Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


July 1940

The third anniversary of the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan and the nineteenth anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China occur within a few days of each other. In commemorating the anniversary of the resistance today we Communists feel our responsibility all the more keenly. To fight for the survival of the Chinese nation is a responsibility which falls on all the anti-Japanese political parties and groups and the whole people, but as we see it an even heavier responsibility falls on us as Communists. The Central Committee of our Party has issued a statement on the present situation, the essence of which is a call for resistance and unity to the very end. This statement, we hope, will meet with the approval of the friendly parties and armies and the whole nation, and Communists in particular must conscientiously carry out the line it has laid down.

All Communists must realize that only through resistance to the very end can there be unity to the very end, and vice versa. Therefore, Communists must set an example in both resistance and unity. Our opposition is directed solely against the enemy and against the determined capitulators and anti-Communists; with all others we must unite in earnest. In every place the determined capitulators and anti-Communists are only a minority. I made an investigation of one local government and found that out of 1,300 staff members, only 40 to 50, or less than 4 per cent, were confirmed anti-Communists, while all the rest wanted unity and resistance. Of course we cannot tolerate these capitulators and anti-Communists, because that would amount to allowing them to sabotage resistance and wreck unity; we must resolutely oppose the capitulators and, in self-defence, firmly repel the attacks of the anti-Communist elements. Failure to do so would be Right opportunism and would harm unity and resistance. However, our policy must be one of unity with all those who are not absolutely set in their capitulation and anti-communism. For some face both ways, others are acting under compulsion, and still others have temporarily gone astray; for the sake of continued unity and resistance we must win over all these people. Failure to do so would be "Left" opportunism and this, too, would harm unity and resistance. All Communists should realize that, having initiated the Anti-Japanese National United Front, we must maintain it. Now that the national crisis is deepening and the world situation is undergoing a great change, we must shoulder the very heavy responsibility of saving the Chinese nation. We must defeat Japanese imperialism and build China into an independent, free and democratic republic, and to do so we must unite the greatest possible number of people, with or without party affiliations. Communists should not enter into unprincipled united fronts and must therefore oppose all such schemes as corroding, restricting, containing and repressing the Communist Party as well as oppose the Right opportunism within the Party. But at the same time Communists should not fail to respect the Party's united front policy and must therefore unite, on the principle of resistance, with all those who are still willing to resist Japan and must oppose "Left" opportunism within the Party.

Thus, as far as political power is concerned, we stand for united front organs of political power; we do not favour one-party dictatorship either by the Communist Party or by any other party, but we stand for the joint dictatorship of all political parties and groups, people in all walks of life and all armed forces, that is, for united front political power. Whenever we establish organs of anti-Japanese political power in the enemy rear after destroying the enemy and the puppet regimes there, we should adopt the "three thirds system" as decided upon by the Central Committee of our Party, so that Communists take only one-third of the places in all government or people's representative bodies, while the remaining two-thirds are taken by people who stand for resistance and democracy whether or not they are members of other parties or groups. Anybody may take part in the work of the government so long as he is not in favour of capitulation or is not an anti-Communist. Every political party or group shall have the right to exist and carry on its activities under the anti-Japanese political power, so long as it is not in favour of capitulation and is not anti-Communist.

In regard to the question of the armed forces, our Party's statement has made it clear that we shall continue to observe the decision "not to extend our Party organizations to any friendly army". Local Party organizations which have not strictly observed this decision should immediately put the matter right. A friendly attitude should be taken towards all armed units that do not start armed clashes with the Eighth Route or New Fourth Armies. Friendly relations should be restored even with those troops that have created "friction", once they stop doing so. This is our united front policy with regard to the armed forces.

As for our policies on other matters, whether financial, economic, cultural or educational or anti-espionage, for the sake of resistance we must follow the united front policy by adjusting the interests of the different classes and must oppose both Right and "Left" opportunism.

Internationally the imperialist war is becoming world-wide and the extremely grave political and economic crises to which it has given rise will inevitably cause revolutions to break out in many countries. We are in a new era of wars and revolutions. The Soviet Union, which has not been drawn into the maelstrom of this imperialist war, is the supporter of all the oppressed people and all the oppressed nations of the world. These factors are favourable to China's War of Resistance. But at the same time the danger of capitulation is more serious than ever before because Japanese imperialism is intensifying its attacks on China in preparation for its aggression against Southeast Asia, and this will certainly induce some of the vacillating elements to surrender. The fourth year of the war is going to be a most difficult one. Our task is to unite all anti-Japanese forces, oppose the capitulators, surmount all the difficulties and persist in nation-wide resistance. All Communists must unite with the friendly parties and armies to accomplish this task. We are confident that, through the united efforts of all members of our Party, of the friendly parties and armies and the whole people, we shall succeed in preventing capitulation, in conquering the difficulties, in driving out the Japanese aggressors and in recovering our lost territories. The prospects for our War of Resistance are indeed bright.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung