The Guomindang plan for China’s political development (1936)

In 1936 a government-sponsored yearbook summarised the Guomindang political platform and outlined the planned progress of government in China:

“The order of reconstruction is divided into three periods, namely:

1. A Period of Military Operations;
2. A Period of Political Tutelage;
3. A Period of Constitutional Government.

During the period of military occupation the entire country should be subject to military rule. To hasten the unification of the country, the government should employ military force to conquer all opposition in the country and propagate the principles of the Party so that the people may be enlightened.

The period of political tutelage in a province should begin and military rule should cease as soon as order within the province is completely restored. During the period of political tutelage the government should dispatch trained officers, who have passed the examinations, to the different districts to assist the people in making preparations for local self-government. The attainment of local self-government depends on the completion of the census, the survey of the district, the organisation of an efficient police force, and the construction of roads throughout the district.

Moreover, the people of the district must be able to fulfil their duties as citizens by exercising the four rights mentioned above [of election, recall, initiative, and referendum] and must pledge themselves to carry out the principles of the revolution before they are entitled to elect the officer of a [province] for the administration of its affairs and representatives of the [province] for the formulation of its laws. By that time, the hsien will then be considered as fully self-governing.

The citizens of a full self-governing [province] have the right of direct voting for the election of officers, the right of recall, the right of initiating laws, and the right of direct referendum. At the beginning of self government it is imperative that a declaration be made of the value of privately owned land of the district, the procedure being to require the owners to make their own declaration at the local administration that the tax will be imposed according to the declared value, but the local government is entitled at any time to purchase the property at the declared value.”