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... the take over of formerly Japanese occupied areas was not carried out effectively. 2. Peace talks of 1945 and 1946 From a political perspective, the Kuomintang's goal was, in theory, to follow the Sun Yat Sens vision of a united democratic and constitutional China. The opportunity to create a united China presented itself during the talks between Mao Tse Tung and Chiang Kai Shek in 1945 and 1946. In January 1946, an agreement had been reached among the representatives of each faction, including a much smaller party than the Chinese Communist Party or the Kuomintang, the Democratic League. The agreement still required ratification from the leaders of each party.
In the meeting of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, under pressure from right wing members, the conditions of acceptance of the agreement, for example provincial autonomy, were changed. Because of this action, the Chinese Communists and the Democratic League felt that the agreement had been violated and that the Nationalists had betrayed them. The actions of the Kuomintang did not appear to be supporting the formation of a united China. Despite the reaction of the Communists and the Democratic League, the Nationalists continued the constitutional revision without the other two parties present. Also, the Kuomintang used more extreme measures in eliminating criticism from other, smaller, parties.
In July of 1946, the poet Wen Yiduo and another, prominent members of the Democratic League, were assassinated. The Kuomintang carried out the Constitution of 1946 and held elections in November of the following year. A National Assembly met in April 1948. The Chinese Communist Party boycotted the Nationalist government. It is apparent that the Kuomintang government was imposed and therefore undemocratic. It may be interpreted that the Kuomintang led by Chiang Kai Shek did not achieve Sun Yat Sens goal of creating a unified democratic China and, at the same time, alienated the Chinese people. 3.
Economic Problems Inflation was an extremely large problem for the Nationalist government after the Second World War. After the World War II, the Nationalist government returned to the coastal areas and large cities in hopes of developing the urban economy. An important area of economic development that the Nationalist government compromised for urban industrial development was agriculture, which would have provided a solid base for industrial development. It may be argued that the Kuomintang did not carry out agricultural reforms in fear of losing the support of the landlord class in China who still controlled the majority of the farming lands of China. Thus, agriculture was not taxed.
Instead, the government sought industrial development in the cities. The government relied on the printing of more money to finance the expenses of industrial development. In 1948, in comparison to pre-war values, government expenditure increased to 30 times, the deficit increased 30 times, and note issues increased 22. 4 times. 6 Some sources say that inflation was increasing at a rate of approximately thirty percent a month. Remarkably, the inflation did not completely ruin urban industry, since the government had indexed wages according to the cost of living. The Kuomintang did this under the belief that, if the workers were contented, there would be less probability of a successful Communist revolution. As previously mentioned, by 1948, inflation had reached extreme levels.
The Nationalists attempted to curb inflation by issuing a new currency that was backed by foreign currency, gold, and silver. Also, the government pledged to restrict the volume of bank notes being issued. These measures managed to stabilise the currency for some time, however the currency again fell. Prices held in Shanghai for several weeks and then the currency collapsed totally, dropping almost a million fold against the US dollar over a nine-month period. 7 The Kuomintang government faced imminent financial doom. 4. Military Policy Pertaining to the actual military aspects of the Chinese Civil War, many have judged the military of the Kuomintang to have been under poor leadership. Chiang Kai Shek rewarded loyalty above all else.
The highest military posts were reserved for those, who like him, had graduated from the Whampoa military academy. This often meant that more talented officers were turned away. General Barr of the United States said of the Kuomintang that, Their military debacles in my opinion can all be attributed to the worlds worst leadership and many other morale destroying factors that lead to a complete loss of will to fight. 8 For example, during the Has-hai campaign, General Tu Yu-ming allowed his men to be encircled be Communist troops. As a result of the poor military leadership, Kuomintang troops often deserted and defected to the Communists. Also, the Kuomintang's troops were spread out, as previously, mentioned due to the US airlifts.
The Nationalist troops could not defend specific areas because of their dispersion. Moreover, the Nationalists were not able to control roads and other transport routes. Evidently, the Kuomintang military strategy was poor. In retrospect of the Kuomintang rule of China from 1911 to 1949, one must not overlook the accomplishments made by the party. In the 1920 s the Nationalist government carried out important reforms, which included unification of the currency system, establishment a system of taxation, and development of industry and infrastructure. However, in the 1930 s the Kuomintang became increasingly dominated by the military.
The Chinese people were discontented by the Kuomintang's use of excessive force in the suppression of insurrections. Some have placed a great deal of importance on the Kuomintang weaknesses, lack of leadership in economic, political, and social areas, for the Communist victory and Nationalist defeat. However, it would be incorrect to attribute the collapse of the Kuomintang government solely to weaknesses in their policies and actions. Several books have stressed the collapse of the Nationalists, without admitting that what resulted was not a political vacuum which the Communists just happened to fill... 9 Granted the weaknesses of the Kuomintang, the Chinese Communist Partys actions in the Chinese Civil War were well planned and developed, and thus ultimately led to victory.
Chapter V. The Chinese Communist Party and the Civil War 1. Military Policy Although, in the beginning, the Chinese Communist armies were considerably smaller those of the Kuomintang, they had considerable advantages over the Kuomintang, which compensated for the size difference and would eventually lead to victory. The leadership of the Communist armies was considerably better than that of the Kuomintang. In contrast to the Kuomintang leaders, the Communist generals were not concerned with personal gain or pleasing their leader. The generals of the Chinese Communist Party co-operated with eachother and worked under a united goal.
The officers of the army went through regular training where they were reminded of the political goals, which included land reforms and the elimination of foreign powers from China, that the Communist Party was trying to reach through the war. Often, the Kuomintang soldiers that were taken prisoner went through retraining and defected to the Chinese Communists. In addition, the all members of the Communist army were supplied with medical services and food. The Communist army utilised guerrilla warfare tactics. Earlier, Mao had been criticised for his guerrilla tactics and was replaced by Sov...
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