Why Did the Communists Win the Chinese Civil War?

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Why did the communists win the Chinese civil war? On October 1st, 1949, Mao Zedong declared The People’s Republic of China from Tiananmen, the gate to the Forbidden City, thus announcing the victory of the Chinese Communist Party over the Guómíndǎng, the Nationalists. The violence between the two parties had began in 1927, and had included short periods of strained collaboration, before the conflict became critical between 1925 and 1929. Due to the initial military and political dominance of the ruling GMD, Communist victory was not a foregone conclusion. In spite of this, the CCP managed to secure victory due to a combination of their strengths and their opposition’s shortcomings. A principal reason for the success of the CCP was due to their political competence, and the consequent trust this inspired in the people of China. Whilst the GMD had a reputation of unreliability and false promises, the CCP were trusted to implement their promised policies and correct any mistakes should they arise. Consequently, the people trusted the CCP when they stated that their utmost objective was to establish communism in China. Furthermore, their promise that there would be a place in their envisioned New Democratic society for peasants and proletariats, as well as capitalist and intellectuals, appealed to the population en masse. Moreover, the CCP demonstrated that they were willing and able to be flexible in order to achieve their objectives. In 1947 the the Party’s ideology towards maximizing industrial output and allying themselves with as much of the population as possible. This involved liaison and comprise with private enterprise and intellectuals, despite ideological incompatibility. According to Pepper, this political move was key to the victory of the communists and “provided the basis of the successful urban takeover in 1949”. Furthermore, the communists
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