control of the country's air transport. U.S. aircraft were also accorded the right of "non-traffic stop", that is, of military landings on Chinese territory.
2. The "Sino-U.S. bilateral agreement" was the so-called Sino-U.S. Economic Aid Agreement signed at Nanking on July 3, 1948 between the representatives of the Chiang Kai-shek government and U.S. imperialism. It stipulated that U.S. imperialism was to have supreme authority to supervise and decide the financial and economic affairs of the Chiang Kai-shek government, that U.S. personnel exercising direct control in China were to enjoy "extraterritorial rights", and that U.S. imperialism could obtain from China any strategic materials it needed and was to be kept informed regularly by the Chiang Kai-shek government about their availability. In this agreement the Chiang Kai-shek government also guaranteed that U.S. goods could be dumped in China.
3. Chia Pao-yu was a character in The Dream of the Red Chamber, an 18th century Chinese novel, and the Grand View Garden was his family garden. It was said that Chia Pao-yu was born with a piece of jade in his mouth. This jade was "the root of his life" and had to be worn constantly around his neck. He was not to part with it. If be lost it, he would lose his wits.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung