China's Republic (New Approaches to Asian History)
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Twenty-first century China is emerging from decades of war and revolution into a new era. Yet the past still haunts the present. The ideals of the Chinese Republic, which was founded almost a century ago after 2000 years of imperial rule, still resonate as modern China edges towards openness and democracy. Diana Lary traces the history of the Republic from its beginnings in 1912, through the Nanjing decade, the warlord era, and the civil war with the Peoples' Liberation Army which ended in defeat in 1949. Thereafter, in an unusual excursion from traditional histories of the period, she considers how the Republic survived on in Taiwan, comparing its ongoing prosperity with the economic and social decline of the Communist mainland in the Mao years. This introductory textbook for students and general readers is enhanced with biographies of key protagonists, Chinese proverbs, love stories, poetry and a feast of illustrations.
came to an end. China was in trouble, but the concept had no meaning there; years were counted on the dynastic system, which restarted counting with the beginning of each emperor’s rule and did not recognize decades or centuries. The end of a century or not, in the second half of the 1890s the recognition of the need for sweeping change was gaining hold, however difficult this seemed to accomplish. Decline of empire, dream of a republic: 1890s–1911 21 Change was so difficult to contemplate
it must be united; when it has been united for a long time, it will be divided.” Source: Sanguo yanyi Warlord rule is generally considered the worst thing that can happen in the Chinese polity. The belief is based on the Confucian fear of chaos ( luan), a fear that exerts heavy pressure on the state, the community, and the family. Warlordism in the early Republic did create instability, anxiety, tension, and 45 46 China’s Republic The five-barred flag The first flag of the Chinese Republic,
alleviated by government relief. The famine of 1942–3 started with a drought in the spring and summer of 1942, which caused widespread crop failures. This time there was no relief. The province lay across the front line between the Chinese and the Japanese, and neither side was willing or able to mount a relief operation. The people were left defenseless; in the end, of the roughly 30 million people in Henan before the famine, 2 to 3 million fled and another 2 to 3 million died of hunger and
Hyperinflation on its own would have been enough to damage any modern economy severely, but it was too much for a battered one. There was a complete loss of confidence 6 The spiky relationship between the Soviet Union and China after 1949 was partially influenced by Chinese resentment over Soviet postwar behavior. The Civil War – the most vicious conflict: 1946–9 161 in the modern, monetary economy. Only the US dollar inspired confidence, and the progress of the hyperinflation was measured
Napoleonic and Nazi armies in Russia, the CCP made continuous advances, and much of Manchuria passed into CCP control. By the end of the winter the surviving GMD forces were marooned in a few cities, with the only access to or exit from them, for senior officers, in small planes. The GMD forces had been outmaneuvered by the topography, the climate, and the ability of the CCP commanders, chief of whom was Lin Biao. The war in Manchuria was watched from afar by the rest of China. The gradual