How much of the Cold War was affected by the Chinese Civil War? One may ask themself this question and not find an answer because one may think very little of another country being a part of different wars at the same time. The Chinese Civil War impacted the Cold War completely. The Chinese Civil War left a legacy of many people, major events in history, importance towards the Cold War and many others. The people who made this war happen also left behind their own goals along with their own legacies. “The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang (KMT), the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China (CPC) for the control of China which eventually led to China’s division into two Chinas, Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan and People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Mainland” (Chinese Civil War, 2012). The KMT and CPC are the groups of people who created the Chinese Civil War because of their diverse and unique beliefs on government.
This war for control began in April 1927 during the same time of the Northern Expedition, which was a military campaign led by the KMT to unify China under the Kuomintang banner (2012). The Cold War began in 1941 or most resources say exactly after WWII showing that both the Chinese Civil War and Cold War went on in the same time period in history (Cold War, 2012). In the Chinese Civil War the main objective of each powerful party was to gain control of China and establish their thoughts on government. This civil war marked the third largest war in history, being represented by ideological split between the Nationalist KMT and Communist CPC (2012). The main leaders of the Chinese Civil War were the Nationalist’s leader, Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communist’s leader, Mao Zedong. The Chinese Civil War ended due to major active battles ending in 1949-1950 (2012). Most would say the war is still going on with no ending yet because no armistice or peace treaty has been signed yet.
With most resources showing the Civil War of China ended about 40 years earlier than the Cold War (Cold War, 2012), but considering the Chinese Civil War never had an armistice nor peace treaty the war has never correctly ended or ended at all. The Chinese Civil War was mainly ended though due to the Sino-Japanese War destroying the KMT severely toward their moral, troops, and trust throughout China. The Japanese invaded at this time forcing the KMT and CPC to unite in an attempt to drive out the invading Japanese (2012). Furthermore, the KMT when defending Japanese attacks lost many casualties, but once it was the CPC’s turn they defended far more than expectation pushing the Japanese back some using guerilla warfare (2012). This gained a lot of respect and trust within the CPC adding new followers to its party. After this ended the Western-supported Nationalist KMT and the Soviet-supported CPC went back at it for the control of China (Chinese Civil War, 2008).
The last three years of the war are more commonly known as the War of Liberation, or alternatively the Third Internal Revolutionary War (2012). “On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China with its capital at Beiping, which was renamed Beijing; Chiang Kai-shek and approximately 2 million Nationalist Chinese retreated from mainland China to the island of Taiwan” (2012). The Chinese Civil War affected the Soviet Union and United States in many different ways. Among the time period of World War II the United States became a large factor in Chinese affairs (Chinese Civil War, 2011). The United States as an ally helped the Nationalist government by sending a program of massive military and financial aid in the late months of 1941 (2011). “In January 1943 the United States and Britain led the way in revising their treaties with China, bringing to an end a century of unequal treaty relations” (2011). By doing this the United States were trying to become a strong ally with China, stabilizing force in postwar East Asia (2011).
“As the conflict between the Nationalists and the Communists intensified, however, the United States sought unsuccessfully to reconcile the rival forces for a more effective anti-Japanese war effort” (2011). “Toward the end of the war, United States Marines were used to hold Beiping and Tianjin against a possible Soviet incursion, and logistic support was given to Nationalist forces in north and northeast China: (2011). American strategists debated amongst themselves on whether or not the United States should intervene in an attempt to prevent a Communist victory, which would be following the policy of containment (2011). In December 1945 General George Catlett Marshall arrived in China with the thoughts of more-so bringing the KMT and CPC together to build a coalition government that would consist of all the contending political and military groups in China (2011). “Under Marshall’s guidance, the Nationalist and Communist factions established an Executive Headquarters at Peiping, China (also known as Beijing), in January 1946” (2011).
The United States Army appointed military personnel into headquarters trying to help administer the cease-fire negotiations (2011). United State forces were still held accountable towards incidents of violence between the Communist and Nationalist powers (2011). Furthermore, “the United States also helped repatriate Japanese army personnel who were stranded in China after World War II” (2011). Unfortunately for General Marshall, both the Nationalist’s and Communist’s representatives could not compromise or come to an agreement on certain fundamental issues or relinquish the territories they had gained in the time of the Japanese surrender (2011). Because of these miscommunications and bad negotiating between both of the Nationalist and Communist powers, the cease-fire attempts failed after several months resulting in battles resuming on once again (2011). The truce upheld between both forces soon fell apart in the spring of 1946 (2011).
“Negotiations still continued” (2011). “On 08 January 1947 Marshall was recalled, having realized that American efforts short of large-scale armed intervention could not stop the war” (2011). “Marshall was then commissioned as Secretary of State in President Truman’s Cabinet” (2011). After this General George Catlett Marshall convinced Congress to give Europe $13 billion to help rebuild, this became known as the “Marshall Plan” (2011). “Marshall received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953” (2011). The United States still strongly aided the Nationalists with massive economic loans, but no military support (2011). The Chinese Civil War battles became more raged between the two forces (2011). The two forces now not only fought for territory but also for the allegiance of cross sections of the population (2011). “By using Manchuria as a base of supply and manpower and by accelerating the stages of Mao’s theory, Communists field commanders defeated Kuomintang forces in a series of conventional engagements in the late 1940s and established the People’s Republic of China in October 1949” (2011).
After numerous operational set-backs in Manchuria the Communists were able to take over the region and put more focus towards the war south of the Great Wall (2011). “Stalin actually tried to restrain Mao on several occasions while he gauged American responses to developments in China” (2011). The crossing of the Yangtze River culminated in the collapse of the KMT resistance (2011). This led directly to Chiang Kai-shek’s retreat to Taiwan and the formation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st, 1949 (2011). “The Mandate of Heaven had been withdrawn from Chiang Kai-shek” (2011). This resulted in the final victory of the Communist forces led by Mao Zedong in the Chinese Civil War; this casted an ominous pall over world affairs (2011). Within the same year, Russia detonated its first atomic bomb, ending the United States commanding control over nuclear weapons (2011).
The arms race had begun with the nuclear war threat always being a major constant concern in the Cold War (2011). The overall impact of the Chinese Civil War ended in favor for the Soviet Union and going against the United States. This is because the United States were practicing a policy of containment. “The strategy, containment, is the strategy that the USA had of stopping the spread of Communism right in its tracks at the start of the Cold War” –Mr. Crow. Considering the United States did not stop the spread of Communism to China, they can count this event as a loss in the Cold War. On the other hand, the Soviet Union (USSR) could consider this a victory in the Cold War considering they aided the Communist Party and force in China, helping them win the Chinese Civil War and spread the concept and belief of Communism.
The concept or belief of Communism: “a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state” (Dictionary.com, 2012). “Communism has ten essential planks, which are the Abolition of Private Property, Heavy Progressive Income Tax, Abolition of Rights of Inheritance, Confiscation of Property Rights, Central Bank, Government Ownership of Communication and Transportation, Government Ownership of Factories and Agriculture, Government Control of Labor, Corporate Farms and Regional Planning, Government Control of Education” (Communism & Amorality, 2012).
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