Mao Zedong orders communist armies to prepare to cross the Yangtze – archive, 1949 | Mao Zedong
Nanking, April 21th
Communist radio in Beijing said this evening that Mao Tse-tung, the Communist leader, had given orders to the Communist armies to prepare for a general crossing of the Yangtze. His manifesto said:
I. Advance courageously with determination and completely eliminate all undemocratic and reactionary action Kuomintang forces on Chinese territory.
2. Advance courageously and arrest all notorious war criminals and bring them to justice according to the law. Special attention should be paid to the “gangsterissimo” Chiang Kia-shek.
3. Finally proclaim the draft peace program before all the provincial and local governments of the Kuomintang and local military bodies, and sign local agreements with those who are ready to stop the war and settle things by peaceful methods.
4. Once the People’s Liberation Network has surrounded Nanjing, and if the Li Tsung-jen The government has not yet escaped, we are ready to step back and offer it one last chance to sign the program.
Defenders are outnumbered
The nationalists defending the Yangtze Line, some 500,000 men, are estimated to be outnumbered three to one. Communist troops, in addition to their bridgehead on the south bank at Wuhu (the only one to date), attacked along a 400-mile stretch of the Yangtze on both sides of Nanjing. They captured islands in the middle of the Yangtze, which they will use as stepping stones. Machine gun and artillery fire can be clearly heard in Nanjing, and the sound of fighting is getting closer and closer. The nationalist gunboats ignite with their weapons.
Ask the communists
From our diplomatic correspondent
On the instructions of the British Ambassador to China, our Vice-Consul in Beijing is trying to establish contact with the Communist authorities to ask them to stop the attacks against the Amethyst so that the ship and its wounded can be brought to safety. Previous attempts to contact the Communists have failed.
It is pointed out that since last October, British warships, with the permission of the Chinese government, have been moving up and down the Yangtze River to Nanjing carrying supplies to our Embassy and to British residents in Nanjing, who are less than one hundred. . As contact was not made with the Communists, they clearly were not officially informed of the trips, although it is said that they could not have failed to identify the Amethyst or recognize its peaceful goals.
In Nanjing, it is announced that the first secretary of the British embassy crossed the Yangtze to try to persuade the Communists not to shoot at the Amethyst not that his wounded can be rescued.
There are still some 4,000 Britons in Shanghai, 200 in Canton and about the same number in northern China.