Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
April 25, 1949
The Kuomintang reactionaries have rejected the terms for peace and persist in their stand of waging a criminal war against the nation and the people. The people all over the country hope that the People's Liberation Army will speedily wipe out the Kuomintang reactionaries. We have ordered the People's Liberation Army to advance courageously, wipe out all reactionary Kuomintang troops who dare to resist, arrest all the incorrigible war criminals, liberate the people of the whole country, safeguard China's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, and bring about the genuine unification of the country, which the whole people long for. We earnestly hope that people in all walks of life will assist the People's Liberation Army wherever it goes. We hereby proclaim the following eight-point covenant by which we, together with the whole people, shall abide.
1. Protect the lives and property of all the people. People in all walks of life, irrespective of class, belief or occupation, are expected to maintain order and adopt a co-operative attitude towards the People's Liberation Army. The People's Liberation Army on its part will adopt a co-operative attitude towards people in all walks of life. Counter-revolutionaries or other saboteurs who seize the opportunity to create disturbances, loot or sabotage shall be severely dealt with.
2. Protect the industrial, commercial, agricultural and livestock enterprises of the national bourgeoisie. All privately owned factories, shops, banks, warehouses, vessels, wharves, farms, livestock farms and other enterprises will without exception be protected against any encroachment. It is hoped that workers and employees in all occupations will maintain production as usual and that all shops will remain open as usual.
3. Confiscate bureaucrat-capital. All factories, shops, banks and warehouses, all vessels, wharves and railways, all postal, telegraph, electric light, telephone and water supply services, and all farms, livestock farms and other enterprises operated by the reactionary Kuomintang government and the big bureaucrats shall be taken over by the People's Government. In such enterprises the private shares held by national capitalists engaged in industry, commerce, agriculture or livestock raising shall be recognized, after their ownership is verified. All personnel working in bureaucrat-capitalist enterprises must remain at their posts pending the take-over by the People's Government and must assume responsibility for the safekeeping of all assets, machinery, charts, account books, records, etc., in preparation for the check-up and take-over. Those who render useful service in this connection will be rewarded; those who obstruct or sabotage will be punished. Those desiring to go on working after the take-over by the People's Government will be given employment commensurate with their abilities so that they will not become destitute and homeless.
4. Protect all public and private schools, hospitals, cultural and educational institutions, athletic fields and other public welfare establishments. It is hoped that all personnel in these institutions will remain at their posts; the People's Liberation Army will protect them from molestation.
5. Except for the incorrigible war criminals and counter-revolutionaries who have committed the most heinous crimes, the People's Liberation Army and the People's Government will not hold captive, arrest or subject to indignity any officials, whether high or low, in the Kuomintang's central, provincial, municipal and county governments, deputies to the "National Assembly", members of the Legislative and Control Yuans, members of the political consultative councils, police officers and district, township, village and pao-chia officials, so long as they do not offer armed resistance or plot sabotage. All these persons are enjoined, pending the take-over, to stay at their posts, abide by the orders and decrees of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Government and assume responsibility for the safekeeping of all the assets and records of their offices. The People's Government will permit the employment of those among them who can make themselves useful in some kind of work and have not committed any grave reactionary act or other flagrant misdeed. Punishment shall be meted out to those who seize the opportunity to engage in sabotage, theft or embezzlement, or abscond with public funds, assets or records, or refuse to give an accounting.
6. In order to ensure peace and security in both cities and rural areas and to maintain public order, all stragglers and disbanded soldiers are required to report and surrender to the People's Liberation Army or the People's Government in their localities. No action will be taken against those who voluntarily do so and hand over their arms. Those who refuse to report or who conceal their arms shall be arrested and investigated. Persons who shelter stragglers and disbanded soldiers and do not report them to the authorities shall be duly punished.
7. The feudal system of landownership in the rural areas is irrational and should be abolished. To abolish it, however, preparations must be made and the necessary steps taken. Generally speaking, the reduction of rent and interest should come first and land distribution later; only after the People's Liberation Army has arrived at a place and worked there for a considerable time will it be possible to speak of solving the land problem in earnest. The peasant masses should organize themselves and help the People's Liberation Army to carry out the various initial reforms. They should also work hard at their farming so as to prevent the present level of agricultural production from falling and should then raise it step by step to improve their own livelihood and supply the people of the cities with commodity grain. Urban land and buildings cannot be dealt with in the same way as the problem of rural land.
8. Protect the lives and property of foreign nationals. It is hoped that all foreign nationals will follow their usual pursuits and observe order. All foreign nationals must abide by the orders and decrees of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Government and must not engage in espionage, act against the cause of China's national independence and the people's liberation, or harbour Chinese war criminals, counter-revolutionaries or other law-breakers. Otherwise, they shall be dealt with according to law by the People's Liberation Army and the People's Government.
The People's Liberation Army is highly disciplined; it is fair in buying and selling and is not allowed to take even a needle or a piece of thread from the people. It is hoped that the people throughout the country will live and work in peace and will not give credence to rumours or raise false alarms. This proclamation is hereby issued in all sincerity and earnestness.
Chairman of the Chinese People's Revolutionary Military Commission
Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
1. Pao chia was the administrative system by which the Kuomintang reactionary clique enforced its fascist rule at the primary level. On August 1, 1932, Chiang Kai-shek promulgated the "Regulations for the Organization of Pao and Chia and for a Population Census in the Counties" covering the provinces of Honan, Hupeh and Anhwei. The "Regulations" provided that "the pao and chia are to be organized on the basis of households; there is to be a head of each household, of each chia, which is made up of ten households, and of each pao, which is made up of ten chia". Neighbours were required to watch and report each other's activities to the authorities, and all were punishable when one was found guilty; various counter-revolutionary measures for exacting compulsory labour were also laid down. On November 7, 1934, the Kuomintang government officially announced that this system of fascist rule was to be established in all the provinces and municipalities under its rule.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung