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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 07, 1949

DEMOCRATIC PARTIES AND GROUPS IN THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE TO CONVENE A POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE

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    A Russian translation of a Chinese report on groups joining in the preparatory committee for the Political Consultative Conference.
    "Democratic Parties and Groups in the Preparatory Committee to Convene a Political Consultative Conference," July 07, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 328, ll. 63-76. Translated by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134160
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[Translator’s note: The accuracy of the spelling of Chinese names in this document cannot be verified.]

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Translation from Chinese

DEMOCRATIC PARTIES AND GROUP IN THE PREPARATORY Committee TO CONVENE A POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE

After the Chinese Conmunist Party published its May 1st appeals in 1948 all the democratic parties and groups which desired to fight imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capital supported our proposals to convene a new political consultative conference. Below we present materials about the political parties and groups which are taking part in the Preparatory Committee to convene a new political consultative conference.

1. The Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang.

The Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang was formed on 1 January 1948. It included: the Association of the Comrades of the Three Principles of the People of Sun Yat-sen headed by Tan Pingshan (it unofficially includes the Revolutionary Democratic League headed by Wang Konglun), the Association to Promote the Democratization of the Guomindang, and other Guomindang democratic elements.

The Revolutionary Democratic League is a secret organization under the influence of our Party. It was formed in 1945 by reorganizing the National Revolutionary League, created in 1941. It includes democratic elements from the Guomindang. For example, it includes: Wang Konglun from the Sun Fo group, Xu Baoju from the Li Jishen group, Lai Yali from the [Feng] Yuxiang group, Lu Zhongrong from the Guangxi group headed by Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi, Qu Wu from the Yu Youren group, Guo Chongtao from the Sichuan-Xikang group, Huang Xianru from the Song Ziwen [T.V. Soong] group, and Kan Chieh-hou [Gan Jiehou] from the group of officials from the personal office of Chiang Kai-shek [Jiang Jieshi]. The League also included members of the CCP Qian Jiongrui, Wang Bingnan, and others. The League fought all the time for a group being created inside the Guomindang favoring the continuation of the war of liberation against Japan, advocated cooperation with the CCP, and took an active part in various democratic parties and groups in order for them to fight for the consolidation of the democratic groups of the country. The League has its own branches in Chongqing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Beijing, and abroad. There are about 200 members in the League. The League was recently purged of such reactionary elements as Gan Jiehou and attracted some progressive instructors and representatives of revolutionary intellectuals to its side.

The Association of the Comrades of the Three Principles of the People of Sun Yat-sen was formed in 1944 during negotiations between the Guomindang and the CCP. Initially it operated by holding various interviews. It includes: Tan Pingshan, Chen Mingshu (in the past he commanded the troops of the 19th Sector [napravlenie] of the province of Fujian), Yang Jie (the Southwestern Group), Wang Konglun (the Revolutionary Democratic League), and Yu Zhengying (a democratic group in North China). The Association became officially known in 1945 after our Party proposed the slogan about the formation of a coalition government in China and after the convening of the Sixth Guomindang Congress. The Association accepted the declaration of the 1st Congress of the Guomindang as its platform, favored putting the Three Principles of the People of Sun Yat-sen into practice, and opposed the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek. The Association operated legally during the period of operation of the old political consultative conference, but then went underground and operated in the areas of Nanjing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The Association has more than 100 members. It includes the main officials of the Revolutionary Democratic League.

The Association to Promote the Democratization of the Guomindang was created in Hong Kong in April 1946. Although it includes separate progressive elements it is basically a feudal group which includes Li Jishen, Cai Tingkai, and their people. The provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and the countries of the southern seas are areas of its activity.

In the autumn of 1947, after the troop of the PLA switched from the defensive to the offensive and a danger to the regime of Chiang Kai-shek was created, Li Jishen wanted to use the moment to create a new Guomindang which would replace the regime of Chiang Kai-shek. Based on these considerations he got in touch with opposition groups inside the Guomindang, and with the Sichuan-Xikang, Guangxi, and Shanxi groups, and began to prepare the formation of a Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang. At this time Li Jishen had already taken part in the "Great League of Peace and the Unification of the Country" (this League was outwardly led by Sichuan financier Liu Han[Sheng], but behind it was Song Ziwen with his anti-Communist plans. In addition, the League also included He Yingqin, Long Yun, Zhang Qun, and others). At this time Cai Tingkai nearly agreed to take the post of commanding general of the troops "for the extermination of the Communists" in South China.

