Communist China

The Early Years

1911
            10 October                    Double Tenth
           
Uprising at Wuchang –ends the Qing Dynasty

1912
            Sun Yat-sen becomes President of the Republic of China

Three Principles of the People
-Nationalism (rid china of Western invaders)
-Livelihood and the People’s Welfare, Socialism (government control of capital)
-Representative Government, Democracy (Chinese collectivism)

1913
            14 February
            Yuan Shikai becomes President because Sun was not able to win the support of the military. He began to campaign against the GMD using bribes and double agents. When this caused Sun Yat-sen to escape to Japan, Yuan completed his government take-over. Yuan's subsequent reorganization of the provincial governments after his victory set the precedent for warlords by designating an army to each provincial governor.

1915
    Yuan agrees to most of Japan's 21 Demands, and protests are made against his leadership. He takes out massive loans to support his government.
    He becomes self-proclaimed "Emperor", thus losing of his power base, as the military felt he would be less dependent on them after his assumption of the monarchy.

1919               May 4th Movement
    Violent protest in reaction to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. China had entered the war in 1917, anticipating the recovery of the province of Shangdon that Germany had controlled. However, the land went to the Japanese, who had entered the war in 1914. May 4th started the movement towards a new culture, and a mass rejection of all foreigners, giving a more directed purpose to the revolutionaries. Mao participated by starting a newspaper The Xiang River Review, notable for his avocation of anarchy and denunciation of violent revolution: "we will not pursue that ineffectual 'revolution of blood.'"
 
            Idea for CCP
            Started in Moscow, under the hidden, but active involvement of the Comintern until 1949.
 
1920
            April                         CCP formed
            Votinsky goes to China to set up the CCP
 
1921
            Mao becomes the local CCP Party boss in Hunan
 
1922
            Mao is dropped from the 2nd Congress, but he is kept on in the party because of his excellent military skills.

1923
         Under encouragement from the Comintern and the CCP, Mao became a member of the GMD.  Members of the CCP were instructed by the Comintern to work with the GMD to bring China under a single nationalist government - First United Front.
 
1925
            Sun Yat-sen dies of cancer. Chiang Kai-shek emerges as leader of the GMD.

1926
            Northern Expedition
         Under the leadership of Chiang, United Front forces overthrow many provincial warlords. Unites more than half of China under GMD.

1927
            Chiang Kai-shek marries the sister of Sun's wife. (He now appears to be the 'true hier' of Yat-sen although Sun Yat-sen's widow sides with the CCP. Also, Chaing's wife was educated in America –this will put the GMD in good favour with the US)
 
            Right-wing elements of the GMD led by Chiang conspire with provincial warlord allies to purge left-wing leaders. End of the First United Front and the beginning of a bitter rivalry between the CCP and the GMD.  
 
1928
         Hedged in by enemy forces in the mountains, Mao is largely cut off from CCP and Comintern. In the mountains, Mao experiments with collective agriculture and builds a peasant army trained in guerrilla tactics.  

1929
            Mao joins other CCP leaders to establish the Jiangxi Soviet. 
 
1931
         The GMD launch the White Terror.
 
         Japanese invasion of Manchuria


The Rise of Mao

1934                  Long March to Yan'an
Jiangxi Soviet is abandoned. Although Mao was not one of the initial organizers of the march, he takes command of the Communist forces after the first three months and set the army’s destination for a distant communist base in Shaanxi province (North-Central China).  Sustaining heavy losses from disease, famine, and enemy attack, Mao leads Red Army through six thousand miles of rivers, swamps, forests, and mountains to reach its new base in the city of Yan’an.
            This shows the success of Mao's guerilla tactics and elevates him to a high position in the CCP.

1935              Zunyi Conference
            The first significant time when the pro-Bolshevik faction of the Party supports Mao (largely because they were disillusioned with the Comintern line after so many poor judgments of the military situation in China, such as those by Braun, who pushed for large-scale battles).
        Zhou Enlai starts backing Mao. Henceforth, Mao's military deviations from orders seem more legitimate. Mao is also put back in the Central Committee.
 
1936                  Xi'an Incident
         Chiang needs support of warlord Zhang Xueliang, but Zhang refuses because he wants to fight Japan, not the CCP (+He admired Mao's tactics). He kidnaps Chiang, who is released after two weeks when he agreed to ally with the Communists (Second United Front) against the Japanese.  Chiang's reluctance to fight the invaders was bad PR, so Zhang agrees to fly back to Nanjing as Chiang's prisoner to save the GMD leader some face. Instead of being released as planned, Zhang becomes one of the longest held political prisoners.
 
1937  Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
       Japanese capture the GMD capital city of Nanjing - “Rape of Nanjing.”
       Japanese forces were also pushing into the provinces surrounding Mao’s Shaanxi base, where they were met with effective resistance by CCP forces.
 
1943
Mao receives title “Chairman” of the Communist Central Committee and becomes a Chairman of the Politburo, making him the unchallenged leader of the CCP.  

1946
            Summer “Paper Tigers”
            Peace talks between the CCP and the GMD fall apart with the Americans supporting the GMD. To Mao, the "paper tigers;" or reactionaries, although they might look more powerful, were not to be feared because they only represent "reaction," where the Communists "represent progress."
             Later, this is the name that Mao gave to other countries that had more military strength than China, particularly in reference to the atomic bomb, to show that he was neither afraid nor impressed by shows of force.
 
1945           Chinese Civil War
         As the Japanese evacuate China, the conflict between the CCP and the GMD reemerges.  Within a year, full-scale war erupts between the two parties.  
 
1947
         The GMD was initially successful in the north -captures Yan’an base.  However, the CCP had already established a foothold in Manchuria, which their Russian allies had allowed them to occupy after the Sino-Japanese War.  The CCP use this base to begin an aggressive military campaign to drive the GMD armies south.
 
1949  
         September       
         Temporary constitution –'Organic Law'
                   -military rule with 6 military districts
 
         1 November            PRC Formed
 
         December
         CCP forces h completely overwhelm GMD armies.  Chiang flees to Taiwan/Formosa, where he installs the remnants of his GMD administration, claiming to be the legitimate government of China.
 
1950        
         Campaign against Counterrevolutionaries
         -nearly 1 million former GMD members are killed
 
         Korean War (1950-53)
         At the promting of Stalin, Kim Il Sung of North Korea launches an offensive on South Korea to unite the peninsula under communist rule. Although most of the troops fighting against the North Koreans are Americans, they are UN forces, so according to treaty wording, the USSR does not have to become involved. China becomes involved as US troops push past the Yalu River. The united communist forces execute a successful counterattack, forcing UN troops to retreat.  The war ends in 1953 with the Treaty of Panmunjom, which split the peninsula into the communist north and the capitalist south at the 38th parallel.


Summary of CCP Strengths/GMD Weaknesses during the Chinese Civil War (1945-49)

GMD Weaknesses
   GMD corruption (not really Chiang himself, but the people below him.  Chiang led a very modest life) (Officers were corrupt within the army, stealing etc.)

   HyperInflation - price index in 1937 was 100, by 1946 it had risen to 378,217.

   Ruthless Political Terror (The White Terror- against Communists)

   Destitution and Starvation (flawed tax system, no subsidization, no help to peasants -treated them harshly (bad PR)

The GMD army (Forced Conscription, Morale, desertions)
+As recognized leader of China, Chiang has to fight the Japanese, but fails to do so.

CCP Strengths
   Peasants view the CCP as favorable (elliminates taxes for poorer peasants, set price controls, only upper 20% pay taxes)

   Discipline in Red Army was effective (soldiers educated and taught to be kind to civilians, compensate for peasants services, still encourage people lives to continue and city life when they took over towns)

   Red Army = People’s Liberation Army (good PR)

   Taxation was kept low (not till 1946-1948 where Mao has harsh policy against rich landowner peasants, took all their land and made them own up to their torturous nature, then after 1948 CCP goes back into moderate policy) (Mao’s land policies are always more favorable to the MASSES)

   Red Army’s Production Drive of 1941 : Mao solidly gets his supply lines going (Mao takes land, cultivates it, makes food in preparation for the upcoming war, devotes some of his troops to being farmers, much better at supplying his army then the GMD)

   Local councils could deal with local affairs (more control of rural areas, less centralization)

   Reforms of Shaanxi were modeled in areas reoccupied (education centers, distributing the land, and improving their lives, marital reforms)

Propaganda –exploits Chiang's failure to combat the Japanese


Mao's Domestic Policies

1950
         June      Land Reform Law
    -begins moderately, then encouraged peasants to attend and organize “Speak Bitterness” sessions.  Around 2 million landlords killed.  Redistribution follows and establish mutual aid teams to share equipment and labor
-40% of China's arable land is redistributed to 60% of the population
-landlords who “confessed” their wrong-doings and gave over their land are saved, others are killed

      Marriage Reform Law
    -Ends arranged marriages and concubinage.  Women get equal divorce rights and equal property rights.
Campaigns to Eliminate Prostitution, Gambling, and Drug Addiction
    -  these problems had reached epidemic proportions in urban areas
    -serious offenders were executed
    -the GMD was so corrupt that it spawned a black market, these criminals had close ties to nationalists, tended to be capitalists.
 
1951-52
         Three Antis (focused on government)
      Attempt to remove corruption, waste and bureacratism; 10% of gov’t officials fired, intimidation tactics, not many deaths

         Five Antis (focused on industry)
      Targets bribery, tax evasion, fraud, theft… mostly results in fines for businesses (75% of businesses  fined)

1953                  The First Five Year Plan (1953-57)
         -Centralized industrial production (results in too much specialization)
         -Builds Anshan Steel Centre (like Soviet's Magnitogorsk, not good quality)
         -90% of government spending is in industry
         -Builds bridges across Yangxi to increase flow of goods from North to South
         (Financed by $300million loan from USSR in Sino-Soviet treaty. USSR gets to use Chinese resources and naval bases. +China must pay for upkeep of lots of advisers from the USSR)
         Effects on Industry
         -70% increase in light industry
         -15% increase in heavy industry each year
         Effects on Agriculture
         -Only 2% increase a year (slower than population growth)
         -Damages agriculture by setting a low price so it can be sold (way too much grain is exported) to finance industry
        
1954         Constitution
      -CCP is now the sole legal party
         -People’s National Congress set up (ostensibly ran from bottom up, but was really top-down)
  Single-Party dictatorship now entrenched, all government officials were party members (1954 - Mao has complete political control)
-secret police -Special Security Forces
-prison camps –Laogai

National Women’s Association and the Youth League

      Mao wants collectivization
   Controversy of whether to force Agricultural Producers Co-operatives.  Zhou Enlai and Lui Shaoqui felt there weren’t enough tractors and fertilizers, but the Central Committee backed Mao.  In 1958, mandatory collectivization becomes mandatory.  Collectivization was more gradual in China (Mao didn’t need violence forcing collectivization like Stalin did).

1955-56
Economic Reconstruction - National Capitalism
    •   Gradually build economy. No immediate class struggle in cities
    •   moved to full state ownership ( even by 1952, gross industrial and agricultural production had increased by 77%)
    •   Inflation is tackled by introducing the Yuan (eliminates the old currency, hurts the middle class with savings, but stops inflation) inflation falls to 15% per year, before that it was increasing at 1,000% a year

Education
    •  80% illiterate in 1949, only 25% of kids attended school in 1949
    •  1956: primary attendance rate jumps to 56%
    •  Soviets help, some 600 teach at CHinese universities.  Students attend Soviet Universities too
    •Little impact on literacy shown... Still catering to small portion of the population (only top students)
    •  focused on expert education, trade schools

1956          Hundred Flowers Campaign
         -encourages Chinese to express their opinions about the government openly.  Many intellectuals and writers respond with critiques of party policy.  In a massive crackdown in 1957, those who had followed Mao’s encouragement to ”let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend” are arrested and sent to Laogai. Mao used this campaign to expose 'enemies' within the Party.
 
1957                  Great Leap Forward (1957-62)
Background
-Mao wants to equalize industry and agriculture, thus improving the 'socialist conscious.'
-Collectivization: Individual farms –to Co-ops –to Communes (set up Mess Hall day cares so women could work too)
-Cut Defense spending as of '56 to finance Communes, which form militias
-Agricultural schools increase by 27 million at same time as 90 million are send to urban industry
-backyard steel furnaces to improve rural industry (also backyard Uranium mines)
-Economic planning goes to local CCP officials in February '57 (decentralization)
Goals
1.) Overtake the UK in industrial production in 15 years and catch up to the US
2.)Egalitarian Communism (communes)
3.)Technology for increase in agriculture
4.)New Culture- celebrate communism and independence from Russia
Results
-Damaged Industry –backyard furnaces produces worthless steel (Uranium more successful), but continued to have it be produced so as not to admit failure/damage morale.
-Gross National Income declines by 22% as of 1960
-Poor structure of Communes (Mao even said he didn't know how they were to work so he just said "collectivize and let it go from there) means that farms are less productive and there is not enough agricultural technology. Agriculture is too regionalized –not enough central direction
-Lysenkoism –Socialist farming techniques (close planting) that don't work damage harvests.
-Man-made famine –inflated figures claimed by villages meant that too large a % of grain went to the state. Poor weather in '59 and Mao's unwillingness to hear of the issue compound the problem.
-Lushan Conference: Peng Dehua and the USSR criticize the Great Leap Forward, which puts Mao on the defensive and makes him even more unwilling to change his policies. Start of Sino-Soviet split
   Abandonment and New Measures Afterwards
1959 –Mao steps down as Chairman
1962 –Liu Shikai, Deng Xiaoping are supposed to fix the problem, but their kind-of NEP capitalism period (giving farming incentives like rural markets and introduce differentiated payment for skilled/unskilled workers) upsets Mao.
1963- Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)– Mao's little Red Book is published
1966 –Gang of Four, Red Guards
         -focus on youth
         Mao's "Great Swim" –he steps back into power.
 
1969           Sino-Soviet Split
         The split is official as border clashes emerge.

   1972          Détente with the US
         Mao invites Nixon to come to the PRC
    1976
            6 September
             Mao dies at the age of 81


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