During the Chinese civil war, most of the citizens of the country were poor. The nationalistic government had treated the citizens poorly and there was little opportunity for the people. However, the communist party came with the slogan that promised to change the fate of the people. The communist promised people there would be land reforms and people would be given the power to choose their destiny (Lew 2009). The promise by the communist was received positively by the population who wanted to see a change in their country. The strong support from the population was therefore critical in ensuring the communist won the war
The availability of arms from the Soviets was also essential in ensuring the communist won the war. The Soviets were the second strongest army in 1949 and their technical support played a key role in ensuring the win. Although the United States helped the nationalist in some way, the American government was not as enthusiastic in their support like the Soviets. Additionally, it was much easier to supply arms from the USSR than from the US because of the geographical barriers.
The nationalist government was also to blame for losing the civil war. The regime was corrupt and cared only for its business interests. The government officials were also incompetent and the people hated the tax collectors who were harsh and ruthless. Although people were forced to pay taxes, the citizens could not see any developments that were done by the government apart from enriching itself (Dreyer 2014). An increase in the food prices, unemployment, heavy taxes and huge government debts made people lose trust in the government. Chiangs decision to go to war against the communist meant that tax money was spent on war efforts rather than the needs of the people. Most of the people did not agree with the decision and this led to mass protest and the loss of popular support.
Poor leadership in the military was also another cause that led to the victory of the communist. Although Chiang had a bigger army compared to Mao, the military lacked an efficient leader. Instead of having a central command, Chiangs army was commanded by different independent generals (Dikotter 2013). The generals sometimes competed among themselves for food and ammunition. The corruption among senior military officers was also rampant with some people selling supplies meant for the troops. The supply system to the military was also unreliable, inadequate and had been crippled by the corrupt official. The corruption in the army led to a drop in the morale among army officers. It was also hard to resist the communist army since the corrupt officers in the nationalist army had sold the supply needed to defend their posts.
The poor leadership within Chiang army meant that soldiers were poorly treated and trained. There was, therefore, a decline in the number of people that were volunteering to join the army. Generals were also harsh and treated they, junior officers, cruelly. The poor working conditions led to soldiers deserting their posts and joining Maos army (Chassin 1966). The communist party was also efficient in its propaganda. When they took over a city or village, they would aim at winning the support of the peasants by forcing the landlords to confess their mistakes. The propaganda was efficient as it ensured the communist army won the support of the peasant. Mao made the people believe the war was between the oppressor and the oppressed.
Chassin, Lionel M. The Communist Conquest of China: a History of the Civil War, 1945-1949. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966.
Dikotter, Frank. The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1957. 2013.
Dreyer, Edward. China at War 1901-1949. Longman, 2014.
Lew, Christopher R. The Third Chinese Revolutionary Civil War, 1945-49: An Analysis of Communist Strategy and Leadership. Routledge, 2009.
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