Li Fu-jen

One Year After “V-J” Day

Yenan Mobilizes For War; Wall Street Backs Chiang

(31 August 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 35, 31 August 1946, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The civil war in China, in which the Kuomintang government is fighting to retain power in face of nation-wide rebellion against its continued rule, entered a new phase on August 19 when the Yenan government ordered a full-scale mobilization of its forces to meet the stepped-up offensive which Chiang Kai-shek has launched against the areas under Stalinist control.

Despite the intensification and widening of the conflict, Stalinist negotiators are remaining in Nanking, the Kuomintang capital, endeavoring to reach an agreement with Chiang Kai-shek for the establishment of a coalition government and the institution of democratic reforms.

Wang Ping-nan, spokesman for the Yenan negotiators, declared that the Stalinists “have no desire to overthrow the (Kuomintang) government.” The mobilization order issued by Yenan, he said, “was not a declaration of war. It was in no way a mobilization of troops, but merely a moral mobilization.” All the Stalinists want, he said, is “unconditional peace and a resolution of all problems according to the decisions reached at the all-party conference last February.”

War Footing

Nevertheless, the Yenan order placed all Stalinist-controlled areas on a war footing and warned city and village authorities in those areas to take “all necessary precautions” against air raids. It called for the pooling of all resources for war and the conservation of food. Also, as broadcast from the Stalinist radio station at Kalgan, in Inner Mongolia, the order “emphasized that not only troops but all of China’s Communist population was being mobilized.” (United Press dispatch, Aug. 19)

According to the latest estimates, the Stalinist-controlled areas now embrace a population of 130,000,000. Regular troops in these areas number 1,200,000, in addition to more than 2,000,000 guerrilla fighters under arms. Chiang Kai-shek’s armies total some 8,000,000 men.

As a condition for forming a coalition government, Chiang Kai-shek demands that the Stalinists relinquish control of vital communications (railroad areas) in north China, that they “integrate their armies” with those of the Kuomintang, and “that the Communist Party change its policy of seizing power by military force and transform into a peaceful party.” In other words – total capitulation.

Confiscate Land

Under the stress of civil war, and feeling the need of widening their base of popular support, the Stalinists are resuming their long-abandoned policy of land confiscation in rural areas entered by their armed forces, according to reports which this writer has received from China. This policy, while winning for the Stalinists new allies among the peasantry, is widening the gulf between the Stalinists and the Kuomintang by arousing revolutionary class warfare in other rural areas of landlord-ridden China.

In mortal fear of working-class uprisings in the cities, Chiang Kai-shek is cracking down on the trade unions, newly-arisen since the defeat of Japan. A United Press dispatch from Shanghai on August 12 said that government agents and police seized the offices of the Chinese Association of Labor in Chungking, a workers’ hospital and two welfare centers built for the CAL from a fund of more than $250,000 contributed by the CIO and AFL. Twenty officials of the CAL were arrested and held without charge. Similar seizures and arrests were made in Hankow and in Kwangsi Province.

Appeal to Labor

Protesting these acts and appealing to world labor to come to the support of the Chinese labor movement, Chu Hsueh-fan, president of the CAL, declared:

“Labor’s existence is in danger. Free trade unionism is the object of attack everywhere. Liberal meetings are broken up and liberal leaders go in fear of their lives. Those who voice opposition to the government do so at grave risk.”

Wall Street and its government continue to stand firmly on the side of the Kuomintang regime in its reactionary offensive against the Chinese masses. While actual American armed forces in China are small (some 20,000 Marines in North China), Chiang Kai-shek is being given unstinted material aid by the U.S. Speaking for Wall Street, which aims to turn China into a colony for exploitation and a base for war against the Soviet Union, the N.Y. Times, in an editorial on August 18, urged increased American military intervention.

“We must decide,” the paper declared, “whether to appease the Russians and their Chinese allies or to confront them on the ground they have chosen to stage the world issue of Soviet imperialism ... It hardly seems likely that we can submit to Soviet dominance in China or retreat from our commitments to that unhappy nation. A firm attitude on our part there may be the best hope for continued peace. We stand now on guard at the cross-roads of the Orient.”

Last updated on 18 June 2021