Part 3 The first steps to establish cooperation between the CCP and other political parties 1948-1949


May 1, 1948 Mao Zedong makes the first move to create a new political conference with other political parties and persons. The Central Committee (CC) issues an invitation in their slogan of the May 1 celebration “Every democratic party and group, every people’s organization and social dignitary should (join together to) promptly convene a (new) Political Consultative Conference (PPC) to discuss and then convoke a people’s representative congress that wil turn establish a democratic coalition government”.
Lutze Thomas D. (2007). China’s inevitable revolution. Rethinking America’s loss to the communists. New York. Page 158
Already in October 1947 the PLA issues a manifesto declaring: “Unite the workers, peasants, soldiers, students, and commercial elements, all oppressed classes, all people's organizations, all democratic parties and groups, all national minorities, overseas Chinese everywhere and other patriotic elements — unite to organize a national united front to strike down the dictatorial government of Chiang Kai-shek and establish a democratic coalition government.” December 1947 Mao ads to this statement "this united front must also be under the firm leadership of the Chinese Communist Party."
Document: 25-12-1947 The present situation and our tasks

Response....

The response on the May 1st appeal is overwhelming. Particularly from political leaders who have fled to Hong Kong after 1948 when Jiang Jieshi decided to forbid several political parties.
These politicians had nowhere to go but to the communists to realize their ideals or they had to retreat into passivity. Not only politicians are positive, about 50% of the students are in favour of forming a coalition government.
Pepper Suzanne (1971). The student movement and the Chinese civil war, 1945-49. The China Quarterly, 48. Page 734
The first talks between the CCP and the minzhu dangpai take place in the Northeast, which is under the control of the PLA. Many of these political refugees in Hong Kong reach Harbin by boat and by crossing the border with North Korea. The communist spy Pan Hannian is responsible for the transport of at least 350 sympathizers from Hong Kong to areas in the north controlled by the communists. They are eager to leave Hong Kong because the secret police of the GMD is persecuting them even in Hong Kong.
During their stay in the Northeast several representatives of the minzhu dangpai made a tour around the cities and rural areas which are ruled by the communists. “Having learned first-hand about the conditions –the successes and the problems- facing leaders in the liberated areas, the democrats were at last ready to join the CCP to begin their work of nation-building in earnest”.
Lutze(2007) Page 184

The secret meeting in Harbin (November 1948) with members of the minzhu dangpai, like Shen Junru, Li Jishen and Zhang Bojun and on the CCP side with Gao Gang and Li Fuchun ends in the decision to establish a preparatory Committee to form a political consultative conference. The joint statement mentions who is allowed to join.
Chang
Chang Carsun (1952). The third force in China. New York. Page 261
states: “…only those parties, associations, and non-partisan leaders who openly opposed American imperialism, reactionary Kuomintang rule, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism, would be admitted as members, and that all reactionary parties or members who worked with the Nanking Government would be ipso facto debarred.” See also
See Mao Zedong: "On the September meeting –circular of the central committee of the communist party of China”, October 10, 1948, SWM volume IV, pg. 274
Before and during this negotiations the minzhu dangpai try to make some major changes in the program. "Pressentant les transformations à venir,
Luo Longji
Luo Longji (1898-1965) Politician
,
Zhang Lan
Zhang Lan (1872-1955) under house arrest in Shanghai
et
Huang Yanpei
Huang Yanpei (1878-1965) Educator member of the Central People's Government
remettent en octobre leurs propositions à
Wu Han
Wu Han (1909-1969) 2nd left, Zhou Enlai 3rd left, Shen Junru 4th left
avant son départ en zone communiste….(note 23) Ils proposent au parti communiste l’instauration d’un système d’assemblée (yihuizhidu ) ; une politique étrangère équilibrée (xiehe waijiao zhengce ) qui permettrait le maintien de relations avec l’URSS et les États-Unis ; la possibilité pour la Ligue démocratique de quitter le gouvernement de coalition et de devenir un parti d’opposition (yedang ); enfin d’éviter les doubles affiliations des membres de la Ligue."
Vidal Christine (2008). D’un régime à l’autre : Les intellectuels ralliés au pouvoir communiste, 1948-1952. Etudes chinoises, 27. Page 50
Translation: Foreseeing the coming transformations, Luo Longji, Zhang Lan and Huang Yanpei propose in October to Wu Han before his departure to communist area .... (Note 23) They propose to the Communist Party's establishment of an assembly system (yihuizhidu); a balanced foreign policy (Xiehe waijiao zhengce) that would maintain relations with the USSR and the United States; the ability of the Democratic League of leaving the coalition government and become an opposition party (Yedang); Finally, to avoid double affiliations of members of the League.

Provisional program of actions....

Shortly hereafter the negotiators of the CCP and the minzhu dangpai decide to draft a provisional program of actions. One of the main clause is this program is the right of the minzhu dangpai to decide not to sign the definitive agreement or to withdraw from the preparatory committee. In reality the minzhu dangpai don’t have real power to make this kind of demands as Mazur
Mazur Mary G. (1997). The united front redefined for the party-state: A case study of transition and legitimation in T. Cheek & T. Saich (Eds.), New perspectives on state socialism of China New York. Page 58
points out: "However, this provision was contrary to the Leninist principle of democratic centralism in which the minority has no choice but to agree with the majority. Even though the democratic people gained this acknowledgment of the right to withdraw, in fact, since the minority would be excluded from the political arena if it withdrew, it would have been little more than a symbolic act. The completion of the Common Agreement was the first step in the founding of the civil state and coalition government."
This limitation is not an obstacle for the minzhu dangpai, the proposal to form a coalition government is a big step forward. The GMD never wanted to constitute such a government. “…the very word coalition meant that there was a place in it for them from the beginning. This was legitimacy that they had never been accorded by the Nationalists”.
Mazur (1997) Page 59
See also Young-Tsu Wong, The Fate of Liberalism in Revolutionary China: Chu Anping and His Circle, 1946-1950. Modern China, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Oct., 1993), pg. 472
But not only the minzhu dangpai win in this situation also the CCP has a lot to win. The CCP considers these parties “… of great symbolic and practical importance. In China they were conduits to the "middle elements", the great mass of people between the CCP and GMD”
Groot G.(2004). Managing transitions: The Chinese communist party, united front work, corporatism, and hegemony. New York. Page xviii
Grad
Grad Elizabeth (2001) "The Urban Response to the Rural Land Reform During the Chinese Civil War: 1945-1949" (2001). Honors Projects. Paper 15. Page 43
describes: "The Democratic League would be the most important group that the Chinese Communist Party sought as an ally. Their independent character and inclusion of students, businessmen, and intelligencia made them an invaluable source when the Communists pursued the ultimate goal of a socialist revolution of the proletariat in the cities."
Lim (2016) notes, that Mao Zedong not only invited the Zhi Gong Party as representatives of the Overseas Chinese but also individual delegates from overseas to participate directly in the united front, and as a separate constituency in its own right.
"even as the CCP CC began to invite delegates to prepare for a new PCC, it sought the direct participation of certain huaqiao (overseas Chinese) notables, and in this, the CCP proved to be remarkably successful.12 Indeed, the CCP was able to—very publicly—win one of the most famous of the huaqiao (Chen Jiageng/Tan Kah Kee) over to the cause of the New Democracy." In a CCP CC directive sent to its Hong Kong and Shanghai branches, Chen Qiyou and Situ Meitang were listed as Zhigong Party delegates, and separate from the huaqiao invitees, Tan Kah Kee, Feng Yufang, and Wang Renshu. Lim Jin Li (2016). New China and its Qiaowu: The Political Economy of Overseas Chinese policy in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1959. Page 46 and note 12
The author of the New Year message (1949) of the CCP make a statement about joining the revolutionary cause. "We hold that the Chinese people's revolutionary camp must be expanded and must embrace all who are willing to join the revolutionary cause at the present stage. The Chinese people's revolution needs a main force and also needs allies, for an army without allies cannot defeat the enemy"
Document: 30-12-1948 Mao Zedong Carry the revolution through to the end


map of civil war february 1949

Civil war situation November 1948




Literature Notes Documents...

1.Lutze Thomas D. (2007). China’s inevitable revolution. Rethinking America’s loss to the communists. New York. Page 158 Back
2.25-12-1947 The present situation and our tasks. Mao Zedong quots the PLA manifesto Back
3.Pepper Suzanne (1971). The student movement and the Chinese civil war, 1945-49. The China Quarterly, 48. Page 734 Back
4.Lutze(2007) Page 184 Back
5.Chang Carsun (1952). The third force in China. New York. Page 261 Back
6. See Mao Zedong: “On the September meeting –circular of the central committee of the communist party of China”, October 10, 1948, SWM volume IV, pg. 274 Back
7.Vidal Christine (2008). D’un régime à l’autre : Les intellectuels ralliés au pouvoir communiste, 1948-1952. Etudes chinoises, 27. Page 50 Back
8. Foreseeing the coming transformations, Luo Longji, Zhang Lan and Huang Yanpei propose in October to Wu Han before his departure to communist area .... (Note 23) They propose to the Communist Party's establishment of an assembly system (yihuizhidu); a balanced foreign policy (Xiehe waijiao zhengce) that would maintain relations with the USSR and the United States; the ability of the Democratic League of leaving the coalition government and become an opposition party (Yedang); Finally, to avoid double affiliations of members of the League. Back
9.Mazur Mary G. (1997). The united front redefined for the party-state: A case study of transition and legitimation in T. Cheek & T. Saich (Eds.), New perspectives on state socialism of China New York. Page 58 Back
10.Mazur (1997) Page 59 Back
11. See also Young-Tsu Wong, The Fate of Liberalism in Revolutionary China: Chu Anping and His Circle, 1946-1950. Modern China, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Oct., 1993), pg. 472 Back
12Groot G.(2004). Managing transitions: The Chinese communist party, united front work, corporatism, and hegemony. New York. Page xviii Back
13.Grad Elizabeth (2001) "The Urban Response to the Rural Land Reform During the Chinese Civil War: 1945-1949" (2001). Honors Projects. Paper 15. Page 43 Back
14. "even as the CCP CC began to invite delegates to prepare for a new PCC, it sought the direct participation of certain huaqiao (overseas Chinese) notables, and in this, the CCP proved to be remarkably successful.12 Indeed, the CCP was able to—very publicly—win one of the most famous of the huaqiao (Chen Jiageng/Tan Kah Kee) over to the cause of the New Democracy." "In a CCP CC directive sent to its Hong Kong and Shanghai branches, Chen Qiyou and Situ Meitang were listed as Zhigong Party delegates, and separate from the huaqiao invitees, Tan Kah Kee, Feng Yufang, and Wang Renshu."" Lim Jin Li (2016). New China and its Qiaowu: The Political Economy of Overseas Chinese policy in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1959 Page 46 and note 12 Back
Next Part 4: Collaboration CCP with minzhu dangpai