'What We Remember Should Be The Truth'

A commentary by Bao Tong
Email story
Comment on this story
Print story
People hold up photos of Mao Zedong during a ceremony to commemorate the 120th anniversary of his birth in Hunan province, Dec. 26, 2013.
People hold up photos of Mao Zedong during a ceremony to commemorate the 120th anniversary of his birth in Hunan province, Dec. 26, 2013.

The War of Resistance Against Japan [1937-1945] is worth remembering. But what we remember should be the truth, and any lies should be exposed.

In the past 70 years, a lot of people have done their utmost to spread lies. The most powerful manufacturer of lies was the former chairman of the [ruling] Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong.

On Aug. 10, 1945, the Japanese government issued an official notice of surrender, out of which Mao immediately concocted a total lie.

On Aug. 13, Mao declared that the victory was entirely to the credit of the Communist Party, and hit out at [Nationalist leader] Chiang Kai-shek for being a major stumbling block in the war, for hiding out on Mount Emei, and only descending the mountain to snatch the fruits of victory and reap the rewards[1].

Actually, the first person to expose this lie was Mao himself. As soon as he got to Chongqing, he immediately changed his tone and started shouting "Long Live Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek."

He had no other choice, because the rest of the world knew very well that the victorious country was the Republic of China, that its supreme commander was Chiang Kai-shek at the head of its military committee, and that he was also recognized as the highest-ranking commander in the China Theater by the alliance of 26 anti-fascist nations.

The Communist Party is all about hierarchy and precedence, and Chiang was Mao's commander-in-chief.

Under Nationalist command

From 1937 onwards, the Eighth Route Army, as the 18th Army Group of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, came under the command of Chiang Kai-shek's second-in-command in the theater, Gen. Yen Hsi-shan.

But Mao continued to spread his lies back in Yan'an to the cadres of the Chinese Communist Party, that China would have succumbed without the Communist Party.

This lie acquired a long-lasting legitimacy, as the spoils of war, among the party leadership, their children, and grandchildren.

Chinese people should now be forever grateful to the party and follow the party, which would be the political and economic representatives of which the Chinese people would never be able to rid themselves, and which were to take possession of national resources and divide them up among themselves.

Mao's lie directly paved the way for the civil war: Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Party had fought a passive campaign against the Japanese. Not only that, they had actually got in the way of it, and then taken all the credit.

Mao launched personal attacks on Chiang Kai-shek, calling him "an extremely cruel and sinister guy."

Decoding the roles

We won't go into the weaknesses and strengths of character here, but we will just try to decode the roles played by Mao and Chiang, and by the communists and the nationalists, during the war against Japan.

This Nationalist Party that had been called an "obstacle" by the communists has already made its military records public. The Communist Party, which calls itself the "mainstay" of the war, should also release the military records of the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army.

Chiang Kai-shek's diary has already set down one record in black and white for the whole world to read and discuss. But the doings of Chairman Mao are still locked up in a black box.

President Xi Jinping said it is important to research the entire historical period from the Mukden Incident of September 1931, when Japanese troops occupied Manchuria, escalating the conflict between the two nations to top priority.

The first step towards saving the country should have been to resolve internal conflicts and unite against Japan.

But in November that same year, Mao established himself as head of state of the Chinese Soviet Republic, filling the vacuum left by the warlords and regional conflicts with his "Democratic Revolution,[2]" and disrupting the whole organization of a major nation at war.

The purpose of this state-within-a-state wasn't to go to war to protect China; it was to go to war to protect the Soviet Union.

A 'patriotic' war?

So, at the start of Japanese aggression, our so-called patriotic "mainstay" had already capitulated to the Soviet Union.

The state-within-a-state collapsed, however, leading to the Long March. Its slogans were patriotic now; never again would they fight for the Soviet Union. They were fighting "to protect the north against the Japanese."

But there wasn't a single anti-Japanese neuron in the brain of our mainstay.

In October 1935, Mao proclaimed from Mount Liupan, "Today, we have Changying; when will we take over the black dragon?"

When this speech was published in the 1950s, some readers wanted to know what the "black dragon" referred to. According to [communist author] Guo Moruo, it meant Japan. But Mao corrected Guo's mistake, saying that the object of his vitriol was Chiang Kai-shek.

This affair is mentioned in some of Guo's writings, and it should be possible to find it.

So, there was no evidence of patriotic thinking, let alone action, in spite of their holding high the banner of resistance against Japan, on the part of our "mainstay" throughout the whole of the Long March era.

[1] "Chiang Kai-shek is provoking civil war." Mao Zedong, commentary for Xinhua news agency, Aug. 13, 1945.

[2] A slogan found repeatedly within Mao's writings from 1928 onwards.

Translated by Luisetta Mudie.

Bao Tong, political aide to the late ousted premier Zhao Ziyang, is currently under house arrest at his home in Beijing.





More Listening Options

View Full Site