The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State

No. 85

Sir: I have the honor to enclose for the information of the Department a copy (in translation) of an editorial81 published in the Jen Min Jih Pao (People’s Daily, Peiping) on July 3, 1949, under the title “Struggle for Further Consolidation of the Party in North China,” setting forth certain data respecting the North China (section of the) Chinese Communist Party.

Summary of article:

The total membership of the North China Party is 1,520,000 of whom .03% joined the Party during the 1921–27 period, .66% during the period 1927–36, 39.31% in 1937–45, and a full 60% joined the Party during the War of Liberation (that is, in the post VJ-Day period). The members who joined the Party during the Revolutionary and Civil War periods constitute the backbone of the Party leadership. However, the membership acquired during the War of Liberation is considered “the new blood of the Party.” The majority of the membership came from the peasantry but “due to their very low level of culture and understanding of Marxism and Leninism” they often cause deviations in the prosecution of Party policies.

The 68,000 Party branches in North China are scattered throughout 68% of the total 100,000 North China villages. With the liberation of all North China, the center of gravity of Party leadership has shifted from the rural countryside to the towns, and from military affairs to reconstruction. There therefore arise the problems of uniting Party members of the working class with those of peasant background, of uniting work-farmer cadres and intelligentsia cadres, of unifying urban with village cadres as well as Party with non-Party cadres.

To meet the development and needs of the revolutionary situation, the North China Party in the last three years selected over 5,000 members of regional cadres, most of whom were sent to Manchuria, Central China and regions south of the Yangtze River to undertake activities. Part of that group undertook work in recently liberated towns and districts [Page 420] tricts in North China. There has resulted a quantitative shortage and qualitative weakness of cadres, especially in the hsien echelon in the North China areas. Since cadres of that echelon constitute the liaison between Party sectors and hsien committees and are an important link in carrying Party policies down into the lower stratum Party organs, there is before the North China Party the task of selecting and cultivating a large number of cadres. End of Summary.

One of the outstanding phenomena in recent political developments in China has been the notable shortage of adequately trained personnel and the parallel effort of the Chinese Communist authorities to train new personnel to take the place of the old. In the interim, strong efforts have been made to keep old personnel at their posts. Experience in Manchuria has shown that this is to be considered in main a training period in which new personnel will be trained and—once trained—the old personnel tainted by former close Kuomintang associations will be ousted.

Apprehension respecting the future based upon knowledge of developments elsewhere under Communist control, constitutes one of the main obstacles to the efficient operation of Government organs under present circumstances. It is obvious it is deadly for all initiative. The Chinese Communists have been reported as believing that they can afford in long-term planning to disregard the welfare, livelihood and ideology of all elements of the population presently more than forty years of age, the ultimate aim being to effect their complete replacement by a fully indoctrinated new generation. It is evident that such a philosophy must work in due course a considerable hardship upon large numbers of the population. Even though limited in application (as does not seem necessarily to be the case) simply to the bureaucracy, it still creates obstacles to the effective operation of the Communist machinery at a time when the utmost in effectiveness is gravely needed. As is of course well-known—being remarked in all publications and speeches given under Communist auspices—the task of overcoming those difficulties has been placed on the shoulders of the Chinese Communist Party.

Respectfully yours,

O. Edmund Clubb
  1. Not printed.