Whither the Nanking Government?

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Mao Zedong

南京政府向何处去?

4 April 1949

Two roads are open to the Nanking Kuomintang government and its military and administrative personnel. Either they cling to the Chiang Kai-shek clique of war criminals and its master, US imperialism, that is, continue to be the enemy of the people and so perish together with the Chiang Kai-shek clique of war criminals in the People’s War of Liberation. Or they come over to the people, that is, break with the Chiang Kai-shek clique of war criminals and US imperialism, perform meritorious service in the People’s War of Liberation to atone for their crimes and so obtain clemency and understanding from the people. There is no third road.

兩條路擺在南京國民黨政府及其軍政人員的面前:一條是向蔣介石戰犯集團及其主人美國帝國主義靠攏,這就是繼續與人民為敵,而在人民解放戰爭中和蔣介石戰犯集團同歸於盡;一條是向人民靠攏,這就是與蔣介石戰犯集團和美國帝國主義決裂,而在人民解放戰爭中立功贖罪,以求得人民的寬恕和諒解。第三條路是沒有的。

There are three different groups of people in the government of Li Tsung-jen and Ho Ying-chin at Nanking.[1] One group stubbornly persist in following the first road. No matter how plausible they are in words, in deeds they are continuing to prepare for war, to betray the nation and to oppress and massacre the people who are demanding genuine peace. They are Chiang Kai-shek’s followers even unto death. Another group want to follow the second road but have not yet beenle to take any decisive action. The third group are hesitating at the crossroads, and it is uncertain which way they will go. They do not want to offend Chiang Kai-shek and the US government, yet they hope that they will be understood and admitted by the camp of people’s democracy. But this is an illusion and is impossible.

在南京的李宗仁何應欽政府[1]中,存在著三部分人。一部分人堅持地走第一條路。無論他們在口頭上怎樣說得好聽,在行動上他們是繼續備戰,繼續賣國,繼續壓迫和屠殺要求真和平的人民。他們是蔣介石的死黨。一部分人願意走第二條路,但是他們還不能作出有決定性的行動。第三部分是一些徘徊歧路、動向不明的人們。他們既不想得罪蔣介石和美國政府,又想得到人民民主陣營的諒解和容納。但這是幻想,是不可能的。

The Nanking government of Li Tsung-jen and Ho Ying-chin is mainly a mixture of people from the first and third groups, with only a handful from the second. To this day, this government remains a tool of Chiang Kai-shek and the US government.

南京的李宗仁何應欽政府,基本上是第一部分人和第三部分人的混合物,第二部分人為數甚少。這個政府到今天為止,仍然是蔣介石和美國政府的工具。

The massacre which occurred in Nanking on 1 April,[2] was no accident. It was the inevitable result of the actions taken by the government of Li Tsung-jen and Ho Ying-chin to protect Chiang Kai-shek, his sworn followers and the forces of US aggression. It was the result of the absurd trumpeting about ‘honourable peace on an equal footing’ by the government of Li Tsung-jen and Ho Ying-chin and by the sworn followers of Chiang Kai-shek, which had the purpose of countering the Chinese Communist Party’s eight terms for peace, and particularly the punishment of war criminals. Now that the government of Li Tsung-jen and Ho Ying-chin has sent its delegation to Peiping to negotiate peace with the Communist Party of China and has indicated its willingness to accept the Communist Party’s eight terms as the basis for negotiations, it should, if it has the slightest good faith, start by dealing with the Nanking Massacre, arrest and severely punish the chief criminals, Chiang Kai-shek, Tang En-po and Chang Yao-ming, arrest and severely punish the thugs of the secret police in Nanking and Shanghai and arrest and severely punish the chief counter-revolutionaries, who are obstinately opposing peace, actively disrupting the peace negotiations and actively preparing to resist the advance of the People’s Liberation Army to the south of the Yangtse River. ‘Until Ching Fu is done away with, the crisis in the state of Lu will not be over.’[3] Until the war criminals are eliminated, there will be no peace in the country. Isn’t this truth clear enough by now?

四月一日發生於南京的慘案[2],不是什麼偶然的事件。這是李宗仁何應欽政府保護蔣介石、保護蔣介石死黨、保護美國侵略勢力的必然結果。這是李宗仁何應欽政府和蔣介石死黨一同荒謬地鼓吹所謂「平等的光榮的和平」,借以抵抗中共八項和平條件,特別是抵抗懲辦戰爭罪犯的結果。李宗仁何應欽政府既然派出和談代表團前來北平同中國共產黨談判和平,並表示願意接受中國共產黨的八項條件以為談判的基礎,那末,如果這個政府是有最低限度的誠意,就應當以處理南京慘案為起點,逮捕並嚴懲主凶蔣介石、湯恩伯、張耀明,逮捕並嚴懲在南京上海的特務暴徒,逮捕並嚴懲那些堅決反對和平、積極破壞和談、積極準備抵抗人民解放軍向長江以南推進的反革命首要。慶父不死,魯難未已[3]。戰犯不除,國無寧日。這個真理,難道現在還不明白嗎?

We should like to speak plainly to the Nanking government. If you are unequal to this job, you should at least help the People’s Liberation Army do it, as our army will soon cross the Yangtse River and advance south. At this late hour, you should not indulge in idle talk and had better do some real work to atone for your crimes. In that case you will not have to flee for your lives, you will not have to submit to the bullying of Chiang Kai-shek’s sworn followers, and you will not be spurned for ever by the people. This is your last chance. Don’t lose it. The People’s Liberation Army will soon advance south of the Yangtse River. We are not bluffing. The People’s Liberation Army will advance, whether or not you sign the agreement accepting the eight terms. An agreement signed before our army advances, will be advantageous to many—to the people, to the People’s Liberation Army, to all those in the Kuomintang government who wish to atone for their crimes by performing meritorious service, and to the broad ranks of officers and men in the Kuomintang army; it will be disadvantageous only to Chiang Kai-shek, his sworn followers and the imperialists. If the agreement is not signed, the situation will be about the same; solutions can be achieved by local negotiations. There may yet be some fighting, but not much. Over the vast area and long front extending from Sinkiang to Taiwan, the Kuomintang has only about 1,100,000 combat troops left, and so there will not be much fighting. Whether a general agreement is signed, or whether no such agreement is signed but instead many local agreements are signed, it will be all the same for Chiang Kai-shek, for his sworn followers and for US imperialism, in a word, for all those reactionaries who will not change even unto death; they are irrevocably doomed. Perhaps it will be slightly more advantageous to Nanking, as well as to ourselves, to sign rather than not to sign a general agreement, and that is why we are still striving to conclude it. But if a general agreement is to be signed, we must be prepared as a consequence to deal with many messy matters. It would be very much neater for us not to sign a general agreement but instead to sign many local agreements. Nevertheless, we are still ready to sign a general agreement. If the Nanking government and its delegation are also willing to do so, they must make up their minds in the next few days; all illusions and all empty talk should be discarded. We are not forcing you to make up your minds. The Nanking government and its delegation are free to make up their minds or not to. That is to say, you may either listen to Chiang Kai-shek and Leighton Stuart and side with them irrevocably, or listen to us and side with us; you are free to choose. But there is not much time for you to make your choice. The People’s Liberation Army will soon start its march, and there is no opportunity left for hesitation.

我們願意正告南京政府:如果你們沒有能力辦這件事,那末,你們也應協助即將渡江南進的人民解放軍去辦這件事。時至今日,一切空話不必說了,還是做件切實的工作,借以立功自贖為好。免得逃難,免得再受蔣介石死黨的氣,免得永遠被人民所唾棄。只有這一次機會了,不要失掉這個機會。人民解放軍就要向江南進軍了。這不是拿空話嚇你們,無論你們簽訂接受八項條件的協定也好,不簽這個協定也好,人民解放軍總是要前進的。簽一個協定而後前進,對幾方面都有利——對人民有利,對人民解放軍有利,對國民黨政府系統中一切願意立功自贖的人們有利,對國民黨軍隊的廣大官兵有利,只對蔣介石,對蔣介石死黨,對帝國主義者不利。不簽這個協定,情況也差不多,可以用局部談判的方法去解決。可能還有些戰鬥,但是不會有很多的戰鬥了。從新疆到台灣這樣廣大的地區內和漫長的戰線上,國民黨只有一百一十萬左右的作戰部隊了,沒有很多的仗可打了。無論簽訂一個全面性的協定也好,不簽這個協定而簽許多局部性的協定也好,對於蔣介石,對於蔣介石死黨,對於美國帝國主義,一句話,對於一切至死不變的反動派,情況都是一樣的,他們將決定地要滅亡。也許簽訂一個全面性協定對於南京方面和我們方面,都比較不簽這個協定,來得稍微有利一些,所以我們還是爭取簽訂這個協定。但是簽訂這個全面性協定,我們須得準備應付許多拖泥帶水的事情。不簽這個協定而去簽訂許多局部協定,對於我們要爽快得多。雖然如此,我們還是準備簽訂這個協定。南京政府及其代表團如果也願意這樣做,那末,就得在這幾天下決心,一切幻想和一切空話都應當拋棄了。我們並不強迫你們下這個決心。南京政府及其代表團是否下這個決心,有你們自己的自由。就是說,你們或者聽蔣介石和司徒雷登[5]的話,並和他們永遠站在一起,或者聽我們的話,和我們站在一起,對於這二者的選擇,有你們自己的自由。但是選擇的時間沒有很多了,人民解放軍就要進軍了,一點游移的餘地也沒有了。


 

Source

This is the official translation of Mao’s essay, as are the footnotes. See the online Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. For the original, see 南京政府向何处去?

Notes

[1] After Sun Fo’s resignation, Li Tsung-jen appointed Ho Ying-chin to succeed him as president of the bogus Executive Yuan on 12 March 1949. 一九四九年三月十二日,李宗仁在孫科辭職後,任命何應欽繼任行政院長。
[2] On 1 April 1949, over six thousand students from eleven colleges and universities in Nanking demonstrated, demanding that the reactionary Kuomintang government should accept the eight peace terms of the Chinese Communist Party. On the instructions of Chiang Kai-shek, Chang Yao-ming, commander-in-chief of the Kuomintang garrison forces at Nanking, ordered soldiers, policemen and secret agents to beat the students brutally; two were killed and more than a hundred wounded. 一九四九年四月一日,南京十一個專科以上學校的學生六千餘人舉行遊行示威,要求國民黨反動政府接受中國共產黨的八項和平談判條件。國民黨南京衛戍總司令張耀明在蔣介石授意下,指使軍警特務凶毆示威學生,死學生二人,傷一百餘人。
[3] According to Tso Chuan, an ancient Chinese historical work dealing with the important events of the Spring and Autumn Era (770-475), Ching Fu, a noble in the state of Lu, repeatedly stirred up internal strife and murdered two reigning princes of that state. The saying in the text was then current among the people of Lu, and Ching Fu’s name has since become a byword for those who stir up internal strife. 事見《左傳·閔公元年》。慶父是春秋時魯國的公子,曾經一再製造魯國的內亂,先後殺死兩個國君。當時的人有「不去慶父,魯難未已」的說法。後人常常把製造內亂的人比之為慶父。