July 29, 1957
Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'CCP Central Committee Authorized Transmittal of Report on the Situation and Opinions by the Propaganda Department for Improvement of Propaganda Campaign towards Taiwan'
This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation
CCP Central Committee Authorized Transmittal of Report on the Situation and Opinions by the Propaganda Department for Improvement of Propaganda Campaign towards Taiwan
(July 29, 1957)
To all Provincial and Municipal Committee, Autonomous Region Party Committee, Organizations Directly under the Central Committee and Party Committees in State Offices, All Central Committee Departments and Committees, All Party Committees in State Organizations and People’s Groups, Chief Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army; People’s Daily, Xinhua News Service, Broadcasting Industry Bureau, all Campaign Departments towards Taiwan:
The Central Committee agrees with the Central Propaganda Department’s “Report on the Situation and Opinions for Improvement of the Propaganda Campaign towards Taiwan” which is herein transmitted to you for action. The propaganda campaign towards Taiwan is an important part of the struggle to liberate Taiwan and we must continue to work hard to do it well. It is also extremely important to frequently carry out propaganda work regarding the liberation of Taiwan to cadres and the broad masses inside the country. In the most recent period, many locations have somewhat overlooked this work, and we hope that you will pay attention, and continue to strengthen leadership of this work.
July 29, 1957
Attached: Report on the Situation and Opinions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan
(1) Over the past year, our propaganda campaign towards Taiwan has developed considerably. Compared to previous efforts, significant progress has been made in terms of broadcasts to Taiwan, frontline propaganda towards the Chiang [Kai-shek; Jiang Jieshi] troops, propaganda work in Hong Kong and overseas on liberating Taiwan, as well as organizing letter writing and broadcasting towards Taiwan by leaders of uprisings, democratic personages and family members of the Chiang military. Particularly in the second half of last year, [when] the Central Committee issued “Guidance Regarding Strengthening Work for the Peaceful Liberation of Taiwan,” and “Guidance Regarding Winning Over Family Members, Friends and Relatives of Personnel on Chiang’s Side Residing on the Mainland”, which made further progress in clarifying policy and proposed many measures which have been extraordinarily useful for advancing all aspects of our propaganda work towards Taiwan. The Taiwan working groups established by the Central Committee and all the relevant provinces and municipalities have intensified day-to-day leadership of propaganda work towards Taiwan. Due to the fact that when the propaganda campaign towards Taiwan was initiated, we galvanized the entire Party and the entire country’s strength, and adopted a relaxed policy towards members of the democratic parties and democratic personages, we have transformed the previous situation where only a minority of people were involved, resulting in our entering the stage of complete coverage of our propaganda work towards Taiwan. Just looking at the work of winning over family members of personnel on Chiang’s side, according to a partial survey of 21 provinces and municipalities throughout the entire country, there are as many as 21,520 households of family members of Chiang military personnel above the rank of warrant officer. Each area, during its survey, carried out different degrees of patriotic education for the majority of people among them, explaining to them the Central Committee’s policy for liberating Taiwan. After these people had been educated, the majority showed enthusiasm and eagerly wrote letters to friends and relatives on Taiwan. Some of them have already been in established communication channels with each other, while many [others] thought of numerous methods for sending letters, striving to win merit.
There has been a visible improvement in the quality of propaganda work towards Taiwan. Thanks to paying full attention to improving literary style, whether news reports or manuscripts, most of it now feels more lifelike and has a human touch. The content of the propaganda is somewhat richer than before, and the strategy for the campaign has also improved. When every Central Committee department concerned with propaganda towards Taiwan were deciding how to improve the quality of propaganda towards Taiwan, they paid attention to research and investigation work, publishing some reference material reflecting conditions on Taiwan and overseas, which played a very important role in improving the quality of last year’s propaganda towards Taiwan.
In the past year, the influence of our propaganda work towards Taiwan has broadened considerably. All parts of Taiwan are able to hear our broadcasts. Some of the various overseas Chinese newspapers under our influence have already entered Taiwan. The slogan “peacefully liberate Taiwan” has gradually permeated through Taiwan. The number of people listening to the motherland and approving of the liberation of Taiwan is steadily increasing. This point can be confirmed from the reports of foreign news agencies and insurgents, and returning overseas Chinese during the course of last year. Currently Chiang is adopting a variety of measures to strengthen his so-called “Safeguard Project,” cracking down on listening to mainland broadcasts, strictly monitoring publications and letters coming into Taiwan from Hong Kong and overseas, attempting through these measures to weaken the results of our propaganda.
