Deng Xiaoping

Tactics for Working in the New Area of Guizhou


Written: November 12, 1949
Translated by: Unknown
Source: Deng Xiaoping Works
Transcription for MIA: Joonas Laine


In general, the preliminary ideas expressed in your telegram of November 6 concerning work in Guizhou are practicable. However, you should pay attention to the following points:

1. Your tactic of uniting with the many, attacking the few, antagonizing as few people as possible and guarding against “Left” tendencies is quite correct, but it is not advisable to impose the general principle of concentrating our attack on “the central group”, because Guizhou has over the years been under the group’s rule and such a principle can result in attacks on too many people. Actually, the overwhelming majority of the members of this central group are vacillating. We should, therefore, adopt tactics to allow them to turn over a new leaf and make a living, so as to split up the reactionary camp, isolate the most reactionary elements and weaken resistance to the revolution. By so doing, we shall soon be able to establish revolutionary order and mobilize the masses. Therefore, you should repeatedly explain to cadres at the various levels that the first thing they should do after arriving in a new area is to unite with all those who can be united with, eliminate antagonism towards us among all those who can be so persuaded and separate anyone who can be separated from the enemy camp. These tactics should also apply to the central group. It should be made clear to the public that all those willing to repent will be given a chance to make a fresh start. Our initial main targets of attack are those who continue to oppose us, because they refuse to mend their ways and go on with their reactionary evil acts. When you reach Guiyang, you should also choose a number of left-wingers, middle-of-the-roaders, and even a few right-wingers, who do not actively oppose us and are willing to be associated with us, to participate in our work. When taking over the city, you can put them in research or advisory groups. You can also appoint representative figures from the middle and upper strata, who have been doing better than others, as members of the takeover committees in various departments. That is to say, you should enlist their co-operation in handling practical matters from the very beginning, consulting them when issues arise, heeding their opinions and adopting any good suggestions they offer, and actively and patiently work among them, explaining to them the Party’s policies and the Common Programme, and helping them remould themselves and make progress. If you do this, you are sure to make a good impression on the public, quickly enter into contact with people from all sections of society in Guizhou, and find it easier to solve any difficult problems or, at least, encounter less resistance. After arriving in Guiyang, you should also find out the attitude of representative figures from local groups (such as Wang Jialie), the central group (those who are comparatively friendly to us), the industrial, commercial and educational circles, and the minority nationalities, and make preparations to draw some of them into the provincial government. At least one-third to one half of posts, such as member of the provincial government and director or deputy director of all the departments under the government’s general office, should be given to people who are not Party members. All prefectures and counties should follow suit. We hope that within a month you can give us a preliminary list of the names of those who are to hold provincial government posts for examination, after which we shall submit the list to the Central Government for approval. The chief hindrance to the implementation of this policy is the “closed-doorism” of our cadres. Therefore, to ensure its implementation, we must repeatedly explain its importance to Party cadres. The Central Committee and Chairman Mao have issued explicit and detailed instructions on the question of the united front, of which Comrade Song Renqiong has been asked to inform you.

2. Recently, when we discussed the work in Chongqing and other areas in eastern Sichuan with leading comrades in eastern Sichuan, we all agreed that the sooner conferences of representatives from all circles in cities and counties are convened, the better. This is because when we enter a city, we are immediately confronted with many difficult problems, such as those of currency, prices and wages. In the countryside we first meet the formidable problem of borrowing grain and also those of currency, the maintenance of public order, and so on. These problems are best solved by promptly convening conferences composed of representatives from all circles, rather than trying to solve them within the Party or through forums. We hope that you will consider this question and offer us your opinions.

3. Where the local armed bands of different shades are concerned, you should deal with them separately and cautiously, weighing the pros and cons of each group. The aim is to reorganize and control them all, which can be done only if you use systematic tactics and methods. When dealing with a specific local armed band, you should consider the others at the same time. You should have the overall situation in mind, refraining from seeking small gains at great cost. Your ideas on this question are right in principle, but you should avoid taking rash steps and measures when trying to put them into effect, particularly when you are dealing with armed bands of minority nationalities.

4. The Central Committee has made it clear that personnel taken over from the Kuomintang institutions, including military officers and men, government employees and factory workers and staff, should all be accepted; not one of them should be dismissed. This policy will bring with it many advantages. Since Comrade Song Renqiong will explain it to you, I shall not discuss it in detail. Your decision to give former employees short-term living expenses is a good one. After you arrive in Guiyang, you should discuss with them the amount of pay they should receive, instead of just deciding it within the Party. This is very important. However, it is inappropriate for you to decide that “on the whole, the living expenses for workers should be no less than those of former employees, and the living expenses of government employees and teachers should be more than those of former employees, but less than those of workers.” It is not proper for you to arbitrarily decide that workers should receive more material benefits than former employees. Particularly under the present circumstances, you should not try to increase such benefits of workers, because it is impossible at this time and besides, it would be dangerous. The problem of wages is extremely complex and should be dealt with cautiously. We shall share with you the recent experience of the Hunan Provincial Party Committee in Changsha. We hope you will study this carefully. We plan to pay the workers and other employees in Chongqing according to the former wage rates, which are divided into three grades, as living expenses for a short period of time. The amount to be paid at each grade cannot be fixed until our arrival. You can also consider adopting this method, but should report the amount of money you are going to pay at each grade to the Bureau of the Central Committee for approval.

5. The problems being extremely complex in new areas, you should identify them and examine them from every angle, frequently ask for our instructions, and report your work to us so that we can help you. You should also require your subordinates to follow strictly the practice of seeking instructions from and reporting their work to their superiors.

(Telegram drafted for the Front Committee of the Second Field Army and sent to Comrades Yang Yong, Su Zhenhua and Xu Yunbei of the Fifth Army. It was submitted to the CPC Central Committee, which, deeming that it merited attention, communicated it to all its bureaus on November 19.)