way emperors were treated in history. Personal rule, rather than rule by law, characterized both parties. The mutual exclusion of the two parties led to the Nationalists' incessant hunt-downs of the Communists from 1927 to 1935, forcing the Communists eventually to abandon their base in the mountains of southeastern China and retreat for 6,000 miles across half of China in 1934-35, via Tibet, crossing marshlands and snow capped mountains, to Yenan in Shaanxi Province in northwestern China, where the Nationalists' defense was relatively weak. This event was called the Long March. In Yenan and later on, the Communists relied on the peasants and conducted land redistribution and rent reduction to amass greater support among the local population.
Meanwhile, the Nationalist Party government, bolstered by American support and relying on middle class/professionals/landlords in China, slowly conducted modern reforms in education, hygiene, and some more or less insignificant areas. In Nationalist controlled regions, the government favored the landlords and so the peasants were loaded with high rents and taxes. The Chinese war against Japanese invasion (Sino-Japanese war, 1937-45) shifted the balance between the Communists, who rapidly expanded their territories and recovered from their losses from 1935 by 1945, and the Nationalists, who suffered great losses through the regular warfare they conducted with the Japanese. After Japanese surrender in 1945, civil war erupted between the KMT and the CCP, and the CCP's land redistribution program won the hearts of the peasants, who comprised 90 per cent of the Chinese population. After CCP takeover of China, the Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established the Republic of China there, vowing to recover mainland China soon. The Communists established their one-party government in Beijing, called the People's Republic of China, and vowed to recover Taiwan Province from the Nationalists. Their confrontations in recent years have somewhat been abated by the extensive trade developed between them in the past 20 years, but tension still exists.
12. The Alliance of the CCP and the Nationalist Party, and the Northern Expedition
During the time when Yuan was president and emperor, Sun Yat-sen's Nationalist Party members were on the wanted list for Yuan's government. Sun retreated to Canton, and "rented" his base from a local warlord called Chen Jiongming whose goal was to establish the autonomy of Canton from the Beijing government. When Chen eventually found that Sun did not agree with him, Chen would attack Sun in 1922. In his weak position, Sun championed a policy of uniting with the Communists and the Soviet Union in 1923. Sun died in 1925 and his successor, a man called Chiang Kai-shek, continued the alliance with the Chinese Communists.
One of the outcomes of the alliance was a modern military academy established in Whampoa, Guangdong (Canton) Province. The Whampoa Academy trained numerous future Chinese military generals, both Nationalists and Communists. Chiang Kai-shek was the academy’s president, while Zhou Enlai, a Communist leader, following the Soviet style, was its political commissar.
In 1926, the Nationalists and the Communists were determined to end warlord rule and reunify China through a northward (or Northern) expedition from Canton. After they reached Shanghai, about half way through China, they parted ways. Chiang Kai-shek,