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July 22, 1950

Report from Zhou Enlai and Nie Rongzhen to Mao Zedong

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Chairman [Mao Zedong]:

[Regarding] armies moving to the northeast: (1) Three antiaircraft regiments from the East China region have all arrived in the northeast.  (2) Up to the present, in the south central [region], more than 10 trains have started out from Hankou.  Three armies are all on the move.  It is estimated that in early August they can all arrive at the appointed locations.  The Soviet jet division has reached the border.  The Soviets [have ordered] this whole division to arrive at the appointed location before August 3.  After these armies arrive, command and supply will become serious issues.  Even if the command organization of the previous Frontier Defense Army established by the Military Commission benefits from the combat point of view, it seems currently to have difficulties:(1) Frontier Defense Army Commander Su Yu needs to recuperate [from illness].  For the time being, Vice-Commander Xiao Jingguang and Vice Political Commissar Xiao Hua still cannot leave Beijing for the north. (2) The northeast military region commanders and others feel that there are too many [command] levels and this is to some extent inconvenient.  (3) Only capable rear supply organizations are qualified to provide supplies for the Frontier Defense Army.  But the south central [region] can only organize field rear supply organizations.  There may be difficulties as it has just arrived in the Northeast.  Considering the above circumstances, could the Chairman please now consider putting the Frontier Defense Army under the commanding of Gao Gang, Commander and Political Commissar of the Northeast Military Region and also unifying all supplies?  In the future, after Su, Xiao and Xiao get there, the headquarters of the Frontier Defense Army can be established.  After Li Jukui from the south central [region] arrives in the Northeast, he [may] immediately take the concurrent position of the head of the Logistics Department. His accompanying Logistics Department [can] immediately merge into the Northeast Logistics Department, because the Logistics Department of the Northeast Military Region is too weak, and thus is not able to shoulder its current heavy responsibilities.  In this way, not only can the phenomenon of lack of coordination be avoided in the army command, but the problem of supply can be easily solved.  Whether it’s workable or not, [we] ask the Chairman to comment and instruct so that arrangements can be made as soon as possible.


With special greetings,

Zhou Enlai

Nie Rongzhen

July 20

Zhou Enlai and Nie Rongzhen suggest methods to solve the problem of supply and improve coordination in the army command in the northeast China region.

Document Information


Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 3 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2008), 80-81. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler.


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