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  1. #91
    Thecampaign in Huaihai River area

    The Huaihai River campaign took placebetween the 6th of November in 1948 and the 10thof January in 1949. The Liberation Army threw in 600,000 men and theNational Army had 800,000. The casualties, including wounded, of theLiberation Army were over 100,000 while those of the National Army,including those captured, were as high as 550,000.
    The defense minister of the NationalParty was convinced that if they wanted to control the Yangtze Riverdefensive line, they must control the Huaihai River defensive line.Obviously, the war in the Huaihai River area was very important tothe national government. While the campaign in the northeasternprovinces were still going on, a battle in JiNan City was engaged.The Liberation Army used 140,000 soldiers to attack the city and180,000 to block the reinforcements from Xuzhou City. At that time,the National Army in Xuzhou area should have gone to the rescue ofthe army in JiNan. But the Liberation Army blocked their way. Theyhesitated to advance.
    After the Liberation Army took JiNan onthe 24th of September, 1948, they marched towards Xuzhou.The National Army gathered in Xuzhou area for the defense. On thenight of the 6th of November, the Liberation Armyofficially began its campaign in the Huaihai River area. When theyfound that the national 7th military bloc was receding,they pursued and caught the 7th bloc on the 7thday while the bloc was crossing the Great Canal.
    The 63rd army and the 83rddivision, bringing up the rear, were quickly wiped out. When thecommander of the 7th bloc called the commander of the 13thbloc, the latter refused to come to his assistance, saying that hehad to adhere to the original plan to retreat. (That was one of thereasons why the National Army was eaten up bit by bit. No cooperationbetween commanders. They could not form a fist to strike at the foe,only using fingers separately to tear at it.) On the 8thof November, three-fourths of the national Army defending the riverline held an uprising under the instructions of the Communist Partymembers who were lurking within the army. Therefore, the LiberationArmy cut through the line easily.

  2. #92
    Having crossed the Great Canal, thenational 7th bloc decided to stay at Zhanzhuang and tofight the pursuing Liberation Army. Anyway, more liberation forcescame and surrounded the 7th bloc on November 11. ChiangKai-shek ordered the 13th bloc and the 2nd blocto rescue the 7th bloc, and moreover, sent the 6thbloc and the 8th bloc to the Xuzhou area. The forces ofthe National Army increased to 800,000. On November 13, thereinforcements of the 2nd and 13th blocs cameto the Daxujia line, and were stopped there by the liberation 3rdfield army. Since the reinforcements of the National Army got throughthe blockading line, the Liberation Army quickened its attack andannihilated the 7th bloc on November 22.
    On the 30th of November,300,000 defensive National Army under the command of Du Yuming leftXuzhou and went south. A detachment of Liberation Army of 300,000chased them. At the time, Chiang Kai-shek ordered Du to go southeastto rescue the 12th bloc, the 2nd bloc, the 13thbloc and the 16th bloc, separately surrounded in theregion northeast to Yong Town. But on the 4th of December,the 16th bloc acted on its own, trying to break throughthe encirclement, and was eliminated. On December 12, the LiberationArmy pounced on the 12th bloc and wiped it out on theDecember 15.
    Then the Liberation Army aimed at DuYuming and asked him to surrender, but Du refused, even though he wasalready surrounded. Two more blocs were annihilated on the 9thof January in 1949, and Du was taken captive on the 10th.The 6th and 8th blocs deserted their defensiveposts between the Huaihai River and the Yangtze River and retreatedto the south of the Yangtze River. The vast expanse of land to thenorth of the Yangtze River fell into the hands of the LiberationArmy. Thus ended the campaign in the Huaihai River area.

  3. #93
    Thecampaign in Peking and Tianjin area

    This campaign lasted for 64 days, fromthe 29th of November, 1948 to the 31st ofJanuary, 1949. The Liberation Army threw 1,000,000 troops into thatcampaign and the National Army gathered over 500,000. The LiberationArmy had 39,000 casualties (including the wounded) while the NationalArmy lost 52,000 (including captured).
    When the liberation 4thfield army occupied the northeastern provinces, they marched south toattack Peking and Tianjin. General Fu Zuoyi (1895–1974) was thecommander of the defense of Peking. Before the campaign started,Chiang Kai-shek wanted Fu to bring his army south to strengthen thedefensive line by the Yangtze River. But Fu did not follow Chiang’sorders. Fu planned to keep only Peking and Tianjin area in hiscontrol and give up the other towns. If the situation becamecritical, he could escape by sea and get to south of the YangtzeRiver.
    The Liberation Army’s strategy was tosurround each of the cities and towns separately to prevent anyonefrom escaping. They saw Peking as the center of this area andattacked towns along the outermost circle, and closing in theirencirclement towards the center. In late December, they took over twotowns in the west. On the 14th of January, 1949, theybesieged Tianjin City when the defensive army refused to surrender.After fighting for 29 hours, they entered the city, eliminating 10divisions, 160,000 soldiers (including captured).
    At last they came to Peking. They didnot want any damage done to the old capital city, and they thereforesent someone to talk to Fu Zuoyi. Seeing that escape was out of thequestion, he declared an uprising and went over to the LiberationArmy. Later, in the second republic of China, he was appointed theMinister of Water Resources.

  4. #94
    Theend of the second civil war

    As the situation became more dire forthe national government, Chiang Kai-shek resigned, leaving everythingin the hands of the vice president Li Zongren (1891–1969), whoproposed starting peace talks with the Communist Party. Meanwhile,Chiang transferred 4.5 million taels of gold and $384 million toTaiwan (the island of Formosa). At the beginning of 1949, thenational government had already moved its capital from Nanking toCanton. On April 1, 1949, the representatives of both the CommunistParty and the National Party had peace talks in Peking. The CommunistParty wanted the National Party to accept conditions that amounted toa complete surrender. of course, the national government spurned sucha suggestion.
    On the night of the 21st ofApril, the combined Liberation Army of the 2nd and 3rdfield armies crossed the Yangtze River in wooden sailboats in theface of artillery fire from the National Army along the river. Theybroke through the weak spots of the defensive line and set foot onthe south bank of the River. The 35th army, belonging tothe 8th bloc of the 3rd field army, were taskedwith attacking Nanking. On the night of the 23rd, theycrossed the river and reached Nanking. All the important members ofthe national government had already left the city by air. So on April24, the Liberation Army entered the city as if it was entirelyundefended. Afterwards, the Communist government decided that the23rd of April should be the anniversary of the liberationof Nanking, though formally they took over the city on the 24th.
    The Liberation Army took over Hangzhouon May 3, and Hankou on May 18, and Wuchang and Hanyang on May 17.They took Nanchang on May 22. At the same time, on May 12, theLiberation Army began to attack Shanghai. They first laid siege tothe satellite towns around Shanghai and met strong resistance.Anyway, they took them one by one, and on May 26, they entered theurban area of Shanghai. The next day, all of Shanghai was controlledby the Liberation Army. People in Shanghai welcomed the LiberationArmy just as they had welcomed Chiang Kai-shek’s army after thelong occupation by Japan, as they had been disappointed by thecorruption in Chiang Kai-shek’s government. So now they pinnedtheir hopes on the Communist Party, not knowing at that time whetherthe Communist Party would disappoint them just the same.

  5. #95
    On April 24, the Liberation Army tookTaiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, and took XiAn, the capitalof Shaanxi province on May 20. They stormed into Qingdao, a harborcity in Shandong province, on June 2. On August 4, Cheng Quan,chairman of Hunan province and Chen Mingren, commander of the 1stbloc there, declared he was betraying the national government andwent over to the Liberation Army, and so the capital Changsha changedhands peacefully. The Liberation Army occupied Lanzhou, the capitalof Gansu province, on August 26, and then Fuzhou, the capital ofFujian province, and then Canton on October 14. The nationalgovernment had already packed up and moved to Zhongqing again. OnOctober 17,they took Amoy but failed in the attempt totake Quemoy on the 25th and the Zhoushan islands on the3rd of November.
    In November, Chiang Kai-shek flew toChongqing and on November 20, Li Zongren went to Hong Kong. OnNovember 15, the Liberation Army took Guiyang, the capital of Guizhouprovince, and Chongqing on November 30 when the national governmenthad already moved to Chengdu. On the 7th of December, thenational government declared it was moving its capital offshore toTaipei in Taiwan. So from December 8 to 10, all the VIPs of thegovernment were flying to Taipei. On December 9, the chairmen ofYunnan province and of Xikang province declared they were siding withthe Liberation Army, which entered these provinces without any hitch.On December 27, they took Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.The next spring, on March 27, 1950, they took Xichang. By then,almost the whole country was under the control of the CommunistParty.

  6. #96
    PartTwo The Second Republic—The People’s Republic of China

    Chapter 5. The Establishment of the People’s Republic of China

    The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

    When the Communist Liberation Army wasstill fighting the National Army, the Communist Party summoned theChinese people’s political consultative conference from the 21stto 30th of September, 1949. A few so-called democraticparties attended the conference, such as the Revolutionary Committeeof the National Party (part of the National Party that favored theCommunist Party), Chinese Democratic League, China DemocraticNational Construction Association, China Association for PromotingDemocracy, Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party, ChinaZhigong Party, and Jiusan Society, eight in all. These so-calleddemocratic parties have been give the ironic label of “vases” asthey were nothing but empty vessels to decorate the politicalCommunist Party conferences as symbols of democracy, because theyhave no say in whatever national affairs. They can only say yes towhatever the Communist Party says, and if there is a vote, every oneof them will put up their hands to make up a 100% positive vote sothat the Communist Party can boast of having full support. A standingcommittee was formed to handle routine matters. The chairman, vicechairmen, and the chief secretary controlled everything. But thechairman had to be a top-ranking Communist Party member.
    In this conference a so-called CommonProgram was passed as the temporary constitution, which was composedof 7 chapters and 60 articles. The Common Program outlined the statesystem and the system of the government as the “democracy anddictatorship of the Chinese people” (meaning democracy to thepeople and dictatorship to the enemy), who consisted of theproletariat (workers), peasantry, petty bourgeoisie, nationalbourgeoisie, and other democratic patriots. (The Communist Partydivides the bourgeoisie in China into two types: national capitalistsand bureaucratic capitalists.) It was a united front with theproletariat in the leadership (through the Communist Party) on thebasis of the alliance of workers and peasants. The government wouldconfiscate all the private properties of the bureaucraticcapitalists, which denoted only Chiang Kai-shek, Tse-ven Soong(Chiang’s brother-in-law, who was the head of the executive office,equivalent to the Cabinet), Kung Hsiang-His (simplified as H. H.Kung, and jokingly called Ha-Ha- Kung, who married the sister ofChiang Kai-shek’s wife and was the financial minister most of thetime), and the Chen brothers, Chen Guofu (the minister of the centralorganization ministry of the National Party) and Chen Lifu (educationminister). Their father was the sworn brother of Chiang Kai-shek. Allother private business owners were defined as national capitalists.
    The major articles of the CommonProgram—the temporary constitution—stated that citizens of thePeoples’ Republic of China had the rights of voting and nomination,but actually none but the leaders of the Communist Party had therights to nominate candidates. They could nominate whomever theyliked and even themselves. As for voting rights, common voters couldnot vote for whomever they preferred, but were forced to vote forthose on the list made by the party leaders. If there were tencandidates, a voter could not vote for fewer than ten. He or she hadto make a mark next to every name on the list, or he or she would getin trouble. Once a young worker crossed out a name on the list andadded the name of his boss. Although he was also a party member, hewas severely criticized for not following the rules.
    Another major article asserted that thepeople of the republic were to enjoy freedom of thought, speech,gathering, organizing societies, communication, personal liberty,living anywhere, moving anywhere, religions and beliefs, and todemonstrate. But all these rights existed only on paper. In reality,no one could exercise such rights. Everything going on under the sun,or even at night, was monitored by the Communist Party.

  7. #97
    The Ceremony of the Establishment of the People’sRepublic of China

    At 2:00PM on the 1st ofOctober, 1949, the committee of the central people’s government hadits first session and selected Mao Zedong as chairman. Zhu De, LiuShaoqi, Soong Ching-ling, Li Jishen, Zhang Lan, and Gao Gang becamethe vice chairmen. Zhou Enlai was the Premier of the state counciland the foreign minister as well, and Zhu De was thecommander-in-chief of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. At3:00, a ceremony marking the establishment of the People’s Republicof China was held at TianAnMen (literally Gate of Heavenly Peace).Chairman Mao announced the formation of the People’s Republic ofChina. On December 2, the central people’s government approved thedecision to make October 1 the national day every year.
    Accordingly, on the 1st ofOctober, 1950, the leaders of the Communist Party were expected tostand at TianAnMen to watch the parade going through TianAnMenSquare. A plot was revealed to murder the leaders. Two tenants hadmoved into a house at No. 17 in the Ganyu Alley northeast ofTianAnMen, two mercenary spies, one Italian and the other Japanese.One night in February 1950, two strangers came to see the Japaneseman, who had an 82 mortar. In mid-September, the Chinese policedepartment intercepted a letter mailed to Tokyo, Japan, in whichthere was a sketch of the clear outline of TianAnMen with two blackarrows, one pointing to the top of the gate and the other pointing totiny figures drawn on the square. The letter described the layout ofTianAnMan Square. Through analysis, Beijing police declared that itwas evidence of a serious scheme to murder the government leaders.After further investigations, at dawn on September 27, the policerushed to the No. 17 house and broke in. They took the Japanese andItalian spies into custody. In the Japanese man’s room they foundletters, documents, diagrams, the 82 mortar, and a pistol with 235bullets, and found in the Italian’s room a packet of poisonouspowder, a diagram with the outline of TianAnMen and a parabolapointing to it. On October 10, the Central Committee of the CommunistParty (not the central government) issued an instruction to round upand arrest reactionaries, including spies. Who would be considered areactionary? Those executing the instruction would define it at will.

  8. #98
    The Ruling System of the People’s Republic of China

    There are two vertical hierarchies inthe ruling system under the Communist Party. One is the formalgovernment line and the other is the party line. On the same level,there are party organizations as well as government departments.Let’s take Shanghai for an example. On the municipal level, themayor is the head of the Shanghai government, but there is also theparty secretary of the Shanghai municipal committee. The mayor mustobey the party secretary, which means that the party secretary is thereal head of the city, the over-lord. For every department or bureauin the municipal government, there is also a party organization onthe same level.
    Urban Shanghai is divided into 10precincts with the same two-dimensional ruling system at every level.Under the precinct level are street committees, under which areresident committees which are the basic ruling cells. Every residentcommittee comprises the residents in one block. All cadres of thesecommittees at different levels are paid by the government. Then everyblock is divided into several groups. The group leaders, thoughappointed, get no pay from the government. They are either housewivesor retired people. The group leaders must report to the residentcommittee what happens in the block and if they suspect any residentof anything unusual, they must report on that. The head of theresident committee is called director and there is also a partysecretary.
    The municipal police station also has aparty secretary. On the precinct level, there is a precinct stationunder which there are several police branches at the same level withthe street committees. Every police branch will assign a policeman towork with the resident committee and the resident committee cadresobey the policeman.
    In the suburbs of Shanghai there are 10counties. Every county ruled over several villages, which more arecalled communes in the period from the Great Leap Forward to the endof the Great Cultural Revolution. Under the commune level there areproductive teams. All peasants belong to different teams. Peasantsand city residents are all tied to where they live and are notgenerally free to relocate. All their behavior and actions will bereported to the party at different levels. People may work incompanies of all sorts, or in stores and schools, belonging to thegovernment. They are told to watch over each other’s behavior andactions and report to the party if anything is suspicious. Everyonetakes it seriously, because if one reports some colleague’smisbehavior, he is deemed loyal to the party and will receive somecompensation such as a promotion, a small raise, or even be allowedto join the party—the fastest way to become an official. Evenrelatives and family members will report on their near ones for theirown benefits. Under this sort of system one feels that there arespies all around. That is how the Chinese people lived until DengXiaoping’s 1978 economic reform and “opening up” policy. (Ofcourse not everyone liked that either: Under this sort of system, itseems that everything is suddenly open, like prostitution,embezzlement and corruption.)

  9. #99
    Chapter6. The Massacre of Reactionaries and the Suppression of Bandits

    The Movement to Arrest and KillReactionaries

    The action against “reactionaries”began in December 1950 and went on until October 1951. It involved 3million people. So lots of innocent people were arrested and many ofthem were executed. At that time, people were easily executed withoutproper legal procedures. A person could be killed just on the word ofa work team leader. Fan Yuanmao, a communist activist, told of hisexperience at that time. He had been a district government leader andpresided over many public judgments, that is, meetings to decide howmany people and which ones should be executed. At one of suchmeeting, twelve people would be shot to death. A few more people werealso named, who were called “to accompany those going to die,”but in fact they were sent there to watch the twelve people beingshot, which served as a lesson to others not to do anything againstthe Party. At Fan Yuanmao’s order, those persons were dragged outinto an open field to be executed just as pigs are dragged into aslaughter house. One of the few watchers was mistakenly killed. Whenasked what to do about the error, Fan answered that he would justhand in another form with the name of that person to bring the numberof those executed up to thirteen. Easily settled. No other proceduresneeded. The lives of common Chinese people weigh no more than afeather, as a Chinese saying goes.
    In some places, father and son,brothers, cousins, were killed together, maybe the whole familyexecuted, just like in the feudal age under the rule of the emperors.One “funny” story says that the names of those who were to beexecuted were written in a booklet, which would be given to a cadreof higher rank for final approval. That guy would stamp a seal oneach page that meant that the death decision was final. After the guystamped a few pages, he stood up to get a glass of water. Then a gustof wind blew in and turned two pages over. When the guy came back tosit at his desk, he continued to stamp the pages till the last page.So the couple of people whose names were on the pages without a stampwere not executed. The gust of wind saved them. All in all, yearslater, the Party admitted that many innocent people were mistakenlyexecuted. They died for nothing. Victims of the Party and Mao’soverly drastic actions.

  10. #100
    It has been argued that in so manydynasties in the history of China, and elsewhere, many innocentpeople have been mistakenly killed. It’s difficult to makecomparisons. But it is totally wrong to kill innocent people and itdoes not matter how many or how few are killed. According to theCommunist Party, all the dynasties in history were a form offeudalism, a bad political system. That innocent people were killedin a bad system may be no surprise. But the Communist Party of Chinaboasted that socialism is the best political system in the world andclaimed from the beginning that the Party was serving the people. Sothey have no right to kill innocent people as they said they are forthe people. Apparently, a hypothetical system is one thing and theindividuals who seek to establish and implement it may be a differentstory altogether.
    Some ridiculous things happened duringthis movement. In February of 1951, Mao summoned a meeting to decidethe rate at which people should be executed. They decided that therate should be one in a thousand, and at first, half of this numbershould be killed, and then the policy should be reviewed. Mao gaveclear instructions to the mayors of Shanghai and Nanking, saying,“Shanghai is a large city of 6 million, and in Shanghai hardly morethan 200 are executed out of over 20,000 arrested. It is not enough.In my opinion, at least 3,000 or so should be executed. Nanking wasthe capital of the National Party; the reactionaries there should beexecuted and I don’t mean a few more than 200. Far more must beexecuted in Nanking.” Mao’s decision to kill people was not basedon crimes those people committed but based on his own whim.
    On the 21st of February,1950, the state council issued the “Rules for punishingreactionaries in the People’s Republic of China.” Herereactionaries were defined as: people contacting imperialists;contacting, instigating and bribing officials, armed forces andmilitia to commit treason; gathering armed crowds for rebellion;joining spy organizations; organizing or utilizing any religiousgroups for reactionary purposes; robbing or damaging public orprivate property or public equipment; using poison to kill people;making fake documents or IDs; instigating crowds against thegovernment; sowing discord among government officials; spreadingrumors; stealing across territory borders; breaking into or escapingfrom jails; hiding or protecting reactionaries, etc. It didn’tmatter if the action had been completed or not.


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