(2) The most important flaw in this period’s work has been that the many of the comrades engaged in the work of propaganda towards Taiwan has been impatient in their thinking, lacking deep recognition of the complicated and long-term nature of the struggle to liberate Taiwan. Consequently there is some one-sided-ness in our propaganda. In the previous period, we emphasized in our propaganda the struggle to peacefully liberate Taiwan, and winning over emphasis personages in the upper strata of the Chiang Kai-shek group: all of that was necessary and correct. However, at times in our propaganda we have missed a complete explanation of our policies for the liberation of Taiwan, and didn’t do enough to expose and criticize the reactionary aspects of the Chiang group, therefore weakening the effect of our propaganda to a certain degree. Some comrades also tend to be overeager in getting things accomplished. For example this February the peace talks storm in our Hong Kong newspapers, announcing that “peace talks must take place,” resulting in the enemy slandering us as “begging for peace”, which caused us politically to suffer some losses that we shouldn’t have.
Compared to the past the content of our propaganda integrating Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao [sic]* and overseas compatriots’ thinking is in fact already somewhat improved. But it isn’t really enough. Many special reports and family letters still have very ordinary content. Some of the manuscripts for dissemination overseas still sound very stiff. There are relatively few lively propaganda materials that connect with conditions in Taiwan and the issues that the Taiwan people care about.
Every unit concerned with propaganda towards Taiwan has not sufficiently studied the Central Committee’s instructions on liberating Taiwan, and also their investigations and research into conditions in Taiwan and overseas have been insufficient as well. Up to now, our investigations have not been built up in a systematic way, and our understanding of Taiwan basically is still half-baked. Although there has definitely been an improvement in the Central Propaganda Department’s guidance on propaganda towards Taiwan, with meetings held in a timely fashion, and some issues resolved, but guidance on the ideological policy front still have some shortcomings. Practical assistance for various provinces and municipalities has also been insufficient. Henceforth it’s necessary to pay attention to and overcome these shortcomings.
(3). From here onwards, in our propaganda directed at Taiwan, we believe that we should continue to energetically promote various achievements of our country’s in construction and the increase in national strength, promote patriotism, promote the determination of all the people in the country to liberate Taiwan and our policy to keeping using peaceful means to liberate Taiwan. With an eye on developments in the international arena, particularly American plots against Taiwan, we should continue to expose the criminal acts of the U.S. occupation of Taiwan, opposing the American plot to set up “two Chinas”. In our propaganda we must closely connect with the ideological realities of the Taiwan [people] and overseas Chinese. Regarding the important matters in their own regions that the people of Taiwan and overseas Chinese are concerned about, we also must strengthen this aspect of our explanatory propaganda work. Because currently the U.S. and Chiang are currently exaggerating our internal contradictions, in the future we must pay greater attention to increasing reports about our country’s socialist construction and the life of the people. As for difficulties encountered in the course of our country’s socialist construction, as well as contradictions among the people in various areas, we ought also to adopt a “seek truth from facts” attitude and present correct explanations towards the Taiwan people and overseas Chinese.
From past propaganda work, we feel there are still several issues of policy ideology that need to be further clarified. (1) we have to pay attention to the whole picture in communicating our policies for the liberation of Taiwan. From now on we still need to continually emphasize propagandizing our effort to use peaceful means to liberate Taiwan, and this is the main aspect of our propaganda; but in our propaganda we should not present peacefully liberating Taiwan as the sole path forward. Sometimes, when appropriate, we still must fully explain our policy and explain that Taiwan will definitely be liberated. The Chinese people have complete confidence and strength to fulfill the task of liberating Taiwan, and we need to avoid creating misunderstanding among the people of Taiwan and the overseas Chinese, who may take our effort to peacefully liberate Taiwan is an expression of weakness, that we will just sit and wait for Taiwan to be peacefully liberated. (2) Our newspapers in Hong Kong should actively advance propaganda about our effort to peacefully liberate Taiwan, but when peace talks have not yet formally begun and before Xinhua News Service has any reports, news from foreign press agencies about peace talks must be handled carefully. If they serve our interests, we may objectively report them, but not to participate in any discussions; as for those that do not serve our interests, we should not print them, but in general, there’s also no need to criticize or refute rumors. Regarding the handling of such issues, you must always seek guidance from above. (3) Announcing that the U.S. is the enemy of the Chinese people, exposing the plots and criminal acts of the U.S. and stressing the contradictions between the U.S. and Chiang; these are what we must carry out with all our might. However, regarding the contradictions between Chiang and the U.S. we ought to make concrete analyses: all the struggles between Chiang and the U.S. that are beneficial to the struggle to liberate Taiwan should be encouraged and supported; all the usual quarrels between Chiang and the U.S. that are either without benefit or even harmful to the struggle to liberate Taiwan should just not be emphasized. The various criminal acts of the Chiang group on Taiwan, especially those related to his selling out the country and his stand against the peaceful liberation of Taiwan, should be exposed and criticized when appropriate and as needed. (4) At present in our propaganda we emphasize that the Taiwan people want to have peace, but generally do not call for an uprising. If there are people who rise up on their own, we may use appropriate propaganda as encouragement.
(4) In view of the fact that the struggle to liberate Taiwan will continue for a long time, once the propaganda outreach directed at Taiwan has been fully rolled out, in this extended period of our propaganda policy towards Taiwan we need to intensify research, improve quality, make long-term plans, and move steadily forward. When implementing this policy, it is necessary to improve the relevant cadres’ understanding of the overall situation in the struggle to liberate Taiwan and firmly counter impatience, at the same time we must also guard against possibly becoming too relaxed. The concrete requirements are:
(1) In order to further advance the improvement in quality of propaganda work towards Taiwan, from now on we must emphasize systematic research and investigations. The key point of the investigations and research should emphasize research on the ideological conditions and political tendencies of each strata of Taiwan, as well as the propaganda tendencies of the Chiang clique at each stage. We need to further set up separate topics on the U.S. occupation of Taiwan, the basic conditions of Taiwan’s politics, economy, military affairs and other areas as well as international reactions, etc., and gather our strength for more in-depth study. Central Committee top level departments concerned with propaganda towards Taiwan should, within the scope of their respective divisions of labor, strive to do a good job in the accumulation and study of research materials, paying attention to updating the reference materials which they edit and publish, as well as carry out exchanges [of information] in a timely manner.
(2) It is imperative to pay closer attention to the Hong Kong, overseas Chinese and Japan aspects of propaganda outreach towards Taiwan. Hong Kong is an advantageous frontline for our propaganda campaign towards Taiwan, [where] the struggle is extremely fierce. We must strengthen leadership in this area. From now on, our work in Hong Kong should, in addition to fortifying already existing propaganda battlegrounds (there’s no need to solely chase after quantity), should also fully develop, win over and make use of neutral publications. From here onwards, we ask the party committee of the Overseas Chinese Affairs [Department] together with the Guangdong Provincial Committee to continue to take responsibility for managing this work. Currently the Overseas Chinese Affairs party committee is carrying out an inspection the Hong Kong-Macao propaganda campaign, and will report their findings to the Central Committee. There should be an overall plan for how to advance the development of the Japan and overseas Chinese aspect of propaganda directed at Taiwan, particularly the work of winning over these regions’ neutral newspapers. We believe, no matter whether in Hong Kong or overseas, our policy towards these neutral publications must have long-term calculations, generally we should not seek to immediately make them convert, but make use of them as they are, to disclose some information and comments that have practical benefits for us. If these publications can continue to (or try to) enter Taiwan, that will be even more to our advantage. To expose these relationships too early would in fact not be in our interest.
(3) We should continue to strive for a trusting and hands-off policy towards democratic personages and uprising leaders participation in the propaganda campaign towards Taiwan. At the moment the issue is intensifying ideological policy guidance towards them. When this phase of the rectification campaign has ended, the Central Propaganda Department together with the Central Committee’s United Front Department should in an appropriate manner disclose the Central Committee’s concept for the propaganda campaign towards Taiwan to the various democratic parties and unaffiliated democratic personages. We suggest that each provincial and municipal committee’s Propaganda department and United Front department also work out suitable means to assist the local organizations of the democratic parties and democratic personages in advancing this work.
(4) As for organizing friends and family members of personnel on Chiang’s side to write letters, from now on it is necessary to place emphasis on strengthening the already existing communication relationships, while paying attention to improving quality. We should always pay attention to studying the Central Committee’s relevant policies and researching conditions on Taiwan, and always pay attention to examining all aspects of the work. We are prepared to transfer some internal reference materials published by the Central Committee propaganda department to various localities, based on work requirements. At the same time, we plan to communicate, in a timely fashion, the Central Committee’s intentions regarding propaganda work towards Taiwan at various stages and matters worthy of attention in propaganda work in order to strengthen our assistance to the propaganda departments of each provincial and municipal committee. We require each provincial and municipal committee’s propaganda department to also pay attention to strengthening their leadership over propaganda towards Taiwan. Some provinces and municipalities currently still lack broad and constant unified leadership; this is not beneficial for our work, and they must immediately adopt measures to change this situation.
If the Central Committee considers it appropriate, please direct that the above report to be transmitted to all provincial and municipal committees and relevant departments of the Central Committee for implementation.
Central Committee Propaganda Department
June 6, 1957
* Translator’s note: Appears to be a misprint. Character is 沃 vice 澳.
The CCP Central Committee distributes a detailed summary and evaluation of propaganda efforts vis-a-vis Nationalist controlled Taiwan.
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