第十三章 蒋家王朝的覆灭
 

CHAPTER XIII

COLLAPSE OF A DYNASTY

第五十八节 一个时代的终结
58. The End of an Era
  一九四五年至一九四九年的中国,亿万人民处于持续的动乱之中,真是蔚为奇观。人们放下本业,东征西讨,进行掠夺,互相残杀,有的获胜,有的陷入绝望,有的叛变,有的被出卖。这个时期改变了人们整个生活的道路,甚至可能也改变了亚洲的未来。这种激烈的动荡究竟有什么基本特点呢?

  有人很可能会用最笼统的哲学术语回答说,我们在中国所看到的是方生未死的现象。一方面,新的社会正在诞生;另一方面,旧的制度正在灭亡。

  在革命阵营方面,到处都是一片朝气蓬勃、兴旺发达的气像:从农民游击队发展成为正规军队,从农会发展成为地方政府,从信贷合作社发展成为国家银行。在反革命阵营方面,情况正好相反,到处是一片暮气沉沉,衰败破落的景象;正规军队变成了警察部队;堂堂的国家政府变成了地方政府机关。银行也不成其为银行,剩下的只是密藏于远方海岛的金库。人们感到造成这些变化的是一些不可抗拒的力量,这些变化的过程也许可以推迟,却绝不可能予以制止。

  但这并不是说,国民党所代表的社会之灭亡和共产党所代表的社会之诞生都是命中注定的。恰恰相反,中国内战的结局完全是打出来的。但是,中国革命发展到一九四九年时,已经把广大群众的力量、理想和热情都发动起来了,汇成了排山倒海的力量,任何人想要予以阻挡,就犹如蝗臂当车,只是徒劳。

  蒋介石就是一个例子。他下野离开南京后,还拼命笼络正作鸟兽散的部下。由于他仍然控制着国库的钱,他比他的许多政敌能拿出更高的价钱来收买秘密警察和一部分将领。同时,由于他仍然擅长权术,他还能继续分化自己的对手。但是他已经没有足够的钱笼络大批的人,而且他的分化手段虽然使他在同主要对手的斗争中占了上风,却也使国民党内和军内下层人心涣散,结果使其中大部分人完全丧失了斗志。

链接:太原五百完人的传说

THE years 1945 to 1949 in China present an extraordinary spectacle of millions of people in constant turmoil. Men leave their customary pursuits, march to and fro across the continent, plunder and siaughter one another, triumph and are plunged in despair, betray and are betrayed, and during this time the whole course of life is altered and probably the very future of Asia itself. What was the primary characteristic of all this terrific commotion?

  One is inclined to answer in the largest philosophic terms that what we see before us in China are the phenomena of birth and death. On the one hand, a new society is coming into being; on the other hand an old order is dying out.

  In the camp of revolution everything is young, lusty and in the process of growth: peasant bands are becoming armies, village assemblies are becoming regional governments, co-operative societies are enlarging into state banks. But in the camp of reaction just the opposite process is going on: everything is old, feeble and in the process of decay: armies are degenerating into police forces, national governments are becoming provincial assemblies, banks end up as mere chests of gold hidden in secret caches on faraway islands. One gets the impression that the forces generating these processes are inexorable; they can be delayed, they cannot be halted.

  This does not mean there was anything predestined about the fall of Kuomintang society and the rise of Communist society. Far from it. The Chinese civil war was only decided in the fighting of it. Nevertheless, the Chinese Revolution by 1949 had created such a wave of power, principle and passion that no one could hold it back any more than a man with a broom can hold back a flood that has burst its dam.

  Chiang Kai-shek is a case in point. When he retired from Nanking, the generalissimo tried desperately to hold his deserting supporters together. Because he still controlled the monies of the state treasury, he was able to outbid most of his rival politicians for the support of the secret service and some of the army commanders. And because he still possessed enormous talents for intrigue, he was also able to continue to divide his party opponents. But he had not enough money to hold any large groups of men together and his divisive tactics, though they gave him the upper hand over his top opponents, only succeeded in demoralizing the lower ranks of the party and the army until many of them had no spirit to resist at all.

  蒋介石可能打着这样的如意算盘:共产党提出的和平条件是他在国民党内的政敌决不可就接受的。等到他的党内对手搞得焦头烂额的时候,他就可以神气十足地重新上台。在此期间则由他的亲信设法破坏和谈,搞臭那些反对他亲政的人。这真是一条妙计。但是,蒋的亲信给政府内部的改良派拆台,破坏民主与和平运动,实际上也就破坏了国民党及其政府进行战争的能力。他们极力防止亲蒋势力四分五裂,结果只是加剧了国民党系统的全面瓦解。况且,如果说蒋介石竟然还有什么办法保住自己的话,唯一的办法恐怕也就是改行革命的政策;但是蒋介石尽管诡计多端,却从来没有这样的明智。

  整个一九四九年春季,蒋虽然身在奉化老家韬晦,却一心念念不忘他所离别的国都,继续伸出黑手控制那里的一举一动。报馆编辑批评他在幕后操纵,就被捕入狱;学生游行示威要求和平,就在南京的街头遇到毒打以至枪杀;甚至还有人企图绑架代理蒋介石总统职务的李宗仁。

  更令人民吃惊的是,在蒋下野后,竟有九十二名在押的汉奸获释出狱,已由中国法庭定罪的二百六十名日本战犯也被迫送回国。一九四九年一月下旬,蒋的法官竟悍然宣告日本谋略家冈村宁次大将无罪,让他搭乘美国轮船返回日本,受麦克阿瑟将军的庇护。冈村宁次毕生研究如何征服中国,历任日军华北驻屯军司令官和中国派遣军总司令,在中国实行“杀光,抢光,烧光”的三光政策。蒋介石一方面继续镇压本国人民,一方面又释放日本“战犯”,这自然就使他在中国普通老百姓的心目中更加声誉扫地。由此人们只能得出这样的结论:蒋根本不相信自己能发动中国人民起来打败共产党,所以就寄希望于第三次世界大战的爆发,极力同日本和驻日美军拉关系。

  Chiang probably calculated that the Communists would make peace demands that his rivals in the Kuomintang could not possibly accept. With his opponents discredited, he then could make a comeback with restored prestige. In the meantime, his closest supporters planned to sabotage peace and those who opposed his personal rule. This was a cute strategy. But in sabotaging the reform group in the government and in sabotaging the movements for democracy and peace, Chiang's supporters were in reality sabotaging the ability of his party and government to make war. The efforts to halt the disintegration of Chiang's own support merely increased the over-all disintegration of Nationalist society. And for all his intrigues, Chiang was never wise enough to set in motion any revolutionary policies that alone might have saved him, if saved he could be.

  From the shadows of his ancestral tombs in Fenghwa, the generalissimo throughout the spring of 1949 continued to reach out his black hand to control the events in the capital he had abandoned. Newspaper editors who criticized his backstage manipulations were arrested, students who paraded for peace were clubbed, shot and killed on the streets of Nanking and an attempt was even made to kidnap Li Tsung-jen who had taken over the presidency from the generalissimo.

  Much more startling was the fact that after Chiang's retirement ninety-two accused traitors and collaborators with the Japanese were released from jail while 260 Japanese war criminals convicted by Chinese courts were sent back to Japan. More revealing still, General Okamura, Japanese staff expert who had made a lifelong study of how to conquer China, who had been commander in chief of Japanese forces in North China and then Central China and who was the author of the "Kill all, loot all, burn all" policy, was suddenly, in late January 1949, declared innocent of war crimes by Chiang's judges and allowed to return on an American ship to Japan and the protection of General MacArthur. The continued suppression of his own subjects along with the release of Japanese "war criminals" naturally dropped Chiang's prestige still lower among the common people of China. From this one can only conclude that Chiang had no confidence in his ability to rouse his own people to beat the Communists. He was banking on a third World War and was laying out his lines of alliance to Japan and the American military in Japan.
  尽管蒋介石仍然企图对国务进行遥控,但是他既已离开首都,他的权威必然受到削弱。国民党内部的裂痕在不断加深。无论是在名义上还是在事实上,国民党政府都不成其为政府了。奉化有一个自行“引退”但未宣布辞职的总统,想方设法继续打下去。南京有一个代总统,想方设法要和谈。广州有一个以蒋介石的嫡系人物为首的国民党内阁行政院。台湾岛上还有以蒋介石在军事上的左右手、人称“小委员长”的陈诚以及蒋的长子为首的一伙人。这几个方面各持己见,你骂我好战,我骂你投降。

  和谈固然是造成国民党分裂的一个问题,但并不是最大的问题。因为国民党最高领导中有许多人不过是把和平挂在嘴上,装装门面,以便背地里重新组合力量继续反共,并继续争权夺利。争取获得美援的希望,大大促进了各派系的相互倾轧。一九四八年二月六日,行政院副院长兼外长吴铁城在广州的一次会上对七十六名国民党要人说,“美国国会正在酝酿再向我们提供六亿美元的军援,赠予我二、三亿美元购物资,并另行提供二、三亿美元作为稳定我货币的基金。”

  美援有望也促使边远省份的军阀重新组合力量继续抵抗共产党的攻势。在重庆举行的八省联防会议上,四川省主席王陵基将军宣称,西南各省将编练五百万人的新部队。这位将军是在吹牛,他哪里能搞起来这样大的力量?恐怕也是希望捞点美援罢了。其实他是受了某些美国军事评论家的怂恿,这些评论家鼓吹扶持中国的地方势力以遏制席卷中国的赤色浪潮。这种主张不过是三十年前就已失败的与此类似的政策之翻版,当时列强曾经支持俄国高尔察克将军反对新生的苏维埃政权。这种政策当时就已经证明是下策,现在把它搬到中国来也决不会是什么高招。

  这是因为国民党的头头们虽然嘴上还痛斥共产党,其实已经没有什么人真的想再打下去了。他们几乎完全丧失了自信心。这些人眼看自己快要完蛋,干脆也就不再想什么办法笼络民心、挽救危亡,反而变本加厉地对老百姓进行掠夺。他们干吗还不最后捞一大把呢?以后再也没有这种机会了。

  Despite Chiang's attempts at long-distance control of the Chinese state, his departure from the capital had definitely weakened his authority. The rift within the Kuomintang kept widening. The government was nominally and factually nowhere. In Fenghwa there was a "retired"
but not yet resigned president, intriguing for war. In Nanking there was an acting president, intriguing for peace. In Canton there was an Executive Yuan, the Kuomintang cabinet, headed by Chiang's own men. On the island of Formosa there was another group headed by General Chen Cheng, Chiang's right-hand military man known as the "little Generalissimo," and Chiang's eldest son. These groups accused each other of being warmongers or capitulationists, depending on their point of view.

  Peace was an issue underlying the split in the Kuomintang, but it was not the greatest issue. For many of the top leaders, peace was merely a verbal facade behind which they realigned themselves for further resistance to the Communists and further struggles for power and wealth. Hope for United States aid played a great part in the jockeying between contending factions. Wu Te-cheng, the deputy premier and foreign minister in the cabinet at Canton, told seventy-six leading Kuomintang members in a meeting in that city on February 6, 1948, that "a move is underway in the United States Congress to give us an additional military aid of six hundred million dollars, a grant of two to three hundred million dollars' worth of commodities and another two to three million dollars as a fund to stabilize our currency."

  The same hope stimulated warlords in the far-off provinces to realign themselves for continued resistance. At an Eight Province Defense Conference in Chungking, General Wang Ling-chi, governor of Szechuan, announced that the southwest provinces would raise a new fighting force of five million men. The general was exaggerating; he could not raise any such force; he probably hoped also to obtain American aid. In this he was encouraged by certain American military commentators who advocated supporting provincial Chinese leaders to stem the Red tide in China. Such a program was nothing but an imitation of a similar policy that had failed thirty years earlier when the Great Powers supported Admiral Kolchak against the newly born Soviet Union. The policy had proved defective then; it would have been equally defective now.

  One reason for this was that among the Kuomintang leaders who were breathing defiance of the Communists few had the stomach for fighting further. Their self-confidence was almost completely shot. On the brink of oblivion, they made almost no attempt to save themselves by winning the common people to their cause. On the contrary, they stepped up the robbery of their subjects. After all, why shouldn't they? It was their last chance.

  旧中国的统治者恨不得一下子刮地三尺,简直连最起码的门面也顾不得了。他们在光天化日之下公开进行掠夺。以云南省会昆明为例,在第二次世界大战中,飞越“驼峰”的美国空运线曾以这里为终点,当地人赚了美国大兵的不少美元。一九四九年二月十日,中央银行运来大批票面五十元的紫色金元券,把市面上所有的外币和金条收购一空。在二十四小时内,黄金和所有商品的价格涨了一倍。第二天,中央银行竟宣布所有的票面五十元的金元券都是伪钞。结果有三万人聚集在中央银行所在的南屏街,要求该行兑换,中央银行关上大门,结果发生了骚乱。省主席卢汉坐着装甲车,率领数百名军警赶到现场,驱散群众,不分青红皂白地抓了一百一十八人。就在中央银行大楼前的马路上,由卢汉主持进行军法审判。当着几千群众的面把被捕的人一一草草过堂就地枪决。枪毙了二十一个人以后,行刑队求情说;“剩下的人看来都是从犯”,卢汉才宣布结束审讯。

  在国民党行将覆灭的黑暗日子里,发生了不知多少这样惨绝人寰的事件。当国民党在内战中节节败退,甚至到了共产党即将向资源丰富、有两亿人口的华南进军的时候,国民党的官僚们仍然不去动员人民群众的巨大潜力来支撑自己的政权,而是竭力把民脂民膏换成便于带出国外的金条和外汇。一九四八年八月后,他们强制人民把外钞兑换成金元券,估计从中搜刮了一亿八千万美元。蒋介石政府的财政部为了给国民党的国库筹集资金,单凭一纸命令就从各家商业银行榨取了四千万美金。

  这些财富都到哪里去了呢?去的地方还不少。据一九四九年三月二日《大公报》报道,有八千六百箱的金银财宝和珍贵图书运往美国。总计约达四百万盎司的黄金整箱整柜地运到了台湾岛上,而且已经做好风声一紧便可启运国外的谁备。国民党的广东银行通过兑换金元券高来的五万盎司黄金和五千万元港币都存到了属于英国管辖的保险库——香港。菲律宾也成了国民党银行资本的避难所、国民党美元投资的新天堂,也是逃往国外的国民党头头们搞投机买卖的活动中心。国民党的许多官僚把他们在上海的地产出卖给欧籍犹太难民,讲定在马尼拉付款,用以在当地兴办工厂企业。国民党的头头恳求美国人为中国和国民党的前途下大本钱,可是他们自己却把大批资金转到国外去进行投资,他们究竟还有多少自信,也就可见一斑了。

  In their haste and greed, the rulers of old China abandoned almost all pretense. The plunder was now open and aboveboard. Take, for example, Kunming, chief city of Yunan Province. This city had been the terminus for the American air supply route over the "Hump" during World War II and it was filled with American dollars left there by American soldiers. On February 10, 1949, a huge amount of purple-colored Gold Yuan notes of fifty-dollar denomination were brought into the city and used by the Central Bank of China to buy up all foreign notes and gold bullion on the open market. The price of gold and all commodities doubled within twenty-four hours. On the second day, the bank announced that all the fifty-dollar notes were counterfeit. Thirty thousand people gathered on Nanping Street where the bank was located and began a run on the bank. The bank closed its doors and a riot ensued. Governor Lu Han arrived in an armored car at the head of several hundred soldiers, dispersed the crowds and indiscriminately arrested 118 people. A court-martial, presided over by Lu, was set up on the road opposite the bank building. The arrested men were questioned briefly and then shot to death, one by one, with thousands looking on. The governor ordered the "trial" to come to an end after twenty-one had been executed and after the executioners pleaded that "All the rest seemed to be accomplices only." (1)

  This sorrowful incident was but one of many which darkened the declining days of the Kuomintang. As the tide of civil war turned ever against them, even as the Communists stood poised for a push into South China where the resources were many and the people numbered two hundred million, the Kuomintang bureaucrats sought not so much to transform the huge potential of the masses into a support for their regime as they sought to transform their wealth into gold bullion and foreign exchange easy to be taken abroad. The compulsory conversion of foreign money into Gold Yuan resulted in an estimated 180 million dollars being taken from the people after August 1948. Forty more million dollars were squeezed out of the commercial banks by an order of Chiang's Finance Ministry which wanted to raise capital deposits in the Kuomintang treasury.

  Where was all this wealth going? Many places. On March 2, 1949, the Ta Kung Pao reported that eighty-six hundred cases of China's precious stones, treasures and rare books were transported to America. Trunks and chests of gold, amounting to an estimated four million ounces were sent to the island of Formosa. These caches were kept in such a way that they could be shipped abroad at any time in the event of an emergency. Fifty thousand ounces of gold and fifty million Hongkong dollars, which the Canton Bank had acquired through the Gold Yuan conversion, were deposited in Hongkong, the British safe deposit box. The Philippines also became a refuge for Chinese banking capital, a new paradise for Kuomintang investors with American money and a busy center for trade speculation among fleeing party leaders. Many party bureaucrats were selling their estates in Shanghai to European refugee Jews and then settling the deals in Manila where the set up corporations and factories. Kuomintang leaders were begging Americans to invest in their country and their party's future, but the measure of their self-confidence can be gauged by the fact that they themselves were sending much of their capital abroad for investment.

原注一:据一九四九年二月十九日《远东新闻简报》。 (1) As reported by Far Eastern Bulletin, Feb. 19, 1949.

  中国的军阀向来是恋栈到底的,倒不是因为他们对自己的未来有什么信念,而是为了尽可能长久地鱼肉老百姓,把聚敛的钱财存到租界或外国,日后下台,便可到国外当寓公。国民党的头头同这些军阀差不多,虽然手段要更高明一些。也许这不能怪他们,因为他们只不过是按中国的老习惯办事。

  当时国民党人的精神状态并不像十九世纪末叶英国处于衰落时期的世纪末情调,倒是像沙皇俄国和法国波旁王朝覆灭时的世界末日气氛。已经到了穷途末日,干什么都行,都情有可原,救自己要紧——这就是那些人的处世之道。

  国民党政权的盛衰,就像是一条总是断断续续地下降的曲线,现在呈现急转直下之势。面临着覆灭威胁的国民党,如果勉强作为一个政治实体维持下去,其领导人就必须改弦更张,扬弃过时的权术和贪污受贿的行径,到人民中去,与共产党争夺民心。

  但是国民党头头们是无可救药的,他们的买办和地主阶级的本性是至死也不变的。他们后期的行动只是作为生活中的实例才有进行研究的价值。他们和以前一样,殴打和枪杀学生,对人民横征暴敛,抓农民当壮丁。这些行动同以往一样,造成了恶果。虽然共军尚未渡过长江,但是在国民党的大后方,忽然到处像雨后春笋般冒出小股农民游击队,犹如一个病人周身长满了致命的皮疹一样。各地情况大体一样;农民在当地知识分子领导下起来造地主、狗腿子和军阀的反。直到最后,国民党也还是本性难移,根本不肯触犯乡村的土豪劣绅,所以就只有和他们一起垮台。旧中国的这些盲目的、残暴的、嗜血成性的统治者终于坠入深渊。

  It has always been characteristic of Chinese warlords that they hold on to their positions to the last, not out of belief in their own destiny, but so that they may tax the people for years ahead, put their wealth in foreign concessions or abroad and then retire or make a deal which will enable them to live handsomely in exile. Kuomintang leaders, though more adroit, were much the same. Perhaps they were not to blame: they were merely following "old Chinese custom."

  The spirit of the times, then, was not fin de siele, like the exhausted days of latter nineteenth-century England, but fin du monde, like Czarist Russia or Bourbon France. In this world of despair, anything went, anything was excusable. Save yourself: that was the code.

  So the graph of Kuomintang power, haltingly, but ever declining, approached its steepest drop. Threatened with extinction, it was necessary if. they were to survive as a political entity that the Kuomintang leaders give up their old ways, their outmoded techniques of power, their tactics of graft, and get down among the people to fight the Communists on their own terms.

  But the Kuomintang leaders could not change. They were compradors and landlords by nature and they were true to themselves to the end. The remainder of their actions have only the interest of a study in vivisection. As of old, the students were beaten and shot, the people taxed to death, the peasants kidnaped from their homes and forced into the army. And, as of old, the same actions produced the same results. Despite the fact that the Communist armies had not crossed the Yangtze River, nevertheless, deep in the Kuomintang rear, farmer guerrilla bands mushroomed suddenly from nowhere and then spread everywhere like a fatal rash across a diseased body. The story was always the same: peasant revolts, led by local intellectuals, against the bailiffs, the landlords and the gendarmes. To the very end, the Kuomintang stubbornly and characteristically refused to come to grips with the gentry and now it was going down with them. Brutally, bloodily, blindly, the rulers of old China moved toward the abyss.

  在国共停战期间,国民党根本没有好好利用这一难能可贵的间歇。长江北岸的中共却发挥它的聪明才智切实利用了这段时间。共产党提出的和平条件国民党表示不能接受后,毛泽东下令做好渡江南下的全面准备。准备工作做得十分周到,而且并不仅限于军事方面。农村继续进行土地改革,但比以前更讲究策略,不像以前那么残暴了。中共从农村调运粮食到新解放的城市,使市民生活安定了下来。另一方面,为了动员知识分子,共产党在北平和天津号召学生自愿报名,随军南下搞政治工作。由于这些学生刚刚从国民党的恐怖统治下解放出来,由于他们在南方的同学还在继续受国民党的追捕和杀害,北方的学生争相投奔共产党,就像刚刚改宗的信徒争着朝见新的宗教领袖一样,短短几个星期的功夫,北平和天津有一万名大、中学生学习了共产党接管城市的政策,待命南下。

  南下的命令不久就颁发了。四月中旬以前,共军在东起海滨、西达川鄂交界的三峡的长江北岸六百英里长一线的各个渡口调集了一百万人民解放军。在江南地区,共产党的地下工作人员已经组织起许多农民游击队,配合大军渡江。攻占国民党首都南京的一切准备就绪后,共产党就向国民党政府发出了最后通牒。

  最后通牒中提出了苛刻的条件,包括要求:一、国民党必须同意解放军渡江,不得抵抗;二、交出所有战犯,其中包括国民党政府中的一些要员;三、成立以共产党为主的“联合政府”。

  通牒规定国民党人必须限期答复。限期先后两次延长。到四月十七日,共产党宣布,除非李宗仁代总统为首的国民党政府在四月二十日前屈服,他们就要强渡长江天堑。在四月三十日最后限期前七个小时,国民党拒绝了共产党的条件。中国共产党主席毛泽东和人民解放军总司令朱德将军立即联名发布命令,命令人民解放军向江南进军,“解放全中国”,歼灭一切敢于抵抗的国民党“反动派”。

  During this period of truce, which the Kuomintang so urgently needed but so ill employed, the Communist party, north of the Yangtze River, used its talents to more effective purpose. Having laid down peace terms which the Kuomintang could not accept, Mao Tze-tung directed his followers to make full war preparations for crossing the Yangtze into South China. These preparations were thorough, but not solely military. In the countryside, the land reform continued at a wiser and less brutal tempo. In the newly conquered cities, the common people were kept quiet by food supplies brought in from the farms. On the other hand, in order to arouse the intelligentsia, the party appealed in Peiping and Tientsin for student volunteers to accompany their, southbound armies as political auxiliaries. Because they had been but newly freed from Kuomintang terror and because their fellow-students in the south were still being arrested and killed, the pupils in the north flocked to the Communists as converts gather to a new religious leader. Within a few weeks, ten thousand girls and bays from the universities and middle schools of Peiping and Tientsin had learned the Red techniques for taking over cities and were eagerly awaiting the call to march south.

  That call was not long in coming. By the middle of April, the Communists had concentrated one million soldiers of the People's Liberation Army in staging bases along a six-hundred-mile front skirting the north bank of the Yangtze River from the China Sea to river gorges near the Szechuan border. On the south side of the river, secret Communist agents had already organized peasant guerrilla bands to aid in the crossing. With every preparation made to seize the Nationalist capital at Nanking, the Communists sent a last ultimatum to the Kuomintang government.

  The terms were stiff. They called among other things for: 1. Nationalist agreement to an unopposed crossing of the Yangtze; 2. Surrender of all war criminals, including some members of the Nationalist government; 3. Formation of a "coalition" government dominated by the Communists.

  A deadline was set for the Nationalist answer. Twice the deadline was put ahead. Then, on April 17, the Communists announced that unless the government, headed by Acting President Li Tsung-jen, yielded by April 20, they would force the river barrier. Seven hours before the April 20 deadline, the Nationalists rejected the terms. Mao Tze-tung, chairman of the Communist party and General Chu Teh, commander in chief of the People's Liberation Army, immediately issued a joint order commanding their forces to push south and "liberate all of China." All Kuomintang "reactionaries" who dared resist were to be wiped out.

  四月二十日晚,毛泽东发布命令几小时后,人民解放军开始渡江。在西起九江、东至江阴,长达三百五十英里的战线上进行了渡江登陆作战。这一段的长江江面,有的地方宽达两英里,水深可以行驶海轮和各种战舰。共产党就凭着木船、舢板和木筏横渡这样的天堑。渡江之后,一切军需包括大炮、弹药、给养和各种供应都得靠这种原始的运输工具运到对岸。而国民党却有海军和空军来阻击共军渡江,表面看来力量对比似乎对蒋介石有利。

  但是解放军渡江几乎未遭任何抵抗。部分由美国装备起来并由美国训练的国民党海军毫无斗志。也是美国训练和装备起来的国民党空军,本来可予共军渡江部队以重创,却很少向共军出击。

  国民党为长江江防部署了近五十万兵力,但其战斗力却同其人数极不相称。四月二十日晚,长江江防首先在荻港被突破。防守该镇的是国民党第八十师和第八十八师。第八十八师是一支精锐部队,原为蒋的嫡系部队三大主力之一。这两个师都在共军渡江前夕举行起义。四月二十一日,共军在南京与汉口之间的九江登陆。一天后,人民解放军就攻入号称国民党江防最强固的据点江阴要塞区。江阴要塞的大炮不是向人民解放军,而是向国民党的军舰开炮射击,使共军渡江更为方便。各地战局全都一个样,国民党部队不是起义就是投降或溃逃。有的军事分析家曾认为,国民党中央军的战斗力比杂牌军强。渡江之役证明,这种差别已不复存在。革命使他们成了半斤八两一个烂样。

 


  On the evening of April 20, within a few hours of Mao Tze-tung's order, the People's Liberation Army began to cross the Yangtze River. Landing operations proceeded along a 350-mile front from Kiukiang in the west to Kiangyin in the east. The Yangtze in this section of China is sometimes two miles wide and it is deep enough to allow the passage of ocean-going steamers and warships of nearly every size and description. To negotiate this formidable water barrier, the Communists had only wooden boats, junks, and rafts. Everything they would need in South China, including artillery, ammunition, provisions and supplies of all kinds had to be ferried over the river by these primitive means. To halt the Yangtze crossing, the Kuomintang had a navy and an air force. Outwardly, the odds appeared in favor of Chiang Kai-shek.

  But there was almost no resistance to the crossing. The Chinese navy, which had been partially equipped and trained by the United States, showed little stomach for a fight. The air force, which had also been furnished to Chiang by the United States and which might conceivably have turned the crossing into a holocaust, seldom appeared to give battle to the Communists.

  The Kuomintang had deployed nearly half a million troops to man the Yangtze, but their fighting power was not to be measured by their numbers. The first break in the river line was made at Tikang on the evening of April 20. Garrisoning this town were the 8oth and 88th divisions, the latter;crack outfit and one of the three army units originally known as "Chiang's Own." Both divisions revolted on the eve of the battle. On April 21, the Communists landed at Kiukiang midway between Nanking and Hankow. A day later, forces of the People's Liberation Army were in the Kiangyin fort area, supposedly the strongest point in Kuomintang defenses. The garrison batteries in the Kiangyin fort opened fire, not on the People's Liberation Army, but on Kuomintang gunboats so that the Communists could the more easily cross the river. Everywhere, the story was repeated: insurrection, surrender, disintegration. Formerly, military analysts had made distinctions between the fighting power of Central troops and Irregular troops loyal to the Kuomintang. The Yangtze crossing proved that such distinctions no longer existed. The revolution had brought all to the same level.

  人民解放军进展神速。渡江以后的第一星期中,共军平均每天攻克三座城市。在二十四小时内,就有三万共军到达南京西南六十英里的芜湖。三天后,他们就兵临国都南京城下。

  国民党没有为保卫其首都进行任何战斗。共军大举渡江时,蒋的文武官员爬上美制飞机,狼狈逃往上海。有一位前往送行的外国外交官看到,登上飞机的将军们还随带大批家具,其中竟有一架钢琴。尽管天崩地陷,国民党的头头们仍然本性难移,一心想的就是保住自己的家产。

  政府官员从南京溜之大吉,城里的警察也就脱掉身上的制服。他们身为法律和秩序的捍卫者,却根本不想去保卫一个行将死亡的政权。有些人开始上街抢劫。群众对那些逃之夭夭的统治者毫无感情,他们冲进李宗仁代总统的住宅,把东西抢个精光。李代总统留下的管家还给他们帮忙。有些为蒋介石辩护的美国人常说,蒋在中国是一种建设性的力量,因为他振兴了人民的道德。现在,全世界都可以看到其真相如何了。

  The advance of the People's Liberation Army was unbelievably swift. During the first week after the crossing, Communist troops captured an average of three cities per day. Within twenty-four hours, thirty thousand soldiers were at Wuhu, sixty miles southwest of Nanking. Within three days, they were at the walls of the capital of the republic.

  The Kuomintang did not put up any fight for the capital of Chinese nationalism. As the Communists poured across the river, Chiang's officials and generals boarded American-made planes and flew in panic to Shanghai. A foreign diplomat who had come to say good-by noticed among the air-borne generals great piles of household furniture including one piano. With a whole world collapsing, the Kuomintang leaders, true to their nature, think only of saving their property.

  When the officials sneaked away from Nanking, the city police took off their uniforms. Defenders of law and order, they had no desire to defend a dead regime. The common people emerged into the streets and began looting. So little affection did the crowds have for their departed rulers that they rushed to the house of President Li Tsung-jen and stripped it bare. In this they were aided by the departed president's housekeeper. Some American apologists for Chiang Kai-shek had often said he was a creative force in China because he had morally regenerated the people. Now, all the world could see just how deeply this regeneration had taken effect.

  四月二十四日,陈毅将军和刘伯承将军指挥的人民解放军开进南京。共产党的广播电台兴高采烈地说:“国民党的反动统治已宣告灭亡。国民党政府已不复存在了。”人们群集街头,欢欣鼓舞地观看把国民党统治者赶跑的解放军。战士们穿过人群,高唱着一支支歌曲:

  “一心想着老百姓。”

  “打倒反动派。”

  “毛泽东是我们的大救星。”

  还有成千上万的战士,人不歇脚、马不停蹄地穿城而过,向南向东追击溃退的蒋军。攻克南京的陈毅将军发布七点命令,宣布保护人民的生命财产、教堂和学校,但要没收属于“蒋匪帮”的官僚资本,禁止藏匿武器弹药。保护外国侨民,包括外交人员,“除非他们从事违法活动或进行颠覆。”

  次日清晨六点四十五分,十二名士兵闯入美国大使馆,进入美国大使司徒雷登的卧室,当时他还睡眼惺忪地躺在床上。这位七十二岁高龄的大使,一生寓居中国,能操一口流利的中国话。士兵同他说话时态度很粗鲁,还指着房间里的陈设说:“这些东西很快就会属于人民。”他们临走时交代使馆的仆役,不准司徒雷登走出使馆的院子。达些纯朴的士兵凭枪杆子为革命打了天下,对人毫不客气。从这件事恐怕就能看出此后东方将会出现什么样的局面。


  On April 24, the People's Liberation Army under the command of General Chen Yi and General Lin Po-cheng marched into Nanking. The Communist radio in a jubilant broadcast said: "This is the end of the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang. The government has passed out of existence."

  Excited crowds gathered in the streets to see the army that had driven out their former rulers. While the crowds around them listened, the soldiers sang a number of anthems:

  "We must think of the common man."

  "Down with reactionaries."

  "Mao Tze-tung is our savior."

  Thousands of other soldiers moved hurriedly through the city without stopping and struck south and east in pursuit of Chiang's fleeing forces. General Chen Yi, conqueror of Nanking, ordered the publication of a seven point policy which promised to protect lives, property, churches and schools, but demanded the confiscation of the bureaucratic capital belonging to the "rebel [sic] Chiang Kai-shek & Co." and prohibited the hoarding of arms and ammunition. Foreigners, including diplomatic personnel, would be protected "unless they indulged in law violations or subversive activities."

  The next day, at 6:45 o'clock in the morning, twelve soldiers invaded the United States embassy and entered the bedroom of the American ambassador, J. Leighton Stuart, who was lying in bed, half awake. After rudely addressing the seventy-two-year-old diplomat, a fluent Chinese scholar and a lifelong resident of China, they pointed to articles in his room and said, "These will soon belong to the people." As they were leaving, they told a servant of the embassy that Stuart should not be allowed to leave the residence compound. These simple soldiers, armed creators of the revolution, were no respecters of persons. They were probably a portent of the shape of things to come in the Orient.

  南京的易手在军事上并没有什么重要意义,但却具有十分重大的政治意义。这座离海二百三十五英里、位于长江岸边的拥有百万人口的大城市,二十年来一直是中华民国的象征。一九一二年一月一日孙中山就是在这里宣誓就任中华民国大总统的。一九二九年蒋介石就是在这里建都,以此为剿共战争的大本营的,当时共产党还只是孤处华南的一支小小的游击队。当年的这些游击队发展壮大,今天成了三百万雄师,攻占了蒋的首都,而蒋竟毫无还手之力。这就说明中国政治形势发生了翻天覆地的变化。

  共军从南京飞速前进,直逼上海。上海是西方帝国主义在远东长期经营的基地。这座六百万人口的城市里的外国租界,在历次中国内战中从来没有遭受战祸。现在上海只凭一道木栅栏和一些土掩体设防。这些工事简直就像舞台上的布景一样,并非真是为了防御而是为了贪污舞弊而修筑的。在这些防御工事后面的上海市区,有一万五千名美国、英国和其他欧洲国家的侨民等待着共军到来,根本不想进行抵抗。二十二年前,这些外国人的前辈曾经让蒋介石的武装流氓穿过外国租界到华界去屠杀拥护共产主义事业的工人。观在,再也不可能如此容易地对付中国共产主义了。

  The fall of Nanking was of little military importance. Its political significance, however, was tremendous. For three decades, this metropolis of one million people on the banks of the Yangtze, 235 miles from the China Sea, had been the symbol of the Chinese republic. It was here, on January I, 1912, that Sun Yat-sen took the oath as president of the republic. It was here, in 1929, that generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had set up his capital and headquarters for the war against the Communists, then but a small guerrilla band isolated in South China. Now, these same guerrillas, enlarged into an army of nearly three million men had taken his capital and he had not been able even to attempt to defend it. Such was the tremendous turnabout that had occurred in Chinese politics.

  From Nanking, the Communists wheeled on Shanghai, long the base of Western imperialism in the Far East. This city of six million people with its former foreign concessions which had stood inviolate during innumerable Chinese civil wars, was now protected only by a wooden fence and mud pillboxes. Behind these stage property defenses - built not for defense but for graft - fifteen thousand Americans, British and Europeans awaited the Communists with no thought of resisting. Twenty-two years earlier, the forerunners of these men had allowed the armed gangsters of Chiang Kai-shek to pass through the foreign concessions and slaughter factory workers in the native city who were adhering to the Communist cause. Now, no such easy solution of Chinese Communism was possible.

 

  在共军渡江时发生了一个事件,它揭示了整个小国内战的重大意义,比写十几篇政论都更能说明问题。长江是世界最大河流之一,发源于西藏,奔流三千英里,注入东海,下游一千英里可以通航海轮。近百年来,长江下游一直听凭外国军舰游弋,没有哪一个中国政府能够不让它们出入,也没有哪一个中国政府愿意这么干。渡江战役开始时,高傲的英国海军当局不顾中国出现的新局面,悍然命令军舰紫石英号驶离上海运送物资供应给南京英国大使馆。这一行动肯定具有挑衅意味,尽管也许并非故意挑衅。后来国民党和英国当局部宣称,根据英国同蒋介石政府签订的条约,紫石英号军舰完全有权在长江航行。但是共军当时正是在为废除这些条约而战。因此,不出所料,有一次共军在同国民党的舰队和对岸的国民党部队作战时,用他们缴获的美制大炮向紫石英号轰击。紫石英号受了重创,在离南京五十英里处搁浅。另一艘英国驱逐舰伴侣号从南京沿长江下驶,也被共军炮火击退。还有两艘英国军舰从上海上驶,这真是不仅狂妄而且愚蠢,这两艘军舰也受到共军炮火痛击,只得掉头而逃。英方共死水兵四十四名,伤八名。

  这一事件意义极其重大。三十年以前,只要有英国军舰在长江出现,就足以使中国内战的战局顿时改观。如果在二十年以前发生这样的事件,停泊在中国沿海的所有外国军舰就会纷纷开进长江教训那些不安本份的中国人。各国使节也会严厉要求中国赔礼道歉,外国报刊也会喧嚣鼓噪要求进行报复,报刊编辑会纷纷发表文章,谈论需要维护“法律与秩序” 的一番大道理。可惜现在不是一九二九年而是一九四九年了。

链接:“紫石英号”事件


  During the crossing of the Yangtze River, there occurred an incident which pointed up the significance of the whole China war in a fashion more revealing than a dozen political dissertations. The Yangtze, one of the world's great rivers, which has its source in Tibet and its mouth three thousand miles away in the China Sea, is navigable for its last thousand miles by ocean-going steamers. On this stretch of the river, foreign warships have been maneuvering for nearly a hundred years, with no Chinese government able or willing to keep them out. As the battle over this great waterway began, British naval authorities, with a sublime indifference to the new realities in China, ordered the sloop Amethyst to move out of Shanghai with supplies for British embassy officials in Nanking. This action was definitely, though perhaps not purposely, provocative. Later both Kuomintang and British authorities were to declare that the ship had a perfect right on the Yangtze because of treaties concluded with the Chiang government. But it was just these treaties which the Communists were fighting to destroy. As might have been expected, Communist soldiers in the midst of a battle with the Kuomintang fleet and Kuomintang soldiers on the opposite shore opened up with their American-made batteries on the Amethyst. She was severely damaged and ran aground fifty miles from Nanking. From that city another British warship, the destroyer Consort, headed downstream but was beaten off by Communist guns. Adding folly to arrogance, two other British warships moved upstream from Shanghai; they too were heavily shelled and turned tail and fled. In all, the British suffered forty-four seamen killed, eighty injured.

  The significance of this event is tremendous. Thirty years earlier, the mere presence of the British warships on the Yangtze would have been enough to turn the tide of any civil war. Twenty years ago, such an incident would have sent every foreign warship on the China station scurrying up the river to silence the insolent Chinese; diplomats would have sternly demanded apologies; the foreign press would have thundered for revenge and editors would have written philosophic dissertations on the need for "law and order." But 1949 was not 1929.

  横渡长江如同历史上横渡卢比孔河、拉巴哈诺克河或莱茵河等许多江河天险一样,可能成为一个具有决定意义的日子载入史册。

  《纽约先驱论坛报》说:“这个日子很有可能永垂史册,因为在这天,刚刚学会使用缴获的美式装备的中共炮手轻蔑地把英国皇家海军撂到了一边。”这一天标志着已经破产的中国旧政权终于被迫承认自己的无能。而那些把全部希望寄托于这个政权的西方各国政府,不得不承认他们无法挽救这个政权,也不得不承认一支崭新的、性质完全不同的力量已经取得了统治亿万中国人民的权力。这无疑证明旧秩序已经完蛋。无论是中国的有产阶级也好,大英帝国也好,或是美国的“门户开放政策”也好,都不足以为中国人民开辟一条解决当代各种错综复杂问题的行得通的途径。“

  其实,这家报纸还可以再补充一句说,这一天也很有可能作为在亚洲敲响帝国主义丧钟的日子而载入史册。解放军横渡长江,宣告了一个历史时期的终结。这个时代是在一百年前欧洲反动势力镇压一八四八年革命,开始向东方对亚洲无情地进行扩张时开始的。在这个时期里,发生了美国的佩里将军强行打开日本门户、克里米亚战争、印度民族大起义、沙俄向黑龙江流域扩张等一系列事件。中国的太平天国运动和回族起义、日本的明治维新、美国的南北战争和俄国农奴的解放,也都发生在这个时期。在这个时期里,英国轰开了中国的大门,法国攫取了印度支那和海南岛,日本强占了朝鲜和台湾,甚至连小小的葡萄牙也从中国割走了澳门。在这个时期里,帝国主义把鸦片强加给中国人民,在中国各大城市里设立租界,根据各种不平等条约对中国进行控制。在这个时期里,西方资本主义先后进行了两次耗资难计其数的世界大战,大伤了自己的元气。第一次世界大战导致了俄国革命和日本帝国主义在亚洲崛起与列强分庭抗礼。第二次世界大战引起了中国革命,使所有的帝国主义在远东受到一次粉碎性的打击。

  解放军横渡长江宣告这个时期永远结束了。炮舰外交的时期已经一去不复还了。开辟通商口岸、设立租界、租借海军基地、出兵中国、公然干涉中国内政——这一切也都一去不复返了。十九世纪中叶以来,中国就成了帝国主义的天下,这个时期中国的变化是微不足道的;现在,共产党领导的革命却正在使那样的一个中国消失得无影无踪。

  不管怎样,中国的一个新时期开始了。这个新时期的情况究竟是好是坏还难以断定,还存在着不少不安定的苗头。但是一个古老的中国正在进入一个崭新的时代,这一点是没有什么可以怀疑的了。

  渡江标志着共产党又开始了极其艰巨的新的征程,再想往回走,是绝不可能了。他们已经着手解放全中国,这也是无法妥协折衷的事。这里面包含着极大的风险。共产党本来只是些以农村为根据地的游击队,逐步发展壮大,成了争夺全国政权的力量,现在他们直接面对着剑拔努张的西方列强。渡江标志着他们离开了经营十三年之久、同人民打成一片、不断发展壮大、接连赢得辉煌胜利的北方根据地。他们在北方农村里有根基,而在南方却没有任何根基,必须从头创基立业。真所谓:忆往昔,峥嵘岁月稠;望未来,征途仍艰险。

  The crossing of the Yangtze - like the crossing of so many other river barriers in history, from the Rubicon to the Rappahannock or the Rhine - may stand as a decisive date in world history.

  It is likely to stand [remarked the New York Heraid Tribune] as the day on which Chinese Communist gunners, learning how to use American equipment, brushed the Royal Navy contemptuously aside. It is likely to stand as the day when a bankrupt old regime in China was forced finally to confess itself impotent, and when the Western policies, founded upon hopes of its survival, were compelled to admit they could not save that regime and that new and different forces had assumed dominant power over the Chinese millions. It is proof certainly the old order is done, that neither the Chinese monied classes, British imperialism nor the American "open door doctrine" have sufficed to open a pathway through the tangled problems of the times which the Chinese people could follow.

  This day is also likely to stand, the newspaper might have added, as the day which sounded the death knell of imperialism in Asia. The crossing of the Yangtze rang down the curtain on an era of history. It was an era that had opened one hundred years ago when the forces of reaction in Europe were crushing the Revolution of 1848 and beginning a ruthless expansion eastward into Asia. It was an era which saw Perry's opening of Japan, the Crimean War, the Indian mutiny, Russian czarist expansion to the Amur. It was an age which witnessed the Taiping and Moslem rebellions in China, the Meji Restoration in Japan and Civil War in the United States and the freeing of the Russian serfs. It was an age in which the British blew down the back doors of China, when the French grabbed Indo-China and Hainan, the Japanese seized Korea and Formosa and even little Portugal sliced off Macao from China. It was an age during which imperialism forced opium on the Chinese people, set up foreign concessions in China's cities and ruled her by special and unequal treaties. It was an era which saw Western capitalism devour itself in two costly wars, the first resulting in the Russian Revolution and the rise of a rival Asiatic imperialism in Japan, the second bringing about the Chinese Ikevolution and crushing blows to all imperialism in the Far East.

  The Yangtze River crossing ended these days forever. Gone was the era of gunboat diplomacy, gone the treaty port concessions, gone the specially conceded naval bases, the military missions, the ill-disguised interference in Chinese affairs. The China of the imperialists that had existed with only insignificant changes since the middle of the nineteenth century was going up in the smoke of a Communist-led revolution.

  For better or for worse, a new day was dawning in China. The weather of this day was uncertain. Many storm clouds were on the horizon. But that a new day was coming up in an ancient land, of that there could be little doubt.

  The Communists in crossing the Yangtze River had begun an adventure of terrible proportions, from which there could be no turning back. They had set out to conquer all of China and there could be no compromise. The risks of such an undertaking were enormous. In evolving from country-based guerrillas to aspirants for state power, the Communists were now face to face with the bared fangs of the Western powers. In crossing the Yangtze River, they were leaving the scene of their greatest triumphs where they had built up their strength by close association for thirteen years with the people of the North. There they had bases in the countryside, now they had none, but must create them. Behind them was the turbulent past, ahead of them the uncertain future.

  共产党不但冒着巨大的风险,而且还面临着更巨大的困难。摆在他们面前的是面职比欧洲还大的辽阔国土,内有千差万别,外有漫长边界。汉口、广州和上海这样的大城市,有着外侨、工人、流氓问题和国际联系,对农村出身的干部提出了可怕的挑战。还有两亿人民有待争取,他们操着二十来种不同的方言。这真是多么漫长而艰巨的征程。共军要去的长江以南地区,地形同一望无际的华北平原大不相同。这里有江西的丘陵,十五年前共军就是从此地开始著名的二万五千里长征的。这里有珠江三角洲的水稻田,孙中山和国民党的革命就是在此地发祥的。这里有边垂省份云南,此地有尚未开化的彝族部落。这里有郁郁葱葱的四川红土盆地,有大西北的戈壁沙漠,有西藏地区高耸入云的峰峦,有雄伟险峻的长江三峡,还有蜿蜒三干英里的长江天堑。在长城以北沿着陡峭的边界,北方和西方有虎视耽耽的苏联,南方有印度支那和为其帝国前途担心的法国人,往东就是中国海上的英占要塞香港。

