The Cold War for Kids: Chinese Civil War
B. Early Sino-Soviet Relations. Chinese Official diplomatic relations were established in .. Thus, the CCP was all set for a test of strength with the KMT. China Test Mao started the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Kuomintang is a political party of the Republic of China that followed the three . of an unequal economic, cultural and territorial relationship, usually between states. The First United Front, also known as the KMT–CPC Alliance, of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Having said that, he was also the main reason the relationship fell apart, due to his desire to control the Communist party, ultimately leading to.
He had neither sympathy towards Marxism nor did he see communism as a solution to China's problems. In Sun's view, China was not of the rich and the poor; rather, it was the country of the poor and the poorer.
The Kuomintang gradually became a powerful and disciplined party under Russian guidance. The decisive factor was Bolshevik assistance to the Kuomintang in the formation of its own army, the National Revolutionary Army. In order to train the army the Whampoa Military Academy was established near Guangzhou. As its director, Sun appointed his loyal supporter Chiang Kai-shek.
- Nationalism and Communism
- Ideology, Legitimacy, and Party Cohesion: KMT and CCP in Comparative Perspective
- United Front
The quality of education was guaranteed by regularly visiting Russian officers. Many of the leaders of both the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party graduated from the academy—the chief commander of the People's Liberation ArmyLin Biaograduated from Whampoa as did Zhou Enlaiwho later became prime minister of Communist China.
Together against the warlords and imperialists[ edit ] The Soviet Union had its own interests in supporting the Kuomintang. The Bolsheviks, in exchange for their help, demanded that the Kuomintang form an alliance with the Chinese communists. Moscow was not convinced that the communist party alone would be able to complete the revolution in the country, which was thought to be ready for communism right after the bourgeoisie destroyed the old Chinese dynastic system.
China's newly founded communist party had only a few hundred members at the beginning of the s, whereas the Kuomintang had over 50, The idea was that the communists would gain broader support by joining the common front with the nationalists, after which they would eventually take over from the Kuomintang.
At the request of the Russians, the Chinese communists—among them Mao Zedong —became members of the Kuomintang, and thus the first coalition of the two parties was born. With the help of the Soviet Union the Kuomintang did succeed in gaining more support, and with renewed vehemence it continued to vigorously pursue its goal—the unification of the republic. Securing its grip on southern China, the Kuomintang was ready to unite the country by launching a military campaign against the North.
Thus, it was in the period between spring and winterand with the active help of Voytinskii, that the Chinese Communist Party began to take shape. It was based on the Marxist study groups previously organized in Beijing and Shanghai. The party was secretly constituted in that city in Julyformalizing the organization formed the previous year. Communist nuclei around the country were transformed into party branches with local secretaries in Hunan Mao ZedongGuangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing, and Jinan.
Shanghai had its own branch. The party program closely followed the Bolshevik program in Soviet Russia. However, some radical Chinese intellectuals rejected the Bolshevik model; they were either supporters of democratic socialism, or joined the Guomindang Kuomingtang.
Voytinskii was succeeded by Maring alias of Hendricus Sneevlietwho continued to guide the fledgling communist movement in China. Here it is appropriate to give a brief biographical sketch of Mao Zedong. He was born into a prosperous farming family in Hunan Province in He rebelled against his father and refused to accept an arranged marriage. He resented the superior airs of Chinese scholars, and it is then that he probably acquired the anti-intellectual attitudes, strengthened later at Beijing University, that he manifested as a leader.
In his essay on physical education, published in the progressive journal, New Youth, in Aprilhe attacked the "passive" Confucian thinking and way of life; he called for physical education to strengthen the body, for violence, and anger. Soon, he was advocating the equal rights of women, and attacking the practice of arranged marriages. Above all, he expressed a determination to fight for his beliefs. Lenin was convinced that the Russian Revolution could not survive unless successful revolutions took place in other countries, which would then become socialist allies of Soviet Russia.
But he knew from his own experience that in economically backward countries -- and Russia was a backward country in -- the revolutionary leaders were not workers or peasants, but bourgeois, i. Therefore, he developed the policy of supporting "bourgeois nationalism" in Western-ruled colonial areas, seeing it as the primary instrument of anti-imperialist revolution. This was, in turn, to lead to the fall of "imperialism" which he saw as the highest stage of capitalism.
The Soviets agreed to give Sun military, political, and organizational help. The latter consisted of building a party cell structure in the country which strengthened it greatly.
Official diplomatic relations were established in In May of that year, the Soviet government fulfilled some of its earlier promises by giving up formally the old Russian concessions in Tianjin Tientsin and Hankow, as well as paying the outstanding part of the indemnity for Chinese losses incurred by Russian action in the great power intervention during the Boxer Rebellion Sun Yat-Sen had his base in Guangzhou Canton.
His primary goal was the reunification of the country. To do this, he had to accomplish two key objectives: But first, he had to make the KMT an effective, political and military force, and to do this, he needed outside help.
Since he received no help from any of the foreign powers, he welcomed that of the Comintern. Gruzenbergwhom Sun Yat-Sen invited to China in He was later a victim of the Stalin purges. At the same time, Soviet military advisers led by General Vasily K.
Blyukher was also to be a victim of the Stalin purges.
The establishment of this military force saw the rise of Chiang Kai-shek P: The goal was to strengthen and, at the same time, infiltrate the KMT. Nevertheless, though Soviet advisers gave the KMT ideology an anti-imperialist slant, the bulk of the movement remained distinctly non-communist. This was crowned by the great campaign launched against the warlords of central China by Chiang Kai-shek in It was known as the Northern Expedition because he started from the south.
Chiang won a series of impressive victories and unified about half of the country by The generally accepted view is that the split was precipitated by CCP radicalism. This targeted not only foreign privileges and symbols, but also rich Chinese.The CCP Did Fight Japan, So did the KMT. All Chinese Fought Japan
Wealthy Shangai industrialists were alarmed and offered to bankroll Chiang if he freed himself from dependence on Moscow. This suited Chiang and in March he arrested the political commissars in his army and placed the Soviet advisers under house arrest.
In Aprilwhen the Northern Expedition forces approached Shanghai, the communist-led labor unions rose to take the city from the inside. When Chiang entered the city, he ordered a massacre of the communists. This became known as the "Shanghai massacre" or more commonly "the White Terror. It is not clear whether he sanctioned an unofficial test of strength, or whether the CCP -- perhaps encouraged by Borodin -- disobeyed his orders.
In any case, it carried out an uprising in the city of Nanchang in August Although the communists held the city for only a few days, the rising is notable for the participation of future leaders of the Chinese Red Army.
The communist rising in Guangzhou in December also failed. We should note that Leon Trotsky openly criticized Stalin for the failure of his policy in China. This criticism, together with his opposition to Stalin in the debate on industrializationled to his internal exile to Alma Ata, Kazkhastan, inand then his exile from Russia in There was, in fact, no way that the CCP could have seized control of the KMT in the s or s, because at that time the KMT embodied the dominant drive toward unification and symbolized Chinese national goals.
But we can at least wonder whether a different Soviet policy toward the CCP might not have averted its annihilation. However, such a policy seems most unlikely for while Trotsky opposed CCP cooperation with the KMT, neither he nor Stalin ever sanctioned Mao's strategy to build Chinese communism with the support of the teeming millions of Chinese peasants.
Still, though the Stalin-Comintern Chinese policy had exposed the CCP to brutal repression, at the time it seemed to achieve the primary Soviet goal of aiding a strong national movement to victory, thus loosening the hold of the imperialist powers on China and thereby benefiting the Soviet Union.
But this was a theoretical benefit at best. In fact, Great Britain, which of all the imperialist powers had the greatest investments in China, made its peace with the KMT.
Furthermore, Germany gained a foothold in China by extending help to Chiang -- including military advisers -- to fight the communists in Jiangxi Kiangsi. However, Chiang's chances of consolidating his power over China were ended by the Japanese attack on the country in This was to drive him to Chungking Ch'ung-Ch'ing, southwest Chinawhere he waged only limited military action against Japan until the end of the war.
The Jiangxi Kiangsi Period, However, the Japanese overran Manchuria inmade it a puppet state, and called it Manchukuo. Still, inthe KMT exerted at least a loose form of control over two-thirds of the population of China.
However, the peasants soon found that nothing changed much except for the national flag. Warlords loosely allied with Chiang still ruled large parts of China and there was no land reform. Many intellectuals became alienated from Chiang by the end of this period because he did not introduce democratic reforms.
On the contrary, he seemed to favor his own dictatorship, and to see fascism as a desirable model of government. At this time the communist movement was rebuilt by Mao and Zhu De Chu Teh -- one of the leaders of the Nanchang rising -- in the southern part of the province of Jiangxi. Meanwhile, the official party leaders, who remained loyal to Moscow, went into hiding in Shanghai, where they stayed until It was during this period that Mao redirected Chinese communism from the workers to the peasants who, after all, made up the vast majority of the population.
Thus Mao changed the communist goal in China from a workers' revolution to a peasant revolution, which he saw as the first step toward a socialist revolution. Furthermore, in cooperation with Zhu De, Mao evolved the strategy of operating from a stable base area, and of harassing government troops by guerrilla tactics. These tactics were not new; they were rooted in traditional Chinese military strategy which Mao knew very well from hisr reading.
They were to play a central role in the ultimate victory of Mao's forces over Chiang. Equally important was the fact that in the area under their control in southern Jiangxi, the communists carried out land reform.
This really meant distributing the land equally, except that landlords and richer peasants were to get less than the others. This did not always work out that way because some landlords and rich peasants kept more land in return for supporting the communists.
But overall, the communists obtained solid support from the peasants, for whom land reform was the most important issue. The key to such success as the communists achieved at this time was the moderate nature of their reforms.
This moderation was, in fact, mandated not by communist dogma but by the existing production shortages which were exacerbated by the ruthless KMT blockade of CCP-held areas. Mao emerged as the leading spokesman for these policies. They were embodied in the Chinese Soviet Republic, known also as the Jiangxi Soviet, which existed from This was the model which mainstream Chinese communism was to follow from then on.
These developments took place independently of Moscow. However, the CCP went on to impose a very radical regime when other Chinese communists, called "Bolsheviks," returned to Jiangxi from Moscow and replaced Mao sometime around This regime had disastrous results. Mao resumed power at the beginning of the "Long March" at the Cun Yi conference in At that time, the communists had to break out and move elsewhere to survive.
This resulted in the Long March, an event of enormous significance in the history of Chinese communism. In Octoberaboutpeople broke through the KMT armies in south Jiangxi and trekked some 6, miles by a round about route to the northwest province of Shaanxi Shensiwhich some 20, survivors reached in Yenan became Mao's main base there in This was a terrible ordeal, and a defeat in the sense that it was the consequence of the KMT's military victory over the communists.
Chinese Civil War - Wikipedia
However, the Long March and the arrival of its survivors in Shaanxi signified the survival of Mao's brand of communism in a secure base. Here, it could gather its forces and, by waging a guerrilla war against Japan, lay the groundwork for its later conquest of China. Also, the Long March provided a heroic myth for Chinese communists in the future, much as Valley Forge had done for Americans. It deepened the communists' sense of destiny. Finally, it provided the leaders of future communist China.
In Septemberthe Japanese government presented secret demands to the government of Chiang Kai-Shek. Disguised as proposals for a common war against the communists, their acceptance would have meant Japanese domination over China. In DecemberChiang went north to coordinate a campaign against the Yenan communists with Marshal Zhang Xueliang. The Marshal, angered by the Japanese assassination of his father had supported Chiang, but he became angry at the latter's preference to fight the communists rather than the Japanese.
Zhang was in touch with the communists and when Chiang began to move against him, he invited the KMT leader to a meeting - - and kidnapped him.
At a meeting with communist leaders and Zhang, Chiang was "persuaded" to give up his anti-communist campaign and agree to wage a common fight against Japan. Chiang agreed, and flew back to his capital with Zhang. However, while he proclaimed a common war against the Japanese, he never forgave Zhang. He kept the marshal under house arrest all through the war, after which he took him along to Taiwan, and kept him under guard for decades.
Chiang died in ; Zhang was reported to have left Taiwan in the late s, to visit relatives in the U. On July 7,an accidental fire fight between Chinese and Japanese troops at Lukouchiao, near Beijing, gave Tokyo the long desired pretext for attacking China. Japanese armies seized Beijing and Tientsin; then they proceeded to occupy most of eastern China. Many historians suspect that this fight was precipitated by the Japanese.
Whatever the case might be, the Japanese invasion of China had a dual effect on the country: This situation provided the ideal opportunity for guerrilla war, or as the communists called it -- "The People's War of Resistance. These forces did so by harassing the Japanese, while at the same time fighting hard - not always successfully - to protect the peasants in the villages. The 8th Route Army gave the CCP a very strong claim to represent Chinese nationalism, especially since the KMT, after putting up a hard fight at the beginning, reduced its resistance to the minimum when the government settled in far away Chungking.
But this was only part of the CCP achievement. The other was its use of wartime resistance to effect a permanent penetration of the villages.
Here the communists generally treated the peasants well by paying for what they needed, and also implemented popular social-economic policies. Of these, the most important were rent and interest controls and an end to abuses in tax collection, both very popular with the peasants. These measures were accompanied by education, i. Some new studies show, however, that the CCP was not always as good as this in treating the peasants.
By the end of the war, the results were dramatic. The CCP controlled 19 base areas with a population of about million and had an army of about half a million. The Party itself had about 1 million members. From hindsight, the factors outlined above were bound to result in a communist victory.
We should also note some key developments within the CCP during this period. It evolved a self-image stressing egalitarianism, self-sufficiency, and dedication. At the same time, Mao implemented the process of rectification or systematic thought control, i. This presaged Mao's mass campaigns to promote "correct thinking," after the CCP came to power. Furthermore, the party, i. Although the above-mentioned thought and cultural control were related to Soviet models, it is a mistake to assume that the Yenan CCP was under the control of Moscow.
In fact, from June 22Stalin was too busy fighting the Germans to bother with Mao and he continued to recognize Chiang's government in Chungking as the government of China. Thus the Yenan model was Mao's work, reflecting his anti-intellectual and dictatorial character. He was to apply these policies on a massive scale after coming to power. In conclusion, we should note that by the end of the war inChinese communism under Mao's leadership had both a significant social-revolutionary content and had become the embodiment of Chinese nationalism.
The CCP had accomplished all this on its own by developing a distinctly Chinese revolutionary strategy which drew on Chinese traditions and tapped directly into the two great goals of modern Chinese reformers, communist and non-communist alike, i. What is more, the CCP led the way to the third goal, which most Chinese reformers agreed should follow the first two: It is true that their basic differences were papered over by the formal agreement to cooperate in the war against Japan -- an agreement extracted by force from a reluctant Chiang Kai-Shek during his kidnapping by young marshal Zhang Xueliang in December Chiang's passive stance toward Japan was strongly criticized by the U.
Hi s relations with Chiang soon developed into mutual hostility. He called Chiang, "the Peanut".
Therefore, President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not believe it politically wise to abandon Chiang in favor of the more active communist army. The President did, however, send Gen. Patrick Hurley to try and patch things up between Chiang and Mao. He also sanctioned the sending of a U.
This was called "The U. The mission was led by Colonel David Barrett and established itself in Yenan in Julywhere it stayed until Its members were very favorably impressed by Mao and his movement.
Indeed, if the war with Japan had not ended with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japanese troops had remained in mainland China, the United States might have given military aid to the communists because they represented a significant anti-Japanese fighting force there. The Japanese surrender, forced by the U. The problem was which Chinese forces were to take over Manchuria and north China, and how could a civil war be prevented?
Truman sent General George C. Marshall as special ambassador to China in Decemberwith the task of mediating an agreement between the communists and the KMT. Officially this was done because the Japanese were ordered tosurrender only to the KMT or to American troops, but it obviously favored Chiang. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had declared war on Japan on August 8th and sent its troops into Manchuria, occupying it without encountering much resistance.
The Soviets allowed Chinese communist troops to take over the region as well as the weapons of the defeated Japanese. At the same time, however, they looted the industrial equipment and sent it to Russia, just as they did in their occupation zone in Germany and in the former German territories allocated to Poland. But Stalin did not want a confrontation with the U.
In accordance with this treaty, Chiang ceded Port Arthur and control of Dalian in Russian, Dairenin southern Manchuria to Russia, thus implementing the promises Roosevelt had made to Stalin at Yalta. The Russians agreed to give up some key cities to the KMT, but this did not happen until they pulled out in early May In the meanwhile, Gen. Marshall managed to arrange a truce between the KMT and the communists, which was signed in Chungking on January 16, While neither side intended to observe it for long, the communists seemed more willing to abide by it than Chiang.
War broke out in summer Although on paper the KMT army was three times the size of the communist army, the men were demoralized and badly led. Above all, most of them were peasants, so they were naturally attracted to the CCP program of land reform, which was implemented in all regions that came under the control of The People's Liberation Army PLA.
We should note here that, just as they had done in Jiangxi in and in north China inso now the communists distributed the land to poor and landless farmers, but also left some land to the landlords and rich farmers. They did not want to alienate them, but make them allies of the CCP.
First United Front
However, this did not apply to those perceived as "exploiters," or others seen as enemies. Many of them were killed. Chiang fought the communists in his old way, i.
However, they were soon surrounded by Mao's troops. Even the mainstay of the KMT, the merchants and civil servants, had become alienated from Chiang because of the terrible inflation that followed the end of the war with Japan.
They looked all the more hopefully to Mao, because he carefully avoided proclaiming any radical measures, such as the abolition of private property. Newly declassified Russian documents show that in Januaryafter Chiang asked for great power mediation, Stalin advised Mao to accept - but Mao refused.