Chinese Communism Essay

This essay has a total of 2012 words and 8 pages.


Chinese Communism




The Roots of Communist China
To say that the Chinese Communist revolution is a non-Western revolution is more than a
cliché. That revolution has been primarily directed, not like the French Revolution but
against alien Western influences that approached the level of domination and drastically
altered China's traditional relationship with the world. Hence the Chinese Communist
attitude toward China's traditional past is selectively critical, but by no means totally
hostile. The Chinese Communist revolution, and the foreign policy of the regime to which
it has given rise, have several roots, each of which is embedded in the past more deeply
than one would tend to expect of a movement seemingly so convulsive.

The Chinese superiority complex institutionalized in their tributary system was justified
by any standards less advanced or efficient than those of the modern West. China developed
an elaborate and effective political system resting on a remarkable cultural unity, the
latter in turn being due mainly to the general acceptance of a common, although difficult,
written language and a common set of ethical and social values, known as Confucianism.
Traditional china had neither the knowledge nor the power that would have been necessary
to cope with the superior science, technology, economic organization, and military force
that expanding West brought to bear on it. The general sense of national weakness and
humiliation was rendered still keener by a unique phenomenon, the modernization of Japan
and its rise to great power status. Japan's success threw China's failure into sharp
remission.

The Japanese performance contributed to the discrediting and collapse of China's imperial
system, but it did little to make things easier for the subsequent successor. The Republic
was never able to achieve territorial and national unity in the face of bad communications
and the widespread diffusion of modern arms throughout the country. Lacking internal
authority, it did not carry much weight in its foreign relations. As it struggled
awkwardly, there arose two more radical political forces, the relatively powerful
Kuomintang of Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, and the younger and weaker Communist Party
of China (CPC ). With indispensable support from the CPC and the Third International, the
Kuomintang achieved sufficient success so it felt justified in proclaiming a new
government, controlled by itself, for the whole of China. For a time the Kuomintang made a
valiant effort to tackle China's numerous and colossal problems, including those that had
ruined its predecessor : poor communications and the wide distribution of arms. It also
took a strongly anti-Western course in its foreign relations, with some success. It is
impossible to say whether the Kuomintang's regime would ultimately have proven viable and
successful if it had not been ruined by an external enemy, as the Republic had been by its
internal opponents. The more the Japanese exerted preemptive pressures on China, the more
the people tended to look on the Kuomintang as the only force that prevent china from
being dominated by Japan. During the Sino-Japanese war of 1937, the Kuomintang immediately
suffered major military defeats and lost control of eastern China. It was only saved from
total hopelessness or defeat by Japan's suicidal decision to attack the United States and
invasion of Southeastern Asia. But military rescue from Japan brought no significant
improvement in the Kuomintang's domestic performance in the political and economic fields,
which if anything to get worse. Clearly the pre-Communist history of Modern China has been
essentially one of weakness, humiliation, and failure. This is the atmosphere in which the
CPC developed its leadership and growth in. The result has been a strong determination on
the part of that leadership to eliminate foreign influence within China, to modernize
their country, and to eliminate Western influence from eastern Asia, which included the
Soviet Union. China was changing and even developing, but its overwhelming marks were
still poverty and weakness. During their rise to power the Chinese Communists, like most
politically conscious Chinese, were aware of these conditions and anxious to eliminate
them. Mao Tse-tung envisioned a mixed economy under Communist control, such as had existed
in the Soviet Union during the period of the New Economic Policy. The stress was more upon
social justice, and public ownership of the "commanding heights" of the economy than upon
development. In 1945, Mao was talking more candidly about development, still within the
framework of a mixed economy under Communist control, and stressing the need for more
heavy industry; I believe because he had been impressed by the role of heavy industry in
determine the outcome of World War II. In his selected works he said "that the necessary
capital would come mainly from the accumulated wealth of the Chinese people" but latter
added "that China would appreciate foreign aid and even private foreign investment, under
non exploitative conditions."

After Chiang Kai-shek broke away from the CPC they found themselves in a condition that
they were not accustom to, they had no armed forces or territorial bases of its own. It
had no program of strategy other than the one that Stalin had compromised, who from the
Sixth World Congress of the Comintern in 1928 to the Seventh in 1935 insisted, largely
because the disaster he had suffered in China that Communist Parties everywhere must
promote world revolution in a time of depression. The CPC was ridden with factionalism;
the successful effort to replace this situation with one of relative "bolshevization" or
in layman's term this means imposed unity, which was ultimately made by Mao Tse-tung, and
not by Stalin.

Parallel with the Comintern-dominated central apparatus of the CPC in Shanghai, there
arose a half dozen Communist-led base areas, each with a guerrilla army, in Central and
South China. These bases existed mainly by virtue of the efforts of the local Communist
leadership to satisfy the serious economic and social grievances of the local civilians,
often violently, through such means as redistribution of land at the expense of landlords
and the reduction of interest rates at the expense of moneylenders. Of these base areas,
or soviets, the most important was the one led by Mao Tse-tung and centered in the
southeastern city of Kiangsi. Correspondingly, in return for such service Mao was elected
chairman of a Central Soviet Government, who supposedly controlled all the Communist base
areas in 1931.
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