China's Foreign Relations: 1917-1931

By Robert T. Pollard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
TARIFF AUTONOMY

THE attack upon the foreigners at Nanking in March, 1927, had two results. The first of these, already noted, was a marked change in the attitude of the foreign powers toward the Nationalists. The second was an open split in the Kuomintang. For some time there had been friction and dissension within the party. General Chiang Kai-shek resented the steadily mounting influence of the communists led by Michael Borodin. The left wing elements within the Kuomintang, however, coöperating with the communists, accused General Chiang of cherishing Napoleonic ambitions. The Nanking Incident brought matters definitely to a head. General Chiang was convinced that the disorders had been deliberately planned by his enemies, first in order to prevent his triumphal entry into the old Ming capital, and second in order to embroil him with the foreign powers.

General Chiang's fear that the communists were bent on accomplishing his downfall was strengthened when, on April 7, 1927, the Hankow Government published a mandate abolishing the post of Generalissimo of the Nationalist armies, a position which he had held since the beginning of the anti-Northern campaign, and appointing him instead Commander-in-Chief of only the first Nationalist Army Group which was to attack from the Shanghai-Nanking area northward along the Tientsin- Pukow Railway toward Peking. The same mandate appointed Marshal Feng Yü-hsiang Commander-in-Chief of the Second Army Group which was to move northward along the Peking- Hankow line.1 A second mandate, issued on April 9, announced that the seat of the Nationalist Government would be

____________________
1
Chapman, The Chinese Revolution, 1926-27, p. 109.

-330-

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