History of the Republic of China Part II
The Communist Party is established
In the anger of the Versailles peace and disappointment after the Washington conference, interest in the Russian revolution grew. A contributing factor was that in 1919 the Russians promised to give up the privileges the Tsar government had acquired in China. In 1920, a communist youth group was formed in France by some students, including Zhou Enlai. In July 1921, China’s Communist Party was formally formed in Shanghai with Chen Duxiu as its chairman. Mao Zedong was among the founders. In 1923, Sun Yat-sen, who was elected President of the Guangzhou Government, summoned Soviet advisers in 1923 for his national revolutionary movement. Head of these was Mikhail Borodin.
Guomindang and the Guangzhou army were reorganized according to Soviet pattern, and an alliance was formed with the Soviet Communist Party. Sun died in Beijing in 1925 during negotiations with Feng Yuxiang and Zhang Zuolin to rebuild the central government, but Guomindang continued on the basis of his political will. In the summer of 1926, the army moved north, led by Chiang Kai-shek, displaced Wu Peifu and occupied Wuhan, where the government established itself, dominated by Guomindang’s left wing.
In March 1927, Nanjing was taken. Chiang Kai-shek made a bargain, and by the end of the year, his right wing had consolidated his position in Nanjing; the Soviet advisers were out of the country, the Wuhan government dissolved, and many of its members executed or in exile. In 1928, Chiang’s forces moved north with the support of Feng Yuxiang and the governor of Shanxi, Yen Xishan.
According to Plus-Size-Tips, Guomindang’s army, or Nationalist army, as it was called from now on, invaded Beijing, and its strongest opponent, Zhang Zuolin, was killed during the retreat against Mukden. His son, Zhang Xueliang, made peace and entered Guomindang. Now, China’s unit was now restored. The capital was added to Nanjing and Beijing renamed Beiping.
Guomindang Republic (1928–1949)
The government was organized according to Sun Yat principles, controlled by Guomindang, who also exerted great influence in the provinces. The political situation was brighter than ever since 1911. The leading generals mostly supported Chiang Kai-shek, at least outwardly. The government, in its service, took men of modern education, and relied on the cities, above all to the banking and trade circles in the coastal cities.
A national reform work was launched with strong pressure to remove the Treaty restrictions on sovereignty. In 1928–1929, virtually all powers except Japan agreed to restore China’s self-determination over tariff tariffs, several nations waived concessions, and some also abandoned the extra-territorial right. Important economic reforms were a uniform currency and tax system throughout the kingdom, and annual budgets. The Chinese share in the country’s industrial capital increased, a growing number of Chinese companies and banks were organized according to foreign pattern, and they even began to take over major transactions in export and import. The government created a series of trade monopolies and sought to displace foreigners from coastal and river traffic.
In the school system and in the social field, obvious progress was made, especially in the cities. However, a land reform law, passed in 1930, was not implemented, and the technical progress did not affect the social structure of agriculture. The number of apartment rentals increased, as did the fees and the number of fixed-term contracts. The government’s tax policy favored the concentration of land properties, especially in the coastal areas and around the big cities. Government revenue came exclusively from the small, modern sector of China’s economy, and all taxes were indirect. Only in 1941 did the central government impose taxes on land.
The government’s financial problems in the 1930s were due not least to military spending. They represented an average of 46 per cent of the central government’s total expenditure, while foreign interest claims swallowed 35 per cent, ie 81 per cent of the state expenditure went to unproductive purposes. Just a short time, in 1929-1931, China had peace on the outside. Internally, Chiang’s authority was defied by some military governors from time to time, but the biggest burden was the fight against the Communists.
Relationship with Japan
Japan’s stance had been more moderate in the years following the Washington Conference, but was tightened as Zhang Xueliang sought to assert China’s interests in Man Jury. In 1931, the Japanese occupied Mukden, and in a short time the rest of the country advanced to the Great Wall of China. The following year, this area was declared independent as a separate state, Mandsjukuo, under Pu Yi, the deposed Chinese emperor Xuantong.
An organized boycott of Japanese goods in China was answered by Japanese forces occupying parts of Shanghai. In 1933, the Japanese achieved a ceasefire, and China recognized their conquests. In 1934 Pu Yi was crowned emperor and in 1935 the Japanese bought the Soviet Union’s interests in the East China Railway. But attempts to cross the border into Inner Mongolia failed, and in 1937 China and the Soviet Union signed a non-pact against Japan.
Japanese activity south of the wall at this time clearly showed that the goal was to make China a protectorate; China did not face much resistance to begin with, as Chiang Kai-shek prioritized its campaigns against the Communists. After some unsuccessful rebellion attempts in 1927–1928, Mao Zedong eventually became successful in the Communist Party for a tactic aimed at exploiting the dissatisfaction of the poor peasants. Together with Zhu De, he organized guerrilla forces in the border areas between Hunan and Jiangxi.