Why did the CPC Win the War of Liberation?
On the Monument to the People's Heroes standing at the heart of Tian'anmen Square in Beijing carved a line:
“Eternal glory to the people's heroes who laid down their lives in the People's War of Liberation and the people's revolution in the three years!”
The three years is a magnificent epic of the unyielding struggle of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the War of Liberation, recording the Chinese nation's commitment to fight for the country and its people.
Why was the Communist Party of China (CPC) able to win such a great victory in the War of Liberation?
Here lies the root: The victory of an army relies on the people.
During this war, with the strong support of the Chinese people, the CPC gained enormous strength, thereby finishing the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang and establishing the People's Republic of China.
In 1946, just before the war, the Kuomintang had overwhelming advantages not only in the number of troops but also in weaponry and other things.It was even backed by the United States.
So Chiang Kai-shek had full confidence that the CPC would soon be eliminated.
But history chose to stand on this seemingly "weak" side.
What was the reason behind that contrast?
How did Chiang Kai-shek waste the precious window of opportunity?
The oral history told by Zhang Xueliang in his late years gives us the answer.He believed that it is because the CPC conformed to public opinion that it could grow up and thrive.
When the Kuomintang military leaders were busy enriching themselves, squeezing the people and involved in rivalries with different factions of their party,
the CPC proposed a slogan, "All the cadres who may go to the countryside for work should go deep to the rural areas."In the eyes of the PLA, their logistics department was composed of ordinary people。
As Wang Shuzeng, a military writer, recalled in an interview,
when the Huaihai Campaign started, an old villager joined the supporting troops.
He trundled a wheelbarrow for about 100 miles to transport shells to the PLA.
In the rainy days, he would take off his clothes and put them over the shells, in case that they would misfire if getting damped.
Finishing the transport task,he didn't rush to come back home before the shells were fired to enemies.
At that time, the transport of military goods and materials to the frontline largely relied on ordinary people, who carried them on their shoulders or backs and by their carts.
After the founding of New China, when the commander of Huaihai Campaign Chen Yi was questioned how they won this battle,
he said that it was the ordinary people who trundled wheelbarrows to help them win.
Due to years of war, China's economy has been greatly damaged with extremely low agricultural productivity, which needs to be restored and rebuilt. To protect the survival interests of farmers, the CPC proposed to tackle the problem related to farmers' land.
The CPC Central Committee issued "the May Fourth Instructions" on May 4, 1946, declaring that they would change the policy of reducing rents and interest, and distribute the land occupied by landlords to poor farmers.
Once the people had land, they would produce food. That would be the basis for their survival.
And the people further learnt that only the CPC cared for them in the true sense.
Later on, in northeastern China with a population of over 10 million, 400,000farmers volunteered to join the army led by the CPC, which soon changed the power structure of the battlefield there.
The Kuomintang, in contrast, forced young men into conscription. So the morale of the PLA was far higher than the Kuomintang; gradually, some troops of the latter even surrendered in an organized way.
The land reform was not only an economic revolution that boosted national productivity, but also a liberation movement for the Chinese people, thereby enhancing the likelihood for the CPC to seize the ruling power.
As the CPC gained a succession of victories in the War of Liberation, new governments had to be established at the newly liberated areas.
During this process, the "bean ballot" created in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia border region in the anti-Japanese war enabled the local people to be the true masters of the country again.
When the American reporter Anna Louise Strong was doing interviews in Yan'an, a model worker surnamed Yang told her,
"The biggest difference between the old society and the new one is that there was no election in the old society, but in the new society everyone can vote."
Without democracy, there will be no socialism; only the real democracy can win people's hearts.
While the Kuomintang members were making profits from the disaster and fighting for the ranks after the victory over Japan, the CPC members showed their indifference to wealth and fame, and loyalty to their career.
In 1955, when Peng Dehuai and Luo Ronghuan,among others,heard that they would be awarded the rank of grand marshal, they all politely declined the rank.
Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai also refused to accept any ranks.
As a senior military officer, Xu Guangda even asked for demotion.
With various factors considered, he was still awarded the rank of senior general.
But his salary was one level lower at his repeated request.
Xu Liqing, once the general at the regiment level when the War of Liberation started,should have been granted the rank of general. But when the Central Military Commission (CMC) was confirming the commission list, he wrote over 10 letters to the CMC leaders and insisted on demotion.
Mao Zedong praised him, "So marvelous! We can tell a person's thoughts and morals from his attitudes towards wealth, status and honor. It's always been so since ancient times."
In the exhibition hall about the War of Liberation in the Military Museum of Chinese People's Revolution, there are five remarkable golden Chinese characters, "人民的勝利," meaning "People's Victory" in English.
A relief called "People Supporting the Frontline" in the hall vividly depicts the scene of the people and the PLA fighting together.
History represents the past, but will not be forgotten. The history of the CPC is a history of fighting for the people and their welfare.
As Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, once said, the people's army will conquer all as long as they strive for the common aspirations of the people and are supported by the people. They must bear in mind their responsibility of serving the people whole heartedly.They are the people's army at all times and under all circumstances.
《紅星何以照耀中國》 / 中國網出品
出品人 / 王曉輝
總監製 / 楊新華
總策劃 / 蔡曉娟
執行策劃 / 蔣新宇
專家顧問 / 陳述 中共中央黨校教授 陳中奎 中國人民解放軍國防大學副教授
導演 / 仇俊博
編導 / 申罡 時暢 郭澤涵 魯波 孔竟澤
設計 / 顧榕楠
製作 / 馬躍
翻譯 / 汪瑋 李秀宇
攝影 / 陶世欣 毛歡東
後期 / 于舜源 傅華洋