July 12, 1943
[Comrade Mao Tse-tung wrote this editorial for the Liberation Daily, Yenan.]
The last few months have witnessed a most unusual and shocking event inside China's anti-Japanese camp, namely, the campaign launched by many Kuomintang-led party, government and army organizations to wreck unity and undermine the War of Resistance. It assumes the form of an attack on the Communist Party, but is in fact directed against the whole Chinese nation and people.
Consider first the Kuomintang armies. Of the Kuomintang-led armies throughout the country, as many as three group armies from the main forces are stationed in the Northwest--the 34th, 37th and 38th Group Armies, all under Hu Tsung-nan, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the 8th War Zone. Of these, two have been used to encircle the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region, while only one has been assigned defence duty along the Yellow River, from Yichuan to Tungkuan, against the Japanese invaders. This has been the situation for more than four years, and people became accustomed to it so long as there was no military clash. But in the last few days an unexpected change has taken place. Of the three army corps on defence duty along the river--the 1st 16th and 90th Army Corps-- two have been removed, the 1st Army Corps to the area of Pinchow and Chunhua and the 90th to the area of Lochuan, and both are actively preparing to attack the Border Region, while the greater part of the river defences is left unmanned against the Japanese invaders.
This inevitably makes people ask: What exactly are the relations between those Kuomintang people and the Japanese?
Day in day out many Kuomintang people have been brazenly spreading propaganda that the Communist Party is "sabotaging the War of Resistance" and "wrecking unity". Can the withdrawal of the main forces defending the river be called strengthening the War of Resistance? Can attacks on the Border Region be called strengthening unity?
We should like to ask the Kuomintang people who are doing all this: You are turning your backs on the Japanese while they are still facing you. What is going to happen if the Japanese start advancing on your heels?
What is the meaning of your abandonment of large sections of the river defences while the Japanese quietly look on from the other bank, without making any move other than to watch with glee through their field-glasses the gradually receding view of your backs? Why do the Japanese so greatly prefer seeing your backs? And what makes you fed so much at ease after abandoning the river defences and leaving large sections unmanned?
In a society based on private property, people usually bolt their doors at night before going to bed. Everybody knows that this is not fussiness but a precaution against burglars. Now, having left the front door wide open, are you not afraid of burglars coming? And if the front door is left wide open without the burglars coming, what then is the reason?
According to you, in China it is the Communists who are "sabotaging the War of Resistance", while you yourselves are most devoted to "the nation above all". Well now, what are you placing "above all" when you turn your backs on the enemy?
According to you, it is also the Communists who are "wrecking unity", while you are so very devoted to "unity in good faith". Well, you have sent a huge force of three group armies (minus one army corps), with fixed bayonets and heavy artillery, to march against the people of the Border Region; can this be counted as "unity in good faith"?
Or take another of your assertions--that you are very keen not on "unity" but on "unification"--and you therefore want to wipe out the Border Region, liquidate "feudal separatism" and kill off every Communist. Very well! How is it then you are not afraid that the Japanese will "unify" the Chinese nation, including you, out of existence?
Supposing that while you triumphantly "unify" the Border Region at one stroke and wipe out the Communists, you are able to keep the Japanese stupefied by some "sleeping-draught" or by some "spell" of yours, so that the nation and you yourselves both escape "unification" by them. Well, dear gentlemen of the Kuomintang, won't you give us some inkling of the secret of your sleeping-draught or spell?
But if you have no sleeping-draught or spell for dealing with the Japanese, and if you have not reached a secret understanding with them, then let us tell you plainly and formally: you should not and must not attack the Border Region. "When the snipe and the clam grapple, it is the fisherman who profits", "The mantis stalks the cicada, but behind them lurks the oriole"--there is truth in these two parables. The proper thing for you to do is to join forces with us to "unify" the territory occupied by the Japanese and drive the devils out. What is the reason for your anxiety and hurry to "unify" the span of land forming the Border Region? Though vast stretches of our beautiful country have fallen into the hands of the enemy, you are not anxious or in a hurry about this, but instead are anxious to attack the Border Region and in a hurry to crush the Communist Party. How painful! How disgraceful!
Next, consider the activities of the Kuomintang Party. To combat the Communist Party the Kuomintang has organized several hundred detachments of secret agents, into which it has recruited all kinds of scoundrels. For example, on July 6, 1943, in the 32nd year of the Chinese Republic, on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the War of Resistance, the Kuomintang Central News Agency released a news item stating that certain "cultural associations" in Sian, Shensi Province, had held a meeting and resolved to cable Mao Tse-tung, calling on him to use the opportunity of the dissolution of the Third International to "dissolve" the Communist Party of China and, in addition, to "abolish the separatist Border Region regime". The reader may well take this to be "news", but actually it is an old story.
It turns out that the whole thing was the handiwork of one of the several hundred detachments of secret agents. Acting on orders from headquarters (namely, "The Bureau of Investigation and Statistics of the Military Council of the National Government" and "The Bureau of Investigation and Statistics of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang"), this detachment gave instructions to the Trotskyite and traitor Chang Ti-fei, who is now Director of Discipline in the Sian concentration camp and notorious for his anti-Communist writings in Resistance and Culture, a traitorous periodical financed by the Kuomintang; on June 12, that is, twenty-five days before the Central News Agency released its news item, he mustered together nine people in a ten-minute meeting which "endorsed" the text of the so-called telegram.
This telegram has not reached Yenan to this day but its contents are clear. It says, we are told, that since the Third International has been dissolved, the Communist Party of China should likewise be "dissolved", that "Marxism-Leninism has been discredited", and so on and so forth.
There it is. This is the sort of thing the Kuomintang are saying! We have always believed that anything may issue from the mouth of the likes of those Kuomintang creatures (and like attracts like), and as one would expect, they have now let out this gust of foul air!
There are now many political parties in China--there are even two Kuomintangs. One is the Wang Ching-wei brand of Kuomintang, set up in Nanking and elsewhere, which also has a flag with a white sun against a blue sky and a so-called Central Executive Committee, as well as a collection of secret police detachments. In addition, everywhere in the occupied areas there are the fascist parties created by the Japanese.
Dear gentlemen of the Kuomintang! Why is it that since the dissolution of the Third International you have been so terribly busy plotting the "dissolution" of the Communist Party but will not even lift a finger to dissolve a few of the traitorous and Japanese-sponsored parties? When you directed Chang Ti-fei to draft the telegram, why is it that, besides demanding the dissolution of the Communist Party, you did not deign to add that the traitorous and Japanese-sponsored parties, too, ought to be dissolved?
Is it possible that you think there is one Communist Party too many? In the whole of China there is only one Communist Party, while there are two Kuomintangs. After all, of which party is there one too many?
Gentlemen of the Kuomintang! Have you ever given the following matter a thought? Why is it that, in addition to yourselves, both the Japanese and Wang Ching-wei are making frantic efforts to overthrow the Communist Party, asserting that the Communist Party alone is one too many and must therefore be crushed? And why is it that they feel there are too few Kuomintangs and there never can be too many, and that they are everywhere grooming and fostering the Wang Ching-wei brand of Kuomintang?
Gentlemen of the Kuomintang! We don't mind taking the trouble to tell you that the Japanese and Wang Ching-wei have a special love for the Kuomintang and the Three People's Principles because they find something in both they can turn to good account. The only time since World War I that the imperialists and traitors had no love for the Kuomintang but bitterly hated it and tried their utmost to abolish it was in the period of 1924-27, when it was reorganized by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, admitted Communists into its ranks and became a national alliance in which the Kuomintang and the Communist Party co-operated. The only time that the imperialists and traitors had no love for the Three People's Principles but bitterly hated them and tried their utmost to abolish them was also in the same period, when those principles were transformed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen into the revolutionary Three People's Principles as set out in the Manifesto of the First National Congress of the Kuomintang. Save for that period, the Kuomintang has thrown out the Communists and the Three People's Principles have been emptied of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary spirit, and both have therefore earned the love of all the imperialists and traitors and, for the same reasons, have earned the love of the Japanese fascists and the traitor Wang Ching-wei, who are grooming and fostering them like treasured possessions. There used to be a yellow patch in the upper left-hand corner of the flag of Wang Ching-wei's brand of Kuomintang to distinguish it from the other Kuomintang, but now even that has been removed and everything is made to look the same so as not to offend the eye. What great love!
