the People (September 8, 1944)
"Our Communist Party and the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies led
by our Party are battalions of the revolution. These battalions of ours
are wholly dedicated to the liberation of the people and work entirely
in the people's interests. Comrade Chang Szu-teh was in the ranks of
All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient
Chinese writer Sima Qian said, "Though death befalls all men alike,
it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather."  To
die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists
and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather.
Comrade Chang Szu-teh died for the people, and his death is indeed weightier
than Mount Tai.
If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out
and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may
point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we will correct them. If
what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it. The idea
of "better troops and simpler administration" was put forward
by Mr. Li Tingming,  who is not a Communist. He made a good
suggestion which is of benefit to the people, and we have adopted it.
If, in the interests of the people, we persist in doing what is right
and correct what is wrong, our ranks will surely thrive.
We hail from all corners of the country and have joined together for
a common revolutionary objective. And we need the vast majority of the
people with us on the road to this objective. Today, we already lead
base areas with a population of 91 million  but this is not enough;
to liberate the whole nation more are needed. In times of difficulty
we must not lose sight of our achievements, must see the bright future
and must pluck up our courage. The Chinese people are suffering; it is
our duty to save them and we must exert ourselves in struggle. Wherever
there is struggle there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence.
But we have the interests of the people and the sufferings of the great
majority at heart, and when we die for the people it is a worthy death.
Nevertheless, we should do our best to avoid unnecessary sacrifices.
Our cadres must show concern for every soldier, and all people in the
revolutionary ranks must care for each other, must love and help each
From now on, when anyone in our ranks who has done some useful work
dies, be he soldier or cook, we should have a funeral ceremony and a
memorial meeting in his honor. This should become the rule. And it should
be introduced among the people as well. When someone dies in a village,
let a memorial meeting be held. In this way we express our mourning for
the dead and unite all the people."
 Sima Qian, the famous Chinese historian of the
2nd century BCE, was the author of the Historical Records. The quotation
comes from his "Reply
to Ren Shaoqing's Letter."
 Li Ting-ming, an enlightened landlord
of northern Shensi Province, was at one time elected Vice-Chairman of
the Shensi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region Government.
 This was the total
population of the Shensi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region and all other Liberated
Areas in northern, central and southern China.
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