Monday, September 12, 2016

Rise of Communist Party of China under Mao Zedong

After the 1912 Chinese Revolution, National Assembly came into existence and it invited Dr Sun Yat Sen to be the President of Chinese Republic. Dr Sen also known as the father of Modern China gave three principles which became the preamble of Chinese constitution and from 1912 till now, acted as guidelines for Chinese govt. These were nationalism, democracy in phased manner and policy of economic reforms which did not advocate seizing land from landed class. The latter led to the continuation of Tuchans or warlords who were responsible for the poor condition of the peasants. After 1921, when Chiang Kai Shek came to power and led the Guomindang, China was facing issues similar to what India faced after independence. The problem of Tuchans (warlords), aggressive neighbours such as Russia and Japan, communist uprising or the Nanking incident of 1927 and the 2nd Sino Japanese war. Chiang Kai Shek was critical of the communist policies and his sympathies lie with the businessmen and landowners. In 1927, in Nanking incident, he purged the Communist leaders from party and tried to check the rise of warlords. These steps of Chiang Kai Shek led to the Northern March by Mao Zedong.

The reasons Mao Zedong was able to garner support was

#Inefficiency and corruption was rampant in Kuomintang government. They were receiving funds from USA which was finding its way into the pocket of officials 

#Peasant’s condition was pitiable. Post Long March of Mao, condition of peasants improved in Communist controlled areas. In contrast, Chiang Kai Shek was following pro landlord policies 

#No effective resistance was shown by Kuomintang against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Mao’s territory was able to put up more resistance which gave the impression of patriotism 

#Factory conditions were poor · Policy of paying for the war by printing currency gave rise to Galloping Inflation disaffected the Middle Class. 

These events led to popular support for Mao, which enabled the rise of Communist Party of China. 

The policies of Mao Zedong and its impact on people of China were: 

1) Hundred Flowers Campaign – Post Mao came to power, agricultural improvement was seen in China due to land reforms and cooperative farming. Industrialization was also being carried out with aid from Russia. But Mao began to have doubt on whether industrialization was the way forward as a new class of technicians and engineers came. The Communist Party cadre thought that they would challenge their authority. Government started the 100 Flower Campaign and said that there could be multiplicity of viewpoints. This led to criticism of Mao’s policies such as over centralization and being non democratic in character. Mao called off the campaign and clamped down on these people insisting his policies were right. This campaign thus showed opposition to Mao’s thought process 

2) Great Leap Forward – It was an attempt by Mao to rapidly enhance agricultural and technological productivity and transform China to a modern industrial society within 5 years. 

The impact was as follows 

a. Enhanced Chinese manufacturing and agricultural output 

b. The communes functioned as effective units of self government and brought Communist Party closer to people 

c. Agriculture was taken to be the Prime Moving Force of China with small scale industries in countryside to provide for employment 

d. Provision of education and welfare services and improvement seen in condition of women 

Following were the negative effects 

i. Bad harvest in 1959-61 and withdrawal of Russian aid led to hardships for the people 

ii. Around 20mn people died prematurely as a result of hardships faced due to Great Leap Forward 

iii. There was extensive environmental damage as forests in countryside was wiped for building furnaces 

It was called off after 3 years aka 3 bitter years. Peasant lands were reinstated and communes were downsized. Peasants had incentive to produce spare food and sell in market

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