March 5, 1949
With the conclusion of the Liaohsi-Shenyang, Huai-Hai and Peiping-Tientsin campaigns, the main force of the Kuomintang army has been destroyed. Only a million odd of its combat troops are left, dispersed over vast areas from Sinkiang to Taiwan and over extremely long fronts. From now on there can be only three patterns for disposing of these Kuomintang troops - the Tientsin pattern, the Peiping pattern or the Suiyuan pattern. To dispose of the enemy forces by fighting, as we did in Tientsin, must still be the primary object of our attention and preparations. The commanders and fighters of the entire Chinese People's Liberation Army absolutely must not relax in the least their will to fight; any thinking that relaxes the will to fight and belittles the enemy is wrong. The possibility has increased for solutions on the Peiping pattern, that is, to compel enemy troops to reorganize peacefully, quickly and thoroughly into the People's Liberation Army in conformity with the latter's system. For the purpose of rapidly eliminating the vestiges of counter-revolution and liquidating its political influence, this solution is not quite as effective as the solution by fighting. However, it is bound to occur and is unavoidable after the main force of the enemy has been destroyed; furthermore, it is advantageous to our army and the people because casualties and destruction can be avoided. Therefore, the leading comrades of the various field armies should all pay attention to this form of struggle and learn how to use it. This is one form of struggle, a form of struggle without bloodshed; it does not mean that problems can be solved without struggle. The Suiyuan pattern is deliberately to keep part of the Kuomintang troops wholly or nearly intact, that is, to make temporary concessions to these troops in order to help win them over to our side or neutralize them politically. Thereby, we can concentrate our forces to finish off the main part of the remnant Kuomintang forces first and then, after a certain period (say, a few months, half a year or a year later), proceed to reorganize these troops into the People's Liberation Army in conformity with its system. That is another form of struggle. It will preserve more of the vestiges and political influence of counter-revolution than the Peiping form and for a longer period. But there is not the slightest doubt that they will eventually be eliminated. It must never be assumed that, once they yield to us, the counter-revolutionaries turn into revolutionaries, that their counter-revolutionary ideas and designs cease to exist. Definitely not. Many of the counterrevolutionaries will be remoulded, some will be sifted out, and certain die-hard counter-revolutionaries will be suppressed.
The People's Liberation Army is always a fighting force. Even after country-wide victory, our army will remain a fighting force during the historical period in which classes have not been abolished in our country and the imperialist system still exists in the world. On this point there should be no misunderstanding or wavering. The People's Liberation Army is also a working force; this will be the case especially when the Peiping or the Suiyuan pattern of solution is used in the south. With the gradual decrease in hostilities, its function as a working force will increase. There is a possibility that before very long the entire People's Liberation Army will be turned into a working force, and we must take this possibility into account. The 53,000 cadres now ready to leave with the army for the south are very inadequate for the vast new areas we shall soon hold, and we must prepare to turn all the field armies, 2,100,000 strong, into a working force. In that event, there will be enough cadres and the work can develop over large areas. We must look upon the field armies with their 2,100,000 men as a gigantic school for cadres.
From 1927 to the present the centre of gravity of our work has been in the villages - gathering strength in the villages, using the villages in order to surround the cities and then taking the cities. The period for this method of work has now ended. The period of "from the city to the village" and of the city leading the village has now begun. The centre of gravity of the Party's work has shifted from the village to the city. In the south the People's Liberation Army will occupy first the cities and then the villages. Attention must be given to both city and village and it is necessary to link closely urban and rural work, workers and peasants, industry and agriculture. Under no circumstances should the village be ignored and only the city given attention; such thinking is entirely wrong. Nevertheless, the centre of gravity of the work of the Party and the army must be in the cities; we must do our utmost to learn how to administer and build the cities. In the cities we must learn how to wage political, economic and cultural struggles against the imperialists, the Kuomintang and the bourgeoisie and also how to wage diplomatic struggles against the imperialists. We must learn how to carry on overt struggles against them, we must also learn how to carry on covert struggles against them. If we do not pay attention to these problems, if we do not learn how to wage these struggles against them and win victory in the struggles, we shall be unable to maintain our political power, we shall be unable to stand on our feet, we shall fail. After the enemies with guns have been wiped out, there will still be enemies without guns; they are bound to struggle desperately against us, and we must never regard these enemies lightly. If we do not now raise and understand the problem in this way, we shall commit the gravest mistakes.
On whom shall we rely in our struggles in the cities? Some muddle-headed comrades think we should rely not on the working class but on the masses of the poor. Some comrades who are even more muddle-headed think we should rely on the bourgeoisie. As for the direction of industrial development, some muddle-headed comrades maintain that we should chiefly help the development of private enterprise and not state enterprise, whereas others hold the opposite view that it suffices to pay attention to state enterprise and that private enterprise is of little importance. We must criticize these muddled views. We must whole-heartedly rely on the working class, unite with the rest of the labouring masses, win over the intellectuals and win over to our side as many as possible of the national bourgeois elements and their representatives who can co-operate with us - or neutralize them - so that we can wage a determined struggle against the imperialists, the Kuomintang and the bureaucrat-capitalist class and defeat these enemies step by step. Meanwhile we shall set about our task of construction and learn, step by step, how to administer cities and restore and develop their production. Regarding the problem of restoring and developing production we must be clear about the following: first comes the production of state industry, second the production of private industry and. third handicraft production. From the very first day we take over a city, we should direct our attention to restoring and developing its production. We must not go about our work blindly and haphazardly and forget our central task, lest several months after taking over a city its production and construction should still not be on the right track and many industries should be at a standstill, with the result that the workers are unemployed, their livelihood deteriorates and they become dissatisfied with the Communist Party. Such a state of affairs is entirely impermissible. Therefore, our comrades must do their utmost to learn the techniques of production and the methods of managing production as well as other closely related work such as commerce and banking. Only when production in the cities is restored and developed, when consumer-cities are transformed into producer-cities, can the people's political power be consolidated. Other work in the cities, for example, in Party organization, in organs of political power, in trade unions and other people's organizations, in culture and education, in the suppression of counter-revolutionaries, in news agencies, newspapers and broadcasting stations - all this work revolves around and serves the central task, production and construction. If we know nothing about production and do not master it quickly, if we cannot restore and develop production as speedily as possible and achieve solid successes so that the livelihood of the workers, first of all, and that of the people in general is improved, we shall be unable to maintain our political power, we shall be unable to stand on our feet, we shall fail.
Conditions in the south are different from those in the north, and the Party's tasks must also be different. The south is still under Kuomintang rule. There, the tasks of the Party and the People's Liberation Army are to wipe out the Kuomintang's reactionary armed forces in city and countryside, set up Party organizations, set up organs of political power, arouse the masses, establish trade unions, peasant associations and other people's organizations, build the people's armed forces, mop up the remnant Kuomintang forces and restore and develop production. In the countryside, our first tasks are to wage struggles step by step, to clean out the bandits and to oppose the local tyrants (the section of the landlord class in power) in order to complete preparations for the reduction of rent and interest; this reduction can then be accomplished within a year or two after the arrival of the People's Liberation Army, and the precondition for the distribution of land will thus be created. At the same time care must be taken to maintain the present level of agricultural production as far as possible and to prevent it from declining. In the north, except for the few new Liberated Areas, conditions are completely different. Here the Kuomintang rule has been overthrown, the people's rule has been established and the land problem has been fundamentally solved. Here the central task of the Party is to mobilize all forces to restore and develop production; this should be the centre of gravity in all work. It is also necessary to restore and develop cultural and educational work, wipe out the remnants of the reactionary forces, consolidate the entire north and support the People's Liberation Army.