Soong Ch'ing-ling


Sixteen Years of Liberation



Source: Soong Ching Ling, "Sixteen Years of Liberation", in China Reconstructs magazine, vol. XV, no. 1 (January 1966); pages 2-9
Transcription & HTML Markup for Juan Fajardo, January 2022.




SIXTEEN YEARS have passed since Chairman Mao Tse-tung announced to the world from atop Tien An Men. symbol of China’s enduring culture and the indestructible strength of our nation, that the Chinese people had broken their chains, stood up and taken their destiny into their own hands. The significance of that event has grown with the years.

The old China has become the new China. Gone is the poor and backward country, wracked with disease, famine and flood. In its place is a China vibrantly alive as it bests nature and takes firm strides toward prosperity. Our people are scaling the heights of education, science and culture. Epidemics have been wiped out and health work generally has made tremendous advances. Famine can no longer stalk our land, for ours is a collective society and we are organized against it.

Gone is the chaotic semblance of a state, riddled with corruption, the slave of imperialism and the oppressor of the people. It has been overthrown by the armed struggle of the masses led by the great Chinese Communist Party and Chairman Mao Tse-tung, and we have erected in its place the People’s Republic of China. This is a proletarian dictatorship which has united our country as never before and brought together our nationalities in fraternal solidarity. All those entrusted with the affairs of state are democratically elected and directly accountable to their constituents. China is no longer a slave to anyone, but rises among the nations fully independent.

No longer can anyone use the insulting phrase "sick man of Asia" in reference to our country. China is brimming with health and vigour, a great power, yet one that is resolute in defending principle and punctilious in respecting other countries, big or small, a never-wavering champion of the right of all nations to their sovereignty, sparing no effort in support of all peoples in their struggles for social and economic progress.

Sixteen years is not a long period of time. Yet during it, China has climbed out of the depths to high pinnacles. This result is due to the magnificent efforts of the Chinese people in revolution and construction. But such an outpouring of energy and talent would not have been forthcoming without a leadership able to devise the correct domestic and foreign policies. At the centre of our successes is the Chinese Communist Party which, with Chairman Mao Tse-tung at the head, has applied the truths of Marxism-Leninism according to the concrete conditions in China. In the process of formulating the theses which have guided the Chinese people in overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles to win earth-shaking victories in every field. Chairman Mao Tse-tung has further developed Marxism-Leninism in an era of the combination of the proletarian revolution with the national liberation movement in the final world-wide assault of the peoples upon imperialism and colonialism.



IN these sixteen years we Chinese people have proceeded from the victory of our people’s democratic revolution, in which we overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, to that of our socialist revolution, in which we have erected a socialist economy based on the ownership of the whole people, and then carried through socialist transformation of agriculture and private industry and commerce. With political power in the hands of the labouring people, the transformation was effected in a peaceful way. This does not mean no sharp class struggle was entailed. However, with the economic roots of capitalism eradicated, bourgeois influence in our country is mainly confined to the political and ideological spheres. Through repeated socialist education campaigns, decisive victories have been won for the socialist revolution along these fronts as well.


OUR SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION has been continuing apace since 1953. We have completed two five-year plans, and a third is now being mapped. Momentous gains have been made in the industrialization of our country. This has been especially true since 1958, when the Communist Party called for the implementation of the General Line of going all out, aiming high and building socialism with more, faster, better and more economical results. Industry is now rationally distributed throughout all the regions of our land. Today China can meet her own needs in ordinary types of machine tools and in addition build precision, heavy-duty, automatic, semi-automatic and specialized machine tools and equip engineering and other plants with a very wide range of complete sets of machinery.

It was also in 1958 that the people’s communes were organized throughout our rural areas. They constitute a new form of social organization which grew up on the foundation of the advanced agricultural producers’ cooperatives. The commune integrates industry, agriculture, trade, education and military affairs, organizes production as well as the livelihood of its members, and merges into one the commune administration and the basic unit of state power in the countryside. It still represents socialist collective ownership. The basic ownership at present is that of the production team (or sometimes the production brigade, originally the agricultural producers’ cooperative), but a part of the ownership is vested in the commune and contains elements of ownership by the whole people. It is this latter part which is growing, and is accumulating the economic basis in agriculture for the intensive application of science, step-by-step mechanization, widespread water conservancy and electrification. Already the appearance of the Chinese countryside has radically changed.

In the past four years successive rich harvests have been brought in. despite bad weather conditions in various parts of the country from time to time. The rapid development of the productive forces in our countryside proves the efficacy of the people’s communes, and as Chairman Liu Shao-chi has said:

". . . we have in practice discovered the road that, under the prevailing conditions in our country, will lead to the gradual transition from socialist collective ownership to socialist ownership by the whole people, and to the future gradual transition from socialism to communism in the countryside." [1]

UNDER the Communist Party’s Three Red Banners — the General Line for Socialist Construction, the Big Leap Forward and the People’s Communes — industry and agriculture have gained a very good position for further progress. This is reflected in the constantly improving standard of living for our 650 million people. Staple foodstuffs are in good supply and their prices have remained practically the same for over fourteen years. Price reductions for necessities and other consumer goods are put into effect several times a year. Meat, fish, eggs and vegetables are plentiful and cheap. The shops are well stocked with a wide range of merchandise and trade is brisk wherever one goes, in the cities or the smallest country villages. Our economy and our people have fully recovered from the three difficult years (1959-61) when we were hit by successive grave natural disasters. We overcame these difficulties, relying solely on our own efforts. Now we face the future full of confidence that nothing can deter our further rapid development toward our goal, to make China a nation with an advanced industry, an advanced agriculture, an advanced culture and science, and an impregnable national defence.


CHINA’S FOREIGN POLICY also has its general line, which has been the same from the first day of liberation. Ours is a country where the working people have taken power. Naturally our sympathies are with the exploited and oppressed of the world. We raise high the banners: "Workers of all countries. Unite!" and "Oppressed nations of the world. Unite!" To give full support to all oppressed classes and nations in their just revolutionary struggles — this we consider our duty as proletarian internationalists.

A key point in our foreign relations is our high estimate of the socialist camp. In our eyes, it is not only a body of socialist states, but belongs to the working people of the world. To them it is the wave of the future. Hence, in its actions as a part of the socialist camp, each member country must conduct itself so as to further inspire and support the peoples of the world in their daily struggles. In relations within our camp. China has always advocated full equality among nations, and mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, mutual support and assistance. Our words and deeds as socialist states should be the example of living proletarian internationalism.

At the same time. China has normal and friendly relations with many other countries around the world. Up to the present, we have established diplomatic relations with fifty states. In trade we deal with more than 120 countries and regions on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual need. In all of these relations we adhere strictly to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Ten Principles of Bandung, of which China was one of the chief originators and supporters.

Our contacts are especially close with the nations and peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with whom we share a common history of oppression by imperialism and colonialism and a common history of struggle against these monsters. With them, too, we now share a common aspiration to build up our countries economically and culturally. China contributes to the extent of its resources to this historic endeavour by the newly emerging nations to achieve political and economic independence. Our guiding principle here is that all nations should be self-reliant, and whatever help we can offer is intended to forward this concept. But we also see this relationship as one of mutual help. The idea of national egoism or great nation chauvinism is foreign to our words or actions.


FINALLY, China is absolutely uncompromising in its opposition to imperialism. We stand in the very forefront of the struggle against the main enemy of all the peoples — U.S. imperialism. The Chinese people use every opportunity to expose the vicious nature of the anti-communist, anti-popular actions and propaganda of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam, Laos, Korea, the Congo (L), throughout Latin America, and in the United States itself where it oppresses the Negro people and all those who oppose the war and aggressive policies of the ruling clique of monopoly capitalists. We are especially alert to the hostility and conspiracies of the U.S. imperialists against the members of the socialist camp. Their aim is to disintegrate our unity from within by first "softening up" this or that member country through the infusion of bourgeois ideology, and then to pick us off one by one. China has always stood for unity and mutual support in our confrontation of imperialism, in a tit-for-tat struggle to meet the challenge of reaction wherever it might occur in the world.

