Full twenty years have elapsed since our victory in the great War of Resistance Against Japan.
After a long period of heroic struggle, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, won final victory two decades ago in their war against the Japanese imperialists who had attempted to subjugate China and swallow up the whole of Asia.
The Chinese people’s War of Resistance was an important part of the world war against German, Japanese and Italian fascism. The Chinese people received support from the people and the anti-fascist forces all over the world. And in their turn, the Chinese people made an important contribution to victory in the Anti-Fascist War as a whole.
Of the innumerable anti-imperialist wars waged by the Chinese people in the past hundred years, the War of Resistance Against Japan was the first to end in complete victory. It occupies an extremely important place in the annals of war, in the annals of both the revolutionary wars of the Chinese people and the wars of the oppressed nations of the world against imperialist aggression.
It was a war in which a weak semi-colonial and semi-feudal country triumphed over a strong imperialist country. For a long period after the invasion of China’s northeaster provinces by the Japanese imperialists, the Kuomintang followed a policy of non-resistance. In the early stage of the War of Resistance, the Japanese imperialists exploited their military superiority to drive deep into China and occupy half her territory. In the face of the massive attacks of the aggressors and the anti-Japanese upsurge of the people throughout the country, the Kuoumintang was compelled to take part in the War of Resistance, but soon afterwards it adopted the policy of passive resistance to Japan and active opposition to the Communist Party. The heavy responsibility of combating Japanese imperialism thus fell on shoulders of the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and the people of the Liberated Areas, all led by the Communist Party. At the outbreak of the war, the Eighth Route and the New Fourth Armies had only a few tens of thousands of men and suffered from extreme inferiority in both arms and equipment, and for a long time they were under the crossfire of the Japanese imperialists on the one hand and the Kuomintang troops on the other. But they grew stronger and stronger in the course of the war and became the main force in defeating Japanese imperialism.
How was it possible for a weak country finally to defeat a strong country? How was it possible for a seemingly weak army to become the main force in the war?
The basic reasons were that the War of Resistance Against Japan was a genuine people’s war led by the Communist Party of China and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, a war in which the correct Marxist-Leninist political military lines were put into effect, and that the Eighth Route and the New Fourth Armies were genuine people’s armies which applied the whole range of strategy and tactics of people’s war as formulated by Comrade Mao Tse-tung.
Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of and policies for people’s war have creatively enriched and developed Marxism-Leninism. The Chinese people’s victory in the anti-Japanese war was a victory for people’s war, for Marxism-Leninism and the thought of Mao Tse-tung.
Prior to the war against Japan, the Communist Party of China had gone through the first Revolutionary Civil War of 1924-27 and the Second Revolutionary Civil War of 1927-36 and summed up the experience and lessons of the successes and failures in those wars, and the leading role of Mao Tse-tung’s thought had become established within the Party. This was the fundamental guarantee of the Party’s ability to lead the Chinese people to victory in the War of Resistance.
The Chinese people’s victory in the War of Resistance paved the way for their seizure of state power throughout the country. When the Kuomintang reactionaries, backed by the U.S. imperialists, launched a nation-wide civil war in 1946, the Communist Party of China and Comrade Mao Tse-tung further developed the theory of people’s war, led the Chinese people in waging a people’s war on a still larger scale, and in the space of a little over three years the great victory of the People’s Liberation War was won, the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism in our country ended and the People’s Republic of China founded.
The victory of the Chinese people’s revolutionary war breached the imperialist front in the East, wrought a great change in the world balance of forces, and accelerated the revolutionary movement among the people of all countries. From then on, the national liberation movement in Asia, Africa, and Latin America entered a new historical period.
Today, the U.S. imperialists are repeating on a world-wide scale the past actions of the Japanese imperialists in China and other parts of Asia. It has become an urgent necessity for the people in many countries to master and use people’s war as a weapon against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys. In every conceivable way U.S. imperialism and its lackeys are trying to extinguish the revolutionary flames of people’s war. The Khrushchov revisionists, fearing people’s war like the plague, are heaping abuse on it. The two are colluding to prevent and sabotage people’s war. In these circumstances, it is of vital practical importance to review the historical experience of the great victory of the people’s war in China and to recapitulate Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s theory of people’s war.
Next: The Principal Contradiction in the Period of the War of Resistance Against Japan and the Line of the Communist Party of China