The Kuomintang is now pursuing a policy of blockhouse warfare, feverishly constructing their "tortoise-shells" as though they were iron bastions. Comrades! Are they really iron bastions? Not in the least! Think of the palaces of the feudal emperors over thousands of years, were they not powerful with their walls and moats? Yet they crumbled one after another the moment the masses arose. The tsar of Russia was one of the world's most ferocious rulers, yet when the proletariat and the peasantry rose in revolution, was there anything left of him? No, nothing. His bastions of iron? They all crumbled. Comrades! What is a true bastion of iron? It is the masses, the millions upon millions of people who genuinely and sincerely support the revolution. That is the real iron bastion which no force can smash, no force whatsoever. The counter-revolution cannot smash us; on the contrary we shall smash it. Rallying millions upon millions of people round the revolutionary government and expanding our revolutionary war, we shall wipe out all counter-revolution and take over the whole of China.
The second question concerns our methods of work.
We are the leaders and organizers of the revolutionary war as well as the leaders and organizers of the life of the masses. To organize the revolutionary war and to improve the life of the masses are our two major tasks. In this respect, we are faced with the serious problem of methods of work. It is not enough to set tasks, we must also solve the problem of the methods for carrying them out. If our task is to cross a river, we cannot cross it without a bridge or a boat. Unless the bridge or boat problem is solved, it is idle to speak of crossing the river. Unless the problem of method is solved, talk about the task is useless. Unless we pay attention to giving leadership to the work of expanding the Red Army and devote particular care to our methods, we will never succeed even though we recite the phrase "Expand the Red Army" a thousand times. Nor can we accomplish our tasks in any other field, for instance, in checking up on land distribution, or in economic construction, or culture and education, or our work in the new areas and the outlying districts, if all we do is
to set the tasks without attending to the methods of carrying them out, without combating bureaucratic methods of work and adopting practical and concrete ones, and without discarding commandist methods and adopting the method of patient persuasion.
The comrades in Hsingkuo have done first-rate work and deserve our praise as model workers. Similarly, the comrades in northeastern Kiangsi have done good work and are also model workers. By linking the problem of the well-being of the masses with that of the revolutionary war, the comrades in both these places are simultaneously solving the problems of revolutionary methods of work and of accomplishing their revolutionary tasks. They are working conscientiously, solving problems with minute care and shouldering their revolutionary responsibilities in earnest; they are good organizers and leaders both of revolutionary war and of the well-being of the masses. Elsewhere, too, the comrades have made progress in their work and deserve our praise -- as in some parts of the counties of Shanghang, Changting and Yungting in Fukien Province; in Hsikiang and other places in southern Kiangsi Province; in some parts of the counties of Chaling, Yunghsin and Kian in the Hunan-Kiangsi border area; in some parts of Yanghsin County in the Hunan-Hupeh-Kiangsi border area; in districts and townships of many other counties in Kiangsi Province and in the county of Juichin which is directly under our central government.
In all the places under our leadership, there are undoubtedly many active cadres, excellent comrades, who have sprung from the masses. These comrades have a responsibility to help in places where our work is weak and to help comrades who are not yet able to work well. We are in the midst of a great revolutionary war; we must break through the enemy's large-scale "encirclement and suppression" and spread the revolution to all parts of the country. All revolutionary cadres have a tremendous responsibility. After this congress we must adopt effective measures to improve our work, the advanced areas should become even more advanced, and the backward areas should catch up with the advanced. We must create thousands of townships like Changkang and scores of counties like Hsingkuo. They will be our strongholds. From these strongholds we shall go forth to smash the enemy's "encirclement and suppression" campaigns and overthrow the rule of imperialism and the Kuomintang throughout the country.
Changkang Township is in Hsingkuo County, Kiangsi Province.
Tsaihsi Township is in Shanghang County, Fukien Province.
Kunglueh County was then in the Red area in Kiangsi, with the town of Tungku lying southeast of Kian County as its centre. It was named after Comrade Huang Kung-lueh, Commander of the Third Army Corps of the Red Army, who laid down his life there in October 1931.
The building of blockhouses round the Red areas was decided upon by Chiang Kai-shek at his military conference held at Lushan, Kiangsi Province in July 1933 as a new military tactic for his fifth "encirclement and suppression" campaign. By the end of January 1934 an estimated total of 2,900 blockhouses had been built in Kiangsi Province. The Japanese aggressors later adopted the same tactic against the Eighth Route and the New Fourth Armies. Experience fully proved that the counter-revolutionary tactic of using blockhouses could be completely foiled and defeated by adhering to Comrade Mao Tse-tung's strategy of people's war.