Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


January 28, 1949


The Central News Agency of the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government reported in a dispatch dated January 26:

A Government spokesman made the following statement. In the past month the Government has taken various measures and steps for an early conclusion of the war in order to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Furthermore, on the 22nd of this month, the Government formally appointed a delegation [1] to the peace negotiations. During the last few days, the Government has only been waiting for the Communist Party of China to appoint its delegation and agree on a meeting place so that the negotiations may proceed. But in the statement broadcast from northern Shensi by the Hsinhua News Agency on the 25th, [2] a spokesman for the Communist Party of China, while indicating willingness to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Government, resorted to unbridled insults and vilification and used absurd and offensive language. He also said that the place for the negotiations could not be fixed until Peiping was completely liberated. We should like to ask, if the Communist Party of China, on the pretext of awaiting the so-called complete liberation of Peiping, does not immediately appoint its delegation and agree on a meeting place and furthermore does not stop military operations, is it not stalling for time and prolonging the disaster of war? One should know that the hope of the people of the whole country to put an end to the disaster of war brooks no delay. To demonstrate its profound sincerity, the Government once again expresses the wish that the Communist Party of China will clearly realize that the salvation of the people should be the primary consideration today and that it will therefore appoint a delegation to the negotiations as soon as possible, so that peace can be realized at an early date.

In another dispatch dated January 26, Nanking's Central News Agency reported from Shanghai:

Following a review of his case on the 26th by the National Defence Ministry's Military Court for the Trial of War Criminals, the Japanese war criminal General Yasuji Okamura, former Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces in China, was declared not guilty at 4 o'clock this afternoon by Shih Mei-yu, the president of the court. The atmosphere in the courtroom was tense. Okamura, standing at attention, smiled a little on hearing the verdict.

In view of the above, the spokesman for the Communist Party of China makes the following statement:

1. The Communist Party of China and the General Headquarters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army declare that it is impermissible for the Military Court for the Trial of War Criminals set up by the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government to return a verdict of "not guilty" on the Japanese war criminal General Yasuji Okamura, former Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces in China and the arch-criminal among all war criminals in the Japanese Expeditionary Forces of aggression against China.[3] The Chinese people, after untold human and material sacrifices during the eight years of the War of Resistance Against Japan, finally won victory and captured this war criminal, and they will never allow the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government arbitrarily to declare him not guilty. The people of the whole country, all the democratic parties and people's organizations and also the patriots in the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang governmental system must rise at once to oppose the criminal act of that government in betraying the national interests and collaborating with the Japanese fascist militarists. We hereby give a serious warning to the gentlemen of the reactionary Nanking government. You must re-arrest Yasuji Okamura immediately and return him to prison without fail. This matter is closely related to your request for negotiations with us. We hold that all your present actions are an attempt to use fake peace negotiations to cover up your new preparations for war, which include your conspiracy to induce Japanese reactionaries to come to China and join you in massacring the Chinese people; it is exactly for this purpose that you have set Yasuji Okamura free. Therefore, we absolutely will not permit you to do it. We have the right to order you to re-arrest Yasuji Okamura and be responsible for turning him over to the People's Liberation Army at a time and place to be specified by us. As to the other Japanese war criminals, they are to be in your temporary custody, pending further instructions, and you must not take it upon yourselves to release any of them or let any escape; those of you who disobey will be severely punished.

2. We have learned from the January 26 statement of the spokesman for the reactionary Nanking Kuomintang government that you gentlemen of Nanking are all so very tense, eager, solicitous and anxious about peace negotiations, all, it is said, for the sake of "shortening the duration of the war", "alleviating the sufferings of the people" and "treating the salvation of the people as the primary consideration"; we have also learned that you feel that the Communist Party of China is so very untense, uneager, unsolicitous and unanxious in its response to your wish and "furthermore does not stop military operations" and is in reality "stalling for time and prolonging the disaster of war". We tell you gentlemen of Nanking frankly: you are war criminals, you will be brought to trial. We have no faith in your mouthings about "peace" or "the will of the people". You relied on the power of the United States, violated the will of the people, tore up the truce agreement and the resolutions of the Political Consultative Conference and launched this most ruthless, anti-popular, anti-democratic, counter-revolutionary civil war. You were then so tense, eager, solicitous and anxious that you would not listen to advice from anybody. And when you convened a bogus National Assembly, drew up a bogus constitution, elected a bogus president and promulgated a bogus decree of "mobilization for putting down the rebellion", you were again so tense, eager, solicitous and anxious about it all that again you would not listen to advice from anybody. At that time in Shanghai, Nanking and other major cities, the so-called consultative councils, chambers of commerce, trade unions, peasant associations, women's organizations and cultural organizations, all of which are either run by your government or serve as your tools, kicked up such a fuss about "supporting the mobilization for putting down the rebellion" and "annihilating the Communist bandits" and once again were so tense, eager, solicitous and anxious about it all that they would not listen to advice from anybody. Two and a half years have now passed, and during this period the number of people slaughtered by you has run into many millions, and the villages burned down, the women raped and the wealth plundered by you, as well as the lives and property destroyed by your air force, are beyond count; you have committed heinous crimes, and we must settle accounts with you. We hear that you are quite opposed to the struggle for settling accounts. But this time there is good cause for the struggle to settle accounts, there must be an accounting, there must be a settlement, there must be a fight, there must be a struggle. You are defeated. You have enraged the people. And the people have all risen against you in a life-and-death struggle. The people do not like you, the people condemn you, the people have risen, and you are isolated; that is why you have been defeated. You proposed five terms [4] for peace negotiations and we proposed eight; [5] the people at once gave their support to our eight terms, not to your five. You don't dare to rebut our eight terms or insist upon your five. You declare that you are willing to take our eight terms as the basis for the negotiations. Isn't that fine? Then why not hurry up and negotiate? So it seems that you are very tense, eager, solicitous and anxious and that you are very much for "unconditional cessation of hostilities", for "shortening the duration of the war", for "alleviating the sufferings of the people" and for "treating the salvation of the people as the primary consideration". And we? We, obviously, are not tense, not eager, not solicitous nor anxious and we are "stalling for time and prolonging the disaster of war". But wait a moment, gentlemen of Nanking. We are going to be tense, eager, solicitous and anxious; the duration of the war will surely be shortened; and the sufferings of the people will surely be alleviated. Since you have already agreed to our eight terms as the basis for the negotiations, you and we are both going to be busy. The carrying out of these eight terms will keep you, us, all the democratic parties, people's organizations and people in all walks of life through out the country busy for several months, half a year, a whole year, or several years -- perhaps even then we shall not have finished the job! Listen, gentlemen of Nanking! The eight terms are not abstract items, they must have concrete content; during the present short period it is important for everybody to do some thinking, and the people will forgive us a little delay. To speak frankly, the opinion of the people is that we should prepare well for these negotiations. There will certainly be negotiations, and it absolutely will not be permitted that anyone break them off in the middle and refuse to negotiate. Therefore your delegates must get ready to come. But we still need some time to complete our preparations and we will not allow war criminals to set the date of the negotiations for us. We and the people of Peiping are now doing an important job; we are working out a peaceful settlement of the Peiping question on the basis of the eight terms. Your men in Peiping, such as General Fu Tso-yi, are also participating in this work, which you admitted to be proper in the communiqué of your news agency.[6] This will not only provide a place for the peace negotiations, but will set an example of peaceful settlement for Nanking, Shanghai, Wuhan, Sian, Taiyuan, Kueisui, Lanchow, Tihua, Chengtu, Kunming, Changsha, Nanchang, Hangchow, Foochow, Canton, Taiwan, Hainan Island, etc. This work is therefore praiseworthy, and you gentlemen of Nanking should not adopt a casual attitude towards it. We are now discussing with the democratic parties, people's organizations and the democrats without party affiliation in both our areas and yours the problem of drawing up a list of war criminals and working out the concrete details of the first of our eight terms. It will probably not be long before this list is officially issued. Gentlemen of Nanking, as you know, we have not yet had time to discuss such a list with the democratic parties and people's organizations and officially publish it. For this we beg your pardon. The reason for the delay is that your request for peace negotiations came a little late. Had it come earlier, our preparations might have been completed by now. But this does not mean you have nothing to do. Besides arresting the Japanese war criminal Yasuji Okamura, you must at once set about arresting a batch of civil war criminals and, first of all, those in Nanking, Shanghai, Fenghua and Taiwan who were among the forty-three war criminals listed in the statement by an authoritative person in the Communist Party of China on December 25, 1948. The most important among them are Chiang Kai-shek, T. V. Soong, Chen Cheng, Ho Ying-chin, Ku Chu-tung, Chen Li-fu, Chen Kuo-fu, Chu Chia-hua, Wang Shih-chieh, Wu Kuo-chen, Tai Chuan-hsien, Tang En-po, Chou Chih-jou, Wang Shu-ming and Kuei Yung-ching. [7] Of particular importance is Chiang Kai-shek, who has now fled to Fenghua [8] and will very likely flee abroad and seek the protection of U.S. or British imperialism; therefore, you must quickly arrest this criminal and not let him escape. You shall assume full responsibility for this matter. Should there be any escapes, you shall be punished for the crime of setting bandits free, and no leniency whatsoever shall be shown. Let no one say he has not been warned. We hold that only by arresting these war criminals will one do a serious job in shortening the duration of the war and alleviating the people's sufferings. As long as the war criminals are at large, the duration of the war will be lengthened and the sufferings of the people will be aggravated.

3. We demand that the reactionary Nanking government reply to the above two points.

4. Nanking will be notified at another time concerning the preparations both sides should make in connection with the remainder of the eight terms.


1. The delegation appointed by the reactionary Kuomintang government for the peace negotiations consisted of Shao Li-tse, Chang Chih-chung, Huang Shao-hung, Peng Chao-hsien and Chung Tien-hsin.

