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Chinese Civil War Essay

428 words - 2 pages

In many respects, China had been in a state of civil war since the Shanghai Massacre and the collapse of the First United Front in 1927. The main phase of the Chinese Civil War, however, is usually regarded as the period from late 1945 to 1949. After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Guomindang (GMD) agreed to hollow peace talks and an abortive ceasefire. By the start of 1946, however, the two groups were again fighting for control of China. This final phase of the Chinese Civil War culminated in the CCP’s capture of Beijing and its leader Mao Zedong (Wade-Giles: Mao Tse-tung) declaring the formation of the People’s ...view middle of the document...

The CCP may have secured victory in 1949 but like the republicans of 1912, they inherited an unstable, dysfunctional and economically depleted nation.

With the Japanese surrender in August 1945, most observers believed the CCP and Guomindang would resume their struggle for control of China. In late 1945 there was a brief period where foreign intermediaries, particularly the Americans, tried to broker peace talks between the communists and Nationalists. In late August 1945 Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai attended peace talks with Jiang Jieshi and other Nationalist leaders in Chongqing. Mao and Zhou attended at the urging of the Soviet Union and were accompanied by US diplomat Patrick Hurley. These talks were notable for their politeness and shows of goodwill between Mao and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek). At one function in Chongqing, Jiang raised a toast and declared that he hoped “we can now go back to the days of 1924″. At another dinner Mao even exclaimed “Long live President Jiang Jieshi!”, while the two men were photographed together smiling. But beneath this veneer of cooperation, the talks at Chongqing were insincere and unproductive. Both sides were maneuvering behind the scenes to win support and financial aid from the United States, while buying time for their military forces to recover and regroup. After three weeks of negotiating Mao and Jiang announced a bilateral pact, agreeing to suspend hostilities and form an all-party government.

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