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July 27, 1949

Memorandum of Conversation between Liu Shaoqi and Stalin

Discussing the Overthrow of the Guomindang with Stalin

27 July 1949


We said: During the first cooperation between the Guomindang and the Communist Party, after the Guomindang betrayed us by doing an about-face, we were not at all prepared, we suffered a terrible defeat and were terribly taken in [shangle hendade dang]. But on account of this our heads were clear during the second cooperation between the Guomindang and the Communist Party. Even as the cooperation began, we were preparing to overthrow Jiang Jieshi. At the time of the anti-Japanese war of resistance, we prepared steadily for eight years, since this time Jiang Jieshi was also planning to destroy the Communist Party. So when the anti-Japanese war of resistance ended, Jiang Jieshi turned to face us, but we were ready. Having listened this far, Stalin said: This is what the enemy has taught you. He also said: Have we harassed or done you harm? We said: No. And we continued: Comrade Mao Zedong did not have to go to Chongqing. It would have been enough to send Comrade Zhou Enlai. But Comrade Mao Zedong went to Chongqing with good result. It gave us an immediate initiative on the political side of things. Stalin said: Mao's trip to Chongqing was dangerous. The CC or other secret services could have hurt him. At that time the Americans asked us: The Guomindang wants peace. Why do the communists not want peace? I [Stalin] answered them: We do not interfere [guanbuzhao] in the affairs of the Chinese Communist Party. Comrade Stalin also asked us: Did your participation with the Americans in the peace movement cause you losses or harm? We answered: The Chinese Communist Party was quite clearheaded going into the peace movement, but there was another responsible comrade who entertained illusions about peace and experienced a minor loss. But this kind of peace movement is very necessary with the result this time that we isolated the Americans and Jiang. When we overthrow the Guomindang later and depose Jiang Jieshi, there will not be a single person to say we have not done right. Comrade Stalin said: The victors are not brought to judgment. Victors are always correct.



Liu Shaoqi and Stalin (among others) discuss the state of the Chinese civil war

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Document Information


Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi and Zhongyang dang'anguan, eds., Jianguo yilai Liu Shaoqi wengao (Liu Shaoqi’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 1 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2005), 40-41. Translated by David Wolff.


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