ON THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC DICTATORSHIP

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung mao
THE CHINESE PEOPLE HAVE STOOD UP!
September 21, 1949
[Opening address at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.]
Fellow Delegates,
The Political Consultative Conference so eagerly awaited by the whole nation is herewith inaugurated.
Our conference is composed of more than six hundred delegates, representing all the democratic parties
and people’s organizations of China, the People’s Liberation Army, the various regions and nationalities
of the country and the overseas Chinese. This shows that ours is a conference embodying the great unity
of the people of the whole country.
It is because we have defeated the reactionary Kuomintang government backed by U.S. imperialism that
this great unity of the whole people has been achieved. In a little more than three years the heroic
Chinese People’s Liberation Army, an army such as the world has seldom seen, crushed all the
offensives launched by the several million troops of the U.S.-supported reactionary Kuomintang
government and turned to the counter-offensive and the offensive. At present the field armies of the
People’s Liberation Army, several million strong, have pushed the war to areas near Taiwan,
Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Kweichow, Szechuan and Sinkiang, and the great majority of the Chinese people
have won liberation. In a little more than three years the people of the whole country have closed their
ranks, rallied to support the People’s Liberation Army, fought the enemy and won basic victory. And it is
on this foundation that the present People’s Political Consultative Conference is convened.
Our conference is called the Political Consultative Conference because some three years ago we held a
Political Consultative Conference with Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang.[1] The results of that conference
were sabotaged by Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang and its accomplices; nevertheless the conference left
an indelible impression on the people. It showed that nothing in the interest of the people could be
accomplished together with Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang, the running dog of imperialism, and its
accomplices. Even when resolutions were reluctantly adopted, it was of no avail, for as soon as the time
was ripe, they tore them up and started a ruthless war against the people. The only gain from that
conference was the profound lesson it taught the people that there is absolutely no room for compromise
with Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang, the running dog of imperialism, and its accomplices — overthrow
these enemies or be oppressed and slaughtered by them, either one or the other, there is no other choice.
In a little more than three years the Chinese people, led by the Chinese Communist Party, have quickly
awakened and organized themselves into a nation-wide united front against imperialism, feudalism,
bureaucrat-capitalism and their general representative, the reactionary Kuomintang government,
supported the People’s War of Liberation, basically defeated the reactionary Kuomintang government,
overthrown the rule of imperialism in China and restored the Political Consultative Conference.
The present Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is convened on an entirely new
foundation; it is representative of the people of the whole country and enjoys their trust and support.
Therefore, the conference proclaims that it will exercise the functions and powers of a National People’s
Therefore, the conference proclaims that it will exercise the functions and powers of a National People’s
Congress. In accordance with its agenda, the conference will enact the Organic Law of the Chinese
People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Organic Law of the Central People’s Government of the
People’s Republic of China and the Common Programme of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative
Conference; it will elect the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative
Conference and the Central People’s Government Council of the People’s Republic of China; it will
adopt the national flag and national emblem of the People’s Republic of China; and it will decide on the
seat of the capital of the People’s Republic of China and adopt the chronological system in use in most
countries of the world.
Fellow Delegates, we are all convinced that our work will go down in the history of mankind,
demonstrating that the Chinese people, comprising one quarter of humanity, have now stood up. The
Chinese have always been a great, courageous and industrious nation; it is only in modern times that
they have fallen behind. And that was due entirely to oppression and exploitation by foreign imperialism
and domestic reactionary governments. For over a century our forefathers never stopped waging
unyielding struggles against domestic and foreign oppressors, including the Revolution of 1911 led by
Dr. Sun Yat-sen, our great forerunner in the Chinese revolution. Our forefathers enjoined us to carry out
their unfulfilled will. And we have acted accordingly. We have closed our ranks and defeated both
domestic and foreign oppressors through the People’s War of Liberation and the great people’s
revolution, and now we are proclaiming the founding of the People’s Republic of China. From now on
our nation will belong to the community of the peace-loving and freedom-loving nations of the world
and work courageously and industriously to foster its own civilization and well-being and at the same
time to promote world peace and freedom. Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and
humiliation. We have stood up. Our revolution has won the sympathy and acclaim of the people of all
countries. We have friends all over the world.
Our revolutionary work is not completed, the People’s War of Liberation and the people’s revolutionary
movement are still forging ahead and we must keep up our efforts. The imperialists and the domestic
reactionaries will certainly not take their defeat lying down; they will fight to the last ditch. After there is
peace and order throughout the country, they are sure to engage in sabotage and create disturbances by
one means or another and every day and every minute they will try to stage a come-back. This is
inevitable and beyond all doubt, and under no circumstances must we relax our vigilance.
Our state system, the people’s democratic dictatorship, is a powerful weapon for safeguarding the fruits
of victory of the people’s revolution and for thwarting the plots of domestic and foreign enemies for
restoration, and this weapon we must firmly grasp. Internationally, we must unite with all peace-loving
and freedom-loving countries and peoples, and first of all with the Soviet Union and the New
Democracies, so that we shall not stand alone in our struggle to safeguard these fruits of victory and to
thwart the plots of domestic and foreign enemies for restoration. As long as we persist in the people’s
democratic dictatorship and unite with our foreign friends, we shall always be victorious.
The people’s democratic dictatorship and solidarity with our foreign friends will enable us to accomplish
our work of construction rapidly. We are already confronted with the task of nation-wide economic
construction. We have very favourable conditions: a population of 475 million people and a territory of
9,600,000 square kilometres. There are indeed difficulties ahead, and a great many too. But we firmly
believe that by heroic struggle the people of the country will surmount them all. The Chinese people
have rich experience in overcoming difficulties. If our forefathers, and we also, could weather long
years of extreme difficulty and defeat powerful domestic and foreign reactionaries, why can’t we now,
after victory, build a prosperous and flourishing country? As long as we keep to our style of plain living
and hard struggle, as long as we stand united and as long as we persist in the people’s democratic
dictatorship and unite with our foreign friends, we shall be able to win speedy victory on the economic
front.
An upsurge in economic construction is bound to be followed by an upsurge of construction in the
cultural sphere. The era in which the Chinese people were regarded as uncivilized is now ended. We
shall emerge in the world as a nation with an advanced culture.
Our national defence will be consolidated and no imperialists will ever again be allowed to invade our
land. Our people’s armed forces must be maintained and developed with the heroic and steeled People’s
Liberation Army as the foundation. We will have not only a powerful army but also a powerful air force
and a powerful navy.
Let the domestic and foreign reactionaries tremble before us! Let them say we are no good at this and no
good at that. By our own indomitable efforts we the Chinese people will unswervingly reach our goal.
The heroes of the people who laid down their lives in the People’s War of Liberation and the people’s
revolution shall live for ever in our memory!
Hail the victory of the People’s War of Liberation and the people’s revolution!
Hail the founding of the People’s Republic of China!
Hail the triumph of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference!
NOTES
1. “Smash Chiang Kai-shek’s Offensive by a War of Self-Defence”, Note 2, Selected Works of Mao
Tsetung, Vol. IV.
Transcription by the Maoist Documentation Project.
HTML revised 2004 by Marxists.org
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

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