China is capitalist during the Cold War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GeckoSerpent23, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Richard V Well-Known Member

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    The common problem with these KMT wins the civil war threads is the assumption winning means Communism disappear from the country. That wont happen unless the Communists were totally defeated in the 1920s. After WWII the best the KMT could do is contain the Communists to Manchuria.

    Communist China definitely supports North Korea’s war of unification. They can’t afford Korean unification under American allied regime. Mao probably throw in early and invade South Korea along side North Korea. US may not intervene in this scenario given the odds are overwhelming and no domino theory. Korea is united under the Communists. Soviets establish naval and airbases in Korea.

    Nationalist China demands the French out of Vietnam and backs a friendly anti-Communist regime. Ho Chi Min fights a war of insurgency, but probably loses cut off from Soviet aid. US designate China as a major ally to supress Communism in Southeast Asia.

    The occupation of Japan lasts into the late 1950s like the occupation of Germany. Communist Chinese and Koreans infiltrate to stir up revolution there but this is successfully defeated.

    Soviet military support for Communist China results in another civil war the 60s or 70s. It would look a lot like a bigger Vietnam War with Communist guerillas fighting government forces in central China. Soviets deploy combat aircraft in Manchuria and Korea to defend their airspace. US may end up direcly involved with ground troops and eventually withdraws in frustration. However “Vietnamization” of KMT forces probably succeeds as the much larger Nationalist China should be able to handle it with American weapons. The war ends with status quo ante bellum because Soviets threaten war if Manchuria is invaded. An uneasy peace is maintained.

    With the end of the Cold War, impoverished Communist China collapses and the right wing dictatorship of Nationalist China liberalizes, resulting in reunification in the 1990s. The economy takes off afterwards. Overall present day ROC is comparable to TTL PRC in development and overall GDP. Economic advantages of capitalism in the south is offset by decades of highly destructive civil war. OTL ROC may not be fully democratic but have some sort of managed democracy like Turkey with some similar Erdogan like strongman questioning the continued value of alliance with Washington.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  2. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    Does this victorious KMT China control all of China or are Tibet, Xinjiang, and Manchuria independent (with them being under the Dalai Lama, a longer-lasting Second East Turkestan Republic, and a "mini-PRC" respectively)?
     
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  3. bernardz Well-Known Member

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    One point is that the KMT proved in Taiwan that they are very good economically. Taiwan/GDP per capita is today 25,534.00 USD a little under half the US. China's population is now is about 1.4 billion, almost 4 times bigger then the US and without Mao one child policy her population would be much higher. Based on this simple analysis, China today would have at least double the US GDP.

    Interestingly too, Russian /GDP per capita is about 10,000 USD and Russia population is about 140 million in 1980 before it split. so based on this simple analysis, China would have 20 times this GDP.

    China may very well be the greatest superpower in the world today.
     
  4. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    This is worth pursuing. So far this thread has a implicit assumption the Communits are entirely neutralized. However maos groups was a tough one and had a good position. With Soviet backing remaining a viable enclave, or expanding into and holding Manchuria, Communist 'Half China' scenarios are possible.

    The question here is if this reduced Communist China can afford to send anything like the 300,000+ 'Army Group' it sent OTL. Its probably still fighting the the KMT & would have a much smaller army. So its possible MacArthurs rush to the Yalu succeeds in 1950. The Korean war may be reduced to a few more years of insurgent warfare across the peninsula.


    I would not see any sort or peace or temporary armistice in China. The war may become low scale or static by 1950 as both sides regroup, but I cant see any thing more than a temporary armistice as possible. A sort of static low level conflict, as existed after the Long March period & during the Japanese war period, but nothing more peaceful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  5. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Many Chinese leaders in the 20th Century regarded Viet Nam as nothing more than a breakaway province, to be returned to under the roof of the Middle Kingdom, in its current iteration. The KMT army occupation of Hanoi on the Japanese surrender in 1945 was a failed first step in retaking control of the 'South China' region. KMT motivation in getting the French out of Indochina would have directly connected to the hope the region would some day be dominated by China, the natural state of things in their view. Where this gets interesting is the Viet Minh leaders could try playing for support from the KMT against the French. Obviously there are dangers in this, but the VM leaders proved superb at diplomatic games & clever strategy, so its possible the KMT would find itself in a proxy war with France via the VM.
     
  6. VictorLaszlo Well-Known Member

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    Would a KMT-ruled China attempt to develop its' own (thermo-)nuclear warheads and launch vehicles for them the way the PRC did?
     
  7. NiGHTS SEELE-14

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    Maybe not have the Communist elements split from the KMT in the first place.
     
  8. Richard V Well-Known Member

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    MacArthur said if the Chinese had a division or two at the Pusan perimeter it would’ve been all over. But Truman deployed troops to Korea only because he was getting blamed for losing China and the domino theory said Communism was on the march and had to be stopped. This would not be the case here.

    I agree.

    The KMT would like to do that but given the civil war at home I doubt they could do more than back a pro-China government. There would be potential conflict between China and France but Washington was not supportive of the French returning to Indochina as its colonial master. This changed of course with Communist victory in China. FDR had proposed to have ROC police Indochina as America’s deputy in the region. Don’t know how that would’ve actually worked with Truman though.
     
  9. NiGHTS SEELE-14

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    Strange, I heard that Chiang Kai-Shek was once offered a protectorate over Indochina by FDR, but he refused.
     
  10. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    In 1945 the Chinese wasted no time sending a army to occupy Hanoi. They left in 1946 under threats and pressure from the US and France.
     
  11. NiGHTS SEELE-14

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    Sources?
     
  12. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    As a contribution to Japanese disarmament IIRC.
     
  13. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    From my shelf...

    :Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances FitzGerald; has a description of this event it its preface chapters. I last read that one in the 1980s. Do remember a description of claims the Chinese systematically looted Hanoi when they had to evacuate. The hotel/s used as HQ had the water and electric fixtures stripped. At least thats what French & Vietnamese witnesses claimed.

    More recently there is mention by a US Army intelligence officer, Major Defourneux, in his auto biography :The Winking Fox: Twenty-two Year in Military Intelligence. He describes his observations of the KMT forces occupying the Red River Basin, from his PoV as member of a OSS Team. 1. They were systematically stripping the country side. 2. They had little interest in dealing with the Japanese, but were very interested if the French were to return. 3. Refused to provide transport to send US soldiers from a PoW camp back to China to a US base there. The Japanese Army provided transport at the US teams orders.
     
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  14. phrynolatry Well-Known Member

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    A poorer, weaker China is what I assume.
     
  15. Thisisnotausername Well-Known Member

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    While the wealthy coastal provinces might see GDPs per capita on par with those of OTL Taiwan, I do not think this performance can be reasonably extrapolated to apply to the inland provinces, which are significantly poorer.
     
  16. Simon Thread Killer Extraordinaire

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    Well the Korean War wouldn't occur – as others have noted Stalin only gave his blessing to Kim provided that Mao also backed the project. All of which seems pretty in character for Stalin as he was an arch-opportunist but only if he had an excuse/plausible deniability. This is going to have a major effect on Japan as IIRC a large part of their early post-WWII re-industrialisation was started/boosted thanks to American contracts to help support operations in Korea.
     
  17. bernardz Well-Known Member

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    It certainly a valid point if you look at this chart
    https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/posts/annualurbandisposableincomemap.jpg

    Most of the population is in the area of high GDPs per capita plus the relational variations although are very high about -/+ 50% do not change the overall argument. China GDP here would still as a first level approximation would be massive in this ATL and quite likely be the largest in the world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  18. ShadowSpeaker Well-Known Member

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    Taiwan was primed for their export oriented industrialization. Taiwan post 1945 was more developed than China. Taiwan had way better infrastructure, higher industrial output, higher urbanization, higher literacy rates, a more educated population, established socio-political institutions, partial land reform where the colonial government took land way from the elites, and most importantly, it was undamaged from the war. The Japanese acquired Taiwan as their first colony and had intended to keep the island for the long term so a lot of development work was undertaken. Japan did the heavy lifting to bake the cake. The KMT put the icing on the cake and ensured it didn't fall on the floor. The KMT completed land reform by distributing land under government control to the farmers and growing the economy (off the Japanese built base). In Taiwan, there was no opposing force like the Communists and a lot of corrupt elements within the KMT lost their powerbase. The corruption they could get away with in China was not possible in Taiwan. This helped the KMT shed their corruption. Of course, Chiang tackling corruption on Taiwan was also a factor, but a secondary one. The KMT in Taiwan eventually became a much more credible administration in better shape to carry out development.

    China post 1945 was battered by war. Whatever progress the country was experiencing prior to 1937 was reduced to rubble and the KMT would have to start at a level below zero. China was mainly agrarian, full of uneducated peasants that outnumbered the more educated elites. Shanghai and Nanking were industrialized but not to the level of North America, Europe, Japan, and Taiwan. There were some industries located in Chungking, Canton, Taiyuan, Yangtze, etc but China did not have a true industrial base post 1945. China also did not have taiwan level infrastructure post world war 2. Taiwan was modern and more advanced than anywhere in China. Corruption in post war China was more intense than anything the KMT had experienced in Taiwan in OTL. Before the Japanese invasion, there was corruption at all levels of the KMT. After the war, it was much worse. The KMT will face more difficulties trying to stabilize China post war and bring corruption under control.

    Conclusion: Its much easier to manage a stable island with around 10 million than an unstable war ridden landmass of 400 million - 500 million. KMT China will be nothing like Taiwan.
     
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  19. bernardz Well-Known Member

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    I sort of agree with you but also disagree. Taiwan was even as late as the mid 1950s was an economic basket case. South Korea after the Korean war was a mess far bigger in rubble then Red China.

    If you look at this graph
    https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeau..._per_capita_of_north_korea_south_korea_japan/
    what you will see is that Red China is the exception. The other governments have also a history of corruption, bad administration and major military expenditure but each of them was producing major economic growth. Red China is an outlier and I suggest that much of it was due to bad economic decisions and controls made by the communist.

    So under the KMT, without the one-child policy, China has a bigger population and it has per head a richer population = A much larger GDP then NOW.
     
  20. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    As it has been noted earlier, a Nationalist China will very likely be missing a significant chunk of Northern and Western China as well, unless you wish away the end of WW2 as it happened.
    Further, there is that pesky question about what happens to Tibet under this supposing?
    Finally, what is it about having mega/maximum populations that makes the concept get so often brought up on AH? Has no one considered the multiple downsides, and in this specific case why the Chinese did implement the one child policy to begin with?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019