Octoter 11, 1944
[Comrade Mao Tse-tung wrote this commentary for the Hsinhua News Agency.]
One of the distinguishing features of Chiang Kai-shek's Double Tenth  speech is its utter lack of content and its failure to answer any of the questions about which the people are deeply concerned. Chiang Kai-shek declares that the enemy is not to be feared because there are still vast territories in the Great Rear Area. So far the autocratic Kuomintang leaders have shown neither the desire nor the ability to introduce political reforms or keep the enemy at bay, and territory is the only "capital" they can fall back upon for resisting the enemy. But it is plain to all that without a correct policy and without human effort this capital is not enough, for Japanese imperialism is daily threatening the remaining territories. In all probability Chiang Kai-shek has acutely felt this threat, as is shown by the very fact that he is repeatedly assuring the people that no such threat exists and even says, "In the twenty years since I founded the army at the Whampoa Military Academy,  the revolutionary situation has never been so stable as at present." He also keeps repeating, "We must not lose our self-confidence," which actually indicates loss of confidence among many people within the ranks of the Kuomintang and among many prominent public figures in the Kuomintang areas. Chiang Kai-shek has been casting about for some means to restore that confidence. But instead of looking for such means by examining his policy and work in the political, military, economic and cultural fields, he resorts to the rejection of criticisms and the whitewashing of his mistakes. He says that all "foreign observers" are "ignorant of the heart of the matter" and that the "babel of foreign criticism of our military and political affairs" is entirely due to credulous acceptance of "the rumours and tricks of the invaders and the Chinese collaborators".
Curiously enough, such foreigners as Franklin D. Roosevelt as well as such Kuomintang members as Soong Ching Ling, many members of the People's Political Council, and all Chinese who are not devoid of conscience, disbelieve the plausible explanations offered by Chiang Kai-shek and his trusted followers and are also raising a "babel of criticism of our military and political affairs". Chiang Kai-shek is annoyed, but not until this year's Double Tenth Festival did he succeed in discovering what he regards as a compelling argument, i.e., that these people believe "the rumours and tricks of the invaders and the Chinese collaborators". So in his speech Chiang Kai-shek vehemently denounces these "rumours and tricks of the invaders and the Chinese collaborators" at great length. He fancies that, having made this denunciation, he can silence all the Chinese and foreigners. And anyone who again raises a "Babel of criticism" of his military and political affairs will be put down as a willing believer of "the rumours and tricks of the invaders and the Chinese collaborators"! We consider Chiang Kai-shek's accusations ridiculous in the extreme. For the invaders and the Chinese collaborators have never criticized, but on the contrary have warmly applauded, the Kuomintang for its autocracy, its half-hearted prosecution of the war, its corruption and incompetence, and the fascist decrees and defeatist military orders of its government. Chiang Kai-shek's China's Destiny, a book which has met with general disapproval, has won sincere and repeated praise from the Japanese imperialists. The invaders and the Chinese collaborators have never said a word about reorganization of the National Government and its supreme command, because it is their cherished wish that this government and supreme command which keep on oppressing the people and losing battles will be preserved. Is it not a fact that Chiang Kai-shek and his group have always been the target of Japanese inducements to surrender? Is it not also a fact that of the two slogans originally put forward by the Japanese imperialists, one, "Annihilate the Kuomintang!" has been dropped long ago and only the other, "Oppose the Communists!" remains? To this very moment the Japanese imperialists have not declared war on the Kuomintang government, and no state of war, so they say, exists between Japan and the Kuomintang government! To this very moment the invaders and the Chinese collaborators are taking good care of the property of the Kuomintang bigwigs in Shanghai, Nanking, Ningpo, etc. The enemy chieftain Shuaroku Hata has sent his representatives to offer sacrifices at Chiang Kai-shek's ancestral tombs at Fenghua. In Shanghai and elsewhere, emissaries secretly dispatched by Chiang Kai-shek's trusted followers are maintaining almost uninterrupted contact and carrying on clandestine negotiations with the Japanese invaders. Those contacts and negotiations become more frequent whenever the Japanese intensify their offensives. Aren't all these things facts? Are those who raise a "Babel of criticism" of the military and political affairs of Chiang Kai-shek and his group really "ignorant of the heart of the matter", or are they on the contrary only too well acquainted with it? After all, where is "the heart of the matter" to be found, in "the rumours and tricks of the invaders and the Chinese collaborators", or in Chiang Kai-shek himself and his own group?
