Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
July 10, 1945
[Comrade Mao Tse-tung wrote this comment for the Hsinhua News Agency.]
Convened to camouflage Chiang Kai-shek's dictatorial regime, the Fourth People's Political Council opened in Chungking on July 7. It was the smallest opening session on record. Not only was nobody present from the Chinese Communist Party, but many members of the Council from other groups were absent too. Out of a total membership of 290, only 180 turned up. Chiang Kai-shek held forth at this opening session as follows:
The government is not going to submit any specific proposal on questions relating to the convocation of the National Assembly, and you gentlemen can therefore discuss these matters fully. The government is ready to listen to your opinions on these questions in all honesty and sincerity.
This will probably be the end of the whole business about convoking the National Assembly on November 12 this year. The imperialist Patrick J. Hurley has had something to do with this business. At first he strongly encouraged Chiang Kai-shek to make such a move, and it was this that put some stiffening into Chiang Kai-shek's New Year's Day speech,  and a great deal more into his March 1 speech  in which he announced his determination to "hand state power back to the people" on November 12. In his speech of March 1 he flatly rejected the Chinese Communist Party's proposal, which voiced the general will of the Chinese people, that a conference of all parties be convened and a coalition government established. He gleefully played up the idea of forming a so-called Committee of Three, including an American, to "reorganize" the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party. He had the audacity to say that the Chinese Communist Party must hand over its troops before he would bestow "legal status" upon it.
In all this, the backing of His Worship Patrick J. Hurley was decisive. In a statement in Washington on April 2, Hurley did his best to boost Chiang Kai-shek's "National Assembly" and other such nasty schemes in addition to denying the role of the Chinese Communist Party, vilifying its activities, declaring against co-operation with it and uttering other such imperialist platitudes. Thus the duet between Hurley in the United States and Chiang Kai-shek in China reached its most raucous pitch, with the sacrifice of the Chinese people as the common objective. Since then the show seems to have flagged. Countless voices have been raised in protest everywhere, among both Chinese and foreigners, both inside and outside the Kuomintang, among people with party affiliations and without. The sole reason is that for all its high-sounding language, the Hurley-Chiang racket is designed to sacrifice the interests of the Chinese people, further wreck their unity, and as it were, lay a mine to set off large-scale civil war in China, thereby damaging the common interests of the people of the United States and other allied countries during the anti-fascist war and the prospects of peaceful coexistence afterwards. At the moment Hurley seems to be lying low, busying himself with no one knows what, with the result that Chiang Kai-shek has to talk twaddle before the People's Political Council. Previously, on March 1, Chiang Kai-shek said:
The conditions in our country differ from those in other countries: prior to the convocation of the National Assembly, we have no responsible organization which is representative of the people and through which the government can consult the people for their opinions.
If that is so, why does our Generalissimo now go to the People's Political Council to "listen" to "opinions"? According to him, there is no "responsible organization" in the whole of China through which one "can consult the people for their opinions"; it follows that the People's Political Council as an "organization" exists merely to eat, and his "listening" to it has no legal basis. Be that as it may, if the People's Political Council says even a single word against the convocation of the bogus "National" Assembly, it will have done a good deed and merited divine grace, though by so doing it would have violated the Imperial Edict of March 1 and committed lèse-majesté. Of course, it is still premature to make any comment on the People's Political Council, as we have to wait a few days to see what it will produce for the Generalissimo to "listen" to. One thing, however, is certain: ever since the Chinese people began raising their voices in protest against this National Assembly, even the enthusiasts for "constitutional monarchy" have been worried about our "monarch", cautioning him not to stick his neck into a noose by convening a "Parliament of Pigs" and warning him of the fate of Yuan Shih-kai. Who knows but that our "monarch" may stay his hand in consequence? But it is absolutely certain that he and his retinue will not allow the people to gain a particle of power, if that would cost them a single hair. The immediate proof is that His Majesty has described the people's justified criticism as "unbridled attacks". He said:
... under war conditions a general election is obviously out of the question in the Japanese-occupied areas. Consequently two years ago the Plenary Session of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang resolved to convoke the National Assembly and institute constitutional government within a year after the conclusion of the war. However, in certain quarters unbridled attacks were made at that time.
And the grounds for these attacks were that this date might be too late. His Majesty thereupon proposed that "the National Assembly be convoked as soon as the war situation is stabilized, in view of the possibility that the final conclusion of the war may be delayed and that order may not be quickly restored everywhere even after the end of the war". Much to his surprise, these people again made "unbridled attacks". This has put His Majesty in a terrible fix. But the Chinese people must teach Chiang Kai-shek and his group a lesson and tell them: Whatever you say or do, no tricks in violation of the people's wishes will be tolerated. What the Chinese people demand is immediate democratic reforms, such as the release of political prisoners, the abolition of the secret service, and the granting of freedoms to the people and of legal status to the political parties. You are doing none of these things and instead are simply juggling with the pseudo-problem of the date of the "National Assembly"; this will not deceive even a three-year-old. Without a minimum of genuine democratic reforms, all your assemblies, large or small, will be thrown into the cesspit. Call this an "unbridled attack" if you like, but every deception of this kind must be exploded resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely, with not a trace allowed to remain. The reason is simply that it is a swindle. Whether or not there is a national assembly is one thing and whether or not there is a minimum of democratic reforms is quite another. The former can be dispensed with for the time being, but the latter must be introduced immediately. Since Chiang Kai-shek and his group are willing to "hand state power back to the people sooner", why are they unwilling to carry out a minimum of democratic reforms "sooner"? Gentlemen of the Kuomintang! When you come to these concluding lines, you will have to admit that the Chinese Communists are not in any sense making an "unbridled attack" on you, but are asking you one simple question. May we not even ask a question? Can you brush it aside? The question you must answer is: How is it that you are willing to "hand state power back to the people" but not willing to institute democratic reforms?
1. The radio speech made by Chiang Kai-shek on January 1, 1945 did not even mention the ignominious defeats of the Kuomintang troops at the hands of the Japanese aggressors in the previous year, but maligned the people and opposed the proposal for abolishing the Kuomintang's one-party dictatorship and for setting up a coalition government and a joint supreme command, a proposal supported by all the people and all the anti-Japanese parties in the country. He insisted on continuing the Kuomintang's one-party dictatorship and as a shield against the people's criticism he talked about convening a Kuomintang-controlled "National Assembly" which had been spurned by the whole nation.
2. On March l, 1945 Chiang Kai-shek made a speech in Chungking at the Association for the Establishment of Constitutional Government. Besides reiterating the reactionary views of his New Year's Day speech, Chiang proposed the formation of a Committee of Three, including a U.S. representative, to "reorganize" the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army, which amounted to an open invitation to the U.S. imperialists to intervene in China's domestic affairs.
3. In 1923, the Northern warlord Tsao Kun had himself elected "President of the Republic of China" by giving members of parliament a bribe of 5,000 silver dollars each. He became notorious as the president elected through bribery, and the bribed members came to be called "members of the Parliament of Pigs". Comrade Mao Tse-tung's analogy here likens the Kuomintang's bogus "National Assembly" to the "Parliament of Pigs".
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung