CHP-119-The Chinese Civil War Part 1

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Pictured in the front row are US Ambassador Patrick Hurley, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong posing together in 1945.
Pictured in the front row are US Ambassador Patrick Hurley, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong posing together in 1945.

In this week’s episode we begin a multi-part series covering the Chinese Civil War from 1945 to 1949.  In China this is known as the War of Liberation.  In this Part 1 we will look at the background leading up to the war as well as failed attempts by the Americans in 1945-1946 to mediate a peace between Mao’s Communists and the Nationalists led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.









Battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战  Epic battle (and blockbuster movie) where Cao Cao met his Waterloo during the Three Kingdoms Period

Song Jiaoren 宋教仁  One of the founders of KMT, assassinated in 1913.

Qin Shihuang 秦始皇 The great Qin dynasty founder

Jinggangshan 井冈山 In Jiangxi, on the Hunan border, where Mao set up a successful Soviet

Xian Incident  西安事变 December 1936, in a plot led by Marshall Zhang Xueliang, Chiang Kai-shek is kidnapped.

Qiangganzi limian chu zhengquan 枪杆子里面出政权 Power grows from the barrol of a gun

Nongmin 农民 Peasants, farmers

Manchukuo  满洲国 Japanese puppet state in Manchuria

Liaoning 辽宁 Province of Manchuria

Jilin  吉林  Province of Manchuria

Heilongjiang 黑龙江 Province of Manchuria

Dongbei  东北  The northeast (Manchuria)

Harbin  哈尔滨  Capital of Heilongjiang

Changchun  长春 capital of Manchukuo and Jilin Province

Shenyang  沈阳  Industrial city on Liaoning

Dalian  大连  Port city in Liaoning

Lin Biao  林彪  Great PLA general

Chen Yi 陈毅  Great PLA general

He Long  贺龙  Great PLA general

Koumi Fujian 口蜜腹剑  Sweet talking but a sword in the belly

Zhang Zuolin  张作霖  Warlord of Manchuria

Li Xiannian  李先念  Great PLA general

Nie Rongzhen  聂荣臻  Great PLA general

Liu Shaoqu  刘少奇  Early political leader of the CCP

Ren Bishi  任弼时 Great PLA general and political figure. Died 1950.

Zhongguo renmin jiefangjun  中国人民解放军 The PLA

Zhongguo laobaixing  中国老百姓  The Chinese people

Zhou Gong  周公 The Duke of Zhou




    • Yes, I was just informed about this….I’ll get it fixed ASAP. CHP-115-John Service Part 1 however points to CHP-119-The Civil War Part 1 right now. I’ll have everything straightened out ASAP. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

        • Sorry man! I’ve discussed with my man who handles everything under the hood for me. He knows about it and is trying to figure out why this is randomly happening. He’s based in Edinburgh however, and I dare not bother him too much at this sensitive and crucial time in Scottish history. I’ll talk to him next week to see if this and several other links can be fixed. By year’s end I’ll have a free CHP mobile app available for iPhone and Android…I hope that will solve the problem once and for all.

    • Sorry Ting….working on it. If you hit Download Now it will play the episode. Anything technical I have someone assisting me….I let them know.

  • Well, the problem was, as you mentioned, the economy / value of currency, which is the source of most of the problems (including the NRA’s terrible morale. when your paycheck is delayed AND losing value by the seconds…. when your monthly paycheck buys maybe an egg and you need to feed a family… good luck having morale.)

    Looking from a economic perspective it is a lot easier to explain what happened. it was a simple economic collapse, that was actually almost the same thing as everywhere else in the world post WW2. when one compares the economic situation in China in 45-49 versus that of Japan / Germany / France etc… you know, the other bombed out places in the world, it was pretty much a disastrous situation across the board, it doesn’t take an economics expert to summarize that… well… if you lose most of your production facilities, and all production organization were destroyed… most healthy men dead or maimed… that is NOT going to be good for the economy. (not to mention having to run another war right away.)

    The KMT were living on loans already towards the end of the war, that much is obvious, they had to retake and rebuild at least 5 (if not 10) times the area they did control when the Japanese surrender. that cost in addition to the simple problem that all it’s income bases are completely flattened. (one of the 5 most serious area in the world, and on top of that being the poorest of the 5 to begin with.) was a pretty bad picture.

    It doesn’t take a serious economist to summarize : they needed a lot of money to rebuild… but they were already broke and the tax base was destroyed, so… they had to print them… which obviously lead to hyper inflation. which would piss anyone off and make everyone’s life a struggle.(which lead to all the insane scary stories.) which leads to the perceptions (or at least expanded feeling of) the KMT’s clearly corrupt and/or incompetent.

    The problem is, when you think about it this way, what is the real alternative???? if you were CKS and had to run that situation, was there anything that could have prevented this economic disaster? I guess I can think of two, the less likely one was… well you borrow money from someone else (AKA the USA.) and use that money to rebuild so you don’t have to hyper inflate your currency in the process…. I guess that was what CKS was hoping for but even assuming the Americans were on board with it (which obviously as i turn out, the Marshall plan was too late for them even if they hadn’t destroyed their relationship . ) the sheer scale of China would have made the effectiveness of this approach very questionable as well.

    The more likely one was… take your economy off the market completely, aka go completely out of the monetary system, and return to a more basic system of rationing and full state controlled economics.

    You know, Communism and totalitarian dictatorship.

    The general irony is that the KMT stood at a relatively impossible position, the economy at 1945 under any non-communist government was going to fail regardless , and the need to defend such a wide area without popular support was also impossible. The funny irony is that if CKS was ACTUALLY a real total dictator he might have had a chance to dig himself out of that, but the fact that he wasn’t, that he was merely a man holding together many different interest in the hope of a swift and less bloody path to peace, was what denied him ultimate victory.

    So once he get to Taiwan what did he do? …. well he basically became a communist and a total dictator. he threw out landlords (who’s decedents just happen to be the main leaders and founders of the TI movement, total coincidence I know.) albeit in less bloody fashion than the mainland, and he said “fuck this democracy thing” and …. well he actually had some success running a country! shocker I know.

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