Chinese Communist Party

Position of the Chinese Communists on Sian Incidents:
Three Documents of the Chinese Communist Party

Source: China: The March Toward Unity (booklet)
Published: Workers Library Publishers, 1937
Online Version: Marxists Internet Archive, September 2007
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Mike B.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Circular telegram issued by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Central Soviet Government to the Kuomintang, Nanking Government, the press, various organizations, political parties and groups, fellow countrymen of all walks of life and the people throughout the nation:

Fighting has already broken out between Suiyuan troops and the Japanese and Manchukuo bandits invading Suiyuan and Shansi. Further invasion is imminent. Unless all the Chinese armed forces, man-power and material resources are mobilized at this critical period, victory over the Japanese bandit aggressors is impossible. Therefore we demand that the Nanking Government carry out the following conditions:

1. The main military force should be sent to reinforce the Suiyuan and Shansi front, and mobilize all the navy, army and air forces of China to prepare a nationwide war of resistance;

2. Cease attack on the Anti-Japanese People's Red Army, stop civil war and unite to fight the Japanese imperialists;

3. Freedom for all movements of national salvation, restore old democratic rights, including freedom of speech, press, and assembly; release all political prisoners and the patriotic leaders of Shanghai;

4. Convene the anti-Japanese national salvation delegates congress on national defense, a conference of different parties, different groups and different armies, to discuss the means of saving the nation.

We demand that the Nanking Government immediately stop its policy of compromise with Japan, stop Sino-Japanese conferences and carry out the above urgent demands. If the Nanking Government still wavers, leaving General Fu Tso-yi to carry out partial resistance, and continues to concentrate its forces to suppress the people's anti-Japanese patriotic movement and continues the attack on the Anti- Japanese Red Army, the result will not only cause the nation irremediable losses, but the Nanking authorities will become completely isolated from the people.

For the realization of a war of national defense, we further call on all the people of China, irrespective of their party, their class, and occupation, closely to unite and urge the Nanking Government to carry out the above demands; and to overcome all difficulties and organize all over the country different national salvation groups, and armed forces, to form societies for the support of the anti-Japanese war, anti-Japanese volunteers, propaganda, and first aid groups, organizations for the collection of money and comforting the fighters, etc.; to endeavor to enlarge the national salvation front, strengthen the anti-Japanese forces and support the brave officers and soldiers fighting in Suiyuan. It is the immediate obligation of every Chinese to fight the Japanese and save the nation, and only the great power of the Chinese people can force the Nanking Government to be decisive and to fight, delivering thus the fatal blow to the Japanese robber imperialism. During this past year the People's anti- Japanese Red Army, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, fought its way to Shansi and Ninghsia, under very difficult circumstances with the only purpose of finding a route to fight the Japanese imperialists, to protect Chinese territory and its sovereignty. Nanking authorities refused to understand our aim, time and again sending troops to obstruct the road of the Red Army toward the anti-Japanese war. While Shansi and Suiyuan are in danger, and all the people are ready to shed their last drop of blood to save our nation, the Nanking Government still sends big forces to attack the anti-Japanese Red Army. This is an inexplicable phenomenon to everyone in China.

Recently the anti-Japanese Red Army destroyed part of General Hu Chung-nan's Nanking troops in Shanchengpao, Kansu. This was done in self defense. At the same time it serves as a warning to the supporters of an external compromising policy and an internal suppressing policy in the country. We consider that it is a crime against the nation to continue civil war at this juncture, and that practically it is carrying out the order of Japanese imperialism and preparing the nation for endless torture.

We now declare to all the Chinese people that the concentration of the main Red forces, the first, second and fourth front armies has been completed in the northwest, and we are ready to move to the Shansi and Suiyuan front to take charge of any section of the anti-Japanese front. We are glad and willing to accept the orders of the highest military commanding council of all the anti-Japanese armies, to resist the invasion of the Japanese and Manchukuo bandit troops, for the protection of Shansi and Suiyuan, for the protection of North China, and China as a whole. We are ready to fight to our last drop of blood. We hope that the Nanking Government will immediately accept our demands and hope that all the Chinese people will support these demands. We have complete confidence in the ultimate victory of the Chinese people.


December 1, 1936.



To all people of the nation, all the parties, groups, men in all walks of life and all the armed forces: Our Party and our Government send the following telegram to the Nanking and Sian authorities, proposing the convening of a National Peace Conference.

To Dr. H. H. Kung, Dr. Sun lto, General Feng Yu- hsiang, General Ho Ying-ching, Mr. Yu Yu-jen, Mr. Tai Chi-tao. Mr. Chen Li-fu, and the leaders of the Kuomintang and Nanking Government, Marshal Chang Hsueh- liang, General Yang Fu-cheng, General Wang I-chih, General Sun Wei-ju and members 0f the Provisional Northwest Military Council of the anti-Japanese United Army:

Since Sian raised the banner of a war against Japan and issued its program of eight principles Nanking, under the pretext of suppressing the "rebellion", has already launched its punitive campaign. The whole country received this news with surprise and fear. Both sides are determined in their stands in this controversy. If we are to judge this without prejudice, we see that the Sian leaders acted with patriotic sincerity and zeal, wishing quickly to formulate the national policy and immediately to launch the anti-Japanese war, while the Nanking leaders pursue a roundabout, reluctant and procrastinating policy. With the exception 0f the pro-Japanese elements, they are not unwilling to fight against Japan. To start a civil war cannot be their intention, because under the present circumstances we cannot exist without resisting Japan, and we cannot fight Japan without national unification. To persist in civil war is tantamount to hastening the nation toward destruction. In this critical period our Party and our Government make these proposals to both sides:

1. Tungkwan should be the separating point between Nanking troops, who are not to attack the city, while the Anti- Japanese army will remain within Shensi Province to await the results of the Peace Conference;

2. Nanking should immediately call a national Peace Conference to comprise Nanking and Sianfu delegates, in addition to delegates from all parties, groups, men of all professions and all the military force. Our Party and Government are prepared to send delgates to participate in this Conference;

3. In this Conference, the stand of both Nanking and Sian, and the problem of resisting Japan for National Salvation issued by other parties, groups, troops, and other circles, should be discussed, as well as the future fate of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Under all circumstances, the fundamental program should be to unite the whole nation, stop civil war, and fight Japan;

4. The Conference can be held at Nanking. All the above propositions are the concrete methods for settling the present urgent situation. We hope that all who are sincere and faithful to the nation will adopt our humble opinion and make immediate decisions on their proposals, so as to save the nation. If civil war is not averted, the whole nation will be plunged into complete chaos, and the Japanese robbers, taking advantage of this, will invade our nation and enslavement will be our immediate fate. Time is short. Decide quickly!

We deeply hope that all the people of China, all parties, groups, armed forces and professional circles will support this proposition and urge the Nanking authorities to convene this Peace Conference immediately to discuss all the problems and decide a national policy and to unite together to resist the Japanese invasion.


December 19, 1936.



To the Kuomintang, National Government and Military Affairs Commission, Nanking; General Chiang Kai-shek, Fenghua; all provincial party, political and military leaders: all parties, groups, public bodies and newspapers of the country:

Since the Sian incident Japanese imperialism and the Chinese pro-Japanese group have utilized the situation as a golden opportunity for intriguing to enslave China by instigating civil war under cover of supporting Chiang Kai-shek. The Chinese Communist Party, the Central Government of the Chinese Soviets, the people of the whole country and the anti-Japanese patriots of Nanking and the provinces, however, advocated an amicable settlement in order to end internal strife and attain unanimous action for resisting Japan. The catastrophe of another civil war was fortunately averted when General Chiang Kai-shek accepted the anti- Japanese demands of General Chang Hsueh-liang and Yang Fu-cheng and the two latter decided to subordinate everything to the interests of the country. While our Party and our government were overjoyed at the prospect of peace and unification of the country to fight against the aggressors, and while the main force of the Red Army was ready to receive the command to proceed to the front for the war of resistance against Japan, the Japanese marauders and the Chinese pro-Japanese group opposed the realization of genuine peace and real unification of China. The situation took a turn for the worse as soon as General Chiang returned to Nanking. With the backing of the Japanese marauders, the pro-Japanese group on the one hand held General Chang Hsueh-liang and on the other hand ordered the Central Government troops to continue their expedition against Sian, despite General Chiang's previous instructions to the contrary; in an attempt to precipitate an unprecedented civil war in the interest of the Japanese aggressors. All China clearly knows the vicious plan of the Japanese aggressors and the Chinese pro-Japanese group. In the face of the sharp crisis our Party and government, taking its stand for the cessation of civil war and for united struggle against Japan, strongly demand that the Nanking Government immediately issue an order withdrawing the military expedition, expel the pro-Japanese group and convene a National Salvation Congress of all parties, groups, circles and armies so that internal peace will be promptly accomplished. Our Party and government believe that now is the time for General Chiang to take steps to prevent recurrence of civil war which would bring catastrophe to the country and the people. General Chiang is in a position to do this, since the Central Government troops now approaching Sian are willing to abide by his words. Furthermore, General Chiang is bound to carry out his promised guarantee against any further civil war. The present situation applies an acid test to General Chiang's political integrity and to his expression "Fidelity to promises; determination in deeds". The sentiments of the Chinese people are today quite generally apparent and the pro-Japanese group which dares to yield to the Japanese aggressors will inevitably pursue the path leading to self-destruction. It is, therefore, now incumbent upon all mass organizations, all press organs, all armed units, particularly General Chiang Kai-shek, the Kuomintang leaders in power and the majority of the Kuomintang members, standing on a platform of national sincerity, to punish the pro-Japanese elements, so that the civil war may be converted into a war of resistance. With best wishes,


January 6, 1937

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