Right now in my Diverse People of China class, we are watching a documentary called China: A Century of Revolution. The current part of the documentary we are on, shows the nation and its battle between each other as the Nationalists (KMT) and Communists (CCP). Its joining forces in an effect to combat the invading nation of Japan and the beginning of World War II (WWII)
We have the introduction of Sun Yat-Sen who is known as the “Father of the Republic” who first formed the Nationalist Party or KMT. He tried to fight against the division of the country and with the help of the Soviet Union, he gathered money to fight against the division, but with one condition; to setup a communist academy in China (Wo-Po academy). When Sun Yat-Sen dies, the party was in a weakened state and had a successor by the name of Chiang Kai-Shek. Chang Kai-Shek fought and defeated 34 warlords throughout the nation and had also began a fight amongst the communist party, led by Mao Zedong.
The communists had started protesting against the nationalists and thousands were arrested or executed. During this time, Chian Kai-Shek had established his government in Nanking China. Once doing so, he brought Sun Yat-Sens body to Nanking China and married Suns daughter as well. Chiang had started working on modernizing China. The Nationalists helped expand education while preventing growth of the communist party.
During this time in the 1930s, Mao Zedong began organizing groups and slowly strengthening the Communist party. The communists organized further protests and started fighting more strongly against the Nationalists. The attacks were brutal and guerilla warfare tactics were being introduced by Zedong and the communists and started defeating the Nationalists at each battle. Eventually, tactics had been changed by the Nationalists and they had driven the communists into the mountains, called The Long March, where many Chinese communists had died. The Communist party had found a base in the Northern Province of Zhangshi China.
On July 7th, 1937, fighting began between China and Japan. A full scale invasion had begun. The Japanese had overtaken Beijing China in a matter of days. The World War for China had just begun. Japan had started taking men and placing them in large pits together as they killed their families. For three days and nights, Japan had burned the city. The Nationalists troops fought hard against the Japanese but had to retreat. Chiang Kai-Shek and his wife sent a message to the world asking for help against the Japanese while they were being overwhelmed. In 1938, the Japanese had invaded Nanking (The Rape of Nanking) China and had taken all of Chiang Kai-Sheks power bases.
Millions had fled China an a massive exodus where the went to the Sichuan and the Yunnan province. Mao, while in the Yunnan province, studied new tactics and showed them to anyone who came into here. The women of China were sent throughout the country to work and the communists had begun building a strong appeal with the people. The Japanese continued to bombard and fragment the communist party until in 1942, the United States declared war on Japan.
This is what we have learned so far and I am thoroughly entertained at what is going on in this documentary and intrigued into learning more and hopefully seeing all of this documentary.