Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


February 1, 1947

[This inner Party directive was drafted by Comrade Mao Tse -tung for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.]

1. All circumstances now show that the situation in China is about to enter a new stage of development. This new stage is one in which the country-wide struggle against imperialism and feudalism will develop into a great new people's revolution. We are now on the eve of this revolution. The task of our Party is to struggle for the advent of this high tide and its triumph .

2. The military situation has now developed in a direction favourable to the people. In seven months of fighting, from last July to this January, we wiped out 56 brigades of Chiang Kai-shek's regular forces which invaded the Liberated Areas, a monthly average of 8 brigades, not counting the numerous puppet troops and the peace preservation corps which were wiped out and those of Chiang's regular forces which were routed. Although Chiang Kai-shek's offensive continues in southern and western Shantung, in the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region, along the northern section of the Peiping-Hankow Railway and in southern Manchuria, it has become much feebler than it was last autumn. Chiang Kai-shek's army does not have enough troops to dispose and cannot fulfil its conscription quotas; this fact is in serious contradiction with its extended battle lines and the enormous drain on its manpower. The morale of Chiang's army is sinking lower every day. During the recent fighting in northern Kiangsu, southern and western Shantung and western Shansi, the morale of many of Chiang's forces sank to a very low level. On several fronts our armies are beginning to seize the initiative, while Chiang Kai-shek's armies are beginning to lose it. We can foresee that in the next few months we may achieve the objective of wiping out a grand total of 100 of Chiang's brigades, including those previously destroyed. Chiang Kai-shek has altogether 93 regular infantry and cavalry divisions (corps), composed of 248 brigades (divisions), totalling 1,916,000 men, not counting the puppet troops, police, local peace preservation corps, communications police corps, rear services and technical arms. The forces attacking the Liberated Areas number 78 divisions (corps), composed of 218 brigades (divisions), totalling 1,713,000 men, or about 90 per cent of Chiang Kai-shek's regular troops. Only 15 divisions, with 30 brigades, totalling 203,000 men, or about 10 per cent of the total, remain in the Kuomintang rear areas. Therefore, Chiang Kai-shek can no longer send large combat-worthy reinforcements from his rear areas to attack the Liberated Areas. We have already wiped out more than a quarter of the 218 brigades attacking the Liberated Areas. Although some have been replenished and restored under their original designations after having been wiped out, their combat effectiveness is very low. Some have been wiped out a second time. Some have not been replenished at all. If our armies can wipe out another 40 to 50 brigades in the next few months and bring the total up to about 100, there will be an important change in the military situation.

3. Meanwhile, a great people's movement is unfolding in the Kuomintang areas. The riots of the people in Shanghai, [1] which began on November 30 of last year as a result of the Kuomintang's persecution of the street vendors, and the student movement in Peiping, which began last December 30 as a result of the rape of a Chinese girl student by U.S. soldiers, [2] both mark a new upsurge in the struggle of the people in the Chiang Kai-shek areas. The student movement which began in Peiping has spread to other big cities all over the country, with hundreds of thousands taking part and on a larger scale than the December 9th Student Movement against Japanese imperialism.[3]

4. The victories of the People's Liberation Army in the Liberated Areas and the development of the people's movement in the Kuomintang areas foretell that a great new people's revolution against imperialism and feudalism is surely approaching and can be victorious.

5. The circumstances in which this situation has arisen are that U.S. imperialism and its running dog Chiang Kai-shek have replaced Japanese imperialism and its running dog Wang Ching-wei and adopted the policies of turning China into a U.S. colony, launching a civil war and strengthening the fascist dictatorship. Confronted by these reactionary policies of U.S. imperialism and Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese people have no way out except through struggle. The struggle for independence, peace and democracy still constitutes the basic demand of the Chinese people in the present period. As far back as April 1945, our Party's Seventh National Congress foresaw the possibility that U.S. imperialism and Chiang Kai-shek would carry out these reactionary policies and formulated a complete and fully correct political line to defeat them.

6. These reactionary policies of U.S. imperialism and Chiang Kai-shek have forced all strata of the Chinese people to unite for their own salvation. These strata include the workers, peasants, urban petty bourgeoisie, national bourgeoisie, enlightened gentry, other patriotic elements, the minority nationalities and overseas Chinese. This is a very broad united front of the whole nation. In comparison with the united front in the period of the War of Resistance Against Japan, it is not only as broad in scope but has even deeper foundations. All Party comrades must strive to consolidate and develop this united front. In the Liberated Areas the policy of the "three thirds system"[4] is to remain unchanged, on the condition that the policy of land to the tillers is carried out resolutely and unhesitatingly. In addition to Communists, we should continue to draw the broad ranks of progressives outside the Party and the middle elements (such as the enlightened gentry) into the organs of political power and into social undertakings. In the Liberated Areas, all citizens, irrespective of class, sex or belief, have the right to elect and stand for election, except traitors and those reactionaries who have opposed the interests of the people and incurred their bitter hatred. After the system of land to the tillers has been thoroughly carried out, the right to private property of the people in the Liberated Areas will continue to be guaranteed.

7. Because the Chiang Kai-shek government has pursued reactionary financial and economic policies for a long time and because Chiang Kai-shek's bureaucrat-comprador capital [5] has become linked with U.S. imperialist capital through the notorious and treasonable Sino-U.S. Treaty of Commerce,[6] malignant inflation has swiftly developed; the industry and commerce of China's national bourgeoisie are daily going bankrupt; the livelihood of the working masses, government employees and teachers is deteriorating every day; large numbers of middle class elements are losing their savings and becoming penniless; and therefore strikes of workers and students and other struggles are constantly occurring. An economic crisis more serious than China has ever faced before is threatening all strata of the people.

In order to carry on the civil war, Chiang Kai-shek has restored the extremely vicious system of conscription and grain levies of the period of the War of Resistance; this makes life impossible for the vast rural population, particularly the poverty-stricken peasants; as a result, peasant revolts have already started and will continue to spread. Hence, the reactionary Chiang Kai-shek ruling clique will become more and more discredited in the eyes of the broad masses of the people and be confronted with serious political and military crises. On the one hand, this situation is daily pushing forward the people's anti-imperialist, anti-feudal movement in the areas under Chiang Kai-shek's control; on the other hand, it is further demoralizing Chiang's troops and increasing the possibility of victory by the People's Liberation Army.

8. The illegal and divisive "National Assembly", which was convened by Chiang Kai-shek in order to isolate our Party and other democratic forces, and the bogus constitution fabricated by that body enjoy no prestige at all among the people. Instead of isolating our Party and other democratic forces, they have isolated the reactionary Chiang Kai-shek ruling clique itself. Our Party and other democratic forces adopted the policy of refusing to participate in the bogus National Assembly; this was perfectly correct. The reactionary Chiang Kai-shek ruling clique has brought over to its side the Youth Party [7] and the Democratic Socialist Party,[8] two small parties which never had the slightest prestige in Chinese society, as well as certain so-called "public personages",[9] and it can be foreseen that some of the middle-of-the-roaders may also go over to the side of reaction. The reason is that the democratic forces in China are getting stronger and stronger while the reactionary forces are becoming more and more isolated, and therefore the line between the enemy and ourselves has to be so sharply drawn. All elements which hide in the democratic front and deceive the people will eventually be revealed in their true colours and be cast aside by the people; and the people's anti-imperialist and anti-feudal ranks will grow even stronger because they have drawn a clear line of demarcation between themselves and these hidden reactionaries.

9. The development of the international situation is extremely favourable for the Chinese people's struggle. The growing might of the Soviet Union and the successes of its foreign policy, the growing radicalization of the peoples of the world and their ever-developing struggles against reactionary forces both at home and abroad -- these two great factors have forced U.S. imperialism and its running dogs in various countries into ever greater isolation and will continue to do so. If one adds the factor of an inevitable economic crisis in the United States, then U.S. imperialism and its running dogs will be forced into an even worse predicament. The power of U.S. imperialism and its running dog Chiang Kai-shek is only temporary; their offensives can be smashed. The myth that the offensives of the reactionaries cannot be smashed should have no place in our ranks. The Central Committee has pointed this out time and again, and the development of the international and domestic situation has increasingly borne out the correctness of this judgement.

10. In order to gain a respite in which to replenish his troops and launch a fresh offensive, to obtain new loans and munitions from the United States and to allay the indignation of the people, Chiang Kai-shek is perpetrating a new hoax by demanding the resumption of so-called peace negotiations with our Party.[10] Our Party's policy is not to refuse negotiations and in this way expose his deception.

11. In order to smash Chiang Kai-shek's offensive thoroughly, we must wipe out another forty to fifty of his brigades in the next few months; this is the key that will decide everything. To achieve this objective, we must put into full effect the Central Committee's directive of October 1 last year, "A Three Months' Summary",[11] and the Military Commission's directive of September 16 last year on concentrating our forces to destroy the enemy forces one by one.[12] Here, we are once again emphasizing a few points for the attention of the comrades in all areas:

(a) The Military Problem. In the past seven months of bitter fighting our army has proved that it can certainly smash Chiang Kai-shek's offensive and win final victory. Our army has improved in both equipment and tactics. From now on, the central task in building our armed forces is to make every effort to step up the building of our artillery and engineer corps. All military areas, big and small, and all field armies should solve the concrete problems involved in strengthening the artillery and engineer corps and, first of all, the two problems of training cadres and manufacturing ammunition.

(b) The Land Problem. In about two-thirds of the territory in each Liberated Area, the Central Committee's directive of May 4, 1946, [13] has been put into effect, the land problem has been solved and the policy of land to the tillers has been carried out; this is a great victory. There remains around one-third of the territory, however, where further efforts must be made to arouse the masses fully and put the policy of land to the tillers into effect. In places where the policy of land to the tillers has been carried out, there are still shortcomings insofar as the solution was not thorough -- mainly because the masses were not fully aroused, so that the confiscation and the distribution of land were not thorough and the masses became dissatisfied. In such places, we must check carefully and must "even up" [14] to ensure that the peasants with little or no land obtain some and the bad gentry and local tyrants are punished. In the entire process of carrying out the policy of land to the tillers, we must unite firmly with the middle peasants, and it is absolutely impermissible to encroach on the interests of the middle peasants (including the well-to-do middle peasants); if cases occur where the interests of the middle peasants are encroached upon, there must be compensation and apology. Moreover, during and after the land reform, appropriate consideration in accordance with the will of the masses should be given to ordinary rich peasants and middle and small landlords, and it should be given in accordance with the "May 4th Directive". To sum up, in the land reform movement in the rural areas we must unite with the more than 90 per cent of the masses who support the reform and isolate the small number of feudal reactionaries who oppose it so that we can speedily realize the policy of land to the tillers.

(c) The Production Problem. All places must plan on a long-term basis, work hard at production, practice economy and correctly solve the financial problem on the basis of production and economy. The first principle here is to develop production and ensure supply. For this reason, we must oppose the wrong view which lays one-sided emphasis on finance and commerce and neglects agricultural and industrial production. The second principle is to give consideration to both the army and the people, to both public and private interests. Therefore, we must oppose the wrong view which takes only one side into account and neglects the other. The third principle is unified leadership and decentralized management. Therefore, except where conditions call for centralized management, we must oppose the wrong view which favours centralizing everything, regardless of circumstances, and which dares not give full rein to decentralized management.

12. Our Party and the Chinese people have every assurance of final victory; there is not the slightest doubt about it. But that does not mean there are no difficulties before us. China's anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle is protracted in nature, Chinese and foreign reactionaries will continue to oppose the Chinese people with all their strength, fascist rule in the areas under Chiang Kai-shek's control will be intensified; certain parts of the Liberated Areas will temporarily become enemy-occupied areas or guerrilla zones, some of the revolutionary forces may suffer temporary losses, and there will be losses of manpower and material resources in a long war. The comrades throughout the Party must take all this fully into account and be prepared to overcome all difficulties with an indomitable will and in a planned way. The reactionary forces and we both have difficulties. But the difficulties of the reactionary forces are insurmountable because they are forces on the verge of death and have no future. Our difficulties can be overcome because we are new and rising forces and have a bright future.


1. Beginning in August 1946 the Kuomintang authorities in Shanghai forbade the street vendors in the Whangpoo and Louza districts to carry on their business. In late November nearly a thousand who were still operating were arrested. On November 30 three thousand street vendors demonstrated and surrounded the Whangpoo district police station. The Kuomintang authorities gave the order to fire; seven demonstrators were killed and a great many were wounded and arrested. On December 1, the street vendors continued their struggle. Despite the fact that ten more were killed and over a hundred wounded, the number taking part in the struggle grew to over five thousand. All shops in Shanghai closed down to show sympathy. Thus the incident developed into a city-wide mass movement against Chiang Kai-shek.

2. This incident occurred in Peiping on December 24, 1946. A girl student of Peking University was raped by U.S. soldiers. Consequently, from December 30 through January 1947, students in scores of big and medium cities in the Kuomintang areas struck and demonstrated against the United States and Chiang Kai-shek, demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from China. More than half a million students took part in this movement.

3. In 1935 a new upsurge began in the patriotic movement of the people of the whole country. Students in Peking, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, were the first to hold a patriotic demonstration on December 9, putting forward such slogans as "Stop the civil war and unite to resist foreign aggression" and "Down with Japanese imperialism!" This movement broke open the long reign of terror imposed by the Kuomintang government in league with the Japanese invaders and soon won the support of the people throughout the country. It is known as the "December 9th Movement". As a consequence, new changes became manifest in the relations among various classes in the country, and the Anti-Japanese National United Front proposed by the Communist Party of China became the openly advocated policy of all patriotic people. The Kuomintang government became very isolated with its traitorous policy.

4. The "three thirds system" was the Chinese Communist Party's policy for united front organs of political power in the Liberated Areas during the War of Resistance Against Japan. According to this policy, the proportion of personnel in the and-Japanese democratic political organs was about one-third each for Communist Party members, for left progressives, and for middle elements and others.

5. See "The Present Situation and Our Tasks", Section 6, pp. 167-69 of this volume.

6. The "Sino-U.S. Treaty of Commerce" or "Sino-U.S. Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation" was concluded between the Chiang Kai-shek government and the U.S. government on November 4, 1946, in Nanking. This treaty, which sold out a large part of China's sovereignty to the United States, contains thirty articles, the main contents of which are as follows:

(1) U.S. nationals shall enjoy in "the whole extent of . . . the territories" of China the rights to reside, travel, carry on commercial, manufacturing, processing, scientific, educational, religious and philanthropic activities, explore and exploit mineral resources, lease and hold land, and follow various occupations and pursuits. In regard to economic rights U.S. nationals in China shall be accorded the same treatment as Chinese.
(2) In respect of taxation, sale, distribution and use in China, U.S. commodities shall be accorded treatment no less favourable than that accorded to the commodities of any third country or to Chinese commodities. "No prohibition or restriction shall be imposed" by China on the importation from the United States of any article grown, produced or manufactured in the United States, or on the exportation to the United States of any Chinese article.
(3) U.S. vessels shall have the freedom of sailing in any of the ports, places or waters in China which are open to foreign commerce or navigation, and their personnel and freight shall have freedom of transit through Chinese territory "by the routes most convenient". On the pretext of "any . . . distress", U.S. vessels including warships, can sail into "any of the ports, places or waters" of China which are "not open to foreign commerce or navigation".

Wellington Koo, then Chiang Kai-shek's ambassador to the United States, openly and shamelessly stated that this treaty meant "the opening of the entire territory of China to U.S. merchants".

7. The Youth Party was the shortened name of the Chinese Youth Party, also called the Étatiste Party; its predecessor was the Chinese Étatiste Youth League. This party was composed of a handful of fascist politicians. They made counter-revolutionary careers for themselves by opposing the Communist Party and the Soviet Union and therefore received subsidies from various groups of reactionaries in power and from the imperialists.

8. The Democratic Socialist Party was formed in August 1946 through the merger of the Democratic Constitutional Party and the National Socialist Party. It consisted mainly of reactionary politicians and feudal dregs from the time of the Northern warlords.

9. "Certain so-called public personages" refers to shameless politicians like Wang Yun-wu, Fu Sze-nien and Hu Cheng-chih, who posed as persons with no party affiliation and served as a window-dressing for Chiang Kai-shek's "National Assembly".

10. On January 16, 1947, because of repeated setbacks in its military offensives and because of its worsening military situation, the Kuomintang government, in an attempt to gain a respite and prepare a fresh offensive, asked the Chinese Communist Party, through the U.S. ambassador to China, Leighton Stuart, for permission to send delegates to Yenan for "peace negotiations". This new U.S.-Chiang deception was promptly and thoroughly exposed by the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party pointed out that negotiations could be renewed only if two minimum conditions were fulfilled: (1) the bogus constitution framed and adopted by the Kuomintang in violation of the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference had to be abolished, and (2) Kuomintang troops had to evacuate all the territory of the Liberated Areas they had occupied since the truce agreement went into effect on January 13, 1946; otherwise, there would be no guarantee that the Kuomintang would not again tear up any agreement reached in renewed negotiations. The Kuomintang government realized that the ruse of "peace" did not work and on February 27 and 28 it notified all the representatives of the Chinese Communist Party stationed in Nanking, Shanghai and Chungking for negotiations and liaison that they had to leave and announced the complete breakdown of the negotiations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party.

11. This refers to the article, "A Three Months' Summary", pp. 113-18 of this volume.

12. This refers to the article, "Concentrate a Superior Force to Destroy the Enemy Forces One by One", pp. 103-07 of this volume.

13. This refers to the "Directive on the Land Question" of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party dated May 4, 1946. See "A Three Months' Summary", Note 4, p. 118 of this volume.

14. "Evening up" was a policy adopted in the old Liberated Areas; where a comparatively thorough land reform had been carried out. The purpose was to solve the problem of insufficient land and other means of production among some of the poor peasants and farm labourers and other problems left over from the reform. The method was, on a limited scale, to take from those who had better and give to those who had worse, to take from those who had a surplus and give to those who had a shortage, so that the distribution of land and other means of production could be rationally readjusted.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung