to return land and houses that have been distributed to them, to compel debtors to pay back old cancelled loans, to coerce the people into changing the democratic system that has been built up, or to disrupt the military, economic, cultural and mass organizations that have been established. Some of them are even acting as spies, conspiring with bandits, inciting our soldiers to mutiny, making surveys and maps of our region, secretly collecting information, or openly spreading propaganda against the Border Region Government. Clearly, all these activities are violations of the basic principle of unity for resistance to Japan, run counter to the will of the people of the Border Region, and are intended to foment internal dissension, disrupt the united front, damage the people's interests, undermine the prestige of the Border Region Government and increase the difficulties of mobilization against Japan. The reason is that a handful of die-hards are behaving unscrupulously to the detriment of the national interest. Some are even serving as tools of the Japanese aggressors, using various guises to camouflage their conspiratorial activities. For several months, reports demanding our daily attention have been steadily pouring in from people in the counties requesting us to put a stop to such activities. With a view to strengthening the anti-Japanese forces, consolidating the rear against Japan, and safeguarding the interests of the people, the Government and the Rear Headquarters find it imperative to proscribe the above-mentioned activities. Accordingly, we hereby unequivocally proclaim:
(1) The Government and the Rear Headquarters, in order to protect the rights already secured by the people, forbid any unauthorized change in the distribution of land or houses and in the cancellation of debts made within the areas under the jurisdiction of the Border Region Government before internal peace was established.
(2) The Government and the Rear Headquarters will protect the activities of all the military, political, economic, cultural and mass organizations which were in existence when internal peace was established and which have since advanced and expanded in accordance with the principle of the united front, will promote their progress, and stop all intrigues and disruptive activities against them.
(3) The Government and the Rear Headquarters, resolutely carrying out the Programme of Armed Resistance and National
Reconstruction, will gladly initiate and promote any undertaking that serves the cause of resistance to Japan and national salvation. We welcome sincere assistance from people in every quarter. But to guard against impostors and keep out traitors, we prohibit any person, whatever his activities, from entering and staying in the Border Region unless he secures permission and written authorization from the Government and the Rear Headquarters.
(4) In this tense period of armed resistance, it is right and proper for the people to report any person who tries to sabotage, engage in disruption, stir up sedition or ferret out military secrets within the boundaries of the Border Region. Upon valid evidence, persons so charged may be arrested on the spot. If convicted, offenders will be punished with due severity.
These four regulations must be observed by all members of the armed forces and all civilians throughout the Border Region, and no violation whatsoever will be permitted. Henceforward, should any lawless person dare to plot disruption, the Border Region Government and the Rear Headquarters will enforce these regulations to the letter and will accept no plea of ignorance.
This proclamation is hereby issued with the full force of the law.
The Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region was the revolutionary base area which was gradually built up after 1931 through revolutionary guerrilla war in northern Shensi. When the Central Red Army arrived in northern Shensi after the Long March, it became the central base area of the revolution and the seat of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. It was named the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region after the formation of the Anti-Japanese National United Front in 1937, and it included twenty-three counties along the common borders of the three provinces.
By 1936 most places in the Border Region had carried out the policy of confiscating the land of the landlords and distributing it among the peasants and cancelling the old debts of the peasants. After 1936, in order to facilitate the formation of a broad anti-Japanese national united front, the Chinese Communist Party changed its policy for the country as a whole to one of reduction of rent and interest; at the same time, however, it resolutely protected the gains already secured by the peasants in the land reform.