Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Memorandum Prepared by President Chiang Kai-shek 50

A Memorandum on the Problem of the Chinese Communist party

1. The separate and independent army of the Chinese Communist Party:

When the war of resistance to Japanese aggression first broke out, the Chinese Communist Party issued a manifesto declaring its willingness to obey all orders of the Central Government and support national resistance against the enemy.51 Thereupon the Military Council of the National Government reorganized the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party in northern Shensi into the 8th Route Army52 (subsequently called the 18th Army Group) of the National Army, and, at the same time, the Communist armed units scattered in the areas south of the Yangtze River were reorganized into the New Fourth Army. These newly reorganized Communist armies were ordered to carry on their operations in designated areas, entrusted [Page 787] with definite tasks and were given the same treatment as the rest of the National Army. However, although the Chinese Communist Party had agreed to participate in the war of resistance to Japanese aggression, it soon became apparent that it had no intention to obey the military orders of the National Government for it was not long before the Communist armies began to take independent action.

In the winter of 1939, after the Russo-German agreement had been concluded,53 the Chinese Communists, through their publications and other forms of propaganda, began to make open attacks on Great Britain and the United States, and strongly opposed China’s cooperation with these two powers. Militarily they increased the numerical strength of their armed forces, expanded the areas under their occupation, and, in numerous instances, attacked the national troops and seized the arms of the local militia. This was especially true in the case of the New 4th Army, whereupon the Government was compelled to enforce discipline by ordering its dissolution. In spite of the dissolution of the New 4th Army, the Communist armies in other areas continued their expansion with the result that the Government found it increasingly difficult to enforce its military and administrative orders and the war of resistance to the Japanese invaders was impeded. After the outbreak of war between the U. S. S. R. and Germany, the Chinese Communist Party, on the surface, took a more conciliatory attitude, but in fact it never ceased its activities in disobeying military orders from the Central Government and in establishing illegal local administrations. With a view to seeking a satisfactory solution and thereby achieving a unified military command, the Government repeatedly sought to negotiate with representatives of the Chinese Communist Party, but these negotiations and possible compromises all proved fruitless owing to the increasingly inordinate demands of the Communists as war progressed.

2. Military actions of the Chinese Communists after Japan’s surrender to the Allied Nations:

On August 11, 1945, immediately after the announcement of Japan’s surrender, the following seven orders were issued by General Chu Teh, Commander-in-Chief of the 18th Army Group, in the capacity of Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Liberation at Yenan”:

His first order stated that the Chinese Communist armies had the right to accept the Japanese surrender as well as “the right to dispatch troops to take over any cities, towns and strategic lines of communication occupied by the Japanese and puppets and to appoint special commissioners to be responsible for all administrative affairs in the areas concerned.” Basing their actions on this order, the Communists [Page 788] extended their so-called “liberated areas” to regions beyond the “liberated areas” originally occupied by them prior to Japan’s surrender, and the military and administrative officials of the National Government stationed in the areas coveted by the Communists, such as General Fu Tso-yi in Kweisui, General Yen Hsi-shan in Taiyuan and Governor Ho Ssu-yuan in Tsinan, were all branded as “traitors”. The Communists also began to create incidents in which were involved some American marines who were assisting Chinese national troops in accepting the Japanese surrender in areas which had never been occupied by the Chinese Communist forces. The incidents which recently occurred at Chinwangtao and Tientsin were a direct result of this order issued by General Chu Teh.

General Chu Teh’s second order directed the Communist armies in Shansi and Suiyuan to thrust into Chahar and Jehol, the Communist-organized bandit units in Hopei and Chahar to thrust into Jehol and Liaoning, and other Communist organized bandit units in Shantung and Hopei to thrust into Liaoning and Kirin and thus create chaos. By means of this order the Chinese Communists sought to prevent the national troops from taking over the Northeastern provinces.

General Chu Teh’s third order directed the Communist armies to launch an invasion of Suiyuan, Chahar and Jehol. With the support of the military forces of the People’s Republic of Outer Mongolia, they invaded the aforesaid provinces and Inner Mongolia in order to obstruct the advance of Government troops. This order has led to the present attacks on Kweisui and Paotow and has made it impossible for the Government to take over the administration of Chahar and Jehol.

General Chu Teh’s fourth order directed the Communist armies to make concerted attacks on the national troops in Shansi in order to control the vast areas along the lower reaches of the Yellow River.

General Chu Teh’s fifth order directed the Communist armies to control or destroy all the railways in both south and north China.

General Chu Teh’s sixth order directed the Communist armies to coordinate their activities with the operations of the Soviet forces in order to carry on war in both China and Korea.

General Chu Teh’s seventh order announced the ways in which the Communists were going to carry out their “military control” of the cities and towns occupied by them.

The execution of the aforesaid orders was not suspended despite Mao Tze-tung’s visit to Chungking and the political talks carried on between the representatives of the Government and the representatives of the Communist Party since September. Even today these orders are still being carried out by the Communist armies.

3. The talks between the National Government and the Chinese Communist Party:

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The National Government has always taken the stand that the problem of the Chinese Communist Party should be solved through political means and has repeatedly issued statements of its policy. After Japan’s surrender, President Chiang Kai-shek sent a telegram to Mao Tze-tung on August 14th, inviting him to come to Chungking to discuss various important problems. On August 16th, General Chu Teh sent a long telegram to President Chiang in which six demands were presented. On the same day, Mao Tze-tung sent President Chiang a telegram declaring that he would not “consider the question of meeting President Chiang” until the President had expressed his views regarding General Chu’s telegram. The first five of General Chu’s demands all concerned the participation of the Communist armies in the acceptance of the Japanese surrender, which demands implied an unqualified execution of the seven orders Chu had issued. The sixth demand insisted that the Government should convene a conference of the representatives of all the political parties and form a coalition government.

On August 20th, President Chiang sent another telegram to Mao Tze-tung explaining that the National Government, in accepting the Japanese surrender, was only acting in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Allied Headquarters, and that General Chu Teh should not take exception to this procedure. The President further declared that “the global war has just terminated and no fresh outbreak of civil strife should be tolerated,” and strongly urged Mao Tze-tung to come to Chungking. On August 22nd, Mao Tze-tung sent President Chiang a telegram saying that he would first dispatch Chou En-lai to Chungking to confer with the President.

On both the 23rd and 24th of August, President Chiang again telegraphed to Mao Tze-tung inviting him to come to Chungking personally. At that time the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance had just been announced, and, on August 25th, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party issued a “Statement on the Present Situation.” Bringing this Statement with him, which contained six demands of the Communist Party, Mao Tze-tung came to Chungking. The six demands still stressed the Government’s recognition of the Communist armies and the areas occupied by them and insisted upon their participation in the acceptance of the Japanese surrender.

The talks between the representatives of the Government and the representatives of the Chinese Communist Party commenced on September 2nd. On October 10th, the representatives of both sides jointly made public their “Minutes of the Talks” giving the essential points of the negotiations which had lasted forty days. The Minutes revealed that both the Government and the Communist Party were [Page 790] in agreement over the principle of peaceful reconstruction of the country, the democratization of the Government, the liberties of the people, the legal status of the various political parties, and the National Assembly. The Government and the Communist Party, in spite of the protracted negotiations, however, had not been able to reach any agreement over the questions concerning the status of Communist armies which take orders only from the Communist Party, and the areas occupied by them.

The Chinese Communist Party demanded its right to maintain an army of at least twenty-two divisions to be stationed in the “liberated areas” both north of the Lunghai Railway and in the northern parts of Kiangsu and Anhwei. The Communist Party also demanded the Governorships of the provinces of Jehol, Chahar, Hopei and Shantung as well as the border area of Shensi, Kansu and Mnghsia, the Vice-Governorships of the provinces of Suiyuan and Shansi, and Communist officials in the municipal governments of Peiping, Tientsin and Tsingtao.

If the National Government had complied with the above-mentioned demands, it would have resulted in the partitioning of China into two separate countries—one in the south and another in the north.

The talks held prior to October 10th, therefore, had failed to bring about a settlement of the all-important question of maintaining China’s unity. If anything could be said to have been achieved at all, it was limited to the following three points: First, both the Government and the Communist Party explicitly stated that China’s internal disputes should be settled through political channels instead of resorting to force; secondly, all questions relating to the National Assembly were to be settled by the Political Consultative Council which was to be convened before the convocation of the Assembly and in which the existing political parties in China and social leaders without any party affiliation were to participate; and thirdly, the question of the reorganization of the Chinese Communist armies was to be discussed by a military sub-committee which should be composed of a military representative of the Government, a military representative of the Communist Party, and another person having no connection with either the Government or the Communists.

4. Efforts made by the National Government since Mao Tze-tung’s departure from Chungking:

After the “Minutes of the Talks” had been made public, Mao Tzetung left Chungking for Yenan. Since October 20th the representatives of the Government have repeatedly invited the representatives of the Communist Party to discuss questions relating to the distribution of the membership of the Political Consultative Council and the voting procedure, the liberated areas, the avoidance of armed clashes, and the restoration of communications. No agreement has been [Page 791] reached over these issues, while the convocation of the Political Consultative Council has been greatly delayed owing to the failure on the part of the Communists to submit the list of the names of their representatives.

Meantime, the Communist armies have been intensifying their attacks in Suiyuan and Shantung, in obstructing the entry of national troops into the Northeast, and in destroying the railways. The Government, however, has persisted in its efforts to reach an understanding with the representatives of the Communist Party in the hope of avoiding further armed clashes.

On October 16th, the representatives of the Government had made the following three proposals to the representatives of the Communists: first, railway communications must be restored.; secondly, the Communist armies should withdraw from the railway zones and maintain the status quo in the areas already occupied by them; and thirdly, General Yeh Chien-ying, military representative of the Communists, should come to Chungking as soon as possible so as to enable the Military Sub-committee to discuss questions relating to the reorganization of the Communist armies and their garrison areas. It was not until October 29th that the reply was forthcoming.

The Communist Party in reply made two counter-proposals. First, the Communists demanded: (1) That Government troops should not advance in the direction of areas occupied by the Communists; (2) That both the Government and the Communists should not station troops along the Pingsui, Tungpu, Chentai, Tsinpu and Kiaotsi railways, the northern section of the Pinghan railway, the eastern section of the Lunghai railway, and the western section of the Peining railway; and (3) That the Government should first consult the Communists if troops were to be sent to Peiping, Tientsin and Tsingtao. Secondly, the above points must first be settled before the Military Subcommittee could proceed with its work.

From these counter-proposals it may be seen that the Communists were again attempting to make the Government accept the new fait accompli, brought about by their independent armed forces (that is, their attacks on areas garrisoned by the National troops, their obstruction to the National troops, acceptance of the Japanese surrender, and their destruction of railways) as a prerequisite for their participation in the Political Consultative Council and the Military Sub-committee. In the hope that what had been accomplished in the talks during the past two months might not be entirely nullified, the Government again made great concessions as can be seen by the following.

The Government’s reply to the Communists dated October 30th contained the following six points: (1) The Government and the Communist Party should order their respective troops to remain where they were originally stationed and mutually refrain from using [Page 792] armed force; (2) The Communist forces in the railway zones should withdraw to points not less than 20 kilometers from the railway lines and the Government would dispatch only railway police to these evacuated areas instead of sending regular troops; (3) The People’s Political Council should organize a Communications Supervision Party to be sent to the railway zones to investigate the actual conditions and report its current findings; (4) The Communists should be consulted if the Government desires to transport troops along the railways mentioned by the Communist Party in its demands; (5) For the purpose of facilitating peaceful reconstruction, the Government and the Communist Party should effect a fundamental solution of the problems concerning the garrison areas of the Communist armies and their reorganization; and (6) The Political Consultative Council should be immediately convened.

