Break the blockade imposed by the imperialists
July 19, 1949
All the imperialists' tricks, including the blockade, are designed to force us to submit. Similarly, our struggle is aimed at forcing the imperialists to submit. We will never give in, and the experience of the past month or so demonstrates that it will not be easy to force the imperialists to submit, either. Actually, the struggle between the two sides during this period was of an exploratory nature until Britain and the United States brought the blockade into play. Although the blockade has caused us more than a few problems, it also has a beneficial side. Even without the blockade, we still have many unsolvable problems. However, the blockade will do enormous harm to us if it lasts too long. In order to break it, Chairman Mao stressed the need for a swift military occupation of Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Xikang, Qinghai and Ningxia provinces, and an early occupation of the offshore islands and Taiwan. At the same time, the sooner we carry out our foreign policy of leaning to one side, the more favorable it will be for us (Chairman Mao says we are leaning to one side on our own accord now to avoid being maneuvered into leaning to one side in the future). As regards our domestic policy, we must stress the need for conscientiously relying on our own efforts; we should not just call for it but should earnestly set about doing it (Chairman Mao says it is even more important for us to adopt this policy from the perspective of the long-term building of a new democracy). He says that these two policies are sound and in line with the intentions of the Central Committee. By doing so, that is, by occupying the whole of China, leaning to one side and relying on ourselves, we can not only lay a solid foundation for ourselves, but also compel the imperialists to yield to us.
(Excerpt from a letter to the comrades of the East China Bureau of the CPC Central Committee relaying Comrade Mao Zedong's oral instruction.)
(From Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Volume I <1938-1965>)