Part 10 The first plenum of the CPPCC of September 21, 1949 – September 30, 1949


This time on the first day of the CPPCC conference the CCP presents the delegates a swirling and promotional Yangge show. See Part 7 .

The young artists Guang Weiran (Zhang Guangnian [1913-2002]) and Hu Sha (1922-) are responsible for this performance and they have written an act called “the great musical of Long Live The People’s Victory” and there are some 250 dancers and singers active. "The purpose of the show is “to demonstrate the idea of the people’s democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the proletariat, the importance of workers and peasants as the foundation [of the nation], and the great unity of the various national minorities.”
Hung Chang-tai (2007). Mao’s parades: State spectacles in China in the 1950s. The China Quarterly, 190. Page 89
The spectacle is also a tribute to the communist leaders and particularly to Mao Zedong.

The delegates....

662 delegates representing 45 different organizations as well some special invited guests are convening. 585 delegates are qualified to vote (see Gallery ), from whom 323 are CCP member. There are 69 women present, 7 persons represent different religious movements: Buddhism (2) and Christianity (5).The Islam representatives are incorporated in the minority delegates.
Zhou Enlai comments on this situation on April 13, 1950 "We have united democratic personages from religious groups just because they are democratic personages. Giving the permission to the freedom of religious belief is different from inviting the democratic personages from religious groups to participate in CPPCC or other representative meetings. The latter is done purely out of political consideration no matter they are priests or monks.”
Cited in Xue Yu (2009). Buddhists in China during the Korean war: 1951-1953. in Michael Jerryson (Ed.), Buddhist Warfare. Oxford University Press. Page 156
102 delegates represent regional areas, 60 delegates represent the PLA, but many regional delegates are also members of the PLA. In total there are 108 PLA representatives. 142 delegates represent 14 political parties and 206 persons represent mass organizations. The youngest participant is 20 years old, the oldest is 90 years of age. See Table 3
Table 3 Characteristics of the delegates of the Plenum CPPCC 21 september 1949
and Table 4
Table 4 Characteristics of the delegates of the Plenum CPPCC 21 september 1949
shows the official list. The exact number of participant who are actually in Beijing is difficult to determine. Probably 634 or 635 are at the Congress but also the number of 614 persons is mentioned.

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There are also 300 onlookers, including 31 journalists. 4 of them came from SU, Korea and Italy. There are several new organisations present. They have been founded between June and September 1949. For instance: the All-China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (FLAC) which is founded in July 1949. Its chairman is
Guo Moro
Guo Muruo (1892-1978) at 1st meeting of CPPCC
, a CCP member.
The leaders of the CCP keep speeches in which they firmly oppose the GMD regime and assure the public their cooperation with the minzhu dangpai is sincere and lasting.
Mao Zedong posits that this conference cannot be compared with the old political consultative conference of the GMD in 1946. "The present Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is convened on an entirely new foundation; it is representative of the people of the whole country and enjoys their trust and support. Therefore, the conference proclaims that it will exercise the functions and powers of a National People's Congress."
Document: 21-09-1949 Mao Zedong "The Chinese people have stood up!" Several political parties are not allowed to particpate, for example: Sun Wenshi Revolutionary League, Civil Society Party, China Youth Labor Party, Restoration league, Chinese Peasant Party, Chinese Democratic Party, Chinese Civilian Education Promotion Association, People's Democratic Freedom Union, Democratic Progressive Party and Chinese People's Liberal Party

The role of the CCP....

Liu Shaoqi confirms the role of the CCP and also the sincerity of the CCP: "The Communist Party of China participates and sincerely cooperates with other democratic parties and groups, people's organisations, national minorities, Overseas Chinese and other patriotic elements on the basis of the common programme of New Democracy, in the People's Political Consultative Conference, as a political party to decide on all the important questions of China. The Communist Party of China will resolutely carry out and struggle to realise thoroughly all the resolutions of the People's Political Consultative Conference which it has taken part in passing. The Communist Party of China will struggle for the highest prestige of the People's Political Consultative Conference, and will not allow anyone to undermine the People's Political Consultative Conference.”
Document: 22-09-1949 Liu Shaoqi “Strengthen the Great Revolutionary Unity of the Chinese People”
and he continues, the CCP will “… fully observe all the stipulations of the common programme after it has been discussed and adopted by the Plenary Session of the Political Consultative Conference, and will call on the people throughout the country to struggle for its thorough realisation.” and he reassures the minzhu dangpai that during the period of transition from capitalism to socialism “At that time, the Communist Party of China will certainly consult and make decisions jointly with the democratic parties and groups, people's organisations, national minorities and patriotic democratic persons. The Communist Party of China is, in the future, also willing to enter into Socialism together with all people wilting to do so.”
These words and former speeches of the CCP leaders have persuaded people like
Lu Zuofuo
Mr. Lu is the founder of Minsheng Company, China's shipping industry, who was born in 1893 at Hechuan county Sichuan province
, the founder of the Minsheng Shipping Company (1925) and
Song Feiqing
Song Feiqing (1898-1956)
the director of Dongya Company to participate. Song is chosen as member of the National Committee of the CPPCC. As we have seen before his conviction does not last long and in 1950 he leaves for Hong Kong. See Part 4. Lu Zuofuo is confounded in his faith and in 1952 commits suicides after accusations of bribery.
Yet despite all these promises of the communist leaders of a long-term cooperation between the CCP and the minzhu dangpai, Liu Shaoqi makes it clear on September 13, 1948 during a Politbureau meeting. "Only when we had achieved political power over the country was the democratic revolution concluded. Our earlier conflict with imperialism and feudalism no longer existed. Now the conflict would be between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie." Mao Zedong ads "To make things clear– after the bourgeois democratic revolution was complete, the main internal conflict in China was between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie; the main external conflict was the one with imperialism."
Cited in Yang Kuisong(2007).The evolution of the Chinese Communist Party's policy on the bourgeoisie (1949–1952), Journal of Modern Chinese History, 1:1. Page 16-17

The value of the Common Program....

Zhou Enlai states the Common Program is a minimum program, the CCP has also a maximum program “The decision to omit the maximum program from the Common Program is out of solemn respect for it and does not mean that it is being denied. The economic part of the Common Program has stipulated the actual ensuring of development toward this future."
Document: 22-09-1949 Zhou Enlai "Characteristics of the draft Common Programme of the CPPCC"
Liu Shaoqi also emphasises this difference in a radio broadcast "But it is known to all that the Chinese Communist Party has, in addition to its minimum program, its maximum program which is not included in the Common Program of the CPPCC. In the course of consultation, some delegates proposed to write down the future Socialism of China into the Common Program, but we deem this to be inappropriate, because the taking of considerably Socialist steps in China is a thing of the rather far future. . . . Without doubt, the future of China will travel to-wards Socialism and Communism."
Steiner H. Arthur (1950a). The people's democratic dictatorship in China. The Western Political Quarterly, 3, (1). Page 46-47
In 1958, Mao admitted that "… in 1949 he did not reveal his real agenda and that it was merely a matter of tactics not to publicize it .4 In 1949, unsure of how effectively the party could govern the country, Mao projected an image of the party as being far less communist than it really was, hoping thereby to win support from all social groups—peasants, capitalists, merchants, small-shop owners, peddlers, artisans, and intellectuals.”
Li Hua-yu (2006). Mao and the economic Stalinization of China, 1948-1953. Rowman & Littlefield. Page 2

The drafting of the Common Program....

The Common Program is drafted after broad consultation.
Zhou Jingwen
Zhou Jingwen (1908-1985)
member of the CDL states: "The Common Program was proposed by the CCP. In the committee discussions which followed, some delegates proposed a few amendments, but they were rejected after the Communist delegates explained the reasons for their original proposals. The committees had to confine themselves to deliberating the wording of the proposed text. When the Common Program was referred back to the conference, it was unreservedly, enthusiastically and unanimously passed by a show of hands.… Even the speeches given by the delegates had to be approved beforehand by the Presidium which was, of course, controlled by the CC(P)”
Zhou Jingwen (1960) Ten years of storm: the true story of the Communist regime in China. New York. Page 42
During the conference more than 100 delegates speeches and on the last day Mao Zedong closes the Congress. He calls for "We should organize the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people in political, military, economic, cultural and other organizations and put an end to the disorganized state characterizing the old China, so that the great collective strength of the masses may be tapped both to support the People's Government and the People's Liberation Army and to build a new China, independent, democratic, peaceful, unified, prosperous and strong."
Document: 30-09-1949 Mao Zedong “Long live the great unity of the Chinese people!”



Literature Notes Documents...

1. Hung Chang-tai (2007). Mao’s parades: State spectacles in China in the 1950s. The China Quarterly, 190. Page 89 Back
2. Cited in Xue Yu (2009). Buddhists in China during the Korean war: 1951-1953. in Michael Jerryson (Ed.), Buddhist Warfare. Oxford University Press. Page 156 Back
7.Cited in Yang Kuisong(2007).The evolution of the Chinese Communist Party's policy on the bourgeoisie (1949–1952), Journal of Modern Chinese History, 1:1. Page 16-17 Back
9. Steiner H. Arthur (1950a). The people's democratic dictatorship in China. The Western Political Quarterly, 3, (1). Page 46-47 Back
10. Li Hua-yu (2006). Mao and the economic Stalinization of China, 1948-1953. Rowman & Littlefield. Page 2 Back
11. Zhou Jingwen (1960) Ten years of storm: the true story of the Communist regime in China. New York. Page 42 Back
Next Part 11: Decisions of the Plenum