沒有國民黨就沒有中國, Without the Kuomintang there would be no China, A Republic of China Story

九十五, Jingguo
Chiang Ching-kuo was one of the most beloved leaders in the entire world in the weeks following the victory in the war against East Turkestan. A Communist state on Chinese soil had been seen as an insult to Chinese sovereignty for decades. A military parade was held in Nanking to celebrate the triumph. In June, Chiang traveled to Xinjiang, including the regions recently conquered. He had interpreters speaking Uyghur and Kazakh at many of his events. It would take a while to fully integrate the newly liberated territory. During his visit, he survived an assassination attempt in Karamay. There was opposition, even violent opposition to China. Still, the province was mostly at peace.

What the Chinese public didn’t know was that Chiang Ching-kuo was in poor health. Even if he wanted to and was able to change the rules to run for a third term, he wasn’t going to. His declining health didn’t seem to have much of an effect on his ability to do his job yet, however. His popularity was still high. A public opinion poll gave him an approval rating of over 75%. This was in an era when people were likely to lie and say they approved of government officials, so the number was likely considerably lower. With his presidency coming to a close, he was looking for someone to be his hand-picked successor. He was beginning to think that Vice President Wang Sheng might not be the best person for the job.

Chiang weighed his options. He had children. His oldest son, Chiang Hsiao-wen was the head of the Kuomintang in Zhejiang Province. His younger son was the head of the Chinese Broadcasting Corporation and had previously served as director of the KMT Propaganda Department. He also had other sons and one daughter, but none of them were likely to run for President. There was also Liang Surong, who had recently become President of the Legislative Yuan after the retirement of Huang Shao-ku. He was a strong supporter of human rights and democracy, who curiously got along well with Chen Lifu. Certainly, there would be others in the party seeking the presidency, but whoever had Chiang’s endorsement would be at an advantage. He would wait to choose his preferred successor.


(Chiang Hsiao-wu)

Not all was well for China and the Kuomintang. Newspapers based in Hong Kong told stories of corruption by KMT officials, including allegations of involvement in drug trafficking. Some of these stories were true, others were not. A lot of people read the stories and believed them. When those selling the papers in the mainland were arrested, it made the Chiang and the KMT look bad. Chiang and the entire country’s image would be tarnished around the world in September 1987. Chinese gangsters killed a prominent member of the Enlightened Path in Seberang Perai, Malaysia, and also killed his wife and children. In December, one of the murderers was caught and was willing to snitch on other gang members. It was widely believed that the Chinese government had some involvement in the murders, but this was never proven.

Chiang Ching-kuo’s health was not getting any better, and he was increasingly spending his time in a wheelchair (just like his father from 1970 until his death). As 1987 closed, he ordered an increase in Chinese radio broadcasts into the USSR, calling for the people of the Soviet Union to rise up against Vladimir Kryuchkov. They would have little effect. As the Soviet Civil War dragged on and it became clear which side was going to win, China received thousands of immigrants from the USSR. The destruction being wrought upon the Soviet Union meant that China was now the number two world power, even if the USSR still had a few advantages over China. Chiang Ching-kuo wouldn’t have much time to enjoy this, however, as he died of a heart attack on January 15, 1988 at the age of 77.


Chiang Ching-kuo
(April 27, 1910-January 15, 1988)​
111 years ago today, the Xinhai Revolution began, which led to the formation of the Republic of China. This is known as Double Tenth Day (雙十節) in Taiwan and the other islands controlled by the Republic of China. I will be posting chapter 96 shortly.
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九十六, Wang Sheng
The death of Chiang Ching-kuo saddened the nation. Even people who opposed the Kuomintang often thought highly of the man. Wang Sheng would give the eulogy at his funeral. President Wang would be sworn in the same day as Chiang’s death. He promised to uphold the legacy of the late president. Wang Sheng was 72 years old, being only five years younger than his predecessor. Over the last six decades, only two and a half years interrupted continuous rule of China by the Chiang family. During that same time, China had exclusively been ruled by men from the same province (as Chiang Kai-shek’s predecessor Tan Yankai and successor Chen Lifu were both from Zhejiang). Wang Sheng was from Jiangxi, and was thus the first Chinese president not from Zhejiang since Zhang Zuolin’s assassination nearly 60 years earlier.


(Wang Sheng)

Wang Sheng had become president just a week before the legislative elections. The KMT underperformed expectations. KMT candidates won only 49% of the vote. With a divided opposition, they still won a majority in the Legislative Yuan (though the opposition parties did work together quite often to determine which districts they should a united front against the KMT in, and the KMT itself was divided in many places). The KMT would lose 28 seats, putting them at 410. Combined with the five seats won by the Tibet Improvement Party, the ruling coalition had 415 seats, or around 53.7%. The two main opposition parties, the China Democratic Socialist Party and the China Youth party, lost a few seats as well. The Liberal Party and the New Democratic League gained seats. The KMT also lost several gubernatorial races, including Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, and Taiwan among others.


Shortly after the elections, KMT delegates met to elect a new party leader. This put Wang in a similar situation as Chen Lifu in 1975. Wang Sheng was a different man than Chen Lifu. He had fewer friends, but he also had fewer enemies. While Chen was polarizing, the Chinese people were largely indifferent to Wang. There was an attempt to make Chiang Hsiao-wen, the eldest son of Chiang Ching-kuo, the leader of the Kuomintang. Over one quarter of the delegates backed Chiang. A few other delegates backed Premier Hau Pei-tsun. Wang Sheng was officially made the new leader of the KMT in February 1988 with around 70% of the vote, which was the amount of support that Chiang Ching-kuo had back in 1975. Wang hoped this meant that he would face little inter-party opposition in the next presidential election in just a little more than two years.

In the early months of Wang’s presidency, the Soviet Civil War entered its final phase. Communist governments in Eastern Europe were collapsing, but so were the anti-coup forces. This meant that thousands of Soviet citizens would pour into China seeking refuge from the return of Stalinism. Included among them were government officials, who were sent to Stockholm to join the government in exile. A vote in the legislative Yuan to recognize the Soviet government in exile as the legitimate government of the USSR failed 291-482. China congratulated the people of Hungary and Poland, and later Afghanistan, for winning their freedom. Wang Sheng also voiced his enthusiastic support for German reunification. At the same time, he continued Chinese support of Communist governments in Romania and Yugoslavia.

China had already surpassed the Soviet Union in power, and the USSR continued to fall even further behind economically. But the Soviets were not finished. Moscow would covertly support the Xinjiang independence movement. Fortunately for China, an intelligence agent who worked for former East Turkestan was willing to tell China all he knew. This led to the arrests and executions of over twenty KGB agents operating mostly in Xinjiang. Ever since the 1987 coup and the invasion of East Turkestan, there had been heightened fears of Communist infiltration in China. In July 1988 newly elected Yang Rudai, a member of the leftist New Democratic League from Sichuan, was expelled from the Legislative Yuan over supposed Communist leanings. His removal caused protests against the government, during which dozens were arrested.

In 1988, people in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu Provinces commemorated the 50-year anniversary of the 1938 Yellow River Flood. The flood was caused by the government as a way to slow down the Japanese advance. It was perhaps the largest act of environmental warfare in history. Between 400,000 and 900,000 were killed and 3 million people became refugees. It was caused by opening up dikes on the Yellow River. Chiang Kai-shek ordered it, at the suggestion of Chen Guofu, the older brother of Chen Lifu. Survivors of the flood and relatives of the victims sought to raise awareness of the event, and possibly receive some compensation. Their requests were rejected.

Wang Sheng was firmly of the old school mindset in the Kuomintang. He governed as a conservative. He didn’t want to roll back the clock, but he also didn’t want to rock the boat. His authoritarian streak seemed notable only because of the time he lived in. If anything, he was a lot more lenient than Chiang Kai-shek or Chen Lifu. But in the 1980s, Chinese people were getting used to freedom. Many Chinese people saw the arrests and were worried that the KMT was never going to allow a democratic transition of power. Pro-democracy Chinese increasingly rallied behind Li Ao, an independent politician from Harbin. Li Ao would unceasingly push for more democratic reforms, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. He would be a thorn in Wang’s side for his entire presidency.
九十七, The Life of Yuan Jia
Yuan Jia was born on March 15, 1950 in the town of Maoping in Hubei Province. He was the youngest of nine children. His father fought in the Second World War and Yuan Jia decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps and joined the army in 1969. He was stationed in various locations across the country, from Zhuhai in Guangdong to Aksu in Xinjiang. Because of his service in Xinjiang, people have often mistakenly claimed that Yuan fought in the East Turkestan War. This is false, considering that his military service ended in 1977. After the war, he moved to Wuhan where he would open a convenience store. He married and had a son.


(Maoping in more recent years)

In the 1980s, Yuan Jia would make regular trips to Hong Kong to buy magazines not available in the mainland and sell them back home. He sold magazines, some of which were illegal, in cities and towns in Hubei. One of the most popular magazines was the Kowloon Post, a tabloid. The magazine lampooned celebrities and political figures in both Hong Kong and mainland China. It was known for spreading various tales of dubious veracity. Yuan would travel to Hong Kong and buy hundreds of these magazines and sell them back in Hubei. He eventually worked a deal with the Kowloon Post to become their unofficial distributor in Wuhan. He had multiple run-ins with the law, usually bribing his way out of trouble, though he did spend three months in jail in 1987.

The Kowloon Post ran multiple stories of alien abductions. They had “photographic evidence” that Bruce Lee was still alive. They printed an interview with a woman claiming to be Chiang Kai-shek’s mistress. Their April 20, 1989 edition had photos from “Adolf Hitler at his 100th birthday party in Argentina.” That was accomplished by finding a very old English man in Hong Kong and paying him to grow a toothbrush mustache. But by far their most famous issue was released on June 2, 1989. In addition to celebrity news, it featured a story about a massive drug fortress located somewhere up in the mountains of Yunnan near Myanmar. The Kowloon Post claimed that Wang Sheng and several other high-ranking Chinese officials were profiting from what was going on in the Yunnan drug fortress.

On the morning of the 4th, Yuan Jia went to Ezhou, a city close to Wuhan, to sell some magazines. Some policemen tried to stop him and he ran away. The police caught up to him and beat him severely. They then left him, and he later died. There were some eyewitnesses, who told others about what they saw. News soon spread, and people began to demand an investigation into the police officers’ actions. There was a massive public outcry, which soon spread throughout the entire country. The police officers were taken into custody, and a date for a trial was set. Meanwhile, protests began in Wuhan and elsewhere.
Once China democratizes,the non-brainwashed North Korean citizens will be secretly thinking to themselves "Hey,China democratized,so why can't we democratize as well?.
Or better yet "Why can't we peacefully reunify with the South?" (Given that Park Chung-hee's rule and the Dictatorship is not as severe, with South Korea being more democratic in TTL than OTL)
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The non-brainwashed North Korean citizens will want reunification under the South Korean government because South Korea is now democratic.

And also because that will allow them to get rid of that Soviet-created aberration that is the North Korean flag and replace it with the South Korean flag effectively making it the flag of the entirety of Korea for the first time since 1948.
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