Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Red China (1949)
On October 1st, 1949, the People’s Republic of China, or “Red China”, became formally established. Having the government headed by Zhou Enlai and the party being under Mao Zedong’s chairmanship, it was declared a socialist republic made up of four social classes. These classes, the workers, peasants, petite bourgeoisie, and national-capitalists made up a membership of approximately of 4.5 million people. By October 2nd, 1949, the republic had been recognized by the Soviet Union, and in February of 1950, China and the Soviet Union signed a Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance. This was the first time in decades that the Chinese Government had been met with peace instead of opposition within its territory. Having a highly disciplined government, the first year of Communist administration resulted in relatively effective social, economic, and political policies. The reconstruction accomplished gained widespread support and political and social stability, and by 1950 international recognition had greatly increased. However, during the Korean war, China sensed a threat to the industrial areas within their country, and responded to a North Korean request for aid by crossing the YaluJiang River into North Korea. In 1951, the U.N. declared China to be an aggressor in Korea and endorsed a worldwide embargo on the shipping of weaponry and war material into the country. For the time being, this paused the possibility Red China replacing the Nationalist China as a member of the U.N. and as a veto-holding member of the U.N. Security Council. As the war progressed, Chinese domestic policies were surrendered to massive campaigns against those believed to be enemies of the republic (i.e. war criminals, traitors, counterrevolutionaries, etc.). A series of reforms regarding land, class struggles, and ideology followed, and behind them came the san fan and wu fan movements of 1951 and 1952. Both the san fan and wu fan movements claimed to fight evil, corruption, incompetence within government, etc. however, the real aim was to shave off the useless, undisciplined and beaurocratic factors within society to develop a well-organized, intelligent, and productive state. These successive, punitive, campaigns affected millions nationwide, finally coming to a close at the end of 1952.