China’sChallenges in the 20thCentury under the Communist Party
Chinahad many political, social and economic experiences that werecharacterized by dynamic political activities that were unusuallyfull of moral irony in the beginning of the 20th century. Many ofthese challenges were experienced during the rule of the CommunistParty. The same challenges found way in the late twentieth centuryand even in the current time as the country is rising. Golly and Songstates that, “China faces a critical task in managing its rise inthe way that is palatable to both the domestic and the worldcommunities” (Golly and Song 1). This paper will review thechallenges that China faced in the 20thcentury, with a view of exploring Naijing’s decade that lasted intothe 20thcentury, China’s new state and the civil war, China’s CulturalRevolution as well as the post Mao reforms.
Inthe period dated between the periods of 1937-1945 was the period whenthe Chinese Communist Party was involved in political battlefieldswith another three Combatants of that political party. The threepolitical parties were the Nationalists, the KMT and the Japanese. Itwas the period also when East Asia was faced with the coming of theSecond World War (Golly and Song 20). However, china, just likeIndia, came shattered after the Second World War. Golly and Songstate, “Both China and India emerged from the World War II asshattered giants embroiled in civil conflicts (Golly and Song 233).
Beforethe Second World War, china had experienced a decade of conflicts.The Naijing decade lasted approximately between the years of1927-1937 and was illustrated with the KMT party that guided the ROCgovernment that was primarily under enemy control of Chiang-Kai-Shek(Chen 120). The warlords were tamed by the Nationalist revolution thesecond Republican Revolution of KMT. These were lords had formerlyundermined the Republican Revolution of the 1911. The SecondRepublican Revolution had degenerated into a fascist-state that wasseverely corrupted by the Soong family who were the main supportersof Chiang-Kai-Shek.
Pressureintensified into the Naijing government from the Japanese Militaryadventures that happened in Manchuria. The Mukden incident of 1931was the first stage of this conclusion that was solely a stagedmilitary scheme. This staged scheme led to the Japanese invasion ofManchuria that was on a full scale as it led to Manchukuo which was adevelopment of the Japanese puppet country on China’s border (Gollyand Song 23). The Warlords of Manchuria were ultimately expelled fromtheir homeland. The warlord was mainly Zhang Xueliang who livedbetween the periods of 1898 to 2001 a former ally of KMT.
Althoughthere was so much aggression and the Japanese invasion,Chiang-Kai-Shek still pursued and pushed on the Chinese CommunistParty. Jiangxi was aligned against these Japanese and the governmentwas fully devoted to this cause. The KMT’s military campaigns wereaimed to be the ultimate antagonists of the Chinese Communists Party.Such aggressions led to the well-known. The long march lasted between1934-1035 was a communists retreat. In this regard all those leadersof the Chinese Communists Party were very much discredited,especially Moscow’s committee (Golly and Song 26). The partyleadership was then changed and Mao Zedongg was hence elevated to theparty’s top leadership. The Manchuria made it to the North of Chinawith new leadership after many years of intense suffering. The newleadership composed of army leaders such as Zhou Enlai and Zhu De.
Therewas an ever-growing invasion of the Japanese invasion in China.Despite of this threat, Chiang-Kai-Shek was concerned with theproblems that were a big threat to his household power especially thecommunist. In this regard, he preferred to move his own military baseto the Northwest of China (Brown 50). This move was solely aimed atlaunching an attack to the new Chinese Communist Party’s base camp.This led to divided China and former warlord who was called ZhangXueling could not entirely understanding this friction when China wasfaced with much larger problems of Japanese invasion on China.
However,there was a significant impact of the appointment of Zhang which waslargely the famous Sian incident that happened in 1936. This Sianincident had much significance to the dynamics of China’s politics.The Chinese former antagonistic parties such as KMT and the CommunistChinese Party united to form an alliance to launch the Japaneseattacks in the period between the years of 1936 to 1941. According tothe lecture, “Japanese invasion created a power vacuum,” this ledto “Truce between KMT and CCP, Removal of KMT army and bureaucracy”(Lecture 10-14 5).
Erosionof power of traditional gentry elite The first sustained attack onEastern China was recorded on the Morco Polo Bridge in the SecondWorld War by the Japanese (Golly and Song 30). China grew to be oneof the most powerful nations in the world as well the most advancedbefore the European had first arrived in China. China was one of thecountries that was most populated and more importantly, it waspolitically unified which explains its political stability. One ofthe most notable characteristic of China was the fact that China hadmastered the art of agriculture (Cheng 100). However, it would bebetter for people to understand that the Chinese population reveredits traditional warfare in addition to its traditional culture, atthe time when Europeans first arrived in China. The country hadabsolutely no indications that suggested that it had embracedindustrialization during that period.
Therewas a predominant division of influence in China in the 20thcentury. The Western Nations were characterized by each nationwanting and striving to have and posses as much control of China asmuch as possible. The Chinese people were deeply rooted in theirtraditional cultures and they resented any form of foreigner controlin their territory (Cheng 103). They mostly resented this distaste offoreigner control through the famous Boxer Rebellion that happened inthe beginning of the 20th century.
However,their domestic and local political power began to fade in these earlyyears as the domestic government failed. The Chinese people wereangry at their government inadequacy to fight or resist the Europeaninvasion as they resented that particular invasion so much. Thus,they initiated and established a revolution in 1911 that led to thedevelopment of the Republic of China that consequently replaced theold imperial system. The new Republic of China was headed andgoverned by SunYat Sen (Brown 51).
HoweverSunYat Sen was forced to relinquish his powers to a former leader whowas called Yuang-Kai who became the next known leader of China. Thisnew leader tried his best to re-establish a former imperial system ofgovernance as China’s governor. This particular re-establishmentled the formation of China’s political parties such as KMT andKuomentang. However Sun strived hard to re-establish democracy inChina, but he mostly failed until 1020’s. China engaged itselffully by participating in the World War 1 fully aligned on the sideof the allies in 1917 (Golly and Song 55). However, there wascharacterized with absolutely no military action. There were laborerswho were formed in terms of resources that provided the requiredresources. These laborers worked in the factories and in the mines.It is important to note that the existing treaty of Versailles wasnot an advantage to China as it did much as did not aid in endingChina’s foreign control as well as ending the impending concession(Chen 19).
Thistreaty brought a lot of resistance in China and it forced students totake part in demonstrations of the May Forth Movement in 1919. Thismovement bore some fruits in China like the introduction and adoptionof science and a new form of writing. More importantly, that movementand the demonstration had political impact through the formation ofChina’s political party that was known as the Communist Party ofChina. In the later years the people’s republic of China had tochange their traditional cultures as well as their geographicallocations (Cheng 31). There was a five year plan that was adopted inthose years that aided in the revolutionizing economic, social,cultural and land reforms of the whole of China. Since China wasgetting a lot of hostility of the neighboring Japan, they put intopractice a thirty year plan with Russia to unite against theJapanese. However, this plan did not fully get implemented because ofthe tensions that ensued after the death of Russia’s leader JosephStalin that occurred in 1955. These tensions led to a strainedrelationship between China and Russia that lasted until 1985 (Cheng105).
PresidentRichard Nixon from the Western countries tried to restore diplomaticrelations with the then Communist Party of China. This process ofdiplomacy was successful and led to China being integrated into theworld community. The people’s republic of China was awarded in 1971by the United Nations with the position of Taiwan in the SecurityCouncil (Cheng 105). However, at this period when China was involvedwith reconciliation processes with other countries, the foundingleaders of the Communist Party of China were dying. Therefore, withthe absence of strong leadership from Mao Zedong and Zhou EnlaiCommunist Party of China was characterized by power struggles. Thesepower struggles were mainly between the supporters of Deng Ziapingand the supporters of Mao that was mainly led by Jiang Qing (Brown39).
Afterthe power struggles China remained silent in terms of politics afterthe ultimate death of Mao. However, this silence was broken in 1989by a famous incident in Tiananmen Square that caught the world’seye. There were rampant demonstrations by many Chinese students whoheld their demonstrations in the town of Beijing (Golley and Song60). However, instead of responding to these demonstrations in ademocratic manner, the Chinese soldiers mercilessly attacked and evenkilled many of the demonstrating students. China’s position inregard to human rights as well as the freedom of its people wasquestioned around the global communities.
Theexperiences in the 20thcentury were the most unstable periods in the political powers ofChina. The Boxer rebellion exposed the weak point of the thenself-indulgent Manchu dynasty. China had assumed to be a leading andmost powerful country than any other countries. In this regard theEuropean power had made money in personage to China that began withOpium wars. Equitable treaties, as well as treaty ports that werecarved out were enforced by the European.
China’sprogressive individuals responded by the longing to effectivelymodernize China through forcing China to adopt modern institutionsand technologies. However, there was a section of China thatpredominantly wanted to force out any form of foreign influence. Thiswas done in the pursuit of infinite traditional cultural preservationin the country. The society of Harmonious fist was an importantfaction that later came to be identified as the Boxers by the westerncountries.
Therehas been a lot of economic progress that has been made in the modernChina. This has largely been caused by the existing market forces. Inthis regard China is viewed as having the fastest growing economy. Itis important to know that the former Communist party of China hadsince relinquished many aspects that controlled the lives of ordinarypeople of Chinese. According to Cheng, “The Chinese CommunistParty, following the sixteenth party congress has made up its mind tostay on the path of peaceful rise” (Cheng 80). As a result, therehave been so many unimaginable accomplishments in the modern China interms of cultural revolutions. In this regard the accomplishments arelargely in developing and improving individual freedoms and moredecent living conditions.
Themanner of implementations of economic success that were aimed toimproving the economy of China helped China to attain success. Marketcharacteristics coupled with large scale programs of governmentplanning have helped minimize poverty. However, there has been anincrease in income and its inequality in the society (Golley and Song70). Golley and Song state that, “China’s dramatic economic riseduring the past decades has been accompanies by-indeed, to someextent caused by the most rapid demographic transition…”(Golleyand Song 7). There have been a lot of attempts to transform thesocialism in the China’s East Bloc. Moreover, there are moreattempts to help in bringing about growth and more development of itseconomies
Inconclusion the Communists Party of China has failed to deliver manyreforms that the Chinese people were once promised. The mostimportant reform that the people of China had been denied to date isan honest, transparent government and the rule of law. This is a keyattribute owned by the Britain government to its success. Thehistorical barbarity of the Soviet Russia as well as the NAZI ofGermany has been accredited to the lacking rule of law. Today Chinastruggles to have a justified rule of law where there are both manywomen and men.
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Chen,Jian. China’sChallenges in the 21stCentury.New York. United States Institute of Peace. 2005. Print
ChengBijian. China’sPeaceful Rise.Washington DC. Brookings Institutional Press. 2005. Print.
GollyJane, Song Ligang. RisingChina: Global Challenges and Opportunities.Australia. Australian University Press. 2011. Print.
Lecture10-14, The Communist Consolidation, HIST374 CHINA IN THE 20TH CENTURY,October 14, 2015