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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 20, 1948

CABLE, STALIN [KUZNETSOV] TO MAO ZEDONG [VIA TEREBIN]

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    Stalin responds to two letters from Mao, via Terebin (Andrei Orlov). In the cable, Stalin gives advice to Mao on what to do with opposing parties once the Chinese revolution is complete and whether or not Mao should include the liberal bourgeosie in China's central government.
    "Cable, Stalin [Kuznetsov] to Mao Zedong [via Terebin]," April 20, 1948, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, F. 39, Op. 1, D. 31, Ll. 28-29. Archival citation in accordance with Andrei Ledovskii, Raisa Mirovitskaia and Vladimir Miasnikov, Sovetsko-Kitaiskie Otnosheniia, Vol. 5, Book 1, 1946-February 1950 (Moscow: Pamiatniki Istoricheskoi Mysli, 2005), pp. 411-412. Published in translation in Odd Arne Westad (ed.), Brothers in Arms, pp. 298-299; translated for CWIHP from Russian by Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113618
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To Terebin to be passed to Mao Zedong.

We have received both letters from Comrade Mao Zedong from 30 November 1947, and 15 March 1948. We could not react to them immediately because we were checking some information necessary for our answer. Now that the facts are verified, we can answer both letters. First. The answer to the letter of 30 November 1947. We are very grateful for the information from Comrade Mao Zedong. We agree with the assessment of the situation given by Comrade Mao Zedong. We have doubts only about one point in the letter, where it is said that “In the period of the final victory of the Chinese Revolution, following the example of the USSR and Yugoslavia, all political parties except the CCP should leave the political scene, which will significantly strengthen the Chinese Revolution.” We do not agree with this. We think that the various opposition parties in China which are representing the middle strata of the Chinese population and are opposing the Guomindang clique will exist for a long time. And the CCP will have to involve them in cooperation against the Chinese reactionary forces and imperialist powers, while keeping hegemony, i.e., the leading position, in its hands. It is possible that some representatives of these parties will have to be included into the Chinese people's democratic government and the government itself has to be proclaimed a coalition government in order to widen the basis of this government among the population and to isolate imperialists and their Guomindang agents. It is necessary to keep in mind that the Chinese government in its policy will be a national revolutionary-democratic government, not a communist one, after the victory of the People's Liberation Armies of China, at any rate in the period immediately after the victory, the length of which is difficult to define now. This means that nationalization of all land and abolition of private ownership of land, confiscation of the property of all industrial and trade bourgeoisie from petty to big, confiscation of property belonging not only to big landowners but to middle and small holders exploiting hired labor, will not be fulfilled for the present. These reforms have to wait for some time. It has to be said for your information that there are other parties in Yugoslavia besides the communists which form part of the People's Front. Second. The answer to the letter from Comrade Mao Zedong from 15 March 1948. We are very grateful to Comrade Mao Zedong for the detailed information on military and political questions. We agree with all the conclusions given by Comrade Mao Zedong in this letter. We consider as absolutely correct Comrade Mao Zedong's thoughts concerning the creation of a central government of China and including in it representatives of the liberal bourgeosie. With Communist greetings

Stalin
20 April 1948