Why the Chinese Nationalist Party lost the Chinese Civil War.

2868 Words Nov 20th, 2007 12 Pages
On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese Communist Party declared victory over the Nationalist Party (Guomindang) and brought an end to four brutally long years of Civil War. The Communist victory in the Civil War has however, created significant debate among historians, namely: was a Communist victory inevitable and if so is it more sensible to see the Chinese Civil War as a Communist victory or as a Nationalist defeat?When researching these questions it becomes blatantly obvious that the Guomindang government led by Chiang Kai-Shek was riddled with problems and they are very much the cause of their own downfall. Widespread government corruption, spiraling inflation, loss of public confidence and intractable poverty are just a …show more content…
At the end of the Sino-Japanese War the Guomindang held significant advantages over the Communists, with its widely recognised legitimate government controlling China, giving it the power to tax and conscript. On the other hand, the Communists could not match the Guomindang's troops in terms of training and equipment and could be "outgunned and outmanoeuvred in all major regions of the country" (Westad, 2003: 8). Furthermore, the Communist party was hardly represented in the cities at all, which of course was the power base of the Guomindang. However, the Communists also had successes resulting from the war with Japan including increasing their area of control and practiced evolving their strategies of protracted guerrilla warfare against the Japanese which in turn generated public support. Despite this the party's main forces were still located in North-west China and they were not in such a powerful position that a civil war with the Guomindang would be a mere formality in securing control of the country.

The Civil War is therefore simply not a case of the imminent decline of the Guomindang and the Communists' irresistible rise. Rather the Sino-Japanese War provided the framework for the decisions and strategies that would ultimately lead to Nationalist defeat. The war with Japan left the Guomindang decimated and they did need to undergo reform in order to survive; however the
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