The general lines guiding China's socialist revolution and construction, and for its foreign trade and foreign relations, have proved correct in the test of everyday life. Internally, although we still have much hard work to do, our people already hold in their hands the results of our advance in the past sixteen years. They have brilliant prospects ahead of them, which they are now in the process of materializing. Externally, China’s prestige has never been higher in the world. People everywhere want to know China’s view on important international questions. The roar of protest that emanates from the throats of the 650 million Chinese people at every injustice committed by the imperialists and reactionaries is something that they must take into account.



ALL OF THIS means that the Chinese revolution, following the October Socialist Revolution in the Soviet Union, has become one of the "locomotives" of history. Every year thousands of visitors from abroad come to our land. They want to know how China was able to rise on her own feet, chip off the rust of outmoded customs and thinking and strike out fearlessly on her own path, moulding a new national personality in the midst of stern class struggles and in the struggle for production and for the mastery of science. In other words, we are asked to summarize China's experience in revolution and construction, so that it can be studied as a reference by others.

Initially it must be stated that the victories the Chinese people have achieved are victories for Marxism-Leninism. This is the scientific body of truth utilized by the Chinese Communist Party to unlock the "secrets" of the actual situation in China and the world, enabling it to bring forth accurate analyses and devise correct lines, policies and methods of work. But Marxism-Leninism is a living thing, incessantly struggling against incorrect ideas and interpretations. Therefore, unless the Communist Party remains a true vanguard of the proletariat, a successor and continuer of the great revolutionary traditions of Marx and Lenin, of the October Socialist Revolution and the Chinese revolution, there is the danger that Marxism-Leninism might be distorted out of recognition. The purity of the Party is vital. Decisive in this regard is the relationship between the Party and the masses of people.

The Chinese Communist Party has always held that its members and followers, to be real revolutionaries, must wholeheartedly serve the people of the country and the world. And in order to do that they must be able to unite with the overwhelming majority on the basis of a revolutionary programme so as to isolate the die-hards. They must be model exponents of democratic centralism, must be humble, self-critical and dedicated to the proletarian cause.

On no account will they allow a gap of any dimensions to appear ideologically, spiritually or materially between themselves and the masses. In all work and study they will follow the slogan of the Chinese Communist Party from its earliest days: "From the masses; back to the masses." Herein lies the role of the Communist Party and its members: to go among the people so as to learn from them; to analyse in Marxist-Leninist terms their demands and insights, crystallizing and systematizing these ideas and elevating them to a theoretical level; on the basis of this, to project the right policies and methods of work; to take these back to the masses, explain and popularize them, and arouse the masses to support these policies so they will act on them as their own. This process is repeated again and again, testing theory in practice, making corrections and additions, testing once more, ad infinitum. This is what is meant by the mass line, and Chairman Mao Tse-tung indicated the importance of following such a line when he said:

"Marxists have always held that the cause of the proletariat must depend on the masses of the people. . ." [2]



THERE ARE TWO problems here. One is, how to maintain the purity of the Communist Party by maintaining the revolutionary purity of the members and cadres. The other is, how to resolve the contradictions that arise in socialist society. In solving these two questions the Chinese Communist Party has developed policies and styles of work that are of historic significance.

Every political party which bases itself on Marxism-Leninism has the problem of combating the infiltration of bourgeois ideology, in order to keep the revolutionary quality of its members at a high level. This is true before it takes power; it is doubly true after it takes power. Even when victory has been won by the Communist Party, the class struggle against bourgeois modes of thought, both overt and covert, within the Party and in society in general must be resolutely carried out (as long as bourgeois ideology exists in society as a whole, it is bound, to find expression inside the Party). And in a world where imperialism and colonialism, although moribund, ai-e still strong and actively fomenting counterrevolution. the people led by the Party must be clearheaded politically, highly vigilant, ready to defend their own land with its new society, and prepared to render every possible support to those nations which are under immediate attack and are fighting back in just revolutionary struggle.

The one way to keep this revolutionary quality is to make sure the members and cadres of the Party and government live in constant and close contact with the labouring people. The Chinese Communist Party has consistently looked upon the policy of cadres participating in productive labour as one of fundamental importance for a socialist society. Only by engaging in labour alongside the workers and peasants will the cadres understand that they too are ordinary labourers, with the additional responsibility of administrative tasks. Enlightened by unceasing contact with their fellow-workers in the fields or at the work-bench, they will look upon these responsibilities not with the eyes of overlords, but with those of the working people. Such closeness with the masses enables them to check on administrative directives, to see if they are correct or not, effective or not. They can discover mistakes early and make timely and appropriate adjustments, thus preventing serious losses to socialist construction. In a word, the policy of cadres participating in productive labour is a guarantee against the growth of bureaucracy in work and of an elite class in society. Politically it preserves the freshness of the cadres’ revolutionary thinking, opening their eyes to reality, making them judge things in terms of what is best for the people they are serving.

This same policy applies to intellectuals and students. They are encouraged to forge the firmest links with the working people, and never to forget the tempestuous revolutionary struggles that were required to eliminate the bitterness of the old society. On the one hand, the Chinese Communist Party has called for the working people to take up science and knowledge as their own; while on the other, it has called for those who possess or are acquiring science and knowledge to thoroughly familiarize themselves with productive processes by participating in labour. Today in China it is usual to see ordinary workers or peasants addressing learned gatherings on their achievements in production. It is just as usual to see scientists, engineers, doctors and students of these and other professions working in factories and fields for a period each year, checking their theories against practice and learning from the practical experience of the workers and peasants.

It must be stressed this practice is not an occasional thing but is repeated regularly, to assure there is no divorcement from reality, the source of intellectual truth, which in turn is the source of a high political consciousness. Only with this kind of rich life experience under their mental belts can the intellectuals and students wage a successful struggle against bourgeois ideology in the sciences, arts, culture and education. Only through such experience can there be nurtured a large detachment of professionally competent working-class intellectuals, who are heart and soul for socialism, willing to give their all to revolutionary class struggle and the struggle for production and scientific achievement. This is what the Chinese Communist Party means when it sets forth the goal for all intellectuals — to be "Red and Expert".


THE SECOND question referred to above is how to deal with contradictions in a socialist society. On February 27, 1957, Chairman Mao Tse-tung made a speech entitled On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. This speech has since become famous throughout the world for the clarity with which it dealt with the problem. First, a distinction was made between who are the people and who the enemy. Chairman Mao showed how the meaning of these terms differs in different periods of history. As for today, he said:

"At the present stage, the period of building socialism, the classes, strata and social groups which favour, support and work for the cause of socialist construction all come within the category of the people, while the social forces and groups which resist the socialist revolution and are hostile to or sabotage socialist construction are enemies of the people."

This means there are two sets of contradictions in socialist society. The ones between the people and the enemy are antagonistic. The ones that exist in the ranks of the people are non-antagonistic. The differentiating feature between them is that, in Chairman Mao’s words: "Generally speaking, the people’s basic identity of interests underlies the contradictions among the people."

Chairman Mao then went on to point out that since the nature of these two sets of contradictions is different, they must be handled differently. In the case of the people versus the enemy, a sharp line is drawn. These contradictions can be resolved only by the people exerting their dictatorship over their enemies so as to maintain social order and protect the interests of the people. Dictatorship does not apply to the ranks of the people. Here democratic centralism is the channel, and it is embodied in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which gives freedom and all political, democratic and civil rights to the people. Here is the way Chairman Mao explained the relationship between democracy and centralism:

". . . this freedom is freedom with leadership and this democracy is democracy under centralized guidance, not anarchy. Anarchy docs not accord with the interests or wishes of the people."

Continuing, he made this even more precise:

"Within the ranks of the people, democracy is correlative with centralism, and freedom with discipline. They are the two opposites of a single entity, contradictory as well as united, and we should not one-sidedly emphasize one to the denial of the other. . . . This unity of democracy and centralism, of freedom and discipline, constitutes our democratic centralism. Under this system, the people enjoy extensive democracy and freedom, but at the same time they have to keep within the hounds of socialist discipline. All this is well understood by the broad masses of the people."

How then to resolve the differences of opinion and the contradictions that are bound to exist in the ranks of the people? Chairman Mao ruled out any methods of coercion, commandism or simple administrative orders unaccompanied by education and persuasion. He said: "The only way to settle questions of an ideological nature or controversial issues among the people is by the democratic method, the method of discussion, of criticism, of persuasion and education . . ." Everyone in China today — worker, peasant, soldier, intellectual, student, housewife — belongs to some kind of organized study group. It is in these groups that the contradictions are worked out on the following formula: unity-criticism-unity. That is, all start from the desire for unity and resolve contradictions through criticism, debate or ideological struggle so as to achieve a new unity on a new basis, that of elevated understanding by all.

This method of giving full sway to the democratic process of open discussion shows the deep-rooted faith of the Chinese Communist Party in the masses of the people. The Party has always believed that in this way the wisdom of the people is brought into play, problems can be thrashed out and non-antagonistic contradictions can be prevented from turning into antagonistic ones. This, in fact, is an expression of the superiority of the socialist system. Under feudalism and capitalism, the contradictions are basic and antagonistic to begin with. There is no way to solve them except by radically changing society itself. But under socialism, in which the people have a common objective and the equality of the individual is guaranteed by the economic base of the common ownership of the means of production, the system itself provides the conditions for recognizing and resolving the contradictions as they arise. As Chairman Mao put it: "The ceaseless emergence and ceaseless resolution of contradictions is the dialectical law of the development of things." Under the socialist system there can be mass recognition and utilization of this law so that society is stable and development of the productive forces is smooth and ever-ascending, thereby enhancing the material and cultural life of the whole country.

It is imperative to understand the working of this law; otherwise misconceptions creep in as to the real motive force of a socialist society. Back in 1957 Chairman Mao gave the warning:

"Many do not admit that contradictions continue to exist in a socialist society, with the result that they are handicapped and passive when confronted with social contradictions; they do not understand that socialist society will grow more united and consolidated through the ceaseless process of the correct handling and resolving of contradictions." (Emphasis mine — SCL)

The unity of the two sides of each contradiction in socialist society is fundamental, but it is transitory, conditional, temporary and relative. The struggle be-tween these two sides in order to resolve the contradiction conforms to universal law and is absolute. Within this lies the impetus which improves socialist society and pushes it forward.

The phrase "correct handling" is extremely important. It is here that the first question we have discussed is related to the second. If the purity of the revolutionary thinking of the members and followers of the Communist Party, who include the overwhelming majority of the population, is kept unspotted. they can correctly understand and deal with the complex problems of socialist society and the world. They can delve into the class nature of these problems and evolve proletarian solutions for them, whether the question is how to support the valiant Vietnamese people in their just struggle against the U.S. imperialist invasion, or to determine for what purpose one plays table-tennis as a member of the national team. These two examples may seem to be extremes, but in fact they are linked politically. They must be viewed from their inner-connections as two manifestations of the people’s struggle against U.S. aggression all over the world and in all fields.



IN PROBING to the essence of matters, whether they concern politics, production or anything else in China today, the role played by Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s works is immense. It is a common phenomenon to see people in every walk of life seriously studying these works. What is of special note, however, is that this study takes place with some concrete problem in mind. For instance, an American writer recently visited our 12,000-ton hydraulic press in Shanghai. He was nonplussed when he was told the workers and technicians had designed and built the press themselves relying on the writings of Mao Tse-tung. The writer said he had never seen anything in Chairman Mao's works about hydraulic presses. The workers replied: That’s right; but there is a great deal there about what attitude to take in the face of difficulties and how to inculcate the determination to overcome those difficulties. To arm the mind with revolutionary will and daring to show the decisiveness of MAN in everything, this is the stimulus that is obtained from the works of Chairman Mao.

An outstanding example of this is China’s policy of self-reliance economically. Although in the past we received aid from fraternal countries, and especially from the Soviet Union, and in our economic plans we always give importance to international trade and exchange, ever since the liberation we have given the main emphasis to our own efforts in building up our country. Today China is in debt to no one. Although we have carried out national construction on a considerable scale, not one cent is owed to any western country, and all debts plus interest due the Soviet Union have been paid off. Taking into account the anaemic and chaotic state of the economy we inherited at the time of liberation, and the enormous tasks we shouldered in rehabilitation and then in starting from scratch and developing many vital sectors of industry, it can be seen it was no small task to arouse the masses to struggle for the pursuit of technical knowledge and for the accumulation of investment funds. History has seen only a few such bursts of energy, which can be released solely by ideological recognition of what needs to be done and why. From Chairman Mao’s works our labouring people obtain the understanding that they are working for the Chinese revolution, so that China can stand up in the world with dignity, so that we can erase the backwardness and poverty from our culture and livelihood. A spirit of selflessness and revolutionary devotion is engendered through political studies and spurs our people to accomplish miracles.

The policy of self-reliance based on political consciousness is of prime interest to all of Asia. Africa and Latin America. Most of the countries in these regions face similar problems of national development. Many of them in the past tended to look upon foreign aid, especially from the west, as the lodestone which would produce economic progress. But they are beginning to see that mainly relying on such aid might at best temporarily prevent a total collapse, without advancing the economy in any significant way, while at worst it places imperialism's shackles around the recipient’s neck, and either way it is accompanied by humiliating political conditions. They are learning that to release the gigantic power of their own people is the one sure path leading to economic independence, upon which political independence rests. From this we can discern that the impetus provided by Chairman Mao’s ideas extends far beyond the borders of China.


THE CAMPAIGNS to maintain the purity of the revolutionary ranks, the endless striving to correctly handle the contradictions among the people, the stimulations of the people to go all out in construction on the basis of noble political motives and ideals, all of these are expressions of the mass line and are carried out on a mass scale. Within the Chinese Communist Party there are recurrent rectification movements, while in society as a whole extensive socialist education movements are conducted in both the cities and the countryside. As Chairman Mao wrote in his article On Coalition Government: ". . . our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly." He was referring to our "mental" faces, and suggested that self-examination should take place every day to rid the mind of feudal and bourgeois ideology. In this manner the organization of the revolutionary forces can be kept strong, the class consciousness of the people kept high, and the grounding made solid for a broad united front with all those who can be united with. Any attack against socialism, no matter from what direction it comes, is sure to smash up when it encounters this great edifice.



AS WE KNOW, the reactionaries and imperialists of the world count very much on "peacefully undermining" the revolutionary ranks in China and the world. They are placing their hopes on the third and fourth generations of successors to the revolution. This tells us what care and effort must be exerted in assuring that our younger generations grow up filled with the zest for revolution, and comprehend by what hard struggles and at what sacrifice the advantages of today were gained. We must prepare them ideologically and in every other way to take up their task in the continuing revolutionary struggle. They must understand that, in our world, two-thirds of the people have yet to obtain their liberation. Imperialism and colonialism are fiercely counter-attacking in several areas simultaneously. They still dream of "rolling back" the socialist camp and destroying the world working-class movement.

Therefore, internally we prepare our people and in particular alert our youth for all eventualities. And externally, the Chinese people led by the Chinese Communist Party pay close attention to strengthening the main bulwark against imperialism’s aggressive actions — the world working-class movement. Our every pronouncement and step are aimed at uniting with the workers of all countries and the peoples of the oppressed nations of the world in struggling against the main enemy outside our movement, U.S. imperialism, and the main enemy within it, modern revisionism, as explicitly stated in the Moscow Declaration of Communist and Workers' Parties of 1957 and the Statement of 1960.

We strive for world peace. We realize that the national liberation movement makes an immense contribution in this respect, and we give this our complete support. We strive for people's democracy and socialism, the consolidation and expansion of the socialist camp. We particularly value the fraternal unity between the Soviet and Chinese peoples derived from our great revolutionary traditions and the tenets of Marxism-Leninism. We see our unity with all the peoples of the world as a great motive power furthering the struggle for the eventual global victory of the proletarian revolution, and the establishment of a world without imperialism, without capitalism and without the exploitation of man by man.


ABOVE I have enumerated some of the main policies and methods of work which sixteen years of socialist revolution and construction have produced in China. They are evidence of how the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung has solved many fundamental problems. The results have been historic victories for the Chinese people. Accomplished in a country where one-fourth of mankind lives, they are of international significance. These victories darken the brows of the handful of reactionaries in the world. But they bring smiles of joy to the faces of the people in every part of this earth. They are victories of liberation. They are the forerunners of like victories which Marxism-Leninism will bring throughout the world.



[1] Liu Shao-chi: The Victory of Marxism-Leninism in China. [Note from China Reconstructs, page 3 —]

[2] Mao Tse-tung: On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. [Note from China Reconstructs, page 5 —]