PRC ceasefire message during 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis
|PRC ceasefire message during 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis (1958)
|This is the English text of the message of the People’s Republic of China Defence Minister, Peng Teh-huai, given on 6 October 1958 announcing an end to hostilities (as reported by the New China Agency and reproduced in full in The Times’ edition of 6 October)|
Message of Peng Teh-huai, Minister of National Defence of the People's Republic of China
All compatriots, military and civilian, in Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, and Matsu. We all are Chinese. Of all choices, peace is the best. The fighting round Quemoy is of a punitive character.
For quite a long time your leaders have been far too rampant. They have ordered aircraft to carry out wanton raids on the mainland, dropping leaflets and secret agents, bombing Foochow and harassing Kiangsu and Chekiang, reaching as far at Yunnan, Kweichow, Szechwan, the Kangting area, and Chinghai. Can this be tolerated ? Hence the firing of a few shells, just to call your attention. Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, and Matsu are Chinese territory. To this you agree, as proved by documents issued by your leaders, which confirm that they are indeed not territory of the Americans. Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, and Matsu are part of China. They do not constitute another country. There is only one China, not two, in the world. To this, you also agree, as proved by documents issued by your leaders. The military agreement signed between your leaders and the Americans is unilateral; we do not recognize it. It should be abrogated.
Hunger and Cold
The day will certainly come when the Americans will abandon you. Do you not believe it? History will bear witness to it. The clue is already there in the statement made by Dulles on September 30. Placed in such circumstances, do you not feel wary? In the last analysis, the American imperialists are our common enemy. It is hard for the 130,000 troops and civilians in Quemoy to stand for long the lack of supplies and the pestering hunger and cold. Out of humanitarian considerations, I have ordered the bombardment to be suspended on the Fukien [mainland opposite Quemoy] front for seven days starting from October 6. Within this period you will be fully free to ship in supplies, on condition that there be no American escort.
The war between you and us has been going on for 30 years. It is not good that it is not yet stopped. We propose that talks be held to effect a peaceful settlement. You were notified of this by Premier Chou En-lai several years ago. This is an internal Chinese matter between you and us, not a matter between China and the United States. The issue between China and the United States is the United States invasion and occupation of Taiwan, Penghu, and the Taiwan Straits, and this should be settled through negotiations between the two countries which are now being held in Warsaw. The Americans are bound to go; they have to go. For the United States, the quicker they go the better, because in this way it can have the initiative. Otherwise it will be to its disadvantage, because it will then be always on the defensive.
Why should a country in the east Pacific have come to the west Pacific ? The west Pacific belongs to the people in this region, just as the east Pacific belongs to the people over there. This is common sense, which the Americans should have. There is no war between the People's Republic of China and the United States, and so the question of a cease-fire does not arise. Is it not a farce to talk about a cease-fire when there is no fire? Friends in Taiwan, there are flames of war between us. They should be stopped and extinguished. To achieve this, talks are needed. Of course, it would not matter so much even if the fighting should continue for another 30 years. It is, however, better to secure an early peaceful settlement. The choice is up to you.
Peng Teh-huai, Minister of National Defence of the People's Republic of China.