The CCP Central Committee advises officials in Guangdong and Fujian, as well as at Chinese embassies abroad, on the Party's propaganda strategy vis-a-vis Nationalist controlled Taiwan.
February 26, 1956
Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'Central Committee Issues the Central Propaganda Department’s “Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan"'
This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation
Original number: 35
Registry number: 00475
March 3 Received 6 [am?]
Sent by Sun
Handling Departments: Propaganda Department
CC: Standing Committee, Secretary General, General Office, United Front Department, Overseas Chinese Committee, People’s Committee General Office Party Branch, Military Districts Political Department
Central Committee Issues the Central Propaganda Department’s “Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan”
All Province and Municipal Committee, Autonomous Region Party Committees; All Party Committees for all Central Committee Departments, Central State Offices and Popular Organizations, People’s Liberation Army General Staff Department, Political Department; People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, Broadcasting Industry Bureau:
The Central Committee agrees with the Central Committee Propaganda Department’s proposed “Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of
Propaganda Work towards Taiwan”. Propaganda work towards Taiwan is extremely important and must continue to be proactively carried out. We hope that the relevant party committees and departments at all levels follow the proposals made in this report, to strengthen this aspect of their work.
February 25, 1956
Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan
[To the] Central Committee:
Recently we have inspected some of the propaganda work towards Taiwan and discussed it twice with several of the departments concerned. Now we provide the following Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan:
I. For more than year, all departments concerned have been fully implementing the Central Committee prescribed policies on propaganda work towards Taiwan from August 1954, carrying out an extensive [program of] propaganda towards the people of the enemy occupied area and personnel of the Nationalist Army and Government. This work has already made considerable progress, and formed a rough framework for a network of propaganda towards Taiwan, including:
1. Our broadcasts towards Taiwan have gone from four hours daily at the beginning to twelve hours daily. Other than the Taipei region where jamming by the enemy makes for unclear reception, listening conditions in all other parts of Taiwan are all good. In addition to broadcasting a certain amount of news reports, we are also broadcasting a large number of documents encouraging defection from democratic personages and uprising leaders, and letters from family members of Chiang’s military and civilian officials as well as other manuscripts aimed at splitting the enemy’s army (approximately 80 pieces per month).
2. Using progressive publications in Hong Kong and Macao, Southeast Asia, Japan and other places, as well as using some neutral publications, we have frequently placed articles and reports propagandizing the liberation of Taiwan. In just this past year the China News Service has provided 780 pieces of such articles to foreign news publications.
3. On the southeast coastal frontline, we have distributed 1.3 million propaganda [leaflets] to the enemy occupied islands, as well as set up four broadcast groups using loudspeakers to broadcast to Chiang’s army.
4. We have mobilized and organized some family members of personnel in the Nationalist army and government to write letters to Taiwan. From the situation in Shanghai and other places where we have already been carrying out this work, this activity has been quite functional. Overall, we can say, all the departments concerned with propaganda work towards Taiwan have been energetic and hardworking, and their work has already achieved some results. According to the personnel who have defected and returned [to the mainland from Taiwan], our propaganda work towards Taiwan has already had a considerable impact in Taiwan.
The principal shortcomings of propaganda work towards Taiwan are:
1. Generalized content: it has not sufficiently and concentratedly incorporated patriotism as the main stress of the propaganda; it has not concentrated the main strength to attack the American invaders, some of the scripts are dry, tediously long, and detached from reality.
2. It isn’t sufficiently clear who the target audience is; while attention has been paid to dividing and winning over the upper strata of military and civilian personnel on Taiwan, but not enough care has been given to the broad masses of the Taiwan people of all classes.
3. Propaganda policy is insufficiently pro-active and flexible: it doesn’t fully utilize all types of propaganda material beneficial to us (including [material from] British, American and other countries and Taiwan [sources]). There have been no counterattacks in a timely manner against some reactionary debating points from the Taiwan side. Besides this, there is a tendency to shift the work into high gear at one moment, and slack off the next, as well as doing too much one moment and too little the next, and we haven’t yet fully explored all the potential for propaganda towards Taiwan. There are also some avoidable flaws remaining in the organizational leadership of propaganda work.
The principal causes that produced these flaws are: insufficient understanding of the Central Committee’s directives for propaganda work directed at Taiwan, particularly relating to the specific point of the long-term nature in liberating Taiwan, which hasn’t been fully implemented in day-to-day work; our research and collection of materials relating to conditions on Taiwan has been rather poor, and we have only a partial understanding of the actual conditions on Taiwan, and a certain degree of empiricism and blindness. From now on, we must pay particular attention to overcoming all of these [flaws].
II. In his political report at the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Comrade Zhou Enlai announced that, while we should actively be prepared, when necessary, to use military means to liberate Taiwan, we should do our best to adhere to our policy of liberating Taiwan through peaceful means. The struggle to liberate Taiwan and propaganda work on liberating Taiwan has already entered into a new stage, we believe: henceforth our propaganda work towards Taiwan must be based on the spirit of Comrade Enlai’s report, concentrating our strength to strike at the American imperialist invaders, winning over and dividing Taiwan’s Nationalist military and civilian personnel, and raise the consciousness of all levels of the Taiwan people.
As for the content of the propaganda, we must grasp tightly the banner of patriotism:
1. Emphasize the people’s motherland’s prosperity and power; repeatedly introduce new China’s great accomplishments in all types of work; declare that the motherland is capable of liberating Taiwan, and that Taiwan will definitely return to the embrace of the motherland; propound China’s elevated international position and the inevitable victory of the peaceful democratic forces of the world, in view of the international and domestic situation.
2. Emphasize in propaganda how the American imperialists are hostile to the entire Chinese people (including the people of Taiwan) and how the entire nation should unite against the foreigners; announce the inevitable defeat of the U.S. aggressors.
3. Emphasize in propaganda that Chinese people must love China, and for the Chinese Nationalist military and civilian personnel on Taiwan and overseas patriotism is their only glorious way out; all Nationalist military and civilian personnel and overseas Chinese compatriots should all unite under the banner of patriotism, together with their compatriots in the motherland, fight for the great cause of liberating Taiwan and unifying the motherland. In addition to this, we should work hard to continue to propagandize our policy of forgiveness; and also should make good use of insurgent personnel to speak out from personal experience, and use real examples to eliminate the doubts of Nationalist military and civilian personnel.
As for the propaganda strategy, from now on we should focus on the exposure of and attacks on the U.S. invaders evil and dark rule over Taiwan, energetically supporting the Taiwan people and the Nationalist military and civil personnel in their struggle opposing the U.S. occupation and demanding the peaceful liberation of Taiwan. We must continue to carry out exposure and criticisms of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chiang Kai-shek group’s treasonous activities and their other evil crimes, but in exposing and criticizing them, we must emphatically point out that the ringleaders of these evil crimes are the U.S. occupiers. Also we want to tell the Nationalist military and civilian personnel that, if they continue to follow the U.S., they will drive themselves onto a road of no return. As for the slanders against us propagated by the Chiang Kai-shek group’s reactionary propaganda offices, in general there’s no need to make a direct rebuttal, other than a few which truly require direct refutation. We should, in the course of strengthening the positive propaganda about our country’s true conditions, let such slanders fall apart on their own.
All personnel involved with propaganda work towards Taiwan must fully understand the long-term nature of propaganda work towards Taiwan and guard against impatience. All planning of propaganda work towards Taiwan must be carried out with its long-term nature in mind, depending on changes in the situation on the other side, and counter-measures should be proposed at any time, in order to increase the propaganda’s effectiveness.
