Part 7 The Preparatory Conference of June 15, 1949 – June 19, 1949



October 10, 1925 Founding ZGD

November, 1927 Founding Peasants
and Workers Democratic Party
May 31, 1936 Founding Chinese People's
National Salvation Association
March, 1941 Founding CDL


December 30, 1945 Founding CAPD

December 16, 1945 Founding Democratic
National Construction Association


December 30, 1945 Founding CAPD
Democratic Foundation Of The Chinese GMD.
May 4, 1946 Founding Jiu San
November 12, 1947 Founding Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League
January 1, 1948 Founding Revolutionairy GMD
March 1, 1949 Founding All-China Student Federation
March 24, 1949 Founding All-China Federation of Democratic Women
May 4, 1949 Founding All- China Federation of Democratic Youth
 May, 1949Trade union enlarged meeting in preperation for the CPPCC
Representatives of preparatory meeting China's National Social scientists
June, 1949 All- China Journalist Association
June, 1949 Founding Preparatory Committee of the China Federation of Education Workers
June, 1949	Preperatory meeting of the PLA headquarter
July 1949, The national literary artists congress meets in preperation for the CPPCC
July 13, 1949, The national natural science congress
The CCP has invited 135 congress participants to come to Beijing to hold a preparatory meeting. The purpose of this gathering is to work on a Common Program. On the first day of the meeting, June 15, 1949 Mao Zedong calls them to take on the necessary preparations for convening a political consultative conference. He is convinced this meeting will be a success, because all the delegates want to make an end to the domination of imperialism, feudalism and capitalism and they all want to eliminate the GMD government.
Mao Zedong states: "This battle can be won because equal minded people can beat those enemies and make it possible to strive for a China that is independent, which has peace, unity, power and prosperity. He also claims there are 2 important tasks for the new coalition government. The first one is to eliminate all reactionaries, the second is economic recovery."
Document: 15-06-1949 Mao Zedong Address to the preparatory meeting of the new political consultative conference

2nd Plenum of the 7th CC

Opening conference June 15, 1949

The 135 delegates to the conference represent 23 organisations. They are from different areas of China and have different political, social and economic background.
Table Background of the delegates of the preparatory meeting of the CPPCC June 1949
About 50 delegates are member of the CCP although during the meeting they should represent their minzhu dangpai. See for an explanation Dual membership.
Only 18 delegates are females. The congress participants have different backgrounds.
Chen Mingshu
Chen Mingshu (1890-1965)
is a military educated person, who was prime minister in the GMD government. Dissatisfied with Jiang Jieshi’s policy, he leaves the GMD. He is very impressed by the military strength and discipline of the PLA and in 1949 he is a middleman during the negotiations between the CCP and US ambassador Stuart. He is a delegate at this conference for the Revolutionary GMD (Rev.GMD).
Chen Jiageng
Chen Jiageng (1874–1961)
better known as Tan Kah Kee is a prominent businessman, who in his youth immigrated to Singapore. He rapidly became a successful entrepreneur. In 1940 after a meeting with Mao Zedong he supports the communists and he tries to persuade Overseas Chinese to stop their funding to the GMD regime. In 1946 he even asks American president Truman to stop the aid for Jiang Jieshi. In January 1949 he accepts the invitation for the preparatory meeting of the CPPCC but he insists that his visit to China is for the purpose of touring to see for himself the situation in the liberated areas. He is a delegate at this meeting for the Overseas Chinese. In February 1950 he returns to Singapore and in May 1950 he leaves for China definitely.
Lu Hu (2008)Changing Roles, Continuing Ideas: Tan Kah Kee in 1949 and 1950. Journal of Chinese overseas 4, (1). Page 2
His decision to stay in China after May 1950 became a significant patriotic symbol for the overseas Chinese, and also an inspiration for thousands of Chinese youths in Southeast Asia to go to China in the 1950's.
Many delegates have studied on universities and have been abroad for their study or/and for their work. Most of them have been in Japan. In West Europe: France and Germany are favourite destinations. In East Europe the SU. America is also a very popular destination.
A number of prominent people receive a personal invitation of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. They are not affiliated with any political party or organization. "Political participation for Chinese liberals, however, did not necessarily mean joining one of the existing political parties or founding a party themselves. Prominent Chinese academics and intellectuals evidently felt that, even though they stood aloof from quotidian politics, they could still be much more politically influential than their European or American counterparts, presumably due to the legacy of the traditional literates influence."
Wong Young-Tsu (1993) The fate of liberalism in revolutionary China: Chu Anping and his circle, 1946-1950. Modern China, 19, (4). Page 459
Their role after the regime change in October 1949 did not end.
"…old intellectuals. Some, with national fame, received honorary positions because they had been targets of the CCP's united front policy. Others were assigned to specialist positions where they could utilize their expertise. Old intellectuals could not claim virtue or seniority, but they possessed knowledge that the regime needed, and it helped them to survive in functional positions."
Lee Hong Yung (1991). From revolutionary cadres to party technocrats in socialist China. Berkeley University of California Press. Page 51

Dual membership....

Several members of the CCP are also (secretly) followers of one or more minzhu dangpai.
Chu Tunan
Chu Tunan (1899-1994)
, a historian born in Hunan, is party member since 1926 but he is also member of the CDL. This dual membership is common. Some are directly send to influence internally the minzhu dangpai. This policy becomes official after 1949.
Chang
Chang Yu-Nan (1956). The Chinese communist state system under the constitution of 1954. The Journal of Politics, 18 (3). Page 52
states: "It is worth noting that while the CPC has been willing to encourage the minor parties to expand, it is also suggested as early as May, 1951, that Communist Party members be included in the minor parties up to ten or twenty per cent of the total membership for the purpose of assisting them in organizational matter."
It is very difficult to tell how many double memberships exists. The work of the United Front department is secret. Only 2 years before his death in 1980 it became publicly known that
Sha Qianli
Sha Qianli (1901-1982) Deputy Minister of Trade (1949-1952), the Deputy vice Minister of Commerce (1952-1954), and the Minister of Local Industry (1954-56).
, member of the CNDCA, also was a member of the CCP. Sometimes a person wants to become a member of the CCP but is refused on tactical grounds. The CDL leader
Wu Han
Wu Han (1909-1969) Historian
applies for membership in 1948 but Zhou Enlai convinces him his role in the United Front is too important. In 1957 Wu Han becomes secretly a CCP member. The CCP seeks for support of the intellectuals but does not want a large amount of them within the party.
There is also a group, who lost contact during the civil war with the CCP and they looked for political shelter in the minzhu dangpai. The third group are persons who are member of the minzhu dangpai, and later on become CCP member.
Qian Jiaju
Qian Jiaju (1909-2002)
Qian Jiaju (1989) Memoir on Democratic Parties JPRS report China, JPRS-CAR-89-047,17 May 1989 Page 26
, who is member of the CCP and CDL, says in his memoires: "Political parties in capitalist countries are exclusive. No one can join two political parties at the same time. But it is different in China. There are many overlapping members and people are used to them. Even a leader of one party can be a member of another party… This is why it is unrealistic and impossible to change democratic parties into opposition parties, as suggested by many young friends. These Chinese-style democratic parties can only be little parties under the leadership of the CPC."
Barnett
Barnett A Doak (1949). ADB -33 September 6, 1949. Page 3
writes on 6 September 1949: "By far the majority of them can be called Kuomintang dissidents: that is they are people who at one time belonged to the Kuomintang but broke away from it because of political differences, persecution or personal rivalries. … The way in which the past histories of many of these men are intertwined would sound like the plot of a complicated historical novel if fully described."
…according to a Joint declaration of these parties, issued early in 1951, they announced their intention to recruit new members in accordance with the following formula defining these "principally eligible" for membership in the various parties: 21 For the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang: Kuomintang members who at present still occupy government positions and those who have rendered distinguished services in the work of resisting American aggression and helping Korea or in the land reform. For the China Democratic League: Petty bourgeois intelligentsia, particularly educational and cultural workers, college students, : technicians, practitioners, government employees and patriotic and- . overseas Chinese. For the China Democratic National Construction Association': National industrialists and merchants. ' For the China Peasants ' and Workers ' Democratic Party : Government employees, specialists and technicians. For the China Association for Promoting Democracy: Progressive intelligentsia, practitioners and administrative workers. The Chiu San Society will admit new memb ers mainly from, among progressive workers in cultural, educational and scientific fields. New China News Agency Dally Bulletin No. 211 (m1m.), London, January 31, 1951.
2nd Plenum of the 7th CC

September 17, 1949 Zhou Enlai at the second preparatory meeting

Mass organisations....

Not only minzhu dangpai members are invited but also members of mass organizations. These are for example the All-China Federation of Labours (ACFL). An organization founded in 1925. Liu Shaoqi is vice chairman of this trade union. The All-China Federation of Democratic Women (ACFDW) founded just before this meeting on March 1949. The Honorary President is Soong Ching Ling, the wife of Sun Yat sen. The All-China Federation of Students (ACFS) also founded in March 1949. These organizations are specially founded for this meeting in June. After this political consultative conference other mass organizations are founded to be able to send delegates to the political consultative conference of September 1949.
These mass organisations ".. all of which are political in character, are not, strictly speaking, elements in the bureaucratic "organizations of state power," but in countless ways they are tied to the party, the army, and (later to) the government, and they form an essential part of the organizational matrix of Chinese Communist rule. They are the organizational link between the bureaucratic ruling agencies and the masses."
Barnett A Doak (1951). Mass political organizations in communist China. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 277. Page 76

The majority of the organizations convene shortly before this political consultative conference their own congress to choose their delegates for this preparatory conference.
Most of the participants at this conference are enthusiast.
Wu Yaozhong
Wu Yaozhong (1893-1979) Theologist
, a delegate for the Christian religious people tells during the meeting: "It is time now that Christians should free themselves from capitalist and imperialist traditions”
Cited in Luo Zhufeng (ed), (1991). Religion under socialism in China. New York. Page 56
Also the Buddhists are very positive. In a letter to Mao Zedong and leaders of the minzhu dangpai
Ju Zan
Ju Zan (1908-1984)
writes: "All Buddhists have expressed their admiration and appreciative joy over the dawn of the new era.
2. Buddhists would like to give ten thousand thanks to the Chinese Communist Party for eliminating feudalism and superstition, which have long defiled the sangha, and Buddhists are looking forward to a new life.
3. Buddhism, unlike other religions, is atheism, and it advocates the realization of the doctrines of non-self and serving others. Therefore, it is comparable to the spirit of the time (Marxism). The appearance of a new form of Buddhism in China would facilitate the liberation of Tibet and Taiwan, where Buddhism is much revered. New Buddhism will also help promote diplomatic friendship with neighboring Buddhist countries, thus contributing to world revolution.
4. A movement of "shifting to production" and "shifting to scholarship" should be carried out among the sangha so that the feudal system and superstitious beliefs could be destroyed, and backward Buddhists could be transformed.”
Cited in Xue Yu (2009). Buddhists in China during the Korean war: 1951-1953. in Michael Jerryson (Ed.), Buddhist Warfare. Oxford University Press. Page 221
Also other delegates are excited,
Huang Yanpei
Huang Yanpei (1878-1965) Economist. Minister of Light Industry 1949-1954
, an economist talks about a building with 5 entrees: “Independence, democracy, peace, unity, and prosperity with power. The flag atop the building was the banner of New Democracy”
Cited in Lutze Thomas D. (2007). China’s inevitable revolution. Rethinking America’s loss to the communists. New York. Page 184

Selection....

How sincere and 'voluntary' this enthusiasm of the delegates is, is hard to determine because “No organization of the Churches was given any opportunity of electing these or any other delegates. The 'delegates' were selected by the Communist authorities who designated them as the 'representatives of the Churches'."
Outerbridge L. M. (no date). The lost churches of China. Philadelphia. Page 174

“The party required that all conference delegates accept three conditions: that the ccp would exercise leadership; that the revolution had to pursued to the end (…): and that the Party was to build a people’s democratic dictatorship which did not include counterrevolutionaries and denied the possibility of a third road."
Groot G. (1997). Managing transitions: The Chinese communist party united front work, minor parties and groups, hegemony and corporatism. Adelaide. Page 159-169
The future participants of the CPPCC are extensively vetted for their sympathies. Their feelings range from anti-Japanese, anti Jiang Jieshi, anti-feudalism and anti-American to pro Soviet Union and pro unitary state.
Remarkable is the large number of traditional doctors granted membership in "… the People's Political Consultative Conferences was frequently cited as proof of traditional doctors' improved status under the Communist regime. There was no campaign to criticise any surviving "feudal" influences in their thinking. Perhaps traditional Chinese doctors quickly and easily shed the cloak of conservatism which twentieth-century modernists previously found so offensive. The contrasting treatment by the Communist government, however, rather suggests that they have found any traditional conservatism represented by such forces as the traditional doctors far less dangerous than the bourgeois ideas and specialists' claims to autonomy of the modern medical profession."
Croizier Ralph C. (1965). Traditional medicine in communist China: Science, communism and cultural nationalism. The China Quarterly, 23. Page 14
Even those who chose not to participate in the CPPCC saw themselves as Liang Shuming puts it as ‘loyal opposition” “a wish shared by those who chose to stay on the mainland after 1949.”
Fung Edmund S. K. (2000).In search of Chinese democracy : Civil opposition in nationalist China, 1929-1949. New York Cambridge University Press. Page 333
In 1949 the CCP has over 5 million members. The minzhu dangpai have 20.000 members in total. Yip
Yip Tin Sang (1998). United front policy in practice: a case study of the China Democratic League, 1939-1949. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Page 1
notices difficulties in determining the total number of minzhu dangpai members because in 1947 the GMD regime prohibited some parties. According to rough estimates the CDL had 15.000 members in 1947.

Decisions of the preparatory meeting....

This preparatory meeting ends with the election of a permanent committee of 21 members. Mao Zedong and Zhu De are on behave of the CCP chairmen. Li Jishen (Rev. GMD) is also elected chairman and
Lin Boqu
Lin Boqu (also known as Lin Tsu-han) (1881-1960) secretary-general of the Preparatory Committee of CPPCC
(CCP) is general secretary. The committee choses members for 6 workgroups. Their job is the composition of the list of participants for the next political consultative conference, to prepare a Common Program and organic laws. One law for the new political consultative conference and one for the coalition government. The workgroups have also to decide on the new national emblem, a national flag and a national hymn. Zhou Enlai coordinates the 6 groups and Mao Zedong supervises the work on the Common Program.
The 29 year old Wu Jian has been asked to end the congress in a celebratory way. He uses the popular Yangge. This is a combination of dance and song. Its origin lays in rural dance performances and is used by the CCP cultural department for propaganda aims. The Huairen hall of Zhongnanhai in Beijing is filled with the delegates on the evening of June 19, 1949 to enjoy the theatre performance. One of the acts performed is ‘The big Yangge of the celebration of Liberation’ in which the liberation of Beijing and the successes in the war against the GMD are the main topics. The audience is very impressed. See also Aricle 45
Hung
Hung Chang-tai (2010). The anti–unity sect campaign and mass mobilization in the early People's Republic of China. The The China Quarterly, 202. Page 408
explains: "Targeting rural audiences, the propagandists relied on yangge, a familiar folk art, as a tool. New yangge –a reformed rural dance instilled with political themes extolling the achievements of communist rule – and its accompanying short plays…, popular since the Yan'an era, became a political instrument to channel anti-sect messages to the villagers."


Literature Notes Documents...

3. Lu Hu (2008)Changing Roles, Continuing Ideas: Tan Kah Kee in 1949 and 1950. Journal of Chinese overseas 4, (1). Page 2 Back
4.Wong Young-Tsu (1993) The fate of liberalism in revolutionary China: Chu Anping and his circle, 1946-1950. Modern China, 19, (4). Page 459 Back
5. Lee Hong Yung (1991). From revolutionary cadres to party technocrats in socialist China. Berkeley University of California Press. Page 51 Back
6. Chang Yu-Nan (1956). The Chinese communist state system under the constitution of 1954. The Journal of Politics, 18 (3). Page 526 Back
7. Qian Jiaju (1989) Memoir on Democratic Parties JPRS report China, JPRS-CAR-89-047,17 May 1989 Page 26 Back
8. Barnett A Doak (1949). ADB -33 September 6, 1949. Page 3 Back
9. "…according to a Joint declaration of these parties, issued early in 1951, they announced their intention to recruit new members in accordance with the following formula defining these "principally eligible" for membership in the various parties: 21 For the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang: Kuomintang members who at present still occupy government positions and those who have rendered distinguished services in the work of resisting American aggression and helping Korea or in the land reform. For the China Democratic League: Petty bourgeois intelligentsia, particularly educational and cultural workers, college students, : technicians, practitioners, government employees and patriotic and- . overseas Chinese. For the China Democratic National Construction Association': National industrialists and merchants. ' For the China Peasants ' and Workers ' Democratic Party : Government employees, specialists and technicians. For the China Association for Promoting Democracy: Progressive intelligentsia, practitioners and administrative workers. The Chiu San Society will admit new memb ers mainly from, among progressive workers in cultural, educational and scientific fields. New China News Agency Dally Bulletin No. 211 (m1m.), London, January 31, 1951. Back
10. Barnett A Doak (1951). Mass political organizations in communist China. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 277. Page 76 Back
11. Cited in Luo Zhufeng (ed), (1991). Religion under socialism in China. New York. Page 56 Back
12. Cited in Xue Yu (2009). Buddhists in China during the Korean war: 1951-1953. in Michael Jerryson (Ed.), Buddhist Warfare. Oxford University Press. Page 221 Back
13. Cited in Lutze Thomas D. (2007). China’s inevitable revolution. Rethinking America’s loss to the communists. New York. Page 184 Back
14. Outerbridge L. M. (no date). The lost churches of China. Philadelphia. Page 174 Back
15. Groot G. (1997). Managing transitions: The Chinese communist party united front work, minor parties and groups, hegemony and corporatism. Adelaide. Page 159-169 Back
16. Croizier Ralph C. (1965). Traditional medicine in communist China: Science, communism and cultural nationalism. The China Quarterly, 23. Page 14 Back
17. Fung Edmund S. K. (2000).In search of Chinese democracy : Civil opposition in nationalist China, 1929-1949. New York Cambridge University Press. Page 333 Back
18. Yip Tin Sang (1998). United front policy in practice: a case study of the China Democratic League, 1939-1949. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Page 1 Back
19.Hung Chang-tai (2010). The anti–unity sect campaign and mass mobilization in the early People's Republic of China. The The China Quarterly, 202. Page 408 Back

Meetings....

  • 15-06-1949 – 19-06-1949: Preparatory meeting of the CPPCC
    Next Part 8: The prelude to the Plenum of the first CPPCC and Mao Zedong’s ‘On the people’s democratic dictatorship