First Published: June 23, 1950
Source: Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Volume V [A]
Transcribed: Maoist Documentation Project
HTML Markup: Roland Ferguson
Closing address at the Second Session of the First National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
The present session has summed up our experience in the past period and laid down various guiding principles.
We have done this work jointly at this gathering of representatives of all the nationalities, democratic classes, democratic parties, people's organizations and democratic personages from every walk of life. Not only have the members of the National Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference taken part in the discussions, many cadres of the Central People's Government and of the people's governments (or military and administrative commissions) of the greater administrative areas, 1 provinces and municipalities as well as representatives from the consultative committees of the provincial and municipal conferences of people from all circles 2 and many specially invited patriotic personages have also sat in and joined the discussions. Thus we have been able to draw together opinions from all quarters, review our past work and set forth guiding principles for the future. I hope that we will continue to use this method and that the people's governments (or military and administrative commissions) of the greater administrative areas, provinces and municipalities will adopt it too. So far our committee sessions have been advisory in nature. But in practice the Central People's Government will as a matter of course adopt and put into effect the decisions made at our sessions, as it should.
We have unanimously approved the report on the work of the National Committee and the various reports on the work of the Central People's Government. These are the reports on agrarian reform, on political, military, economic and financial work, on taxation, culture and education, and on the work of the judiciary. All of them are good. In these reports the experience of our work in the past has been properly summed up and the guiding principles for our work in the future have been laid down. There were many items on the agenda of our session, because work has started or expanded in every field since the founding of our new state. Throughout the country the people are vigorously unfolding a great and genuine people's revolutionary struggle on all fronts, a struggle that is as great as it is unprecedented on the military, economic, ideological and agrarian reform fronts, and the work in every field awaits summing up and needs guiding principles. That is why we had so many items on the agenda. We shall hold two sessions yearly as required by law, one with a full and the other with a less full agenda. This is what we are called on to do, for China is a large country with a population actually exceeding 475 million and, what is more, it finds itself in a historic period of people's revolution. And this is what we have been doing, and I think we have done right.
Our present session had many subjects for discussion, the central one being the question of transforming the old land system. We have endorsed the Draft Agrarian Reform Law 3 proposed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to which we have made a number of useful amendments and supplements. This is fine. I am glad and wish to congratulate the hundreds of millions of new China's rural population on winning the opportunity for emancipation and the nation on winning the basic condition for industrialization. The peasants form the bulk of China's population. It was with their help that victory was won in the revolution, and it is again their help that will make the industrialization of the country possible. Therefore, the working class should actively help the peasants carry out the agrarian reform; the urban petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie should also give their support, and still more so should all the democratic parties and people's organizations. War and agrarian reform are two tests everyone and every political party in China must go through in the historical period of New Democracy. Whoever sides with the revolutionary people is a revolutionary. Whoever sides with imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism is a counter-revolutionary. Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in word only but not in deed is a revolutionary in word. Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a true revolutionary. The test of war is basically over, and we have all come through well, to the satisfaction of the people of the whole country. Now it is the test of agrarian reform that we have to pass, and I hope we shall acquit ourselves just as well as we did in the test of war. Let us give this matter more thought, have more consultation, straighten out our thinking, march in step and form a great anti-feudal united front, and then we shall be able to lead the people and help them pass this test successfully. When the tests of war and agrarian reform are passed, the remaining test will be easy to pass, that is, the test of socialism, of country-wide socialist transformation. As for those who have made contributions in the revolutionary war and in the revolutionary transformation of the land system and who continue to do so in the coming years of economic and cultural construction, the people will not forget them when the time comes for nationalizing private industry and socializing agriculture (which is still quite far off), and they will have a bright future. This is how our country steadily advances; it has passed through the war and is undergoing new-democratic reforms, and in the future it will enter the new era of socialism unhurriedly and with proper arrangements when our economy and culture are flourishing, when conditions are ripe and when the transition has been fully considered and endorsed by the whole nation. I think it is necessary to make this point clear so that people will have confidence and stop worrying: "Don't know when I'll no longer be wanted and be given the chance to serve the people even if I wish to." No, that won't happen. The people and their government have no reason to reject anyone or deny him the opportunity of making a living and rendering service to the country, provided he is really willing to serve the people and provided he really helped and did a good turn when the people were faced with difficulties and keeps on doing good without giving up halfway.
With this great aim in mind, in the international sphere we must firmly unite with the Soviet Union, the People's Democracies and the forces of peace and democracy everywhere, and there should not be the slightest hesitation or wavering on this question. At home, we must unite all the nationalities, democratic classes, democratic parties, people's organizations and patriotic democrats and consolidate the great, prestigious revolutionary united front already in existence. Whoever contributes to the consolidation of this revolutionary united front is doing right, and we welcome him; whoever harms this consolidation is doing wrong, and we oppose him. To consolidate the revolutionary united front, we must use the method of criticism and self-criticism. The main criterion in the application of this method is our present fundamental law -- the Common Programme. We have carried out criticism and self-criticism at this session, basing ourselves on the Common Programme. This is an excellent method, which impels everyone of us to uphold truth and rectify error, and it is the only correct method for all revolutionary people to educate and remould themselves in a people's state. The people's democratic dictatorship uses two methods. Towards the enemy, it uses the method of dictatorship, that is, for as long a period of time as is necessary it does not permit them to take part in political activity and compels them to obey the law of the People's Government, to engage in labour and, through such labour, be transformed into new men. Towards the people, on the contrary, it uses the method of democracy and not of compulsion, that is, it must necessarily let them take part in political activity and does not compel them to do this or that but uses the method of democracy to educate and persuade. Such education is self-education for the people, and its basic method is criticism and self-criticism. I hope that this method will be used by all the nationalities, democratic classes, democratic parties, people's organizations and patriotic democrats in the country.
[A] These volumes were published in India by Kranti Publications, Secunderabad, and Sramikavarga Prachuranalu, Hyderabad. They contain many documents published by the Red Guards and other sources. References are given within regarding sources. Although this material was not officially published by the CPC, we include it here because of its great historical importance. Note by Maoist Documentation Project
1. At that time, the country was divided into six greater administrative areas, namely, the Northeast, North China, East China, the Central South, the Southwest and the Northwest, with a bureau in each representing the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Each of the five areas except North China had its administrative organ. That of the Northeast was called the people's government, while in the other four it was known as the military and administrative commission. In November 1952 these were all renamed administrative councils, and one such council was also established in North China. In 1954 all the administrative councils were abolished.
2. The consultative committees of conferences of people from all circles at the provincial and municipal level were elected by conferences of people from all circles at the same level. When the latter were not in session, the former were charged with the function of assisting the people's governments in carrying out the conferences' resolutions.
3. This refers to the "Draft Agrarian Reform Law of the People's Republic of China". The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party presented the draft to the Second Session of the First National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on June 14, 1950 for discussion. After it had been discussed and endorsed by the session, the Central People's Government Council approved the draft. On June 30 of the same year, Mao Tsetung, Chairman of the Central People's Government, promulgated the "Agrarian Reform Law of the People's Republic of China".