Declarations of Policy by Mao Tse Tung to Edgar Snow and the Response of G. Dimitrov

(October 1939)

New Soviet Aid for Chinese

From Edgar Snow
Daily Herald
Special Correspondent
YENAN North Shensi (delayed)

Frank declarations of policy were made to me in this war-racked citadel of Chinese Communism by General Mao Tse-tung.

Mao is the acknowledged leader of all the Chinese, Manchurian and Inner Mongolian Communists.

He directs 500,000 guerilla troops, which operate from the suburbs of Shanghai to the Amur River -- mostly in the rear of Japan's Armies.

And he sprung a number of surprises.

First, he denied flatly that the Chinese Communists had ever submitted to the Kuomintang [China's single official party, headed by General Chiang Kai-shek, the Communists were stated to have accepted its leadership in 1937, when they joined up with Chiang as the war began].

The Communist Party programme, Mao said, was completely independent of the Kuomintang and aimed ultimately at social revolution.

Moreover, he declared, the areas at present under control of Communist troops were administratively independent of Chiang Kai-shek's Government.

Next Mao talked of help from Russia, which he said was increasing as British and French aid was being withdrawn.

But as a condition for increased Soviet military help in the future, he said:-

'China must unwaveringly continue the war against Japan and establish a closer political association with U.S.S.R.

Finally, asked whether Soviet troops would invade Manchuria and Mongolia to aid the victims of aggression (as in Poland), Mao replied:-

'It is quite within the possibilities of Leninism'.

Mao expressed his full support of Soviet policy in Europe.

'It is a logical part of the world liberation and revolutionary movement', he said.

British policy in the East was now directed towards crushing Chinese resistance by helping Japan to impose peace terms on China.

China's first task today, Mao went on, must be 'to change the old fashioned political system'.

She could not be fully unified till the Kuomintang dictatorship was abolished and succeeded by a democracy representing the Communists and others.

'Unless democracy is realised', he said, 'Victory against Japan is impossible'.

Reports that Russian troops have already entered China's western province of Sinkiang are ridiculed here as this is regarded as 'unnecessary'.

It is also denied that Russia has presented any demands to Chiang Kai-shek, except to ask for assurances that he is determined to carry on the war and to silence those in favour of 'appeasement'.

'Daily Herald', October 21, 1939.


From the telegram of G. Dimitrov to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
on the occasion of the interview of Mao Zedong by the American journalist Edgar Snow.

It is necessary to denounce the provocative essence of this statement. Communicate the contents of the last conversation with E. Snow [...] We urgently request that Mao Zedong and other Chinese comrades refrain from giving interviews to foreign correspondents such as the interview to Edgar Snow as this is utilised for provocative purposes.

'Kommunisticheskii Internatsional i kitaiskaya revolyutsiya', Moscow, 1986, pp. 284-85. Translated from the Russian by Nirmal Kumar.

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