Liu Shaoqi

Liu Shaoqi

Resolutely Smash the Onslaught of the Diehards

Written: May 1940
Source: Selected Works of Liu Shaoqi, Volume 1
Online Version: Liu Shaoqi Internet Archive, September 2002
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Roland Ferguson

May 1940 [A], 1

1. At present, the general task of the Party organization in northern Jiangsu is, together with the forces of the New Fourth Army 2 serving there as the backbone, to rapidly prepare itself ideologically, organizationally and militarily to resist the attacks launched against our Party organizations and the siege laid on our armed forces by the Japanese aggressors, Chinese collaborators and diehard reactionary forces, to thoroughly defeat these forces and to establish democratic anti-Japanese governments and base areas -- all for the purpose of effectively persevering until final victory is won in a protracted war o resistance in the northern Jiangsu areas behind the enemy lines. The Party organization and New Fourth Army forces there must spare no effort in preparing to fulfill this task resolutely and unswervingly. Its fulfillment will mean that you have done your utmost to prevent deterioration of the situation and to bring about a change for the better throughout the country.

2. The Party organizations both in the army and the localities must make concerted efforts to promote a tremendous expansion of the New Fourth Army in northern Jiangsu. It should be increased to have 10,000 men with rifles and be consolidated within three months (i.e., before September 1). Before the diehards converge to launch an attack on our army, you should mobilize the masses everywhere to enlist in the army and, wherever possible, organize guerrilla units of the New Fourth Army (these units must be led by Party members and not by hooligans or army ruffians). For their part, underground local Party organizations should try to surmount obstruction by the reactionaries and to send Party members and non-Party persons to the army. Once armed conflict breaks out, it will be all the more necessary for the Party organizations to boldly expand our army, arm the people and mobilize the masses on the broadest scale possible to fight resolutely alongside our army for the defeat of the diehards and the anti-Communist groups and until a democratic government is established.

3. Undercover work should be stepped up in all anti-Communist armed forces and firm policies adopted for the dissolution and destruction of them. When these forces fight our army or suppress the people, you should be resourceful in fomenting rebellion within their ranks and in having the anti-Communist chieftains driven away. However, with regard to those forces which are potentially neutral or sympathetic to us, you should carry out extensive united front work so as to win them over or neutralize them. No underground Party organizations are to be established among these forces.

4. You must expand local Party organizations, get the masses organized as fully as possible, prepare a large number of cadres for the establishment of anti-Japanese democratic governments and strive to procure and ensure supplies for our troops. Party organizations in areas under reactionary rule should focus closely on their undercover: work and send to the army any member whose cover has been broken or who is suspected.

5. You must carry out extensive united front work so as to win over the middle forces, and you must respect the interests of all middle-of-the-roaders, differentiating them from the collaborators and, anti-Communist diehards. You must strictly prevent any revival' within our Party of the concept of expropriating the property of local tyrants and landlords and keep your attacks against collaborators within bounds, so as not to encroach on the interests of the middle-of-the-roaders and arouse their fear. You should try by all possible means to isolate the anti-communist diehards and should pay special attention to enforcing discipline among the new troops.

6. A regional Party committee should be established over your two special committees 3 to facilitate unified leadership. To unify leadership over the work of the army and the local Party organizations, a military and administrative commission can be set up by the leading comrades of the army and of the local Party organizations.

[A] In the original transcription of this work, the Editorial Committee on Party Literature (Central Committee of the Communist Party of China) opted to separate editorial and explanatory notes into two separate categories, independently numbered relative to (1) the type of note and (2) chronological appearance in the text.

Both editorial and explanatory notes are presented in the present transcription in chronological order based solely on the current order of relevance to the selected text.

Additionally, the Pinyin (Chinese phonetic alphabet) spellings of Chinese proper names are used exclusively throughout the present transcription to preserve the continuity of the original transcription.

1. A telegram to the Party organization in northern Jiangsu. During the period of strategic stalemate in the War of Resistance Against Japan, the Kuomintang diehards, pursuing a policy of passive resistance to Japanese aggression and active Opposition to the Communist Party and the people, stepped up their anti-Communist friction. Liu Shaoqi, then secretary of the Central Plains Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, issued directives on several occasions to implement the principles of the Party's united front policy and repulse the attacks launched by the diehards against our New Fourth Army and the anti-Japanese base areas in central China.

2. The New Fourth Army was one of the main forces of the people's army under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party during the War of Resistance Against Japan. In October 1937, in accordance with an agreement reached through negotiations with the Kuomintang, the Communist Party decided to concentrate the Red Army guerilla forces in Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces respectively, and to reorganize them as the "New Fourth Army of the National Revolutionary Army." Ye Ting was appointed commander, Xiang Ying deputy commander, Zhang Yunyi chief of staff and Yuan Guoping director of its Political Department.
In January 1938, the new Fourth Armyn which had four detachments, established its headquarters. Thereafter, it immediately went behind enemy lines, carrying out anti-japanese guerilla warfare and setting up an anti-Japanese base area in central China. After the Southern Anhui Incident of 1941, the CPC Central Committee waged a tit-for-tat struggle against the Kuomintang die-hards, reorganized the New Fourth Army and appointed Chen Yi as its acting commander and Liu Shaoqi as its political commissar. Reorganized into seven divisions, it persisted in the war of resistance, established and expanded and consolidated anti-Japanese base areas behind the enemy lines in southern, central and northern Jiangsu, both north and south of the Huahie River, in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui border area and in central Anhui and eastern Zhejiang. In 1945, on the eve of the surrender of the Japanese imperialists, the New Fourth Army had more than 300,000 men.

3. The committees referred to here are the Jiangbei (an area along the north bank of the mouth of the Changjiang River) and the Northern Jiangsu Special Committees of the Communist Parties of China.