Mao Tse Tung
Quotations from Mao Tse Tung

9. The People's Army


Without a People's army, the people have nothing.

"On Coalition Government" (April 24, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III, pp. 296-97.

This army is powerful because all its members have a conscious discipline; they have come together and they fight not for the private interests of a few individuals or a narrow clique, but for the interests of the broad masses and of the whole nation. The sole purpose of this army is to stand firmly with the Chinese people and to serve them whole-heartedly.

Ibid. p. 264.*

The Chinese Red Army is an armed body for carrying out the political tasks of the revolution. Especially at present, the Red Army should certainly not confine itself to fighting; besides fighting to destroy the enemy's military strength, it should shoulder such important tasks as doing propaganda among the masses, organizing the masses, arming them, helping them to establish revolutionary political power and setting up Party organizations. The Red Army fights not merely for the sake of fighting but in order to conduct propaganda among the masses, organize them, arm them, and help them to establish revolutionary political power. Without these objectives, fighting loses its meaning and the Red Army loses the reason for its existence.

"On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party" (December 1929), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 106.*

The People's Liberation Army is always a fighting force. Even after countrywide victory, our army will remain a fighting force during the historical period in which classes have not been abolished in our country and the imperialist system still exists in the world. On this point, there should be no misunderstanding or wavering.

"Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China" (March 5, 1949), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 362.

We have an army for fighting as well as an army for labour. For fighting, we have the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies but even they do a dual job, warfare and production. With these two kinds of armies, and with a fighting army skilled in these two tasks and in mass work, we can overcome our difficulties and defeat Japanese imperialism.

"Get Organized!" (November 29,), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 153.

Our national defense will be consolidated and no imperialist will be allowed to invade our territory again. Our People's armed forces must be maintained and developed with the brave and steeled People's Liberation Army as their foundation. We will have not only a powerful army but also a powerful air force and a powerful navy.

Opening address at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (September 21, 1949).

Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.

"Problems of War and Strategy" (November 6, 1938), Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 224.

All our officers and fighters must always bear in mind that we are the great People's Liberation Army, we are the troops led by the great Communist Party of China. Provided we constantly observe the directives of the Party, we are sure to win.

"Manifesto of the Chinese People's Liberation Army" (October 1947), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 152.


Chapter 10: Leadership of Party Committees