What if Nationalist China won the Chinese Civil War?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Dirk_Pitt, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Dirk_Pitt Banned

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    What would the Cold War look like? What would Present Day look like?



    Please note that I do not care about the PoD. Go crazy!
     
  2. AudieSiswanto Legendary.

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    A OTL-USA-esque china
     
  3. Color-Copycat Well-Known Member

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    I think it'd actually look more like Pakistan. They'd be a very shifty US ally with a lot of discontent in the frontier provinces, an inept and very corrupt central government, and not unwilling to play both sides against the middle.
     
  4. M. Adolphe Thiers Well-Known Member

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    This, or a Super-Philippines.
     
  5. aktarian illegal in 20 states

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    Communists would remain a problem. With Soviet Union next door and long border there are lot of ways for them to get support. There would be constant low-level insurgency which would result in China having to spend money on cobating it and security trying to eradicate comunists. all of which would lead to strenghtening right wing policies and very likely to abuses which would in turn give comunists recruiting tool.
     
  6. Mr. Basha Member

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    I say that without the crazy Mao years, by now it would already be a superpower. The USSR would probably have gotten a lot of help from the US in an effort to contain China, and would not have been allowed to collapse.
     
  7. Color-Copycat Well-Known Member

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    Say what you want about the CCP's blunders during the Great Leap Forward, but after Mao was out of the picture, they were able to enact very effective top-down initiatives and see that economic/infrastructure programs were carried out to the letter. The sheer incompetence and corruption innate to the KMT would preclude such possibilities under their governance, so IMO the standard of living and economic vitality of a Nationalist China would be significantly lower than that of OTL's PRC. The KMT would see little interest in developing the interior of the country or tying it together with better roads and railways, instead focusing on attracting foreign investment to the coastal cities and industrial hubs.
     
  8. Orry Servant of the Lord of Mann Donor

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    Korean war would have ended in a UN win with no chinese volunteers coming south.

    South Vietnam would probably still exist with far less support for the North. Laos and Cambodia may have remained democracies - best case they are more Asian Tiger ecconomies - worst case either current or recently ex-military dictatorships like Burma.

    China would still be pushing its claims to territory in the south seas - possibly more agressively.
     
  9. WhatIsAUserName Professional Catatonic

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    * I would take a middle path and say that a Nationalist China would be probably better than today's Communist China, but probably not as strong as it could be. I definitely think people don't realize how much the Communists held back China's potential. On the other hand, there might be some areas where the Communists fared better. I can't imagine the Nationalists developing a nuclear program as quick as the Communists did, and I have no delusions that the Nationalists would have cracked down on organized crime to the extent that the Communists did in the early years of the PRC.

    However, the Nationalists are less likely to pull off the egregious violations of human life and liberty that the Communists did. I can imagine the GMD massacring students or protestors, White Terror-style (the way they did in Shanghai or Taiwan), but there's not going to be a Cultural Revolution-style social conflict. Also, there's not going to be a Great Leap Forward or a One-Child Policy. Corruption will be quite bad still, but I don't think anybody can say for certain that it would have been worse than today's PRC or CCP. It's also a lot more easy to imagine the Nationalists doing basic democratic stuff like elections eventually, so I would imagine that similar to China post-Mao, there will be a liberalizing element after the death of Jiang. Of course, this will probably wait until after Jiang's death, so while a democratic China is more likely under the Nationalists than the Communists, it seems like it won't happen until the 70s or even later.

    In terms of foreign policy, I think a lot depends on the fate of the Communists. If Jiang Jieshi sees them lurking in every shadow, and blames the Soviet Union, we could see colder relations between the ROC and the USSR. On the other hand, frustrating American planners was one of Jiang's hobbies, so I could see him adopting a stance that's more neutral than the USA hopes. I don't imagine a reverse of the Sino-Soviet split (as in, the ROC decides to have better relations with the USSR than the USA) though. In terms of borders, I can imagine corrupt warlords carving out their own fiefdoms on, say, the China-Burma border or the China-Laos border, but I'm not convinced it would be ethnic in nature, and there would probably be a large portion of Han Chinese involved too.

    Speaking of Taiwan, I could imagine things being better for the island, if the GMD feels more secure and less paranoid. I could also see things being as bad as they were historically, but I can't imagine they would be worse if the Nationalists won.

    In conclusion, a Nationalist China probably leads to earlier industrialization and democracy, but probably not that much earlier, so China is better than it is today, but not a superpower.

    Building up coastal cities and industry is very much like what the Communists did historically (post-Mao), and is very much what China needed. I'm not sure why the Nationalists wouldn't build up roads and railroads after the war, given how they did some of it before the civil war too.
     
  10. The Oncoming Storm Well-Known Member

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    But would there even have been a a War?

    As others have said it would have been either a poorer, more repressive version of India or a richer less oppressive version of Burma. The KMT was affected by monumental levels of corruption and would have struggled to address the grievances of the population particularly the peasants. China would have been spared the worst Maoist insanity but in many areas it would be way behind its OTL state.
     
  11. Color-Copycat Well-Known Member

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    Do you think China might've joined India at the forefront of the Non-Aligned Movement? It seems like it'd suit the KMT's pre-Second Sino Japanese War foreign policy rather well.
     
  12. The Ubbergeek Insane internet demigod (TN)

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    It is possible a Nationalist China could have looked honestly like Franco Spain, and some less savory latin american states....
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  13. Corbell Mark IV Well-Known Member

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    I think we could trust the Soviets to antagonize the Chinese. After all OTL they couldn't avoid a shooting war with Communist China, why do we think that they would get along with a Capitalist China?

    I agree with slightly earlier industrialization and democracy sometime in the 70s. This IMO would drawn some of the oxygen away from Japan and South Korea.

    Also without one child policy, This ATL China would be even more populous, but without the gender imbalance.

    Cold War would be a lot less scary with China an ally. Much less chance of the Big Contingency with the Soviets having to worry about a two front war.

    US trade balance might actually be better if this CHina is more reasonable in trade policy and/or if the US is less concerned about keeping them out of the Soviet bloc.

    Environmental policy would almost certainly be better than OTL.
     
  14. WhatIsAUserName Professional Catatonic

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    I'm not sure why an alternate 2012 Nationalist China would be poorer than today's India. The only way that would be possible is if China stuck to socialist autarky policies that would be almost as bad as Maoist policies. (License Mandarinate, anybody?) The Nationalists weren't that hostile to trade and liberalization.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  15. WhatIsAUserName Professional Catatonic

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    Well, for one thing, the ROC wouldn't antagonize the Soviets by claiming to be the true defenders of Communism, or anything like that. That had provoked a lot of tension, historically.
     
  16. Corbell Mark IV Well-Known Member

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    Would Vietnam even had split without support from Communist China?
     
  17. RGB Unqueering the Academia

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    The Soviets preferred the KMT right up until the moment they gave up Manchuria. There's no particular reason for them to be antagonistic to China if China is not mucking around discrediting them in the Communist internationals and not actively attacking (which is what happened OTL).

    So a shooting war: not only not necessarily, but also unlikely.

    Taiwan despite being far more manageable and having a good deal of investment managed neither in any respectable amount until the late 80s.

    There's no particular reason why KMT China would be any more of a military ally than Mao's China. They might not have to be contained, but they would still push their weight around in what the USA sees as their sphere, and they wouldn't want to fight the USSR if they had an ounce of sense in that respect.

    Also, people really really underestimate how bad the KMT government was early on, and just who made it into that government due to necessity. The most immediate outcome of a KMT victory is probably several fresh rounds of purges and executions and witch-hunts on the scale of all-of-China running into the 50s or beyond.

    Not maybe as bad as Mao's purges, but with much greater potential of actual armed rebellion.

    They also seem to underestimate how horrible Nationalist minority policies were, and would likely remain. This will give opportunities for all sorts of people to meddle in it pretty heavily.

    Finally, early industrialisation (very possible, at least for lighter industry) isn't actually good for "environmental record". Today's China uses outdated polluting technology. Back in the 50/60s, that would have been state of the art/way of the future, and it will never have America's resources to clean up the unspeakable mess afterwards. Having a larger population (also possible) is likewise never good for the environment.
     
  18. Corbell Mark IV Well-Known Member

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    THere are still territory disputes, and the Soviets just seemed to antagonize all their neighbors. Finland, all of NATO, Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan. Maybe not North Korea. Or should we consider North Korea part of their empire, and SOuth Korea another antagonized neighbor? Japan of course. And of course the USA.





    My impression was that Taiwan was doing quite well economically in the 70s. Yes, democracy came later.



    The Soviets would be building up forces for challenging the US in the Pacific. This would be a threat to China. China is going to want trade. Who makes better trading partners, the rich West, or Communist Soviet Union?

    Would the Soviets be able to resist meddling? Probably not. Thus more motivation to see the Soviets as the Enemy.


    I wasn't aware the Communists were really that touchy feely with their minorities.

    Democracy allows the people affected by negative environmental affects to try to affect change. And a wealthier nation would have more resources to address such problems.

    NOt so sure about population being that decisive. I assume, for example that SOuth Korea has a much nicer environment that a much less densely populated North Korea. Does anyone actually know if that is true?
     
  19. 33k7 Well-Known Member

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    There are still two chinas Communist China in Manchuria North Korea does not invade South Korea too dangerous

    China will be more pro-US than pro-Soviet basically a reverse with our China are China's more pro-Russian than US but would still like to see us both die

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  20. Orry Servant of the Lord of Mann Donor

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    Ho would still have been fighting for independence and would still have been stronger in the North than in the South. Given the level of corruption in the KMT if the Russians wanted to support a communist ally I would have thought it was possible - just like in Korea. If 'Best' Korea goes down Ho becomes the Russians best bet for an ally in the area.

    The Americans would have been less worried about Communism in the Far East but still would have wanted to contain communism as OTL so would favour a four state solution* rather than all Indo China going red.....

    * North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambaodia.