Communist China

By: Sara Wright

Mao Zedong

- Mao Zedong led communist forces in China through a long revolution in 1927 and ruled the nation's government from its establishment in 1949.

- Critics consider Zedong a dictator, who severely damaged traditional Chinese culture, and a perpetrator of human rights abuses, due to him being responsible for 40-70 million deaths due to starvation, forced labor, executions, and is now known as a top incidence of democide in human history.

- However Zedong instituted positive changes in China including promoting the status of women, doubling school population, and improving literacy, increasing access to health care, which dramatically increased life expectancy.

The Long March

- War broke out between CCP and KMT immediately following World War II and had been preceded by on and off conflict between the two since the 1920's

- In 1923, the Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist party had allied with the CCP to defeat those who controlled much of northern China, KMT had also created an anti-communist purge. Mao and other communists then went into east China in 1934 after the KMT surrounded them.

- Mao Zedong led his military on a 6,000 mile journey to northwest China to establish a new base from southeastern China.

- Throughout their journey the troupes crossed about 18 mountain ranges and 24 rivers to reach Shannxi.

- The Long March marked the arrival of Mao Zedong as the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communists.

- The Long Marched inspired many young Chinese to join the communist party in the 1930's-1940's.

- The Long March put the Communists well out of the reach of their enemies known as the Nationalists of the Kuo Min Tang and the Japanese invaders. This meant that Mao and the Communists could try to now regroup, and regain their strength in safety.

The Establishment of the People's Republic Of China 1949

- On October 1, 1949, Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

- The announcement ended the war between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang.

- The people were defined as a coalition of four social classes: the workers, the peasants, the petite bourgeoisie, and the national-capitalists. The four classes were to be led by the CCP, as the vanguard of the working class.

- The creation of the new state helped the chance to alter or change traditional rules and structures to wipe away the shame of the old Chinese treaties that were unequal in the 19th century.

- After the foundation of the People's Republic years of hardship with many millions dying in ill-conceived or over-ambitious reforms followed. The country. China was bankrupt and limited industrial capacity had survived the conflicts. The main focus was to bring all Chinese people together again as a nation with a common vision to help support the country and unite it.

Tiananmen Square

-Tiananmen Square is a large public square in Beijing, China

- The square is named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace and contains the monument of the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the museum of history and revolution, and the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.

-Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People's Republic in the square on October 1, 1949

- The most known occurrence at the Tiananmen square is the protests of 1989 called the democracy movement, or the June 4th incident. Thousands of mostly young students came to the square to protest for greater democracy, due to the harsh and very strict environment the government put the people in. The protesting went on for weeks and on June 4th, 1989 Chinese troupes and police stormed the square opening fire among their own people, brutally violating human rights; Many students fought back and sacrificed their lives for justice. One unidentified man, also known as tank man, stood in front of a column of tanks the morning after the government had opened fire on the protesters becoming a symbol of hope ,and courage, to stand up for all suffering.

- Freedom of press and freedom of speech had been more severely suppressed. Chinese media's were punished for supporting the protests, and Foreign media's were restricted from entering China, and some expelled from filing the incident that took place.

- The June 4th incident had also effected China's trade, tourism had decreased, and foreign investment commitments had been canceled due to the terrible massacre.