Nigel Harris


The Mandate of Heaven


Notes for the Reader


Abbreviations Used in the Text and Notes


All-China Federation of Trade Unions (before 1953, All-China Federation of Labour)


Current Background, translation of official documents of the government or party, issued in translation by the United States Consulate General, Hong Kong


Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party; when it occurs with a number (e.g. the Ninth), this refers to the Congress which elected it


Chinese Communist Party


Communist International (Comintern), 1919-43


China Quarterly (originally, Chungking; from 1960, London)


Extracts from China Mainland Magazines (subsequently, Extracts from People’s Republic of China Magazines), published by the United States Consulate General, Hong Kong


Government Administrative Council; from 1954, State Council, the council of ministers of the Government of the People’s Republic


Jen-min Jih-pao (The People’s Daily, Peking); as officially now transliterated into Roman script, Renmin Ribau


Jen Min Piao or Yuan (or Chinese dollar), official currency of the People’s Republic. Official transliteration now, Renminbau (RMB)


Jih-pao, daily (of newspapers)




National People’s Congress


People’s Liberation Army


Peking Review, Peking, weekly (in English and other languages)


People’s Republic of China




Survey of China Mainland Press (subsequently, Survey of People’s Republic of China Press), translations from the Chinese Press, published by the United States Consulate General, Hong Kong


Survey of China Mainland Magazines (subsequently, Survey of People’s Republic of China Magazines), translations from Chinese weekly and monthly publications, published by the United States Consulate General, Hong Kong


Survey of World Broadcasts, monitoring service (of Chinese radio) by the British Broadcasting Corporation, London



Over the period concerned, different forms of transliteration from Chinese to Roman characters have been used. Where possible, these have been standardized on the first use in this book, without any regard to the relative merits of different forms. Where citations use different transliteration for the same term, no attempt has been made to standardize them.


Chinese measures

JMP/RMB: converted from old to new (10,000:1) in 1955. Currently, 1 RMB equals 0.526 US dollars.

Mou: 0.067 hectares or 0.165 acres.

Catty: 500 grammes or 1.102 lbs.



Note on Sources of Mao’s Works

Statements before 1949

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol.1, Peking, 1965 (official translation of the second official Chinese edition, Peking, April 1960). Textual reference: SW I

Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works, 1926-1936, Vol.1, New York, 1954 (official translation of the Chinese edition, Peking, 1951). Textual reference: SW I, New York, 1954

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vols.II and III, Peking, 1956 (official translation of the second Chinese edition, Peking, 1960). Textual reference: SW II or SW III

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol.IV, Peking, 1961 (official translation of the first Chinese edition, Peking, 1960). Textual reference, SW IV

Sources of citation from individual writings of Mao earlier than these editions are cited in the text. They include:

A Documentary History of Chinese Communism, edited by Conrad Brandt, Benjamin Schwartz and John H. Fairbank, New York, 1967. Textual reference: A Documentary History

Mao’s China: Party Reform Documents, 1942-44, translated by Boyd Compton, London, 1952

Mao Tse-tung, China: The March Towards Unity, documents, Communist Party of the United States, New York, 1937


Speeches, writings and quotations after 1949

Official published sources – for example, Mao Tse-tung on Art and Literature, Peking, 1960; Four Essays on Philosophy, Peking, 1968; Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Peking, 1966; and as cited in the text.

Internal party publications, as compiled in various sources, but particularly Mao Tse-tung ssu-hsiang wan sui (Long Live Mao Tse-tung Thought), 1967/69, as translated in:

Miscellany of Mao Tse-tung Thought, 1949-68, Vols.I and II, Joint Publications Research Service, Arlington Virginia, n.d. (mimeo). Textual reference: Miscellany

Mao Tse-tung Unrehearsed, Talks and Letters, 1965-71, edited by Stuart R. Schram, London, 1974. Textual reference: Mao Unrehearsed

Mao Papers, Anthology and Bibliography, translated and edited by Jerome Ch’en, London, 1970. Textual reference: Mao Papers

The publication of Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol.V, Peking, 1977 (covering the period 1949 to 1957) occurred too late for the volume to be used here as a source.

For discussions of these documents, cf. the introduction to Schram, op.cit.; CQ57, pp.156-65; John Gittings, The World and China, 1922-72, London, 1974, chs.XI and XII; and CQ60, pp.750-66; or Roderick McFarquhar, The Times, 5 Sept 1973.



Citations and notes to the text are given at the end of each chapter, although they are numbered by part.


Last updated on 14.4.2001