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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 01, 1945

THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS: A SECRET BROCHURE OF THE GMD ISSUED ON 1 MAY 1945

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    The Chinese Nationalist Party (Guomindang) offers an historical overview of its military and political struggle with the Chinese Communist Party, while also summarizing the international contacts of the CCP since 1935.
    "The Communist Party of China over the Last 10 Years: A Secret Brochure of the GMD Issued on 1 May 1945," May 01, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI f.17, op.128, d. 824, l.358-369. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121822
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15 June 1945

Nº 65

THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS

A secret brochure of the GMD [KMT] issued on 1 May 1945

Foreword

In the autumn of 1933 Guomindang [Kuomintang] troops launched a fifth campaign against the Red bandits, winning a decisive victory over them. In the winter of 1934 their remnants left the "Soviet region" for the province of Jiangxi and began an escape, covering a path of 25,000 li (about 12,000 km). Finally they reached the desert regions of northern Shaanxi, where they halted, losing their armed forces, suffering colossal losses, and being almost unable to further exist. At this time the Third International was just occupied with the creation of a "united front" and gave instructions to the Communists of all weak peoples to create a "united national front" in order to expand their influence more easily and increase activity, inasmuch as the slogan of "class warfare" had long become unpopular with the entire Chinese people in the conditions of approaching Japanese aggression, the aggravation of the danger for the weak nations, and the increase of the wave of the anti-Japanese movement. By virtue of the above reasons on 1 August 1935 the CCP published an "Appeal to Fellow Countrymen of the Entire Country, calling upon [them] to "resist the Japanese and save the country". The Communists called this appeal the famous "1 August Declaration". But with these slogans of fighting the Japanese they were pursuing other goals. In February 1936 the Communists attempted to break through to Shanxi from Shenxi [SIC] but, rebuffed by Guomindang forces, they streamed back to the northern part of Shenxi, forging relations with Zhang Xueliang. In July of that same year the CCP published a declaration for a second time about an end to the war and peace negotiations. By arrangement with Zhang Xueliang, on 12 December the Communists created the Xi’an Incident in which the Communists pursued their own main goal of "forcing [translator's note—an "X" is inserted at this point, but no other X can be found in the document; from historical context, it refers to Jiang Jieshi] to resist the Japanese", but soon they advanced the slogans: "Resist the Japanese in alliance with X" and "For Cooperation between the GMD and CCP". After the Xi’an Incident on 21 February 1937 the GMD called a 5th congress at which a decision was made "to put a complete end to the Red danger", but to allow the CCP to change its mind and reform itself [ispravit'sya]. The war began on 7 July of the same year. On 22 September the CCP published a declaration in which it said:

1) fight with [SIC, "for" was probably intended] the accomplishment of three principles of the people;

2) halt the policy of violence and Sovietization;

3) liquidate the Soviet government [Sovpra] and ensure an united front in the country;

4) eliminate the name "Red Army", renaming it the National Revolutionary Army, which will be subordinate to the Military Committee of the Nationalist Government [Natspra] and act in accordance with its orders and will fight the Japanese on the forward line of the front.

Since this time a new stage in the history of the CCP has begun, the stage of the so-called "United National Front to Combat Japan". If the "1 August Declaration" is considered a turning point in the history of the CCP, then just 10 years has passed from that same moment to this day. Exactly 10 years have also passed since the 5th GMD congress. Although during these 10 years the adventurist policy of the CCP has undergone great changes, it however has basically not retreated from the general line of a "united front". "United Front", "Party Building", and "Armed Struggle", these are the three slogans which Mao Zedong has made the main precepts of the CCP. The importance of these precepts is understood, but "the main question of the revolution is the question of power" (Lenin), the unity of different political organizations is phenomenon of a temporary nature. After a certain period this unity loses meaning and "an uneven qualitative change comes". The "conflict (struggle) is absolute, the unity is relative", these are the main statements to which the CCP adheres.

The three stages into which Mao Zedong divided the war with Japan - "retreat", "balance of forces", and "counteroffensive" are also applicable to the position of the CCP and GMD, which has three main stages: "compromise", "balance of forces", and "split" (see the secret CCP circular. This is shown by the activity of the CCP for the past 10 years [)].

[Translator's note—dekretnyy was written before "circular" where sekretnyy would be expected and would make more sense, so I have assumed that there was a typo in the text.]

The first stage. Beginning with the publication of the "1 August Declaration" of 1935 and until the end of 1940, that is, until the revolt of the New 4th Army, this was the period of "the retreat and defense" of the CCP. In this period the CCP, understanding that its forces were weak, secretly expanded and strengthened their forces, and under the label [Translator's note: pod markoy; perhaps pod maskoy, "under the mask", was intended] of partisan warfare crossed the boundaries of the military operations assigned to it, increased the contingent of the 18th Army Group and the New 4th Army, and expanded the boundaries of the "Border Region", "Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia"; it became stronger from day to day and a multitude of "military regions" and new military units began to appear; in the deep rear the CCP secretly launched activity to recruit Party members, create Party organizations and, covering themselves with "unity in the war of resistance", increased cultural propaganda and began to distort the teachings of Sun Yat-sen, insult and defame our Party, accusing it of "capitulation", "divisive actions", and loudly shouting all the time that it supported Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek]. The CCP has also refrained from open attacks with respect to the Nationalist government. In a word, although the treachery of the CCP is immeasurable, nevertheless, reckoning with the situation, it has not given it free rein, restraining itself somewhat.

The second stage. Beginning with the mutiny of the New 4th Army and up to September 1944, when the slogan "coalition government" still had not been advanced, this was the period of the "balance of forces". In this period the CCP switched to a seizure of power in the regions it was defending, from partisan warfare against the Japanese to sudden attacks on Guomindang troops, and began to violate laws and customs. The mutiny of the New 4th Army on 4 January 1941 was a historic event. After this the position of the CCP became increasingly rigid. The Communists entered into a deal with the Japanese and attacked Guomindang troops in order to expand and fortify territories. In financial and economic respects the CCP has been pursuing a productive campaign, stimulating the development of cooperation, creating banks, and issuing counterfeit coins in order to solve the crisis this way.

In the area of propaganda the Communists are spreading a lie about the "defeatist" and "divisive" actions of the GMD, which is refuted by the facts of the firm leadership of the war of resistance by the GMD, the rise of the movement for a constitution, and the advocacy of constitutional government and democracy.

In the area of Party work the CCP has stopped the expansion of the Party, but has been engaged in strengthening existing organizations. Specific measures in this regard are "checking Party members", "a campaign for openness", "a campaign for correcting the style of work", "an increase of Party feeling", and "the unification of Party, government, and military bodies".

After the 11th GMD plenum issued a decision on 13 September 1943 about solving the Communist problem by political means, the CCP sent Lin Hu and Lin Zuhan to Chongqing for negotiations, but these negotiations did not lead to anything in view of their [insincerity]. In their own propaganda the CCP made treacherous attacks on the government, and insulted prominent GMD leaders, and even Jiang Jieshi. Such behavior by the CCP is also explained by the fact that it felt itself able and could behave on equal terms with our Party.

The third stage. From the moment of the proclamation of the slogan of the creation of a "coalition government" until today, this is the transitional period from the "balance of forces" to "counteroffensive". When the materials about the negotiations were published in September of last year at the third session of the NPS [National Political Council] Lin Zuhan, being exposed, became furious and insolently raised the cry, "Convene a conference to discuss important state issues", "form a coalition government", but the Yan’an newspaper, Shijie ribao [World Daily], added a demand, "reorganize the supreme command". But on arrival in Chongqing on 1 January of this year Zhou Enlai also proposed the convening of an "inter-party conference" as preparation for the convening of a "Conference on the main state issues". Having arrived in Chongqing, Zhou Enlai began to play up to the small parties of the Chinese Democratic League. At his bidding the Democratic League, the cultural circles, and the women's organizations published a declaration, "Concerning the Current Moment", and thus played the role of a mouthpiece of Communist propaganda. At any rate the CCP was waging false propaganda at the same time, consciously extolling its own strength, building itself up, and cursing our Party, accusing it of "fascism", "defeatism", and calling Jiang Jieshi "a dictator" and "usurper". Also, the representative of the allied countries, for example Dinde [sic] (a member of the American Senate), and Hurley, were subjected to attacks by the Communists for justly criticizing the CCP.

Concerning the activity of the CCP in the military sense one could judge from the statement of Mao Zedong when he raised an expansion of the army and the seizure of territory as one of the "tasks for 1945" in the so-called "liberated regions". After military operations began in Central China the forces of the traitors increased their activity in Hunan, Shandong, Henan, and the eastern and northern parts of the province of Guangdong. The traitors and puppets in the southern and northern parts of Guangxi have also revived and are trying to create bases of support there. Beginning with winter the movement of troops has increased into the Border Region of Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia and the western part of Shanxi. Feverish military preparations are going on. As regards the official start of the stage of the CCP "counteroffensive", that is, when they openly call for an uprising against the state then, in my opinion, all the information says that this moment will come when the general counteroffensive against Japan begins. At this moment the CCP will finally discard the "united front". Now the stubbornness and insubordination of the CCP, which grows from day to day, is clear evidence of preparations for a rebellion. The attacks on our Party which it is making in every way serve as a smokescreen covering the fact that in the future it wants to cast off responsibility from itself for the launching of an armed conflict.

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Last chapter.

"The International Activity of the CCP"

1. The CCP's ties with the Third International.

If one views the activity of the CCP on an international scale in the last 10 year fragment of time then one has to begin this research with 1935 to 1945. At this stage in 1935 the 3rd Comintern was repeatedly explaining its platform, which consisted of it seeking friendship and cooperation in every way with all countries in order to dispel the atmosphere of a "struggle against the USSR [is] protection against Communism". In August of that year the 7th Congress of the Third International was held at which a decision was adopted about "non-interference in the affairs of the Communist Parties of all countries", thereby indicating an abandonment of "world revolution". This year coincided precisely with the CCP's penetration into the northern part of Shaanxi where the Communists had reached, scattering their forces and being extraordinarily weakened; at this time the threat of a Japanese invasion of China was increasing with each day, and therefore both the domestic and foreign situation was not conducive to a continuation of the activity of the CCP. This is why on 1 August it addressed an "appeal to all countrymen" to "come to the defense of the country from the Japanese". Taking advantage of this event, it changed its tactics and everywhere began to advocate a "united front to fight Japan". Above we have only laid out the reasons for the changes of the CCP policy. But these are not the fundamental reasons. The true reasons are concealed in the following:

The main task of the Third International was to inspire a world revolution and thus achieve its perfidious designs, which are the Bolshevization of the entire world. Thanks to the magnitude of the territory of China, beginning [with] the enormous population and the geographical proximity to the Soviet Union, the wave of Bolshevization has penetrated China comparatively less easily than other Western political ideas. After the October Revolution in the USSR all educated people and students in China took up the study of Communist theory with enormous interest. To this needs to be added one more circumstance: the Third International engaged in activity to Bolshevize semi-colonial China according to previously-developed plans. That is why the Third International also began to establish its own ties in China.

In 1922 the Third International sent its authorized representative to China, Kesdin [sic], an old Russian Social Democrat, who arrived in Shanghai from Europe and brought with him the plans of the Third International for the Bolshevization of China. His mission basically consisted of the following:

1. To unite the socialist organizations in China, organize an official Chinese Communist Party and Communist youth league. The Socialist Young League, whose leader became Kesdin, as the representative of the Third International, was first organized according to Cheng Duxu's agreement with Kesdin. The Third International issued $5,000 US for the support of this League every month. This first mission was performed halfway.

2. To lead the worker's movement in China, to create professional worker's unions everywhere. Under the leadership of Kesdin. Yang Mingqi created a "United Secretariat of Chinese Workers" in Shanghai, started a planned worker's movement, and opened courses to train workers with branches in Peking, Canton, Changsha, and other large cities.

3. He recruited young people who could submit to Bolshevization to be sent to Moscow for study (the Third International bore all the expenses), counting on bringing up Communist cadre. (Then it points out who went to study in the USSR). It was recognized by the Third International as one of its sections before the creation of the CCP. The Third International sent its personnel to China all the time to supervise Party work, for example Aoks [sic], Borodin, Loffe, and others.

Then the author notes that all the important conferences and congresses of the CCP have occurred under the leadership of representatives of the Third International, and all the reorganizations of the CCP have been done at the instructions of the International. The leaders of the CCP were appointed by the International, and senior CCP officials had to undergo training in the USSR. "All policy, all the plans of the CCP, all its most important decisions—everything was done at the bidding of the Comintern. For example, the participation in the national revolution, its pursuit of treacherous acts, the creation of a "Soviet" government—everything originated with the Comintern".

"Under the leadership of the Comintern, in all its political measures the CCP proceeded from the principle of 'the support of the USSR', the 'defense of the USSR'".

Then the author states approximately the following:

The 7th Congress of the Comintern soon changed its policy with respect to China, finding that in the conditions of backward, semi-colonial China that it was impossible to realize a socialist revolution immediately. Therefore slogans were advanced of a "creation of a democratic republic" and a "united front", and Sun Yat-sen's three people's principles of the people were adopted as the main program at this particular stage of the revolution.

Beginning with the outbreak of the war of resistance the main policy of the CCP has been "a united front to fight Japan". The policy cannot be changed in the period of the war of resistance. After the disbandment of the Comintern the CCP did not change its attitude toward the "issue of revolution". In the opinion of the CCP, this is an issue of the future, and therefore the disbandment of the Comintern did not influence the CCP's attitude toward revolution at all.

After the disbandment of the Comintern the CCP CC in its decision, and Mao Zedong at a meeting of Party activists, obligated all senior Party organizations to launch domestic and foreign propaganda and to also hold Party meetings with a deep explanation of the importance of this event.

The main aspects of the domestic and foreign propaganda come down to the following:

I. Domestic propaganda.

1) The Comintern has performed its mission to organize a worker's movement, revive the Marxist revolutionary traditions in it, and to help create and strengthen Communist Parties. Now these Communist Parties have grown so much that they can decide problems independently, in conformity with specific conditions, and supervision of the work of all the Communist Parties from the Comintern is impossible in view of the complexity and diversity of the conditions in the different countries.

2) In the conditions of the fight against German fascism, the internal contradictions in the countries fighting it serve only as a hindrance, etc.

"The disbandment of the Comintern serves as a signal for a still greater mobilization of the entire Party to intensify the war of resistance and for greater unity inside the Party".

II. Foreign propaganda.

After the disbandment of the Comintern the CCP launched intensified propaganda with respect to the foreign countries, primarily the US and Britain. The forms and methods of this propaganda are as follows:

1) The CCP uses international leftist organizations, for example: the Pacific Scientific Society, the American Association to Promote the Dissemination of Communist Teachings, and professional unions.

2) The CCP is establishing ties with foreign citizens in Chongqing, supplying them with materials to send them to the foreign press. For example: the American Smotelai [sic] who came to China has sent such material to the American leftist press many times.

3) The CCP uses the TASS office in China to send telegraph reports abroad. The Communist press and the press close to the Communists conduct propaganda useful to the CCP.

4) The CCP is penetrating the Comintern, which has formally disappeared but actually exists, and through it uses the Communist Parties and leftist parties of all countries to conduct propaganda in these counties.

5) The CCP translates propaganda materials into foreign languages and publishes it abroad or transmits them verbally by radio in English.

All the propaganda, international and domestic, is concentrated around the following main aspects:

1. "Avert a civil war, fight capitulation".

2. "Eliminate the fascist dictatorship of one party, one political ideology, and one leader".

After Jiang Jieshi declared at the 11th GMD plenum that the Communist issue would be solved by political means such words as "capitulation", "civil war", etc. lost any meaning and therefore the CCP has changed its propaganda and concentrated it around such aspects as: 1) support of Jiang Jieshi, 2) implementation of the teachings of Sun Yat-sen, 3) propaganda of the successes and strength of their armed forces and the strength of their bases, 4) propaganda of the economic achievements of the Special Region and the democratic government in it; and 5) propaganda of the political demoralization and economic chaos in the rear.

In a word, the international propaganda of the CCP sets as its goal:

1) to undermine trust in us among the Allies, and to reduce their aid to China in order for the war to drag out, which would provide an opportunity for the Communists to consolidate and accumulate [their] strength.

2) to use the pressure of US and British public opinion on our government with the goal of it not taking a firm position with respect to the CCP.

3) to win sympathy in the US and Britain in order to cast the blame on our Party at the moment of an uprising.

4) to use sympathies in the US and Britain in order to keep itself on an equal footing with our Party.

5) to undermine the united front of China, the US, and Britain according to the instructions of the Comintern, which has formally disappeared but actually exists.

6) winning international sympathy for the CCP itself, to attempt to get material aid in the future.

The reaction of international public opinion to CCP propaganda

The untrue propaganda of the CCP is finding great response abroad. The CCP encounters especially great sympathy from American public opinion. Such press as the "Daily Worker", "The New Masses", and the magazine "America and Asia" openly criticize our central government severely, calling it "reactionary" and "fascist". In addition, the foreign correspondents who have visited the partisan regions send reports favorable to the CCP to their press.

American Ambassador Hurley, who had arrived in China, denounced the intrigues of the CCP, and therefore since that time world public opinion has corrected its views with respect to the CCP". Then excerpts from reactionary American and British newspapers about the CCP are cited.

"The above circumstance reflected on the international position of the CCP, in spite of the fact that it will hold to its previous platform and will not stop at any intrigues to carry out a socialist revolution and seize power, which was especially graphically shown by the CCP's fight for its delegates at the San Francisco Conference, when it used the propaganda activity of the British and American Communist Parties to do this. With all due care we should be clear about all the complexity which the CCP represents in order for us to have a clear idea there both about ourselves and the Communists and to become invincible.

The current designs of the CCP and the possible direction of its future activities

It is necessary to first of all analyze CCP policy in order to distinctly understand what designs the CCP has today and what are its future tendencies.

The main design of the CCP at this stage is to accomplish its demand to create a "coalition government". This basic policy is completely clear now, and all the remaining tasks have been subordinated to it.

Such a form of government as a "coalition government" is of course not the final goal of the CCP in its struggle for power, but theoretically the CCP recognizes that "Chinese society is predominantly middle bourgeois [srednyaya burzhuaznaya]". Therefore "the current Chinese revolution is basically a bourgeois democratic revolution. To transition from a bourgeois democratic revolution to a socialist [revolution] it is necessary for this bourgeois democratic revolution to achieve the highest form of development; only then will the foundation be firmly laid for a socialist revolution".

The highest form of a bourgeois democratic revolution or the complete accomplishment of a democratic revolution means "a change of government from the hands of the bourgeoisie to the hands of the proletariat". The main task of such a form of government as a "coalition government" is precisely to facilitate this transition. That is why the tactical goal of the CCP at the current stage is to seek the creation of a "coalition government", that is, as Mao Zedong declared in 1940, "the realization of the highest form of united front government".

Inasmuch as the main design of the CCP at this stage is just this, the further struggle of the CCP will possible proceed in the following directions:

1) Preparations by the CCP for a general uprising have already been completed. Two things might be moments for an open rebellion this year:

a) when the Allies land on the Chinese coast, but the CCP troops are able to cut off our forces, prohibiting them from contact with the Allies;

b) when the National Assembly opens.

In the first case an uprising will probably formally begin in the name of a "Committee of Liberation". In the second case, in the name of a "Soviet of the Border Region", which will call for action against the National Assembly and will create a "Coalition Council/Soviet [Sovet] "as a counterweight to this Assembly, after which a puppet government will emerge in the form of a Provisional "Coalition Government".

2) Before the Allies land on the Chinese continent [SIC] or before the National Assembly, which will be convened on 12 November of this year. With respect to negotiations with the Center the CCP will hold to the previous position in which a situation will be created which it hard to understand - negotiations will be discontinued or they will continue so that at a suitable moment a new specific demand will be advanced regarding the creation of a "coalition government", but also to force the "Democratic League" to express its opinion about the opening of the National Assembly to demand the election of delegates to provide an opportunity for all parties to take part in this meeting in equal conditions.

If this attempt is not successful, then the CCP will possible take part in the National Assembly to put up a fight in it.

3) In order to win the direct aid of the Allies, the CCP will pursue measures in two directions simultaneously: first, it will seek direct material aid from the US by free deliveries or rent. The CCP has exerted the greatest efforts in this regard.  But this attempt by the CCP has failed thanks to American Ambassador Hurley, who gave an explanation regarding this in his statement of 2 March of this year.

In view of this the CCP has taken up in another measure even more actively: an increase of activity in coastal regions, a concentration of their forces, preparations to cut off our troop at the moment the Allies troops land, and not allowing [them] to establish contact with the Allies in order [to be] the first to establish contact with the Allied troops and thus create favorable conditions in which the Allies will have to give them direct aid in weapons and materials.

4) The CCP thinks that in order to prevent the Allies from landing on the continent [and] in order to continue an intensified offensive against the Guomindang troops, it will gradually concentrate its forces and the forces already concentrated around the main points against them, weakening its overall control over the occupied regions, which precisely favors a reinforcement of the Communists themselves. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the CCP will not only further expand their armed forces and territory, but will carry out the greatest work in the main population centers in order for its armed forces to be ahead of our troops at the moment of a general counteroffensive and seize the main strategic points. In the event that the Communists manage to accomplish their perfidious designs their armed forces will grow considerably and strengthen, which will change the overall situation.

5) In an economic sense this year the CCP will even more vigorously conduct a campaign to increase industrial and agricultural production in order for the support bases to meet the requirements of a general uprising.

6) As regards the other parties, with the aid of undivided control over the "Democratic League" the CCP will continue the intensified development of the organizations of this League, ingratiate itself with central elements, and also create branches of the Democratic League in the "border regions". The Soviet of the "Border Region" will invite representatives of the Democratic League to join the so-called "united front of opposition parties" in order to wage an attack against our Party together and help the Communists in their so-called "demand for democracy".

7) Besides the exposure of the dark aspects of our Party before public opinion with the goal of undermining its authority the Communists will concentrate their efforts at disrupting the convening of the National Assembly. In this connection their international propaganda will be intensified. The distortion of all the measures being pursued by our Party to win sympathy among the Allies is a means to achieve the goals they have set.

8) Dong Biwu is using the San Francisco Conference both to increase his international authority and to organize and increase the work of Chinese émigré organizations".

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