armed struggle with all other necessary forms of struggle. In general, armed struggle at the present time means guerrilla warfare. What is guerrilla warfare? It is the indispensable and therefore the best form of struggle for the people's armed forces to employ over a long period in a backward country, a large semi-colonial country, in order to inflict defeats on the armed enemy and build up their own bases. So far both our political line and our Party building have been closely linked with this form of struggle. It is impossible to have a good understanding of our political line and, consequently, of our Party building in isolation from armed struggle, from guerrilla warfare. Armed struggle is an important component of our political line. For eighteen years our Party has gradually learned
to wage armed struggle and has persisted in it. We have learned that without armed struggle neither the proletariat, nor the people, nor the Communist Party would have any standing at all in China and that it would be impossible for the revolution to triumph. In these years the development, consolidation and bolshevization of our Party have proceeded in the midst of revolutionary wars; without armed struggle the Communist Party would assuredly not be what it is today. Comrades throughout the Party must never forget this experience for which we have paid in blood.
Similarly, there have been three distinct stages in the building up of the Party, its development, consolidation and bolshevization.
The first stage was the Party's infancy. In the early and middle phases of this stage the Party's line was correct and the revolutionary zeal both of the rank and file and of the cadres was exceedingly high; hence the victories in the First Great Revolution. But after all, ours was then still an infant Party, it lacked experience concerning the three basic problems of the united front, armed struggle and Party building, it did not have much knowledge of Chinese history and Chinese society or of the specific features and laws of the Chinese revolution, and it lacked a comprehensive understanding of the unity between the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Chinese revolution. Hence in the last phase of this stage, or at the critical juncture of this stage, those occupying a dominant position in the Party's leading body failed to lead the Party in consolidating the victories of the revolution and, as a result, they were deceived by the bourgeoisie and brought the revolution to defeat. The Party organizations expanded in this stage but they were not consolidated, and they failed to help Party members and cadres become firm and stable ideologically and politically. There were plenty of new members but they were not given the necessary Marxist-Leninist education. There was also abundant experience in work, but it was not summed up properly. Many careerists sneaked into the Party, but they were not combed out. The Party was caught in a maze of schemes and intrigues both of enemies and of allies, but it lacked vigilance. Within the Party, activists came forward in great numbers, but they were not turned into the mainstay of the Party in good time. The Party had some revolutionary armed units under its command but it was unable to keep a tight grip on them. The reasons for all
this were inexperience, insufficient depth of revolutionary understanding, and ineptitude in integrating the theory of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution. Such was the first stage of Party building.
The second stage was the War of the Agrarian Revolution. Our Party was able to wage a successful agrarian revolutionary struggle for ten years because of the experience it had gained in the first stage, because of its better understanding of Chinese history and society and of the specific features and laws of the Chinese revolution, and because its cadres had a better grasp of the theory of Marxism-Leninism and were better able to integrate it with the practice of the Chinese revolution. Although the bourgeoisie had turned traitor, our Party was able to rely firmly on the peasantry. The Party organization not only grew afresh but also became consolidated. Day in day out the enemy tried to sabotage our Party, but the Party drove out the saboteurs. Once again large numbers of cadres came forward in the Party, and this time they became its mainstay. The Party blazed the trail of people's political power and thus learned the art of government. The Party created strong armed forces and thus learned the art of war. These were momentous advances and achievements. Nevertheless, in the course of these great struggles some of our comrades sank into the quagmire of opportunism, or did so at least for a time, and again the reasons were that they did not learn modestly from the experience of the past, did not acquire an understanding of Chinese history and society and of the specific features and laws of the Chinese revolution, and did not have an understanding of the unity between the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Chinese revolution. Hence throughout this stage certain people who held leading positions in the Party failed to adhere to correct political and organizational lines. At one time the Party and the revolution were damaged by Comrade Li Li-san's "Left" opportunism, at another by "Left" opportunism in the revolutionary war and in the work in the White areas. Not until the Tsunyi Meeting (the meeting of the Political Bureau at Tsunyi, Kweichow, in January 1935) did the Party definitively take the road of bolshevization and lay the foundations for its subsequent victory over Chang Kuo-tao's Right opportunism and for the establishment of an anti-Japanese national united front. This was the second stage in the Party's development.
The third stage is that of the Anti-Japanese National United Front. We have been in this stage for three years now and these years of struggle are extremely important. Drawing on its experience in the two preceding revolutionary stages, on its organizational strength and the strength of its armed forces, on its high political prestige among the people of the whole country, and on its deeper understanding of the unity between the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Chinese revolution, our Party has not only established the Anti-Japanese National United Front but has also been conducting the great War of Resistance Against Japan. Organizationally, it has stepped out of its narrow confines and become a major national party. Its armed forces are again growing and are becoming still stronger in the struggle against the Japanese aggressors. Its influence among the whole people is becoming more extensive. These are all great achievements. However, many of our new Party members have not yet been given education, many of the new organizations have not yet been consolidated, and there is still a vast difference between them and the older members and organizations. Many of the new Party members and cadres have not yet had sufficient revolutionary experience. They still know little or nothing about Chinese history and society or about the specific features and laws of the Chinese revolution. Their understanding of the unity between the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Chinese revolution is far from being comprehensive. During the expansion of the Party's organizations, a good many careerists and enemy saboteurs did succeed in sneaking in despite the fact that the Central Committee stressed the slogan "Expand the Party boldly, but do not let a single undesirable in". Although the united front was formed and has been maintained for three years now, the bourgeoisie, and especially the big bourgeoisie, has constantly been trying to destroy our Party, the big bourgeois capitulators and die-hards have been instigating serious friction throughout the country, and the anti-Communist clamour is incessant. All this is being used by the big bourgeois capitulators and die-hards to prepare the way for capitulating to Japanese imperialism, breaking up the united front and dragging China backwards. Ideologically, the big bourgeoisie is trying to "corrode" communism, whilst politically and organizationally it is tryillg to liquidate the Com-
munist Party, the Border Region and the Party's armed forces. In these circumstances it is undoubtedly our task to overcome the dangers of capitulation, a split and retrogression, to maintain the national united front and Kuomintang-Communist co-operation as far as possible, to work for continued resistance to Japan and continued unity and progress, and at the same time to prepare against all possible eventualities so that in case they occur, the Party and the revolution will not suffer unexpected losses. To this end, we must strengthen the Party's organization and its armed forces, and mobilize the whole people for resolute struggle against capitulation, a split and retrogression. The accomplishment of this task depends upon the efforts of the whole Party, upon the unrelenting and persistent struggle of all Party members, cadres and organizations everywhere and at every level. We are confident that the Chinese Communist Party with its eighteen years of experience will be able to achieve these objectives by the joint efforts of its experienced older members and cadres and its vigorous and youthful newer members and cadres, by the joint efforts of its well-tried bolshevized Central Committee and its local organizations, and by the joint efforts of its powerful armed forces and the progressive masses.
We have set out the principal experiences and principal problems of our Party in its eighteen years of history.
Our eighteen years of experience show that the united front and armed struggle are the two basic weapons for defeating the enemy. The united front is a united front for carrying on armed struggle. And the Party is the heroic warrior wielding the two weapons, the united front and the armed struggle, to storm and shatter the enemy's positions. That is how the three are related to each other.
How are we to build up our Party today? How can we build up "a bolshevized Chinese Communist Party, a party which is national in scale and has a broad mass character, a party which is fully consolidated ideologically, politically and organizationally"? The answer can be found by studying the Party's history, by studying Party building in connection with the united front and armed struggle, in connection with the problem of both uniting and struggling with the bourgeoisie, and with that of persistence in guerrilla warfare against Japan by the Eighth Route and the New Fourth Armies and the establishment of anti-Japanese base areas.
To sum up our eighteen years of experience and our current new experience on the basis of our understanding of the unity between the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Chinese revolution, and to spread this experience throughout the Party, so that our Party becomes as solid as steel and avoids repeating past mistakes -- such is our task.
J. V. Stalin, "The Prospects of the Revolution in China", Works, Eng. ed., FLPH, Moscow, 1954, Vol. VIII, p. 379.
In saying that in general, armed struggle in the Chinese revolution means guerrilla warfare, Comrade Mao Tse-tung is summing up China's experience of revolutionary war from the Second Revolutionary Civil War to the early days of the War of Resistance Against Japan. During the long period of the Second Revolutionary Civil War, all the armed struggles led by the Chinese Communist Party took the form of guerrilla warfare. In the latter phase of that period, as the strengh of the Red Army grew, guerrilla warfare changed into mobile warfare of a guerrilla character which, as Comrade Mao Tse-tung defines it, is guerrilla warfare on a higher level. But in the War of Resistance Against Japan, with a different enemy and in different circumstances, there was a shift back to guerrilla warfare. In the early days of the anti-Japanese war, those Party comrades who committed the error of Right opportunism belittled the guerrilla warfare led by the Party and pinned their hopes on the operations of the Kuomintang army. Comrade Mao Tse-tung refuted their views in his "Problems of Strategy in Guerrilla War Against Japan", "On Protracted War" and "Problems of War and Strategy", and in the present article he gave a theoretical summing-up of the experience gained in waging the prolonged armed struggle of the Chinese revolution which took the form of guerrilla warfare. In the latter stage of the anti-Japanese war, and more particularly in the period of the Third Revolutionary Civil War (1945-49), guerrilla warfare changed into regular warfare as the main form of armed struggle under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and this was due to the further growth of the revolutionary forces and the changes in the enemy's circumstances. The latter stage of the Third Revolutionary Civil War witnessed a further development, when operations were conducted by huge formations, which, equipped with heavy arms, were able to storm strongly fortified enemy positions.