Fourthly, to return to the youth movement. On this very day twenty years ago there occurred in China the great historical event known as the May 4th Movement, in which the students participated; it was a movement of tremendous signihcance. What role have China's young people played since the May 4th Movement? In a way they have played a vanguard role -- a fact recognized by everybody except the die-hards. What is a vanguard role? It means taking the lead and marching in the forefront of the revolutionary ranks. In the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal ranks of the Chinese people, there is a contingent composed of the country's young intellectuals and students. It is a contingent of considerable size and, even if the many who have given their lives are not included, it now numbers several million. It is an army on one of the fronts against imperialism and feudalism, and an important army too. But this army is not enough; we cannot defeat the enemy by relying on it alone, for when all is said and done it is not the main force. What then is the main force? The workers and peasants. Our young intellectuals and students must go among the workers and peasants, who make up 90 per cent of the population, and mobilize and organize them. Without this main force of workers and peasants, we cannot win the hght against imperialism and feudalism, we cannot win it by relying only on the contingent of young intellectuals and students. Therefore, the young intellectuals and students throughout the country must unite with the broad masses of workers and peasants and become one with them, and only then can a mighty force be created. A force of hundreds of millions of people! Only with this huge force can the enemy's strongholds be taken and his last fortresses smashed. In assessing the youth movement of the past from this viewpoint, we should call attention to a wrong tendency. In the youth movement of the last few decades, a section of the young people have been unwilling to unite with the workers and peasants and have opposed their movements; this is a counter-current in the youth movement. In fact, these people are not at all bright in their refusal to unite with the masses who make up
90 per cent of the population and in going so far as to oppose them outright. Is this a good tendency? I think not, because in opposing the workers and peasants they are in fact opposing the revolution; that is why we say it is a counter-current in the youth movement. A youth movement of that kind would come to no good. A few days ago I wrote a short article in which I noted:
In the final analysis, the dividing line between revolutionary intellectuals and non-revolutionary or counter-revolutionary intellectuals is whether or not they are willing to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants and actually do so.
Here I advanced a criterion which I regard as the only valid one. How should we judge whether a youth is a revolutionary? How can we tell? There can only be one criterion, namely, whether or not he is willing to integrate himself with the broad masses of workers and peasants and does so in practice. If he is willing to do so and actually does so, he is a revolutionary; otherwise he is a non-revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary. If today he integrates himself with the masses of workers and peasants, then today he is a revolutionary; if tomorrow he ceases to do so or turns round to oppress the common people, then he becomes a non-revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary. Some young people talk glibly about their belief in the Three People's Principles or in Marxism, but this does not prove anything. Doesn't Hitler profess belief in "socialism"? Twenty years ago even Mussolini was a "socialist"! And what does their "socialism" amount to? Fascism! Didn't Chen Tu-hsiu once "believe" in Marxism? What did he do later? He went over to the counter-revolution. Didn't Chang Kuo-tao "believe" in Marxism? Where is he now? He has run away and landed in the mire. Some people style themselves "followers of the Three People's Principles" or even old stalwarts of these Principles; but what have they done? It turns out that their Principle of Nationalism means conspiring with imperialism, that their Principle of Democracy means oppressing the common people, and that their Principle of People's Livelihood means sucking the people's blood. They affirm the Three People's Principles with their lips but deny them in their hearts. So when we assess a person and judge whether he is a true or false adherent of the Three People's Principles, whether he is a true or false Marxist, we need only find out how he stands in relation to the broad masses of workers and peasants, and then we shall know him for what he is. This is the only criterion, there is
no other. I hope that the youth of our country will never allow themselves to be carried away by this sinister counter-current but will clearly recognize the workers and peasants as their friends and march forward to a bright future.
Fifthly, the present War of Resistance Against Japan marks a new stage -- the greatest, most dynamic and most vigorous stage -- in the Chinese revolution. In this stage the youth shoulder tremendous responsibilities. Our revolutionary movement has gone through many stages of struggle in the last decades, but at no stage has it been so broad as in the present War of Resistance. When we maintain that the Chinese revolution now has features distinguishing it from the revolution in the past and that it will make the turn from failure to victory, we mean that the masses of the Chinese people have made progress, of which the progress of the youth is a clear proof. Hence the anti-Japanese war must and certainly will triumph. As everybody knows, the basic policy in this war is the Anti-Japanese National United Front, whose aim it is to overthrow Japanese imperialism and the Chinese collaborators, transform the old China into a new China, and liberate the whole nation from its semi-colonial and semi-feudal status. The present lack of unity in the Chinese youth movement is a serious weakness. You should continue to strive for unity, because unity is strength. You must help the youth of the whole country to understand the present situation, to achieve unity and to resist Japan to the end.
Sixthly and lastly, I want to speak about the youth movement in Yenan. It is the model for the youth movement throughout the country. The direction it is taking is in fact the orientation for the youth movement of the entire country. Why? Because it is the correct orientation. You see, in the matter of unity the youth of Yenan have acquitted themselves well, indeed very well. The youth of Yenan have achieved solidarity and unity. The young intellectuals and students, the young workers and peasants in Yenan are all united. Large numbers of revolutionary youth from all over the country, and even from Chinese communities abroad, have come to study in Yenan. Most of you attending this meeting today have come to Yenan from thousands of miles away; whether your surname is Chang or Li, whether you are a man or a woman, a worker or a peasant, you are all of one mind. Should this not be regarded as a model for the whole country? The youth in Yenan, besides being united among themselves, have integrated themselves with the masses of workers and peasants, and more than anything else this makes you a model for the whole country. What
have you been doing? You have been learning the theory of revolution and studying the principles and methods for resisting Japan and saving the nation. You have been carrying out the campaign for production and have reclaimed thousands of mou of waste land. Confucius never reclaimed land or tilled the soil. When he ran his school, he had quite a number of students, "seventy worthies and three thousand disciples" -- quite a flourishing schooll But he had far fewer students than there are in Yenan, and what is more, they would have disliked production campaigns. When a student asked him how to plough the fields, Confucius answered, "I don't know, I am not as good at that as a farmer." Confucius was next asked how to grow vegetables, and he answered, "I don't know, I am not as good at that as a vegetable gardener." In ancient times the youth of China who studied under a sage neither learned revolutionary theory nor took part in labour. Today, there is little revolutionary theory taught and there are no such things as production movements in the schools over vast regions of our country. It is only here in Yenan and in the anti-Japanese base areas behind the enemy lines that the young people are fundamentally different; they are really the vanguard in resisting Japan and saving the nation because their political orientation and their methods of work are correct. That is why I say the youth movement in Yenan is the model for the youth movement throughout the country.
Our meeting today is highly significant. I have said all I wanted. I hope you will all study the lessons of the Chinese revolution in the last fifty years, develop its good points and discard its mistakes, so that the youth will be at one with the people of the whole country and the revolution will make the turn from failure to victory. When the youth and the whole nation are mobilized, organized and united, Japanese imperialism will be overthrown. Each young person must shoulder his responsibility. You must each be different from before and resolve to unite the youth and organize the people of the whole country for the overthrow of Japanese imperialism and the transformation of the old China into a new China. This is what I expect of all of you.
May 4 was first adopted as China's Youth Day by the youth organization of the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia Border Region. Under the pressure of the patriotic upsurge of thc broad masses of young people, the Kuomintang government expressed its
agreement. But it subsequently proclaimed March 29 as its own Youth Day (in commemoration of the revolutionary martyrs who died during an uprising at Canton in 1911) because, fearing that the youth would turn revolutionary, it regarded the decision to observe May 4 as dangerous. However, May 4 continued to be observed as Youth Day in the revolutionary base areas under the leadership of the Communist Party, and was officially proclaimed China's Youth Day by the Administrative Council of the Central People's Government in December 1949 after the founding of the People's Republic of China.
"The Kuomintang turned against the Communist Party" here refers to the counter-revolutionary coups staged in 1927 by Chiang Kai-shek in Shanghai and Nanking and by Wang Ching-wei in Wuhan.