Kuomintang specimens of the Wang Ching-wei brand are numerous in the Great Rear Area as well as in the occupied areas. Some are under cover, forming the enemy's fifth column. Others are in the open, depending for their food and keep upon the Kuomintang or upon their work as police agents, doing nothing at all to resist Japan but specializing in anti-communism. Though they do not wear Wang Ching-wei labels, these people are really his men. They, too, are enemy fifth-columnists, only they use a somewhat different guise in order to conceal their identity and fool people.
The whole thing is now perfectly clear. When you instructed Chang Ti-fei to draft the telegram demanding the "dissolution" of the Communist Party, the reason why you would in no circumstance trouble to add that the Japanese-sponsored parties and traitor parties should also be dissolved is that you have much in common with them in ideology, policy and organization, and that the fundamental feature of your common ideology is opposition to communism and to the people.
We want to ask you Kuomintang people yet another question. Is it true that the only "discredited" ism in China and indeed in the whole world is Marxism-Leninism and that all the others are great stuff? Apart from Wang Ching-wei's brand of the Three People's Principles which we have just mentioned, what about the fascism of Hitler, Mussolini and Hideki Tojo? What about the Trotskyism of Chang Ti-fei? What about the counter-revolutionary doctrines of the various brands of counter-revolutionary secret services in China?
Dear gentlemen of the Kuomintang! Why is it that when you instructed Chang Ti-fei to draft the telegram, you did not add a single phrase or proviso about all these so-called isms which are about as much good as the plague, or bedbugs, or dog's droppings? Is it possible that in your eyes all this counter-revolutionary rubbish is flawless and perfect, while Marxism-Leninism alone is completely discredited?
To be blunt, we strongly suspect that you are working in collusion with the Japanese-sponsored and traitorous parties, and that is why you and they "breathe through the same nostrils", that is why you and the enemy and traitors are so exactly alike, indeed, identical and indistinguishable both in your words and in your deeds. The Japanese and the traitors wanted the New Fourth Army disbanded, and you ordered it to be disbanded; they want to dissolve the Communist Party, and so do you; they want to abolish the Border Region, and so do you; they do not want you to defend the Yellow River, and so you abandon its defence; they attack the Border Region (for the last six years the enemy forces along the river bank opposite the counties of Suiteh, Michih, Chiahsien, Wupao and Chingchien have never ceased shelling the Eighth Route Army's river defences), and you too intend to attack it; they are anti-Communist, and so are you; they bitterly revile communism and liberal ideas, and so do you; when they seize a Communist, they force him to make a public recantation in the press, and so do you; they send counter-revolutionary agents to worm their way into the Communist Party and the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies for disruptive purposes, and so do you. How is it that you and they are so remarkably alike, identical and indistinguishable? As you and the enemy and the traitors are exactly alike, identical and indistinguishable in so many words and deeds, how can people help suspecting that you are working hand in glove with them or have come to some secret understanding with them?
We hereby make this formal protest to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang: Your action in withdrawing the main forces for river defence in preparation for attacking the Border Region and starting civil war is utterly wrong and impermissible. Your Central News Agency's publication of the news item of July 6, which is disruptive of unity and insulting to the Communist Party, is also utterly wrong and impermissible. Both these errors are towering crimes, indistinguishable from those committed by the enemy and the traitors. You must correct them.
We hereby make this formal demand to Mr. Chiang Kai-shek, Director-General of the Kuomintang: Please order Hu Tsung-nan's troops to return to the river defences, please discipline the Central News Agency and punish the traitor Chang Ti-fei.
We hereby appeal to all true patriots among the Kuomintang members who do not approve of the withdrawal of the river defence forces for the purpose of attacking the Border Region and do not approve of the demand for the dissolution of the Communist Party: please act now to avert the crisis of civil war. We are willing to co-operate with you to the very end to save the nation.
We believe that these are absolutely just demands.