In another statement in his speech, Chiang Kai-shek denies that civil war will break out in China. But he adds, "Certainly no one will ever again dare to rebel against the Republic and sabotage the War of Resistance, as Wang Ching-wei and his like have done." Here Chiang Kai-shek is seeking, and has in fact found, an excuse for civil war. Any Chinese whose memory is not too short will remember that in 1941, at the very moment when the betrayers of China were ordering the disbandment of the New Fourth Army and the Chinese people were rising to avert the crisis of civil war, Chiang Kai-shek made a speech in which he said that there would never be any war to "suppress the Communists" and that, should there be a war, it would only be a punitive one to put down rebels. Those who have read China's Destiny will also remember Chiang Kai-shek's remark that the Communist Party of China was "in league with" Wang Ching-wei in 1927 during the period of the Wuhan Government. In the resolutions of the Eleventh Plenary Session of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee in 1943, an eight-word label was attached to the Chinese Communist Party: "Sabotaging the War of Resistance and endangering the state." After reading his present speech, one feels that the danger of civil war not only exists but is actually growing. From now on the Chinese people should firmly bear in mind that one fine morning Chiang 'Kai-shek will order a punitive expedition against so-called rebels and that the charge will be "rebellion against the Republic", "sabotaging the War of Resistance", and doing what "Wang Ching-wei and his like have done". Chiang is good at playing this game; he is no good at denouncing as rebels people like Pang Ping-hsun, Sun Liang-cheng and Chen Hsiao-chiang  or at launching punitive expeditions against them, but he is very good at denouncing as "rebels" the New Fourth Army in central China and the Dare-to-Die Corps  in Shansi and is exceptionally good at launching punitive expeditions against them. The Chinese people must not forget that, while proclaiming that he will not fight a civil war, Chiang Kai-shek has already dispatched 775,000 troops who are now engaged exclusively in encircling or attacking the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army and the people's guerrillas in southern China.
Chiang Kai-shek's speech has nothing to show on the positive side, and he has in no way met the Chinese people's eager desire to strengthen the anti-Japanese front. On the negative side, the speech is fraught with dangerous possibilities. His attitude is becoming more and more anomalous, as witness his stubborn opposition to the people's demand for political change, his bitter hatred of the Chinese Communist Party and his hint at a pretext for the anti-Communist civil war he is preparing. However, he will succeed in none of his schemes. Unless he is willing to mend his ways, he will be lifting a rock only to drop it on his own toes. We sincerely hope he will change his ways, because his present course of action will get him absolutely nowhere. Since he has proclaimed that "a greater latitude will be allowed to the voicing of opinions",  he should not stifle the "babel of criticism" by threatening people with the slander that they are willingly accepting "the rumours and tricks of the invaders and the Chinese collaborators". Since he has proclaimed that "the period of political tutelage will be shortened", he should not reject the demand for reorganizing the government and the supreme command. Since he has proclaimed that "the Communist problem should be solved politically", he should not again seek a pretext for preparing civil war.
1. The Double Tenth, October 10, is the anniversary of the armed uprising in Wuhan which set off the Revolution of 1911.
2. The Whampoa Military Academy, located at Whampoa near Canton, was established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1924 after the reorganization of the Kuomintang with the help of the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Union. Before Chiang Kai-shek's betrayal of the revolution in 1927, the academy was run jointly by the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. Comrades Chou En-lai, Yeh Chien-ying, Yun Tai-yIng, Hsiao Chu-nu and others held responsible posts in the academy at one time or another. Many of the cadets were members of the Communist Party or the Communist Youth League, and they formed the revolutionary core of the academy.
3. Pang Ping-hsun, Sun Liang-cheng and Chen Hsiao-chiang were Kuomintang generals who openly deserted to the Japanese invaders.
4. The Dare-to-Die Corps in Shansi was an anti-Japanese armed force of the people which developed under the leadership and influence of the Communist Party in the early days of the War of Resistance Against Japan.
5. In April 1944 the Kuomintang announced that "a greater latitude will be allowed to the voicing of opinions". Its purpose was to fob off the people, because the demand that the Kuomintang dictatorship should be ended, democracy established, and freedom of speech guaranteed had become the general cry of the people in the Kuomintang areas from the beginning of the year. In May, the Twelfth Plenary Session of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang again declared that it would "protect freedom of speech". But the Kuomintang never fulfilled any of the promises it had been compelled to make, and as the people's movement for democracy surged forward, it multiplied its measures fat the suppression of popular opinion.