practice which lasts until the day From 1931 to 1934, the CCP established a de facto government in Jiangxi, the “Jiangxi Soviet” One of the most important policies during this era was land reform (forced redistribution), which mobilized peasants and won support for the CCP o This Jiangxi government did not last very long. The KMTs “Exterminate the Bandits” campaign (which epitomized an era during which the KMT treated the
CCP as the more potent threat than Japan, which had begun encroaching on Chinese territory in 1931) o At this period of time, the CCP was still heavily influenced by, supported by and subservient to the Comintern o One of the military officers which was sent by Moscow to help China’s communist revolution was Otto Braun o Braun did not understand China—he believed in conventional warfare and the occupation of big cities This did not work. The CCP lost all conventional battles with the KMT, leading to the retreat into the mountains By the end of the KMT’s campaign in 1934, the CCP realized it was longer able to sustain its Jiangxi base They decided to go west to the more sparsely populated and mountainous region of China but then realized that there was not a base of poor peasants they could mobilize, so they moved north and ended up in Yan’an, Shaanxi. During this “Long March,” they lost 95% of the CCP army The Long March became the ultimate test of loyalty (it was also entrenched in the mythology of the Communist Party in China) o In the early part of the Long March, a meeting took place in Guizhou—the “Zunyi Conference” (1935) where the CCP leadership discussed military tactics o They realized that Braun’s traditional military tactics did not work in China o It was here that Mao Zedong’s affinity for rural-based guerilla tactics (run, fight and repeat) was recognized and validated o This established Mao as the military leader of the CCP and marked the beginning of Mao’s ascension to power o Mao Zedong Born to a rich peasant family in Hunan province Family was relatively well-off and he was well-educated as a result In his early 20s, he travelled to Beijing and approached professors at Peking University including Li Dazhao. He became a Marxist. Through his connection with Li Dazhao, he attended the first CCP conference, though he was but a rank-in-file member Over time, he was able to show his talent as a military leader Championed guerilla warfare and focus on the countryside both as a place to hide and a place to mobilize support (from rural peasants) o CCP: The Yan’an Period (1935-1949) For over a decade, the CCP set up operations in Yan’an During this time, the CCP was very far from the center of KMT power and were able to recover and grow
Zhou Enlai was the second in command under Mao and concerned himself more with details and pragmatics to the idealism and grand strategy of Mao During the Yan’an Period, the CCP collaborated with the KMT for a short period of time in the Sino-Japanese War, although the CCP was not really
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