13. In spite of the fact that Chiang Kai Shek had extensive support from the USeach time the Nationalists failed against the Japanese, their prestige among their fellow Chinese diminished. Itwasn‛t helped by Nationalist Corruptionor their collecting onerous taxes from Chinese peasants, or stories about Nationalist troops putting on civilian clothes and abandoning the city of Nanking during its awful destruction by the Japanese army in 1937. 14. Meanwhile, the Communists were winning over the peasants in their northwestern enclave by making sure that troops didn‛t pillage local land and by giving peasants a greater say in local government. 15. In a preview of things to come, in 1942 Mao initiated a “rectification” program. Which basically meant students and intellectuals were sent down into the countrysideto give them a taste of what “real China” was like in an effort to re-educate them. 16. Within fouryears of the end of World War II the Communists routed Chiang Kai Shek‛s armies and sent them off to Taiwan and these military victories paved the way for Mao to declare the People’s republic of China on October 1, 1949.