2. On January 25, 1949, a spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party pointed out in his statement concerning the peace negotiations: "We have permitted the reactionary Nanking government to send a delegation for peace negotiations with us not because we recognize that government as still qualified to represent the Chinese people, but because it still has some remnants of the reactionary armed forces. If that government feels that it has completely forfeited the people's confidence and that the remnants of its reactionary armed forces are unable to resist the powerful People's Liberation Army and if that government is willing to accept the eight terms for peace proposed by the Chinese Communist Party, then it is of course preferable and beneficial to the cause of the liberation of the people to settle the matter by negotiations, so as to lessen the people's sufferings." As to the meeting place, the statement said, "It can be decided only after the complete liberation of Peiping and will probably be Peiping." As to the Nanking delegates, it stated, "Pen" Chao-hsien is one of the key figures of the Kuomintang CC clique, which has been most vehemently clamouring for war, and people consider him a war criminal; the Chinese Communist Party cannot receive such a delegate."

3. Yasuji Okamura was one of the Japanese war criminals with the longest and blackest record of crimes of aggression against China. From 1925 to 1927, he was military adviser to Sun Chuan-fang, one of the Northern warlords. In 1928, as commanding officer of a Japanese infantry regiment, he took part in the war in which Japan attacked and seized Tsinan and was the butcher in the Tsinan Massacre. In 1932 he served as deputy chief of staff of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces which attacked and occupied Shanghai. In 1933 he represented the Japanese government at the signing of the "Tangku Agreement" with the traitorous Kuomintang government. From 1937 to 1945, he was successively the Commander of Japan's 11th Corps, Northern China Front Army and 6th Front Army and the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces in China. He enforced the extremely brutal policy of "burn all, kill all, loot all" in China. He was among the chief Japanese war criminals on the list published at Yenan in August 1945. During the People's War of Liberation he was Chiang Kai-shek's secret military adviser and planned Chiang's attacks on the Liberated Areas. In January 1949 he was declared not guilty and set free by the reactionary Kuomintang government and returned to Japan. In 1950 he accepted Chiang Kai-shek's offer of the post of senior training officer in the so-called Research Institute of Revolutionary Practice. Since 1955 he has organized ex-servicemen of the Japanese army and navy into the "League of Comrades in Arms" (later called the League of Retired Comrades in Arms) and has played a vigorous role in the reactionary activities to revive Japanese militarism.

4. The "five terms" proposed by the reactionary Kuomintang government for the peace negotiations were put forward in Chiang Kai-shek's statement on New Year's Day, 1949. They were: 1. The peace negotiations "should not impair the country's independence and integrity". 2. The peace negotiations "should help the rehabilitation of the people". 3. "The sacred constitution should not be violated by my action and democratic constitutionalism should not be thereby undermined; the form of government of the Republic of China should be guaranteed and the legally constituted authority of the Republic of China should not be interrupted". 4. "The armed forces should be definitely preserved". 5. "The people should be allowed to continue their free way of life and maintain their present minimum standard of living". Comrade Mao Tse-tung promptly and sternly refuted these five terms. See "On the War Criminal's Suing for Peace", pp. 309-13 of this volume.

5. The "eight terms" proposed by the Communist Party of China for the peace negotiations were put forward in Comrade Mao Tse-tung's statement of January 14, 1949, on the current situation. See "Statement on the Present Situation by Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China", pp. 315-19 of this volume.

6. According to a Kuomintang Central News Agency dispatch dated January 27, 1949, the Ministry of National Defence of the Nanking government stated: "In northern China, in order to shorten the war, secure peace and thereby preserve the foundations of the ancient capital, Peiping, and its cultural objects and historic monuments, Commander-in-Chief Fu Tso-yi issued a proclamation on January 22 to the effect that hostilities were to cease as from 10 o'clock that day. On orders from General Headquarters, the bulk of our troops in Peiping have withdrawn from the city limits to certain designated areas." It further stated, "Cessation of hostilities will be effected also in Suiyuan and Tatung."

7. T. V. Soong, a plutocrat of the Kuomintang regime, had served as minister of finance, president of the Executive Yuan, minister of foreign affairs and special emissary of the Kuomintang government in the United States. Chen Cheng, formerly chief of the general staff, was then the Kuomintang governor of Taiwan Province. Ho Ying-chin had been the Kuomintang's chief of the general staff and minister of national defence. Ku Chu-tung was then chief of the general staff of the Kuomintang army. Chen Li-fu, Chen Kuo-fu and Chu Chia-hua were all chieftains of the Kuomintang CC clique. Wang Shih-chieh had been Kuomintang minister of foreign affairs. Wu Kuo-chen was the Kuomintang mayor of Shanghai. Tai Chuan-hsien, also known as Tai Chi-tao, had long been a member of Chiang Kai-shek's "brain trust" and was then a member of the Standing Committee of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee. Tang En-po was commander-in-chief of the Kuomintang garrison forces in the Nanking-Shanghai-Hangchow area. Chou Chih-jou was commander-in-chief of the Kuomintang's air force. Wang Shu-ming was deputy commander-in-chief and chief of staff of the air force. Kuei Yung-ching was commander-in-chief of the Kuomintang navy.

8. A county in Chekiang Province, the birthplace of Chiang Kai-shek.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung