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The Chinese Civil War was a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
in China fought between the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
(KMT)-led
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
(ROC) and forces of the
Chinese Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC). The CCP leads List of political parties in China, eight other ...
(CCP) lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949. The war is generally divided into two phases with an interlude: from August 1927 to 1937, the KMT-CCP Alliance collapsed during the
Northern Expedition The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The p ...
, and the Nationalists controlled most of China. From 1937 to 1945, hostilities were put on hold, and the
Second United Front The Second United Front ( zh, t=第二次國共合作 , s=第二次国共合作 ) was the alliance between the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a r ...
fought the
Japanese invasion of China The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. In China, the war is known as the War of Resistance against Japa ...
with eventual help from the
Allies of World War II The Allies of World War II were a group of countries that together opposed the during the (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to defeat , the , and their allies. At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the A ...
. The civil war resumed with the Japanese defeat, and the CCP gained the upper hand in the final phase of the war from 1945 to 1949, generally referred to as the
Chinese Communist Revolution The Chinese Communist Revolution, known in the mainland China as the War of Liberation (), was the conflict, led by the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Communist Party of China, Chairman Mao Zedong, that resulted in the Proclamation ...
. The Communists gained control of mainland China and established the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
(PRC) in 1949, forcing the leadership of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
to retreat to the island of Taiwan. Starting in the 1950s, a lasting political and military standoff between the two sides of the
Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between ...

Taiwan Strait
has ensued, with the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC in mainland China both officially claiming to be the legitimate government of
all China
all China
. After the
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, was a conflict that took place between the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...
, both tacitly ceased fire in 1979, however, no
armistice An armistice is a formal agreement Agreement or concord (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) happens when a word changes form depending on the other words to which it relates. It is an instance of inflection, and usually involves making ...

armistice
or
peace treaty A peace treaty is an agreementAgreement may refer to: Agreements between people and organizations * Gentlemen's agreement A gentlemen's agreement, or gentleman's agreement, is an informal and legally non-binding wikt:agreement, agreement betwe ...
has ever been signed.


Background

Following the collapse of the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
and the
1911 Revolution The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, ended China's last Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty, the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and resulted in the establishment of the Republic of China (1912 ...
,
Sun Yat-sen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman is ...

Sun Yat-sen
assumed the
presidency A presidency is an Administration (government), administration or the Executive (government), executive, the collective administrative and governmental entity that exists around an office of President (government title), president of a state or nati ...
of the newly formed Republic of China, and was shortly thereafter succeeded by
Yuan Shikai Yuan Shikai (; 16 September 1859 – 6 June 1916) was a Chinese military and government official who rose to power during the late Qing dynasty, becoming the Emperor of the Empire of China (1915–1916). He tried to save the dynasty with a numb ...

Yuan Shikai
. Yuan was frustrated in a short-lived attempt to restore monarchy in China, and China fell into power struggle after his death in 1916. The
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
(KMT), led by
Sun Yat-sen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman is ...

Sun Yat-sen
, created a new government in
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
to rival the warlords who ruled over large swathes of China preventing the formation of a solid central government. After Sun's efforts to obtain aid from Western countries were ignored, he turned to the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
. In 1923, Sun and Soviet representative
Adolph Joffe Adolph Abramovich Joffe (russian: Адо́льф Абра́мович Ио́ффе, alternative transliterations Adol'f Ioffe or, rarely, Yoffe) (10 October 1883 in Simferopol Simferopol () is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, and ...
in
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
pledged Soviet assistance to China's unification in the Sun-Joffe Manifesto, a declaration of cooperation among the
Comintern The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International (1919–1943), was an international organization that advocated world communism. It was controlled by the Soviet Union. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congres ...
, KMT and CCP. Comintern agent
Mikhail Borodin Mikhail Markovich Gruzenberg, known by the alias Borodin, zh, 鮑羅廷 (9 July 1884 – 29 May 1951), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Communist International (Comintern) agent. He was an advisor to Sun Yat-sen and the Kuomintang ...
arrived in 1923 to aid in the reorganization and consolidation of both the CCP and the KMT along the lines of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 19 ...
. The CCP, initially a study group, and the KMT jointly formed the
First United Front The First United Front (; alternatively ), also known as the KMT–CPC Alliance, of the Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of ...
.March, G. Patrick. Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific.
996 Year 996 ( CMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in , was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. It w ...
(1996). Greenwood Publishing Group. . p. 205.
In 1923, Sun sent
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and Romanization of Chinese, romanized via Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin as Chiang Chieh-shih and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Kuomintang, Nationalist politician, ...

Chiang Kai-shek
, one of his lieutenants for several months of military and political study in Moscow.H.H. Chang, ''Chiang Kai Shek – Asia's Man of Destiny'' (Doubleday, 1944; reprint 2007 . p. 126. Chiang then became the head of the
Whampoa Military Academy The Republic of China Military Academy (also known as ) is the service academy for the army of the Republic of China, located in Fengshan District, Kaohsiung Kaohsiung City (; Mandarin Chinese: ; Wade–Giles: ''Kao¹-hsiung²'' ...
that trained the next generation of military leaders. The Soviets provided the academy with teaching material, organization and equipment, including munitions. They also provided education in many of the techniques for mass mobilization. With this aid, Sun raised a dedicated "army of the party," with which he hoped to defeat the warlords militarily. CCP members were also present in the academy, and many of them became instructors, including
Zhou Enlai Zhou Enlai (; 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China The premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, abbreviated to Premier, sometimes also referred to informally as ...

Zhou Enlai
, who was made a political instructor.Ho, Alfred K. Ho, Alfred Kuo-liang.
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(2004). China's Reforms and Reformers. Greenwood Publishing Group. . p. 7.
Communist members were allowed to join the KMT on an individual basis. The CCP itself was still small at the time, having a membership of 300 in 1922 and only 1,500 by 1925.Fairbank, John King. (1994). China: A New History. Harvard University Press. . As of 1923, the KMT had 50,000 members. However, after Sun died in 1925, the KMT split into left- and right-wing movements. KMT members worried that the Soviets were trying to destroy the KMT from inside using the CCP. The CCP then began movements in opposition of the
Northern Expedition The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The p ...
, passing a resolution against it at a party meeting. Then, in March 1927, the KMT held its second party meeting where the Soviets helped pass resolutions against the Expedition and curbing Chiang's power. Soon, the KMT would be clearly divided. Throughout this time the Soviet Union had a large impact on the Chinese Communist Party. They sent money and spies to support the Chinese Communist Party. Without their support, the communist party likely would have failed. This is evidenced by documents showing of other communist parties in China at the time, one with as many as 10,000 members, but which all failed without support from the Soviet Union.


Shanghai Massacre and Northern Expedition

In early 1927, the KMT-CCP rivalry led to a split in the revolutionary ranks. The CCP and the left wing of the KMT decided to move the seat of the KMT government from Guangzhou to
Wuhan Wuhan (, ; ; ) is the capital of Hubei Province Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of t ...

Wuhan
, where communist influence was strong. However, Chiang and
Li Zongren Li Zongren or Li Tsung-jen (; 13 August 1890 – 30 January 1969), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in t ...

Li Zongren
, whose armies defeated the warlord
Sun Chuanfang Sun Chuanfang () (April 17, 1885 – November 13, 1935) a.k.a. the "Nanking Warlord" or leader of the "League of Five Provinces" was a Zhili clique#REDIRECT Zhili clique The Zhili clique () was one of several mutually hostile cliques or fa ...

Sun Chuanfang
, moved eastward toward
Jiangxi Jiangxi (; ; alternately romanized as Kiangsi or Chianghsi, Gan Chinese Gan, Gann or Kan is a group of Sinitic languages spoken first language, natively by many people in the Jiangxi province of China, as well as significant populations in ...

Jiangxi
. The leftists rejected Chiang's demand to eliminate Communist influence within KMT and Chiang denounced them for betraying Sun Yat-sen's
Three Principles of the People The Three Principles of the People, also translated as Three People's Principles, San-min Doctrine, or Tridemism, is a political philosophy developed by Sun Yat-sen as part of a philosophy to make China a free, prosperous, and powerful state. T ...
by taking orders from the Soviet Union. According to
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
, Chiang's tolerance of the CCP in the KMT camp decreased as his power increased. On 7 April, Chiang and several other KMT leaders held a meeting, during which they proposed that Communist activities were socially and economically disruptive and had to be undone for the Nationalist revolution to proceed. On 12 April, in Shanghai, many Communist members in the KMT were purged through hundreds of arrests and executionsBrune, Lester H. Dean Burns, Richard Dean Burns.
003003, O03, 0O3, OO3 may refer to: *003, fictional British 00 Agent *003, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *No ...

003
(2003). Chronological History of U.S. Foreign Relations. Routledge. .
on the orders of General
Bai Chongxi Bai Chongxi (18 March 1893 – 1 December 1966; , , Xiao'erjing Xiao'erjing or Xiao'erjin or Xiaor jin or in its shortened form, Xiaojing, literally meaning "children's script" or "minor script" (cf. "original script" referring to the or ...

Bai Chongxi
. The CCP referred to this as the ''12 April Incident,'' the White Terror or
Shanghai Massacre The Shanghai massacre of 12 April 1927, known commonly in China as the April 12 Purge or April 12 Incident, was the violent suppression of Communist Party of China The Communist Party of China (CPC), commonly known as the Chinese Communist ...
.Zhao, Suisheng.
004 004, 0O4, O04, OO4 may refer to: * 004, fictional British 00 Agent * 0O4, Corning Municipal Airport (California) * O04, the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation * Abdul Haq Wasiq, Guantanamo detainee 004 * Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine * Lauda Ai ...
(2004). A Nation-state by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism. Stanford University Press. .
This incident widened the rift between Chiang and
Wang Jingwei Wang Jingwei (Wang Ching-wei; 4 May 1883 – 10 November 1944), born as Wang Zhaoming (Wang Chao-ming), but widely known by his pen name "Jingwei", was a Chinese politician. He was initially a member of the left wing of the Kuomintang (KMT), ...

Wang Jingwei
, the leader of the left wing faction of the KMT who controlled the city of Wuhan. Eventually, the left wing of the KMT also expelled CCP members from the Wuhan government, which in turn was toppled by Chiang Kai-shek. The KMT resumed its campaign against warlords and captured Beijing in June 1928.Guo, Xuezhi. 002(2002). The Ideal Chinese Political Leader: A Historical and Cultural Perspective. Greenwood Publishing Group. . Soon, most of was under the control of the Nanjing central government, which received prompt international recognition as the sole legitimate government of China. The KMT government announced, in conformity with Sun Yat-sen, the formula for the three stages of revolution: military unification, political tutelage, and constitutional democracy.


Communist insurgency (1927–1937)

On 1 August 1927, the Communist Party launched an
uprising Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority. A rebellion originates from a sentiment of indignation and disapproval of a situation and ...
in
Nanchang Nanchang (, ; ) is the capital of Jiangxi Province Jiangxi (; alternately romanized as Kiangsi or Chianghsi, Gan Chinese Gan, Gann or Kan is a group of Sinitic languages spoken natively by many people in the Jiangxi Jiangxi ...

Nanchang
against the Nationalist government in
Wuhan Wuhan (, ; ; ) is the capital of Hubei Province Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of t ...

Wuhan
. This conflict led to the creation of the
Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links= ...
.Lee, Lai to. Trade Unions in China: 1949 To the Present. 986(1986). National University of Singapore Press. . On 4 August, the main forces of the Red Army left Nanchang and headed southwards for an assault on Guangdong. Nationalist forces quickly reoccupied Nanchang while the remaining members of the CCP in Nanchang went into hiding. A CCP meeting on 7 August confirmed the objective of the party was to seize the political power by force, but the CCP was quickly suppressed the next day on 8 August by the Nationalist government in Wuhan led by Wang Jingwei. On 14 August, Chiang Kai-shek announced his temporary retirement, as the Wuhan faction and Nanjing faction of the Kuomintang were allied once again with common goal of suppressing the Communist Party after the earlier split. Attempts were later made by the CCP to take the cities of
Changsha Changsha (; ; ; Changshanese pronunciation: (), Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandar ...

Changsha
,
Shantou Shantou, as Swatow and sometimes known as Santow, is a on the eastern coast of , China, with a total population of 5,502,031 as of the 2020 census (5,391,028 in 2010) and an administrative area of . However, its built-up (or metro) area i ...

Shantou
and Guangzhou. The Red Army consisting of mutinous former National Revolutionary Army (NRA) soldiers as well as armed
peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
s established control over several areas in
southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most ...
. KMT forces continued to attempt to suppress the rebellions. Then, in September, Wang Jingwei was forced out of Wuhan. September also saw an unsuccessful armed rural insurrection, known as the
Autumn Harvest Uprising The Autumn Harvest Uprising () was an insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority In the fields of sociology Soc ...
, led by
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
.Blasko, Dennis J.
006 Alec Trevelyan (006), also known as Janus, is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, television series, film, or ...

006
(2006). The Chinese Army Today: Tradition and Transformation for the 21st Century. Routledge. .
Borodin then returned to the
USSR The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
in October via Mongolia. In November, Chiang Kai-shek went to Shanghai and invited Wang to join him. On 11 December, the CCP started the
Guangzhou Uprising The Guangzhou Uprising, Canton Uprising or Canton Riots of 1927 was a failed communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Lati ...
, establishing a soviet there the next day, but lost the city by 13 December to a counter-attack under the orders of General
Zhang Fakui Zhang Fakui (25 July 1896 – 10 March 1980) was a Chinese Nationalist general who fought against northern warlords, the Imperial Japanese Army Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial m ...

Zhang Fakui
. On 16 December, Wang Jingwei fled to France. There were now three capitals in China: the internationally recognized republic capital in
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
, the CCP and
left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. ...
KMT at
Wuhan Wuhan (, ; ; ) is the capital of Hubei Province Hubei (; Postal romanization, alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of t ...

Wuhan
and the right-wing KMT regime at
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, a sub-provincial city, a megacity and the List ...

Nanjing
, which would remain the KMT capital for the next decade.Esherick, Joseph. (2000). ''Remaking the Chinese City: Modernity and National Identity, 1900–1950''. University of Hawaii Press. .Clark, Anne, Klein, Donald. eds. (1971). ''Biographic Dictionary of Chinese Communism'' (Harvard University Press), p. 134. This marked the beginning of a ten-year armed struggle, known in mainland China as the "Ten-Year Civil War" (十年内战) which ended with the
Xi'an Incident The Xi'an Incident () was a political crisis that took place in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipa ...
when Chiang Kai-shek was forced to form the
Second United Front The Second United Front ( zh, t=第二次國共合作 , s=第二次国共合作 ) was the alliance between the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a r ...
against invading forces from the
Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of Japan, 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan. It encomp ...

Empire of Japan
. In 1930 the
Central Plains War The Central Plains War () was a series of military campaigns in 1929 and 1930 that constituted a Chinese civil war between the Nationalist Kuomintang government in Nanjing led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and several regional military commanders ...

Central Plains War
broke out as an internal conflict of the KMT. It was launched by
Feng Yuxiang Feng Yuxiang (; ; 6 November 1882 – 1 September 1948), courtesy name Huanzhang (焕章), was a warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national go ...

Feng Yuxiang
,
Yan Xishan Yan Xishan (; 8 October 1883 – 22 July 1960, ) was a Chinese warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national government; largely because of coer ...

Yan Xishan
and
Wang Jingwei Wang Jingwei (Wang Ching-wei; 4 May 1883 – 10 November 1944), born as Wang Zhaoming (Wang Chao-ming), but widely known by his pen name "Jingwei", was a Chinese politician. He was initially a member of the left wing of the Kuomintang (KMT), ...

Wang Jingwei
. The attention was turned to root out remaining pockets of Communist activity in a series of five encirclement campaigns.Lynch, Michael Lynch. Clausen, Søren.
003003, O03, 0O3, OO3 may refer to: *003, fictional British 00 Agent *003, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *No ...

003
(2003). Mao. Routledge. .
The
first First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, th ...
campaigns failed and the
third Third or 3rd may refer to: Numbers *3rd, the ordinal form of the cardinal number 3 *fraction (mathematics), , a fraction that is one of three equal parts *Second#Sexagesimal divisions of calendar time and day, ¹⁄₆₀ of a ''second'', or ¹⁄ ...
was aborted due to the
Mukden Incident The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was a false flag event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria. On 18 September 1931, Lieutenant Suemori Kawamoto of the Independent Garrison ...
. The fourth campaign (1932–1933) achieved some early successes, but Chiang's armies were badly mauled when they tried to penetrate into the heart of Mao's Soviet Chinese Republic. During these campaigns, KMT columns struck swiftly into Communist areas, but were easily engulfed by the vast countryside and were not able to consolidate their foothold. Finally, in late 1934, Chiang launched a fifth campaign that involved the systematic encirclement of the
Jiangxi Soviet Jiangxi (; alternately romanized as Kiangsi or Chianghsi, Gan Chinese: ''Kongsi'', Hakka: ''Gong Si'') is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ...
region with fortified
blockhouse A blockhouse is a small fortification, usually consisting of one or more rooms with Loophole (firearm), loopholes, allowing its defenders to fire in various directions. It usually refers to an isolated fort in the form of a single building, se ...

blockhouse
s.Manwaring, Max G. Joes, Anthony James. (2000). Beyond Declaring Victory and Coming Home: The Challenges of Peace and Stability operations. Greenwood Publishing Group. . p. 58. Unlike previous campaigns in which they penetrated deeply in a single strike, this time the KMT troops patiently built blockhouses, each separated by about , to surround the Communist areas and cut off their supplies and food sources. In October 1934 the CCP took advantage of gaps in the ring of blockhouses (manned by the forces of a warlord ally of Chiang Kai-shek's, rather than regular KMT troops) and broke out of the encirclement. The warlord armies were reluctant to challenge Communist forces for fear of losing their own men and did not pursue the CCP with much fervor. In addition, the main KMT forces were preoccupied with annihilating
Zhang Guotao Zhang Guotao (November 26, 1897 – December 3, 1979), or Chang Kuo-tao, was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People ...

Zhang Guotao
's army, which was much larger than Mao's. The massive military retreat of Communist forces lasted a year and covered what Mao estimated as 12,500 km (25,000 Li); it became known as the
Long March The Long March (, lit. ''Long Expedition'') was a military retreat undertaken by the Chinese Red Army, Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. ...
.Zhang, Chunhou. Vaughan, C. Edwin. 002(2002). Mao Zedong as Poet and Revolutionary Leader: Social and Historical Perspectives. Lexington books. . pp. 58, 65. This military retreat was undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party, led by Mao Zedong, to evade the pursuit or attack of the Kuomintang army. It consisted of a series of marches, during which numerous Communist armies in the south escaped to the north and west. Over the course of the march from Jiangxi the First Front Army, led by an inexperienced military commission, was on the brink of annihilation by Chiang Kai-Shek's troops as their stronghold was in Jiangxi. The Communists, under the command of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, "escaped in a circling retreat to the west and north, which reportedly traversed over 9,000 kilometers over 370 days." The route passed through some of the most difficult terrain of western China by traveling west, and then northwards towards Shaanxi. "In November 1935, shortly after settling in northern Shaanxi, Mao officially took over Zhou Enlai's leading position in the Red Army. Following a major reshuffling of official roles, Mao became the chairman of the Military Commission, with Zhou and Deng Xiaoping as vice-chairmen." This marked Mao's position as the pre-eminent leader of the Party, with Zhou in second position to him. The march ended when the CCP reached the interior of
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
.
Zhang Guotao Zhang Guotao (November 26, 1897 – December 3, 1979), or Chang Kuo-tao, was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People ...

Zhang Guotao
's army, which took a different route through northwest China, was largely destroyed by the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and his Chinese Muslim allies, the
Ma clique The Ma clique or Ma family warlords is a collective name for a group of Hui (Muslim Chinese) warlords in Northwestern China who ruled the Chinese provinces of Qinghai Qinghai (; alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also calle ...
. Along the way, the Communist army confiscated property and weapons from local warlords and landlords, while recruiting peasants and the poor, solidifying its appeal to the masses. Of the 90,000–100,000 people who began the Long March from the Soviet Chinese Republic, only around 7,000–8,000 made it to Shaanxi. Bianco, Lucien. Bell, Muriel.
971 Year 971 ( CMLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in , was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. It w ...
(1971). Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915–1949. Stanford University Press. . p. 68.
The remnants of Zhang's forces eventually joined Mao in Shaanxi, but with his army destroyed, Zhang, even as a founding member of the CCP, was never able to challenge Mao's authority. Essentially, the great retreat made Mao the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communist Party. The Kuomintang used
Kham Kham (; ) is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the northeast, and Ü-Tsang in central Tibet. The original residents of Kham are called Khampas (), and were governed locally by chieftains and monasteries. K ...

Kham
pa troops—who were former bandits—to battle the Communist Red Army as it advanced and to undermine local warlords who often refused to fight Communist forces to conserve their own strength. The KMT enlisted 300 "Khampa bandits" into its Consolatory Commission military in Sichuan, where they were part of the effort of the central government to penetrate and destabilize local Han warlords such as
Liu Wenhui Liu Wenhui (; 1895 – 24 June 1976) was a Chinese general and warlord A warlord is a strong leader able to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state because of their ability to mob ...

Liu Wenhui
. The government was seeking to exert full control over frontier areas against the warlords. Liu had refused to battle the Communists in order to conserve his army. The Consolatory Commission forces were used to battle the Red Army, but they were defeated when their religious leader was captured by the Communists. In 1936, Zhou Enlai and
Zhang Xueliang Chang Hsüeh-liang (, 3 June 1901 – 15 October 2001), also romanized as Zhang Xueliang, nicknamed the "Young Marshal" (少帥), known in his later life as Peter H. L. Chang, was the effective ruler of Northeast China and much of northern Chi ...

Zhang Xueliang
grew closer, with Zhou even suggesting that he join the CCP. However, this was turned down by the Comintern in the USSR. Later on, Zhou persuaded Zhang and
Yang Hucheng Yang Hucheng () (26 November 1893 – 6 September 1949) was a Chinese general during the Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China when control of the country was divided among former Warlord, milita ...

Yang Hucheng
, another warlord, to instigate the Xi'an Incident. Chiang was placed under house arrest and forced to stop his attacks on the Red Army, instead focusing on the Japanese threat. File:Nationalist China 1929 - 1937.PNG, The situation in China in 1929: After the
Northern Expedition The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The p ...
, the KMT had direct control over east and central China, while the rest of China proper as well as Manchuria was under the control of warlords loyal to the Nationalist government. File:China Soviet Zones.png, Map showing the communist-controlled Soviet Zones of China during and after the encirclement campaigns File:The Long March 1934 - 1935.PNG, Route(s) taken by Communist forces during the Long March File:Long-march.jpg, A Communist leader addressing survivors of the Long March


Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945)

During Japan's invasion and occupation of Manchuria Chiang Kai-shek saw the CCP as the greater threat. Chiang refused to ally with the CCP, preferring to unite China by eliminating the warlord and CCP forces first. He believed his forces too weak to face the
Japanese Imperial Army The was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompa ...
; only after unification could the KMT mobilize against Japan. He ignored the Chinese people's discontent and anger at the KMT policy of compromise with the Japanese, instead ordering KMT generals
Zhang Xueliang Chang Hsüeh-liang (, 3 June 1901 – 15 October 2001), also romanized as Zhang Xueliang, nicknamed the "Young Marshal" (少帥), known in his later life as Peter H. L. Chang, was the effective ruler of Northeast China and much of northern Chi ...

Zhang Xueliang
and
Yang Hucheng Yang Hucheng () (26 November 1893 – 6 September 1949) was a Chinese general during the Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China when control of the country was divided among former Warlord, milita ...

Yang Hucheng
to suppress the CCP. However, their provincial forces suffered significant casualties in battles with the Red Army. On 12 December 1936, the disgruntled Zhang and Yang conspired to kidnap Chiang and force him into a truce with the CCP. The incident became known as the
Xi'an Incident The Xi'an Incident () was a political crisis that took place in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipa ...
.Ye, Zhaoyan Ye, Berry, Michael.
003003, O03, 0O3, OO3 may refer to: *003, fictional British 00 Agent *003, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *No ...

003
(2003). Nanjing 1937: A Love Story. Columbia University Press. .
Both parties suspended fighting to form a
Second United Front The Second United Front ( zh, t=第二次國共合作 , s=第二次国共合作 ) was the alliance between the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a r ...
to focus their energies and fight the Japanese. In 1937, Japan launched its full-scale invasion of China and its well-equipped troops overran KMT defenders in northern and coastal China. The alliance of CCP and KMT was in name only.Buss, Claude Albert. 972(1972). Stanford Alumni Association. The People's Republic of China and Richard Nixon. United States. Unlike the KMT forces, CCP troops shunned
conventional warfare Conventional warfare is a form of warfare conducted by using conventional weapons and battlefield tactics between two or more sovereign state, states in open confrontation. The forces on each side are well-defined, and fight using weapons that pri ...
and instead waged
guerrilla warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States ...
against the Japanese. The level of actual cooperation and coordination between the CCP and KMT during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
was minimal. In the midst of the Second United Front, the CCP and the KMT were still vying for territorial advantage in " Free China" (i.e., areas not occupied by the Japanese or ruled by Japanese puppet governments such as
Manchukuo Manchukuo, officially the State of Manchuria prior to 1934 and the Empire of (Great) Manchuria after 1934, was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia from 1932 until 1945. It was founded as a republic in 19 ...
and the
Reorganized National Government of China The Wang Jingwei regime is the common name of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China ( zh , t = 中華民國國民政府 , p = Zhōnghuá Mínguó Guómín Zhèngfǔ ), the government of the puppet state A puppet state, ...
). The situation came to a head in late 1940 and early 1941 when clashes between Communist and KMT forces intensified. Chiang demanded in December 1940 that the CCP's
New Fourth Army The New Fourth Army () was a unit of the National Revolutionary Army The National Revolutionary Army (NRA; ), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army () before 1928, and as National Army () after 1928, was the military arm of the Kuomintang ...
evacuate
Anhui Anhui (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized as Anhwei) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, part of the East China region. Its provincial capital and largest city is Hefei. The province is l ...

Anhui
and
Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative regi ...

Jiangsu
Provinces, due to its provocation and harassment of KMT forces in this area. Under intense pressure, the New Fourth Army commanders complied. The following year they were ambushed by KMT forces during their evacuation, which led to several thousand deaths.Schoppa, R. Keith. (2000). The Columbia Guide to Modern Chinese History. Columbia University Press. . It also ended the Second United Front, formed earlier to fight the Japanese. As clashes between the CCP and KMT intensified, countries such as the United States and the Soviet Union attempted to prevent a disastrous civil war. After the New Fourth Army incident, US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
sent
special envoy Diplomatic rank is a system of professional and social rank A social class is a set of concepts in the and centered on models of which occur in a class society, in which people are grouped into a set of social categories, the most commo ...
Lauchlin Currie Lauchlin Bernard Currie (October 8, 1902 – December 23, 1993) worked as White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Wa ...
to talk with Chiang Kai-shek and KMT party leaders to express their concern regarding the hostility between the two parties, with Currie stating that the only ones to benefit from a civil war would be the Japanese. The Soviet Union, allied more closely with the CCP, sent an imperative telegram to Mao in 1941, warning that civil war would also make the situation easier for the Japanese military. Due to the international community's efforts, there was a temporary and superficial peace. Chiang criticized the CCP in 1943 with the propaganda piece ''China's Destiny'', which questioned the CCP's power after the war, while the CCP strongly opposed Chiang's leadership and referred to his regime as fascist in an attempt to generate a negative public image. Both leaders knew that a deadly battle had begun between themselves.Chen, Jian. 001(2001). Mao's China and the Cold War. The University of North Carolina Press. . In general, developments in the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese theater of the wider Pacific War, Pac ...
were to the advantage of the CCP, as its guerrilla war tactics had won them popular support within the Japanese-occupied areas. However, the KMT had to defend the country against the main Japanese campaigns, since it was the legal Chinese government, a factor which proved costly to Chiang Kai-shek and his troops. Japan launched its last major offensive against the KMT,
Operation Ichi-Go Operation Ichi-Go (in ja, 一号作戦, Ichi-gō Sakusen, lit. "Operation Number One") was a campaign of a series of major battles between the Imperial Japanese Army Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial o ...

Operation Ichi-Go
, in 1944; this resulted in the severe weakening of Chiang's forces.Lary, Diana.
007 The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was a British writer, journalist and Naval Intelligence Divi ...
(2007). China's Republic. Cambridge University Press. .
The CCP also suffered fewer losses through its guerrilla tactics. By the end of the war, the Red Army had grown to more than 1.3 million members, with a separate militia of over 2.6 million. About one hundred million people lived in CCP-controlled zones.


Immediate post-war clashes (1945–1946)

Under the terms of the Japanese
unconditional surrender An unconditional surrender is a surrender Surrender may refer to: * Surrender (law)In common law, surrender is the term describing a situation where a leasehold estate, tenant gives up possession of property held under a tenancy as a result of whi ...
dictated by the United States, Japanese troops were ordered to surrender to KMT troops and not to the CCP, which was present in some of the occupied areas.Zarrow, Peter Gue. (2005). ''China in War and Revolution, 1895–1949''. Routledge. . p. 338. In
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
, however, where the KMT had no forces, the Japanese surrendered to the Soviet Union. Chiang Kai-shek ordered the Japanese troops to remain at their post to receive the Kuomintang and not surrender their arms to the Communists. The first post-war peace negotiation, attended by both Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, was in
Chongqing Chongqing ( ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking, is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in southwest China. ...

Chongqing
from 28 August to 10 October 1945. It concluded with the signing of the
Double Tenth Agreement The Double Tenth Agreement (), formally known as the Summary of Conversations Between the Government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of it ...
.Xu, Guangqiu. 001(2001). ''War Wings: The United States and Chinese Military Aviation, 1929–1949''. Greenwood Publishing Group. . p. 201. Both sides stressed the importance of a peaceful reconstruction, but the conference did not produce any concrete results. Battles between the two sides continued even as peace negotiations were in progress, until the agreement was reached in January 1946. However, large campaigns and full-scale confrontations between the CCP and Chiang's troops were temporarily avoided. In the last month of World War II in East Asia, Soviet forces launched the huge
Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation The Soviet invasion of Manchuria, formally known as the Manchurian strategic offensive operation (russian: Манчжурская стратегическая наступательная операция, ''Manchzhurskaya Strategicheskaya Nastu ...
against the Japanese
Kwantung Army ''Kantō-gun'' , image=Kwantung Army Headquarters.JPG , image_size=300px , caption=Kwantung Army headquarters in Hsinking, Manchukuo Manchukuo, officially the State of Manchuria prior to 1934 and the Empire of Manchuria after 1934, was a pupp ...
in Manchuria and along the Chinese-Mongolian border.Bright, Richard Carl.
007 The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was a British writer, journalist and Naval Intelligence Divi ...
(2007). ''Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: True Reports of War''. Trafford Publishing. .
This operation destroyed the Kwantung Army in just three weeks and left the USSR occupying all of Manchuria by the end of the war in a total power vacuum of local Chinese forces. Consequently, the 700,000 Japanese troops stationed in the region surrendered. Later in the year Chiang Kai-shek realized that he lacked the resources to prevent a CCP takeover of Manchuria following the scheduled Soviet departure.Lilley, James. ''China hands: nine decades of adventure, espionage, and diplomacy in Asia''. PublicAffairs, New York, 2004 He therefore made a deal with the Soviets to delay their withdrawal until he had moved enough of his best-trained men and modern material into the region. However, the Soviets refused permission for the Nationalist troops to traverse its territory. KMT troops were then airlifted by the US to occupy key cities in North China, while the countryside was already dominated by the CCP. On 15 November 1945, the ROC began a campaign to prevent the CCP from strengthening its already strong base. The Soviets spent the extra time systematically dismantling the extensive Manchurian industrial base (worth up to $2 billion) and shipping it back to their war-ravaged country. In 1945–46, during the Soviet Red Army Manchurian campaign, Soviet leader
Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin . ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgia (country), Georgian revolutionary and the ruler of the Soviet Union from 1927 until 1953. He served as both General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922 ...
commanded Marshal
Rodion Malinovsky Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky (russian: Родио́н Я́ковлевич Малино́вский; – 31 March 1967) was a Soviet military commander in World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII o ...

Rodion Malinovsky
to give Mao Zedong most
Imperial Japanese Army The was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan The was a historical and that existed from the in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II and subsequent formation of modern . It encompassed the ...
weapons that were captured. Chiang Kai-shek's forces pushed as far as by 26 November 1945, meeting with little resistance. This was followed by a Communist offensive on the
Shandong Peninsula The Shandong Peninsula or Jiaodong Peninsula is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The su ...
that was largely successful, as all of the peninsula, except what was controlled by the US, fell to the Communists. The truce fell apart in June 1946 when full-scale war between CCP and KMT forces broke out on 26 June 1946. China then entered a state of civil war that lasted more than three years.Hu, Jubin. (2003). ''Projecting a Nation: Chinese National Cinema Before 1949''. Hong Kong University Press. .


Resumed fighting (1946–1949)


Background and disposition of forces

By the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the power of the Communist Party grew considerably. Their main force grew to 1.2 million troops, backed with additional militia of 2 million, totalling 3.2 million troops. Their "Liberated Zone" in 1945 contained 19 base areas, including one-quarter of the country's territory and one-third of its population; this included many important towns and cities. Moreover, the Soviet Union turned over all of its captured Japanese weapons and a substantial amount of their own supplies to the Communists, who received Northeastern China from the Soviets as well. In March 1946, despite repeated requests from Chiang, the
Soviet Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links= ...
under the command of Marshal
Rodion Malinovsky Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky (russian: Родио́н Я́ковлевич Малино́вский; – 31 March 1967) was a Soviet military commander in World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII o ...

Rodion Malinovsky
continued to delay pulling out of Manchuria, while Malinovsky secretly told the CCP forces to move in behind them, which led to full-scale war for the control of the Northeast. These favorable conditions also facilitated many changes inside the Communist leadership: the more radical hard-line faction who wanted a complete military take-over of China finally gained the upper hand and defeated the careful opportunists. Prior to giving control to Communist leaders, on 27 March Soviet diplomats requested a joint venture of industrial development with the Nationalist Party in Manchuria. Although General Marshall stated that he knew of no evidence that the CCP was being supplied by the Soviet Union, the CCP was able to utilize a large number of weapons abandoned by the Japanese, including some tanks, but it was not until large numbers of well-trained KMT troops began surrendering and joining the Communist forces that the CCP was finally able to master the hardware. However, the CCP's ultimate trump card was its land reform policy. The CCP continued to make the irresistible promise in the countryside to the massive number of landless and starving peasants that by fighting for the CCP they would be given their own land to grow crops once the victory was won. This strategy enabled the CCP to access an almost unlimited supply of manpower for both combat and logistical purposes; despite suffering heavy casualties throughout many of the war's campaigns, manpower continued to grow. For example, during the Huaihai Campaign alone the CCP was able to mobilize 5,430,000 peasants to fight against the KMT forces. After the war with the Japanese ended,
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and Romanization of Chinese, romanized via Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin as Chiang Chieh-shih and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Kuomintang, Nationalist politician, ...

Chiang Kai-shek
quickly moved KMT troops to newly liberated areas to prevent Communist forces from receiving the Japanese surrender. The US airlifted many KMT troops from central China to the
Northeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...

Northeast
(
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
). President
Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Harry S. Truman
was very clear about what he described as "using the Japanese to hold off the Communists." In his memoirs he writes: Using the pretext of "receiving the Japanese surrender," business interests within the KMT government occupied most of the banks, factories and commercial properties, which had previously been seized by the
Imperial Japanese Army The was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan The was a historical and that existed from the in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II and subsequent formation of modern . It encompassed the ...
. They also conscripted troops at an accelerated pace from the civilian population and hoarded supplies, preparing for a resumption of war with the Communists. These hasty and harsh preparations caused great hardship for the residents of cities such as Shanghai, where the unemployment rate rose dramatically to 37.5%. The US strongly supported the Kuomintang forces. About 50,000 US soldiers were sent to guard strategic sites in Hupeh and Shandong in
Operation Beleaguer Operation Beleaguer was a major United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U. ...
. The US equipped and trained KMT troops, and transported Japanese and Koreans back to help KMT forces to occupy liberated zones as well as to contain Communist-controlled areas. According to
William Blum William Henry Blum (; March 6, 1933 – December 9, 2018) was an American author and critic of United States foreign policy. He lived in Washington, DC. Early life Blum was born at Beth Moses Hospital (now part of Maimonides Medical Center) in Bor ...
, American aid included substantial amounts of mostly surplus military supplies, and loans were made to the KMT. Within less than two years after the Sino-Japanese War, the KMT had received $4.43 billion from the US—most of which was military aid.


Outbreak of war

File:Chaing Kai-shek's Strategy 1947.PNG, Situation in 1947 File:Communist Offensives September through November 1948.PNG, Situation in the fall of 1948 File:Communist Offensives November 1948 - January 1949.PNG, Situation in the winter of 1948 and 1949 File:Communist Offensives April - October 1949.PNG, Situation in April to October 1949 As postwar negotiations between the Nationalist government in Nanjing and the Communist Party failed, the civil war between these two parties resumed. This stage of war is referred to in
mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies ...

mainland China
and Communist historiography as the "War of Liberation" (). On 20 July 1946, Chiang Kai-shek launched a large-scale assault on Communist territory in
North China North China, or Huabei ( ) is a List of regions of China, geographical region of China, consisting of the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. Part of the larger region of Northern China (''Beifang''), it lies north ...

North China
with 113 brigades (a total of 1.6 million troops). This marked the first stage of the final phase in the Chinese Civil War. Knowing their disadvantages in manpower and equipment, the CCP executed a "passive defense" strategy. It avoided the strong points of the KMT army and was prepared to abandon territory in order to preserve its forces. In most cases the surrounding countryside and small towns had come under Communist influence long before the cities. The CCP also attempted to wear out the KMT forces as much as possible. This tactic seemed to be successful; after a year, the power balance became more favorable to the CCP. They wiped out 1.12 million KMT troops, while their strength grew to about two million men. In March 1947 the KMT achieved a symbolic victory by seizing the CCP capital of
Yan'an Yan'an (; ), alternatively spelled as Yenan is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban a ...
. The Communists counterattacked soon afterwards; on 30 June 1947 CCP troops crossed the Yellow River and moved to the
Dabie Mountains The Dabie Mountains () are a major mountain range located in central China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous ...
area, restored and developed the Central Plain. At the same time, Communist forces also began to counterattack in Northeastern China,
North China North China, or Huabei ( ) is a List of regions of China, geographical region of China, consisting of the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. Part of the larger region of Northern China (''Beifang''), it lies north ...

North China
and
East China East China () is a geographical and a loosely defined cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interacti ...

East China
. By late 1948, the CCP eventually captured the northern cities of
Shenyang Shenyang (, ; ; Mandarin pronunciation: ), formerly known as Fengtian () or by its Manchu name Mukden, is a major Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a ...

Shenyang
and
Changchun Changchun (, ; ), Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Ch'angch'un is the capital and largest city of Jilin, Jilin Province, China, People's Republic of China. Lying in the center of the Songliao Plain, Changchun is administered as a , ...

Changchun
and seized control of the Northeast after suffering numerous setbacks while trying to take the cities, with the decisive
Liaoshen Campaign The Liaoshen campaign ( zh, s=辽沈会战) Liáoshěn huìzhàn, an abbreviation of Liaoning–Shenyang campaign after the province of Liaoning and its Executive Yuan, ''Yuan'' direct-administered municipalities of China#History, directly admin ...
.Westad, Odd Arne.
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(2003). Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946–1950. Stanford University Press. . pp. 192–193.
The
New 1st Army New 1st Army () was reputed as the most elite Chinese military unit of the Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–19 ...
, regarded as the best KMT army, was forced to surrender after the CCP conducted a brutal six-month siege of Changchun that resulted in more than 150,000 civilian deaths from starvation.Pomfret, John. "Red Army Starved 150,000 Chinese Civilians, Books Says
Seattle Times 2 October 2009
Accessed: 2009-10-02. Archive
WebSite
/ref> The capture of large KMT units provided the CCP with the tanks, heavy artillery and other combined-arms assets needed to execute offensive operations south of the Great Wall. By April 1948 the city of Luoyang fell, cutting the KMT army off from Xi'an.Elleman, Bruce A. Modern Chinese Warfare, 1795–1989. Routledge. . Following a fierce battle, the CCP captured
Jinan Jinan (), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanization of Chinese, romanized as Tsinan, is the Capital (political), capital of Shandong province in East China, Eastern China. With a population of 9.2 million (including Laiwu), it is the ...

Jinan
and Shandong province on 24 September 1948. The Huaihai Campaign of late 1948 and early 1949 secured east-central China for the CCP. The outcome of these encounters were decisive for the military outcome of the civil war. The resulted in the Communist conquest of northern China. It lasted 64 days, from 21 November 1948 to 31 January 1949.Finkelstein, David Michael. Ryan, Mark A. McDevitt, Michael.
003003, O03, 0O3, OO3 may refer to: *003, fictional British 00 Agent *003, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *No ...

003
(2003). Chinese Warfighting: The PLA Experience Since 1949. M.E. Sharpe. China. . p. 63.
The PLA suffered heavy casualties while securing
Zhangjiakou Zhangjiakou (; ; ) also known as Kalgan and by several other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' ( ...
, Tianjin along with its port and garrison at Dagu and
Beiping "Beijing" is the atonal pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Singapore. It is often used to teach ...

Beiping
. The CCP brought 890,000 troops from the northeast to oppose some 600,000 KMT troops. There were 40,000 CCP casualties at Zhangjiakou alone. They in turn killed, wounded or captured some 520,000 KMT during the campaign. After achieving decisive victory at Liaoshen, Huaihai and Pingjin campaigns, the CCP wiped out 144 regular and 29 irregular KMT divisions, including 1.54 million
veteran A veteran () is a person who has significant experience (and is usually adept and esteemed) and expertise in a particular job, occupation or Craft, field. A military veteran is a person who is no longer serving in a military. A military veter ...
KMT troops, which significantly reduced the strength of Nationalist forces. Stalin initially favored a
coalition government A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government. The usual reason for such an arrangement is that no single party has achieved an absolute majority after an election An election is a ...
in postwar China, and tried to persuade Mao to stop the CCP from crossing the Yangtze and attacking the KMT positions south of the river. Mao rejected Stalin's position and on 21 April, and began the Yangtze River Crossing Campaign. On 23 April they captured the KMT's capital, Nanjing. The KMT government retreated to Canton (Guangzhou) until 15 October,
Chongqing Chongqing ( ; ; Sichuanese dialects, Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Romanization, alternately romanized as Chungking, is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality in southwest China. ...

Chongqing
until 25 November, and then
Chengdu Chengdu (, ; simplified Chinese Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representa ...

Chengdu
before retreating to Taiwan on 7 December. By late 1949 the People's Liberation Army was pursuing remnants of KMT forces southwards in southern China, and only
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
was left. In addition, the
Ili Rebellion The Ili Rebellion () (Üch Wiläyt inqilawi) was a Soviet Union, Soviet-backed revolt against the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China (1912–49), Republic of China in 1944. After the rebellion, the rebels established the Provisional G ...
was a
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
-backed revolt by the
Second East Turkestan Republic The East Turkestan Republic (ETR) was a short-lived independent state in north-west Xinjiang (East Turkestan), between November 12, 1944 and December 22, 1949. It began with the Ili Rebellion, in three districts: Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, ...
against the KMT from 1944 to 1949, as the Mongolians in the People's Republic were in a border dispute with the Republic of China. A Chinese Muslim
Hui The Hui people ( zh, c=, p=Huízú, w=Hui2-tsu2, Xiao'erjing Xiao'erjing or Xiao'erjin or Xiaor jin or in its shortened form, Xiaojing, literally meaning "children's script" or "minor script" (cf. "original script" referring to the origina ...
cavalry regiment, the 14th Tungan Cavalry, was sent by the Chinese government to attack Mongol and Soviet positions along the border during the Pei-ta-shan Incident. The Kuomintang made several last-ditch attempts to use Khampa troops against the Communists in southwest China. The Kuomintang formulated a plan in which three Khampa divisions would be assisted by the
Panchen Lama The Panchen Lama (), is a tulku of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Panchen Lama is one of the most important figures in the Gelug tradition, with its spiritual authority second only to Dalai Lama he with the council of high lamas is respo ...
to oppose the Communists. Kuomintang intelligence reported that some Tibetan tusi chiefs and the Khampa Su Yonghe controlled 80,000 troops in Sichuan, Qinghai and Tibet. They hoped to use them against the Communist army.


Fighting subsides

On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
with its capital at Beiping, which was returned to the former name Beijing. Chiang Kai-shek and approximately two million Nationalist soldiers retreated from mainland China to the
island of Taiwan Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The m ...
in December after the PLA advanced into the Sichuan province. Isolated Nationalist pockets of resistance remained in the area, but the majority of the resistance collapsed after the fall of Chengdu on 10 December 1949, with some resistance continuing in the far south.Cook, Chris Cook. Stevenson, John. 005(2005). The Routledge Companion to World History Since 1914. Routledge. . p. 376. A PRC attempt to take the ROC-controlled island of
Quemoy Kinmen, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features ...

Quemoy
was thwarted in the
Battle of Kuningtou The Battle of Kuningtou or Battle of Guningtou (), also known as the Battle of Kinmen (), was a battle fought over Kinmen Kinmen, English exonyms#Taiwan, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a County (Taiwan), cou ...
, halting the PLA advance towards Taiwan.Qi, Bangyuan. Wang, Dewei. Wang, David Der-wei.
003003, O03, 0O3, OO3 may refer to: *003, fictional British 00 Agent *003, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *No ...

003
(2003). The Last of the Whampoa Breed: Stories of the Chinese Diaspora. Columbia University Press. . p. 2.
In December 1949, Chiang proclaimed
Taipei Taipei (), officially Taipei City, is the Capital city, capital and a Special municipality (Taiwan), special municipality of the Taiwan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Located in Regions of Taiwan, Northern Taiwan, Taipei City is an enclave of t ...

Taipei
the
temporary capitalA temporary capital or a provisional capital is a city or town chosen by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associativ ...
of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
and continued to assert his government as the sole legitimate authority in China. The Communists' other amphibious operations of 1950 were more successful: they led to the Communist conquest of Hainan Island in April 1950, capture of Wanshan Islands off the Guangdong coast (May–August 1950),
Zhoushan Island Zhoushan Island is the principal and namesake island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls ...
off Zhejiang (May 1950).MacFarquhar, Roderick. Fairbank, John K. Twitchett, Denis C.
991 Year 991 ( CMXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday A common year starting on Thursday is any non-leap year A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or wikt:bissextile, bissextile year) is a calendar year that contains an additio ...
(1991). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press. . p. 820.


Aftermath

The Communist military forces suffered 1.3 million combat casualties in the 1945–1949 phase of the war: 260,000 killed, 190,000 missing, and 850,000 wounded, discounting irregulars. Nationalist casualties in the same phase were recorded after the war by the PRC 5,452,700 regulars and 2,258,800 irregulars. Most observers expected Chiang's government to eventually fall to the imminent invasion of Taiwan by the People's Liberation Army, and the US was initially reluctant in offering full support for Chiang in their final stand. US President
Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Harry S. Truman
announced on 5 January 1950 that the United States would not engage in any dispute involving the Taiwan Strait, and that he would not intervene in the event of an attack by the PRC. The situation quickly changed after the onset of the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It b ...

Korean War
in June 1950. This led to changing political climate in the US, and President Truman ordered the
United States Seventh Fleet The Seventh Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label ...
to sail to the
Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between ...

Taiwan Strait
as part of the
containment '' Containment is a geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth's geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...

containment
policy against potential Communist advance.Bush, Richard C. (2005). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. In June 1949 the ROC declared a "closure" of all mainland China ports and its navy attempted to intercept all foreign ships. The closure was from a point north of the mouth of Min River in
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
to the mouth of the
Liao River The Liao River () is the principal in southern , and one of the seven main s in . Its name derived from the Liao region, a historical name for southern , from which the , and also all have derived their names. The river is also popularly know ...
in
Liaoning Liaoning (), is a coastal province in Northeast China Northeast China, is a geographical region of China. It usually corresponds specifically to the three province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country ...
.Tsang, Steve Yui-Sang Tsang. The Cold War's Odd Couple: The Unintended Partnership Between the Republic of China and the UK, 1950–1958. (2006). I.B. Tauris. . pp. 155, 115–120, 139–145 Since mainland China's railroad network was underdeveloped, north–south trade depended heavily on sea lanes. ROC naval activity also caused severe hardship for mainland China fishermen. After losing mainland China, a group of approximately 3,000 KMT Central soldiers retreated to
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
and continued launching guerrilla attacks into south China during the
Kuomintang Islamic Insurgency in China (1950–1958) The Kuomintang Islamic insurgency () refers to a continuation of the Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1 ...
and Campaign at the China–Burma Border. Their leader, Li Mi, was paid a salary by the ROC government and given the nominal title of Governor of
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
. Initially, the US supported these remnants and the
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
provided them with military aid. After the Burmese government appealed to the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
in 1953, the US began pressuring the ROC to withdraw its loyalists. By the end of 1954 nearly 6,000 soldiers had left Burma and Li declared his army disbanded. However, thousands remained, and the ROC continued to supply and command them, even secretly supplying reinforcements at times to maintain a base close to China. After the ROC complained to the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
against the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
for violating the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance to support the CCP, the UN General Assembly Resolution 505 was adopted on 1 February 1952, condemning the Soviet Union. Though viewed as a military liability by the US, the ROC viewed its remaining islands in
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...
as vital for any future campaign to defeat the PRC and retake mainland China. On 3 September 1954, the
First Taiwan Strait Crisis The First Taiwan Strait Crisis (also the Formosa Crisis, the 1954–1955 Taiwan Strait Crisis, the Offshore Islands Crisis, the Quemoy-Matsu Crisis, and the 1955 Taiwan Strait Crisis) was a brief armed conflict between the Communist People's Repub ...
began when the
PLA PLA may refer to: Organizations Politics and military * People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the regular army, regular armed forces of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) and the armed wing of the PRC's foun ...
started shelling
Kinmen Kinmen, English exonyms#Taiwan, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a County (Taiwan), county by the Republic of China (ROC) based in Taiwan, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It lies roughly east of the ...

Kinmen
and threatened to take the
Dachen Islands The Dachen Islands, Tachen Islands or Tachens () are a group of islands off the coast of Taizhou Taizhou (Taichow) may refer to either of two cities in eastern China: * Taizhou, Jiangsu (), located on the Yangtze River, northwest of Shanghai * ...
in
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
. On 20 January 1955, the
PLA PLA may refer to: Organizations Politics and military * People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the regular army, regular armed forces of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) and the armed wing of the PRC's foun ...
took nearby Yijiangshan Island, with the entire ROC garrison of 720 troops killed or wounded defending the island. On 24 January of the same year, the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
passed the
Formosa Resolution The Formosa Resolution of 1955 was a joint resolution passed by the United States Senate, U.S. Senate and signed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 29, 1955 to counteract the threat of an invasion of Taiwan (Republic of China) by the ...
authorizing the President to defend the ROC's offshore islands. The First Taiwan Straits crisis ended in March 1955 when the PLA ceased its bombardment. The crisis was brought to a close during the
Bandung conference The first large-scale Asian–African or Afro–Asian Conference—also known as the Bandung Conference ( id, Konferensi Asia-Afrika)—was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, which took place on 18–24 ...
. The
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, was a conflict that took place between the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...
began on 23 August 1958 with air and naval engagements between PRC and ROC forces, leading to intense artillery bombardment of
Quemoy Kinmen, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features ...

Quemoy
(by the PRC) and
Amoy Xiamen ( , ; ), also known as Amoy (, from Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minn ...

Amoy
(by the ROC), and ended on November of the same year. PLA patrol boats blockaded the islands from ROC supply ships. Though the US rejected Chiang Kai-shek's proposal to bomb mainland China artillery batteries, it quickly moved to supply fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles to the ROC. It also provided
amphibious assault Amphibious warfare is a type of Offensive (military), offensive military operation that today uses naval ships to project ground and air power onto a hostile or potentially hostile shore at a designated landing beach. Through history the operat ...
ships to land supplies, as a sunken ROC naval vessel was blocking the harbor. On 7 September the US escorted a convoy of ROC supply ships and the PRC refrained from firing. The
Third Taiwan Strait Crisis The Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis or the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, was the effect of a series of missile tests conducted by the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republ ...
in 1995–96 escalated tensions between both sides when the PRC tested a series of missiles not far from Taiwan, although, arguably, Beijing ran the test to shift the 1996 presidential election vote in favor of the KMT, already facing a challenge from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party which did not agree with the "One China Policy" shared by the CCP and KMT.


Political fallout

On 25 October 1971, the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN. Its ...
admitted the PRC and expelled the ROC, which had been a founding member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
and was one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Representatives of Chiang Kai-shek refused to recognise their accreditations as representatives of China and left the assembly. Recognition for the People's Republic of China soon followed from most other member nations, including the United States. By 1984 PRC and ROC began to de-escalate their hostilities through diplomatic relations with each other, and cross-straits trade and investment has been growing ever since. The state of war was officially declared over by the ROC in 1991. Despite the end of the hostilities, the two sides have never signed any agreement or treaty to officially end the war. According to Mao Zedong, there were three ways of "staving off imperialist intervention in the short term" during the continuation of the Chinese Revolution. The first was through a rapid completion of the military takeover of the country, and through showing determination and strength against "foreign attempts at challenging the new regime along its borders." The second was by "formalising a comprehensive military alliance with the Soviet Union," which would dedicate Soviet power to directly defending China against its enemies; this aspect became extensively significant given the backdrop of the start of the Cold War. And finally the regime had to "root out its domestic opponents : the heads of secret societies, religious sects, independent unions, or tribal and ethnic organisations." By destroying the basis of domestic reaction, Mao believed a safer world for the Chinese revolution to spread in would come into existence. Under the new ROC president
Lee Teng-hui Lee Teng-hui (; 15 January 192330 July 2020) was a Taiwanese statesman and economist who served as president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) under Constitution of the Republic of China, the 1947 C ...
, the
Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion The Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion were provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of China effective from 1948 to 1991 and amended four times. It effective ...
was renounced in May 1991, thus ending the chances of the Kuomintang's conquest to retake the mainland. With the election in 2000 of
Democratic Progressive Party The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is a Taiwanese nationalist and centre-left Centre-left politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic langua ...
candidate
Chen Shui-bian Chen Shui-bian (; born 12 October 1950) is a retired Taiwanese politician and lawyer who served as the fifth president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2000 to 2008. Chen is the first president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ...
, a party other than the KMT gained the presidency for the first time in Taiwan. The new president did not share the Chinese nationalist ideology of the KMT and CCP. This led to tension between the two sides, although trade and other ties such as the 2005 Pan-Blue visit continued to increase. With the election of President
Ma Ying-jeou Ma Ying-jeou (born 13 July 1950) is a Hong Kong-born Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous cont ...
(KMT) in 2008, significant warming of relations resumed between Taipei and Beijing, with high-level exchanges between the semi-official diplomatic organizations of both states such as the Chen-Chiang summit series. Although the
Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between ...

Taiwan Strait
remains a potential flash point, regular direct air links were established in 2009.


Reasons for the Communist victory

The historian Rana Mitter concluded that the Nationalist government in 1945 had been "fundamentally destroyed by the war with Japan." During the war, the CCP avoided any radical class-related policies of wealth or land redistribution so as to maximise national unity against the Japanese. This was highly successful at raising the CCP's popularity which reached its highest ever level. In addition, the peasants only joined the communists en masse after the Japanese invaded, rather than cooperate with the invaders. Hence it is demonstrable that Communist popularity did not come from their land reform proposals or rural poverty. The Japanese puppet government of China produced extensive propaganda claiming that their main purpose was anti-communism, which backfired and helped to bolster the legitimacy of Communists further among the peasant victims of Japanese reprisals. When the KMT right wing objected to CCP expansion of influence as part of guerilla campaigns, they were attacked on patriotic grounds. The Communists were able to gain popular legitimacy for their actions as long as they were carrying out resistance against Japan with greater aggressiveness than the KMT government, and this advantage was utilized by the Communists as seen in the New Fourth Army Incident. Widespread anger against US troops in China due to incidents of rapes and deaths caused by military vehicle accidents, against KMT cooperation with surrendered Japanese and pro-Japanese forces, against the extensive economic privileges granted to the US by the KMT government, US military aid to the Nationalists in the Civil War, and the US economic aid to post-war Japan helped to sway public opinion against the KMT. Historian
Odd Arne Westad Odd Arne Westad British Academy, FBA (born 5 January 1960) is a Norwegian historian specializing in the Cold War and contemporary East Asian history. He is the Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University, where he teaches in th ...

Odd Arne Westad
says the Communists won the Civil War because they made fewer military mistakes than
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and Romanization of Chinese, romanized via Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin as Chiang Chieh-shih and Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese Kuomintang, Nationalist politician, ...

Chiang Kai-shek
and also because in his search for a powerful centralized government, Chiang antagonized too many interest groups in China. Furthermore, his party was weakened in the war against the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Communists targeted different groups, such as peasants, and brought them to their side. Chiang wrote in his diary in June 1948: "After the fall of Kaifeng our conditions worsened and became more serious. I now realized that the main reason our nation has collapsed, time after time throughout our history, was not because of superior power used by our external enemies, but because of disintegration and rot from within." Although officially the Soviet Union and North Korea were not supporting the Communist forces, they gave logistic support, transported and helped to deploy the Communist soldiers to fight the Kuomintang, also transported sick and wounded soldiers, gave the weapons of
Manchukuo Manchukuo, officially the State of Manchuria prior to 1934 and the Empire of (Great) Manchuria after 1934, was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia from 1932 until 1945. It was founded as a republic in 19 ...
to the Communist Party of China, North Korea sent an army to fight the Kuomintang, etc.
Chen Yun Chen Yun (, pronounced ; 13 June 1905 – 10 April 1995) was one of the most influential leaders of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of cou ...
said: "They did their best to help us, we were backed by the Soviet Union and North Korea." Strong American support for the Nationalists was hedged with the failure of the Marshall Mission, and then stopped completely mainly because of KMT corruption (such as the notorious Yangtze Development Corporation controlled by H.H. Kung and 's family) and KMT's military setback in Northeast China. The main advantage of the Chinese Communist Party was the "extraordinary cohesion" within the top level of its leadership. These skills were not only secured from defections that came about during difficult times but also coupled with "communications and top level debates over tactics." The charismatic style of leadership of Mao Zedong created a "unity of purpose" and a "unity of command" which the KMT lacked. Apart from that the CCP had mastered the manipulation of local politics to their benefit; this was also derived from their
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
skills that had also been decentralised successfully. By "portraying their opponents as enemies of all groups of Chinese" and itself as "defenders of the nation" and people (given the backdrop of the war with Japan). In the Chinese Civil War after 1945, the economy in the ROC areas collapsed because of
hyperinflation In , hyperinflation is very high and typically accelerating . It quickly erodes the of the local , as the prices of all goods increase. This causes people to minimize their holdings in that currency as they usually switch to more stable forei ...

hyperinflation
and the failure of
price controls Price controls are restrictions set in place and enforced by governments, on the prices that can be charged for goods and services in a market. The intent behind implementing such controls can stem from the desire to maintain affordability of goods ...
by the ROC government and financial reforms; the Gold Yuan devaluated sharply in late 1948 and resulted in the ROC government losing the support of the cities'
middle classes The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the ...
. In the meantime, the Communists continued their relentless land reform ( land redistribution) programs to win the support of the population in the countryside.


Atrocities

During the war both the Nationalists and Communists carried out mass atrocities, with millions of non-combatants deliberately killed by both sides. Benjamin Valentino has estimated atrocities in the Chinese Civil War resulted in the death of between 1.8 million and 3.5 million people between 1927 and 1949.


Communist atrocities

During the Siege of Changchun the
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between St ...
implemented a military blockade on the KMT-held city of Changchun and prevented civilians from leaving the city during the blockade; this blockade caused the starvation of tensKoga, Yukiko (2016). Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption After Empire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. . to 150 thousand civilians. The PLA continued to use siege tactics throughout Northeast China.Lary, Diana (2015). China's Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . At the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War in 1946, Mao Zedong began to push for a return to radical policies to mobilize China against the landlord class, but protected the rights of middle peasants and specified that rich peasants were not landlords. The 7 July Directive of 1946 set off eighteen months of fierce conflict in which all rich peasant and landlord property of all types was to be confiscated and redistributed to poor peasants. Party work teams went quickly from village to village and divided the population into landlords, rich, middle, poor, and landless peasants. Because the work teams did not involve villagers in the process, however, rich and middle peasants quickly returned to power. The Outline Land Law of October 1947 increased the pressure.Saich ''The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party'
Outline Land Law of 1947
/ref> Those condemned as landlords were buried alive, dismembered, strangled and shot.


Kuomintang atrocities

In response to the aforementioned land reform campaign; the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
helped establish the "Huanxiang Tuan" (), or Homecoming Legion, which was composed of landlords who sought the return of their redistributed land and property from peasants and CCP guerrillas, as well as forcibly conscripted peasants and communist POWs. The Homecoming legion conducted its guerrilla warfare campaign against CCP forces and purported collaborators up until the end of the civil war in 1949.


See also

* List of wars involving the People's Republic of China * Campaign to suppress bandits in northeast China * Campaign to Suppress Bandits in Wuping * Campaign to suppress bandits in southwestern China * Campaign to Suppress Bandits in Eastern China


References


Further reading

* Cheng, Victor Shiu Chiang. "Imagining China’s Madrid in Manchuria: The Communist Military Strategy at the Onset of the Chinese Civil War, 1945–1946." ''Modern China'' 31.1 (2005): 72–114. * Chesneaux, Jean, Francoise Le Barbier, and Claire Bergere. ''China from the 1911 Revolution to Liberation.'' (1977). * Chi, Hsi-sheng. ''Nationalist China at War: Military Defeats and Political Collapse, 1937–45'' (U of Michigan Press, 1982). * Dreyer, Edward L. ''China at War 1901–1949'' (Routledge, 2014). * Dupuy, Trevor N. ''The Military History of the Chinese Civil War'' (Franklin Watts, Inc., 1969). * Eastman, Lloyd E. "Who lost China? Chiang Kai-shek testifies." ''China Quarterly'' 88 (1981): 658–668. * Eastman, Lloyd E., et al. ''The Nationalist Era in China, 1927–1949'' (Cambridge UP, 1991). * Fenby, Jonathan. ''Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost'' (2003). * Ferlanti, Federica. "The New Life Movement at War: Wartime Mobilisation and State Control in Chongqing and Chengdu, 1938—1942" ''European Journal of East Asian Studies'' 11#2 (2012), pp. 187–21
online
how Nationalist forces mobilized society * Jian, Chen. "The Myth of America's “Lost Chance” in China: A Chinese Perspective in Light of New Evidence." ''Diplomatic History'' 21.1 (1997): 77–86. * Lary, Diana. ''China's Civil War: A Social History, 1945–1949'' (Cambridge UP, 2015)
excerpt
* Levine, Steven I. "A new look at American mediation in the Chinese civil war: the Marshall mission and Manchuria." ''Diplomatic History'' 3.4 (1979): 349–376. * Lew, Christopher R. ''The Third Chinese Revolutionary Civil War, 1945–49: An Analysis of Communist Strategy and Leadership'' (Routledge, 2009). * Li, Xiaobing. ''China at War: An Encyclopedia'' (ABC-CLIO, 2012). * Lynch, Michael. ''The Chinese Civil War 1945–49'' (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014). * Mitter, Rana. "Research Note Changed by War: The Changing Historiography Of Wartime China and New Interpretations Of Modern Chinese History." ''Chinese Historical Review'' 17.1 (2010): 85–95. * Nasca, David S. ''Western Influence on the Chinese National Revolutionary Army from 1925 to 1937.'' (Marine Corps Command And Staff Coll Quantico Va, 2013)
online
* Pepper, Suzanne. ''Civil war in China: the political struggle 1945–1949'' (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999). * Reilly, Major Thomas P. ''Mao Tse-Tung And Operational Art During The Chinese Civil War'' (Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015
online
* Shen, Zhihua, and Yafeng Xia. ''Mao and the Sino–Soviet Partnership, 1945–1959: A New History.'' (Lexington Books, 2015). * , advanced military history
excerpt
* Taylor, Jeremy E., and Grace C. Huang. "'Deep changes in interpretive currents'? Chiang Kai-shek studies in the post-cold war era." ''International Journal of Asian Studies'' 9.1 (2012): 99–121. * Taylor, Jay. ''The Generalissimo'' (Harvard University Press, 2009). biography of Chiang Kai-shek * Van de Ven, Hans. ''War and nationalism in China: 1925–1945'' (Routledge, 2003). * * Wilson, Dick. ''Chou: the story of Zhou Enlai, 1898–1976'' (Hutchinson Radius, 1984). * Yick, Joseph K.S. ''Making Urban Revolution in China: The CCP-GMD Struggle for Beiping-Tianjin, 1945–49'' (Routledge, 2015).


External links


Summary of Chinese Civil War 1946–1949

Chinese Civil War 1945–1950

"Armored Car Like Oil Tanker Used by Chinese" ''Popular Mechanics'', March 1930
article and photo of armoured train of Chinese Civil War
Topographic maps of China Series L500, U.S. Army Map Service, 1954–

Operational Art in the Chinese PLA’s Huai Hai Campaign


{{Authority control Chinese Civil War, Revolutions in China Wars involving the Republic of China Wars involving the People's Republic of China Interwar period Revolution-based civil wars Communism-based civil wars Wars of independence Aftermath of World War II Military history of the Republic of China (1912–1949) Proxy wars 20th-century conflicts Cross-Strait conflict