III. Planning propaganda work towards Taiwan for the year of 1956 should stress strengthening of broadcasts to Taiwan and the strengthening of the propaganda power in Hong Kong; at the same time we should further mobilize the various types of propaganda power that can be used on the southeast coastal frontline and all places overseas other than Hong Kong (especially Japan), as well as relatives of Taiwan military and civilian personnel on the mainland, to participate in the propaganda struggle for the peaceful liberation of Taiwan. The specific requirements are: raise the quality of all types of propaganda, improve the writing style, make sure that the majority of the propaganda content is closely connected to the real situation in Taiwan, make everything specific, vivid, concise and powerful; continue to improve conditions for broadcasting to Taiwan, ensure that the entire Taiwan region can clearly hear our broadcasts, increase the number of issues of Hong Kong progressive publications, including expanding the scope of propaganda in Hong Kong, Macao, Japan and various overseas locations, particularly in making fullest use of gray propaganda tools, striving for those among them that can reach Taiwan directly; increase the number of articles released overseas; the quantities of all types of manuscripts (including pictures) should see a significant increase; strengthen propaganda on the southeast seacoast frontlines, making sure the troops and civilians on the Chiang-occupied islands can frequently see our propaganda materials, those few islands which are closest to our territory should be able to constantly hear our broadcasts through loudspeakers; organize, in all provincial capitals and other cities that meet [necessary] conditions, relatives of Taiwan military and civilian personnel that have a genuine possibility to communicate [with them] to write letters as propaganda; create postal channels overseas, to ensure that the aforementioned letters, propaganda materials as well as some news publications get into Taiwan.
IV. In order to do propaganda work towards Taiwan well, we must strengthen leadership and division of labor. Considering the circumstances that the Liberate Taiwan Propaganda Committees cannot frequently hold meetings, propaganda work towards Taiwan has been placed under the direct management of the Central Propaganda Department, which can frequently summon the relevant departments to meetings to discuss and plan this aspect of work. Regarding some unclear work assignments of work in the past, work should be assigned as follows: the party committee of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Department should have unified responsibility for Hong Kong, Macao and overseas propaganda work towards Taiwan, including sending manuscripts overseas; the United Front Department should have unified responsibility for organizing the production of articles by the democratic personages in each region for propaganda towards Taiwan; the [PLA] General Political Department together with the United Front Department is responsible for organizing manuscript production by insurgent leaders of propaganda towards Taiwan; research and organization of letter writing by family members of Taiwan military and civilian personnel on the mainland should be under the unified leadership of each locale’s party committee, with the party committee propaganda department offices, military political offices, and local public security departments responsible for implementation; any issues involving creating postal routes should be collectively studied and decided through meetings with the Central Propaganda Department, the [PLA] General Political Department, the Foreign Ministry, the Public Security Ministry, the Ministry of Communications, the Postal and Telegraph Ministry, and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission and other departments concerned.
V. In propaganda work towards Taiwan, it is extremely urgent and necessary to strengthen investigation and research work. We propose: all personnel responsible for propaganda work towards Taiwan must meticulously study the Central Committee’s policies related to the liberation of Taiwan, research the state of the international conflicts and diplomatic policies; energetically collect and accumulate information on various aspects of the U.S. and Chiang; research the invasion policies of the U.S. imperialists and its changes; study the situation of the current Taiwan and overseas Nationalist military and civilian personnel, Taiwan politics, military affairs, and economic conditions; research the conditions of the people of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and overseas Chinese, in order to overcome economism and blindness in our work, and make our propaganda more accurate and effective. The Central Committee’s Propaganda Department, the Central Committee Investigation Department, the [PLA] General Staff Department, the [PLA] General Political Department, the Foreign Ministry, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission as well as all departments concerned with dissemination of propaganda towards Taiwan and any other departments all should separately establish this sort of investigation and research work and share the collected data and research in a timely manner among relevant departments.
Please indicate whether the above report is appropriate. If the Central Committee agrees, then please disseminate to the relevant departments for implementation.
Central Committee Propaganda Department
February 18, 1956
The CCP Central Committee distributes a report from the Propaganda Department titled “Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan."
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