Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


February 18, 1951

[Inner-Party circular drafted for the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.]

The Political Bureau convened a meeting in mid-February at which responsible comrades from the bureaus of the Central Committee were present and various important questions were discussed. We herewith notify you of the main points of the resolution.


The idea of "three years for preparation and ten years for planned economic construction" must be made clear to all cadres from the provincial and municipal level upwards. Counting from now, we have twenty-two months left for making preparations and so we must step up our work in all fields.


Persistent efforts must be made to push this campaign throughout the country, to deepen it where it is already under way and spread it where it is not, so as to make sure that this education reaches everyone in every part of the country.


1. During the busy farming season, agrarian reform in every place should stop for a while and experience should be summed up.

2. Strive for a good harvest this year.

3. Rely on the county conferences of peasant representatives and on the training classes.

4. Work hard to prepare the necessary conditions. Whenever and wherever they are not ripe, don't force the agrarian reform through.

5. As soon as agrarian reform is completed, switch over to the two major tasks of production and education.

6. East China's method of returning security money in instalments [1] is approved.

7. Persuade the peasants that it is to our advantage to refrain from using torture, which is illegal.

8. After the agrarian reform establish more districts and townships and reduce the area under the jurisdiction of each district and township.


1. As a general rule, before passing a death sentence, refer the case to the masses and consult democratic personages.

2. Exercise strict control, guard against indiscriminate action and avoid mistakes.

3. Pay attention to the "middle layer", [2] and carefully weed out counter-revolutionaries hiding among the old personnel and among the intellectuals recently drawn into our work.

4. Pay attention to the "inner layer", carefully weed out counter-revolutionaries who have sneaked into the Party, and strengthen to the maximum our work of safeguarding secret information.

5. In addition, give education to the cadres and back them up in their work.


1. Every bureau and sub-bureau of the Central Committee and every Party committee at the level of province, municipality and administrative region must call two meetings on urban work during the year with the agenda set by the Central Committee and report twice on this subject to the Central Committee.

2. Strengthen the leadership of the Party committees over urban work and carry out the resolution adopted at the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee.

3. Educate the cadres so that they are clear in their minds about relying on the working class.

4. In factories, the Party should exercise unified leadership over the work of the Party organization, the management, the trade union and the Youth League, with the fulfilment of production plans as the central task.

5. Strive for a gradual improvement in the workers' living conditions on the basis of increased production.

6. The idea of serving the needs of production and of the workers should permeate the planning of urban construction.

7. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the higher levels of each trade union should lay stress on solving the specific problems of the lower levels.

8. Party committees and trade unions should make a point of creating models and promptly spread their experience to other places.


1. Ours is a Party that is great, glorious and correct; this is the principal aspect which must be affirmed and made clear to cadres at all levels. However, it must also be made clear to them that there are problems which have to be straightened out and that in the new liberated areas a prudent attitude should be adopted towards Party building.

2. The consolidation and building of the Party should proceed under the strict control of the Central Committee and its bureaus, and organizations at lower levels must in no case act as they please.

3. The consolidation of the Party should be accomplished in three years. The steps to be taken are as follows. Devote one year (1951) to extensive education on what is required of a Communist, so that the entire membership will know the standards a Communist should live up to, and to the training of personnel for organizational work. At the same time experiment with typical units to serve as models. Then in the light of the experience gained, proceed with consolidation; in cities, however, this can start in 1951. In Party consolidation, first clear out the "persons in the fourth category". [3] Then differentiate between the "persons in the second category" and the "persons in the third category", and persuade those who, after education, are still not up to the standards of Party membership to withdraw from the Party, but make sure that they withdraw of their own free will and that their feelings are not hurt. Don't repeat the practice of "removing rocks" [4] as in 1948.

4. A policy of prudence must be adopted in building the Party in the cities and the new liberated areas. In the cities Party organizations should be set up primarily among the industrial workers. In the rural areas it is only after the completion of the agrarian reform that Party branches can be set up by admitting those who prove themselves qualified for Party membership as a result of education, and for the first two years the membership of a rural Party branch should in general not exceed ten. In city and countryside alike, education on how to be a Communist should be conducted among activists who are ready to receive it, and after such education those really qualified for Party membership should be admitted.


1. The bureaus and sub-bureaus of the Central Committee and Party committees at the level of province, municipality and administrative region are required to call two meetings in 1951 to discuss united front work and report twice on this subject to the Central Committee.

2. It must be made clear to the cadres why our united front work needs to be strengthened.

3. It is necessary to unite intellectuals, industrialists and businessmen, leading religious figures, the democratic parties and democratic personages on the basis of the struggle against imperialism and feudalism and to carry out education among them.

4. Work conscientiously among the minority nationalities, the two central tasks being to push for regional autonomy and to train cadres from these nationalities.


This movement should be carried out once every winter for a short period; the aim is to review our work, sum up experience, enhance achievements and overcome mistakes and shortcomings, and thus educate the cadres.


1. Before liberation the peasants who rented land from the landlords had to pay a considerable sum of security money in advance for their tenancy. During the agrarian reform the peasants demanded reimbursement of this money by the landlords, and this was known as the return of security money. Those landlords who were also running industrial and commercial enterprises or who were unable to repay the sum all at once were allowed to return it in instalments.

2. In the work of suppressing counter-revolutionaries, there are three layers to be swept clean, the outer, middle and inner layers. To sweep clean the "outer layer" refers to uncovering counter-revolutionaries lying low in society at large; to sweep clean the "middle layer" refers to uncovering counter-revolutionaries low in our army units and government organizations; and to sweep clean the "inner layer" refers to uncovering counter-revolutionaries lying low in our Party.

3. During the 1951 Party consolidation, Party members were classified into four categories: first, those who were qualified members; second, those who were not fully qualified or had fairly serious shortcomings and who had to be remoulded and to raise their political consciousness; third, inactive and backward elements who did not measure up to the standards for Party membership; and fourth alien class elements, renegades, political speculators and degenerates who had hidden in the Party.

4. "Removing rocks" was advocated by Liu Shao-chi in 1948 during the agrarian reform and Party consolidation in the liberated areas. He maligned large numbers of rural cadres as "rocks" weighing down on the peasants and wanted to have them removed from their posts and expelled from the Party.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung