This article throws light upon the five factors responsible for the coming of communist revolution in China. The factors responsible are: 1. The Rise of Nationalism 2. Weak Administration of Chiang Kai-Sheik 3. Poverty and Underdevelopment of China 4. Rapid Popularity and Strength of Communist Movement 5. Soviet Support for the Chinese Communists.
Factor # 1. The Rise of Nationalism:
It has been a widely acknowledged fact, as Malcolm D. Kinnedy once observed, “Chinese communism was a child of Chinese nationalism. After having suffered exploitation at the hands of the foreigners and after having experienced the inefficiency and inability of their rulers to provide them with a healthy system of governance, the people of China became conscious of the need to get united for eliminating the forces of exploitation and corruption.”
The rich values of their ancient civilization, impact of the literary renaissance of the 20th century, the leadership of Dr. Hu Shih, the propagation of nationalism by Dr. San Yat Sen, the need to fight the menace of corruption in public life, and the teachings, preaching’s and activities of revolutionaries led by Mao Tse Tung, all combined to give rise to strong nationalism in China.
It was successfully channelized by the Mao’s Communist Party of China. Mao transformed this nationalism into a revolutionary nationalism—a communist revolutionary nationalism which successfully transformed China into a communist country in 1949.
Factor # 2. Weak Administration of Chiang Kai-Sheik:
Upon the death of Dr. San Yat Sen in 1929, Chiang Kai-She became the undisputed leader of the Kuomintang. He was a staunch nationalist and at the same time a strong anti-communist. However, despite being a dedicated nationalist, he failed to be a good administrator.
He failed to provide an efficient and good administration to the country. When the communists of Mao were becoming both popular and powerful, the Kuomintang under Chiang failed miserably to govern the country.
The Japanese were successful in controlling the coastal areas of China and the communists were successful in establishing their stronghold over the masses. The weakness of the regime of Chiang Kai Sheik, despite all help from the USA and UK, failed to prevent the fall of the Kuomintang-led government.
Factor # 3. Poverty and Underdevelopment of China:
Mass poverty, under-developed and non- remunerative agriculture, feudalistic exploitation of the people, lack of domestic industries, unemployment, and corruption were the hard and sad realities of Chinese society.
The pressures resulting from Japanese invasions, highly stressful conditions created by the Second World War, activities of the communists, and exploitation inflicted by the foreigners, all combined to wreck the Chinese economy.
The big devaluation of Chinese currency (In 1931 one US dollar fetched 3.41 Yuan, in 1945, 1710 Yuan and in 1948, 45,000, Yuan), compounded the already grave situation and it became grim. The suffering people found the communist prescriptions given by Mao’s Communist Party very attractive.
The promise of land reforms, eradication of poverty and amelioration of the masses impelled the people to look away from the Kuomintang and towards the Communists.
Factor # 4. Rapid Popularity and Strength of Communist Movement:
Under the impact of the Socialist Revolution (1917) of Russia, the Communist Party of China was established in 1920. Its birth symbolized the growing popularity of the ideology of Marxism—Leninism in China. Soon after the communist party began spearheading the movement for the spread of communist ideology and for securing a socialist revolution in China.
In this attempt, the Chinese Communist party began receiving active support and help from the Soviet Communists.
Two Soviet Communist missionaries, Maliring and Voitinsky began working in China for propagating communism as well as for the securing of a socialist revolution. Further, good help was rendered by the Chinese students studying abroad, particularly in France, Germany and the Soviet Union. The strength of the Communist Party began increasing and by 1927 its membership crossed 60 thousand.
In the following 10 years, the Communist Party of Mao Zhe dong emerged as a big organised force in the Chinese society. In 1935 Mao’s work ‘New Democracy’ was published and it immediately became very popular among the people. In it, a demand had been made for handing over the power to the peasants.
The Communist Party organised its cadres into a guerrilla army and began using it for controlling power in the rural areas of China. The growing popular support for the communist ideology as explained and supplemented by Mao, and also the activities of the Communist Party, gave a big blow to the authority and power of the weak and corrupt government of Chiang Kai Sheik.
The communists were in a position to install them in power in the North-West-China, with Yeuan as the capital. They fully exploited to its advantage, the situation created by Japanese attack on China and the on-going Second World War.
After the defeat of Japan in August 1945, the Red Army of the peasants and the Liberation Army acting under the command of Mao’s Communist Party got involved in a fierce battle with the army of Chiang Kai Sheik. Red Army began registering rapid successes.
Thus, by the end of Second World War, the communist movement in China had got itself firmly established as a revolutionary movement against the weak, corrupt and inefficient government of Chiang Kai Sheik. China appeared to be decidedly heading for a socialist revolution in the near future.
Factor # 5. Soviet Support for the Chinese Communists:
Another major factor that gave formidable strength and direction to the communist movement for a socialist revolution in China, was the active help and support extended by the Soviets to the Chinese Communists. The growing popularly of communism in China was viewed by the Soviets as a golden opportunity for spreading communism in Asia and thereby in the world at large.
They readily extended all help, material as well moral, to the Chinese people, who accepted the Soviet help and support for getting themselves liberated from poverty, exploitation and suppression through the adoption of socialism. They came to regard the socialist revolution as the best means for the eradication of their miseries.
The success of the socialist revolution in Russia had greatly encouraged and emboldened them for securing their needs and rights through a similar revolution. The leadership of Mao and the Communist Party, gave further strength to their dreams and efforts.
The Russians fully exploited the defeat of Japan in the Second World War, by controlling Manchuria and using this situation for providing material and big help to the Liberation Army in its war against the forces of Chiang Kai Shek. The Soviet help acted as a big source of strength for the revolutionaries of China.
In the main, all these five factors were responsible for the organisation and successful operationalization of Socialist Revolution in China.
It was, however, the rising force of nationalism among the Chinese, their resolve to overthrow the shackles of poverty and alien exploitation, the leadership of the communist party of China, the thoughts and organisational abilities of Mao Tse Tung and the Soviet help to the Chinese comrades which together ensured the success of the socialist revolution in China in October 1948.
The weak, inefficient and corrupt administration of the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Sheik provided the much needed opportunity to the Chinese people in general and to the communists in particular to realize their dream of transforming China into a socialist country.