October 20, 2011

Mao Tse-Tung Killer File Part 2 of 5

[source: More or Less]

1931 - In September conspirators in Japan's Kwantung Army stage the 'Manchurian Incident', blowing up a section of track on the South Manchuria Railway then blaming Chinese saboteurs.

With the Japanese Government powerless to intervene, the Kwantung Army mobilises, taking nearby Mukden (now Shenyang) then, in January 1932, attacking Shanghai, south of their territory in Shandong Province. A truce is called in March 1932. The Japanese then establish the puppet state of Manchukuo, centred on Manchuria and headed by the last Chinese emperor, Puyi.

Rather than concentrating its efforts against the Japanese, the Guomindang embarks on a series of "encirclement campaigns" against the communists. Mao responds with guerrilla tactics, instructing his forces to use a four-phased strategy: "The enemy advances; we retreat. The enemy camps; we harass. The enemy tires; we attack. The enemy retreats; we pursue."

Meanwhile, Mao's communists proclaim the Chinese Soviet Republic in Ruijin, Jiangxi Province. Mao is elected chairman of the republic. Land reforms introduced to the republic prove popular with the peasants and help to spread the communist's influence, although Mao is ruthless in enforcing party discipline. However, Mao's initial reign as chairman is shortlived.

After the CCP Central Committee relocates from Shanghai to Ruijin during the year Mao is stripped of his posts. The decision will have disastrous consequences for the communists, who abandon Mao's "hit and run" military tactics for head-on confrontation with the Guomindang, even though they are outnumbered seven to one.

1934 - When the Guomindang's fifth attempt at encircling the communist bases threatens to succeed, the Red Army and CCP are forced into retreat. The 'Long March' begins in Jiangxi Province on 15 October when the communists break through a gap in the Guomindang lines and begin a circuitous and initially unplanned trek of about 7,000 km through 11 provinces, 18 mountain ranges, and 24 rivers to Shaanxi Province to the northwest.

Throughout the march Guomindang forces and hostile warlords herd and harry the communists. Among those who die is one of Mao's younger brothers. Of the original 80,000 who set off only about 8,000 will reach the final destination when the march ends 12 months later in October 1935, although the communist's numbers are boosted by about 22,000 who have joined the march along the way.

Mao, whose tactical skills have contributed to the success of the march, has emerged as a hero and now has unchallenged command of the CCP, having been given the leadership of the party at a conference held at Zunyi in Guizhou Province in January 1935.

Based in Yan'an, the movement is destined to rapidly expand, with Mao coming to act as the intellectual as well as military authority of the party.

1936 - In December Guomindang troops forcibly detain Chiang Kai-shek for several days until he agrees to cease hostilities against the communists and cooperate with them to oppose the Japanese.

Meanwhile, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin invites Mao to send the surviving two sons from his second marriage to Moscow. The two boys remain in the Soviet Union until the 1940s.

1937 - The Second Sino-Japanese War breaks out on 7 July following a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops outside Beijing. Chinese forces evacuated Beijing on 28 July. The Japanese overrun Tianjin (100 km southeast of Beijing) on 30 July then attack Shanghai on 13 August. After a three-month siege, Shanghai falls and the Guomindang forces withdraw to the northwest towards their capital Nanking. The Japanese pursue.

The assault on Nanking begins on 10 December after the Chinese refuse to withdraw. When Nanking finally falls on 13 December, just hours after the Chinese forces have fled, the Japanese begin a bloodthirsty massacre that will last for six weeks.

At the urging of the Soviet Union, the CCP joins the Guomindang in a second united front against the Japanese, although their uneasy alliance begins to break down late in 1938. Mao sees the alliance as an excellent opportunity for the development of the party. "Our determined policy is 70% self-development, 20% compromise, and 10% fight the Japanese," he states.

Mao, meanwhile, divorces his third wife. In 1939 he marries the film actress Lan Ping, later known as Jiang Qing.

1940 - Conflict between the Guomindang and CCP starts to intensify in the areas of China not under Japanese control. Mao begins laying plans for the complete communist takeover China. His teachings become the central tenets of the CCP doctrine known as 'Mao Tse-Tung Thought'. Party membership rapidly expands, from 100,000 in 1937 to 1.2 million by 1945. The growing popularity of the communists also sees the size of the Red Army and the peasant militias increase dramatically.

1942 - Mao launches the first "rectification" campaign. To ensure their ideological purity, new party recruits are ordered to study 'Mao Tse-Tung Thought'. The campaign will come to be seen as the genesis of the Mao Tse-Tung personality cult that will sweep China in subsequent years.

1943 - Mao is formally acknowledged as head of the CCP when he is elected chairman of the CCP Central Committee and the Politburo. He will remain party leader until his death.

During the year Mao suffers another personal lose when his second younger brother is executed by the nationalists.

1945 - 'Mao Tse-Tung Thought' is formally adopted by the CCP at the Seventh Plenum of the Sixth National Party Congress held in Yan'an in April.

The US drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 respectively, killing about 120,000 people outright and fatally injuring over 100,000 more.

Japanese Emperor Hirohito surrenders unconditionally on 15 August 1945, ending both the Second World War and the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Over 11 million Chinese have died during the Second World War. The Second Sino-Japanese War has claimed at least 20 million Chinese.

Following the defeat of the Japanese, hostilities between the Guomindang and CCP resume. The communists now have an advantage, having occupied vast areas formerly held by the Japanese and seized large quantities of surrendered Japanese arms. The communist army, which now numbers about one million troops, also receives supplies from the Soviet Union.

Although still numerically superior, the position of the Guomindang is weakened by the rampant corruption of its government and the accompanying political and economic chaos. The Guomindang does, however, receive aid from the United States, which also attempts to broker a settlement between the two warring parties.

However, talks between Mao and Chiang Kai-shek prove fruitless and full-scale civil war breaks our early in 1946. The Guomindang's numerical advantage is steadily eroded until by mid-1948 the two sides are almost even. Chiang's generals then begin to surrender en masse.

No comments: