Far Eastern Governments and Politics: China and Japan

By Paul M. A. Linebarger; Djang Chu et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
China under the Kuomintang, 1928-1949

THE National Government of China which ruled much of China between 1928 and 1949 and which ruled almost all of China for brief periods during 1930-1931, 1937, and 1945-1947, was the first national government which China ever possessed. It will be realized, from the earlier chapters, that China-the-civilization had often had an ecu- menical government covering the whole world known to the Chinese; not until the coming of the Chinese Nationalists to power can China be said to have developed a government which was domestically as well as interna- tionally a functioning part of the world-wide nation-state system of the twentieth century. Without Nationalist China, Communist China could not have come to exist. Although the Nationalist cause is today a forlorn hope it is still a potentiality--a long-shot in the perennial gamble of Far Eastern history.

Antecedents of the National Government. The National Government of China had two separate genealogies. For diplomatic purposes it was the successor-state to the Republic of China at Peking which in turn was the successor to the Manchu Empire of China.1 For its own domestic purposes it was the successor of the Nanking Government set up as a secessionist move, a successful one, by Chiang Kai-shek when he broke with his Wuhan colleagues in April, 1927. The Wuhan Government in turn was the suc- cessor of the Nationalist Government of China, soviet in form, which had functioned intimately in the early 1920's in Canton, had been consolidated in Canton in June, 1925, and had been transferred to Hankow on January 1, 1927. According to the National Government's own genealogical tree,2 the

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1
As such it was recognize by the United States, July 25, 1928.
2
See Tang-cheng chien-chih t'u-piao (Outlines of the development of the government and the party), Chungking, 1940, p. xxix, a tentative but never completed archival com-

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