Instead of giving a clear-cut reply to these concessions of the Government, the Communist authorities in Yenan presented the following four demands on November 8th: (1) Government troops should stop advancing into the “Liberated Areas”; (2) Government troops already in the “liberated areas” should be withdrawn; (3) Government troops should be withdrawn from the eight railway lines (including the Peining railway); and (4) The Government should guarantee that its troops would never again enter the “liberated areas”.

When the negotiations reached this stage, it appeared that the efforts made by the Government during the past two months had all been in vain. Thereupon the Government suggested to the Communists that all questions should be brought up for discussion in the Political Consultative Council and that the Council should be convened on December 1st. However, Chou En-lai left for Yenan and did not return to Chungking until the 14th of December, and in the meantime the Communist armies have extended their attacks to areas north of Shanhaikwan as well as the northern parts of Hupeh, Honan, Kiangsu and Anhwei.

5. The object of the Chinese Communist Party:

What is the object of the Chinese Communist Party? This is a question we must consider. Under no circumstances will the Communists cease their military activities in occupying more territories. They have utilized all available methods of propaganda to justify their use of armed force. If this be the fixed policy of the Chinese Communists then whatever length the Government is prepared to go, no satisfactory result could be achieved.

The following résumé submitted to the Central Political Board of the Chinese Communist Party by Mao Tze-tung after his return to Yenan from Chungking seems to provide an answer for the questions we have asked.

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He regarded the political means employed by the National Government in the form of the recent talks as designed for the ultimate object of destroying the Chinese Communist Party.
He explained that the Chinese Communists should not be satisfied with the mere recognition of the legal status of their party. “If we are deprived of our armed forces and political power, what does the legal status of the Chinese Communist Party amount to?” He further declared, therefore, that the “Armed Forces of our Party must not be abolished, and, at the same time, the political power of our Party also must not be abolished.”
He explained that the Communist demand for the reorganization of the Communist armies into twenty-four divisions was merely for the purpose of winning sympathy in China and abroad. He clearly stated that “the reorganization of our armies into twenty-four divisions should not prevent us from having other armed forces.”
He specially pointed out that it is quite fitting and proper as well as important that the Northeast should be made the base of China’s revolution. The Communist Party, he said, should concentrate its strength and extend its activities to the Northeast.

Besides, the following resolution was passed by the “Central Revolutionary Military Council” of the Chinese Communist Party in November: “(1) That an Army of Liberation shall be formed, and that while the 8th Route Army and the New 4th Army shall retain their original designations, the remaining armed units in North, Central, South and West China, shall all be reorganized into local armies of liberation to be placed under the command of the Chinese Headquarters of Liberation in Yenan; (2) Now that our strategic offensive against the reactionary troops of the Kuomintang has already expanded the liberated areas and overcome the obstacles to our entry into the Northeast, our task shall be not only the occupation of the Northeast but to struggle for the victory of tomorrow.”

From this it may be seen that the problem of the Chinese Communist Party is a most complicated and difficult problem. The Chinese Communist Party still seems unwilling to have its armies incorporated as an integral part of the National Army, to give up its independent military and political power and content itself with being a regular political party with legal status. In spite of these obstacles, however, the National Government is still hopeful in the exploration of a solution through political means.

  1. Marginal notation: “This memo was prepared by the Generalissimo prior to Marshall’s arrival.”
  2. See telegram of September 24, 1937, from the Consul General at Hankow, Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. iii, p. 548. For text, see United States Relations With China, p. 523.
  3. See telegram No. 644, September 13, 1937, 8 a.m., from the Ambassador in China, Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. iii, p. 522.
  4. Signed at Moscow, August 23, 1939; Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D, vol. vii, p. 245.