Date: July 15, 1937
Source: Selected Works of Zhou Enlai, Volume 1
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Mike B. for MIA, September 2007
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
With the greatest enthusiasm, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announces to our elders, brothers and sisters all over the country that to save our motherland at a time when it is faced with a most serious crisis and its very fate is at stake, we have reached an understanding with the Kuomintang on the basis of peace, unification and united resistance to foreign aggression and have joined together with them to meet the crisis. This has enormous significance for the future of our great Chinese nation! For, as we all know, with our nation facing extreme peril today, it is only through internal unity that we can defeat Japanese imperialist aggression. Now that the foundation has been laid for national unity and the basis created for the independence, freedom and liberation of our nation, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party salutes the splendid future of our people.
However, we know that the task of turning bright promise into reality and creating a new China, independent, happy and free, will demand tenacious, dauntless struggle on the part of our countrymen and, indeed, of every patriotic descendant of our common ancestor, the Yellow Emperor Huangdi. On this occasion, the Communist Party of China would like to set forth to all our countrymen the general objectives of our struggle. They are the following:
1. To strive for the independence, freedom and liberation of the Chinese nation. First of all, it is necessary earnestly and speedily to prepare and launch a national revolutionary war of resistance, in order to recover our lost lands and restore our territorial integrity and sovereignty.
2. To put democracy into effect and convene a national assembly to frame and adopt a constitution and draw up a policy of national salvation.
3. To enable the Chinese people to lead a happy and prosperous life. Effective measures must first be taken to provide famine relief, ensure a stable livelihood, develop a defence economy, deliver the people from suffering and improve their living conditions.
These are China's urgent needs and they constitute the goal of our struggle. We are convinced that they will receive the warm support of all our countrymen. The Communist Party of China wishes to attain these general objectives by joint effort with all our countrymen.
The Chinese Communist Party is fully aware that in marching towards this lofty goal, we need to overcome many obstacles and difficulties, and that, first of all, we will encounter obstruction and sabotage by the Japanese imperialists. To strip the enemy of any pretext for his intrigues and to remove any misunderstanding among all well-intentioned doubters, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China finds it necessary to proclaim its sincere devotion to the cause of national liberation. Therefore, it once again solemnly declares to the whole nation:
(1) that Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three People's Principles being what China needs today, our Party is ready to fight for their complete realization;
(2) that we shall give up our policy of encouraging insurrection to overthrow the Kuomintang regime, call off the Sovietization movement and discontinue the policy of forcible confiscation of the land of the landlords;
(3) that we shall abolish the present Soviet governments and call for the practice of democracy in the hope that state power will be unified throughout the country; and
(4) that the Red Army will give up its present name and designation, that it will be reorganized as part of the National Revolutionary Army and placed under the Military Council of the National Government and that it will be ready for orders to march to the anti-Japanese front and do its duty.
Dear fellow-countrymen! Our Party has long since shown in word and deed before the whole country an open, selfless attitude and a readiness to compromise for the common good, which have won the commendation of all. Now, with a view to uniting with the Kuomintang in good faith, consolidating the peace and unity of the whole country and carrying out a national revolutionary war against Japan, we are ready to honour forthwith those of our promises which have not yet been formally carried out — for example, to abolish the Soviet areas and to redesignate the Red Army — so that the united strength of the entire country may be used to resist foreign aggression.
The Japanese aggressors have driven deep into our country and disaster is imminent. Fellow-countrymen, arise and unite as one! Our great, ancient Chinese nation is indomitable. Arise and fight for national unity! Fight to overthrow Japanese imperialist oppression! The Chinese nation will surely triumph.
For victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan!
For a new China, independent, happy and free!
The Central Committee of the Communist
Party of China
1. This declaration was drafted On July 4, 1937. It was sent to the Kuomintang by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on July 15 but was not published by the Central News Agency of the Kuomintang until September 22.