Skip to content

October 17, 1958

CCP Central Committee Notice on the Current Situation in the Conflict with the United States

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

CCP Central Committee Notice on the Current Situation in the Conflict with the United States

(October 17, 1958)

To: Shanghai Bureau, Party committees of all provinces, cities, and autonomous regions, Tibet and Ningxia Working Committees; all Central Committee Departments, Ministries and Commissions, State organs and Popular Organizations and Party organizations (Party Committees), the [PLA] General Political Department, People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, broadcast stations, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for forwarding to all embassies abroad (Top Secret):

Our country's conflict with the United States has entered a new stage. Herewith is a notice on the situation of the struggle against the United States:

(1) Comrade Peng Dehuai’s statement on October 6 and the order on October 13 clearly delineated the boundaries between international and domestic issues. It thoroughly crushed the U.S. "ceasefire" conspiracy, blocked any path for international interference, and expanded and deepened the contradictions between the United States and Chiang Kai-shek [Jiang Jieshi].  Right now, the U.S. is in a more wretched and reactive spot than in it is on the Lebanon issue.  Whereas, we have gained some unexpected advantages.  More than a month of struggle has profoundly educated the people of the entire country, exercised our armed forces, and accelerated our country's socialist construction in our Great Leap Forward [campaign] and nationwide military mobilization.  This struggle has also educated people all over the world, shifted and contained U.S. aggression, inspired and helped the peoples of Asia and Africa, especially the Arab peoples, in their popular anti-American struggle.

(2) This struggle has further exposed the nature of the American paper tiger and has revealed that at present he still does not dare risk the danger of a major war. The U.S. has tried to use its “brinkmanship” policy to frighten us.   We have waged a tit-for-tat, reasonable, advantageous and disciplined struggle against the United States. When the U.S. failed to frighten us and instead got stuck in his own self-made noose, he was eager to adopt a policy of abandoning Jinmen, in order to permanently occupy Taiwan and Pengu, and advance his plot [to create] "two Chinas".  Right now, we are using the noose policy to break the U.S. withdrawal policy. We firmly insist that Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen and Mazu must be fully liberated, and we oppose the U.S. plot to exchange Jinmen and Mazu for Taiwan and Penghu. We proposed direct peace talks with Chiang Kai-shek, but absolutely won’t negotiate the so-called “cease-fire” with the United States. This way, the United States will be unable to obtain any exchange terms from our side, trapping him in a double predicament, in which he can neither go forward or backward, and has been mired in a long-lasting reactive position.

(2)  There is consensus between the United States and Chiang Kai-shek, but they also have profound mistrust and fears [about each other].  Chiang Kai-shek wanted to use all means to drag the U.S. into the water.  But, not only did the United States not go in the water, he instead pressured Chiang Kai-shek to reduce the garrisons on Jinmen and Mazu, and ultimately to withdraw from Jinmen and Mazu, in order to carry out its plot [to create] two Chinas. This caused Chiang Kai-shek much annoyance. What we are doing now is to expand the contradiction between the United States and Chiang Kai-shek, and to use Chiang Kai-shek's unwillingness to withdraw from Jinmen and Mazu to restrain the United States. We would rather have Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen and Mazu to stay in Chiang Kai-shek’s hands for a longer period of time, than allowing them to be taken by the United States.

(4 ) The liberation of Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen, and Mazu is a long and complex struggle. The United States will not withdraw troops from Taiwan now, nor will Chiang Kai-shek immediately agree to peace talks. At present, it seems that Chiang Kai-shek's troops are more likely to remain in Jinmen and Mazu than to withdraw.  If Chiang Kai-shek’s troops withdrew from Jinmen and Mazu, this is of course good for us. However, it is even more beneficial for us for Chiang Kai-shek’s troops to remain in Jinmen and Mazu. This is because whether there is a fight, cease-fire, or negotiations, the initiative remains in our hands. The United States will continue to be reactive, the contradictions between the United States and Chiang Kai-shek will continue to deepen, and sooner or later Chiang Kai-shek’s internal situation will change. We can take advantage of this type of situation to speed up our country’s construction, strengthen our national capabilities, thoroughly discredit the United States [standing], and gradually create favorable conditions for a complete liberation of Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen and Mazu under favorable conditions. We must use all means to foster this situation and thus isolate and strike at the United States to the greatest extent possible.

The CCP Central Committee issues guidance on how the Party is navigating the struggle with the United States over Taiwan's future.

Document Information


Fujian Provincial Archives, 101-2-160, 20-22. Translated by Simon Schuchat.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date



Record ID



Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars