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Two Republics in China

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 楼主| 发表于 12/6/2019 08:42:53 | 显示全部楼层
The battles of 100 regiments of the Communist Party
In the Anti-Japanese War, most battles were waged between the Japanese army and the army of the national government. The Communist Party, though having their own army, did their best to shun any major fights with Japan so that they would still have enough forces to fight Chiang Kai-shek after the Anti-Japanese War; this way, they could seize power and rule China.
That was why Mao Zedong thanked the first Japanese delegation when they came to China for saving the Communist Party, and himself too, from the destruction Chiang might have inflicted on them, if Japan hadn’t invaded China. Mao graciously gave up the right to war indemnities from Japan, regardless of the demands of the Chinese people for some compensation for their extraordinary losses.
Anyway, at that time, Japan also wanted to occupy the territory the Communist Party possessed. So warfare did break out at last between the Japanese army and the army of the Communist Party, from the 20th of August to the 10th of September, 1940, in the first stage. The Japanese army was 300,000 strong, while the Communist Party had gathered 105 regiments. They called this the “100 regiments battles.” Their commander-in-chief was Peng Dehuai. At that time, the Red Army changed their name to the 8th Route army, included in the military system of the national government. Their aim was to damage the railroads so that the Japanese army could not get supplies by train. They attacked Zhengtai railway, Tongpu railway, Pinghan railway, and Jinpu railway, especially Zhengtai railway, the main route for the traffic of the Japanese army. Japan in the northern China didn’t have so many soldiers to guard every inch of the rails and as a result, all the four railways did not function any more after the attacks.
From the 22nd of September to the 10th of October, for the second stage, the 8th Route Army attacked some important strategic spots controlled by Japan. At 8:00PM that day, the 8th Route Army began to attack the Lailing area and took some Japanese front fortresses round Laiyuan Town, but they could not break through the defense of the town itself because they did not have effective weapons for that kind of attack. On September 23, they stopped besieging the town and changed their stratagem to first seize the defensive spots outside the town.
 楼主| 发表于 12/8/2019 08:23:56 | 显示全部楼层
On September 25, they turned to attack the stronghold at Dongyuan. The Japanese army inside gave a robust resistance, even using poison gas. However, they were forced to withdraw to the central redout, which the 8th Route Army then surrounded. As the Japanese soldiers knew that they could never escape, they committed suicide by self immolating.
On September 28, 3,000 Japanese soldiers came as reinforcements. That changed the situation and it was no longer possible to attack the town and so the Chinese forces withdrew. On October 1, the Japanese army took back most of the places that the 8th Route Army had occupied. On October 7, the Japanese army at Lingqiu got some intelligence indicating that the 8th Route Army was planning to attack their position, and so the Japanese just headed out to meet the right wing detachment of the 8th Route Army and give them a trouncing. From the night of October 8 to dawn, the left wing detachment of the 8th Route Army took their chances now that the Japanese army had left their position; they took it over as well as other positions in the vicinity. But on October 10, the 8th Route Army learned that the Japanese army had gathered together and would clean out the area where the 8th Route Army was in place, so they withdrew from the combat. Thus ended another 18 days of warfare.
In this period, the 8th Route Army had suffered heavy casualties, more than the Japanese army had lost. After the combat, Mao Zedong criticized Peng Dehuai for losing so many soldiers. Mao’s intention was to keep his losses as low as possible so that he could fight Chiang Kai-shek after the Anti-Japanese War.
But during the Japanese army’s clean-up operation, the 8th Route Army always retreated to elude any fight with the Japanese army. They called this the mobile warfare strategy. So the Japanese army just vented their disappointment and wrath on the common Chinese people who had supported the 8th Route Army. Records show that on the 25th of January, 1941, when the Japanese army ran a clean-up operation without finding any 8th Route Army soldiers in the northern Hebei province, they just encircled a village called Panjiayu in the area of Fengrun Town and slaughtered 1,237 villagers and burned 1,000 houses there. The 8th Route Army had already escaped, deserting the villagers.
 楼主| 发表于 12/9/2019 09:04:11 | 显示全部楼层
The campaigns in northern Burma and western Yunnan province

In 1942, a detachment of the Chinese national government army went to Burma through Yunnan province to help fight the Japanese army, who had entered Burma through Thailand on the 4th of January, 1942, and occupied Rangoon (Yongon) on the 8th of March. Japan’s goal was first to cut off the supply line to China from western countries, and second to enter India in the future. The British army was in Burma at that time and fought the Japanese army. The Chinese detachment went to Burma to assist the British army and secure the supply lines.
The Chinese detachment went into Burma in 1942, but at first was defeated by the Japanese army. A section of it escaped to India and was trained there by US advisors, and the other section returned to the western Yunnan province. Both sections would attack the Japanese army in Burma when they were ready.
On October 24, 1943, the 112th regiment of the new 38th division began to attack the Japanese army and on October 29, took Shinbwinyang and entered Hukawng Valley. When the Japanese army there found the regiment, they surrounded it. In resistance, the regiment lived on Japanese bananas and on food delivered by air drops. The Japanese army could not break through their defense. On November 24, the new 38th division came to assist and on November 29, they took the position of the Japanese army, who lost round 1,000 soldiers.
 楼主| 发表于 12/11/2019 08:20:53 | 显示全部楼层
The campaign continued in January 1944, when the Japanese army receded into the valley and made their defensive line at Dalou and Tabajia. The Chinese new 38th division came to attack Tabajia, and the new 22nd division came to attack Dalou. At dawn on January 28, the American air force came to bombard the Japanese position at Dalou and the tanks of the new 22nd division ran through the Japanese defensive line. The new 22nd division took all the fortresses outside Dalou. On January 31,, Chinese tanks entered Dalou and crushed the Japanese headquarters. On that day, the new 38th division attacked Tabajia. The American air force raided the Japanese army there, who had to retreat. On the 1st of February, the new 38th division occupied Tabajia.
The Japanese army retreated to Mengguan and Walupan, 8 miles apart. They wanted to induce the Chinese army to attack Walupan so that another section of their army could attack from the back. The new 22nd division assaulted Mengguan with artillery and tanks. The new 38th division stationed at the left rear to protect its back. The Japanese section came to attack the new 22th division from behind, but was blocked by the new 38th division. As the new 22nd division attacked for a week and could not secure the place, the new 38th division sent its 113th regiment to attack Walupan to distract the attention of the Japanese army. On March 1, the American 5307 corps reached them and launched their onslaught. So the 22nd division broke through the Japanese defensive line. On the 4th of March, the new 22nd division took Mengguan. Now the Japanese army was surrounded in the narrow strip of Walupan. At noon of the 8th of March, the Chinese army and the American corps jointly attacked Walupan and took it on the 9th of March. Thus ended the campaign in this area.
 楼主| 发表于 12/13/2019 08:46:42 | 显示全部楼层
The campaigns in the western Hunan province

After the outbreak of the Pacific War, the US air force helped China to fight Japan. Towards the termination of the Sino–Japanese War, the Americans got the upper hand over the Japanese air force. American bombers raided important Japanese military bases, including airports. More than once, the American fighter planes engaged Japanese fighter planes in the air and gained victory. There was an airport for US airplanes at the Zhijiang in the western Hunan province. The goal of Japan at the start of this campaign in 1945 was to capture the airport. It was the last major battle in the Sino–Japanese War.
On April 9, 1945, the Japanese 47th military bloc and the 116th bloc started their onslaught at Lantian. The commander of the Chinese defensive 73rd army in that area estimated that the Japanese army had not finished pulling together its forces. And so he gave orders to launch a surprise attack. The Japanese 47th bloc suffered the blow, and later when it was ready, the 47th bloc began to cross the Zi River on April 14. The Chinese commander let the Japanese cross the river, but as most of the Japanese army was reaching the bank of this side of the river, the Chinese army struck them with artillery while American airplanes attacked those Japanese soldiers still on the boat. Many boats were sunken. The Japanese army had a heavy loss.
On April 28, the Japanese 116th bloc was surrounded by the Chinese army and signaled to the 47th bloc for rescue. When the 47th bloc arrived, they could not break the Chinese 73th army’s defense. On the 30th day, the Chinese army fought back and defeated the enemy, aided by air raids. The Japanese army had to retreat back to where they had come from. The battle ended in this district, but the warfare still continued in other districts.
On the 12th of April, the Japanese 34th bloc had attacked Xinning. A Chinese battalion under the 58th division of the 74th Army fought them for three days. Then as the Japanese reinforcements came, the battalion had to withdraw from Xinning, which was taken by the Japanese army. On April 21, 4,000 Japanese soldiers marched towards Meikou. On April 23, they began to cross the Wushui River. The Chinese 44th division waited there patiently till the first 200 Japanese soldiers set foot on the bank. Then they fell on them fiercely and slew them all. The Japanese kept on crossing, but had to stop under heavy cannon fire. On April 27, they turned to attack Wuyang, and after two days’ fighting, they took half of Wuyang. On April 29, the Chinese 44th division came and the Japanese army had to give up the attack and turn back to fight the 44th division, who soon put the Japanese army to rout.
