Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


March 18, 1941

[This inner-party directive was written by Comrade Mao Tse-tung on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.]

1. The second anti-Communist onslaught,[1] which was touched off by the telegram of Ho Ying-chin and Pai Chung-hsi (dated October 19 last year), reached its climax in the Southern Anhwei Incident and Chiang Kai-shek's Order of January 17; the rearguard actions are his anti-Communist speech of March 6 and the anti-Communist resolution of the People's Political Council.[2] From now on there may be some temporary easing of the situation. With the world's two major imperialist blocs on the eve of a decisive struggle, that section of China's big bourgeoisie which is pro-British and pro-American and which is still opposed to the Japanese aggressors finds it necessary to seek a slight temporary relaxation in the present strained relations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. Besides, the Kuomintang cannot keep these relations strained to the pitch of the past five months, because of the situation within the Kuomintang (there are contradictions between its central and local authorities, between the C.C. Clique and the Political Science Group, between the C.C. Clique and the Fu Hsing Society [3] and between the die-hards and the intermediate sections, and also contradictions within the C.C. Clique and the Fu Hsing Society themselves), because of the domestic situation (the broad masses of the people are opposed to the Kuomintang's tyranny and sympathize with the Communist Party) and because of our Party's own policy (of continuing the protest campaign). At the moment, therefore, Chiang Kai-shek needs a slight temporary easing of the tension.

2. The recent struggle points to a decline in the standing of the Kuomintang and a rise in that of the Communist Party, and this is the key factor in certain changes that have occurred in the relative strength of the two parties. All this has compelled Chiang Kai-shek to reconsider his own position and attitude. In stressing national defence and preaching that party politics are out of date, he is posing as a "national leader" who is above domestic contradictions and feigning impartiality to class and party, his aim being to preserve the rule of the big landlord class and big bourgeoisie and the Kuomintang. But this attempt of his will certainly prove futile, if it is only a subterfuge and means no real change in policy.

3. At the beginning of the recent anti-Communist onslaught, the policy of conciliation and concession which our Party adopted out of consideration for the general interest (as indicated in the telegram of November 9 last year) won the sympathy of the people, and we again won the support of the whole people when, after the Southern Anhwei Incident, we turned to a vigorous counter-offensive (as indicated by our two sets of twelve demands,[4] our refusal to attend the People's Political Council, and the country-wide protest campaign). This policy of ours, the policy of waging struggle on just grounds, to our advantage, and with restraint, was entirely necessary for repulsing the latest anti-Communist onslaught, and it has already proved fruitful. Until there is a reasonable settlement of the major points at issue between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, we must not show any slackening in our campaign of stern protest against the Southern Anhwei Incident, which was engineered by the pro-Japanese and anti-Communist cliques in the Kuomintang, and against their political and military oppression in all its forms, and must intensify our propaganda for the first twelve demands.

4. The Kuomintang will never relax its policy of oppression of our Party and other progressives or its anti-Communist propaganda in the areas under its rule; therefore our Party must heighten its vigilance. The Kuomintang will continue its attacks on the areas north of the Huai River, in eastern Anhwei and in central Hupeh, and our armed forces must not hesitate to repulse them. All base areas must strictly carry out the Central Committee's directive of December 25 last year, [5] intensify inner-Party education on tactics and rectify ultra-Left views, so that we can unfalteringly maintain the anti-Japanese democratic base areas. Throughout the country, including, of course, all the base areas, we must reject the erroneous estimate that a final split between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party has either already occurred or is about to occur, together with the many incorrect views arising therefrom.


1. For a fuller account of the second anti-Communist onslaught, see "A Comment on the Sessions of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and of the People's Political Council", Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Eng. ed., FLP, Peking, 1965, Vol. III, pp. 137-51.

2. On March 6, 1941, Chiang Kai-shek delivered an anti-Communist speech at a meeting of the People's Political Council. Harping on his old theme that the "direction of all military and political affairs" must be "unified", he declared that the organs of anti-Japanese democratic political power in the enemy's rear should be abolished and that the people's armed forces led by the Chinese Communist Party must be "concentrated in specified areas" according to his "orders and plans". On the same day, the People's Political Council, which was dominated by the Kuomintang reactionaries, passed a resolution whitewashing Chiang Kai-shek's anti-Communist and anti-popular activities and violently attacking the Communist members of the People's Political Council for their refusal to attend the council's session in protest against the Southern Anhwei Incident.

3. For the Political Science Group, see "Problems of War and Strategy", Note 14 p. 234 of this volume. For the C.C. Clique and the Fu Hsing Society, see "The Situation and Tasks in the Anti-Japanese War After the Fall of Shanghai and Taiyuan", Note 10, p. 74 of this volume.

4. The first set of "twelve demands", proposed by the Communist members of the People's Political Council at its session of February 15, 1941, were similar to those listed in the "Order and Statement on the Southern Anhwei Incident". The second set were put to Chiang Kai-shek on March 2, 1941 by the Communist members of the People's Political Council as a condition for their attendance of the council's sessions and were as follows:

(1) Immediately stop the anti-Communist military attacks all over the country.

(2) Immediately stop the nation-wide political persecution of the Chinese Communist Party and of all other democratic parties and groups, recognize their legal status, and release all their members arrested in Sian, Chungking Kweiyang and other places.

(3) Lift the ban on the bookshops which have been closed down in various places, and rescind the order for impounding anti-Japanese books and newspapers in post offices.

(4) Immediately stop all restrictions on the New China Daily.

(5) Recognize the legal status of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region.

(6) Recognize the organs of anti-Japanese democratic political power in the enemy's rear.

(7) Maintain the status quo in the division of garrison areas in central northern and northwestern China.

(8) Let the Communist-led armed forces form another group army in addition to the Eighteenth Group Army, making a total of six army corps.

(9) Release all the cadres arrested during the Southern Anhwei Incident and provide funds for the relief of the victims' families.

(10) Release all officers and men taken prisoner during the Southern Anhwei Incident and return all their arms.

(11) Form a joint committee of all the parties and groups, with one representative from each, and appoint the Kuomintang and the Communist Party representatives to be its chairman and vice-chairman respectively.

(12) Include Communist representatives in the presidium of the People's Political Council.

5. The directive of December 25 is included as the article "On Policy", pp. 441-49 of this volume.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung