Chiang Kai Shek

Chiang Kai Shek

Chiang Kai-Shek lost control of China to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949 following two and a half decades of mistakes and fundamental errors in ruling the struggling and fractured republic.   Under his leadership, corruption was allowed to flourish in the nationalist party, failed military campaigns were commonplace, national unity was never created, and the obsession with personal wealth and gain was the rule among large numbers of the higher ranking members of the nationalist party, all of which lead to a complete breakdown of support for the nationalist party from the Chinese people.   Chiang never had a “relationship with the common people.”1 From the time he came to power in 1925, he appeared never to understand his people.   His obsession with purging the Kuomintang (KMT) of all Communists, his push for a New Life Movement2, making the claim, “first internal pacification, then external resistance”*3, and his use of foreign relationships and criminal organizations to gain superiority and exterminate the communists each played a role in confirming Chiang’s failure. In the fight against the Japanese in World War II, Chiang’s single-minded focus on the Chinese Communists allowed Japan to gain a strong grip in China and occupy parts of the country. It eventually required the help of the United States to defeat and oust the Japanese. Chiang’s repeated military failures against the Japanese caused him to lose support within his own elite KMT group.   In an effort to reestablish power, he attacked the Communists, which led to a deterioration of support amongst the Chinese people.   It made him appear aggressive and hypocritical to the massive peasant population as he attacked the one Chinese group who was actually intent on helping the poor agrarian workers.   By 1945, the Communists were strong enough to defeat Chiang Kai-Shek due to his repeated tactical errors in military, political and social policies.
To understand how Chiang Kai-shek failed China, the...

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