Zhou Enlai bust
by Li Shouren and Liu Lin



Zhou Enlai

Frustrate the Enemy's Scheme for a Sham Peace Campaign

Written: July 27, 1948
First Published: 1981 (English translation)
Source: Selected Works of Zhou Enlai, Volume 1
Online Version: Zhou Enlai Internet Archive, December 2001-January 2002
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Roland Ferguson

July 27, 1948 [A], (1)

1. As victory in the People's War of Liberation is approaching, the classes, political parties and groups, popular organizations, and individuals in Kuomintang areas are all considering their future. Many progressives and left-leaning centrists have given support to the proposal for a new Political Consultative Conference, (2) which was put forward in our Party's May Day slogans. However, at the instigation of the U.S. imperialist chieftains and with their encouragement, quite a few factions and individuals in the reactionary Kuomintang ruling clique have initiated a sham peace campaign. Their purpose is to make use of the illusions about peace still held by a section of the people in the Kuomintang areas and to stage a coup when Chiang's forces suffer more defeats and the situation becomes more precarious for the Kuomintang. In appearance, they will abandon Chiang Kai-shek, declare a cease-fire and call for peace talks, but in reality they will try to gain a breathing spell for the reactionary Kuomintang ruling clique as a whole. In this way, they hope their troops, rested and consolidated, will eventually make a comeback and destroy the people's forces. Many local warlords and politicians, headed by Li Zongren, (3) have joined in these activities and are attempting to remove Chiang Kai-shek and take power themselves. A number of right-wingers of the middle group are also attempting to overthrow Chiang and to seize power and positions in the hope of limiting the scope of the Chinese revolution to suit their needs and avoiding thorough changes. In addition, there are some people who are really naive enough to dream of a peace following the fall of Chiang and who still cherish illusions about the U.S. imperialists and about Li Zongren and the right-wingers of the middle group. As for Chiang Kai-shek and his die-hard followers, they will put up a last-ditch struggle and will not step down so long as they have even a single alternative open to them. Therefore, in addition to the revolutionary war and the people's anti-U.S., anti-Chiang movement, there is an increasingly complex trend of events. Last October the Central Committee called your attention to the possible development of such a situation and asked you to prepare the masses for it. Now this work has to be accelerated. You must understand that the peace hoax being played by the U.S. imperialists and some of the Kuomintang reactionaries is harmful to the revolution because it can deceive the masses. On the other hand, however, the activities aimed at overthrowing Chiang reveal a major split in the reactionary Kuomintang ruling clique. Even if Chiang is brought down in a coup, those who have plotted against him will have no magic up their sleeves by which to save the reactionaries from their doom, but can only hasten the disintegration and collapse of the Kuomintang. That would only benefit the revolution.

2. You should watch the situation closely, and, as it changes, expose this scheme of the U.S. imperialists and Chinese reactionaries to the people and to the democratic parties and personages. To rid them of their illusions about a peace after Chiang's overthrow, you should take pains to be convincing in your analysis of the aims of this scheme and its inherent dangers, and not go about it in a sweeping or arbitrary fashion. At the same time, a distinction should be made between the peace scheme involving the overthrow of Chiang-- that is, the scheme devised within the reactionary ruling clique-- and the peace demands of the people and the democratic personages, which are different in nature. If the latter confuse their demands with the schemes of the former, they will be hoodwinked by the reactionaries and the progress of the revolution will be impeded. If the latter strictly distinguish their demands from the schemes of the former, they will be able to make use of the splits within the reactionary ruling clique and turn them to advantage for progress and victory in the revolution. Therefore, in the Kuomintang areas you should not take a stance of blanket opposition to peace campaigns or attempts by certain people to overthrow Chiang but, instead, should make use of the activities aimed at overthrowing Chiang to split the reactionary ruling clique. This will help us to destroy the reactionaries one by one and pave the way for turning the sham peace campaign of the enemy into a genuine peace movement of the people. In other words, among the masses or at gatherings of democratic personages, if the peace schemes of the reactionaries and the peace demands of the people are still intertwined, we should not be afraid to face the issue, but rather should play an active role, lead the people and uphold their revolutionary demands for peace, democracy and independence, thereby pinpointing and exposing the schemes of the reactionaries. Meanwhile, when the anti-Chiang Kuomintang factions which are attempting to stage a coup seek to negotiate with us, we should not refuse to negotiate with them. Then, once the coup is actually set in motion within the reactionary ruling clique, we will be ready to turn the deceptive slogans of the enemy into action slogans of the masses. These will include slogans demanding civil liberties, guarantees of basic livelihood, the arrest of war criminals, the disbanding of Chiang's troops, abrogation of the bogus constitution and National Assembly, the cessation of U.S. aid, withdrawal of U.S. troops, confiscation of bureaucrat-capital, realization of agrarian reform, etc. We should demand all this from those who replace Chiang but who remain lackeys of the United States, so as to promote an upsurge in the people's revolutionary movement in co-ordination with the coming national victory of the people's revolutionary war. Only by so doing will we be able to force those who are anti-U.S. and anti-Chiang in words -- that is, the right-wingers of the middle group -- to reveal themselves in deeds. They will either have to follow our Party forward or betray their hypocrisy and discredit themselves in the eyes of the people. But you must take care to unite with these right-wingers and encourage them to go forward -- so long as they continue to maintain a centrist position and do not side openly with U.S. imperialism and its lackeys, directly obstructing the progress of the people's revolution. We must not strike at them improperly or too hard.

3. So long as you have a clear understanding of the above tactics and employ them resolutely but flexibly, you will be able to carry on your activities in the Kuomintang areas in support of the victorious War of Liberation and defeat all the enemy's tricks and schemes.

[A] In the original transcription of this work, the Editorial Committee on Party Literature (Central Committee of the Communist Party of China) opted to separate editorial and explanatory notes into two separate categories, independently numbered relative to (1) the type of note and (2) chronological appearance in the text.

Both editorial and explanatory notes are presented in the present transcription in chronological order based solely on the current order of relevance to the selected text.

Additionally, the Pinyin (Chinese phonetic alphabet) spellings of Chinese proper names are used exclusively throughout the present transcription to preserve the continuity of the original transcription.

1. A draft directive written for the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. It was revised by Comrade Mao Zedong.

2. The Chinese People's Political Conference. One of the May Day slogans issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party on April 30, 1948 urged that "All democratic parties, people's organizations and personages quickly call a political consultative conference to discuss the convening of a people's congress to bring about its convocation and the formation of a democratic coalition government." The proposed conference was called the New Political Consultative Conference in order to distinguish it from the one convened by the Kuomintang in January 1946. In September 1949, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference held its First Plenary Session. Exercising the functions and powers of a national people's congress, it enacted the "Organic Law of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference," the "Common Programme of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference," and the "Organic Law of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China," elected the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China headed by Chairman Mao Zedong and proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China. Since the First Session of the First National People's Congress in September 1954, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference no longer exercises the functions and powers of a national people's congress but has continued as an organization of the people's democratic united front led by the Communist Party for uniting the country's nationalities, the democratic parties and groups, the people's organizations, overseas Chinese and patriotic democratic personages.

3. Li Zongren (1890-1969) was at one time the head of the Guangxi warlords in the Kuomintang. He became vice-president of the Kuomintang government in April 1948 and acting president in January 1949. He went to the United States after the fall of the Kuomintang regime and returned to Beijing in July 1965. He died a natural death in 1969.



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