From "Madame" to "Dear Sister"

2008-07-11 13:56:21   China Soong Ching Ling Foundation
This article is to commemorate the 113th birthday (Dec.26) of Mao Tse-tung, the founder of New China, and the 114th birthday (Jan. 27) of Soong Ching Ling.

Mao Tse-Tung and Soong Ching Ling both were born in 1893. In Jan. 1956, Mao Tse-tung received a New Year greeting card from Soong. In delight, he wrote back a warm and humorous letter, in which Mao addressed Soong Ching Ling "Dear sister". He wrote, "How are you doing? I wish you sleep well. I am still the same. I sleep a lot and eat even more than before. I guess I will probably not go to see 'God' in the next few years, but my health is declining. I wish you a good health." Short but witty, it reflected the deep feeling between sister and brother. Prior to this, in all his letters to Soong, Mao had always addressed Soong Ching Ling as "Madame Ching Ling" with much respect. This change not only showed that they had got to know each other well but also built up a sincere and deep friendship between them. By then, they had known each other for 30 years.

Facilitating the Cooperation between KMT-CPC and Striving together for a New China

Mao met Soong Ching Ling at the Second National Congress of the Kuomintang (KMT) in January, 1926 (Soong did not attend the first session in January, 1924). They both approved of the cooperation between KMT and the Communist Party of China (CPC). During the congress they denounced KMT right-wing's reactionary words and actions. Soong Ching Ling delivered a speech at the General Assembly and was elected as a member of the Executive Committee, mainly in charge of women's work. Mao was reappointed as an alternate member of the Executive Committee. He was also the acting minister of the KMT Central Publicity Department in Guangzhou and the chief editor of "Political Weekly" and hosted the sixth workshop of the peasant movement. In 1927, Chiang Kai-shek launched the "April 12 Incident" and slaughtered many communists. Soong Ching Ling came forward, and together with Mao Tse-tung and other 40 KMT Central Executive Committee members, KMT government members published the "Censure of Chiang Kai-shek", condemning his atrocities. In the article, they called on "all people and comrades, especially armed comrades, in accordance with the order from the central leadership, to get rid of the renegade of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the scum of the Party and the political pests to the people". On August 1st the same year, "Nanchang Uprising" broke out. Although Soong Ching Ling was not present, she was still elected as the first one among seven members of the Nanchang Uprising Revolutionary Committee. She openly supported Mao Tse-tung's revolutionary strategy of "encircling cities from rural areas and seizing state power by armed forces". Her fearless spirit was greatly admired. On the same day, 22 people including Mao and Soong jointly signed "Declaration of Central Committee Members of KMT", denouncing Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei as "sinners of the national revolution" and declaring to fight for Dr. Sun Yat-sen's "Three Major Policies" to the end.

Through working with Mao and other communists, Soong Ching Ling had a very good impression of the Communist Party, which further toughened her determination to carry on Dr. Sun Yat-sen's policy of cooperation with the CPC. In order to accelerate the realization of the second KMT-CPC cooperation, Soong attended the Third Plenary Session of KMT's Fifth Central Committee in February, 1937, after 10 years of absence from attending any KMT's activities. During the meeting, she engaged in a fierce battle with the pro-Japanese and capitulatory forces. She, united with other 14 members of the Central Executive Committee and Central Supervision Committee, including He Xiangning, proposed the "Restoration of the Three Major Policies Set by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, i.e. Alliance with the Soviet Union, Cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party and Assistance to Peasants and Workers". On February 18, Soong Ching Ling delivered the speech "Implementing Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Will" at the plenary session. She severely criticized KMT government's compromising attitude to the Japanese and their fear of Japan. Soong strongly demanded the KMT to change its policy of opposing the CPC and the suppression of Communist-led forces. In every conference she attended, Soong would quote the will of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, strongly appeal for the establishment of a united front, and denounce the state leaders who opposed the cease of the civil war.

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