  尽管中国共产党夺取政权的最后一幕可能是漫长而艰巨的,但是它的结局简直不可能有什么疑问。社会制度方面的革命运动已经取得了很大进展,现在不可能予以制止了。当然,国民党军队还可能会在这里或那里进行抵抗。中国南方的大地主,可能会继承当年镇压太平天国的曾国藩和左宗棠的衣钵,编练由乡绅领导的游击队。蒋的特务组织还可能在各个角落建立反共基地。美国甚至还可能再把亿万美元投入中国这个无底洞。但是这一切都无济于事。国民党已经无法挽救了。真是“油已尽,灯将灭”。

  The risks taken by the Communists were great. But the difficulties facing them were greater still. Before them lay a vast territory larger than Europe, of endless variety and almost limitless boundaries. Great cities, such as Hankow, Canton and Shanghai, with their foreign populations, their factory workers, their gangster problems and their international ties, posed terrible challenges to country-bred cadres. Two hundred million people speaking a score of different dialects remained to be won over. The way of conquest was a long and an arduous one. The terrain was far different from the flat lands of the North China Plain. Here, south of the Yangtze River, where the Communists were going, were the hills of Kiangsi whence they themselves had begun their famous six-thousand-mile Long March fifteen years before. Here were the paddy fields of the Canton delta, from which had sprung Sun Yat-sen and the Kuomintang revolution. Here, the far-off province of Yunan with its wild Lob tribesmen, here the lush fields of the Red Basin in Szechuan, the desert of northwest China, the towering mountains of Tibet and the great and almost impenetrable Yangtze gorges and the winding three-thousand-mile barrier of the river itself. And beyond the soaring boundaries, beyond the Great Wall, to the north and west, lay the wary Soviet Union, and to the south Indo-China and the French, frightened for their empire, and to the east, Hongkong, an English fortress in a Chinese sea.

  This final act in the Communist drive for power in China might be long and it might be difficult. But the outcome could scarcely be in doubt. The movement for social revolution had gained too much headway to be halted now. The Kuomintang armies might put up resistance here and there. The great landholders of South China, following the traditions of Tseng Kuo-fan and Tso Tsung-tang who put down the Taiping Rebellion, might raise a gentry-led guerrilla force. Chiang's secret service might plant centers of resistance in every corner. The United States might even funnel many more millions into the China rathole. But it would make little difference. There was little soul left in the Kuomintang any more. Indeed, the "oil was exhausted and the light was dying."
  在这段时期里,这个孔夫子的祖国正在经历一次剧烈的动荡。四千年以来,中国人民一直是向祖先坟墓磕头膜拜,寻求过去生活的答案。但是现在不同了。自从中国的巫医和暴君窒息了人民的思想以来,中国人民几乎还是第一次挺起胸膛,探索未来问题的答案了。不管究竟是好是坏,中国共产党人反正已经唤起亿万人民心中的个性意识,由此而迸发出一种不可抗拒的精神力量,无情地横扫一切残余的东方中世纪式的野蛮现象,以及西方帝国主义伪装文明的野蛮现象。究竟代之而起的是否又是一种新的野蛮制度呢?这还有待历史来做出结论。

  只有四种情况可能会制止中国革命继续向前发展。第一种情况是,在中国南部和西部出现一股同蒋介石完全脱离关系的新力量,自己也搞一套土改,领导人也同共产党人一样革命。发生这种情况的可能性是百分之一。制止中国共产主义的第二种可能办法是通过苏联的干预。发生这种情况的可能性同样也是微乎其微的。第三种可能是在革命阵营内部发生反共的内乱。这种情况也不大可能发生。还有一种可能就是爆发第三次世界大战。可以想像,国民党军队在华南被逼到无路可走,有可能会退入印度和缅甸,争取法国和英国的援助,并且通过它们争取美国的援助。如果这样,国民党的老家伙说不定还会想在东南亚建立反共堡垒呢。

  发生这种情况的可能性显然是存在的。但是除非美国设法恢复帝国主义在东方的旧体制,这种可能性并不是很大的。如果中国共产党人居然也卷进去的话,这只能更加尖锐地突出了这样一个令人震惊的事实:昔日中国内地的小股游击队本来只是一群亡命之徒,现在已成为争霸世界舞台上的主要演员。从日本到印尼的东方各国都有同中国差不多一样的农民,这些人由具有马克思主义思想的知识分子来领导,是一种不祥之兆。政治家对他们可能恐惧,也可能疑惑,商人可能想同他们做买卖,哲学家见了他们会战栗。但是,不管人们对他们有什么看法,或者打算对他们怎么办,都不可能使他们就此消失,也不可能因此而抹煞他们的重要性。你看,他们一个个朝气蓬勃,精神抖擞,血气方刚,手中紧握着武器,眼里充满了仇恨,口中高唱着战歌,行进在亚洲大地上。在一个古老的世界、一个正在崩溃的世界中,他们是一支新生的力量,一支令人望而生畏的力量。

  In the meantime, a mighty convulsion is shaking the land of Confucius. For four thousand years the Chinese people have been kowtowing before their ancestral tombs, seeking an answer to life in the past. But now, almost for the first time since Chinese medicine men and despots put their blight on the Chinese mind, the common people of Cathay are beginning to stand erect and seek an answer to their problems in the future. For better or for worse, the Chinese Communists have succeeded in awakening in millions of people a sense of personality. In the wake of this act has come an irresistible discharge of emotional energy that is sweeping the last barbarities of Oriental medievalism along with the more refined barbarities of Occidental imperialism remorselessly toward oblivion. Whether a new barbarism is rising remains for history to decide.

  Only four things can possibly halt the onward march of the Chinese Revolution. The first of these is the rising of a new force in South and West China, utterly divorced from Chiang Kai-shek and the old leaders of the Kuomintang, with a land reform program of its own, and with a leadership just as revolutionary as the Communists? The possibility of this happening is one in a hundred. The second way in which Chinese Communism might be halted would be by interference from the Soviet Union. The possibility of this happening is just as remote. The third possibility is an internal revolt in the revolutionary camp against the Communists. This, too, is unlikely. There remains a third World War. Cornered in South China, the retreating Nationalist armies might conceivably back into Indo-China and Burma and seek to obtain the aid of France and England and through them the United States. In this way, the old leaders of Chinese nationalism might attempt to set themselves up as a bulwark against Communism in southeast Asia.

  This occurrence is a distinct possibility. But it is not a probability unless the United States tries to restore the old structure of imperialist empire in the Orient. That the Chinese Communists might become involved in any such event merely brings more sharply into focus the astounding fact that the tiny band of guerrillas who were once outlaws in the interior of China have now become major actors on the stage of world power.

  Since there are peasants like the Chinese, more or less similar in every country in the Orient, from Japan to Indonesia, led by intellectuals with a Marxist ideology, these men have become a portent. Statesmen may fear them or wonder at them, and businessmen may try to serve them while philosophers shudder. But whatever one thinks about them or plans to do about them, they cannot be wished out of existence nor can their importance be denied. There they are, vibrant, vital and vigorous, marching across Asia with arms in hand, blood in their eyes and a song on their lips, a new force, a terrible force in an ancient world, a crumbling world.