Brief Introduction to the Social Environment and Development after the Victory of the War of Resistance against Japan (1945-1949)
In 1945, the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China celebrated the victory in the War of Resistance against Japan. The Nationalist Government made great contributions to the world and also led China to step forward, including recovering lost territories Taiwan and Northeast China, abolishing unequal treaties, achieving the goal of nationalism set by earlier revolutionists of National Revolution, participating the establishment of the United Nations, building China as one of top five powers in the world, and helping neighboring Asian countries such as Korea, India, Burma, or Vietnam to end colonialism and be independent. However, the Nationalist Government still confronted other big and serious challenges.
1. One of serious challenges was the popularity of communism among intellectuals in the world. Communism influenced China a lot and was young people’s ideal to save this country. At the same time, the United States and the Soviet Union competed with each other for the world’s top power. Asia also got involved in and was influenced by their competition. In February 1945, six months before the victory in the War of Resistance against Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union secretly sacrificed China’s benefit at the Yalta Conference in order to win the USSR’s alliance during WWII. In August, the Soviet Union declared war against Japan and occupied Northeast China. The commencement of invasion was six days before the surrender of Japan was officially announced.
2. The relationship between Kuomintang and Communist Party of China was the most urgent issue for the Nationalist Government after the end of the War of Resistance against Japan. Previously in the Xian Incident of December 1936, power of the Communist Party of China was weak since they had only 20,000-strong army and controlled about 10 counties in Northern Shaanxi. However, in the following eight years, when the Nationalist Government concentrated on fighting against Japan, the Communist Party of China grasped the great opportunity to develop and strengthen their power and influence. Till 1945, their army had grown rapidly into a strong army with 1,270,000 soldiers, and they controlled at least 30% land and population in China, including most of lands of Shangdong, Shanxi, Hebei, and Chahar provinces, and also some parts of Jiangsu, Henan and Shaanxi provinces. In those areas, the Communist Party of China established their local governments, issued currency and controlled local resources and manpower. They were no longer bothered by problems of shortage of manpower and food supply. On the contrary, the Nationalist Government still focused on fields of southwest and northwest China for further fight against Japan, and therefore, neglected the governance of their ruling provinces. Unexpectedly, the victory came, and the war ended. Even though the Nationalist Government owned more than 5,000,000 soldiers, they could not effectively control their ruling areas. Besides, since the system of administration concerning residents and residency was not sound, there was a difficulty in recruiting army or asking for food donation from residents.
3. Due to the long war against Japan, the finance of the Nationalist Government was difficult. For example, soldiers could not be paid on time. Moreover, the salary of a basic soldier was 50 dollars of fiat money which could only afford a pair of straw sandals. At that time, a pair of cloth shoes cost 350 dollars of fiat money which was equal to salaries of seven months. After 1945, the Communist Party of China occupied more and more areas in China. Thus, the Nationalist Government’s taxed areas became smaller and smaller and resulted in the condition of bad finance. If there were not the American Aid, the Nationalist Government could only issue more notes which must result in serious inflation and could not pass the hard time.