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July 29, 1956

Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'Guidance Regarding Strengthening Work on Peaceful Liberation of Taiwan'

This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

Incoming Cable


From Beijing
Grade: Urgent
Classification: Security
Level: Secret  
Original number: 15 
Registry number: 1311
Type: Party    
[Receiving Office] Confidential Department    
August 1    Received 3 pm       
Recorded by Wu
Handling Departments: General Office

Send to: Standing Committee, Secretariat, United Front Department, Propaganda Department, Public Security Office, Military District Political Department

Guidance Regarding Strengthening Work on Peaceful Liberation of Taiwan

Shanghai Bureau, All Provincial, Municipal and Autonomous Region Party Committees, Tibet Working Committee, plus all Embassies and Representative Offices:

(1) Comrade Zhou Enlai’s speech on the issue of the peaceful liberation of Taiwan, [delivered] at the third session of the First People’s Congress on June 28 has already attracted considerable response overseas and in Taiwan, intensifying Taiwan’s internal transformation.  Although the liberation of Taiwan still must go through a lengthy and complicated process of struggle, but time is on our side, we must actively mobilize all relevant forces inside and outside the Party to participate in this great cause of reunifying the motherland.  Currently the work of peacefully liberating Taiwan ought to take a patiently persuasive, active and multiple influence approach.  The key point of the work should be placed on winning [over] powerful and representative figures in Taiwan.  This means using every connection and a variety of methods to win over Taiwan’s senior military government officials under the father and son of the Chiang   family and Chen Cheng so as to ensure the complete future return of Taiwan to the motherland: as for the senior commanders of Chiang ’s army on Jinmen and Mazu, we want to get them to stick to their posts and await the opportunity to cooperate with our battle to liberate the coastal islands.  For the Nationalist Party and other Party personnel overseas and in Hong Kong and Macao who want to resettle in or visit China, we can give permission.  Nationalist diplomats in international organizations or stationed abroad should be encouraged to remain at their posts and bide their time, meanwhile keeping their files secure and providing us with intelligence, and generally shouldn’t join in any uprising.  It is acceptable to try to recruit Nationalist Party personnel in various international organizations such as the Olympic Committee or the International Red Cross.  As for participants in the “Third Force” or “Free China League”, may be permitted to resettle or come for a visit only when they initiate the request to return to China, there is no need to invite them first, as we don’t want to end up in an awkward position.

(2) We must change our approach regarding the peaceful liberation of Taiwan, in order to suit the current new circumstance and policy. External propaganda should adopt a policy of emphasis on [what we have in] common and not emphasize how we differ, emphasizing the “one patriotic family”.  There should be much more propaganda about the Americans oppression of the people of Taiwan and their control over the Chiang  clique, emphasizing discord between Chiang  and the U.S., more propaganda about Taiwan’s internal desire to return to the motherland, and not emphasize Taiwan’s internal contradictions.  It should focus on Taiwan’s power factions, look for relationship connection and gradually widen openings, starting by revealing to them our central government’s policies towards Taiwan.  When writing letters we must pay attention to using appropriate persons at appropriate times, not acting blindly, in order to avoid messing things up and affecting work in the future.  Face to face encounters and contents of written communications must be natural.  Start from the surface and work your way in, exerting influence gradually. Be understanding towards their difficult positions. You can begin with establishing a friendship, talking about family matters, and for those who still have some doubts about the motherland, you can express a willingness to wait.  In your encounters you should avoid empty debates and exchanges of insults.  You must be patient, don’t be too direct or pushy.  If at first you don’t succeed, leave yourself a way out, don’t close out the chapter.  Anyone who comes from the Taiwan side looking to establish a connection for peace should be met with sincerity, and you should handle matters according to the policy presented by Comrade Zhou Enlai on behalf of the government.  Henceforth, all representative offices stationed overseas and delegations or individuals going overseas for activities must actively advance the work of winning over and influencing personnel related to Taiwan.  However, on formal diplomatic occasions you must be highly alert and avoid falling into the “two Chinas” conspiracy trap.  Overseas you must be fully alert for Nationalist agents’ sabotage against us, however, if they just raise some general anti-China arguments, you should righteously justify the Center’s Taiwan policy and turn things around to try winning them over, if circumstances allow.

(3) In order to strengthen the work of peacefully liberating Taiwan, the Center has already instructed the responsible persons in the departments concerned (United Front, Investigation, Propaganda, Public Security, Foreign Affairs, Overseas Chinese Affairs, General Political Department, and Military Intelligence) to establish a Taiwan affairs working group, to assist the Center in consolidating its management of work relating to Taiwan.  Each relevant provincial and municipal party committees, such as the Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang , Jiangsu, and Yunnan Provincial Party Committees, the Shanghai and Tianjin Municipal Party Committees should establish matching Taiwan affairs working groups, headed by one responsible person from each provincial and municipal Standing Committees, under the unified leadership of these provincial and municipal committees, to carry out this work, and to establish working relationships with the Taiwan affairs working group at the Center.  Other provincial, municipal and autonomous regions’ party committees generally can just designate a responsible department under the leadership of these party committees as they see fit. All relevant provincial and municipal party committees, as well as relevant overseas Embassies, representative offices and commercial representative offices, on receiving this instruction, should advise the Center’s Taiwan affairs working group of its proposed initial work plan based on this instruction, focusing on listing the relationships and means by which this work can be carried out.

Central Committee of the Communist Party
July 29, 1956

Following a major speech on Taiwan made by Zhou Enlai, the CCP Central Committee distributes updated guidance on the Party's approach to Nationalist controlled Taiwan.

Document Information


Fujian Provincial Archives, 101-5-814, 25-27. Translated by Simon Schuchat.


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