Why the communists won the Chinese Civil War.

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Mao Tsu-tung formally announced the establishment of The People's Republic of China in the Autumn of 1949 following five years of bloody civil war against Chiang Kaishek's nationalist government the Kuomintang. In trying to understand why the Communists were victorious over a more than considerable opponent it is necessary to look to the years preceding the civil war (1945-1949) itself and at the conditions that prevailed in China.

It is reasonably clear that the communists enjoyed much wider support from the peasantry than did the Kuomintang. A chief reason for this would be the policy of agrarian reform that Mao advocated and instituted in areas that came under communist influence from the inception of the 'soviet bases' back in 1929-30 until the end of the civil war in 1949.

The Mao-Chu strategy was formed following the split of the coalition and as a response to the near decimation of the communists by Chiang Kaishek's army in 1927.

The strategy required a revolutionary army, and in light of the far superior strength of the Kuomintang and warlord armies, promoted that the Red Army should rely on guerrilla tactics in opposition. Given that "Guerrilla Warfare requires the cooperation and assistance of the population among whom the guerrillas operate" . Mao, having faith in the revolutionary potential of the peasantry, proposed that the communists would be able to secure a rural support base by way of policies such as land redistribution that addressed the needs and desires of the peasantry. Within that base then, the revenues and materials needed for the army could be maintained whilst preparations could be made to expand their territories in contest to the nationalist government. Having provided some peasant populations with what was essentially good government, that included socio-economic policies such as tax reform, interest reductions and...