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February 18, 1956

Central Committee Notice on Propaganda on Current Events

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

Central Committee Notice on Propaganda on Current Events

(February 18, 1956)

Comrade Zhou Enlai’s political report at the second session of the Second National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference provided a detailed explanation of the international situation, our country's foreign policy, domestic situation and various major tasks, as well as the issue of the liberation of Taiwan. This political report should be an indispensable basis for propaganda and education on recent events, for use both within and outside the party, both verbally and in writing.

(1) The parts of Comrade Zhou Enlai’s report covering the issue of liberating Taiwan announced the policy that, in addition to actively preparing to use war when necessary in liberating Taiwan, we must also make efforts to try to liberate Taiwan by peaceful means. Based on this policy, Comrade Zhou Enlai, representing our country’s government and people, issued a call to all Nationalist military and civilian personnel who have gone to Taiwan or overseas [to join in] the peaceful liberation of Taiwan, and proclaimed our policy of [favorably] treating all Nationalist military and civil personnel who are willing to go along the road of peacefully liberating Taiwan.  In view of the current international and domestic situation, his is an action of great significance by our party, in the cause of the fight to liberate Taiwan.  In addition to disseminating Comrade Enlai’s report in newspapers and periodicals, all localities should also provide oral explanations in a timely manner inside and outside the party, answer questions from both inside and outside the party, in order to prevent misunderstandings among some party members and the masses and to prevent counterrevolutionaries from taking the opportunity to spread rumors and turn people against each other. 

During the oral explanation, the following issues should be emphasized. (However, dissemination of the second point below is restricted to party members at the level of county party committees or cadres at equivalent ranks.)

(1) The people of China must liberate Taiwan.  We will never stop until the goal is reached. Our struggle to liberate Taiwan is a continuation of the war of liberation of the Chinese people.  Without a long-term, multi-faceted, and first of all military efforts, this task will be impossible to achieve.  The struggle to liberate Taiwan by military means must be carried out in a resolute, prepared and confident manner, and any attempt to relax active preparations and various efforts in this regard will be a mistake. However, in addition to this, we should not give up any favorable opportunity to engage in the struggle to liberate Taiwan by peaceful means, just as during the liberation of China [struggle] we sought to liberate Beijing, Hunan, Yunnan, Xinjiang and Tibet through peaceful means. These two aspects of our efforts are inseparable from our policy in the struggle to liberate Taiwan. As our country’s socialist construction develops, our country’s economic and national defense capabilities are increasing day by day, we will become more confident and powerful in the effort to liberate Taiwan through war. At the same time, under these circumstances, with even more favorable conditions, we will also carry out the struggle to liberate Taiwan by peaceful means, in order to achieve the goal of recovering Taiwan and realizing the complete reunification of the country.

(2)  In the current international situation, it is to our advantage to announce our policy of seeking to liberate Taiwan by peaceful means. Since the United States actually occupies Taiwan, interfering in our internal affairs, the Taiwan issue has both an internal and a foreign affairs aspect, and the struggle to liberate Taiwan encompasses a complicated diplomatic conflict. Regarding the Taiwan issue, the United States has one attitude, India and other neutral countries have another attitude, and the United Kingdom and other US allies are swaying between the U.S. and Indian [attitude].  Our overall plan is to use the support of neutral countries such as India to force Britain and other American allies to depart from the U.S. policy and force the United States to retreat from its policy of interference in our internal affairs and creating tension in the Taiwan region. The current international situation in general is tending towards relaxation [of tensions].  The U.S. policy of interference in our internal affairs and creating tensions in the Taiwan region is increasingly opposed by all countries and peoples who are in favor of peace.  Announcing our guiding principle to strive for the peaceful liberation of Taiwan further deals a blow to the United States’ excuse [for interfering in China’s internal affairs] and traps the U.S. in isolation and passivity.

(3) In the current domestic situation, announcing our guiding principle of striving for the peaceful liberation of Taiwan is beneficial both to the cause of our country’s socialist construction and the cause of the liberation of Taiwan.  Our country’s socialist revolution is achieving great victories, and we both can and must unite with all peoples with whom we can unite, standing under the banner of patriotism and concentrate our efforts against the enemy facing the people of our country – American imperialism.  Because our socialist cause is developing day by day, and our economic and national defense forces are strengthening daily, and our international status and prestige are increasing day by day, our Taiwan compatriots’ dissatisfaction with domination by foreign military forces is also steadily rising, together with the sharpening of internal divisions within Chiang Kai-shek’s [Jiang Jieshi’s] clique and the instability of his rule, more and more of the civil and military officials of the Nationalist party will want to come towards the motherland.  As such, we can and must get those Nationalist Party military and civilian officials who are inclined towards the motherland, who want to take the path of the peaceful liberation of Taiwan and unite them under the banner of patriotism.  At the same time we also want to unite people who have ordinary social connections with the Nationalist military and civilian personnel under the banner of patriotism in our endeavor to safeguard our country’s independence and security, and protection, and defend the socialist cause and liberate Taiwan.

(4) Striving to liberate Taiwan by peaceful means and actively preparing for the liberation of Taiwan by war are inseparable. On the one hand, it is possible to try to liberate Taiwan in a peaceful way. In the struggle for the liberation of the people of our country, in a situation with the enemy right in front of us, our party, by adopting the correct policy of uniting the people of the whole country against the foreigners, has twice sought to establish a national front with the Nationalist Party, to jointly oppose imperialism. During the third phase of the revolutionary civil war, while our army was making a strong offensive, and at the same time making an effort not to abandon peace talks, we fought for and achieved the peaceful liberation of Beijing, Suiyuan, Hunan, Yunnan, Xinjiang, and Tibet.  At present, in the previously described international and domestic situation, with the U.S. imperialists driving the people of Taiwan into a desperate situation and the Nationalist Party military and civilian officials have no other way out, it will be possible to try to liberate Taiwan by peaceful means. However, on the other hand, it cannot be assumed that this goal can be easily achieved without long-term, all-around, and principally military efforts.  Because not only will American imperialism do everything it can to cause damage, and not only are there still many diehards among the Nationalist Party military and civil personnel, but many of them will be reluctant to take the road of peaceful liberation until the very last minute.

Therefore, the task of the people of the whole country and the People’s Liberation Army is to intensify socialist construction and national defense construction, strive to complete the country’s principal tasks during the transition period, unite with all those who can be united with against American imperialism, and actively prepare to use war to liberate Taiwan when necessary. The People’s Liberation Army and the people in coastal areas especially cannot relax their armed struggle to liberate Taiwan even for a minute. Only in this manner would it be possible for us to achieve the goal of peacefully liberating Taiwan under more favorable conditions.

Summarizing a speech made by Zhou Enlai, the CCP Central Committee distributes propaganda guidance on the PRC's efforts to "liberate Taiwan by peaceful means."

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Fujian Provincial Archives, 101-5-814, 1-6. Translated by Simon Schuchat.


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