KUOMINTANG PARTY CONGRESS

Created: 6/22/1945

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Office or Strategic Services Research and Analysis Branch

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KUOMINTANG PARTY CONGRESS

The policies of the Kuomlntang In China, as Lndlcated at the Sixth Party Con great in Hay. apparently aim at meeting strong domestic and foreign demands for constitutional government In China withoutpower to other Chinese political parties through the formationoalition government. The electionew Central Executive Committeebe schedulingonstitutional Assembly, and the adoption of resolutions for broad social reforms do nothange in party policy.edistribution of factional control within the Kuomlntang became unlikely when the "CC" clique and Its right-wing allies won the CEC elections. The Chinese Communists and the Chinese Democratic League are protesting the decisions of theCongress They claimruly representative assembly cannot be convoked until all China's parties are legalized and until free elections can be held throughout the country.

Party Congress Organization and Elections for the CEC

When in session the Kuomlntang Congress is the supreme legal authority of the party, subject only to the veto of Chiang Kai-shek, who serves as the party's Director-General as well as President of the Chinese Republic. The organization of the Congress and the method ofdelegates to It are fixed by the CEC. which is the highest party organ when the Congress Itself is not in session. Subject to revision by the Congress, which normally meets about once every two years, the CEC Is empowered to issue high policy directives and to elect the presidents and vice-presidents of the fiveExecutive, Legislative, Judicial. Examination, and Controlthe Chinese Government.

In theoryongress members are delegates elected from various regional and functional divisions of the party. In practice, however, the delegates must be approved by the Party Ministry ofand they are frequently appointedesult of politicalbetween factions within the Kuomlntang. Whilearge unwieldy group the Congress scarcely can do more than ratify policies already formulated by party leaders, Its decisions influence the limits within which tbe future course of party action will take place.

Since It was Impossible to bold regular party elections in moreew areas of China, the CEC elected8 was able to appoint an unusual number of delegates to the May Congress, including manyJapanese-occupiedlignments within the Sixth Congress were already determined In part by the pre-conventlon struggle for power. Reports indicated that the "CC" clique tried to gain control

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of the Kuomintang Preparatory Committee, which waa set up to make plans for the Congress. In any case the "CC" cliqueominant role In determining representation through one of its leaders, Party Minister of Organization Chen LMu.

Many of the elected delegates were said to be opposed to the "CC" clique, but they were outnumbered by appointees. Besides geographical representation, which Included some overseas Chinese, the Congressdelegates from party organizations in various occupational and institutional categories such as universities, labor unions, factorles-and-mines, and the Army. The university delegation consisted largely of chancellors controlled by Minister of Education Chu Chla-hua. The Army delegation was almost evenly divided between supporters of the more moderate Minister of War General Chen Cheng and reactionary Chief of Staff General Ho Yuig-chln.

Electlons for the CEC, one of the chief functionsarty Congress, were held for the first time since the Congress last methe new CEC, as the ruling body of the Kuomintang in the critical years ahead, will determine Chungking policies on such vital issues as Internal political unity and reform, and relations with the USSR and the United States. However, little new blood was admitted to the ranks of party power in the recentun Fo and Madame Sun Yat-een were retained, probably for the sake of the appearance of loyalty to the party's founder. The Chen brothers, leaders of the "CC" clique, by their use of patronage and strong political organization assuredontinuing control of the Kuomintang which may be sustained even alter the new constitution is adopted.

The most serious opposition to "CC" domination of the Kuomintang cameoalition headed by War Minister General Chen Cheng and Education Minister Chu Chla-hua, which was able totrong minority among tho Congress delegates. This collaboration between the more liberal elements In the Chinese Array and those civil government officials who are bitterly opposed to the Chen brothers may remainignificant force In China's political life.

Proceedings at the Party Congress

The convening of the Congressay for the first time In seven years suggested that the Kuomintang was awareeed to reconsider the party's position In respect to China's unresolved political problems. Besides declaring that China's most urgent task is the strengthening of her armed forces for the speedy destruction of the Japanese enemy, the Congress emphasized the need for continuing amicable relations with the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR In reconstructing the post-war world. Sino-Soviet cooperation was particularly stressed "because of the long common frontier and many contacts between the twolthough claiming no territorial ambitions for China, the Congress reiterated China's stand In the Cairo Declaration calling

for restoration of Chinese territories lost to the Japanese and for the Independence of Korea. Resolutions favoring the conclusion oftreaties based on equality and reciprocity and the realization of local autonomy for Mongolia and Tibet were passed.

The roost important act of the May Congress, recommended by President Chiang, was to schedule for5 the conventionational Assembly to ratify China's draft constitution. Thecharacter of the Assembly will be strongly qualified by the CEC's authority to determine Its exact powers and membership, and In turn by the "CC" clique's domination of the CEC. Much dlaqissJon has already been focussed on whether or not new elections should be held. Since the Assembly was originally scheduled to take placeany of the delegates elected at that time have died or gone over to the puppet government in Japanese-held areas. If no new elections are held the delegates will have been elected eight years prior to the Assembly'sand political groups which may have arisen7 will go unrepresented In November. Apparently the CEC favors recognizing the validity of the old delegates and vacancies will probably be Sued either by supplementary elections or simply by CEC appointments. Any elections would of course be restricted to Kuomintang territory.

Furthermore, the National Assembly will notonstituent assembly In the Western tradition with powers to frame the Chinese constitution Itself. Even the Assembly's power to amend the draft constitution, already unilaterally drawn up by Kuomintang leaders, will be limited by CEC directives. The draft constitution as lt stands has been assailed by Chinese liberals for the excessive appointive powers lt vests In the President, who would not be chosen by popular vote but by an elected National Assembly, meeting only one month in every three years. Actually, the constitution, when ratified, probably will serve only to legitimize present one-party, Kuomintang rule.

Without relaxing their demandsopular coalition government to be formed Immediately, Chinese Communist leaders have clearly stated that they do not subscribeonstitutional government created during the war. which they believe would only consolidate and protect Chungking's present degree of power. They have even gone so far as to hint that If the Assembly la held in November, the Kuomintang will thereby be preparing an excuse for civil war. The qualified Congress resolution which promised that Chungking wouldpolitical solution" to the Kuomm tang-Communist impasse Included no concrete proposals. The resolution statedettlement would be possible only "as long as the discussions do not adversely affect the progress of our war against aggression or endanger the state."

Whether the Chinese Democratic League will be won over by the Kuomintang to support the November Assembly will perhaps depend on whether the member parties of the League are given legal status In tune to affect the composition of the Assembly. Meanwhile, the League has

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Joined the Communists In opposing the November Assembly and Inthe Immediate establishmentoalition government formedonference of all parties In China.ational Assembly chosen In free elections, they declare, can have the authority to draft andonstitution.

Another phase of the May Congress work consisted of passing resolutions for broad social reforms in accordance with Sun Yat-sen's third principle concerning the "people'she Congress went on record asery advanced social program whichinimum wagehour working week, tax reforms, and annual vacations with pay for Chinese farmers and laborers. The widespread publicity given the resolutions have led many to believe that thewas about to launch an advanced social program. Many times In the past twenty years, however, the Kuomintang has passed similarly enlightened legislation without ever putting it into execution. Thepassed this time may again be no moreesture advancing an alternative program to the one offered by the Communists or the Democratic League parties.

Certain resolutions passed by the May Congress would seem torelinquishment by the Kuomintang of much of its traditional power. They call for the abolition of party branches in the Chinese Army and in schools, the election of municipal, county, and provincial councils to serve as "full-fledged representativenactionaw to give legal status to political parties other than the Kuomintang,

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mwh SS ihfrMtnifiirv of information. Chiang and the other Party leaders apparen'tiy"want tohow of terminating the period of political tutelage which Sun Yat-sen prescribed to prepare China fordemocracy.

The May Congress suggests an example of bow Kuomintangexpects to operateonstitution. Though parliamentary in form, the Congress was organized and run from the top. All acts of the body stemmed from tbe executive planners. While this did not prevent interpellations by delegates not controlled by the "CC" clique, reform agitation was effectively ignored by the "CC" group. To retain its power the party leadership aims to strengthen the Kuomlntang organization through substantial recruitment of able political workers. The Kuomlntang probably will not have much success In enlisting strong agrarian support in the absenceoncrete program for revising the land tenure and taxation systems. The present ruling group in the Kuomlntang appears to have no intention of promulgatingadministrative reforms within the government, nor substantial economic and political reforms that might give theirm popular base, instead It seems fixed uponourse of utilizingadministrative and political controls to maintain power,by an attempt to Increase and extend party organization on the lower echelons.

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shekominating Influence over the Congress proceedings and is said virtually to have dictated theelections and paaaage of resolutions- Some protest was raised against these tacticsumber of the more liberal delegates,followers of Sun Fo. The "CC" management of the Congress, however, prevented these criticisms from leaving any real mark on Its proceeding! During the sessions as manynterpellations are said to have been made by delegates tstalling the Kuomlntang regime's policies.

Press Reaction

Newspapers In Free China gave considerable editorial attention to the Congress both before and during Its convention. The Kuomlntang-con trolled press uttered laudatory conventional statements on the party, but hinted at Its deteriorating position and urged that self-criticism was necessary for Its revltalizatlon. The Central Daily News declared that measures should be taken to maintain the Kuomlntang as China'sparty even under constitutional rule, and that the party must carry on "the duly of national reconstruction" even after political power is restored to the people. The absolute prohibition of any "actions thatreach in the diplomatic, military, financial, communications, and currency unity of the country" was also demanded.

Independent newspapers spoke directly and without evident restraint on the chief political and economic Issues confronting the government and the party. Demands were made for new elections to the NationalIn November, for modification of the nine-year-old draftand for relegation of the Kuomlntang to the statusolitical party equal among others. The Ta Kung Poo openly declared thatyears of unchecked Kuomlntang rule in China was too long and that tbe Kuomlntang had failed to practice Sun Tat-sen's principlesthe people's power and the people's livelihood, confining itself to the third principle of nationalism.

Original document.