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Mao Tse-tung

TWO TELEGRAMS
FROM THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF
THE EIGHTEENTH GROUP ARMY
TO CHIANG KAI-SHEK


From the
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung,
Foreign Languages Press
Peking 1969

First Edition 1961
Second Printing 1967
Third Printing 1969

Vol. IV, pp. 33-39.


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@marx2mao.org (October 1999)


    page 33


    TWO TELEGRAMS
    FROM THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF
    THE EIGHTEENTH GROUP ARMY
      TO CHIANG KAI-SHEK
    [*]

    August 1945

    I.  TELEGRAM 0F AUGUST 13


        We have received through the Chungking radio two Central News Agency dispatches, one carrying the order you sent us and the other your order to the officers and men in various war zones. Your order to us reads, "All units of the Eighteenth Group Army should stay where they are, pending further orders." In addition, it talks about such things as forbidding us to take over the enemy's arms. Your order to the officers and men in various war zones was reported as follows in the Central News Agency dispatch from Chungking, dated August 11: "The Supreme Command today sent telegrams to the officers and men in various war zones, ordering them to step up the war effort and in accordance with existing military plans and orders actively to push forward without the slightest relaxation." We hold that these two orders contradict each other. According to the first, our units should "stay where they are, pending further orders" and should no longer attack or fight. Why do you tell us not to fight at this moment when the Japanese aggressors have not yet actually surrendered, when every hour and every minute they are killing Chinese people and fighting Chinese troops as well as Soviet, U.S. and British troops, and when, in their turn, the Soviet, U.S. and British troops are fighting the Japanese aggressors every hour and every minute? As to the second order, we consider it very good. "Step up the war effort and actively push forward without the slightest relaxation" -- that's more like it! But what a pity you have given this order only to your own troops, and not to us,

    page 34

    and that you have given us something quite different. Chu Teh issued an order on August 10 to all anti-Japanese armed forces in China's Liberated Areas[1] precisely to the effect that they should "step up the war effort". His order said further that while stepping up their war effort they must order the Japanese aggressors to surrender to them and must take over the arms and other equipment of the enemy and puppet troops. Isn't this very good? Undoubtedly it is very good; undoubtedly it is in the interest of the Chinese nation. But to "stay where they are, pending further orders" is definitely not in the national interest. We hold that you have given a wrong order, an order so wrong that we have to inform you we firmly reject it. For your order to us is not only unjust but also runs counter to China's national interest and benefits only the Japanese aggressors and the traitors to the motherland.


    II.  TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 16


        At a time when our common enemy, the Japanese government, has accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and already announced its surrender but has not yet actually surrendered, I hereby address to you the following statement and demands on behalf of all the anti-Japanese armed forces and all the 260 million people in China's Liberated Areas and Japanese-occupied areas.


        * These telegrams were written by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Commander-in-Chief of the Eighteenth Group Army. At that time, when the Japanese aggressors had announced their surrender but had not yet actually surrendered, the Chiang Kai-shek government, with the armed assistance of U.S. imperialism, monopolized the right to accept the Japanese surrender and was actively preparing a counter-revolutionary civil war by sending large forces to advance on the Liberated Areas on the pretext of accepting the Japanese surrender. Comrade Mao Tse-tung's purpose in writing the first telegram was to unmask the counter-revolutionary face of Chiang Kai-shek and teach the whole people to be on guard against his civil war plot. The second telegram further exposed the plot of the Chiang Kai-shek clique for preparing civil war and put forward the six-point proposal of the Communist Party of China for preventing civil war. For the same purpose, Comrade Mao Tse-tung wrote for the Hsinhua News Agency two commentaries, "Chiang Kai-shek Is Provoking Civil War" and "On a Statement by Chiang Kai-shek's Spokesman", which are included in this volume. Owing to the firm, determined stand of the Communist Party of China in refusing to be cowed by Chiang Kai-shek's reactionary bluster, both the Liberated Areas and the Liberation Army expanded quickly; and, under strong political pressure from the forces at home and abroad opposed to civil war in China, Chiang Kai-shek had to change his tactics, assume a posture of peace and invite Comrade Mao Tse-tung to Chungking for peace negotiations.

    page 35

        With the War of Resistance Against Japan coming to a victorious close, I call your attention to this fact in the China war theatre today, namely, that in the vast occupied areas abandoned by you and seized by the enemy and puppets we have, against your will, by our eight years of bitter fighting recaptured nearly 1,000,000 square kilometres of territory; liberated over 100,000,000 people; organized over 1,000,000 regular troops and over 2,200,000 people's militia; established nineteen large Liberated Areas in the nineteen provinces of Liaoning, Jehol, Chahar, Suiyuan, Hopei, Shansi, Shensi, Kansu, Ningsia, Honan, Shantung, Kiangsu, Anhwei, Hupeh, Hunan, Kiangsi, Chekiang, Fukien and Kwangtung;[2] and encircled most of the cities and towns, vital communication lines and sections of the sea coast seized by the enemy and puppets since the July 7th Incident of 1937,[3] except in a few areas. In addition, in China's Japanese-occupied areas (with a population of 160 million) we have organized extensive underground forces to strike at the enemy and puppets. In the fighting we are continuing to resist and encircle 69 per cent of the Japanese troops invading China (not counting those in the Northeast) and 95 per cent of the puppet troops. Your government and armed forces, on the contrary, have all along followed a policy of looking on with folded arms, sitting around and waiting for victory, conserving your forces and preparing for civil war, and have not only refused recognition and supplies to our Liberated Areas and armies but encircled and attacked us with a huge force of 940,000 men. Although all the troops and civilians in China's Liberated Areas have suffered enough from being attacked by the enemy and puppet forces on the one side and by your troops on the other, we have never in the least weakened in our determination to persevere in the War of Resistance, in unity and in democracy. The people of China's Liberated Areas and the Communist Party of China have proposed many times to you and your government that a conference of all parties be convened and that a democratic coalition government of the whole country be formed in order to stop internal strife, mobilize and unite the people's anti-Japanese forces throughout China, lead the War of Resistance to victory and ensure peace after the war. But our proposals have invariably been rejected by you and your government. We are extremely dissatisfied with all this.

        The enemy country will soon sign its surrender, but you and your government have continued to ignore our opinions, issued a most outrageous order to me on August 11 and ordered your troops to press

    page 36

    against the Liberated Areas on a large scale under the pretext of disarming the enemy; the danger of civil war is therefore more serious than ever. All of which compels us to make the following demands on you and your government:

        1.  I demand that you consult with us, so that we may reach common views before you, your government and your Supreme Command accept the surrender of the Japanese and the puppets and conclude any post-surrender agreements or treaties. For you and your government have aroused the dissatisfaction of the people and cannot represent the broad masses or any of the people's anti-Japanese armed forces in China's Liberated Areas and Japanese-occupied areas. We reserve our right to speak out, if the agreements or treaties include, without our prior consent, anything that concerns the people's anti-Japanese armed forces in China's Liberated Areas and Japanese-occupied areas.

        2.  All the people's anti-Japanese armed forces in China's Liberated Areas and Japanese-occupied areas have the right, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration and the measures laid down by the Allies for accepting the enemy surrender,[4] to accept the surrender of the Japanese and puppet troops encircled by us, take over their arms and materiel and assume the responsibility for carrying out all stipulations laid down by the Allies after Japan's surrender has been accepted. On August 10 I ordered the armed forces of China's Liberated Areas to make all efforts to attack the enemy troops and be prepared to accept their surrender. On August 15, I ordered the enemy commander-in-chief, Yasuji Okamura, to surrender with his troops;[5] this order, however, applies only to the sphere of operations of the armed forces of the Liberated Areas, and not to any other. I consider my orders very reasonable and very much in the common interest of China and the Allies.

        3.  The broad masses and all the anti-Japanese armed forces in China's Liberated Areas and Japanese-occupied areas have the right to send their representatives to participate in the Allies' acceptance of the enemy surrender and in the work of dealing with the enemy country after its surrender.

        4.  China's Liberated Areas and all the anti-Japanese armed forces have the right to select their own delegation to participate in the future peace conference concerned with Japan and any United Nations meetings.

        5.  I ask you to prevent civil war. The way to do this is for the armed forces of the Liberated Areas to accept the surrender of the

    page 37

    enemy and puppet troops they have encircled, while your armed forces accept the surrender of the enemy and puppet troops you have encircled. Not only is this the established practice in all wars, it is particularly imperative in order to avert civil war. If you act otherwise, it will lead to adverse consequences. I am now giving you a serious warning on this matter and I ask you not to treat this warning casually.

        6.  I ask you immediately to abolish the one-party dictatorship, call a conference of all parties to set up a democratic coalition government, dismiss corrupt officials and all reactionaries from their posts, punish the traitors, abolish the secret services, recognize the legal status of the various parties (the Communist Party of China and all democratic parties have up to now been regarded as illegal by you and your government), annul all reactionary laws and decrees that suppress the liberties of the people, recognize the popularly elected governments and the anti-Japanese armed forces of China's Liberated Areas, withdraw the troops encircling the Liberated Areas, release political prisoners and carry out economic and other democratic reforms.

