GENERALISSIMO CHIANG KAI-SHEK'S MESSAGE TO THE INDIAN PEOPLE (Excerpt)
February 21, 1942
Inter-Allied Review, March 15, 1942.
During my two weeks' stay in India I have had the opportunity of discussing very frankly with the highest civil and military authorities as well as with my Indian friends, questions concerning joint plans against aggression and the objective of our common efforts. I was happy to find that there was full sympathy and general understanding between us....
China and India comprise one-half of the world's population. Their common frontier extends for nearly 2,000 miles. In the 2,000 years' history of their intercourse, which has been of a purely cultural and commercial character, there has never been an armed conflict. Indeed, nowhere else can one find so long a period of uninterrupted peace between two neighboring countries. This is an irrefutable proof that our two peoples are peace-loving by nature. To-day they have not only identical interests but also the same destiny. For this they are in duty bound to side with the anti-aggression countries, and fight shoulder to shoulder to secure real peace for the whole world.
Moreover, our two peoples have an outstanding virtue in common-namely, the noble spirit of self-sacrifice for the-sake of justice and righteousness; it is this traditional spirit which should move them to self-negation for the salvation of mankind. It is also this spirit which prompted China to be the first to take up arms against the aggressor countries, not merely for the purpose of securing her own freedom, but also for the purpose of securing justice and freedom for all mankind. I venture to suggest to my brethren, the Indian people, that in this most critical moment in the history of civilization, our two peoples should exert themselves to the utmost in the cause of freedom for all mankind, for only in a free world could the Chinese and Indian peoples obtain their freedom. Furthermore, should freedom be denied either to China or to India there could be no real peace in the world.
The present international situation divides the world into two camps, of aggression and anti-aggression. All those who opposed aggression and are striving for the freedom of their country and mankind should join the anti-aggression camp. There is no middle course, and there is no time to wait for developments now is the crucial moment for the whole future of mankind. The issue before us does not concern a dispute with any one man or country, nor does it concern any specific questions now pending between one people and another. Any people, therefore, which joins the anti-aggression front may be said to cooperate, not with any particular country, but with the entire front.
This leads us to believe that the Pacific war is a turning-point in the history of nationalism. The method, however, whereby the peoples of the world could attain their freedom might be different from what it used to be. The anti-aggression nations now expect that in this new era the people of India will voluntarily bear their full share of responsibility in the present struggle for the survival of that free world in which India must play her part.
The vast majority of the world's opinion is in full sympathy with India's aspirations for freedom. This sympathy, which is so valuable and so difficult to obtain, cannot be appraised in terms of money or material, and should therefore by all means be retained. The present struggle is one between freedom and slavery, between light and darkness, between good and evil, between resistance and aggression. Should the anti-aggression front lose the war, the civilization of the world would suffer a setback for at least 100 years, and there would be no end to human sufferings.
. . . (After referring to the cruelties committed by the Japanese soldiers and characterizing them as beyond description, General Chiang Kai-shek said:)
In these horrible times of savagery and brute force, the people of China and their brethren the people of India should, for the sake of civilization and human freedom, give their united support to the principles embodied in the Atlantic Charter and in the joint declaration of the 26 nations, and ally themselves with the anti-aggression front. I hope the Indian people will wholeheartedly join the allies-namely, China, Great Britain, America and the Soviet Union-and participate shoulder to shoulder in the struggle for survival of a free world until complete victory has been achieved and the duties incumbent upon them in these troubled times have been fully discharged.
I sincerely hope, and I confidently believe, that our ally, Great Britain, without waiting for any demands on the part of the people of India, will as speedily as possible give them real political power, so that they may be in a position further to develop their spiritual and material strength and thus realize that their participation in the war is not merely an aid to the anti-aggression nations for the securing of victory, but also the turning-point in their struggle for India's freedom. From an objective point of view, I am of the opinion that this would be the wisest policy, which will redound to the credit of the British Empire.