For the circumstances of how the People's Liberation Army went over to the offensive on various fronts in succession and carried the war into the Kuomintang areas, see "On the Great Victory in the Northwest and on the New Type of Ideological Education Movement in the Liberation Army", Note 4, pp. 215-16 of this volume.
Liu Chih, Director of the Kuomintang's Pacification Headquarters in Chengchow, Honan Province, was dismissed in November 1946 for his defeat in the battle of Tingtao, southwestern Shantung Province, in September. Hsueh Yueh, Director of the Kuomintang's Pacification Headquarters in Hsuchow, Kiangsu Province, was dismissed in March 1947 for a series of heavy defeats suffered by the Kuomintang troops under his command: in the campaign in the area north of Suchien, Kiangsu Province, in December 1946; in the campaign in southern Shantung in January 1947; and in the Laiwu campaign, central Shantung, in February 1947. Wu Chi-wei, Deputy Director of the Kuomintang's Pacification Headquarters in Hsuchow, was dismissed in March 1947 for his defeat in the campaign in the area north of Suchien in December 1946. Tang En-po, Commander of the Kuomintang's 1st Army, was dismissed in June 1947 because the Kuomintang's Reorganized 94th Division was wiped out in the battle of Mengliangku, southern Shantung, in May. Wang Chung-lien, Commander of the Kuomintang's 4th Army, was dismissed in August 1947 for his defeat in the Southwestern Shantung campaign in July. Tu Yu-ming, Commander of the Kuomintang's Peace Preservation Headquarters in the Northeast, and Hsiung Shih-hui, Director of the Kuomintang Generalissimo's Headquarters in the Northeast, were both dismissed for being severely defeated by the People's Liberation Army in its summer offensive in the Northeast in June 1947. Sun Lien-chung, Commander of the Kuomintang's 11th War Zone, was demoted to Director of the Pacification Headquarters in Paoting, Hopei Province, for his defeats in the Ching-Tsang campaign and the campaign in the Hsushui area north of Paoting in June 1947. Chen Cheng, Chiang Kai-shek's chief of general staff, was demoted to governor-general of the Northeast in August 1947 because of the successive defeats of the campaigns he directed in Shantung Province.
For the directive, see "A Three Months' Summary", Note 4, p. 118 of this volume.
The National Land Conference of the Communist Party of China was held in September 1947 in Hsipaipo Village, Pingshan County, Hopei Province. The Outline Land Law of China, adopted by the conference on September 13, was published by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on October 10, 1947. It stipulated the following:
Abolish the land system of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation and put into effect the system of land to the tillers.
All the land of the landlords and the public land in the villages is to be taken over by the local peasant associations and, together with all other land there, is to be equally distributed among the entire rural population, regardless of sex or age.
The peasant associations of the villages shall take over the draught animals, farm tools, houses, grain and other property of the landlords, requisition the surplus of such property of the rich peasants, distribute all this property among the peasants and other poor people who are in need of it and allot the same share to the landlords.
Thus the Outline Land Law not only confirmed the principle of "confiscation of the land of the landlords and its distribution among the peasants" laid down in the "May 4th Directive" of 1946 but also made up for the lack of thoroughness in that directive, which had shown too much consideration for certain landlords.
Subsequently in the implementation some changes were made in the method of equal distribution of land provided in the Outline Land Law of China. In February 1948 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China specified in its "Directive on the Work of Land Reform and of Party Consolidation in the Old and
Semi-Old Areas" that in the old and semi-old Liberated Areas where the feudal system had already been overthrown, there would be no further equal distribution of land, but that the poor peasants and farm labourers who had not yet completely shaken off the feudal yoke should, if circumstances so required, be given a certain amount of land and other means of production through readjustment, by the method of taking from those who had a surplus and giving to those who had a shortage and taking from those who had better and giving to those who had worse, while the middle peasants would be allowed to keep more land than the average poor peasant. In areas where the feudal system still existed, equal distribution was confined mainly to the land and property of landlords and the surplus land and property of old-type rich peasants. In all areas, it was permissible to take the surplus land of middle peasants and new-type rich peasants for purposes of readjustment only if this was actually necessary and if the owners really consented. In the land reform in the new Liberated Areas, no land was to be taken from any middle peasant.
The question of the rich peasants in China's land reform was a peculiar one arising from her specific historical and economic conditions. China's rich peasants differed from those in many capitalist countries in two respects: first, they generally and to a great degree had the character of feudal and semi-feudal exploiters and, second, this rich peasant economy did not occupy an important place in the country's agricultural economy. In the struggle against feudal exploitation by the landlord class in China, the broad masses of poor peasants and farm labourers also demanded the abolition of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation by the rich peasants. During the War of Liberation, the Communist Party of China adopted the policy of requisitioning the surplus land and property of rich peasants for distribution among the peasants, and thus satisfied the demands of the masses of poor peasants and farm labourers and ensured victory in the People's War of Liberation. As the war progressed towards victory, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in February 1948 laid down new policies for the land reform in the new Liberated Areas. The reform was to be divided into two stages: in the first stage, neutralize the rich peasants and concentrate the blows on the landlords, primarily the big landlords; in the second stage, while distributing the land of the landlords, also distribute the land rented out by rich peasants and their surplus land, but continue to treat the rich peasants differently from the landlords (see "Essential Points in Land Reform in the New Liberated Areas", pp. 201-02 of this volume). After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government in June 1950 promulgated the Land Reform Law, which provided that in the land reform only the land rented out by the rich peasants should partly or wholly be requisitioned, while the rest of their land and property was to be protected. In the subsequent stage of socialist revolution, the rich peasant economy disappeared as the movement for agricultural co-operation deepened and the rural economy developed.
That is to say, a rich peasant household owned on the average more and better land than a poor peasant household. Taking the country as a whole, the quantity of the means of production owned by China's rich peasants and the volume of their farm produce were both very small. The rich peasant economy did not occupy an important place in China's rural economy.
This refers to the movement for rectifying the style of work conducted by the Communist Party of China in 1942-43 throughout the Party; its content was the combating of subjectivism, sectarianism and stereotyped writing. Under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung, this rectification movement adopted the principles of "learning from past mistakes to avoid their repetition, curing the sickness to save the patient" and "clearing up wrong thinking while uniting with
comrades". Through the method of criticism and self-criticism, the movement corrected the "Left" and Right errors which had occurred on various occasions in the history of the Party by getting down to their ideological roots, greatly raised the ideological level of the broad ranks of Party cadres, helped immensely to unify thinking within the Party on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and thus brought about a high degree of unity in the whole Party.
In the early stage of the People's War of Liberation some democratic personages fancied that they could find a so-called third road, apart from the Kuomintang dictatorship of big landlords and big bourgeoisie and apart from the people's democratic dictatorship led by the Communist Party of China. This third road was in fact the road of a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie on the British and U.S. pattern.
The Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties was founded at a meeting held in Warsaw, Poland, in September 1947 by representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Poland, the Soviet Union, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy and Yugoslavia. Later, at a meeting in Rumania in June 1948, the Bureau announced the expulsion of the Yugoslav Communist Party because the latter persisted in its anti-Marxist-Leninist stand and adopted an attitude opposed to the Soviet Union and the socialist camp. The Information Bureau's call to the people of the world to rise against the imperialist plan of enslavement, mentioned here by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, was the "Declaration on the International Situation" adopted at the September 1947 meeting of the Information Bureau.