        Apart from this, I sent you a telegram on August 13 in reply to your order to me of August 11, and presumably you have received it. I now declare again, your order was completely wrong. On August 11 you ordered my troops to "stay where they are, pending further orders" and not to attack the enemy any more. However, not only was it true on August 11, but it is equally true even today (August 16) that the Japanese government has surrendered only in words, and not in deeds; no instrument of surrender has been signed, no actual surrender has taken place. My view is completely in accord with that of the Allies, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union. On August 11, the very day you issued your order to me, the British Army Command on the Burma front announced that the war with Japan was still in progress. Nimitz,[6] the commander of the U.S. forces, declared that not only did a state of war continue but the war with all its devastating consequences must be carried on. The Far Eastern Command of the Red Army of the Soviet Union announced, "The enemy must be ruthlessly smashed." On August 15, Colonel-General Antonov, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, made the following statement:

          The message concerning Japan's surrender issued by the Japanese Emperor on August 14 is only a general declaration concerning unconditional surrender. The order to the armed forces to cease hostilities has not yet been issued and the Japanese troops are

    page 38

      continuing their resistance. Hence there is still no actual surrender by the armed forces of Japan. The surrender of the armed forces of Japan can be considered to have taken place only from the moment the Japanese Emperor orders his armed forces to discontinue hostilities and lay down their arms and when this order is carried out in practice. In view of the above, the armed forces of the Soviet Union in the Far East will continue their offensive operations against Japan.

    It can be seen that you alone, of all the high commanders of the Allied forces, have given an absolutely wrong order. I consider that your error stems from your self-seeking and is of an extremely serious nature; that is to say, your order serves the interest of the enemy. Therefore, taking my stand on the common interest of China and the Allies, I shall firmly and completely oppose your order so long as you do not openly admit your error and countermand this wrong order. At present I am still ordering the armed units under my command to make determined attacks on the enemy, in co-ordination with the armed forces of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain, until the enemy actually stops hostilities and surrenders his arms and all the territory of the motherland has been fully recovered. I declare to you, I am a patriotic soldier, I cannot act otherwise.

        With regard to the above I request your early reply.


    NOTES


      [1] See "Chiang Kai-shek Is Provoking Civil War", Note 1, p. 30 of this volume.    [p. 34]

      [2] The nineteen Liberated Areas were: Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia, Shansi-Suiyuan, Shansi-Chahar-Hopei, Hopei-Jehol-Liaoning, Shansi-Hopei-Honan, Hopei-Shantung-Honan, Shantung, Northern Kiangsu, Central Kiangsu, Southern Kiangsu, Huai River North, Huai River South, Central Anhwei, Chekiang, Kwangtung, Chiungyai (Hainan Island), Hunan-Hupeh-Kiangsi, Hupeh-Honan-Anhwei and Honan.    [p. 35]

      [3] On July 7, 1937, Japanese invading forces attacked the Chinese garrison at Lukouchiao, ten kilometres southwest of Peking. Under the influence of the ardent anti-Japanese movement of the whole people, the Chinese troops there put up resistance. This incident marked the beginning of the Chinese people's heroic War of Resistance Against Japan which lasted for eight years.    [p. 35]

      [4] On August 10, 1945, the Japanese government notified the Soviet Union, China, the United States and Britain of its desire to surrender. On August 11 the governments of the four countries replied that "all the Japanese military, naval and air authorities" and "all the forces under their control wherever located" must "cease active operations" and "surrender their arms".    [p. 36]

    page 39

      [5] Yasuji Okamura was then commander-in-chief of the Japanese invading forces in China. The order from Commander-in-Chief Chu Teh to Yasuji Okamura reads as follows:

          (1)  The Japanese government has formally accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and announced its surrender.
          (2)  You are to order all the troops under your command to cease all military operations; all of them, except those encircled by the troops of the Kuomintang government, must surrender to us upon orders from the Eighth Route Army, New Fourth Army and Southern China Anti-Japanese Column of China's Liberated Areas.
          (3)  With regard to the surrender of the Japanese troops in northern China, you are to order General Sadamu Shimomura to appoint a representative to go to the Eighth Route Army's Fuping area to receive orders from General Nieh Jung-chen; with regard to the surrender of the Japanese troops in eastern China, you yourself are to appoint a representative to go to the Tienchang area, where the Headquarters of the New Fourth Army is located, to receive orders from General Chen Yi; with regard to the surrender of the Japanese troops in Hupeh and Honan Provinces, you are to order your representative in Wuhan to go to the Tapieh mountain area of the 5th Division of the New Fourth Army to receive orders from General Li Hsien-nien; with regard to the surrender of the Japanese troops in Kwangtung, you are to instruct your representative in Canton to go to the Tungkuan area of the Southern China Anti-Japanese Column to receive orders from General Tseng Sheng.
          (4)  All the Japanese troops in northern, eastern, central and southern China (except those encircled by the Kuomintang troops) must keep all arms and materiel intact, pending our army's acceptance of their surrender, and must not take orders except from the Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army or the Southern China Anti-Japanese Column.
          (5)  All the aircraft and vessels in northern and eastern China are to stay where they are, but the vessels anchored along the Chinese coast of the Yellow Sea and the Pohai Gulf should be assembled at Lienyunkang, Tsingtao Weihaiwei and Tientsin.
          (6)  There must be no destruction of any materiel or installations.
          (7)  You and the commanders of the Japanese army in northern, eastern, central and southern China will be held completely responsible for the execution of this order.    [p. 36]

      [6] Chester W. Nimitz was then Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific War Theatre.    [p. 37]