"The international capitulationists" were the British and U.S. imperialists who were plotting to compromise with Japan by sacrificing China.
The projected Pacific international conference was dubbed a Far Eastern Munich because the British, U.S. and French imperialists, in collaboration with the Chinese group which favoured making peace, were plotting to reach a compromise with Japan by selling out China. It was Chiang Kai-shek who used the absurd argument, which Comrade Mao Tse-tung refutes in this article, that such a conference would not constitute an Eastern Munich.
In September 1938, the heads of the British, French, German and Italian governments met in Munich, Germany, and concluded the Munich Agreement under which Britain and France betrayed Czechoslovakia to Germany in exchange for a German attack on the Soviet Union. In 1938 and 1939, British and U.S. imperialism made several moves to reach a compromise with Japanese imperialism by sacrificing China. At the time when Comrade Mao Tse-tung wrote this article in June 1939, talks were being held between Britain and Japan in another attempt to carry out this scheme. It was called an "Eastern Munich" because of its similarity to the Munich conspiracy of Britain, France, Germany and Italy.
The duet was being acted by Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Ching-wei. While Wang Ching-wei was the ringleader of the open capitulationists, Chiang was the ringleader of those hiding in the anti-Japanese front.
At the Fifth Plenary Session of the Kuomintang's Fifth Central Executive Committee in January 1939, Chiang Kai-shek openly declared that what he meant by "to the very end" in the slogan "Carry the War of Resistance through to the very end" was merely "to restore the status quo before the Lukouchiao Incident", an interpretation that would have meant abandoning vast areas of northern and northeastern China to Japanese occupation. Therefore, to counter Chiang Kai-shek's capitulationist policy, Comrade Mao Tse-tung specially stressed that "to the very end" meant "to fight all the way to the Yalu River and recover all our lost territories".
The term "friction" was widely used at the time to refer to the various kinds of reactionary political and military actions of the Kuomintang reactionaries under taken to wreck the Anti-Japanese National United Front and to oppose the Communist Party and the progressive forces, such as massacres and large-scale attacks on the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies.
Subsequent to the Japanese occupation of Nanking on December 13, 1937, the Japanese government issued a statement on January 16, 1938, saying that Japan would "not accept the National Government as the opposite party in negotiations, and expects a new government to be established". After Japanese troops occupied Canton and Wuhan in October 1938, the Japanese government, taking advantage of Chiang Kai-shek's vacillation, changed its policy in order to induce him to capitulate. It issued another statement on November 3, which read in part: "As for the National Government, provided it abandons its hitherto erroneous policy and gets new men to carry out rehabilitation and to maintain peace and order, the Empire will not decline to negotiate with it."