The People's Republic of China

The People's Republic of China

Before the Establishment of the People’s Republic of China:

Before talking straight away about the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 it is important to give some brief background information of what happened before that.

The Chinese Civil war lasted overall from April 1927 to may 1950. This civil war was between Kuomintang (also known as the Nationalist Party) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The war began in 1927 after the Northern Expedition.

The Northern Expedition was as a military campaign led by the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) from 1926 to 1927. Its main objective was to speed up the Chinese revolution against feudalism and imperialism and to unify China under the Nationalist banner by ending the rule of local warlords.

Civil War:

The civil war began in 1927 when the right –wing faction of the KMT led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, ‘removed’ the Communists and KMT leftists from a KMT-CCP alliance.

The war summed up a split between two ideologies. One being the Western-supported nationalist KMT and the other being the Communist supported CCP. The Civil war was carried out sporadically until the Second Sino-Japanese War interrupted it, resulting in an organized and temporary Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion.

The Japanese invasion or assault was considered opportunistic due to the fact that China had its own state of internal turmoil. Japans campaign against China ended in August 1945. The dropping of the atomic bomb caused Japan to surrender much more quickly than anyone in China had imagined.

This marked the end of the Second World War with China’s full scale civil war resumed in 1946.

The establishment of the Peoples Republic of China:

On October 1st 1949 the People’s Republic of China was formally established with its national capital at Beijing. “The Chinese people have stood up!” declared Mao announcing the creation of a “peoples democratic dictatorship”.

The people where defined of four classes: the workers, the peasants, the petite bourgeoisie and the national-capitalists. The four classes where going to be led by the CCP as the forerunner of the working class.

The CCP was led under Mao’s chairmanship, and the government was headed by Zhou Enlai as premier of the State Administrative Council. The Peoples Republic of China was recognized by the Soviet Union on the 2nd of October 1949.

In 1950 China and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance valid until 1980. This pact was mainly for the purpose to counter Japan or any of it allies in case of aggression.

The new leadership:

The new leadership was very disciplined and it was able to start a program of national integration and reform. In its first year the Communist administration set moderate social and economic policies quite effectively.

The leadership realized that the astronomic task of economic reconstruction and social stability needed goodwill and cooperation of all classes of people. The results were quite surprising resulting to popular widespread support.

In 1950 hostilities ended, with a cessation of major hostilities with the Communists controlling mainland China and the Nationalists restricted to their remaining territories of Taiwan.

Till today there hasn’t been an official signed armistice although the two sides have close economic ties. By the 1950 international recognition of the Communist government had increased considerably but slowed down again with China’s involvement in the Korean War.

 After China entered the Korean War initial moderation in Chinese domestic policies gave way to a massive campaign against the “enemies of the state”. These enemies consisted of “war criminals, traitors, beaurocratic capitalists and counterrevolutionaries”.

These campaigns where combined with party sponsored trials attended by large numbers of people.

Different reforms:

The 1951-52 drive against political enemies was accompanied by land reform which had begun under the Agrarian Reform Law of June 1950 The redistribution of land was accelerated and a class struggle landlords and wealthy peasants was launched.

 An ideological reform campaign occurred which required self-criticisms and public confessions by university faculty members, scientists, and other professional workers was given wide publicity.

Writers and artists too were treated same way for failing to agree and follow Mao’s saying ‘that culture and literature must reflect the class interest of the working people led by the CCP.

 These campaigns were accompanied in 1951 and 1952 by the “san fan” (three anti) and “wu fan” (five anti) movements. The “san fan” had the aim of fighting corruption waste and bureaucracy (eliminate unreliable public officials and to bring about an efficient beaurocratic system).

The “wu fan” instead targeted tax evasion, bribery and cheating in government contracts, thefts of economic intelligence and stealing of state assets. The CCP claimed to have uncovered attempts from businessmen and industrialists to corrupt party and government officials.

This can be said to be a form of attack on the bourgeoisie as a whole. The number of people affected by the punitions or reform campaign are estimated to be in the millions.

Recommend this article

moreChinese Culture