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Modern China

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Modern China
Modern Chinese history
program at MH developed
by Th. Thorhallsson for IBHistory students at MH
Chinese history
Chinese civil war
Chinese civil war 1911?-1949 (topic
1. War...)
– Emphasis on:
Origins of war, political, ideological,
economic sources.
Civil warfare, resistance movements, nonsystemized warfare or guerilla warfare,
revolutionary movements and war.
Political, social and economic effects.
Chinese history
Mao and Communist China
Communist China (Topic 3 Single-party state)
Origins - Conditions that produced CC.
Establishment, methods, form of
government, totalitarianism, treatment of
Ideology of Mao and Chinese communists.
Role of education, media, the arts,
Successes and failures in solving political,
social and economic problems.
Role of women, minorities, and religious
Chinese history
Impact on world affairs.
What do we know about China?
– Where is China in the world? What are
its neighbouring countries?
– Status in the world to day.
– What kind of Government do we have
– What is the contribution of China to the
world: in technology, culture, arts,
– What do we know about Chinese
Chinese history
Chinese past
Why should we probe Chinese past?
– It seem that the Chinese themselves are
obsessed with history.
– China is one of the oldest civilization in
the world
– It seem that Chinese history tends to
move in cycles: From rise of dynasty to
fall of dynasty to anarchy to new
– Maybe this pattern is still going on.
Chinese history
Chinese thought
“Continuities with the past do exist,
especially in thought and attitudes.”
– What are these:
The Confucian school
The Daoists (taoists)
The legalist scool
Customs and habits.
Chinese history
What are the main principles of
confucian thinking?
What does C. think is womens place
in society
What is the relationship between
ruler and subject according to
Chinese history
Birth of China
The Shang dynasty. Earliest kings in the
Valley of the Yellow river around 13001200 BC.
– Shang knew the art of writing and it is
1040-770 BC the Zhou dynasty. Yangzi
river becomes part of the state.
500-200 Chaotic period. Period of the
thinkers and philosophers.
– Confucius fifth century BC
Chinese history
Unification of China
Qin dynasty. To 206 BC
– Controlled China south to Vietnam
– Standard coinage, improved
communication, standardized writing
system, built the Great wall. Legalist.
Subjects revolted against the
ruthless legalist dynasty.
Chinese history
The dynastic cycle
The Han dynasty 206 BC to 220 AD
was the first to go through the
dynastic cycle
Chinese history
Song dynasty 960-1279
The peak of urban culture in China
Vigorous Merchant class. Foreign
Educated civil servants that had to
pass the state examination in
Confucian classics.
Military strength declined and China
became the prey of the Mongol
Kublai Khan. Mongol rule lasted to
Chinese history
Ming dynasty 1368-1644
Rule mixture of Confucian and legalist
principles. State exams for officials.
The officials view of society
The scholars who rule
Peasants who grew food
Artisans who make important things
Merchants who make nothing but shuffle
goods from one place to another
Merchants raised the sons to be
Chinese history
Ming cont.
Early Ming supported the great merchants
adventure around the Indian ocean in the
15th century but late Ming developed
distaste for trade and foreigners.
Why didnt the Chinese conquer the world
instead of the Europeans.
Progress and technology slowed down
unfortunately because the westerners
were coming
The first Portugese in China 1514
Chinese history
Qing dynasty 1681-1911
The Manchu invaded China and
formed the Qing dynasty.
The empire at its biggest
Corruption among the ruling class in
the 19th century. Dynasty weakens.
Overpopulation, low technology and
corruption. Internal revolts and
external wars
Chinese history
The Collapse of the old order
The Manchu government collapsed
under both internal and external
– The Opium War, external pressure
– The Taiping revolution, internal
– The Boxer rebellion: internal pressure
and external when foreign armys helped
crushing it.
Chinese history
The Opium war 1839-42
What was the Opium war about?
What has opium to do with it?
Why did the Chinese loose the war?
What concessions had the Chinese to
What is a treaty port? The most
favoured nation principle,
What are the long term effects?
Chinese history
Taiping revolution.
After 1800 we see the symptoms of
downward cycle.
The rebellion was chrushed but at the cost
of strengthening regional armies only
partly under central command even if the
were loyal.
Li Hongzhan was one of the leaders of the
regional armies. Began efforts to introduce
western technology.
Chinese history
China and the west
Chinese weren’t used to learn from
other nations.
The chinese wanted to retain the
traditional confucian culture but only
use western technology.
Only around the turn of the century
some Chinese started to think that
society had to be changed
Chinese history
The empress was afraid of that any
changes would hurt the Qing Dynasty
because of its Manchu-origins.
Chinese businessmen met opposition from
bureaucrats in Chinese dominated cities
but they were growing in the treaty ports.
Still the always lacked access to capital.
The hundred days of Kang 1898 show that
the idea of reform was there but it was
Chinese history
The Boxer rebellion 1899.
What can the Boxer rebellion tell us
about the situation? Why was there
no rebellion in the southern
Why wasn’t China carved up among
the western powers?
What is the open door policy?
Chinese history
After the Boxer Rebellion.
Finally the imperial court showed
som understanding of reforms
– Tried to regain control of tariffs
– Tried to end opium imports
– abolished the old civil exam system
– Students sent abroad
– New armies formed
– Provincial assemblies elected and a
National Assembly
Chinese history
Effect of reform
The government couldnt handle it
Expectation rise
Regional governors like Zhang
Zhidong in Wuhan and Yuan Shikai in
the north were removed from office.
– These were however the actual
bulwarks of government in the
provinces and whith them gone the
danger of rebellion increased.
Chinese history
Revolution 1911
Revolution in the provinces
Army takes control under leadeship
of Yuan ShiKai
– Dissolved the parliament
Shikai abdicated in 1915
– Made the mistake of proclaiming himself
Chinese history
Warlord Era 1916-28
First phase of civil war in China
Warlord: leaders of provincial armies
emerging from the ruins of the
– “strong flamboyant personalities
building armies by preying on the
– Peasants suffer in the “sturlungaöld”
Main centers of government in the
south (Canton) and in the north
Chinese history
China and WW1
Japan seized German holdings in
1915 China forced to accept Japanese
control of Southern Manchuria
An other humiliation for China when
Versailles treaty accepts Japans rule of
Middle class and nationalist anger
explodes in the 1919 may 4th movement:
– Opposing foreign domination and Warlord rule
Chinese history
Kuomintang (Nationalist Party)
Originally founded by Sun Yat Sen in
Sun set up a government in Canton
Revitalized in the May 4th movement
Extends its power from Canton to the
K was able to overthrow the warlords
in 1928
Chinese history
Sun Yat-sen
Three principles of the people
– Nationalism
– Democracy
– Livelihood (not revolutionary)
Sun was willing to work with
communists (1923) and organized
the party along bolshevik lines
Died 1925
Chinese history
Sun replaced by Chiang Kaishek
Right wing
Middle class
Worked with Communists until 1927
Managed to win warlords 1928
Chinese history
Mao and the Communist party
Mao Tse Tung (1893-1976) Revolutionary
leader and “poet”
– Founder and leader of the Peoples Republic of
– Born in Southern China of peasant origin
– Joined the revolutionary army when the
Manchu dynasty was overthrown 1911
– Advocated womens right and attacked aranged
– Joined a marxist studygroup at Peking
university 1919
– Participated in the may 4th demonstrations
Chinese history
Communism: beginning
Communist manifesto translated and
published 1906
Like in many countries with huge
peasantry anarchism had been popular
Doctrinate marxism did not fit China
because in 1918 only 2 million out af
population of 300 million were urban
The peasants were the real underclass,
supressed by the gentry in a feudal
Chinese history
Beginnings cont.
Two events gave the radical
movement a start:
– May 4th movement against the Versailles
Versailles betrayed chinese interest
Dissillution with democracy and capitalism
– The Russian revolution
Revolution in a neighbouring peasant state
Li Dazhao urged marxist to go into the
Chinese history
Formation of the communist party
Soviet agents helped in the
organization of the party.
Established in July 1921 –Mao head
in Hunan
Still Lenin and Stalin later had not
much confidence in communism in
China and always advocated
cooperation with the KMT – The
struggle against imperialism
Chinese history
KMT and the communists
Russia supported Sun Yat-sen and until
the victory of KMT over China 1927 there
was cooperation with the communists
Chiang Kai-shek studied military science in
After victory Chiang was urged to turn
against communist by industrialists and
landowners in the party
The white terror, massacre of communist
workers in Shanghai 1927
Chinese history
The new revolutionary strategy after 1928
Mao was the thinker of the new strategy
– KMT was strongest in the cities so workers
revolution was hard to achieve
– Peasants were alienated from KMT because it
supported the landowners
– Mao started to build base areas in the
countryside by adopting:
Old guerilla tactics
Introduced land reform
Landlords were allowed to keep some land
Chinese history
The Jiangxi Soviet 1931-34
In Jiangxi Mao formed a Chinese Soviet
republic based on his peasant revolution
Chinese communist returning from
Moscow tried to undermine Maos efforts
with emphasis on class struggle and a
broad front against KMT army
KMT was able to chase the communist
away on the so called long march 1934 –
1935 to northern China
The “bolsheviks” were discredited becaus
of this
Chinese history
Chinese history
Long march
In 1931 the Japanese invaded northeastern China and set up a puppet government.
Instead of resisting Japan, Nationalist troops (under Chiang Kai-Shek) launch a series
of military campaigns against the Communists.
Chiang's extermination of the communists began in October 1933, and a year later
the Communist were driven into a small area in Kiangsi (now Jiangxi) Province. Close
to defeat, the Communists decided to march north to Yenan in Shansi (Shanxi)
Province, a distance of 8000 km over some of the most inhospitable terrain. On the
way the Communists confiscated the property of officials, landlords and tax
collectors, and redistributed the land to peasants.
They armed thousands of peasants with weapons captured from the Nationalists and
left soldiers behind to organise guerrilla groups to harass the enemy. The march
proved that the Chinese peasants could fight if they were given leadership and
weapons. Of the 90,000 people who started the Long March, only 1 in 4 made it to
Shansi. During the march a meeting of the CCP hierarchy recognised Mao's overall
leadership, and he assumed supreme responsibility for strategy.
Japan launches a full-scale invasion of China in July 1937, and within five months the
Japanese enter Nanking and massacre 200,000 people. The government retreats to
Chungking, a remote area ruled by rival warlords. America enters the war in 1941
and finds Chiang (Nationalist) keeping his best troops to fight the Communists.
Chinese history
The Long March
Heroic myth
Of 100.000 communists 20.000
Maos policy survived and became the
model for future China
The LM provided the future
leadership of Peoples Republic of
From the new base Communist
would conquer China
Chinese history
Chinese foreign policy
– Kuomintang controls all of China.
– Communist expelled from the party and
links with Soviet Union severed
– Civil war between Guomintang and
Communists starts
Chinese history
Japanese influence in China
1931-32 The Japanese occupy
Manchuria –
Was their sphere of influence
Founded the state of
1936 Ceasefire between communist
and kuomintang
1937 Japanese declare war on China
and occupy the coast. Soviet Union
supports China.
Chinese history
The War with Japan 1937-45
The effect on the future
– Old authorities cleared in the North East
– KMT had to turn against Japan instead of the
communists (internal-external pressure)
– Still KMT proved corrupt and used US money
for private consumption
– The Communist became the resistance heros
– Communist created new bases in freed regions
Some landreform – rent and interst control
Taught peasant to read and write
Chinese history
Japanese war against China
Mars 1940 Japanese establish a Chinese
puppet government in Nanking
Fall 1941 USA does not want to make
agreement with Japan unless they
withdraw from China.
USA supports Chiang Kai-check. General
Stilwell USA agent in Chine but says that
Chiangs government is bad and corrupt.
He wants USA to support the communists
but Roosevelt continues his support with
Chinese history
After WWII
1945 Japanese have to leave China.
General Marshall tries to reconciliate
Communists and Guomintang.
Chaing refuses.
1945-48 USA gives Guomintang
weapons. Chinese communists press
for victory before the US public starts
to press for armed intervention in
China. (before the cold war start to
take effect)
Chinese history
Communist position at the end of war
Had already revolutionized big parts
of China
– 19 base areas with 100 million people
Had big experienced army
Symbols for reform – independence
– national unity – abolition of
The US supported KMT
Chinese history
Problems facing Mao 49
Economy and infrastructure in ruins
Agriculture inefficient. Food
Superhuman task to control 600
million people but Mao managed it.
– Purges against class enemies
How was the constitution? How is
Government organised? What is the
role of the party?
Chinese history
Agricultural and industrial changes
Redistribution of land
Then peasants were persuaded to
enter the coops. How could this
collectivization succeed without
Nationalization of most businesses
Five year plan for building heavy
– Some success with help from Russia but
Mao had doubts.
Chinese history
Hundred flowers 1957
What does it mean?
Call for criticism
– Government for….
– The party for….
– Campaign called off (to much criticism) and
next step was to further advance and
consolidate socialism
Chinese history
The great leap forward 58
Supposed to increase output the chinese way
Introduction of the Commune (30 000 people)
– What was the role of the commune?
Local government
Work organisation
Party organ
Small factories in the countryside to provide
machines for agriculture.
Backyard furnaces.
Didn’t go well at first. Hunger and shortages.
Chinese history
Effect of great leap
Historians do not agree on effect
– Norman Lowe is relatively possitive
Agriculture and small industry did improve
The communes did prove a balance against
The Chinese way was supposed to be labor-intensive
– Most other historians seems to think that the
great leap was a total disaster, leading to
economic ruin, bad harvests, hunger and the
backyard furnaces were useless.
– After the Great leap the rightists (moderates)
wanted to ease things
Chinese history
Cultural revolution 66-9
Against the right opposition that were calling for
incentives, managers, and private ownership of
Mao stuck to socialism, avoid the making of a
privileged class.
Lin Biao abolished ranks in the army
Schools closed en students roam the country
exposing the four “Olds”.
Mao encouraged the red guards to roam the
country. The little red book
Brought chaos and almost a civil war.
Mao called in the army to restore order.
Chinese history
Life after Mao
Power struggle after Maos death 1976
– Deng came back and took the leadership from Hua
Guofeng and the militant gang of four.
Deng was a liberal communist and tried to
reverse the effects of the cultural revolution,
more freedom of expression and communes were
democratically elected.
China entered the international economic world
and wanted foreign loans, capital and technichal
know how.
Internally he encouraged productivity by lowering
taxes and incentives.
Chinese history
Demands for liberty 89
Right to criticize government
Non-communist parties in Congress
Freedom to change jobs and travel
Abolition of communes
Deng was infuriated
– Without the party China will regress into
division and confusion
Chinese history
Zhao Ziyang prime minister
– Had communal land divided up among
individual peasants
– Compulsory state purchase of crops
– This market socialism did have its
Inflation and increase in imports more than
Deng wanted to encourage capitalist
Chinese history
initiative and decentralization
Tiananemen Square 1989
Is it possible to have a market economy,
the freedom to buy and sell but to deny
people all choice in politics? Under what
situation is this possible.
Gorbachevs visit encouraged
The army brought in 3-4 june 1989 killing
Deng believed in the single party system
to supervise transition to “social market
Chinese history
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Fyrrum forsætisráðherra Singapúr
talar um asГ­sku leiГ°ina til nГєtГ­mans:
– Kapítalískt efnahagskerfi
– Sterkt ríkisvald
– Konfúsískur lífstíll
Traust fjölskyldubönd
VirГ°ingu fyrir hinum eldri
HГіpvinnu Г­ staГ° einstaklingshyggju
Agi og vinnusemi
Chinese history
After the takeover 1949
1950 Agreement with Soviet Union.
Soviet union promises technical and
financial aid. China not part of U.N.
Britain and India acknowledge China.
1950 Invasion and occupation of
1950-53 Entered the Korean war
when USA armies came close to the
border. Managed to keep US away.
Chinese history
China in World politics
Zhou Enlai places China in the
leadership of neutral third world
countries but is not able to reach
agreement with US
1958 Cooling relations with Soviet
Union after death of Stalin. Mao says
the east wind is stronger than the
wind from the west.
Support to African nations. Trying to
get goodwill so they can enter UN.
Chinese history
New directions
1964 Chinese explode their first
atom bomb
1960-70 The situation on the SovietChinese border comes close to a war.
Competition for support of third
world countries. Eurocommunists
Chinese history
US-Chinese relation after �71
US-feels isolated in South –East Asia
during Vietnam war
Nixon sends feelers to China in the
form of Ping-Pong 1971
Nixon in China feb. 1972
From then on relations with Chine
have started to normalize.
Chinese history
Foreign policy after Mao
1984 agreement about reverting Hong
Kong to China (Hong Kong aquired from
1979 Us fully recognize PRC and abandon
support for Taiwan
China most favoured nation status in US
after 1992
After Dalai Lama got Nobel Peace prize in
1989 the Chinese have releaved some of
their repression in Tibet.
Chinese history
Chinese history
Chinese history
Mao and the peasants in Hunan
In 1926 Mao observed the peasant
revolution in Hunan and wrote an
extensive report that shaped his
attitude towards the peasant
– How did the peasants organize
– How many peasants took part in the
– Percentage: Number:
Chinese history
Hunan peasants
P. 78. How does Mao answer the criticism
against the “terror” in the countryside.
P. 79. Who are the poor peasants making
the revolution?
P. 80. The revolutionary government.
– What is done with the landlords and the old
elite? How far do these actions reach? All the
– How is the situation of women improved?
– How is the situation of the peasants improved?
Chinese history
What was done with landlords in
Settling of accounts
Imposition of fines
Compulsory contribution of funds
Humiliation(e.g wearing tall hats and parading around
And only for the most powerful landlords, execution.
Yet the peasants still left them with some land and
Chinese history
Situation of women in Hunan
Many women established their own
associations. Were able for the first
time to raise their voices and make a
So-called husband power became
weaker and weaker and women had
a say in family affairs.
Within family, women gained
Chinese history
Situation of Peasants in Hunan
Removal of feudal system and militia
Clan elders lost power
Outlawing of gambling and opium
Successful elimination of banditry
Successful promotion of cultural
Credit unions established
Improved the transport system (eg.
Roads, irrigation canals and flood-control
Chinese history
Short lecture with handouts
Due Week after Lagningardagar.
The Hundred Flowers 1957 Гљlfur
The Great Leap Forward 1958 Kristin JГіna
The Cultural Revolution 1966 Erna
Death of Mao 1976 Hildur
Deng comes to power 1978 Katerina
Tiananmen Square 1989 TГіmas jon bjarni
Soviet Union and China Hjörleifur
USA relations with China Bragi
Art in China HElga
Women in China Lea Assel
Religion in China Solveig
Population and Economy. Chris
Chinese history
Why was the US angry towards
China until Ping Pong
What kind of historical break was
made with the revolution in 1949
What was the Ideology of Chinese
communists, how has it changed?
Compare Russia and China, were are
the similarities?
Chinese history
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