ORGANIZATIONAL WORK AND APPLICATION OF
POLICY IN ENEMY-OCCUPIED AREAS
January 26, 1943
Organizational work in enemy-occupied areas mainly consists of infiltrating the enemy, that is, establishing Party and mass organizations and conducting revolutionary work among the puppet troops and organizations. This is the correct application of the dual revolutionary policy.
Without organizational work it will be impossible for us to build up our strength in enemy-occupied areas and among the puppet troops and organizations, to start the fermentation process, so to speak, and to lay an organizational foundation. The Party has time and again stressed the importance of this work, but we have made far less effort in this regard than the Kuomintang or, strictly speaking, we have not truly begun working on it yet.
In the past, some of our departments did try to do something in this direction, but to no avail, with the exception of a few individual cases. We sent a number of cadres to infiltrate the puppet troops and organizations in enemy-occupied areas, but they never got anywhere because they did not have the necessary contacts with the right people there. Generally speaking, we do not know how to choose people from the vast enemy-occupied areas or from among the puppet troops and organizations to work for us, or to win over the intellectuals and progressives there so that they can infiltrate the enemy. We haven’t done well at reforming double-dealers in the puppet troops and organizations into ones working for the revolution as our own cadres, because we did not realize that only such people have the necessary close ties in enemy-occupied areas and puppet troops and organizations and that only they can readily infiltrate the enemy. Actually, we had many chances to do this in the past, but we just let them slip by. Some people in the puppet troops and organizations have the potential to serve as revolutionary double-dealers, and some have already become revolutionary double-dealers. We might well ask what we have done, other than conducting some propaganda work, making contacts and gathering some information from among them, to help them progress towards becoming an organizational force to infiltrate the enemy and take root there. It was more distressing when some of our good contacts were destroyed by the enemy due to our confusion in work and failure to maintain secrecy. Because of a subjective approach to problems, a closed-door and narrow-minded work style, and satisfaction with the status quo, our work in enemy-occupied areas has been confined to propaganda and our organizational work has so far remained just a slogan. In contrast, the Kuomintang, ever since the outbreak of the war against Japan, has concentrated on building up its strength in enemy-occupied areas to achieve superiority in the postwar period. It has been working hard to win over puppet troops and organizations and sent people to work in enemy-occupied areas and lie low for the necessary duration, establishing Kuomintang organizations and a secret service. Relying on feudal forces, it has been trying to keep under its control various feudal organizations and even secret societies and bandits. The Kuomintang’s achievements in all this are not to be belittled; we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to them!
We have no time to lose. To prepare for counter-offensive and postwar endeavours, we must redouble our efforts in our organizational work in enemy-occupied areas and be more meticulous.
Although we are at present still in an inferior position in enemy-occupied areas, the changes over the past year are more advantageous than ever to our organizational work, as shown in the following observation: Never before have the contradictions between the people and the Japanese invaders there been so sharp as they are today; they will continue to become sharper and the people’s enthusiasm for fighting Japan will increase, which will greatly help expand our social foundation for organizational work. The prestige of our Party, our army and the anti-Japanese democratic government has grown enormously, and after several years’ hard work, we have established a number of contacts for conducting organizational work. Since most of the people in the puppet troops and organizations are from north China, they worry about their families and themselves, and have gradually come to believe that north China cannot be separated from the Eighth Route Army and the Communist Party. The prestige of the Kuomintang is decreasing (a result of its policy of employing secret agents and its sabotage of anti-Japanese efforts behind the enemy lines) and its organizational foundation has been somewhat weakened.
However, we also face some difficulties: Through his clever secret-agent policy, the enemy will try to keep a tighter control over the puppet troops and organizations and the areas under his occupation; the Kuomintang secret agents’ sabotage activities and their tactic of using others to eliminate their adversaries will certainly present an obstacle to our day-to-day work. For our part, we lack experience in doing organizational work in enemy-occupied areas; a narrow, closed-door, sectarian work style has impeded progress in our work; in particular, our cadres do not have a good grasp of policy and they lack experience in and knowledge of secret work.
We should take advantage of favourable conditions, overcome difficulties, especially self-imposed ones, and enrich our experience in work.
Now I should like to discuss some specific questions.
Infiltrating the enemy is the primary concern in organizational work. If we fail to infiltrate the enemy, we can accomplish nothing.
There is a wide area which requires infiltration: the masses, enemy-occupied cities, puppet troops and organizations, secret societies, underground gangs, bandits and all other organizations — but most important of all is the puppet troops.
The tasks are: to lie low and conduct covert, resourceful and discreet propaganda and organizational work; to build up strength and to raise our political position, in addition to that of other revolutionaries and anti-Japanese people, so that when the time comes, they can support counter-offensives and meet the needs of the revolution. Therefore, we should learn how to apply the dual revolutionary policy and co-ordinate both the overt and covert work. Except for the most urgent and exceptionally important information, supplying information is of secondary importance; it should only be done secretly and only if it does not affect fulfilment of the basic tasks. In particular, we should not require those who have achieved infiltration to buy any sort of materials or make demands on them, in order to protect them from exposure.
There is a wide range of people we can choose for undertaking infiltration — from among people in revolutionary base areas, in enemy-occupied areas, especially intellectuals, progressive gentry and social celebrities and people from the puppet troops and organizations whom we have won over and transformed into revolutionary double-dealers, with people from the last two categories making up the majority. We should send many cadres into enemy-occupied areas, in particular, we should send the best ones to infiltrate and set up organizations there. This task may be accomplished if we can find enough of such persons in enemy-occupied areas and puppet troops and organizations. We also need to send a number of cadres from the base areas, but they must be ones that have, among other things, contacts with people in the enemy-occupied areas, or they will not be of much use. At the same time, we should transfer some comrades who are experienced in working in such areas or who have other favourable qualifications to strengthen the departments in charge of work in those areas, letting them undertake training or liaison work.
Training for personnel who will infiltrate enemy-occupied areas is most important, but the training period should be short, the content simple, and the assigned task clear and uncomplicated. It should be conducted in the form of discussions; the trainees should be encouraged to raise questions, which should be answered explicitly. The teaching method characterized by stereotyped Party writing should be avoided by all means. In some cases we can only talk with them individually.
After our people are sent to enemy-occupied areas, we should keep in constant touch with them (which does not mean we can contact them anytime we like though) and give them any assistance they might need to overcome difficulties, including allocating funds for their activities and giving them guidance on working methods. At this moment we should see to it that they do not flinch from difficulties by bolstering up their resolve to infiltrate the enemy. After they have infiltrated the enemy, we should particularly strengthen political contacts with them, helping them solve any difficulties in their work and keeping them informed of the political situation so that they will not lose their bearings and become degenerate.
Infiltration requires a great deal of patient organizational work, for which we have little experience to draw upon. Therefore, we should try to identify and build on our experience in order to undertake this important work successfully.
2. Application of the Dual Revolutionary Policy.
First, the question of the dual revolutionary policy was raised by the Northern Bureau of the Central Committee in early 1941. In the past two years we have achieved a lot through applying this policy, though in the beginning some deviations occurred. Some people committed the error of retreating of their own accord, only to lose their own positions so that the enemy had more areas under his control. Others abolished the people’s armed forces and discarded guerrilla warfare, which caused dissatisfaction among the people, increased defeatist sentiments and brought about confusion. They did these things because they did not understand that the dual revolutionary policy was, in essence, a policy of offensives on enemy-occupied areas, mistaking it for a policy of retreat. Therefore, we should, first of all, get it straight in our minds that the dual revolutionary policy is an offensive one, a policy to be pursued only in enemy-occupied areas and enemy-dominated guerrilla zones.
In our fight with the enemy it may happen that enemy-occupied areas become guerrilla zones and even guerrilla base areas, whereas base areas may become guerrilla zones and even enemy-occupied areas. Such being the case, in giving guidance, we should pay attention not only to the need of offensive action when we are in a favourable position, but also to the need of retreat when we are in an unfavourable position. Both in offensive action and in retreat, we should act in accordance with plans and in a systematic and orderly manner. This is the only way we can hold and consolidate our position and avoid confusion.
Second, quite a few comrades in a number of places are not clear about the content of the dual revolutionary policy. They confuse revolutionary double-dealers with ordinary double-dealers. They are content to establish ordinary contacts or obtain a little information from double-dealers, even dropping their guard against the dual policy pursued by traitors — this is also incorrect. Therefore, we must make it clear that the dual revolutionary policy is an offensive policy designed to infiltrate the enemy (mainly the enemy-occupied areas and the puppet troops and organizations). This policy involves many aspects of work, such as the fostering of revolutionary double-dealers, the winning over of ordinary double-dealers and the utilization of all forces possible, with the chief aim being to foster and expand our group of revolutionary double-dealers so that we can rely on them to unite and organize all possible forces to struggle against the enemy, safeguard the people’s interests, build up our strength in enemy-occupied areas and within the enemy and puppet organizations, and wait for the opportunity to support our counter-attacks or win over the enemy.
Third, the dual revolutionary policy involves not only revolutionary resistance to Japan, which is of primary importance, but also the need to deal with the enemy, the purpose of which is to cover up our revolutionary resistance. Without the former it cannot be called a dual revolutionary policy and, conversely, if we ignore the latter, the policy won’t work. It is very important for us to distinguish between revolutionary double-dealers and ordinary double-dealers. The distinct feature of the latter lies in that they deal with the enemy as well as us, whereas that of the former lies in that they do all they can to build up their strength, safeguard the people’s interests and prepare for counter-offensives. Even though they may have to work with the enemy, it is for these same purposes. This is the criterion we should use to judge who is a revolutionary double-dealer and who is simply a double-dealer, and to foster and expand our group of revolutionary double-dealers. Being ignorant of this difference, many comrades are content to make use of ordinary double-dealers and neglect to foster revolutionary ones. Therefore, we must have a clear picture of the difference between the dual nature of the dual revolutionary policy and revolutionary double-dealers, and that of ordinary double-dealers. The dual revolutionary policy calls primarily for an illegal struggle against the enemy and full use of legal forms of struggle and any legal status to shield and support the illegal struggle and of overt work to screen covert work. Failure to do so will make it impossible for us to execute the struggle against the enemy in enemy-occupied areas or cause us to act aimlessly and suffer defeat.
So much for the nature of the dual revolutionary policy. Now I should like to differentiate between two areas of the application of this policy: within the puppet troops or the upper levels of puppet organizations and within the enemy-occupied areas or villages in enemy-dominated guerrilla zones. The former represents the activities of revolutionary double-dealers and the latter takes the form of the activities of the masses.
Let’s first discuss the application of the dual revolutionary policy within the puppet troops, the upper levels of the puppet regime, and semi-puppet feudal organizations and armed forces.
First, the basic point of departure is to get a clear picture of and fully exploit the contradictions between Japan and the puppet regime and contradictions within the puppet troops and organizations. Our people should try to expand the scope of the contradictions between Japan and the puppet regime and make use of each and every contradiction to further their work.
Second, they should make as many friends as possible so as to win the trust of their colleagues, subordinates and, in particular, their superiors, raise their position, and improve conditions for their activities. In making friends, however, they must bear in mind their status, so as not to arouse envy or suspicion.
Third, they should exploit their own position to conduct propaganda and organizational work secretly and resourcefully, but they should guard against impetuosity. The types of organizations should be varied and they should adopt neutral names or ones which will not attract the enemy’s attention. It would be better to establish many small independent groups rather than large ones.
Fourth, they should try every means possible and take every opportunity to help their colleagues, subordinates and, in particular, their superiors become double-dealers and, better still, revolutionary ones.
Fifth, they should at all times secretly look after the interests of the Chinese people, especially anti-Japanese revolutionaries.
Sixth, they should employ every possible means to eliminate sworn traitors and individuals who use others to kill their adversaries. With regard to secret agents who have not harmed us, they should take the attitude of “staying at a respectful distance”. Experience in various places has shown that if we don’t tackle this problem prudently, we shall suffer the consequences.
Seventh, they should supply no information unless it is very urgent or important.
Eighth, they must pay attention to secret work at all times and conceal their identities. Under unfavourable circumstances or when there is an opportunity to strengthen their position, it would even be permissible to reduce their revolutionary activities to a minimum. In short, they should do everything for the sake of long-term concealment, awaiting the right opportunity to arise.
Ninth, they should concentrate their efforts on the puppet troops, gradually shifting the emphasis from their work in other fields to work among the puppet troops.
Tenth, the activities of revolutionary double-dealers involve a bitter struggle which takes varied, complicated forms. These people must guard against Japan’s secret agents and sabotage by Kuomintang secret agents. Therefore, they should carry out their activities boldly yet with great caution. If they work in a down-to-earth manner, do not boast or take reckless action or reveal their identities, they can certainly achieve the desired results.
Now let’s talk about the application of the dual revolutionary policy in enemy-occupied areas or villages in guerrilla zones where the enemy is in a superior position. This policy can be applied only in villages that meet with the following requirements:
First, all the villagers are united against the enemy. In the villages united-front work to unite all social strata has been successful and, in particular, firm measures have been taken to eliminate sworn traitors. To unite all the villagers against the enemy is no easy job; it can be done only through struggle. The essential link lies in arousing the majority of the masses to struggle against the enemy, and only then can the problem be considered solved.
Second, the villages are supported by armed struggle, including both open armed struggle outside the villages and small-scale, concealed ones inside them. Without the former, it will be difficult to deceive the enemy; without the latter, no timely co-ordination will be forthcoming, which is essential to extensive guerrilla warfare with mass participation. The experience gained in various places shows that guerrilla warfare has become an important component of the dual revolutionary policy. Control of the armed forces has a vital bearing on gaining the upper hand in a village, so we should do our utmost to keep the armed forces in our own hands or in the hands of other revolutionaries. These armed forces must be small, but well trained, and must operate absolutely underground. In general, they should operate at night so as to make the enemy believe they are Eighth Route Army guerrillas.
Third, outwardly, village organizations should take on the form of puppet organizations, but in essence they must resist Japan. As for political power, a united-front congress of villagers’ representatives that is similar to a democratic government should be established, with all real power of the village held by the congress, not by the head of the village. We should realize that only this kind of political power can guarantee the villagers’ united struggle against the enemy, avoid being used by the enemy, and take into consideration and safeguard the people’s interests. It is inconceivable that a government ruled by the landlord class could execute a dual revolutionary policy, let alone safeguard the people’s interests — at most it can be considered a double-dealing one, dealing with the enemy on the one hand and with us on the other (of course, the extent of this will differ between the two). As to mass organizations, with the exception of villages where there is sound groundwork and whose original organizational forms can be preserved, the rest should be made into pure and uniform associations for resisting Japan and saving the nation.
Fourth, united struggle by one village should develop into united struggle by several villages or even a whole area — only this can make it easier to deal with the enemy and deceive him. If only a few villages carry out the struggle, they can easily be overcome by the enemy.
When a village meets these requirements, it can be considered qualified to apply the dual revolutionary policy. It can not only wage the struggle against the enemy successfully, but also truly maintain a dominant position.
From the above we can see that the dual revolutionary policy includes revolutionary double-dealing, the winning over of double-dealers and making use of all those who can be utilized, but the expansion of revolutionary double-dealer groups should be our main objective. Of course, this does not mean we can slacken our work among ordinary double-dealers. In the past many of them have helped us a great deal in the anti-Japanese war; moreover, they are numerous and constitute the main elements for us to transform into revolutionary double-dealers.
From the above we can see that the dual revolutionary policy means co-ordinating legal and illegal struggles, legal and illegal methods and overt and covert work, with emphasis on illegal struggles and covert work, which must be concealed through the legal struggle and overt work.
From the above we can see that the application of the dual revolutionary policy involves a serious struggle. The desired results can be achieved only through patient, painstaking and down-to-earth organizational work. Unplanned action, recklessness, impetuosity and carelessness will only lead to defeat.
3. Expansion of Guerrilla Warfare and Establishment of Small, Concealed Guerrilla Base Areas in Enemy-Occupied Areas.
In enemy-occupied areas (when our armed forces can frequently carry out operations there, they become guerrilla zones) illegal struggle should be the principal form of struggle. Armed struggle and guerrilla warfare are the highest form of illegal struggle.
The aggravation of the contradiction between the Chinese people and the Japanese invaders in enemy-occupied areas contributes to winning over double-dealers, fostering revolutionary double-dealers, and, even more so, to conducting guerrilla operations and setting up small, concealed anti-Japanese guerrilla base areas. From now on we should systematically wage guerrilla operations in enemy-occupied areas and set up small, concealed guerrilla base areas, with the aim of building up our strength, preparing for a counter-offensive and creating conditions for our postwar endeavours. These are important links in maintaining base areas in mountainous regions and sustaining guerrilla warfare in the plains, as well as an important way for us to hold out until victory.
Although conditions in enemy-occupied areas may be favourable for us to wage guerrilla operations there, setting up small guerrilla base areas there is an arduous task. However, to think it is easy reflects a false perspective. Experience in some places shows that before establishing concealed base areas, it is essential to create the necessary political conditions by steadily and surely launching political offensives. This is very true. First, we need to gain a full understanding of the specific local conditions, send small guerrilla units to attack enemy-occupied areas here and there, and then select cadres who have contacts in such areas and send them there or have them work with the guerrillas. We should prepare the masses and the community as a whole, broaden our influence through the exemplary observation of discipline and explicit policy, engage in propaganda and organizational activities, win over double-dealers, foster revolutionary double-dealers, utilize the contradictions between China and Japan to enhance the enthusiasm and courage of people in various strata in their struggle against the enemy, and try every possible means to establish concealed local armed forces. Only after we have done all this can we get small guerrilla units to dispatch or establish small local units, and keep up guerrilla operations.
To sustain guerrilla warfare in enemy-occupied areas, guerrilla units (whether sent in by us or established there), operating in the name of the Eighth Route Army, should combine with small local armed forces; neither will be powerful enough without the other. Without armed forces in the name of the Eighth Route Army, it will be impossible to deceive or confuse the enemy; without armed forces composed of local masses, primary guerrilla units will cause themselves to become exposed and cannot last long.
The armed force, whether primary guerrilla units or armed forces composed of local masses, should operate covertly in enemy-occupied areas. It is better for the former to operate sometimes covertly and sometimes overtly, whereas the latter should operate only at night and in the name of the Eighth Route Army.
The main tasks of guerrilla units in enemy-occupied areas are to safeguard the people’s interests, lighten the economic and forced-labour burdens imposed on the people (especially people in the guerrilla units’ own districts or villages) by the enemy, protect able-bodied men from being press-ganged and grain from being looted, disrupt the enemy’s ruling order, prevent the enemy and puppet troops from trampling on the masses, maintain the people’s morale, frustrate the activities of enemy and puppet secret agents, and attack small enemy and puppet units when they are absolutely sure of not being exposed — all for the purpose of sustaining the struggle and building up their strength in such areas. Guerrilla operations in enemy-occupied areas should be combined with the application of the dual revolutionary policy, providing the main support for its application. In their operations, guerrilla units should keep in mind two things: They should consider the people’s interests and endeavour to do whatever will safeguard them, and they should be very careful not to do anything that may cause the enemy to harm the people. They should also act in secret, not exposing themselves by ostentatiously parading their strength, so that the enemy can never find their whereabouts and will slacken his vigilance.
The preservation and maintenance of concealed guerrilla base areas in enemy-occupied areas not only calls for efforts to arouse the masses and keep up guerrilla warfare, but must also be supported by efforts to win over puppet troops and organizations and feudal armed forces (self-defence corps, secret societies, bandits, etc.) — this must be done in accordance with the principle of the Chinese people uniting as one man in the fight against the enemy. We should refrain from being too irritating with regard to the enemy, always keeping our eye on the long-term struggle. Attracting the enemy’s attention can be most disadvantageous to ourselves. In short, in enemy-occupied areas we should combine legal with illegal efforts, under no circumstances acting blindly to the neglect of the legal struggle or becoming careless due to victories.
In addition, we should prepare to wage guerrilla warfare, not only in the surrounding areas but also in nearby enemy-occupied famine-stricken areas — this is a strategically important step.
4. Doing Everything to Safeguard the Interests of the Chinese People.
Members of our guerrilla units and armed working teams in enemy-occupied areas should aim at safeguarding the interests of the Chinese people; this is a matter of preserving the might of the country and building up our strength and is the starting point of our revolutionary work in these areas. If we fail to co-ordinate our activities in these areas with the people’s interests, we shall be unable to establish concealed guerrilla base areas and foster revolutionary double-dealers; worse still, we shall lose our foothold. The essence of the dual revolutionary policy lies in safeguarding the people’s interests and, on this basis, expanding revolutionary anti-Japanese forces.
Safeguarding the people’s interests in enemy-occupied areas involves two aspects: uniting people of all strata to oppose the enemy and helping ease the burdens imposed on the people by the enemy; and taking the interests of the masses into account where the burdens imposed on them by the enemy and their daily lives are concerned. The latter should be confined to the common struggle against the enemy.
In enemy-occupied areas and in guerrilla zones where the enemy is in a superior position we cannot help people evade the burdens imposed by the enemy, but we can work to reduce them. These burdens are wide-ranging, including human and material resources plundered by the enemy, money and other things extorted by enemy and puppet personnel, enormous sums of village funds taken by them, and serious graft and waste. Therefore, we should help the people ease their burdens in various ways.
Lightening the burdens imposed by the enemy is a complicated affair, involving both a legal and illegal struggle and represents a definite application of the dual revolutionary policy. In the past we achieved notable results in co-ordinating armed struggle with the work of lightening these burdens. In one such example, people disguised as Eighth Route Army troops extricated labourers and able-bodied men who had been press-ganged, and retrieved money and materials that had been taken by the enemy and puppet troops. The most striking example was the struggle against the looting of grain waged in combatting the enemy’s fifth “campaign for tightening public security”, which completely thwarted the enemy’s plan for storing grain. Our armed struggles have provided the people with good pretexts to deceive the enemy and protect themselves, and at the very least they have helped stall for time and reduce the people’s burdens. This comes under the category of the illegal struggle.
A legal struggle should also be employed. Although the possible scope for a legal struggle is quite limited under enemy rule, we should nevertheless make full use of it, as long as it can benefit the people in some way. Even if nothing is achieved in the struggle, the extent of the enemy’s ferocity will be revealed and the people will gain some political experience and gradually switch to an illegal and armed struggle. Experience has shown that some results can be achieved if a legal struggle is conducted skilfully. Here, it should be pointed out that in the past we did very little to safeguard the interests of the people in enemy-occupied areas and that in some places we were content with just having people give us financial and material support, as they did the enemy. This is extremely harmful. In the struggle to protect able-bodied men from being press-ganged, in particular, we seemed to be incompetent and dull-witted. This merits our close attention in the future.
It is both possible and necessary to consider the interests of the masses in lightening their burdens and in their daily lives. Though absolutely impossible in areas completely under enemy rule (such areas are decreasing), in all other areas where we can wage guerrilla operations and especially where we have access in terms of political power (such areas are increasing), this issue should be raised and resolved. However, the extent of our efforts and methods to be used should differ from place to place, depending on the amount of work that has been done.
We should encourage Party members and cadres to learn how to identify problems in the daily lives of the local people and find opportunities to solve them. There are many ways to attend to the interests of the masses, such as upholding the principle of the reasonable distribution of burderns imposed by the enemy, taking advantage of people’s enthusiasm for supporting the anti-Japanese government to explain government decrees to them and encourage them to carry out this decrees. Other methods include protecting the interests of the whole village by local guerrilla teams through demanding reduced rent and interest rates, and not slackening any efforts in mediating in each and every problem concerning tenancy debt and employer-employee relationships, and even ordinary civil cases. For instance, when people in enemy-occupied areas bring a civil lawsuit to the anti-Japanese government, the government should be ready to accept the case and handle it impartially, mainly through mediation, while giving proper consideration to the interests of the masses. Impartially handling lawsuits itself benefits the masses. In rural areas such problems are numerous, and here we can very well help iron out people’s grievances in the light of actual circumstances. Of course, requests should not be excessive. If cases cannot be handled by district or by village, they can be dealt with by household. If rent cannot be reduced by 25 percent and interest rates by 15 percent, they can be reduced by an even lower percentage. We should try to do whatever will benefit the masses, making sure, at the same time, that our actions also in keeping with the purposes of uniting to oppose the enemy.
In enemy-occupied areas or enemy-dominated guerrilla zones, we should pay attention to mobilizing the masses both when launching a struggle against the enemy and when handling relations between classes, making each demand one of the masses themselves and providing the necessary coordination and support. Apart from this, we should work hard at all times to organize the masses and establish underground Party organizations. Only in this way can the masses be tempered and their great power given full play. At the same time, we should pay special attention to explaining things to the masses, so that they will draw from their own experience the conclusion that our views are correct. Whoever alienates himself from the masses and disregards their attitude is bound to fail.
5. Application of the Policies of Leniency and Suppression.
The policies of leniency and suppression should be applied correctly. We should prevent the revival of reckless action and constantly combat the practice of indiscriminate killing and assassination, which only serves to create confusion in society; at the same time, we should guard against the tendency to allow traitors and saboteurs to run wild.
They ones to be suppressed are mainly diehard traitors, secret agents, saboteurs who have greatly impeded the war effort, incurring the implacable hatred of the masses, people who have used others to kill their adversaries, and sworn renegades. As regards followers under coercion and less important elements, we should try to win them over and give them a chance to turn over a new leaf. Our experience has always shown that it takes a strong determined attack against the sworn lackeys of the enemy to win over people who are wavering. Some local authorities have been hesitant over executing traitors and saboteurs who deserve the death penalty; this is incorrect. It should be made clear that what we oppose is indiscriminate killing and assassination.
With regard to puppet troops and organizations, we must oppose them politically, but in dealing with individuals, we should use force or persuasion as appropriate. The purpose of doing this is to break up these organizations and make them less reactionary, and to isolate the Japanese invaders for the benefit of the revolutionary anti-Japanese work.
6. Co-ordination of and Connection Between the Legal and Illegal Struggle.
This is also a question of co-ordination of and connection between overt and covert work, a question that must be tackled in work in enemy-occupied areas and guerrilla zones and in infiltrating the puppet troops and organizations.
To handle this question we must understand what is meant by legal and illegal struggles and the forms they take. A legal struggle means a struggle which the enemy allows, and an illegal struggle means a struggle which the enemy does not allow; a legal form of struggle is one allowed by the enemy, and an illegal form is one that is not allowed by the enemy. A legal struggle and its legal forms are interrelated; without the legal forms there would be no legal struggle. As a matter of fact, the enemy does not allow us to wage any struggle. The reason we can conduct a struggle is that this kind of struggle takes on legal forms and is camouflaged by them, and therefore, the enemy permits it to a certain extent. An illegal struggle takes illegal forms and is sanctioned by the enemy. The various forms of legal struggle include presenting petitions, lodging complaints and carrying out activities through puppet organizations, all of which are now generally permitted by the enemy. There are also various form of illegal struggle, such as holding demonstrations, refusing to pay government taxes in grain and cash, rejecting associations for the preservation of order, setting up revolutionary organizations, and even staging rebellions, instigating mutiny within enemy camps, and carrying out an armed struggle, which is the chief method. None of these forms is permitted by the enemy.
Is it possible to carry out a legal struggle under enemy rule? The facts say that it is possible, but to a limited extent. People in various localities have launched many struggles. Do the masses have the courage to carry out such struggles? Facts have already given us an affirmative answer. Generally, in areas recently taken over by the enemy there is no legal struggle evident, due to the enemy’s high-pressure tactics to subdue the people and because the people lack experience in coping with the enemy under his rule. After a while, however, they will find ways to deal with the enemy, becoming confident of and experienced in waging a struggle against the enemy and the puppet regime under given conditions.
Since the possibilities for continuing a legal struggle under enemy rule are limited and no significant results will be achieved, an illegal struggle must be our principal endeavor. However, we should not let slip any opportunity of launching a legal struggle, because it will involve less losses to the people and facilitate the development of the illegal struggle. Legal and illegal struggles should, therefore, be closely co-ordinated, with the former camouflaging the latter and the latter assisting the former. We must make sure that the illegal struggle covers the legal one and does not expose it. From this people can see that we are not forfeiting either an illegal or legal struggle, but are trying to co-ordinate them and bring them together.
How are we to do this?
First, both legal and illegal struggles can be conducted separately. In the past, in enemy-occupied areas, for instance, there was usually no illegal struggle, but the people there were still able to wage legal struggles only. However, no significant results can be achieved if the two are not co-ordinated.
Second, the question of legal and illegal organizations is one of organizational forms which concerns the establishment, survival and development of illegal organizations through the best use of legal methods as a cover. The purpose of our dual revolutionary policy is none other than using legal forms to establish and expand illegal anti-Japanese revolutionary organizations and carry out an illegal struggle. Our purpose in infiltrating the puppet troops’ organizations at higher levels is merely to use the enemy’s organizational structures and the positions granted by the enemy to further revolutionary work and expand revolutionary organizations; in addition, getting a better understanding of the enemy’s situation can help protect the revolutionary organizations. Therefore, it is most important to infiltrate the enemy organizations using all possible means. At the same time, revolutionaries who have infiltrated the enemy can and should seize every opportunity to undertake revolutionary work, making good use of our Party, army and anti-Japanese government’s actions and statements. For example, when we have put forward our views regarding the enemy troops, they should disclose them in a skillful and covert way to the people they are trying to win over. When we have won a battle, they can spread defeatist sentiments among the puppet troops and organizations, and pretending to be concerned about their interests, even offer the suggestion that they had “better gang up with the other side”, to foster ordinary double-dealers and expand the number of revolutionary double-dealers.
Third, the aim of carrying out overt work is to begin covert work. Without using overt work as a cover, it would be very difficult for us to undertake covert work; overt work guarantees the success of covert work.
Fourth, open and secret armed forces complement and are co-ordinated with each other. The former can conceal the existence of the latter, and the latter can shield the sustained operations of the former.
From the above, it is clear that, like the legal and illegal struggle, overt and covert work are closely connected, and are co-ordinated with and complement each other. Therefore, when we organize a legal struggle, we should also consider its co-ordination with the illegal struggle, and vice versa. By connection and co-ordination we do not mean that they should be mixed up with each other or that a person should be engaged in both kinds of work, because this way he is bound to expose himself and fail. It must be emphasized that while we allow no abandoning of the legal struggle and overt work and advocate the best use of any slight opportunities available for carrying out the legal struggle and overt work, our aim is to further the illegal struggle and undertake covert work, in order to build up our revolutionary strength and weaken the enemy. Failure to recognize this point will lead to the error of legalism. While conducting the legal struggle, we should, on the one hand, try to lead the masses to victory and, on the other, fully expose the vicious face of the enemy. If victory is attained in the struggle, we should point out to the masses that this kind of victory is limited and that it is the result of a united struggle waged by the Chinese people, aided by the anti-Japanese army and government, lest the masses should cherish illusions about the enemy. If the legal struggle fails, it is essential to seize every opportunity to encourage the masses to continue the struggle against the enemy. Moreover, in the course of the legal struggle we should try to get a full understanding of the enemy and the contradictions among his ranks. In the past some comrades considered the enemy to be a monolithic bloc; this view is absolutely subjective and erroneous.
With the struggle behind enemy lines rising here and subsiding there, there must be constant adjustment in the balance between overt and covert work and the legal and illegal struggle. Although we ourselves want to expand the illegal struggle, we often cannot because the necessary objective conditions are lacking. Sometimes certain localities become our concealed base areas, thereby expanding the illegal struggle, and sometimes the possibility of an illegal struggle is greatly reduced as a result of the enemy’s destruction. In the face of such constant changes, we have to work surely and steadily at all times, trying not to expose ourselves not to be too irritating to the enemy and preparing for vigorous covert work. In this way we can make an orderly retreat and avoid serious reverses under a perilous situation.
7. Making Political Offensive a Regular Practice.
This means that, except for a major event or issue of overall importance, political offensives shall be conducted, not in regions as a whole, but constantly in sub-regions, counties or even small areas, according to specific local demands. Only such political offensives can really get to the heart of the matter, and only when they are combined with the demands of the current local struggles can they truly hit the enemy where it hurts and, furthermore, closely tie in with the interests of the people.
The wealth of experience accumulated in past political offensives should be used appropriately. However, we must point out that in the past we devoted most of our efforts to extensive propaganda work, while organizational work in enemy-occupied areas was not put on the agenda. The propaganda and agitation work conducted in enemy-occupied areas has laid the foundation for future organizational work, which is a significant achievement. In future political offensives we should not only intensify the work, but also put it on an organizational level and make it an important weapon in the organizational work in enemy-occupied areas.
To this end, in our political offensives we must make plans to unite with enlightened and progressive persons in enemy-occupied areas, especially intellectuals, to help them set up anti-Japanese organizations or to arrange for them to visit base areas secretly. We must establish underground Party organizations and recruit Party members prudently, and work hard to win over double-dealers and help them become revolutionary ones. We must assist the local people in their legal and illegal struggles, safeguard the people’s interests and, through the struggle, temper their courage to resist Japan. When conditions are ripe, we should also set up concealed guerrilla groups among the people or other forms of anti-Japanese armed forces and build small, concealed guerrilla base areas-this last objective being the most important goal for our future political offensives.
As the backbone of future political offensives against the enemy, armed working teams must be reinforced and include people who have close ties with the local people, so as to make political offensives a regular practice. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the military and political qualities of the guerrilla units (county and district primary guerrilla detachments) in border areas between the enemy-occupied areas and our base areas, so that they can launch political offensives. Meanwhile, to strengthen organizational work, Party activities, especially the activities of the anti-Japanese democratic government, must be increased in enemy-occupied areas in the course of unified political offensives against the enemy.
8. Establishing Party Organizations in Enemy-Occupied Areas
I shall only mention this task here; I am not going to discuss how to establish such organizations. Many of our comrades are quite experienced in this respect. In the past few years, however, we have completely ignored this basic task, a state of affairs which cannot continue.
The task of the underground Party organizations in enemy-occupied areas is to gather strength secretly by every means available and to bide their time. They should try to organize well-selected cadres to work underground as extensively as possible. Party members should try to infiltrate all enemy and puppet organizations, as well as local feudal organizations, to carry out their own activities and overcome past tendencies to work in the dark without the assistance of others and keep themselves aloof from others (actually a manifestation of “wait-and-see” mentality).
(The main points from Part Three of “A General Account of the Struggle Against the Enemy Over the Past Five Years and the Policy for the Struggle Against the Enemy in the Future”, a report delivered at a meeting of senior cadres of the Taihang Sub-bureau of the CPC Central Committee. The full text of this part was carried in Combat, No. 15, (supplement) published by the Taihang Sub-bureau on March 15, 1943.)