 楼主| 发表于 12/15/2019 09:00:12 | 显示全部楼层
On April 27, another Japanese detachment attacked Wugan, which was an old town. The walls were very strong, because the bricks were stuck together using sticky rice cooked in water, which became glue. Many ancient tombs were also built this way to prevent them from being dug through. So when the Japanese cannon balls exploded and hit the walls, the shards did little damage to the walls. On May 1, the Japanese formed suicide squads, but the soldiers, who had not reached the wall yet, were killed by gunfire from the battlements. At last, some soldiers got to the wall and blew a hole in it with dynamite. However, the Chinese people, who helped their soldiers in the defense of the town, heaved bags filled with sand down on the spot and the hole was blocked by the sand bags. Then the Japanese army used long wooden siege ladders. But the Chinese army used flame throwers, provided to them by the United States, to burn the ladders. For seven days the Chinese soldiers, aided by civilians, kept the small ancient town safe and sound. The Japanese army was defeated by the Chinese reinforcements.
Other battles also took place in other districts in the western Hunan province. The whole campaign ended on June 2 with the failure of the Japanese army.
Failure or victory in war mostly depends on two factors: how strong are the forces and how wise are the strategies used. But oftentimes, using a very wise ruse, the weaker side can defeat the stronger and the few fighters can defeat greater forces.
 楼主| 发表于 12/16/2019 09:11:37 | 显示全部楼层
Building the Communist Ranks in YanAn

Gathering students

After the XiAn event at the end of 1936, the Central Committee of the Communist Party moved in January of 1937 to YanAn, a small backward town in the north of Shaanxi province. At that time, Chiang Kai-shek would not come to fight them anymore as they had an agreement. Therefore, the Communist Party was ready to gather lots of people with intelligence and talent, no matter young or middle aged. Their party members in big cities, where the most intelligent and talented people generally lived, adopted every possible means to allure such people, especially young students, to YanAn to serve the Communist Party. Young people were easier to entice than middle-aged ones. So many young people went to YanAn, thinking that they could be trained to fight the Japanese invaders. Most young people went there in 1937, 1938, and 1939. Later many of those who became communist cadres were those who had gone there in 1938. So ’38 cadres became a special name for those.
The Communist Party founded a so-called Anti-Japanese military and political university and some schools to mentally train the students to become communist cadres. Yue Shan, a student in Duize high school in Changsha city, recalled that one day in 1938, Xu Deli, a Communist Party member and a representative of Changsha bureau of the 8th Route Army, came to give a speech about the Japanese invasion and called on young people to go to YanAn. His speech was so touching that Yue Shan and some other students enrolled on the spot.
Duan Xuesheng, a Communist Party member and a writer, worked in Shandong province as a teacher, and propagandized to students about communism and instigated them to go to YanAn to take part in the revolution. In Suiyang province and inner Mongolian district, more than 100 young people were attracted to YanAn. In Peking, from May to August in 1938, 107 young people decided to go.
 楼主| 发表于 12/18/2019 09:08:41 | 显示全部楼层
The Central Committee of the Communist Party set up 8th Route Army bureaus in many towns and cities to enroll young people, especially students, to go to YanAn. Statistics showed that the bureau in Lanzhou of Gansu province sent 3,000 in the autumn of 1937. The bureau in Wuhan sent 880 from March to May in 1938. Chongqing sent 2,000. However, those who were permitted to go to YanAn had to have three interviews. Everyone had to produce a letter of recommendation from an organization established by the Communist Party in the place he or she lived. The last interview was held by the organization department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
The tide of young people flowing to YanAn caused concern in the National Party. Chiang Kai-shek ordered these young people to be detained. In Yanyang, 103 students were detained by the military police of the national government. After more than ten days, 40 students were carried away in a truck and others were still in custody. In November 1939, labor camps were set up to confine all the students on the way to YanAn. They were assailed with counter-propaganda and “mentally trained” until they expressed their loyalty to the national government, and then they were freed. By the end of 1940, 1,167 students had been detained in the labor camps. From 1939 to 1943, 2,100 students were taken into custody on their way to YanAn.
By the end of 1943, there were 40,000 young newcomers in YanAn, and half of them were female. Many of the females married high-ranking cadres of the Communist Party. Those of the cadres who had already married village girls deserted their wives when they entered big cities like Beijing after 1949, and simply married young city girls.
A special case must be mentioned. Wen Lianchen, alias Xia Sha, a girl of 14 at the time, was the daughter of a town mayor. When the family was in Wuhan, she stole out of the house and wanted to go to YanAn, but was stopped in a train and taken home by a friend of her father’s at Zhengzhou. When the family moved to Chongqing, she insisted on going to YanAn. Her father could do nothing but let her go. He bought a plane ticket for her to XiAn. She found the 8th Route Army bureau there and was safely sent to YanAn. This was the only case when someone went to YanAn by plane.
 楼主| 发表于 12/20/2019 08:38:12 | 显示全部楼层
Jiang Qing—Mao Zedong’s 4th wife —in YanAn

Jiang Qing (1914–1991) was born in Zhu Town of Shandong province. Her original name was Li Yunhe. Her father Li Dewen ran a carpentry shop. Her mother was his concubine, who had been a maidservant. In the summer of 1921, Li Yunhe was in primary school, but in 1926, she was expelled. Her father died of some disease in the same year and her mother took her to live with her brother-in-law in Tianjin City; he was an officer in the army of the warlord Zhang Zuolin. Li Yunhe had worked for three months as a child laborer in the factory of the British–American Tobacco Co., Ltd. In 1928, the brother-in-law moved his troops somewhere else, and her mother took her to live with her cousin in JiNan. In spring of 1929, when she was 15 years old, she learned to be an actress in a theater in the city. In May of 1931, she married a man from a wealthy family, but got divorced in July. Then she went to Qingdao, and from July of 1931 to April of 1933, she worked in a library there. But in February of 1932, at the age 18, she was living with (not married to) Yu Qiwei, three years older than she, a university student majoring in biography, who was also the leader of the propaganda department of the Communist Party there. He had contact with those in the circles of so-called communist culture.
Li Yunhe had acted in a one-scene play named Put Down Your Whip, which could be performed in the street as a protest against the Japanese aggression. In February of 1933, she took an oath and joined the Communist Party through Yu Qiwei in a warehouse in Qingdao. In April, Yu was arrested and she ran away to Shanghai. In May, she attended “The Great China University” by auditing classes. In July she worked as a music teacher in a primary school in the western suburb of Shanghai and acted in some amateur plays after work. In September of 1934, she was arrested, but in February 1935, she was released and went to Peking to live with Yu Qiwei again, who had been released, too.
But in March, she returned to Shanghai to join the Diantong Film Company, using her stage name Lanping. She acted the heroine in the play Nara, and got good reviews. Afterwards, she played roles in two movies. In September, she was living with Tanner, a movie reviewer. In April of 1936, she was married to him. The ceremony was held together with two other couples, before Liuhe Pagoda in Hangzhou, in the moonlight. A romantic ritual.
 楼主| 发表于 12/22/2019 08:45:50 | 显示全部楼层
However, she still kept in touch with Yu Qiwei and by July Tanner could not bear it; he failed in an attempted suicide. She went back to Shanghai and joined the Lianhua Film Company. She had a role in the film Blood on Wolf Mountain. In February of 1937, she acted in the drama Thunderstorm. On the 30th of May, Tanner attempted suicide again, but still to no avail. Afterwards he went to France and lived there forever.
In September of 1937, as the Anti-Japanese War broke out, Li Yunhe left Shanghai and in August, she arrived in YanAn and changed her name to Jiang Qing. In November, she was enrolled in the Anti-Japanese Military and Political University. On the 10th of April, 1938, the Lu Xun Arts College was founded and she was appointed instructor of the drama department. She acted in two dramas, and in August acted in a Peking opera. Her efforts were appreciated and soon afterwards, she was promoted to secretary in the office of the military committee, close to Mao. It was said that she often went to see Mao and asked for instructions from him. The intimacy changed their relationship and soon she was living with Mao in place of his current wife He Zizhen, who was studying in Moscow at the time. In 1939, Mao married her. But at the time, she had not been divorced from Tanner yet and Mao had not been divorced from He Zizhen. Both committed bigamy.
Quite a few Communist Party leaders opposed the marriage, Zhang Wentian first and foremost. He maintained that He Zizhen was a good comrade and must be respected as a legal wife. Besides, she had been wounded in the Long March and could not be ignored like this. Wang Shiying had been in Shanghai and knew all about Jiang Qing’s love affairs, which were really scandals. And as the leader of the Communist Party, Mao should not marry a woman with such a background. So he wrote a letter outlining these scandals. He asked Nan Hanchen to sign the letter, too, who also worked in Shanghai and knew about it all. (Both were later persecuted to death by Jiang Qing in the Cultural Revolution.) Only Kang Sheng (1898–1975) supported their marriage.
Then the Communist Party had a meeting and put up three conditions: 1) Jiang Qing should not interfere in political affairs; 2) Jiang Qing could not take up any office, inside or outside the Communist Party; 3) Jiang Qing’s main task was to look after Mao in his health and personal life.
Jiang Qing had a daughter with Mao, born in 1940 and called Li Na, who is still alive now, in retirement.
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