By G. ASTAFYEV
PEOPLE’S PUBLISHING HOUSE, LTD.
|| The Character of the National Liberation Movement in China and the Influence of the October Revolution upon it.
|II..||The Development of the Proletariat and the Disposition of Class Forces in the National Liberation Struggle.
|III.||Comrade Stalin on the Stages of the Chinese Revolution.
Organisation by the Communist Party of Armed Resistance to Japanese
Aggression: the Creation of a United Anti-Japanese National Front.
|V.||The Monopoly of the “Four Families” and the
Intensification of the Oppression of the Landlords in the Years of the
Second World War. Extension of the United Front and the Growth inthe Forces of Democracy.
|VI.||The Programme of the Communist Party in the Sphere of the Democratic Changes in China.
|VII.||The Defeat of the Japanese War Machine: the Activisation of American Imperialism after the Second World War.
||The Leading Role of the Communist Party in the New Stage of the National Liberation Struggle.||33|
|IX.||The Military and Political Successes of People’s Democracy: the Creation of a People’s Republic of China.
|X.||The Distinctive Features of the System of Chinese People’s Democracy.
||The Revolutionising Influence of China on Other Oppressed Peoples of S.E. Asia.||64|
The creation of a People’s Republic of China, which was proclaimed on October 1, 1949 at the People’s Political Consultative Conference which for the first time expressed the free will of the peoples of the whole of China is an outstanding historical event. It constitutes the victorious completion of the long heroic struggle of the Chinese people for national liberation and democracy and puts an end to the more than a century-old domination of foreign capitalist pirates of China.
China, one of the biggest countries in the world, with a population of nearly 475 million and a territory of 10 million square kilometres, continued to remain in the position of a semi-colony even till the beginning of the Second World War. In spite of being a formally independent state, China was economically dependent on three big imperialist powers – Britain, USA and Japan who carried on a fierce struggle among themselves and against other capitalist countries for the “right” to exploit exclusively the human and natural resources of this very rich country and to convert it into their own colony.
Comrade Stalin’s words which in 1927 pointed to “the semi-colonial position of China and the financial and economic domination of imperialism” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. IX, p. 221), as one of the basic factors determining the situation in China, continued fully to preserve their importance even in 1937 when Japan invaded North and Central China.
The heroic struggle waged in the course of ten years by the advanced sections of the Chinese people who were headed by the proletariat, under the leadership of the Communist Party against the combined forces of imperialism and domestic reaction was still not able to bring about the downfall of imperialist rule in China.
In 1937 “the main – threads of industry in China – the railways, factories and mills, mines, banks, etc.” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. VIII, p. 358) continued to remain in the hands of foreign imperialists. Just as before, they widely utilised the so-called “treaty rights’” extorted by force from China with the help of the predatory wars and “expeditions” frequently undertaken against China ever since 1842 and which were fortified by numerous unequal agreements in order to consolidate and extend their domination. These “treaty rights” included apart from the direct seizure under the form of leasing a part of the territory of China, the numerous settlements and concessions which were under the administration of foreign powers, the right of extraterritoriality for foreign subjects (outside the jurisdiction of Chinese laws) , the right of navigation in the territorial waters and rivers of China, the opening up of the numerous Chinese ports for free foreign trade and permission for foreign ships to call in at these ports, the rights of foreign troops and warships to be stationed in China, the right of control over the State revenue of China.
But the main role in ensuring foreign domination in China in the period of imperialism was played not so much by the “treaty rights” as the actual position in the economy of China seized by the imperialists.
Further, depending on these positions, the imperialist powers, under the pressure of the national liberation movement and with the aim of supporting the reactionary dictatorship of the Kuomintang in China, from time to time “consented” even to a withdrawal of one or the other of the treaty rights, without causing any big injury to their domination in China.The economic position of the imperialists are based .hove all on their monopoly position which they occupied, in the main key branches of Chinese economy – in foreign trade, finance, transport and factory and mill industry.
Imperialism accomplished its domination in China by relying upon the so-called compradore bourgeoisie, which is the intermediary between foreign capital and the Chinese market and upon the semi-feudal classes and strata, the landlords, the merchants and usurer bourgeoisie, the military and non-military bureaucracy which enjoyed economic and political power in China and exploited the toilers by means of feudal and mediaeval methods.
In characterising this power of the landlords and the bureaucracy, which combines peculiarly with the existence of commercial capital, as feudal remnants, Comrade Stalin pointed out that they constitute the prominent factor of oppression in China and that it is precisely against them that the agrarian revolution – the basis and the content of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in China – is directed:
“If in a number of provinces, 70 per cent of the peasant incomes belongs to landlords and gentry, if the landlord enjoys actual authority in both the economic, administrative and judicial sphere, if to this day the practice of buying and selling women and children prevails in several provinces – then it must be admitted that the dominant force in this mediaeval situation is the force of feudal survivals, the power of the landlords, the power of the landlord bureaucracy, both military and non-military, combining in a peculiar way with the power of commercial capital.” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. IX, p. 241)
“It is just because of this that feudal survivals with all their military and bureaucratic superstructure are the main form of oppression in China and it is precisely because of this that China is now living through an agrarian revolution – which is extremely great in its force and sweep” (Ibid P 285)
The force of feudal survivals in China, their persistence is to a great extent determined by the fact that
“in China, imperialism with all its financial and military might .... supports, inspires, cultivates and conserves the feu-
dal survivals with all their bureaucratic and military superstructure.” (Ibid p. 286)
This combination of semi-colonial and semi-feudal oppression, the interlacing of the interests of imperialism and the landlord-bourgeois military top stratum on the basis of the joint exploitation of the toilers – is one of the characteristic peculiarities of China. This in a considerable measure pre-determined the character, direction and stage of the national liberation struggle of the Chinese people, which became directed at one stroke against two forms of oppression – imperialist and feudal. Comrade 8talin notes this as the most important distinctive feature of the Chinese Revolution.
The Great October Socialist Revolution and the workers’ and peasants’ State – the Soviet Union – created by it had a tremendous and decisive influence upon the development of the national liberation movement in China as also on the whole world.
The October Revolution broke the imperialist chains which had engirdled China in a firm grip. It inspired the Chinese working class in the struggle against imperialism and guarantee d to them not only the all-sided moral support and assistance of the USSR but also the passing on of the tremendous revolutionary experience of the Russian proletariat and its Party. Comrade Stalin has more than once noted all these circumstances as one of the basic facts facilitating the development of the Revolution in China. (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works) Russian Ed. Vol. VIII, p. 336 Vol. IX, p. 221)
In his article on the occasion of the twenty-eighth anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Tse-tung writes that it was only thanks to the October Revolution that “the Chinese discovered the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism.”
“Before the October Revolution, the Chinese did not know who Lenin and Stalin were; neither did they know of Marx and Engels. The salvoes of the October Revolution brought us Marxism-Leninism. The October Revolution helped the progressive elements of the world and of China as well, to apply the world proletarian outlook in determining the fate of the country and in reviewing their own problems. The conclusion reached was that we must advance
along the path taken by the Russians.” (Mao Tse-tung: “The Dictatorship of People’s Democracy” – from For A Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, July 15, 1949)
In spite of the fact that the industrial development of China bore a one-sided character and increased its dependence on imperialism, it led to the fact that after the First World War, alongside the two main classes that had been left over from feudal China – the peasantry and the landlords – a big economic and political role began to be played by the proletariat and the national bourgeoisie.
Under the revolutionising influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the class battles against foreign capital, the industrial proletariat, in spite of its comparative numerical weakness organised itself rapidly. The advanced section of the proletariat created the by Chinese Communist Party, heading the national liberation struggle of the Chinese toilers against foreign imperialism and domestic reaction. Strong trade union organisations were created – the All-China Federation of Labour and the industrial trade unions based themselves upon the principles of class struggle.
Thanks to its revolutionary spirit its consciousness and its organisation the Chinese proletariat attained tremendous influence amongst the urban poor and the peasantry and already in 1919 emerged in the front ranks of the. anti-imperialist movement, and in the revolutionary period of 1925-27 became its leading force.
“The Shanghai and Hongkong political strikes of the Chinese workers (June-September 1925) marked a turning point in the struggle of the Chinese people for emancipation from the foreign imperialists. The political action of the proletariat served as a powerful impulse to the further development and consolidation of all the revolutionary democratic organisations in the country. (Resolution of the Sixth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International).”
(J. V. Stalin: Marxism and the National and Colonial Question: Lawrence & Wishart, 1947, p. 241)
This was the reason why in 1927 Comrade Stalin considered
“the growing revolutionary activity of the proletariat, the growth of its authority among millions of the masses of toilers” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. IX, p. 221)
as one of the main factors determining the situation in China.
The Chinese bourgeoisie was composed of several strata, which in the first period of the national liberation movement occupied different positions in relation to foreign imperialism and feudal reaction.
After World War I the importance of that stratum of the bourgeoisie
which was linked with national industrial production increased.
The industrial bourgeoisie, as distinct from the compradore bourgeoisie, which is closely linked with imperialism, and as distinct from the semi-feudal merchant and usurer bourgeoisie which is closely linked with the landlords, is that stratum of the bourgeoisie whose interests in a certain measure are also affected by imperialist oppression, which hampers the development of national industry and impedes the acquisition of the national market by the bourgeoisie.
This point at a definite stage of the national liberation movement was the cause of the participation of the national bourgeoisie in it, which as demonstrated by the teachings of Lenin and Stalin on the national and colonial revolution is the distinctive feature of the national liberation movement in the colonial and dependent countries as distinct from the imperialist countries, where the bourgeoisie is throughout counter-revolutionary.
“Revolution in colonial and dependent countries is another thing: in these countries the oppression exercised by the imperialism of other states is one of the factors of revolution; this oppression cannot but affect the national bourgeoisie also; the national bourgeoisie, at a certain stage and for a certain period, may support the revolutionary movement of its country against imperialism, and the national element, as
an element in the struggle for emancipation, is a revolutionary factor.” (J. V. Sta1in: Marxism and the National and Colonial Question: Lawrence and Wishart, 1947, p. 233)
But to the extent that the national liberation movement draws in ever broader masses of the toilers and demands certain concessions from the bourgeoisie, the class interests of the latter come into conflict with the national interests and push the big bourgeoisie into an agreement with imperialism and the feudal-landlord reaction at the expense of the interests of the masses. In the epoch of imperialism it is the proletariat alone that is the real defender of the national interests of any country.
It was “the political weakness of the national bourgeoisie, its dependence on imperialism, its fear of the sweep of the revolutionary movement” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. IX, p. 221) which also represent, in the words of Comrade Stalin, one of the basic factors determining the character of the Chinese Revolution and facilitating “the task of the hegemony of the proletariat, the task of the leadership of the Party of the proletariat with respect to the Chinese peasantry.” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. VIII, p. 366)
The Chinese peasantry which comprises more than 80 per cent of the entire population of China and which in the main has been deprived of land, was subject to a dual oppression – the oppression of the landlords, the merchant and usurer capital, the militarists, who savagely exploited the peasants by means of pre-capitalist enslaving rents, usury and taxes and the colonial oppression by imperialism, which destroys the peasants’ domestic industry and plunders the peasants by means of monopoly price on raw materials and manufactured goods and by transferring the consequences of economic crises onto the shoulders of the peasants by reducing the prices of raw materials.
In China it is, therefore, the peasantry 1hat is the main mass force in the national liberation struggle against imperialist oppression and feudal exploitation and the agrarian revolution – the main content of this national liberation struggle in the period between 1925-27.
But in its struggle against imperialism and against feudal remnants, the peasantry did not come forward as
a monolithic force. The process of its differentiation as a result of the implanting of commodity and money relationship in the countryside had led to its stratification into kulaks, middle peasantry, the landless poor and and the farm labourers. The farm labourers and the poor peasants and to a certain extent even the middle peasants are exploited not only by the landlords but even by the kulaks who employ the very same feudal methods of exploiting the peasants that are employed by the landlords. This causes a demarcation of forces among the peasantry and the unification of the kulak strata of the peasantry with the landlords and the merchant and usurer capital on the basis of the joint exploitation of the middle and the poor peasantry and the farm labourers.
In China there exists, apart from the peasantry, a numerous urban petty-bourgeoisie, which is composed of different strata – the artisans, the petty traders, the unemployed intelligentsia, the ruined peasantry and the urban-poor, out of whom one part directly joins the proletariat and another gravitates towards the bourgeoisie.
In China an exactly similar position is occupied by the strata of
the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, of which a part comes forth onto
the side of the proletariat and another part becomes closely linked
with the landlords the bourgeoisie and various imperialist circles.
The double oppression of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism was experienced to a full extent above all by the Chinese proletariat and the peasantry. To a certain extent it was even felt by the urban petty-bourgeoisie and a section of the bourgeoisie (the industrial stratum).
All the facts that have been pointed out pre-determined the basic disposition of class forces in China in the beginning of the national liberation movement when “.the bloc of workers, peasants, petty-bourgeoisie intelligentsia and national bourgeoisie” (J. V. Stalin, Collected Works Russ. Ed. Vol. X, p. 16) united politically in the Kuomintang and in the Canton Government, developed the struggle against foreign imperialism and military-feudal dictatorship of the militarists. But even then
“the national bourgeoisie while supporting the revolution attempted to utilise it for its own aims limiting its scope by
directing it in the main along the line of territorial conquests.” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. IX, p. 223)
In April 1927, the national bourgeoisie betrayed the cause of national liberation and entered into an agreement with the imperialists and the landlords. It was so on followed by the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia which also went over into the camp of reaction. The Kuomintang from an anti-imperialist party and anti-feudal bloc of revolutionary classes was transformed into a party of the reactionary landlord-bourgeois bloc, which with the help of the imperialists, established its dictatorship inside the country and unleashed a civil war against the, workers and peasants.
The reason for the betrayal of the bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia and their going over into the camp of reaction were the changes in the content and direction of the national liberation movement, to the extent of its development and the drawing in of the broad masses of toilers into it. Their essence has been dealt with exhaustively and fully in the works of Comrade Stalin.
In pointing out that the Chinese Revolution, like every revolution, must in its development pass through several stages, Comrade Stalin characterises its first stage as a revolution of a general national united front, directed in the main against foreign imperialist oppression.
“In the period of the first stage of the revolution, when the revolution was a revolution of a national united front (Canton period), the allies of the proletariat were the peasantry, the urban poor, the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia and the national bourgeoisie.”
“These allies were not and could not be uniformly reliable. Some of them were more or less reliable allies – the peasantry and the urban poor, the others less reliable and vacillating – the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia and still others
altogether unreliable – the national bourgeoisie.” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed, Vol. IX, p. 223, 340)
By isolating the national bourgeoisie and utilising the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, the proletariat at the first stage of the national liberation movement, rallied round itself the peasantry and the urban poor and expanded still more the sweep of the mass movement, which evoked fear in the national bourgeoisie and resulted in its capitulation to imperialism and the feudal landlord elements.
The national liberation movement entered “a higher phase of its development – the phase of agrarian revolution” – the second stage. The mass movement extended still more. It included millions from among the Chinese peasantry. The distinctive feature of the second stage is “the fact that the edge of revolution is now directed mainly against the internal enemies, and primarily against the feudal lords and the feudal regime.” (J. V. Stalin: Marxism and the National and the Colonial Question, Lawrence & Wishart, 1947, p. 243-44), maintaining at the same time its anti-imperialist edge. The task of the struggle against imperialist oppression which could not be completed in the first stage was “bequeathed to the second stage of the Chinese revolution.” (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russian. Ed. Vol. X, p. 25) and was the distinctive feature of the agrarian revolution in China as a semi-colonial country, in which “the feudal remnants could not be eliminated” without waging at the same time a revolutionary “struggle against imperialism:’ (J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed., Vol. IX, p. 286)
Pointing out that the agrarian revolution is none other than “the basis and content of the bourgeois-democratic revolution” (Ibid.), Comrade Stalin defines the essence of bourgeois-democratic revolution in China as the “confluence of the struggle against feudal remnants and the struggle against imperialism.” (Ibid. p. 287)
At the second stage of the revolution, “the allies of the proletariat were the peasantry, the urban poor and the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia.” (Ibid., p. 341)
The unfolding of a powerful peasant movement as a result of which “millions and tens of millions of pea-
sants” were drawn into “the greatest of agrarian revolutions in such provinces as Hunan, Hupeh, and Yenan, etc., where the peasants established their own power, their courts, their self-defence, banished the landlords and dealt with them in the plebian way” (Ibid., p. 289), frightened the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, which, under pressure from the feudalists and imperialism followed the national bourgeoisie and crossed over into the camp of counter-revolution.
Comrade Stalin explains the betrayal of the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia by
“firstly, the fear of the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia in face of the growing agrarian revolution and the pressure of the feuda1ists on the Wuhan leadership, secondly, the pressure of the imperialists in the districts of Tientsin, demanding from the Kuomintang a break with the Communists as the price for being allowed to go to the North.” (Ibid, p. 343).
After the departure of the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, the allies of the proletariat remained the peasantry and the urban poor who rallied closely round the proletariat “having created at the same time, the basis for proletarian hegemony.” (Ibid., p. 343)
The departure of the national bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, thus did not weaken the national liberation movement, but on the contrary, strengthened it by ridding it of vacillating elements.
In the first two stages of the revolution, the toilers of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communists, achieved great successes:
1) In this period, the direction of the national liberation movement
was finally determined as anti-feudal and anti-imperialist, and whose
edge was simultaneously turned both against internal reaction and
external imperialist oppression;
2) It revealed its character as an agrarian revolution, i.e., a bourgeois-democratic revolution, directed against the survivals of feudalism in all spheres of social life, economic, political, ideological, and for its democratization;
3) Its mass basis was extended to a very great extent by drawing into the agrarian movement tens of mil-
lions of peasants and into the working-class movement-millions of workers and urban poor;
4) The c1ass composition of the movement was consolidated by weeding out the wavering elements (the bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia) and rallying millions of masses of peasants and the urban poor around the proletariat;
5) Leadership passed over into the hands of the proletariat, which occupied the position of the hegemon of the revolution, capable of’ carrying to the end the bourgeois-democratic revolution and ensuring the democratisation of the country and leading China further on the path of Socialism;
6) A mighty Communist Party – the reliable leader and head of the Chinese toilers was forged in the fire of revolution ensuring a correct Marxist-Leninist leadership to the national liberation struggle.
And though as a result of the treachery of the bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia the Chinese Revolution of 1925-27 sustained a temporary defeat. the struggle of the Chinese people for national liberation and for ending the feudal oppression did not cease and soon developed with renewed force.
It was under the conditions of fierce civil war unleashed against the Chinese people by the reactionary bourgeois-landlord bloc, enjoying the direct support of the imperialists and assuming the character of an intervention, that round about 1933-34 the workers and peasants under the leadership of the Communist Party of China liberated from under the rule of reaction 600,000 sq. kilometres of Chinese territory with a population of 60 million; they created on this territory six stable democratic districts and in them they put into effect the revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry in the form of Soviets which was presaged by Comrade Stalin already in 1926 as the future political form of power in China.
Comrade Stalin in his speech On the perspectives of the Revolution in China on November 30, 1926, speak. mg of the character of the future power in China pointed out that it would represent
“something in the nature of a democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, with the difference, how-
ever, that it will be directed predominantly against the imperialists.”
“It will be a power marking a transition to China’s non-capitalist, or more exactly, Socialist, development.” (J. V. Sta1in: Collected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 366: As quoted in New Times No. 13 in “China’s Economic Problem” by G. Astafyev)
Under the banner of the Soviets, the Chinese workers and peasants foiled the numerous attempts of reaction to suppress the Chinese democratic movement with arms. Led by the Chinese Communist Party, the workers’ and peasants’ Red Army successfully repelled six punitive campaigns of Chiang Kai-shek, which were organised and armed with the participation of all imperialist powers.
While leading the operations against the military campaigns of counter-revolution, the Communist Party of China conducted at the same time an irreconcilable struggle against all open and secret traitors, who had made their way inside the ranks of the Party-the Trotskyites and the Right deviators and also the “Leftists”: who had caused great harm to the struggle for democracy in China.
The works of Comrade Stalin on the Chinese Revolution are an invaluable contribution to the theory of the national and colonial question and have rendered exclusive assistance to the Chinese Communists in mastering both a correct application of Marxist-Leninist theory to the concrete historical conditions in China as well as the tremendous experience of the struggle against the Right and the “Left” deviators, borrowed from the CPSU (B) and enabled the Communist Party of China to cope with the deviation in its ranks and ensure the development of the democratic movement on the correct path.
Fighting on two fronts-against the united camp of intern al reaction and foreign imperialism from outside and against its agents, the traitors and deviators from within – the workers and peasants of the Soviet regions of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and its leader Mao Tse-tung and with the support of the toilers of the whole of China, continued from 1928-36 to deepen the agrarian revolution which was directed
both against feudal surviva1s and against imperialist domination.
Over the territory of the Soviet region of China, agrarian reform was completely carried out; land and the means of production belonging to the landlords and partly to the kulaks were confiscated and distributed for use among the peasants. Colonial exploitation and imperialist oppression were also completely eliminated over the territory of the Soviet regions.
The intensification of Japanese aggression in China, which was marked by the seizure of Manchuria in 1931 and the invasion of North China and Inner-Mongolia threatened the national independence and the national existence itself of the Chinese people. It sharpened the anti-imperialist direction of the national liberation movement and created the conditions for reforming a united national front. The Chinese Communist Party emerged as the leader and the organiser of a united front, directed against Japanese aggression.
Immediately after the commencement of Japanese occupation of Manchuria, the Communist Party demanded that the Japanese invaders be driven out of China by the forces of an armed people.
With the extension of Japanese aggression over the territory of JehoI, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the Revolutionary Military Council of the Chinese Red Army at the end of 1932 and at the beginning of 1933 approached the Kuomintang troops with a proposal to conclude peace with the Red Army to wage a joint struggle against Japanese imperialism.
With the increasing danger of the seizure of North China, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the Central Executive Committee of the Chinese Soviet Republic in August 1935 published an appeal
to the Chinese people, to all political parties and groups with a call to create an all-Chinese Government of national defence and an all-Chinese united anti-Japanese army (on the bas is of cooperation between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang) for joint resistance to Japanese aggression.
In November of that very same year, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party once again appealed to all political parties, groups and military units, proposing to summon an all-Chinese conference of “national security” with the aim of forming a united national anti-Japanese front.
In 1936, with the further intensification of Japanese aggression in North China, the Communist Party continued, alongside repulsing the attack of reaction, to wage an energetic struggle for the creation of a united anti-Japanese front and ceaselessly turned towards the Nanking Government and to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang with the proposal to cease the civil war and unite forces for a struggle against the Japanese invaders.
In order to prove its resolute determination to render armed resistance to Japanese aggression the Communist Party in the beginning of 1936 transferred the main forces of the Chinese Red Army to the North-west of China in the border regions of the provinces of Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia which stood in the path of the Japanese advance into the heart of China. Here was created the border region of Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia which in the course of the following ten years, was the main base and centre of the people’s liberation movement in China.
These appeals of the Communist Party to the Nanking Government, as well as the attempts to conduct direct negotiations with the Kuomintang did not lead to any agreement, but by assisting in the exposure of the reactionary position of Kuomintang increased the influence of the Communist Party. The movement for the creation of a united national front received wide support from all progressive organisations and the broad masses of the Chinese people.
Towards the end of 1936, there took place the so-called “Sian Incident” in Sian, when General Chang Hsueh-liang arrested Chiang Kai-shek, who had attempt-
ed to compel his army to attack the Chinese Red Army and the border Regions. These events could have led to the outbreak of a new and still bigger civil war, which would have only been in the interests of Japan. since it threatened to disrupt the creation of a united national front. The representatives of the Communist Party, taking this into consideration, intervened in the conflict and secure d its peaceful solution. Through this, the Communist Party once again proved its firm desire to create a real national united front, in spite of the hostile attitude of the Kuomintang.
On February 10, 1937, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party appealed telegraphically with concrete proposals for the creation of a united front, to the Third Plenum of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang which was meeting just then. The Kuomintang Plenum left these proposals unanswered and it was only the treacherous attack of Japan on China on July 7, 1937 and the tremendous outburst of popular indignation, testifying the determination of the people to render effective resistance to the Japanese aggression, which compelled the Kuomintang to give up a policy of sabotage and with great unwillingness and considerable delay, agree to recognise a united front. This was done through the publication on September 24, 1937, of the official interview of Chiang Kai-shek, which was a reply to the declaration of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China of July 14, 1937 on cooperation between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang in the anti-Japanese struggle.
Though a formal agreement on the creation of a united front as such was not concluded, a united front was created on the basis of mutual concessions. As is seen from the declaration of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party of September 23, 1937, the Chinese Communist Party on its part took upon itself the following obligations:
(1) To fight for an effective implementation of the three principles of Sun Yat-sen, which the Communist Party considered in the existing situation to be acceptable as a programme of struggle for national independence, democratic liberties and improvement in the condition of the people.
(2) To cease the struggle for the overthrow of the Kuomintang rule,
to give up the slogan of “Sovietising” China and to cease the
confiscation of landlords’ land.
(3) To re-name the border Soviet Regions of Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia as a special Border Region and re-organise the Soviet organs of power into local organs of power subordinate to a Central Government but as distinct form the Kuomintang regions, elected in the most democratic manner with the participation of the entire population.
(4) To change the name of the Red Army and include it into a united people’s revolutionary army, subordinate to a united War Council.
All the obligations which the Communist Party undertook were fulfilled by it extremely punctually and without delay.
For the sake of creating national unity and the struggle for democracy on a China-wide scale, the Communist Party agreed to substitute the Soviet forms of power on its territory by all-national organs of power, created on a broad democratic basis.
Mao Tse-tung, in explaining the reason for giving up the Soviet form of power pointed out:
“Why have the Communists given up further organisation of the Soviets? It is not because they think that this system is unsuitable but because the armed invasion of Japanese imperialism has given a rise to a change in the co-relation of classes inside the country, the unification of the entire nation for the struggle against Japanese imperialism became necessary and possible. Today, throughout the world, a united democratic front for the struggle against fascism is being organised. The formation of a national and democratic united front is necessary for present-day China and hence the Communists have put forth the slogan of a democratic Republic instead of the slogans of Soviets.” (Mao Tse-tung : “Tasks of the Chinese Revolution after the Creation of a United Front between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party” – from the Collection: The Chinese People are Victorious, Moscow, 1938, p. 13-14)
The upsurge of the national liberation movement and the stages it passed through in the course of its de-
velopment could not but be reflected in the character of the united front.
Its main features consist in the following:
1. By its betrayal of the cause of national liberation and by its compromise with imperialism and the land• lords, the bourgeoisie showed its unwillingness to lead an active national liberation struggle and lost the confidence of the broad masses of the Chinese people.
As a partner in the ruling bourgeois-landlord bloc, it took up a stand of actively opposing the creation of a united front and persecuted those in the ranks of the Kuomintang who supported it (i.e., united front – Trans.) and right upto 1937 it continued the policy of capitulating before Japanese imperialism and extending the civil war against the national liberation movement under the reactionary slogan “First appeasement and then resistance”.
It was only after the unleashing of a big war in China in 1937 by the Japanese militarists that the national bourgeoisie, fearing to lose completely the remnants of its influence among even the backward but patriotically-inclined circles, was with great reluctance forced to agree to the formation of a united front which a year later (towards the end of 1938) was once again split in effect by the landlords and the big bourgeoisie.
2. The proletariat, which by this time had under the leadership of the Communist Party finally won the hegemony of the national liberation movement and strengthened its ties with the peasantry, emerged as the organiser and the leader of a united anti-Japanese front.
3. The programme and the tasks of the general nations united front now became of a higher level than at the first stage of the revolution 1925-27. Apart from the tasks of the struggle against imperialism, the united front now advanced as fundamental demands the democratisation of the country and improvement in the position of the broad masses of the toilers.
In the course of the anti-Japanese war, the leading role of the Chinese proletariat and the Communist Party and their authority among the broad masses of the Chinese people continued to grow. The might and the importance of the united national anti-Japanese front headed by the proletariat, and the successes achieved by them in the armed resistance to the Japanese invaders and in democratic construction in the territories liberated from Japanese occupation, grew correspondingly.
The big changes in the economic and political situation of China brought about by the war contributed to this. Some of these changes were of a temporary and passing significance but some were of lasting importance, determining the direction of the development of events in the postwar period.
The seizure of the economically developed maritime provinces by the Japanese and the restrictions of the territory of Kuomintang China to backward and agrarian provinces led to a change in the correlation of forces in the ruling camp and precisely, to a decline in the role and influence of the industrial bourgeoisie and to a still great increase in the role and influence of the class of landlords and the merchant and usurer bourgeoisie closely linked with it. The intensification of the economic and political influence of the landlords in the ruling camp inevitably must lead and did lead to an intensification of reaction, to an attack on the democratic elements and finally to attempts at an agreement with Japanese imperialism.
An expression of this reactionary course of policy was the slogan of
“passive defence” against the Japanese, with extremely active and
hostile operations against Chinese democracy – in the form of an
offensive on the People’s Revolutionary New Fourth Army and on units of
the People’s Revolutionary Eighth Route Army, blo-
ckade of the Special Border Regions, persecution of democratic elements and suppression of civil liberties all over Kuomintang China.
Along with the weakening of the influence of the national bourgeoisie and the increase in the influence of the landlords, an ever-increasing role in the economy of Kuomintang China began to be played by the monopoly of ‘Four families’ whose heads Chiang Kai-shek, Chen Li-fu, Soong Tse-wei, Koong Hsiang-hei headed the Kuomintang and the Government controlled by it.
Immediately after the advent of the Kuomintang to power in 1927, these four dynasties of China, as they are commonly called, began utilising it for personal enrichment. During the period of their rule even before the war, they had accumulated enormous capital with the support of the imperialists and were in possession of a number of extremely important positions in the various branches of the economy of China. But the war period afforded these ‘Four families’ especially great opportunities for enrichment. Screening themselves behind military requirements, they not only established rigid State control over the economic life of the country, but even utilised this control to subjugate Chinese economy to their influence.
It was for this purpose that they utilised the wartime regulations on control over external trade, currency and bank operations, industry and internal trade as well as to government organisations like Commissions on external trade and the government trade commission Fu-sin, subservient to it, the commission for national resources, the commission for rendering assistance to the restoration of industry, etc., which were created in order to implement this control.
The representatives of the ‘Four families’ utilised their position in the State economic organs for preferential financing and the distribution of .government orders and other encouragement of the firms and companies belonging to them personally or to those in whom they were interested.
In order to enrich themselves they did not even stop at such a vile source of income as contraband trade with the enemy which finally assumed open legal forms.
In his speech of December 25, 1947, Mao Tse-tung
gives the following characterisation of the economic domination of the ‘Four Families’:
“Four Families’ Chiang Kai-shek, Soong Tsi-wei, Koong Hsiang-hei and Chen Li-fu, during their twenty years’ rule, have accumulated enormous capital running into some ten to twenty thousand million American dollars and have monopolised the economic life of the entire country.” (Mao Tse-tung: Report to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China: From For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy!, dated January 15, 1948)
The monopoly capital of the ‘Four Families’ as they are usually called in China is of a semi-feudal and compradore character and is essentially different from monopoly capital in imperialist countries, peculiar to imperialism as the ‘highest stage of capitalism’ -a stage which China has not reached and which it is eschewing, since the People’s Democratic system ensures to it the possibility of going over to Socialism by avoiding this stage.
The political and economic domination of the ‘Four Families’ was indissolubly linked with the semi-feudal structure existing in China and with the imperialist oppression, carried out by foreign capital.
The semi-feudal character of the monopolies of the ‘Four Families’ was expressed in its close links with the class of landlords without whose support they would not have been able to accomplish their dictatorship and the plunder of the people with the object of accumulating wealth.
The compradore i.e., dependent on foreign-capital, character of the monopolies of the ‘Four Families’ was expressed above all in that the very process of “their formation was rendered possible only as a result of the direct political and economic support of the imperialist States. The imperialists looked upon Chiang Kai-shek, Chen Li-fu, etc. and on the Kuomintang headed by them, as the main weapon of struggle against the national liberation movement of the people and as the main vehicle of the influence of foreign and mainly American monopoly capital. Therefore, beginning with 1927, they rendered them every possible assistance through their political instrument – the Kuomintang and the Kuomintang State – and made various political “concessions”,
calculated towards intensifying their economic and political influence.
The same policy was pursued by Anglo-American imperialism in respect of the ruling Kuomintang top stratum even in the period of the Second World War. Imperialist loans and in particular, American loans, instead of strengthening the military potential of China served as the biggest source of enrichment to the monopolies of the ‘Four Families’ and as a means of the further enslavement of the country by Anglo-American capital. The monopoly of the ‘Four Families’, which is the direct agent of foreign imperialism was profoundly anti-national and was directed against the interests of the entire Chinese people.
These distinctive features of the monopoly of the ‘Four Families’ were the reason why Chen Po-ta and other Chinese progressive scholars and political leaders have characterised it as “monopoly capital of a feudal and compradore type”.
As a result of the intensification of the power of the landlords and the monopoly of the ‘Four Families’ in the years of war there was a tremendous increase in the exploitation of the broad masses of the toilers of Kuomintang China on whose shoulders fell the enormous war expenses and the costs of the unprecedented predatory enrichment of the exploiting top stratum. This enrichment was carried out by means of inflation, speculative rise of prices and the tax imposition on the entire population by means of lengthening the working day and lowering the wages for workers and employees, by increasing rents, interests on loans, by all possible exactions and finally by the direct confiscation of the land from the peasants. The interweaving of feudal and capitalist methods of exploitation, the combination of the ‘latest’ monopoly methods with methods of primary accumulation of capital and the general increase in the exploitation of the broad strata of toilers – the workers. the peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie – by the landlords and the ‘Four Families’ monopoly, as well as the exceedingly unfavourable conditions in which the petty and the middle bourgeoisie were placed increased the dissatisfaction with the Kuomintang regime among the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. At the same
time, the anti-feudal stand of the Kuomintang on questions of organising a rebuff to the Japanese aggressors emerged all the more clearly. All this led to the gradual narrowing down of the social base of the Kuomintang dictatorship, as a result of the departure from the landlord-bourgeois bloc of the petty and the middle bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, student youth, petty officials and other patriotically-inclined elements, connected with the Kuomintang and as a result of the conversion of the Kuomintang in essence into a bloc of the landlords and the big bourgeoisie. Their departure from the bloc had already begun during war time and in fact was expressed in the amalgamation of the bourgeois-liberal oppositional parties and the organisation of, first, the Federation of Democratic Parties and later into the Democratic League and the incorporation of the League into the democratic camp, headed by the Communist Party and advancing its programme of the democratic re-organisation of China.
At a time when the class and social base of the landlord-bourgeois
bloc became strongly restricted during war time, the social base of the
democratic national liberation movement, assuming in this period the
form of a united national anti-Japanese front, became still broader.
In the beginning of the war, the territory of democratic China liberated from the regime of the Kuomintang dictatorship and carrying out a policy directed in the interests of the broad masses of toilers, was limited only to the special Border Region of Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia, with an area of less than 100,00 sq. kilometres and with a population of one and half million people.
In the measure of the consolidation of a united anti-Japanese Front and the unleashing, under the leadership of the People’s Revolutionary Eighth Route and the New Fourth Armies, of popular partisan warfare against the Japanese invaders, the territory of democratic China, as distinct from the territory of Kuomintang China, expanded unceasingly in the course of the whole war by creating newer and new and liberated regions in the rear of the Japanese. Towards the end of 1944, these liberate d regions numbered 15 with a territory of 859,000 sq. kilometres and a population of 95,500,000 people.
The liberated regions created in the course of the
war in mountainous regions, which were difficult to reach (e.g., Yutuhsien Taishan-hsien), initially played the role of operation bases for the regular units of the People’s Revolutionary Army and the partisan detachments operating in the real’ of the Japanese.
In the measure of the drawing in of the broad masses of the population in the anti-Japanese struggle and the driving out of the Japanese troops, the territory of the liberated regions expanded .gradually and finally only the to.wns, the thickly-populated centres and the railway and high-road routes linking them remained in the hands of the Japanese occupation troops.
In the measure of the expansion of its territory, the liberated regions, while retaining their importance as operation bases, acquired new importance as large political formations in whose bounds the programme of the united anti-Japanese front had been carried out in practice, .not only in the sphere of the armed struggle, but also in the sphere of introducing the democratic changes provided for by this programme.
The strengthening of democracy told above all on the fact that it acquired a big military, political and economic base in the form of the People’s Revolutionary Armies and the liberated areas, on whose territories it was able to implement its programme and demonstrate in practice to the broad masses of the Chinese people the superiority of the democratic system.
The Vice-Governor of the North-west Financial and Economic Bureau, Chen-yun pointing to the enormous difference in solving an economic problem in Democratic and Kuomintang China declared –
“While in Kuomintang China it is solved by means of increasing the burdens of the peoples which leads to the impoverishment of the ordinary people and to draining away of the financial resources of the nation, in democratic China, it is solved by implementing the task of ‘eating and dressing well’ on the basis of every kind of development of production.”
“Between these two methods, the Chinese people can certainly distinguish clearly which is the good and which is the bad, which has to be adopted and which rejected.” (“Our Tasks in 1945”, January 1945, p. 33)
The strengthening of democracy was manifested particularly sharply towards the end of 1944 when with the big defeats suffered at the front, the inconsistency and the negative consequences of the reactionary policy of the Kuomintang were revealed fully.
The concessions which Kuomintang reaction was forced to cede and the negotiations with the Communist Party that began in 1944 for the solution of differences and the unification of military efforts were a demonstration of the strength of the democratic front. In commencing the negotiations, reaction had no intention of renouncing dictatorship or of democratising the regime. It pursued the aim of securing the disarming of democracy and the consolidation of its own dictatorship with the assistance of “political means”.
The programme of a united anti-Japanese national front created on the provisional political basis of rendering resistance to Japanese aggression and uniting not only the toilers but also the exploiting classes could not set itself the task of a fundamental reconstruction of Chinese society.
As was pointed out above, one of its main demands was the carrying out of definite democratic changes in the field of administration (democratisation of the political regime) and improvement in the conditions of the working people.
Mao Tse-tung, in his speech on the tasks of the general united national front already pointed out in May 1937:
“The struggle against Japan and the struggle for democracy are interdependent tasks. Democracy is the guarantee of an effective struggle against Japan and the struggle against Japan creates favourable conditions for the development of a democratic movement.”
Hence Mao Tse-tung draws the conclusion that “the most
central and essential task at the present stage is democracy and freedom.” (Mao Tse-tung: Tasks of the General National United Anti-Japanese Front: COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL, 1937 No. 9, p. 73)
In his other works, Mao Tse-tung also repeatedly emphasised the importance of democratic changes not only for the success of the war against Japan but also for the postwar development and ‘the international position of China.
During the process of the war against Japan, the broad masses of the toilers of China – the workers, peasants, artisans, intelligentsia who actively joined it had necessarily to begin the struggle for their democratic rights, for an improvement in their position. The words of the leader of the people, Comrade Stalin, that “the Second World War against the Axis powers, unlike the first World War, assumed from the very outset the character of an anti-fascist war, a war of liberation, one of the tasks of which was to restore democratic liberties,” (J. V. Stalin: Speech delivered at an election meeting in the Stalin Election District, Moscow: February 9th, 1946) characterise also the main distinctive feature of the struggle of the Chinese people for liberation since the latter fought during the war for the attainment of elementary democratic rights.
For the Chinese toilers, the struggle against Japanese aggression denoted at the same time a struggle for a newt; democratic China, and under the leadership of the Communist Party, they succeeded already during wartime to realise partially even though over the limited territory of the liberated regions, their aspirations and hopes.
The political and economic achievements of the liberated regions proved the possibility of introducing democratic reforms even under the difficult conditions of war and showed the toilers of China the necessity of urgently transmuting into life the tasks of democratic reconstruction of the entire country as the sole condition for the liberation of the Chinese people from imperialist an feudal oppression, an improvement in the conditions of the toilers and a solution of the numerous difficulties confronting the country.
Corresponding to this task, the Communist Party in
the course of the war put forth in the development of a programme of united anti-Japanese front, the programme of democratic changes for the whole of China which was based on the political and economic changes carried out in practice over the territory of the liberated regions. This programme came into practice not at once but gradually in the measure that its various elements were crystallised in practice, proved in reality their vitality and received recognition from the people.
The programme of new democracy was initially set forth in the two works of Mao Tse-tung: The Chinese Revolution and the Communist Party of China (published on December 15, 1939 and New Democracy (published on January 1, 1940) and most completely in his speech on The Coalition Government at the Seventh Congress of the Chinese Communist Party on April 24, 1945.
In his speech on The Coalition Government, Mao Tse-tung in defining the present stage of the revolution in China as a bourgeois-democratic revolution considered the programme of the Communist Party at this stage in relation to the final aim – the building of Socialism – as a minimum programme.
This programme puts forward the task of overthrowing the dictatorship of the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie and the building of an independent, free, united, democratic China in which power must be based on the support of the overwhelming majority of the people and a coalition of democratic parties and groups established, land must belong to those who till it and the decisive branches of industry controlled by the State. The main emphasis of the programme was on the liquidation of imperialist and feudal oppression.
“The New Democracy we uphold politically demands the expulsion of imperialist oppression and the overthrow of feudalistic, fascist oppression.” (Mao Tse-tung: The Way Out of China’s Civil War, PPH, Bombay, p. 33)
The general programme was a programme of bourgeois-democratic revolution and intended for a prolonged period (“throughout the whole stage of bourgeois democratic revolution for a long time to come our new democratic general programme will remain unchanged” – Mao
Tse-tung, Ibid. p. 41) and in its main outlines is no different from the programme of 1939-40 with the exception of certain points (the formation of a Coalition Government, the creation of three sectors of economy).
In the war period, the Communist Party in its specific programme, which was set forth by Mao Tse-tung in his speech on “The Coalition Government”, put forward still more curtailed demands. In the political sphere, the specific programme demanded the complete-expulsion of the Japanese invaders and the prohibition of compromise with them, an end to the Kuomintang dictatorship and the creation of a democratic Coalition Government, the granting of democratic liberties to the people and their unification.
In the sphere of liquidating the feudal survivals, the specific programme during the war period and even during a definite postwar period demanded only reduction of rent and interest on loans under the condition of introducing them all over the country so that in the future, the main slogan of “Land to the Peasants” would he realised in a normal (constitutional – G. Astafyev), order i.e. by implementation of Land Reform.
In the sphere of the industrial development of China, the specific programme put forward the task of creating in the course of a number of years a light and heavy industry on the basis of private capital and even drawing in foreign capital. (Mao Tse-tung. – Coalition Government)
In the majority of its demands, this programme did not go beyond the bounds of the programme of a united front.
The specific programme as a programme intended for the war period, envisaged definite concessions even to feudal and imperialist forces in the form of giving up, during the period of war and of a certain post-war period, the slogan of confiscation of land and restriction of the activities of foreign capital in China.
Under conditions of war, this programme was fully justified. It arose not only from the necessity of maintaining a united front within the country but also from a recognition of the fact that USA and Britain were partners in the war against Japan.
But even this programme was completely unaccept-
able for the ruling landlord-bourgeois bloc. It aimed at the complete retention of its political domination and the monopolisation of the entire economic life of the country in the interests of an unhindered exploitation or the, toilers. ,By means of terror and of undeclared war against the liberated regions and the People’s Liberation Armies, the reactionary landlord-bourgeois bloc even during the period of the anti-Japanese war was attempting to consolidate its dictatorship and smash the democratic forces of the country.
After sustaining a failure, the Kuomintang by utilising the tactic of political manoeuvres and conducting negotiations on democratising the country, aimed at playing for time, in order to strengthen its military position through American aid and then with the help of American imperialism put an end to the democratic movement with armed force. The whole course of negotiation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party in 1944-45 clearly bears witness to these intentions of reaction.
The entry of the USSR into the war in the Pacific in August, 1945, and the rapid defeat of the Japanese war machine and the capitulation of Japan which followed as a result of this, smashed the plans of international and Chinese reaction, directed towards defeating the democratic movement of the Chinese people and created enormous possibilities for a further growth of the democratic forces in China.
Availing themselves of the victorious assau1ts of the Soviet and Mongolian troops against the Kwantung Army, on 10th August, 1945, the Eighth Route People’s Liberation Army in North China and the New Fourth People’s Liberation Army in Central China with the support of the partisans and the detachments of peasants’ self-defence began the counter-offensive against the Japanese troops and within a short time liberated a large
number of towns, railways and 350,000 square kilometres of territory with a population of 20 million.
Together with Manchuria, the total area of liberated democratic regions of China by 13th January, 1946 was 2,376,000 square kilometres with a population of 148 million (Tsunch jun – 4-2-1947 No. 4 – 5). Over the liberated territory democratic rule was established, freely elected by the people and democratic reforms of the war period (the lowering of rents and of interests on loans, an improvement in the condition of workers, etc.) were realised. Following on the victory of the heroic Soviet people over German Fascism and the entry of the USSR in the war against Japan, the swift defeat of Japanese imperialism entrenched strongly the military and political position of the democratic camp and placed the task of democratising the whole of China on the order of the day.
Immediately after the capitulation of Japan, the Communist Party entered into negotiations with the Kuomintang and advanced its own programme of democratic changes. The internal political situation in China made it possible to count up on the realisation of these democratic changes. However, the intervention of American imperialism changed the situation.
The activisation of American imperialism which pursues the aim
“of establishing United States political and economic domination in all countries marked out for American expansion, to reduce these countries to the status of satellites of the United States, and to set up regimes within them which would eliminate all obstacles on the part of the labour and democratic movement to the exploitation of these countries by American capital,” (A. Zhdanov: The International Situation: Report at the Informative Conference of Representatives of a number of Communist Parties – For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy!, Nov. 10, 1947)
took place in China already during the war years and after its termination increased sharply and assumed the character of direct intervention.
Immediately after the capitulation of Japan units of the naval force of the USA under the pretext of the necessity of disarming Japanese troops, occupied ports,
railways and the key-points of North China and having .created a vast jumping off ground in the centre of the liberated democratic regions began immediately transferring Kuomintang troops by American ships and aeroplanes. Under the cover of American troops and “negotiations” on democratisation, Kuomintang reaction concentrated enormous military forces (49 armies, 127 divisions, numbering 1,200,000 men) on the borders of the liberated regions and on the jumping-off ground seized by the Americans and in October, 1945, it began a determined attack on the liberated regions. For its attack, reaction utilised not merely American weapons and the Chinese divisions, prepared by the Americans for an invasion against the Japanese but also Japanese and puppet troops numbering five hundred thousand. According to press reports American units also participate d in the attack on various parts of the front; the American navy and air force supported the offensive operations of the Kuomintang troops.
Thus, in the struggle against Chinese democracy even in the first months after the termination of the Second World War, all the forces of reaction were united – American imperialism, its former enemy – Japanese imperialism and the Chinese landlord-bourgeois reaction which did not stop at fomenting civil war on an enormous scale.
But it was precisely here that the fact of the weakening of the forces of reaction and the growth in the forces of democracy was revealed fully. In spite of their military and technical superiority, the united forces of Kuomintang, Japanese and American troops sustained defeat. The soldiers did not wish to fight for the interests of reaction. From among the Kuomintang detachment an entire army (the New Eighth) with the officers at its head crossed over to the side of the democratic troops. The first offensive of the Kuomintang troops was repulsed, and this fact which revealed the strength and the might of the democratic camp forced reaction to change its tactics, temporarily give up its military measures and return to the tactics of political manoeuvres.
The provocative actions of the American military authorities in China immediately after the termination
of the war, evoked tremendous indignation of world and American democratic public opinion. The latter was still under the influence of the democratic slogans under which the war ‘had been waged and was not prepared for the struggle for world domination in the interests of American monopoly-capita1. The Truman Government was forced to begin a retreat. In December, 1945, first Byrnes and then Truman published a declaration on American policy in China and at the end of December Byrnes signed in Moscow the declaration on China of the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
In all these documents, the central question was the question of democratising China; although Truman and Byrnes through their declarations pursued the same aim as Chinese reaction – the disarming of democracy in exchange for the granting of a few seats to democratic elements in the Kuomintang Government the need for the retention of which was persistently emphasised in the American declarations – even the very posing of this problem testifies to the weakness of the reactionary forces, their lack of confidence in themselves and the impossibility of resorting to brute force and the need to utilize the tactics of political manoeuvres.
The decisions of the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers on
December 26, 1945, as distinct from American declarations, demanded a
real democratisation of the political regime of China by including
democratic elements in all the Government organs and proclaimed the
principle of non-intervention in its internal affairs of China. Thanks
to this, they represented an enormous international support to the
forces of democracy in China.
The negotiations between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang which had begun already in the beginning of January, 1946, before the decisions of the Moscow Conference, led to the conclusion of important political and military agreements, directed towards the cessation of the civil war and democratisation of the political system of China.
But as further events showed, the landlord-bourgeois bloc did not intend to implement these agreements. Relying on the military aid which the USA was rendering on as vast a scale to Chinese reaction under the cover of “mediation”, the Kuomintang prepared for a new
military offensive. The offensive began in April, 1946, in South Manchuria and very soon passed over into a bitter civil war on all fronts.
The struggle for the democratisation of the country, for the implementation of agrarian reform after the termination of the Second World War, in spite of the defeat of Japan was once again closely interlaced with the task of the struggle against imperialism – this time American imperialism.
As before, the task of the struggle against imperialism as the condition for the success of the struggle against internal reaction remained the most important task of the national-liberation movement of the Chinese people. But while retaining its anti-feudal and anti-imperialist character, the national-liberation struggle, after the Second World War, is taking place under the new .international and internal political conditions, which determine its higher level and its more successful results. The new features consist in the fact that this struggle is a part of the general struggle between the camp of democracy and the camp of reaction, embracing the entire world and is taking place “in a situation marked by a further aggravation of the general crisis of capita1ism, the weakening of the forces of capitalism and the strengthening of the forces of Socialism and democracy.” (Declaration of the Informative Conference of Representatives of a number of Communist Parties: from For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy! November 10, 1947). It is taking place under the hegemony of the proletariat, an expression of which is the leading role of the Chinese Communist Party, which unites broader masses of the toilers and the intermediary classes representing the interests of the overwhelming sections of the Chinese people and is taking place under conditions of a sharp change in the co-relation of forces between democracy and reaction in favour of democracy over the entire world, and in particular, in China.
The fact that the liberation movement in China is developing in direct struggle against the bulwark of international reaction – American imperialism – is an expression of this first distinctive feature. Any military, political, economic and ideological victory of the united national democratic front led by the Communist Party of China is a defeat, and a weakening of American imperialism and of the camp of reaction which serves it.
It is not surprising that the heroic people’s liberation struggle of the Chinese people evokes the admiration, sympathy and moral support of all democratic progressive elements over the entire world and is also an expression of the ties of the Chinese people’s liberation movement with the general struggle of the world camp of democracy.
The Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Tse-tung had spoken with pride of these ties: “The great People’s Democratic Revolution in China which is being carried out under the leadership of the Communist Party of China is an integral part of the forces of the international anti-imperialist camp.” (Mao Tse-tung: “Revolutionary Forces of the World Rally to Combat Aggression” – For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy! November 1, 1948)
In leading the struggle of the Chinese people against the fierce aggression of American imperialism the Chinese Communist Party emerges as the true defender of the independence and sovereignty of China as distinct from the reactionary Kuomintang Government “which has betrayed the fatherland and the interests of the people.” (Ibid.)
The fact of the hegemony of the proletariat in the national liberation movement of the Chinese people finds its expression in the leading role of the Chinese Communist Party. The policy of the Communist Party played a tremendous role in the change which took place in China in the period of the Second World War in the co-relation of forces between democracy and reaction. The consistent Marxist-Leninist policy of the Communist Party not only helped the Chinese people to hold out in the war against Japan and smash the designs of reaction and of American imperialism after the war, but also led to a recognition by the majority of the Chinese peo-
ple of the democratic programme, advanced by the Chinese Communist Party as the only correct path leading to the liberation of the country from imperialist chains and the feudal fetters and towards the building of an independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and strong China.
In the words of Mao Tse-tung, “The Communist Party of China is a Party built on the example of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)” (Ibid.) It widely utilised the revolutionary experience accumulated by the Russian Bolsheviks. and in its activities is guided by the strategy and tactics of the revolutionary struggle elaborated by the great leaders of the world proletariat – Lenin and Stalin. Its policy has from the very beginning been based upon Leninist teaching on imperialism and on the distinctive featu.res of the revolution in colonial and dependent countries. The works of Stalin in particular his works on the Chinese question were of great significance in the ask of formulating a correct Marxist-Leninist policy of the Communist Party. In his works, Comrade Stalin, on the basis of a profound theoretical analysis of the situation in China defined the distinctive features of the Chinese Revolution and brilliantly foresaw the course of its development and noted the conditions under which it could be successful.
The most important among these conditions, pointed out by Comrade Stalin, is the observance of the general iactica1 principles of Leninism, which have been formulated with exceedingly great clarity and simplicity in the work, “Comment on Current Affairs”.
“1. The principle of the necessity of taking into account the national peculiarities and the national characteristics of each nation ....
“2. The principle of the necessity for the Communist Party in every country to utilising the smallest possibility of securing mass allies for the proletariat, even if they are temporary, vacillating, wavering or unreliable.
“3. The principle of the necessity of taking into account the troth that propaganda and agitation alone are not enough for the political education of millions of the masses, but that this demands the political experience of the masses
themselves.” (J. V. Stalin: Comment on Current Affairs as quoted by Chen Po-ta in Stalin and the Chinese Revolution – China Digest, No. 7, 1949)
A most brilliant example of the application of these principles is the post-war policy of the Chinese Communist Party.
In the consistent change in the tactical slogans of the Communist Party we see how in the measure of the broad masses acquiring experience, in the measure of the entire Chinese people understanding the reactionary and treacherous character of Kuomintang dictatorship and the aggressive designs of American imperialism, the Party rallied the broad masses of the toilers and the entire Chinese people for a still more decisive struggle against them and on the basis of this strengthened the united democratic front and won newer and newer successes.
As has been pointed out above, during the war period the activities of the Party were built on the basis of the programme of New Democracy and in particular of its specific programme, that are se from the necessity of consolidating a united front of struggle against Japanese aggression. It was this very same programme by which the Communist Party was guided during the negotiations with the Kuomintang with the “mediation” of the USA till April-May, 1946.
Such a position was caused by the circumstance that the broad masses of the toilers of China, after eight years of an exhausting war against Japan, yearned for Peace and hoped that the democratic re-organisation of China and an improvement in the conditions of the masses could be achieved by an agreement between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang. And though it was clear to the Communist Party even immediately after the beginning of the negotiations that it was impossible to achieve an agreement with Kuomintang reaction, which aimed at retaining its dictatorship, a change in programme in this period would have been mistaken and would have meant isolation from the masses. It was necessary to give the masses an opportunity of being convinced through their own experience that their hopes were unreal, that the task of the democratic re-organisation of China could
not be solved through an agreement with reaction and with American imperialism.
As is well-known, all the attempts of the Communist Party to reach an agreement with the Kuomintang failed. Kuomintang reaction, inspired by American aid, passed over to the offensive against democracy and started the conflagration of an unprecedented civil war. The anti-popular character of reaction, as well as the real aims of American “mediation” became clear to everybody.
Under these conditions, the programme of New Democracy in its former
form ceased to correspond to the political situation inside the country
and needed to be revised. A proof of this was the change in the mood of
the broad masses and was expressed in the. mighty agrarian movement
among the peasantry of the liberated regions, “which having lost hope
of realisation of their” aspirations began spontaneously to carry out
the agrarian reform from below. In conformity with this, in May, 1946,
the Communist Party adopted the decision on the introduction of
agrarian reform on the basic of a partial confiscation of land from the
landlords in the form of the so-called “settling of account” with the
malicious landlords, who had exploited the peasants and misappropriated
The worsening of the condition of the peasants, the workers and the intelligentsia, the petty and the middle bourgeoisie on the territory controlled by the Kuomintang, as a result of an intensification of the economic crisis caused by the civil war and American expansion also led to an enormous increase in dissatisfaction against the Kuomintang regime and to the growth of the mass movement of the peasants, the workers, the students and the urban poor.
Not being in a position to cope up with the economic crisis Kuomintang reaction, relying on the unlimited support from USA alongside the civil-war, resorted to a policy of terror and suppression of the discontent of the masses by armed force and took the course of completely” exterminating every democratic movement.
In the face of the civil war and the furious offensive of reaction, the Communist Party had to adopt determined measures for a defence of the democratic gains and for giving a rebuff to reaction by deepening and an
extending of the democratic movement and satisfying the most urgent needs of the masses, strengthening of the army and implementation of measures to undermine the economic and political base of reaction.
With these aims, the Communist Party not only forced the passing of agrarian reform and the transfer of landlords’ land to the peasants, but even put forward more resolute tasks:
1. The complete liquidation of the economic basis of the landlord
class and the kulaks supporting it – which was the support of reaction
2. The liquidation of the economic base of monopoly capital, which headed reaction.
3. The defeat of the reactionary regime of Kuomintang dictatorship.
4. A resolute struggle against American imperialism which inspired its agent reaction, and the liquidation of their economic positions in China.
All these tasks confronted Chinese democracy .gradually and in the measure of the sharpening of the struggle against reaction, they were more and more dearly placed before the masses by the Communist Party.
The development of the policy of the Communist Party of China for the last 3 – 4 years shows how the Chinese Communists gradually, step by step, oh the basis of the political experience of the masses themselves led by the Chinese people to an understanding of the necessity of overthrowing the Kuomintang regime, of liquidating the economic base of the feudal classes and of the struggle against American imperialism.
In this respect, the events in the period from August 1945, to August, 1947 were a particularly serious political school for the broad masses of the Chinese people. During these two years, the masses were convinced about the impossibility of a democratic reorganisation of the country and of liberation from imperialist oppression through agreement with reaction. Moreover it was precisely in this period that the anti-popular treacherous character of the dictatorship of the landlords and the big bourgeoisie, its complete conversion into a puppet or American imperialism was expressed particularly sharply. Having learnt from their own experience that
the domination of American imperialism and internal reaction threatens China with being converted into an American colony and a big military springboard in Asia and being convinced at the same time through the example of the liberated regions about the correctness of the policy of the Communists, the broad popular masses all over China rallied still more closely around the Chinese Communist Party and unreservedly supported the political and economic tasks in the sphere of democratic changes in China advanced by it.
The rallying of the broad masses of the Chinese people for the carrying out of these tasks is the clearest example of the hegemony of the proletariat and the leading role of the Chinese Communist Party and the all conquering power of the teachings of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin.
The fact of the increase in membership of the Communist Party from 1,210,000 in 1945 to 3 million in 1948 testifies to the tremendous growth in the influence of the ideas and authority of the Communist Party.
Thanks to its policy of struggle against American imperialism and internal reaction, ,directed towards the defence of the interests of the toilers, the ,Communist Party won tremendous authority not only in the liberated regions, but also among the broad masses of the working people all over China.
The leading role of the Communist Party was recognised not only by the working masses of China but also by the petty and even the middle bourgeoisie. “The aggression of American Imperialism, the oppression of Chiang Kai-shek and the correct policy of our Party, directed towards resolute defence of the interests of the masses of the people-all this has contributed to our Party acquiring the sympathy of the broad masses of the working class, the peasantry, the petty, and the middle bourgeoisie in the regions where Chiang Kai-shek governs.” (Mao Tse-tung: Speech of 25-12-1947 from the collection “Very Important Documents....” Harbin, 1948)
Their recognition of the leading role of the Communist Party is a result of the tremendous successes achieved by the people’s liberation movement under its leadership.
Mao Tse-tung, in his speech of December 25, 1947 said:
“Our new democratic revolutionary united front today has a broader base and is more consolidated than ever before. This is the result not only of our agrarian policy and policy in relation to the urban population. It is also the result to a great extent of the general political situation characterised by the victories of the People’s Liberation Army.... and by the new period of upsurge of the Chinese Revolution. The people now see that the downfall of the Kuomintang is inevitable and they are, therefore, placing all their hopes on the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army.” (Mao Tse-tung: Report to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (sic.) – For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy! January 15, 1948).
The close rallying of the broad masses of the Chinese people into a united democratic front under the firm leadership of the Communist Party is an expression of the post-war alignment of class forces over the entire world which is characterised not only by polarisation but even by a further change in the co-relation of forces in favour of democracy.
The victories of the Soviet people achieved in the war against German Fascism and Japanese imperialism were of decisive significance in the change of co-relation of forces between the camp of democracy and of reaction. These victories not only increased immeasurably the international role of the USSR but also the changes of the victory of democratic forces in the countries enslaved by Fascism and in the whole world.
Contrary to the calculations of imperialist circles and in the first instance of the USA and Great Britain, who relied on weakening the USSR and all the democratic forces during the war period, the forces of the democratic camp headed by the USSR grew immeasurably. This was a direct consequence of the military, political and economic victories of the Soviet people, proving the tremendous superiority of the Socialist system and strongly discredited the capitalist system in the eyes of the working masses.
These circumstances as well as the general weakening of the camp of imperialism during the war period could not but assist to a tremendous extent in the conso-
lidation of the democratic forces in China, their unification and their close rallying together.
This international factor, which was manifested in the weakening of the positions of imperialism in China .and consequently also in a weakening of the position of the Kuomintang as an imperialist agent, played a very important role in changing the co-relation of forces between democracy and reaction at the end of the war. The defeat dealt by the Soviet troops to the Japanese occupation army on Chinese territory played a big role in this. The defeat by the Soviet Army of the Japanese war machine, the entry of Soviet troops into Manchuria and the liquidation of Japanese occupation power helped the Chinese working masses to set up their people’s power and transform Manchuria into the main supporting base of the democratic movement.
The victorious offensive of the Soviet Army in August, 1945 on Manchuria also created the conditions for a passing over by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army into the counter-offensive against the Japanese and for the liberation of considerable territory and a number of big centres in North and Central China.
Thus, the victories of the Soviet Army over German Fascism and Japanese imperialism were a decisive factor in changing the co-relation of forces in China. the most important pre-requisite for strengthening the camp of democracy and its preponderance over the camp of reaction. This fact has also been noted by the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Tse-tung and Chu Teh. Mao Tse-tung in his article on “The Dictatorship of People’s Democracy” points out:
“Had there been no Soviet Union, had there been no victory in the anti-Fascist Second World War, had Japanese imperialism not been defeated – which is particularly important for us (i.e. for China – G.A.) .... had none of these factors existed, then the pressure of the international reactionary forces would, of course, have been much stronger than it is today. Would we have been able to achieve victory in those circumstances?” asks Mao Tse-tung and replies categorically “of course, not.” (Mao Tse-tung: The Dictatorship of People’s Democracy from For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy! July 15, 1949)
Chu Teh in his speech at the inauguration of the movement Friendship Society, said:
“Without the Soviet Union, without the victory of the anti-Fascist forces during the Second World War headed by the Soviet Union and without the unparalleled growth during the last four years of the international democratic camp of the world headed by the Soviet Union – the Chinese Revolution would not have won its present great and speedy victory and the consolidation of victory, even when won would be impossible.” (General Chu Teh’s speech at the Inauguration of Sino-Soviet Friendship Society: from ISJ (August 19, 1949)
A realisation of the advantages gained by the democratic camp in China as a result of the victory of the USSR in the war and the consolidation of the world camp of democracy required still considerable time for the creation of internal political conditions necessary for a complete defeat of reaction and for inflicting a defeat on American imperialism. This time was utilised not only for repulsing the attack of reaction but also for the consolidation of the democratic regime, accumulation of forces and then for the creation of a decisive turn in the civil war and the going over of the People’s Liberation Army into a determined counter-offensive. In this respect a tremendous role was played by the correct policy of the Communist Party, which was directed towards helping the masses, to arrive through their own consciousness, to an understanding of the necessity of a decisive struggle against reaction and imperialism, and to an understanding of the need for basic changes in the political and economic sphere.
The victory of the USSR, the strengthening of the world democratic camp, the favourable post-war disposition of class forces in China and the correct Marxist-Leninist policy of the Communist Party led to the fact that the national-liberation movement of the Chinese people was strengthened, deepened and transformed into a genuine people’s liberation movement into a united anti-Japanese national front, into a united democratic national front.
This signifies not only an increase in the might of the democratic camp and in its chances of victory in the struggle against reaction but also the transition of the
page 42democratic movement of the Chinese people to a higher stage, whose characteristic feature is the struggle for People’s Democracy, for the creation of the pre-requisites for a transition to Socialism. The clearest expression of the fact of the transition to a struggle for People’s Democracy was to be found in the slogan of the Chinese Communist Party on the basic questions of the strategy and tactics of the struggle. In place of the slogan of struggle against imperialism and feudal remnants, a slogan which expressed the former , disposition of class forces and the direction of the main blow, the Communist Party towards the end of 1947 put forward the slogan of struggle against imperialism, feudalism and big capital.
In conformity with the change in the main strategic line, there was a change in the formulation and in the content of the question of the character of power within the Coalition Government. While the programme of New Democracy permitted the possibility of a sharing of power with the Kuomintang, i.e. with the big bourgeoisie and even with the landlords and demanded merely the abolition of their dictatorship, the present programme, reflecting the new co-relation of class forces and rallying the broad popular masses around the Communist Party resolutely adopted the course of concentrating decisive power in the hands of the working class, supported by a close alliance with the toiling peasantry.
Hence, the line of excluding all reactionary parties, groups and elements from the composition of the Coalition Government.
A broad definition of the general line of the Chinese Communist Party at the present stage was given by Mao Tse-tung in his speech to the cadres of the Shensi-Suiyuan liberated area.
“What is the general line of the Communist Party? It is a line of the New Democratic Revolution of the great masses of the people, led by the working class against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capital.” (Mao Tse-tung: Address to Cadres of Shensi-Suiyuan Liberated Area)
This revolution must lead to the creation of a Chinese People’s Democratic Republic and a democratic Coalition Government representing “the joint sovereign rule of
all the democratic classes.” (Mao Tse-tung, ibid.)
In the New Year appeal of the Communist Party which contains the conditions for peace with Kuomintang the People’s Democratic character of New China is defined still more clearly.
“The Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party, are demanding a genuine democratic peace that will ensure the end of the old regime and the birth of a new People’s Democratic China, where the decisive power will be in the hands of the working class, firmly allied to the peasantry.” And further, “This means overthrowing the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang throughout the country and establishing a republic of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship ,over the entire country under the leadership of the proletariat with an alliance of the workers and peasants as the main body. (People’s Age, 23-1-1949)
In the economic sphere, the present programme of Chinese democracy instead of the former policy of lowering rents and interests on loans and the extremely general Sun Yat-sen slogan of “to every ploughman, his field”, has, posed the question of wide agrarian reform and even carried it out.
In, its resolution of 10th October, 1947, the Central Committee of the Communist Party put forward the slogan of a change in the agrarian system of China which was “the main obstacle in the democratisation, industrialisation, independence, unity and prosperity of our country.” (Decree of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China 10-10-1947 “Very Important Documents” Harbin, 1948)
The resolution demanded the implementation of the draft of the draft
of a agrarian law adopted on September 13, 1947, by the National
Agrarian Conference which was summoned at the initiative of the
Communist Party. This law is of tremendous importance not only as a
measure directed towards the solution of the agrarian question
but also as the first legislative Act of Chinese democracy undertaken on a nationwide scale. The law envisages the confiscation of the landed property of the landlords, temples, monasteries, schools, institutions and organisations and also the means of production from the landlords and their surplus from the kulaks.
The confiscated land is distributed among the landless peasants and peasants with little land in accordance with the quality of the land. Land is received on an equal basis by all the dwellers in the countryside, irrespective of sex and age and excluding the betrayers, the traitors to the country and the war-criminals. The landlords, the kulaks, their families and also the families of the officials of the Kuomintang apparatus, the officers and soldiers of the Kuomintang army who live in villages and are engaged in agriculture and are not guilty of any crimes, also receive land.
The means of production confiscated from the landlords and the kulaks are distributed among the needy peasants and other poor peasants. The land and the means of production received by the peasants are the private property of their new owners and can be sold and in some cases even leased on rent. The property and the legal operations of the industrialists and the traders are not subject to confiscation and are safeguarded by 1aw.
The organs, which carry out the agrarian reform are the peasants’ and poor peasants’ meetings and committees and also the canton and district and other territorial conferences of the peasants and their committees.
The importance of this law lies not only in the confiscation of landlords’ land and the means of production, but also in the complete breakup of all land, relationships in the countryside, which will exclude a return to the old forms of land-ownership.
The agrarian reform which has been carried out on the territory of the liberated regions was of the greatest importance in the task of rallying the main section of the Chinese population – the peasantry – around the Communist Party.
As a result of this reform the land question was already solve or one hundred million peasants who received land and the means of production and raised their living standard and productivity of labour considerably, in Manchuria alone, six million landless peasant households or households with little land (i.e., 24-30 million people) received 50 million mu (more than 3 million hectares) of land, 400,000 heads of cattle, agricultural implements and grain.
The landlords and kulaks completely lost their economic monopoly on the means of production and the possibility of exploiting the peasants on this territory and besides, also lost their political influence which consolidated very greatly the rear of the liberated regions.
The peasantry under the Kuomintang regime and the soldiers of the Kuomintang armies which for the most part comprised of landless poor peasants, saw in concrete example, the way out of want. The numerous facts of the mass surrender (as captives) and the crossing over of Kuomintang soldiers to the sides of the People’s Liberation Army speak of how their example found a response in their hearts.
In his speech of 1st April, 1948, Mao Tse-tung dwelt specially on the most important question of the introduction of agrarian reform. Having pointed out that the task of the agrarian reform is the liquidation of the system of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation, the satisfaction of the demands for land on the part of the poor peasants and the agricultural labourers and the development of agricultural production, Mao Tse-tung emphasises that the agrarian reform can be implemented only in alliance with the middle peasantry. Without this, the poor peasants and the farm labourers will be isolated and the reform will suffer a failure. Hence, alongside satisfying the land hunger of the poor peasants and the farm labourers, the task of the reform is the satisfaction of the demands of the middle peasantry and the preservation by them of the allotments of land which exceed a little the average allotment of land.
After pointing out that the demand for an equal distribution of the land is not propaganda for complete equalisation, Mao Tse-tung exposes the policy of equalisation as wrong, reactionary and backward condemns its supporters. In conclusion, Mao Tse-tung put before the party and the democratic powers a number of concrete tasks for the improvement of agricultural production and the organisation of peasant cooperation on the basis of private property in land and also as regards the development of industry on the basis of a growth in agricultural production.
The agrarian reform is of enormous significance not only from the point of view of liquidating the political
support of reaction and improving the position of the peasants. It has tremendous economic significance as a factor unleashing the productive forces of agriculture, that have been fettered till now and creates one of the pre-requisites for the industrialisation of the country and its transition on to Socialist lines.
The development of agriculture and industry must create the condition for converting China into an industrialized country which, in the words of Mao Tse-tung, is the ultimate aim of a New Democratic Revolution. Besides agrarian reform and the development of agriculture on the path to collectivisation, the confiscation of bureaucratic capital is the most important of the economic changes which lay the economic basis of the system of People’s Democracy.
The monopoly capital of the Four Families having carried out a centralisation of capital with quite a high standard of concentration of production in a number of branches (gained in the war years in Japanese enterprises in Manchuria and North China) – a centralisation that was unprecedented for China, created a certain minimum prerequisites for carrying out big economic changes in the interests of the toilers.
This signifies that after the confiscation of the property of monopoly capital, which has already been realised in Manchuria, in North and Central China and is now being realised in South China, the main and decisive role in the economy of China will be played by and is already being played by the socialised sector in the form of State industry, transport and banks. Its specific weight in the various branches comprises 50-100% and it will be precisely this sector which will determine the development of the economy of China in the future. This development will be directed on the path of the greatest increase in the State socialised sector. The programme of industrial construction set forth in the report of Jen Pi-shi, which envisages as the primary task “the creation of all conditions for the rapid development of State enterprises, bearing a Socialist character” can serve as an example of this.
The Communist Party of China is already now setting the people a still broader task – to lend a planned character to the development of the whole national eco-
nomy and by increasing the productivity of labour gradually improve the living standards of the workers and of the people and strengthen in this way the alliance of the workers and peasants and ensure the role of the town in the leadership of the countryside and lay the economic foundations for the transition to Socialism. The gradual implanting of planned foundations in the economy of China is only possible on the basis of the decisive role of the State-socialised sector, which represents one of the forms of the emergence of Socialist foundations in the economy of New China.
The success of the struggle for People’s Democracy does not signify that all the questions of the bourgeois-democratic revolution have already been solved in China. The overthrow of the imperialist rule and the destruction of feudal survivals on an all-China basis remains as before the urgent and the most important task of the Chinese democratic movement.
The rallying of the broad masses of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party on the basis of the programme of People’s Democracy put forth by it has led to the great military successes of the People’s Liberation movement in the struggle against reaction, for the political transformation of the country and to the creation of a People’s Republic and also to the considerable achievements in the sphere of economic construction in the liberated regions.
Having exhausted the forces of the Kuomintang army by its dogged defence in the first years of the war the People’s Liberation Army went over to a determined offensive in September 1947 and completely liberated the territory of Manchuria and having cleared the whole of Northern China of Kuomintang troops, inflicted the heaviest defeat on them in the Central plains, appeared on the Yangtse river, forced it and occupied the biggest political, and economic centres – Nanking, Wuhan, Nan-
cheng, Shanghai, Changsha and is now waging battles in South China.
As pointed out by Mao Tse-tung in opening the People’s Political Consultative Conference of China on October 2, 1949, troops of the People’s Liberation Army numbering several million men, had reached the area in direct proximity to Formosa and the provinces of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Szechwan, Kweichow and Sinkiang and had liberated the majority of the Chinese people.
In the beginning of October, 1949, the People’s Liberation Army
waged battles on the approaches to Canton and on October 14, 1949
liberated this important centre of South China. Another unit of the
People’s Liberation Army cleared the whole of the North-west of
Kuomintang troops and liberated Diuha (Sinkiang).
The Kuomintang army, having lost in the battles for Changchun, Mukden, Tienstsin, Peiping, Suichow, Nanking, Wuhan and Shanghai a great number of soldiers and officers and a great part of their equipment, were a1most incapable of resistance. The People’s Liberation Army which had even earlier under an unfavourable co-relation of forces inflicted defeat after defeat on the Kuomintang troops is now in a position to smash the remnants of the Kuomintang army in a short period.
Under the powerful blows of the People’s Liberation Army, the reactionary camp is undergoing a process of internal collapse.
At present the outcome of the struggle is already pre-determined. It is pre-determined by the rallying of the Chinese people round the Communist Party and by its firm determination to attain the victory of democracy; it is pre-determined by the support to the Chinese people’s liberation movement from the world democratic camp, of which it is a part and whose strength “is superior to that of the imperialist camp” (Pravda, Jan. 6, 1948)
It was this which gave the basis for Mao Tse-tung to declare firmly that
“it will not be long before all the reactionary Kuomintang forces are finally smashed by the Chinese people.” (Mao
Tse-tung: “Revolutionary Forces of the World Rally to Combat Imperialist Oppression” – from “For a Lasting Peace For a People’s Democracy!” November 1 1948)
The tremendous successes gained by the democratic forces in China in the political and military spheres – the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the freeing of the greater part of the territory and population of China from the oppression of reaction, resulted in the creation tor the first time in the history of China of conditions for national unification, the achievement of complete independence and for the creation of a genuinely People’s Democratic structure.
All these tasks were accomplished by the People’s Political Consultative Conference, which was summoned in conformity with the proposal of the Communist Party of May 1, 1948, after long negotiations and consultations with all the democratic parties, groups, people’s organisations and progressive leaders.
The Conference opened on November 21, 1949 in Peiping. More than 600 people from 45 organisations representing all the democratic parties and groups of China, popular organisations, the People’s Liberation Army, various districts and nationalities as well as Chinese citizens abroad took part in it.
The Conference proclaimed the formation of the People’s Republic of China and elaborated and adopted three fundamental constitutional documents – The Organic law of the Central People’s Government of China, the Statute and the Common Programme of the People’s Political Consultative Council and also elected the National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Council and a Central People’s Government Council.
The leader of the Communist Party, Mao Tse-tung, was elected as the Chairman of the Government Council and of the National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Council.
The Conference also adopted a decision that the capital of People’s Republic was to be Peking (in Chinese – Peiping) and confirmed the Red Flag with five golden stars as the National Flag and adopted a provisional national anthem (March of the Volunteers) and the solar calendar (in place of the former lunar one).
The People’s Government Council on October 1, 1949 published a People’s declaration – signed by Mao Tse-tung on the creation of a Central Government, on the adoption of a common programme of the People’s Consultative Council as the political programme of the Government and on the creation of organs of Government and the nomination of:
CHOU EN-LAI: The Prime Minister of the State and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
MAO TSE-TUNG: Chairman of the National People’s Revolutionary War Council.
CHU-THE: Commander-in-Chief of the People’s Liberation Army.
SHEN CHUN-JU: Chief Justice of the People’s Supreme Court.
LO JUAN-HYAN: Procurator-General of General People’s Procuracy.
At the same time, the Government announce d in its declaration that it was the only lawful Government, representing the entire People’s Republic of China and pointed out that it was prepared to establish diplomatic relations with any foreign Government which would observe the principles of equality, mutual advantage and mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, break off relationship with Kuomintang reaction and take up a friendly position towards the Republic.
The proclamation of the People’s Republic of China was the victorious cu1mination of the long and dogged struggle waged by the democratic forces of China against the united forces of internal reaction and international imperialism which always acted in conjunction with each other. It crowned the 28 years’ heroic struggle of the Communist Party of China, which from its very foundation was the inspirer and organiser of the national liberation struggle of the Chinese people. It was at the same time a clear demonstration of the all-conquering forces of Marxist-Leninist teachings and a new and very powerful blow to imperialism and a new defeat for the camp of world reaction and the instigators of war.
It is not surprising that the birth of the new People’s Republic evoked tremendous enthusiasm and happiness not only among the free Chinese people but also in the
entire camp of peace and democracy and among its friends over the entire world.
The Soviet Union which has invariably followed the struggle of the Chinese people with warm sympathy was the first to respond to the formation of the People’ s Republic of China and in greeting it, rendered the new Republic tremendous moral support by establishing diplomatic relations with it, which was declared in the Note of the Soviet Government of October 2, 1949.
After the Soviet Union, in the course of 3-4 days, the People’s Republic of China was recognised by Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, Korea and the Mongolian People’s Republic.
The people of all these New Democratic Republics greeted warmly the creation of a People’s Republic of China, as a fact of the enormous strengthening of the international camp of democracy and peace, headed by the Soviet Union.
After the incorporation of the 475 million Chinese people in it, the camp of democracy and peace within the limits of the State boundaries of the USSR and the People’s Democracies alone unites one-third of the population and nearly one-fourth of the territory of the entire globe (excluding the vast number of the supporters of the democratic camp in the capitalist countries and many hundreds of millions of the population of the colonial and dependent countries, oppressed by imperialism who are also close to the camp of peace and democracy).
The expression of the united sovereign will of the Chinese people, which was manifested in the fact of the proclamation of the People’s Republic inflicted a very powerful blow to the machinations of international reaction and led to a further disintegration of its camp.
The Chinese people as a result of their heroic struggle, under the leadership of the Communist Party have already achieved independence and freedom, howsoever much the worst enemies of progressive mankind – the American imperialists – and their protégés – burnt with malice and attempted to hinder it. The People’s Republic of China, with the support of the democratic forces of the whole world, headed by the USSR occupies a worthy place in the family of nations.
“The Chinese nation”, as Mao Tse-tung pointed out, “will henceforth joint the big family of peace and freedom-loving nations of the world.” (Pravda 23-9-1949)
As in the countries of Eastern Europe, the system of People’s Democracy developing in China is laying basis “for a transition to a Socialist path of development.” (Pravda 22-10-1947)
Comrade Zhdanov in characterising the distinctive features of the People’s Democratic system, pointed out:
“The new democratic governments… backed by the mass of the people, were able within a minimum period to carry through such progressive democratic reforms as bourgeois democracy is no longer capable of effecting. Agrarian reforms turned over the land to the peasants and led to the elimination of the landlord class…. Together with this, the foundation was laid of government, national ownership and a new type of Sate was created – the People’s Republic, where the power belongs to the people, where large-scale industry, transport and the banks are owned by the State and where a bloc of the labouring classes of the population headed by working class, constitute the leading force.” (A Zhdanov: “The International Situation” – Report at the Informative Conference of Representatives of a number of Communist Parties: from For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, November 10, 1947)
In his report to the Fifth Congress of the Bulgarian Workers’ Party (Communists) on 19th December, 1948, Comrade Dimitrov, in taking into account the experience of the development of People’s Democracy in Eastern Europe noted that the transition from capitalism to Socialism through the system of People’s Democracy is being realised in the process of –
(1) A struggle against all attempts and tendencies on the part of the exploiting classes aimed at re-establishing the capitalist order and bourgeois rule;
(2) Ceaseless class struggle against the capitalist elements for their complete liquidation;
(3) Cooperation and friendship with the USSR;
(4) Active ‘participation in the struggle of the united anti-imperialist camp against the attempts of the imperialist camp, headed by USA to unleash a new world war and impede the building of Socialism and Communism.
Hence, it follows that the system of People’s Democracy is not something unchanging, and given once for all. It is developing both economically and politically on the basis of a struggle between the contradictions, which already lie in it in the form of the various classes and economic systems. But owing to the fact that the system of People’s Democracy fulfils the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, this development is directed towards the strengthening of Socialist elements and is taking place not at once but gradually and under conditions of a fierce class struggle. The history of the development of the countries of People’s Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe provides a graphic example of this.
The experience of the People’s Democracies in Europe and also the foregoing analysis of the economic and political situation in China provide a key to both an understanding of the distinctive features of People’s Democracy in China at the present stage as well as the path of its further development.
The political, economic changes carried out over the territory of the liberated regions show that the main and fundamental features of People’s Democracy have already been realised over the territories of the liberated areas of China. It is above all the power of the people, the power of the toilers, with the guarantee of the leading role of the working class and its Party.
Till the convocation of a People’s Political Consultative Conference and the formation of the People’s Republic of China, the highest organs of power in the territories of the liberated areas were the National and Political Councils, elected by the entire population on the basis of general, direct and equal election rights and secret ballot.
The People’s Political Councils possessed legislative
and administrative rights within the bounds of their territory, appointed and controlled the executive organs of power in the form of the administrative committees of the liberated regions, the district heads, the village elders and the urban municipalities. The confidence of the people, the tremendous authority among the masses guaranteed to the Chinese Communist Party a leading role both in the People’s Political Councils as well as the executive organs of power through which the Communist Party carried into practice its programme of People’s Democracy.
In the liberated areas, a radical agrarian reform was accomplished by depriving not only the landlords but even the kulaks of land and the means of production and by transferring them into the hands of the working peasantry (its economic and political results have been described above).
In the measure of the liberation of the industrial regions by the People’s Liberation Armies the transfer of big industry, banks and transport, which were in the hands of foreign imperialism and monopoly capital of the “Four Families” to the State and their conversion into public property was achieved.
In defining the main economic distinctive features of the system of People’s Democracy in China, Mao Tse-tung points out:
“The economy of new China comprises of (1) State economy which is the leading element; (2) Agriculture, which is developing gradually from the individual to the collective path; (3) the economy of independent, small artisans and traders and the economy of petty and medium private capital. All these comprise national economy as a whole in the New Democratic system.” (Mao Tse-tung: Speech on December 25, from Important Documents, Harbin 1948).
Thus, as a system laying the basis for a transition to the path of Socialist development, the system of People’s Democracy in China is in principle no different from the States of People’s Democracy in the West.
This is manifest with special clarity from the political documents adopted by the People’s Political Consultative Conference and in particular from the Common Programme of the People’s Political Consultative Coun-
cil, which contains the main principles underlying the People’s Republic of China. There were no doubts whatsoever among those who participated in the Conference and represented the will of the peoples of the whole of China that People’s Democracy represents a transitional form of development of China along the path of Socialism (Chou En-lai’s speech of September 22, 1949: Pravda). This is reflected in all the chapters of the Common Programme without any exception.
The introduction of the Programme in defining the essence of the dictatorship of People’s Democracy as a form of State power of the People’s Democratic United Front, points out that People’s Democracy will be the political foundation for national construction of the People’s Republic of China.
Chapter I, General Principles, defines the People’s Republic of China as a People’s Democratic State. It realises the People’s Democratic dictatorship headed by the working class and based on an alliance of the workers and peasants and unites all democratic classes, all China’s national minorities and wages a struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capital.
The Programme sets forth as the main tasks of the People’s Republic of China – the abolition of all the prerogatives of imperialism in China, the confiscation of bureaucratic capital for ownership by the People’s State, the carrying out of agrarian reform, the safe-guarding of the public property of the State and the property of cooperatives, the development of national economy and transforming the country from an agricultural to an industrial country,
While guaranteeing election and other political rights to the people and declaring equal rights in all spheres for women as well as the equality of rights and duties for all the nationalities of China, the programme especially envisages the suppression of counter-revolutionary activities and depriving the reactionary elements, feudal landlords, representatives of bureaucratic capital and of the capitalists in general, of political rights.
The generally declared principles of the programme also include the solemn declaration that the People’s Republic of China unites with all the peace-loving and freedom-loving countries and first of all with the Soviet
Union for a struggle against imperialist aggression and for peace.
Chapter II: Organs of State Power, points out that State power belongs to the people and is exercised by the people through People’s Congresses elected by universal suffrage and the organs of People’s power elected by the latter at all levels. The All-China People s Congress is the supreme legislative organ of State power, and the executive – the Central People’s Government, elected by the All-China People’s Congress.
Pending the convocation of the All-China People’s Congress, its functions are carries out by the People’s Political Consultative Council which, after the convocation of the People’s Congress will continue to remain as a consultative organ, representing the People’s Democratic front.
The Programme envisages that in all the newly liberated areas, initially State power is to be exercised through the military authorities of the People’s Liberation Army, through military control committees and then gradually passed on to the local conferences of the representatives of all circles. Elections in local People s Congresses are conducted in these areas only after the carrying out of agrarian reform and after the organisation of the population i.e., after the liquidation of the economic dependence of the population in the landlords and other reactionary elements. The basis for the building of all organs of power is the principle of democratic centralism.
The Programme points out that all Kuomintang laws, oppressing the people will be abolished and laws, protecting the interests of the people will be enacted. A people’s judicial system and supervisory organs will be created, where the people can approach any State institution with grievances.
In Chapters I and II, the political distinctive features, of
People’s Democracy, as a genuine people’s power, a power of the working
people operating in the interests of the people and ensuring the
complete safeguarding of social interests find full expression.
Chapter III, Military System envisages, the creation of unified armed forces, uniting the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Public Security Forces, a system
of political education of officers and fighters in revolutionary and patriotic spirit, the modernisation of the army, the creation of an Air Force and a navy, the introduction of a system of People’s Militia and also preparation for the enforcement of obligatory military service. It also envisages the drawing in of the armed forces during peace time in the work of agriculture and industry.
Chapter IV: Economic Policy, reflects the special economic features of the system of People’s Democracy and the fact that it comprises of more than one system. It enumerates five sectors of economy – State, cooperative, private peasant, private capitalist-artisan and the sector of State capitalism. In enumerating their special features, the programme points out that the leading role belongs to the sector of State economy, which bears a Socialist character and unites all the enterprises which are of important significance for the country’s economy. They constitute public property and are the material basis and the leading force in the entire social economy. It is through the medium of the sector of the State-economy that the State will be able to carry out the leadership of the remaining sectors.
The programme envisages an encouragement to the development of the cooperative sector and granting it various advantages and preferential treatment as well as encouragement to the activities of all private enterprises beneficial to the people.
The sector of State capitalism is the sector of cooperation between State and private capital in the form of joint direction of enterprises and the renting of State enterprises by private capital.
According to the Programme, the workers in the State-owned enterprises through the medium of administrative committees will take part in the administration of enterprises. For privately-owned enterprises, the concluding of collective contracts with the trade unions is compulsory. An eight to ten hour working day, a minimum wage and also the gradual introduction of social insurance, protection of juvenile and female labour and the protection of labour in general is guaranteed. The programme declares the safeguarding of the rights of peasants to possession of the land received through the land reform and also the organisation of peasants and the car-
rying out of the reform in the newly liberated areas.
The Programme envisages the elaboration of a general plan of restoration of development of State, cooperative and private sectors of the economy of the country and defines the tasks in the sphere of development of the various branches of economy. The main tasks are the organisation of peasants for the purpose of developing agriculture and the gradual creation of the various forms of labour mutual aid and production cooperation on the principle of free choice, in the first place, the rehabilitation and development of heavy industry, the introduction of State control and a system of protecting external trade, State commercial enterprises, the regulation of demand and the supply, an encouragement to the development of cooperation in the sphere of domestic trade, the canalisation of conserved and non-productive capital into industry, all possible encouragement and aid to the development of all forms of cooperation, the establishment of strict State control over the finances and the activities of private financial organisations.
Chapter IV of the Programme clearly shows the leading role of the public forms of economy in the form of State and cooperative sectors, their primary development and the regulating role of the State in relation to other sectors which is the characteristic and distinctive feature of People’s Democracy in its development towards Socialism.
Chapter V: Cultural and Educational Policy also sets the task of development of the social consciousness of the people, the dissemination of progressive social ideas and sciences as the condition of development of People’s Democracy.
According to the Programme, culture and education in New China must be national in form, scientific in content and popular in its character. They must educate citizens in the spirit of love for the motherland and the people, love for labour and science and care for public property.
The Programme envisages an encouragement to the development of natural sciences and scientific-historic outlook to the study and interpretation of social sciences, the utilisation of literature and art in the interests of the people, the introduction of universal education, the deve-
lopment of technical education and the revolutionary and political education of the young and old-style intellectuals. Freedom of reporting true news is safeguarded and the utilisation of the Press to undermine the interests of the people is prohibited.
Chapter VI: Policy Towards Nationalities envisages the equality of all the nationalities and the establishment of regional autonomy in the regions where national minorities are congregated.
Chapter VII: Foreign Policy, points out that the principle of the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China is not only the safeguarding of the independence and sovereignty of the country, but also support of universal peace and the struggle against in1perialist policy of aggression and war.
The foregoing principles of the programme show that in all its sections, beginning with the political and economic one and ending with the ideological one, it proceeds above all from the task of ensuring the predominance of public elements in all branches, from the task of creating a firm basis for the development of China along the path of public economy.
In this sense, the Common Programme of the PPCC undoubtedly characterises People’s Democracy of China as a system laying the basis for a transition to Socialism.
In China, the People’s Democratic system is being created in fierce armed struggle against the combined forces of domestic reaction and foreign imperialism, which still retain control over a part of the country. In a backward semi-colonial country, with the numerous survivals of feudalism in the economic, political and ideological superstructures, this cannot but give rise to a certain peculiarity and certain special features in the process of its development.
The most important task of People’s Democracy in China in these conditions is the rapid development of productive forces and in particular industry which will liquidate economic backwardness and create the conditions for a going over from small scattered producers to large mechanised production, and prepare the economic pre-requisites for a transition to Socialism.
People’s Democracy in China cannot but reckon with the necessity of allowing a certain period and within
certain bounds not only the existence but even the development of capitalist elements both in the town and in the countryside, with the compulsory condition of ensuring the regulating role of the People’s Democratic State.
On the basis of this, the Communist Party also defines its tactical line in relation to the middle and petty bourgeoisie:
“The petty-bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie, who suffer from oppression and persecution by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the landlord class and their State power, in spite of the fact that they themselves are also bourgeois classes can either take part in the new democratic revolution or otherwise observe neutrality. They are either not connected or are little connected with imperialism.” (Mao Tse-tung: Speech on December 25, 1947, c.f. Very Important Documents, Harbin, 1948)
With respect to this, the Communist Party forewarned against a repetition of the “ultra-left” mistaken policy in relation to the middle and petty bourgeoisie which was pursued in 1931-34. In the conditions of such a backward, semi-colonial and semi-feudal country as China.
“apart from the abolition of the special privileges of imperialism in China, the task of the new democratic revolution is the abolition of the exploitation and oppression of the class of landlords and bureaucratic bourgeoisie (big bourgeoisie), a change in the compradore, feudal productive relationships and the freeing of all the fettered productive forces.” (Mao Tse-tung, ibid.)
“In view of the backwardness of Chinese economy, capitalist economy represented by the broad masses of the petty and the middle bourgeoisie will still continue to exist for a long time even after the victory of the revolution over the entire country and we must tolerate it,” says Mao Tse-tung in his speech of 25th December, 1947.
Under the conditions of the predominance of State public ownership in the main branches of economy and the gradual going over of agriculture from small scattered production on to the path of cooperative development,
“the existence and development of such small and middle capitalist elements does not represent any danger. The same can be said in respect of the new kulak economy, which inevitably appears in the countryside after the agrarian revolution.” (Mao Tse-tung, ibid.)
The necessity of retaining for a certain period capitalist elements in the economy of People’s Democratic China is also emphasised by Mao Tse-tung in a recent article – The Dictatorship of People’s Democracy in which he points out:
“At the present stage the national bourgeoisie is very important. Imperialism is still with us and it is a cruel enemy. China will still need a great deal of time to attain real economic independence.... In order to offset the pressure of the imperialists and advance the backward economy one step forward, China must make use of every urban and rural capitalist enterprise which can benefit the national economy and is not detrimental to the people’s standard of living. China must unite with the national bourgeoisie in the common struggle. Our present policy is to restrict capitalism but not to destroy it” But Mao Tse-tung further points out that the bourgeoisie “cannot occupy a leading position in the State” (Mao Tse-tung: The Dictatorship of People’s Democracy – from For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy! July 15, 1949)
At present in the process of the creation of the People’s Democratic system in China, the national bourgeoisie in the person of the representatives of the bourgeois liberal parties, groups and individual persons as one of the members of the National United Democratic Front is taking part in the People’ s Political Consultative Conference and in the National Committee and Central Government of the People’s Republic of China, elected by it.
This also found its reflection in the Common Programme of the People’s Political Consultative Council which envisages the preservation of the economic interests of the national bourgeoisie, encouragement to the activities of private enterprises, beneficial to the people and the participation of private capital in the sector of State capitalism.
The possibility of the participation of capitalist ele-
ments in the development of the economy of any country in the period of transition from capitalism to Socialism when private capitalist enterprises are still one of the component parts of economy, has been proved in the example of Soviet Russia in the NEP period. The concentration of political power, commanding economic positions in the hands of the People’s State and the growth of Socialist elements and their struggle against the capitalist elements is a .guarantee against the restoration of the capitalist order.
Comrade Stalin in his speech The Programme of the Comintern on July 5, 1928, defines NEP as a policy of proletarian dictatorship directed towards
“the overcoming of capitalist elements and the building of a Socialist economy by way of the utilisation of the market, through the market and not by way of direct exchange of products, without the market and apart from the market.”
To the question whether capitalist countries and even the most developed among them can dispense with NEP in the period of transition from capitalism to Socialism, Comrade Stalin replies that they cannot.
“To one or another extent, the new economic policy with its market connections and the utilisation of these market connections is absolutely necessary for every capitalist country in the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat” J. V. Stalin: Collected Works, Russ. Ed. Vol. XI, pp. 144-45).
It is necessary to a still greater extent for China an economically backward semi-feudal and semi-colonial country where the system of People’s Democracy is being created in the process of a continuous fierce struggle against feudal survivals and imperialist oppression and where the individual strata of the bourgeoisie (national bourgeoisie) can still march together with the people on the side of democracy.
This special feature has been conditioned by the fact that the building of People’s Democracy in China is at the same time the period of the completion of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution. Although this distinguishes People’s Democracy in China from the People’s Democratic system in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, still their basic aims and tasks coincide.
The emergence of a People’s Democratic system in a number of countries that have dropped out of the capitalist system is the most important manifestation of the sharpening of the general crisis of capitalism. The system of People s Democracy creates the conditions for the gradual transition to Socialism also for the colonial and dependent countries on the condition of their support to the camp of democracy and Socialism headed by the Soviet Union. People’s Democracy of China is in this respect an inspiring example for all the colonial peoples and a tremendous stimulus for the development of their people’s liberation movements.
The people’s liberation movement of the Chinese people through its successes in the struggle against internal reaction and imperialism, its achievements in the sphere of democratic changes, economic and cultural construction is exercising tremendous revolutionising influence on all the oppressed peoples of South East Asia. It inspires them to carry on a resolute struggle against imperialism for the achievement of freedom independence and democratic rights.
The peoples of Indo-China, Burma, Malaya and even Philippines, Indonesia and India, which are remote from China see in the success of the Chinese people a vivid example of the fact that the forces of imperialism and domestic reaction can be smashed provided there is a close unification of the broad masses of the people and a firm determination to fight to the end. Besides this the Chinese people’s liberation movement, which in the conditions of a semi-colonial country, creatively applied the teachings of Lenin and Stalin on the strategy and tactics in the national and colonial revolution, the directives of Comrade Stalin on the problems of the Chinese Revolution, and which has profited from the tremendous experience of the CPSU (B) and on the basis of this achieved its present successes is itself a vast treasury of revolutionary experience, which helps all the oppressed peoples of the East in their struggle against imperialism to choose
the correct path, to avoid many mistakes and to achieve their aims with less losses and in a shorter time.
The experience of the people’s liberation movement in China shows the oppressed peoples of the East and in particular, the peoples of South-East Asia that –
1. The People’s Liberation struggle of the oppressed peoples, which
is undermining the forces of the international imperialist camp, is an
integral part of the general struggle of the democratic camp headed by
the great Socialist power and can be crowned with victory only in close
unity with it.
2. The tasks of the struggle against imperialism and for democracy are not different from one another. It is only in the struggle against imperialist rule that the masses of people can reach a solution of the most urgent needs – obtain democratic rights and land. In its turn, the defeat of imperialism is possible only on the basis of a unification of the broad masses, the creation of a broad united front, for which a satisfaction of the urgent demands of the masses is necessary. Without this, their mobilisation to wage a struggle against imperialism, and awakening them to activity in all the spheres of social life is impossible.
3. The national bourgeoisie, under present conditions, is already not in a position to fulfil the role not only of leader but even of a main partner in the national-liberation movement. Its leadership of the mass movement leads inevitably to capitulation and agreement with imperialism at the expense of the masses of people and to its suppressing the popular movement, jointly with imperialism. It is only the working class and its vanguard – the Communist Party – which can ensure leadership of the anti-imperialist movement in the interest of the broad masses of people and guarantee its success.
4. The realisation of the aspirations of the people can be attained only through the path of a People’s Democratic movement, through a transfer of power to the working people and land to the peasants and the main branches of economy seized by imperialism to the People’s Democratic State, headed by the proletariat.
While helping to determine the internal political conditions necessary for ensuring the success of the people’s liberation movement, the experience of China is also of
tremendous value for an exposure of the aggressive expansionist designs and the hypocritical false tactics of American imperialism. In the example of China, they appeared sharply and in relief since American imperialism was compelled here to act openly and so to speak alone it was not able to conceal itself behind the openly predatory and crude actions of other imperialist countries (for example, the Dutch in Indonesia) and to counterpose against them its own more subtle policy of compromise with the bourgeois and landlord elements of the national liberation movement. The oppressed peoples of South-East Asia can easily discern in the example of American policy in China the falsity of every kind of “peaceful” and “democratic” manoeuvre of American imperialism, which pursues the interests of reaction. They have always been directed either towards playing for time in order to consolidate the interests of reaction or for the masking of a reactionary regime with the help of all possible kinds of pseudo-democratic forms and institutions of formal bourgeois democracy, without any change in its reactionary essence.
The close links between American imperialism and domestic reaction in any country which serves as its obedient instrument is manifested particularly clearly in the example of China. Through the example of American political and economic activity in China, the people can be convinced of the fact that American expansion is directed towards the conversion of all countries into agrarian and raw material appendages of the USA, the strengthening of their colonial position, the predatory exploitation of their resources, the destruction of the existing production apparatus and productive forces and towards such a deterioration of the living standards of the working people as they had as yet not experienced under former colonial regimes.
And what is specially important is the fact that in the example of China, the oppressed people see that American imperialism as well as the whole imperialist camp is not invincible, that even the nations that are weak in their economic development can be victorious over imperialism if they rally together, unite and fight, basing themselves on the support of the entire democratic camp.
The Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Tse-tung, pointed out the path to be taken by the peoples of the East in order to overthrow imperialist yoke.
“All the anti-imperialist forces of the East must unite against imperialism and the reactionaries in their countries, and make it the aim of their struggle to liberate the people of the oppressed East, who number more than a billion. We must take our destiny into our own hands. We must purge our ranks of all backward and vacillating elements. All viewpoints that over estimate the strength of the enemy and underestimate the strength of the people are wrong. Together with the democratic forces of the whole world, we must exert every effort and then we shall unquestionably be victorious over the imperialist plans of enslavement, shall prevent a third world war and thus get rid of the yoke of the reactionaries and secure the triumph of lasting peace for mankind.” (Mao Tse-tung: Report to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China – from For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy!, January 15, 1948)
The growth of the anti-imperialist struggle in the countries of South-East Asia testifies to the great influence of the Chinese people’s liberation movement on the oppressed peoples.
The fear of the imperialists in face of the successes of Chinese democracy is manifest not only in the enormous military aid of American imperialism to Kuomintang reaction, but also in the attempts to isolate democratic China and to obstruct the dissemination of ideas of emancipation.
The interests of American imperialism coincide in this respect with the interests of British imperialism which fears for its positions in Malaya, Burma, India; with the interests of Dutch imperialism in Indonesia; French imperialism in Indo-China; with Kuomintang reaction which is relying on American help to retain its domination even though only in Formosa and with Japanese militarism and the reactionary elements of the South-East Asian countries.
On this basis, American imperialism is also attempting to supplement the North Atlantic Pact by forming a reactionary military alliance of Japan and the coun-
tries of South-East Asia in the form of the Paci.fic Pact which like the Western-European Union of its vassals’ is directed against the USSR, Chinese Democracy and the people’s liberation movement of the countries of South-East Asia.
Apart from this, American imperialism, by seizing in its own hands the control of Japan, South Korea and a number of islands stretching south along the coast of China and creating here its military bases is also attempting to accomplish a naval cordon against democratic China by preventing it from establishing ties with other oppressed countries and island possessions of the imperialist powers.
* * *
The historic victory of the Chinese people is one of the concrete manifestations of the sharpening of the general crisis of capita1ism and in particular, the sharpening of the crisis of the colonial system;
“World War II aggravated the crisis of the colonial system, as expressed in the rise of a powerful movement for national liberation in the colonies and dependencies. This has placed the real of the capitalist system in jeopardy.”
– A. Zhdanov – “The International Situation” Report at the Informative Conference of Representatives of a number of Communist and Workers’ Parties: From For A Lasting Peace, For A People’s Democracy!, November 10, 1947)
China, with its population of 475 million which was subjected to the most diverse forms of semi-colonial exploitation by several of the biggest imperialist powers, represented a vast part of the imperialist rear. After the Second World War, the USA had hatched plans to exploit the Chinese market by attempting to solve at the expense of China its own sharpening internal and external contradictions and to utilise the Chinese people as cannon fodder for the realisation of the expansionist plans and plans of preparing for a third world war, cherished by the American instigators of war.
The victories of the Chinese people have destroyed
these plans of American imperialism root and branch and, moreover, have demonstrated before our very eyes, the groundlessness and adventurism of the insane pretensions of the American monopolies to world domination.
Liberated China has become an indissoluble and integral part of the invincible camp of Peace, Socialism and Democracy.
May 14, 1950
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