Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung
April 23, 1945
[This was the opening speech at the Seventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China.]
Comrades! The Seventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China opens today.
What is the significance of our congress? It is a congress, it should be said, that affects the destiny of China's 450 million people. China can have one of two destinies. Someone has written a book about one of them;  our congress represents China's other destiny and we, too, shall write a book about it.  The aim of our congress is the overthrow of Japanese imperialism and the liberation of all the people of China. Ours is a congress for the defeat of the Japanese aggressors and the building of a new China, for final victory through the unity of all the Chinese people and of the peoples of the whole world.
The times are very favourable. In Europe, Hitler will soon be overthrown. The chief theatre of the world anti-fascist war is in the West, where the fighting will soon end in victory, thanks to the efforts of the Soviet Red Army. The guns of the Red Army can already be heard in Berlin, which will probably fail before long. In the East, too, victory in the war to overthrow Japanese imperialism is nigh. Our congress is meeting on the eve of final victory in the anti-fascist war.
Two roads lie before the Chinese people, the road of light and the road of darkness. Two possible destinies await China, a destiny of light and a destiny of darkness. Japanese imperialism has not yet been defeated. But even after its defeat, the two prospects will still confront us. Either a China which is independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and strong, that is, a China full of light, a new China whose people have won liberation, or a China which is semi-colonial, semi-feudal, divided, poor and weak, that is, the old China. The new China or the old China--these are the two prospects facing the Chinese people, the Communist Party of China and our present congress.
Since Japan is not yet defeated and since the two prospects will still face us even after its defeat, how should we set about our work? What is our task? Our sole task is boldly to mobilize the masses, expand the people's forces and unite all the forces of the nation capable of being united in order to struggle under our Party's leadership to defeat the Japanese aggressors and build a bright new China, a China that is independent, free, united, prosperous and strong. We must strive with all our might for a bright future, a destiny of light, and against a dark future, a destiny of darkness. This is our one and only task! Indeed, it is the task of our congress, of our whole Party, and of all the people of China.
Is it possible for our hopes to be realized? We believe it is. The possibility exists, because we already enjoy the following conditions:
(1) A powerful Communist Party with rich experience and a membership of 1,210,000.
(2) Powerful Liberated Areas with a population of 95,500,000, an army of 910,000 and a militia of 2,200,000.
(3) The support of the masses throughout the country.
(4) The support of the people of all countries, and especially of the Soviet Union.
With these conditions--a powerful Communist Party, powerful Liberated Areas, the support of the masses throughout the country and the support of the people of the world--can our hopes be realized? We believe they can. China has never enjoyed these conditions before. Some have been present for a number of years, but never so fully as today. Our Communist Party has never been so powerful, the revolutionary base areas have never had so large a population and so large an army, the prestige of the Communist Party is higher than ever among the people both in the Japanese-occupied and in the Kuomintang areas, and the revolutionary forces of the Soviet Union and the people of all countries are stronger than ever before. One must say that, with these conditions, it is entirely possible to defeat the aggressors and build a new China.
We must have a correct policy. The fundamental point of our policy is boldly to mobilize the masses and expand the people's forces so that, under the leadership of our Party, they will defeat the aggressors and build a new China.
In the twenty-four years of its existence since its birth in 1921 the Communist Party of China has gone through three historical periods of heroic struggle--the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War and the War of Resistance Against Japan--and has accumulated a wealth of experience. Now our Party has become the centre of gravity of the Chinese people's struggle to resist Japan and save the nation, the centre of gravity of their struggle for liberation and of their struggle to defeat the aggressors and build a new China. China's centre of gravity lies right here where we are and nowhere else.
We should be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and serve the Chinese people heart and soul, in order to unite them for defeating the Japanese aggressors in the present and for building a new-democratic state in the future. Provided we do so, provided we have the correct policy and provided we make a united effort, we can definitely fulfil our task.
Down with Japanese Imperialism!
Long live the liberation of the Chinese people!
Long live the Communist Party of China!
Long live the Seventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China!
1. This refers to Chiang Kai-shek's China's Destiny published in 1943.
2. This refers to Comrade Mao Tse-tung's report "On Coalition Government" at the same congress.
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung