Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
April 1, 1969
[SOURCE: Mao Chu-hsi wen-hsun.]
Comrades! The Ninth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is now in session (Long and enthusiastic applause. Delegates shout: ‘Long live Chairman Mao! A long, long life to Chairman Mao!’):
I hope that this will be a good congress, a congress of unity, a congress of victory (enthusiastic applause and cheers).
Since the foundation of our Party in 1921, forty-eight years have already passed by. At the First Congress there were only twelve delegates. Two of them are here. One is Old Tung [Pi-wu] and one is me (enthusiastic applause). Quite a few have sacrificed their lives: the Shantung delegates Wang Chin-mei and Teng En-ming, the Hupei delegate Ch’en T’an-ch’iu, the Hunan delegate Ho Shu-heng, the Shanghai delegate Li Han-chun — all these laid down their lives, while four others rebelled and became traitors: Ch’en Kung-po, Chou Fo-hai, Chang Kuo-t’ao and Liu Jen-ch’ing. The latter two are still alive. There was another delegate called Li Ta who died two years ago. At that time there were only a few dozen party members in the whole country and the majority of these were intellectuals. Later the Party developed. The number of delegates attending the First, Second, Third and Fourth Congresses was very small, from ten to twenty or from twenty to thirty. The Fifth Congress was held in Wuhan. The number of delegates was somewhat larger, several hundred. The Sixth Congress was held in Moscow. There were several dozen delegates, Comrade En-lai and Comrade [Liu] Po-ch’eng participated. The Seventh Congress was held in Yenan. It was a congress of unity, for there were divisions in the Party then too, caused by the mistakes of Ch’ü Ch’iu-pai, Li Li-san and Wang Ming — especially the Wang Ming Line. There were those who were against the election to the Central Committee of comrades who followed the Wang Ming Line. We did not agree and persuaded people to elect their delegates. The result? The result was that there were only a few who were no good. Wang Ming fled abroad to oppose us. Li! Li-san was also no good. Chang Wen-t’ien and Wang Chia-hsiang committed mistakes. There were only these few. As for the rest of them, such as Liu Shao-ch’i, P’eng Chen and Po I-po, we did not know that they were bad. We were not clear about their political history.
From the Eighth Congress up to now we have become more clear about them. We are clearer about their political line, their organizational line, and their ideology. Therefore we hope that this Congress will become a congress of unity (enthusiastic applause and cheers). Can we win victory on the basis of this unity? Can this Congress become a congress of victory? After the Congress, can we win still greater victories throughout the country? I think we can. I think this will be a congress of unity and a congress of victory (enthusiastic applause). After the Congress we can win still greater victories throughout the country. (Prolonged enthusiastic applause and shouts of ‘Long live Chairman Mao! A long, long life to Chairman Mao! May Chairman Mao live for ever!’).
[1.] Ch’en Kung-po (1892-1946) left the Chinese Communist Party shortly after its foundation, and joined the Kuomintang, becoming a close associate of Wang Ching-wei. He participated in Wang’s Japanese-sponsored puppet government during the period 1939-45, and was executed for treason in 1946. Chou Fo-hai also collaborated with the Japanese.
[2.] Chang Kuo-t’ao, see note 12 on p. 80 of this volume.
[3.] Liu Jen-ch’ing was a delegate of the Peking Communists at the First Congress.
[4.] Li Ta (c. 1891-1967) soon left the Chinese Communist Party but cooperated with it episodically. In his last years, though he had not rejoined the Party, he was president of Wuhan University. He died on 24 August 1967 as a result of Red Guard persecution. According to Wuhan radio, he had sent a personal appeal to Mao to save him, Mao had responded favourably, but his message ‘not to Kill Li Ta by persecution’ had been intercepted by the local Party leader.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung