Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
January 4, 1949
Two and a half years have gone by since July 1946, when the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government, with the aid of the U.S. imperialists, violated the will of the people, tore up the truce agreement and the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference and launched the country-wide counter-revolutionary civil war. In these two and a half years of war, the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government has, in violation of the will of the people, convened a bogus National Assembly, promulgated a bogus constitution, elected a bogus president and issued a bogus decree on the so-called "mobilization for putting down the rebellion"; sold out the national interest wholesale to the U.S. government and received loans amounting to thousands of millions of U.S. dollars; invited the U.S. navy and air force to occupy China's territory and territorial sea and air; signed a large batch of treasonable treaties with the U.S. government and accepted the U.S. Military Advisory Group's participation in China's civil war; and obtained from the U.S. government huge quantities of aircraft, tanks, light and heavy artillery, machine-guns, rifles, shells, bullets and other war matériel for slaughtering the Chinese people. And it was on the basis of these reactionary and traitorous basic policies, domestic and foreign, that the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government ordered millions of troops to launch ruthless attacks on the Chinese People's Liberated Areas and the Chinese People's Liberation Army. All the People's Liberated Areas in eastern China, the Central Plains, northern China, the Northwest and the Northeast were, without exception, trampled upon by the Kuomintang troops. The leading cities in the Liberated Areas, such as Yenan, Changchiakou, Huaiyin, Hotse, Taming, Linyi, Yentai, Chengteh, Szepingkai, Changchun, Kirin and Antung, were all occupied by these bandit troops at one time or another. Wherever they went, they massacred and raped, burned and looted, and stopped at nothing. In the areas under its rule, the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government sucks the life-blood of the broad masses of the people -- the workers, peasants, soldiers, intellectuals and businessmen -- by exacting grain levies, taxes and forced labour for "putting down the rebellion and suppressing the bandits". The reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government deprives the people of all their freedoms and rights; it oppresses all the democratic parties and the people's organizations, denying them their legal status; it suppresses the righteous movement of the students against civil war, hunger and persecution and against U.S. interference in China's internal affairs and U.S. fostering of the forces of aggression in Japan; it floods the country with the bogus national currency and the bogus gold yuan notes, thus ruining the economic life of the people and reducing the broad masses to bankruptcy; and by various means of expropriation it concentrates the greatest part of the nation's wealth in the hands of the bureaucrat-capitalists headed by the four big families of Chiang, Soong, Kung and Chen. In short, the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government has plunged the whole nation into dire suffering by waging a civil war based on its reactionary and traitorous basic policies, domestic and foreign; it absolutely cannot escape full responsibility. In contrast to the Kuomintang, the Communist Party of China did all it could after Japan's surrender to press the Kuomintang government to prevent and stop the civil war and realize domestic peace. Basing itself on this policy, the Communist Party of China struggled steadfastly and, with the support of the people of the whole country, first secured the signing of the Summary of Conversations between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party in October 1945. In January 1946 the Party again signed a truce agreement with the Kuomintang and, in co-operation with the democratic parties, forced the Kuomintang to accept the joint resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference. From then on the Communist Party of China, together with the democratic parties and people's organizations, strove to uphold the agreement and the resolutions. But it is regrettable that the reactionary Kuomintang government showed no respect for any of the actions we took in defence of internal peace and the democratic rights of the people. On the contrary, they were taken as signs of weakness and as beneath notice. The reactionary Kuomintang government thought that the people could be bullied, that the truce agreement and the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference could be torn up at will, that the People's Liberation Army could not withstand even a single blow while its own troops several million strong could overrun the country, and that aid from the U.S. government was inexhaustible. Therefore, the reactionary Kuomintang government had the audacity to violate the will of the people of the whole country and unleash the counterrevolutionary war. In these circumstances, the Communist Party of China had no choice but to rise resolutely against the Kuomintang government's reactionary policies and fight to safeguard the country's independence and the people's democratic rights. Since July 1946, the Communist Party of China has led the heroic People's Liberation Army to repulse the attacks of 4,300,000 troops of the reactionary Kuomintang government and then to go over to the counter-offensive, recover all the lost territories of the Liberated Areas and liberate many large cities, such as Shihchiachuang, Loyang, Tsinan, Chengchow, Kaifeng, Shenyang, Hsuchow and Tangshan. The People's Liberation Army has overcome unparalleled difficulties, grown in strength and equipped itself with huge quantities of arms given to the Kuomintang government by the U.S. government. In two and a half years, it has wiped out the main military forces of the reactionary Kuomintang government and all its crack divisions. Today the People's Liberation Army is superior to the remnant military forces of the reactionary Kuomintang government in numbers, morale and equipment. It is only now that the Chinese people can begin to breathe freely. The present situation is quite clear -- the whole structure of the reactionary Kuomintang regime will crumble and perish if the People's Liberation Army launches a few more powerful attacks against its remnant forces. Having pursued a policy of civil war, the reactionary Kuomintang government is now reaping what it has sown, the masses are in rebellion, its close followers are deserting, and it can no longer maintain itself. In these circumstances, in order to preserve the remnant forces of the Kuomintang government and in order to gain a breathing space before making new onslaughts to destroy the revolutionary forces, Chiang Kai-shek, China's No. I war criminal, chieftain of the Kuomintang bandit gang and bogus president of the Nanking government, advanced the proposal on January 1 of this year that he was willing to hold peace negotiations with the Communist Party of China. The Communist Party of China considers this proposal hypocritical. The reason is that Chiang Kai-shek has proposed as the basis for the peace negotiations such terms as preserving the bogus constitution, preserving the bogus "constituted authority" and preserving the armed forces of reaction, terms which the people throughout the country cannot accept. These are terms for continuing the war, not for peace. In the last ten days the people throughout the country have made their will clear. They eagerly hope for an early peace, but they do not approve the so-called peace of the war criminals, do not approve their reactionary terms. Basing itself on the will of the people, the Communist Party of China declares that although the People's Liberation Army has ample strength and abundant reason to wipe out completely the remnant armed forces of the reactionary Kuomintang government in not too long a period and has full confidence that it can do so, nevertheless, in order to hasten the end of the war, bring about genuine peace and alleviate the people's sufferings, the Communist Party of China is willing to hold peace negotiations with the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government or with any local governments or military groups of the Kuomintang on the basis of the following terms:
(1) Punish the war criminals;
(2) Abolish the bogus constitution;
(3) Abolish the bogus "constituted authority";
(4) Reorganize all reactionary troops on democratic principles;
(5) Confiscate bureaucrat-capital;
(6) Reform the land system;
(7) Abrogate treasonable treaties;
(8) Convene a political consultative conference without the participation of reactionary elements, and form a democratic coalition government to take over all the powers of the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government and of its subordinate governments at all levels.
The Communist Party of China holds that the above terms express the common will of the people throughout the country and that only a peace based on these terms can be called a genuine democratic peace. If the persons in the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government wish to achieve a genuine democratic peace, and not a false reactionary peace, they should give up their reactionary terms and accept the eight terms put forth by the Communist Party of China as the basis for peace negotiations. Otherwise their so-called peace will prove to be nothing but a fraud. We hope that the people throughout the country and all democratic parties and people's organizations will rise to fight for a genuine democratic peace and against a false reactionary peace. The patriots in the Nanking Kuomintang governmental system should also support this peace proposal. Comrade commanders and fighters of the People's Liberation Army, attention! You should not slacken your fighting efforts in the slightest until the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government has accepted a genuine democratic peace and carried it out. Any reactionaries who dare to resist must be resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely annihilated.
1. The eight terms for peace put forward by Comrade Mao Tse-tung in this statement became the basis for the peace negotiations held in April 1949 between the delegation of the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang government delegation headed by Chang Chih-chung. The Agreement on Internal Peace, drafted in the course of these negotiations, set forth concrete provisions for the eight peace terms. For details, see "Order to the Army for the Country-wide Advance", Note 1, pp. 390-96 of this volume.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung