China has been a great civilization since antiquity. But with greatness comes envy. For thousands of years, China’s enemies sought to plunder and conquer. Since these enemies usually came from the North, a Great Wall was built to keep them out.
But no one had expected that China’s enemies would ultimately come from across the sea. The Western powers humiliated China, taking over port cities and selling opium to the people.
It didn’t help that China was ruled behind the scenes by a woman who prevented China from doing what it needed to get out of its predicament.
Since efforts to reform the last dynasty failed, it was determined that there was only one course of action left: Revolution. China’s last emperor, a young child, was overthrown. But after the revolution, China was fragmented, ruled by quarrelling warlords. The revolutionaries who had overthrown the emperor, led by Sun Yat-sen, sought to unite the country.
The Kuomintang and allied warlords launched the Northern Expedition to crush the enemy warlords and reunify China. Another group they allied with were the Communists, who shared the Kuomintang’s Anti-Imperialist views. Then Sun Yat-sen died, succeeded by Chiang Kai-shek.
While at first Chiang Kai-shek saw the Communists as allies, he would soon see them as enemies needing to be vanquished. A civil war broke out with the Kuomintang on one side and the Communists on the other. As Nationalists fought against Communists, Chinese sovereignty was increasingly being encroached upon by Japan. The Nationalists were winning. But right before the Nationalists could deliver the final blow, Chiang was kidnapped by two of his generals and forced to sign a ceasefire. The Nationalist and Communist forces would work together against a common enemy once more.
Japan invaded China, hoping they could quickly break China’s will to fight. But China continued fighting. Japanese soldiers, indoctrinated to see their race as superior, committed horrific acts against those they viewed as inferior. But China never surrendered. For eight years, at first alone and later with allies, China fought back. The Japanese vowed to never surrender.
But they eventually changed their minds.
And now, Japan has been defeated. But will there be peace? Even as Japanese soldiers evacuate China, Nationalists and Communists are both trying to be move in to the territory they once occupied. It seems that civil war may soon erupt once more. And if hostilities resume, will the Republic of China survive under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, or will China become a Communist nation under Mao Zedong?