The rapid development of events did not allow them to accomplish their plans. Then on 1 January 1949 the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang was created in Hong Kong; Tan Pingshan played a big role in this matter. It included bureaucrats, politicians, and dissatisfied military officials from the group of Li Jishen and Cai Tingkai. At the very start of the formation of the Committee its leadership secretly included even He Yingqin, Zhang Qun, Liu Wengui, and Lü Han. It was stipulated that if all these people clearly opposed Chiang Kai-shek then their joining the committee would be openly announced.

Statements which were made in the Committee's name were drafted by such of its senior officials as Tan Pingshan, He Xiangying, Liu Yazi, [Chen] Shaoxian, Mei Gongbing, Li Zhangda, [Chen] Rutang, [Chen] Cisheng, and Zhang Wen, leftist elements or people inclined to the side of the leftists. As a consequence of this, in these documents it spoke of the need to fight the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek and against the policy of American imperialism, which is helping the Chiang Kai-shek regime. They suggested being guided by the policy of three political principles (an Alignment with the CCP, Alliance with the USSR, and the support of the workers and peasants) and insisted on the formation of a democratic coalition government. Finally, they advocated support of our appeals of 1 May 1948.

Nevertheless, before their arrival in the north in their practical activity the group of Li Jishen and Cai Tingkai fought for close relations with the US and restrictions on the CCP. It secretly conceived of an anti-Communist "movement of five people" (these five people were: Li Jishen, [Feng] Yuxiang, Zhang Lan, Zhan Bojun, and one such person as Huang Yanpei, Lo Longji, [or] Cai Tingkai). The group created the movement, "the organization of ten people" (these ten people are the following: Li Jishen, Cai Tingkai, [Feng] Yuxiang, Zhang Lan, Huang Yanpei, Lo Longji, Zhang Bojun, Zhou Bingwen, Lu Guangsheng, and Zhang Dongsun). In addition, the group prompted individual militarists to "revolt", sent letters to Yan Xishan, Liu Wengui, and Bai Chongxi in which it advised them to make statements of the establishment of a cease-fire in the Civil War in China, take the position of mediators, and make us of the result of the fall of Chiang Kai-shek in order to preserve their forces, enter into a coalition government, and get in touch with the British and American imperialists in order to get aid from them.

In general, they pursued the goal of getting in touch with the right wing of the bourgeoisie, forming an opposition, and establishing ties with local militarist groups, and thereby preparing the ground to take into their hands a leading role in the country for themselves, restrict the forces of the CCP, and finally take the position left by Chiang Kai-shek.

In the winter of 1948 Li Jishen was slow in arriving in the North for various reasons. At this time a fierce battle was going on in the ranks of the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang between the rightist and leftist groups. Then, in connection with the change of the situation in the country, Li Jishen finally went to North China, which meant the victory of the left wing. The third day after Li Jishen's departure from Hong Kong for the North Huang Shaoxun (a member of the Guangxi group and a representative of Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi) arrived. In connection with the departure of Li Jishen for the North he became aware that the scheme of Bai Chongxi, who had intended to raise a rebellion against Chiang Kai-shek, invite the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee [SIC] of the Guomindang to Hankou, and divide China with the Communists into two parts, had completely failed.

Members of the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang who had arrived in the North are basically leftist elements and centrists leaning toward the side of the leftists. They were numerically superior, and therefore the rightist group in the Committee found itself to be politically isolated and lost the initiative. Li Jishen and Cai Tingkai openly accepted the leadership of the CCP, supported our eight peace conditions, and telegraphed to Committee officials in Hong Kong for them to agitate and act in coordination with their actions in the North. In a private conversation with Shao Lizi (a representative from Nanking in negotiations between the Guomindang and the CCP) Li Jishen said, "It will be correct to go the path of the CCP".

However, the rightist sentiments of Li Jishen were nevertheless still not eradicated. For example, he recently sent a letter to Mao Zedong in which he spoke out:

1. for the need to grant Li Jishen and Bai Chongxi more opportunities to find a way out of the situation in which they had found themselves.

2. about the dangers with respect to the US. He recommended not irritating the imperialists too much.

3. he requested more privileges for the capitalists in the interests of the bourgeoisie.

In addition, he expressed his dissatisfaction in connection with some factors which arose in the process of the practical implementation of measures by the CCP command concerning surrender of the weapons of the Guomindang troops who had switched to the side of the CCP, but were formerly in communications with the Committee.

The Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang is basically extending its activity in regions south of the Yangtze River, [but] its organizations at the grass roots are in a chaotic condition, and its numerical strength together with the Association of the Three Principles of the People of Sun Yat-sen and the Association to Promote the Democratization of the Guomindang does not reach 500. This is not a mass organization.

The Association of the Comrades of the Three Principles of the People of Sun Yat-sen and the Revolutionary Democratic League are the founders of the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang. They have been cooperating with us for many years, but their members are not firm in their principles, and are infected by the spirit of bureaucratism and hold to the ideology of the three principles of Sun Yat-sen. All this is a burden preventing them from going forward. Tan Pingshan is a poor politician and does not enjoy authority in the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang.

In connection with the rapid change of the political situation in China the Guomindang forces will soon be defeated throughout the country. Cases have recently been noted where reactionary elements of the Guomindang and Guomindang counterintelligence officials are trying to infiltrate the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang in order to pursue work in the revolutionary camp against the Chinese Revolution, but Li Jishen and Cai Tingkai are trying to establish contacts with various circles for reasons of increasing their strength. Sometimes they regard the infiltration of reactionary Guomindang elements into the Revolutionary Committee and their activity there condescendingly and tacitly. We need to pay serious attention to this fact.

II. The Chinese Democratic League

The Chinese Democratic League was formed in September of 1944 as the result of a reorganization of the League of Democratic Parties of China. The organization on the basis of which the League of Democratic Parties of China was formed were the Society of Comrades for the Unification and Development of China, created in 1940 from party and unaffiliated members of the National Political Council. When the Guomindang began to pursue a policy of eliminating other parties during the war of liberation with Japan, this forced the People's Association for the Salvation of the Motherland, the Workers and Peasants Democratic Party, the Chinese Society of Professional Education, the Rural Construction Group, the Youth Party, and the Popular Socialist Party to unite, and to form the League of Democratic Parties of China in the spring of 1941.

After the surrender of Japan the Youth Party left the Democratic League and was turned into an agent network of the Guomindang, and after the end of the work of the old political consultative committee the Popular Socialist Party changed and left the League. Its representatives joined the Nanking government. In the autumn of 1947 under pressure the Democratic League announced the cessation of its activity. One of the leaders of the Rural Construction Party [SIC, not Group], Liang Shuming, left the League. At the present time the League has: the Association for the Salvation of the Motherland, the Democratic Party of Workers and Peasants, and some unaffiliated figures.

The Association for the Salvation of the Motherland was formed as a result of a patriotic movement against Japanese imperialism which began in 1935. The Patriotic Association of Cultural Workers headed by Shen Junru, Zou Daofeng, Tao Xingzhi; the Women's Patriotic Association headed by Shi Liang and Shen Zijiu; the Professional Patriotic Association headed by Sha JiangLi; and also the Patriotic Organization of Students and Workers formed the All-China Patriotic Association in 1936 and it was headed by Sheng Junru. The Association did much to develop the democratic movement before the start of the war of liberation against Japan and later. It is basically dominated by progressive elements and the revolutionary intelligentsia, among whom there are people under the influence of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, but among the members of the Association there are also supporters of old bourgeois democratic convictions.

The Democratic Party of Workers and Peasants, which is still called the Third Party, was formed after the defeat of the Great Chinese Revolution of 1927 by Tan Pingshan and Zhang Bojun who had left the CCP, and Deng Yangda and [Peng] Zemin, leftist members of the Guomindang. The Party repeatedly changed its name: in 1927 it was called the Revolutionary Party of China, from 1928 through 1930, the Committee of Temporary Actions of the Guomindang. In 1932 Tan Pingshan left the Party, and Zhang Bojun wen to Japan. In November 1935 the Party was reorganized and started to call itself the Action Committee of the Chinese Nation, but in 1947 it took for itself the name "Democratic Party of Workers and Peasants".

After the defeat of the Revolution in 1927 this Party pursued a movement for a "defense of the Party" and for a "third way". Until 1930 the Democratic Party of Workers and Peasants became somewhat larger in connection with the aggravation of the fight between the Guomindang and the CCP. In the period from 1927 through 1934 the Party declared that it was relying on the workers, peasants, and ordinary people, that 75% opposed the Guomindang, but 25% were against the CCP (it opposed the membership of the CCP in the Comintern and was against the Soviets). During the war of liberation against Japan it stood for a single anti-Japanese front and joined the Democratic League. Right-wing elements dominate the Party leadership, but there are quite a few progressive elements in its local organizations.

Recently the Party pointed out in its statement that "relying on the workers, peasants, and ordinary people, it is accepting the political program of a new democracy and the leadership of the CCP". A re-registration of Party members is occurring. People are being expelled from the Party who were connected with imperialists, feudal forces in the country, and bureaucratic capital, opposed the people and who violated the political propaganda of the Party. In the past Zhang Bojun vacillated between leftists and rightists, but on arrival in Beijing he began to behave better and is ready to accept the leadership of our Party. [Peng] Zemin will go together with us.

The Democratic Party is essentially an amalgamation of the intellectuals of various classes. It was always for cohesiveness in the struggle against Japan and for a long time it coordinated with the CCP. It has very few bureaucrats and feudal politicians in it, and in this regard it is sharply different from the Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang. When the Guomindang ruled the country, although right-wing elements dominated in the governing body of the League (of the 11 members of the League's Presidium only Sheng Junru and Shi Liang were leftists), in the winter of 1947 the Guomindang put pressure on the League in order to undermine and demoralize it. Consequently, without authorization the rightists Zhang Lan, Huang Yanpei, and Lo Longji declared the disbandment of the League CC. The centrists vacillated at this time, and the leftists found themselves isolated. However, after Sheng Junru, Zhang Bojun, and unaffiliated progressive leaders Zhou Xinmin and others went to Hong Kong, where they convened a third plenum of the League, the leadership of the League actually ended up in the hands of leftist and centrist elements inclined toward the leftists. After this the League in Hong Kong became a leading forces among all democratic parties and groups.

Zhang Lan, Lo Longji (both unaffiliated), Zhang Dongsun, and Huang Yanpei (Huang Yanpei changed for the better on arrival in Beijing) are in the League as leaders of the rightists. Lo Longji is certainly a representative of the right wing of the bourgeoisie and insists that the League defend the political interests of the bourgeoisie, have its own political platform, and be oriented toward American imperialism. In the past Zhang Lan and Huang Yanpei approved this platform of Lo Longji. Zhang Lan and Lo Longji are coming to Beijing in the near future, and therefore it will be necessary to take appropriate organizational and political steps with regard to them and the right-wing elements.

The Democratic League is the largest mass political party among all the democratic parties and groups. It has its own organizations throughout the entire country and in different points of the countries of the south seas. Its total strength comes to 17,000. If one considers that one-third of the members of the Third Party, numbering 4,500, are in the League, then the League as a whole has about 20,000 people. Of these, 9,000 are in Malaya, in Siam [SIC], in Sumatra, in Indochina, and in Burma.

III. The Democratic Association for Building the State

The Democratic Association for Building the State was formed at the end of 1945, and is a political organization of democratic commercial and industrial circles.

This organization was created by industrial circles which oppose the economic policy of control and monopoly pursued by the Guomindang and are fighting for democracy and freedom in the economy. It includes capitalists who have relocated to the province of Sichuan, small industrialists and traders in the Southwestern regions of China, and members of the All-China Society of Professional Education. In 1946 senior officials of the Association Huang Yanpei, Hu [Que]wen, and Zhang Naiqi arrived in Shanghai, where they attracted a group of mid-level Shanghai capitalists to their side and the Association took on a China-wide nature with branches in Chongqing, Hong Kong-Kowloon, and Wuhan. It has about 500 members. There are many petty progressive capitalists and representatives of the revolutionary intelligentsia in its primary organizations, but they do not play a pivotal role. Centrist elements occupy the leading position in the Association's management.

In its political views the Association reflects the interests of the liberal bourgeoisie. Huang Yanpei, Zhang Naiqi, and Shi Fuliang are their political representatives. From the moment of its formation the Association has declared that it is an intermediate, centrist organization. During the operation of the old political consultative conference it criticized the Guomindang moderately and cautiously advocated restriction on the CCP. Later, Zhang Naiqi and Shi Fuliang openly insisted on a centrist line and reformism. Zhang Naiqi declared even more vigorously than Shi Fuliang that a third ship still needed to be built between the two ships - the Guomindang and the CCP.

After the worsening of the political situation in May 1947 the ruling hierarchy of the Association began to exhibit passivity and the Shanghai branch of the Association headed by Pang Gongzhao, Shen Kangnian, Mo Chang, and others, a total of 14 people, became the primary center of the leadership.

The Association generally approved the statement of Mao Zedong, "The Current Situation and Our Tasks". After the publication of our May 1st appeals the Association spoke out in favor of the CCP's suggestion to convene a new political consultative conference, but Zhang Naiqi and Huang Yanpei declared that all the anti-Chiang Kai-shek elements and those who oppose the group of the two [Ch]ens could participate in the consultative conference. The Association spoke approvingly of Mao Zedong's general line directed at an expansion of production, the flourishing of the economy, and at the same time considering the interests of both state enterprise as well as private capital, and taking into account the interests of labor and capital. However, the Association still has a suspicious attitude toward our Party's policy and has a whole series of objections.

After the leadership of the Association arrived in the liberated regions their statements and views changed somewhat. Shi Fuliang saw the rapid restoration of the operation of industry in Manchuria. On the one hand, he expressed his satisfaction, but on the other, he understood that the period of new democracy would not be very long. Shi Fuliang is studying the works of Mao Zedong intensely and is trying to show that he agrees with our Party.

Before arrival in the liberated regions Zhang Naiqi was dissatisfied with our Party in many respects, but having arrived in Manchuria and become familiar with the situation on the spot he began to say that the capitalists should serve the people. On the other hand, he is pinning his expectations on a change of the political situation.

Huang Yanpei has changed for the better significantly. Having signed a statement against the North Atlantic Pact he told those close to him that he would fight to the end. He suggests presenting the enterprises of the Society of Professional Education and a library to the new government of China. He behaves better than Zhang Naiqi. In general the remaining centrist elements might go along with us politically. The differences are on questions of the valid interests of the commercial and industrial circles.

4. The Society to Promote Democracy in China

The Society sets itself the task of promoting political democracy. It was formed in January 1946. Ma Xulun, who initially entertained illusions with regard to Chiang Kai-shek, is one of the leaders of the Society. Other members of the Society, Wang Shaoxin, Zhou Jian[ren], and Xu Guangpin, are leftist figures. For a long time they were in Shanghai in the enemy's rear.

The Society has cultural officials, representatives of industrial circles, people of the free professions, and a small number of professional workers. In connection with the fact that the Association of Shanghai People's Organizations, which is under our leadership, is taking an active part in the work of the Society, this pushes it even more in the direction of the leftists. In general, the Society represents the interests of the left wing of the mid-level capitalists and the petty bourgeoisie. Shanghai is the main base of the Society, but it has a total of about 30 people in Hong Kong. The Society has a total of about 300 members.

5. The "Zhi-Gong-Dang" Party [China Party for Public Interest]

The "Zhi-Gong-Dang" Party was formed in 1925 by Chen Jiuming after his statement against Sun Yat-sen, when he used the "Zhi-Gong-Tang" Party in America in his own interests and, heading it, gave it the name "Zhi-Gong-Dang".

In the past "Zhi-Gong-Tang" was a secret sect which advocated the overthrow of the Manchu Dynasty and the restoration of the Ming Dynasty in China. After the defeat of the Taiping rebellion Yang Fuqing, the leader of the sect, fled to the US and created the  "Zhi-Gong-Tang" Party there. "Zhi-Gong-Dang" was not active during the war against Japan, but in 1945 it was revived in Hong Kong and Chen Qiyou (he was close to Chiang Kai-shek for a long time) and Chen Yangsheng, an old member of the sect and person of reactionary convictions, became its leaders. Not having sufficient authority they could not do anything and nominated Li Jishen as their secret chairman of the Party.

The 3rd congress of the Party was held in 1947, at which a program was adopted, the Party charter reexamined, and it formally approximated a modern political party, although all the same aspects remained which were characteristic of a secret sect. The Party has the most variegated character in its composition. Its statements bore a positive nature in connection with the fact that there are some progressive members among the leading Party members: it opposed the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek, supported democracy, favored the formation of a coalition government, the freedom of entrepreneurial activity in the conditions of a planned economy, the protection of labor, and for land belonging to those who work it. It spoke in favor of the principles of new democracy and the leadership of the CCP.

The true political concept of "Zhi-Gong-Dang" is in the support of Li Jishen.

Chen Qiyou is striving to get the CCP's agreement for him to be allowed to create and develop organizations of secret sects in various points of China. At the present time some leaders of the sects and representatives of local militarists are already in touch with "Zhi-Gong-Dang" for discussions about this question. In recent months the Party has been trying to attract the capitalist Si Tu Meitang to its side and is recruiting Party members in Hong Kong, fighting with our Party for the masses.

The heads of the Party consist of feudal-bureaucratic elements, but there are members of the lumpen proletariat at the bottom. The Party does not have great influence among the Chinese living in the US and the countries of the southern seas.

Translated from Chinese [by] (S. P. Andreyev)

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7 July 1949