Friday, February 6, 2015

The Chinese Civil War (1927-1949)

20th Century Chinese History - Article 1 >> go to Main Page

The year 1927 was the start of the Chinese Civil War between the Nationalists Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC). Each political party had different ideologies on which to govern the country but the two that most stood out were capitalism and communism as each party represented a different class of society. Early in the war the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek was expected to crush the People's Liberation Army (PLA) under the Communist Party. At the time the Nationalists were the legal government of China and held superior advantages in numbers and resources with foreign aid coming from America. However plagued by bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption the war dragged on for decades and was interrupted by the Japanese invasion during World War II before resuming.

From 1946 to 1949 when the Chinese Civil War resumed the momentum had shifted and the Kuomintang’s superiority had drastically fallen. Chiang Kai-shek’s troops were severely weakened from direct clashes with Japanese troops whilst Mao’s army employed guerrilla warfare that was less damaging to their numbers. Additionally with Stalin’s aide, Russia’s Soviet Red Army supported Mao’s army by handing over seized land in Northeastern China and weapons taken from the surrendered Japanese troops.
i) Sino-Soviet friendship, ii) Land reform for the whole nation, iii) The mobilization of revolutionary peasants, iv) Advance couragelously while holding high the red banner of Mao Zedong

In a country that was predominantly based on agriculture and supported itself through farming the Chinese lower class were mainly made up of poor peasants who earned their living as land laborers. It would be the economic plight of this desolate lower class that would turn the war in Mao’s favor and his Communist Party. The widening wealth gap caused by corruption and exploitation meant that Chinese peasants would often have to deal with starvation and multi-generational slavery from debt that was owed to their landlords. The CPC's land reform policy gave hope to the starving and repressed Chinese peasants living under the worst form of poverty and abuse. For the promise of freedom and to be able to own land in their own name (something that was unheard of in those times) many Chinese peasants agreed to fight for Mao’s People's Liberation Army. This strategy provided the PLA with an unlimited supply of newly recruited soldiers to use in combat.

i) Long live the People's Republic of China, ii) Founding of the Nation

In 1949 the Chinese Civil War was over and Mao Zedong’s power reigned supreme. After a span of over 2 decades of fighting it was estimated that 8 million Chinese had died from the Civil War. The people hoped that a united China would bring peace and prosperity under the officially established “The People's Republic of China” but these hopes would be short lived. In the early 1950s under Communist control the country would experience the start of a new upheaval, greater brutality and loss of lives. It would be a challenging period of time for the people of the new nation.

cont. Article 2 - The Reign of Chairman Mao Zedong

Please note: It is my impression that most if not all historical accounts and records have a degree of biased and uncertainty by way of which side provides the account and especially concerning estimated numbers. It is important to hear both sides of the story to get a balanced picture. Please bear this in mind.


  1. Sir, I very much like your new blog and it is on my Reading List. I look forward to new articles. Your tea collection is nothing short of jaw dropping so far. If I may offer a humble opinion (since my own writing is fluff about tea and nothing historical), I would only say that tea might rise above our very differences, including differing views of history. The same people who might never speak because of such differences may still share appreciation for the same beeng of puerh. A blogger writing about puerh tea has the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience in all nations. I know this from my blog and consider it a privilege of writing about tea. My very best to you! Cwyn

    1. Hello Cwyn,

      Please refer to me simply as Varat or VP for short :)

      Thank you for your very kind and wise words. You are far too humble. I have no doubt that it is your tea knowledge, spunky humor and charming yet unassuming approach that has garnered you a worldwide audience and deservedly so.

      I am so glad you raised this point on differing views. It is very important to look at which side is doing the historical accounting and to be open to both sides to get a more balanced picture. I have revised my note of reminder at the end to bring attention to this point. My intention from the start is to take a neutral stance and provide an account based on my research and understanding. I plan to attempt a conclusion in the last entry. That said I really think it is important for everybody who is interested in this subject to conduct their own research and come up with their own opinions and views.

      Best, VP

    2. Well said on differing views. I should add that I get visitors to my blog from China via the regular internet and also the dark web. I am aware of the risks involved. The tea which I discuss in my blog is has none of the historical interest of the teas you own. Your teas have historical importance. I am certain many Chinese citizens would enjoy articles and photos on such teas, hence my concern for them.

      Just as a small note, in the west we refer to the period 1990-1999 as the 20th century. Calendars differ in various parts of the world, so here the period covered is the 20th century.

    3. Hello Cwyn,

      I really appreciate your opinion and I will need to reconsider my approach and priorities.

      You are quite right, silly me : )
      I have made changes to reflect on what is indeed the 20th century.

      Thank you

  2. I agree with Cwyn, too often life can be complicated but sharing tea with one another helps to take this away. Keep writing the blog is nice.

    1. Hello Mr Mopar,

      You are a welcome presence :)

      You are both right. Tea is a harmonious drink, offered to welcome guests, to share amongst friends, to connect people, to ease tension, to calm the mind and focus our thoughts on the appreciation of beauty and peace ...

      Best, VP