History Brief: The Chinese Civil War

China has been a communist nation since 1949. But, how did they become communist? Starting in 1927, China began fighting a civil
war. The war pitted the forces of the Chinese Nationalist
Party against the Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party. As the war progressed, the eventual leaders
of this conflict were Chiang Kai-Shek (who led the Nationalists) and Mao Tse Tung (leader
of the Communists). Mao Tse Tung gained prominence in the Red
Army because of an event known as the Long March. The Long March occurred in 1934 at a point
when the Nationalists appeared to be on the verge of victory. As the Red Army retreated, they evaded Chiang
Kai-Shek’s forces for 370 days and traveled more than 8,000 miles. His leadership during the Long March established
Mao as the commander of the communist forces. But the war was not over. The two sides would continue fighting for
many years. In 1937, the Chinese Civil War was put on
hold when Japan invaded China. At that point, the Chinese Nationalists and
the Red Army joined forces with the intent of driving out the Japanese. This war against Japan became known as the
Second Sino-Japanese War. The war lasted for eight years and eventually
became a part of World War II as the Allied Nations (the United States, Great Britain,
etc.) assisted the Chinese in defeating Japan. However, even throughout the Sino-Japanese
War, the two Chinese factions continued planning to attack one another once the Japanese were
driven from their country. In 1945, at the conclusion of WWII, the
Chinese Civil War resumed. The fighting continued for another four years,
with the Red Army of Mao Tse Tung eventually defeating Chiang Kai-Shek’s Chinese Nationalists. The Nationalists fled and established the
island nation of Taiwan (which, to this day, is officially known as the Republic of China). Meanwhile, the nation of China was taken over
by the Red Army, with Mao Tse Tung becoming the Chairman of the Communist Party. The nation of China was renamed The People’s
Republic of China and officially became a communist nation. To this day, there has never been a peace
treaty signed between the two factions, therefore, the war has never officially ended. The People’s Republic of China still claims
ownership over the island of Taiwan, while The Republic of China (Taiwan) still claims to be
the legitimate government of mainland China.

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