WHILE the events described in the preceding Chapter were taking place in Formosa, profound changes occurred within the borders of China on the mainland. These changes finally culminated in a complete military victory of the Communist forces and the removal to Formosa in December 1949 of the seat of the National Government. For the second time in the history of China, a government defeated on the mainland took refuge on the "beautiful island."
Before considering the problems that arose when Formosa became the seat of the National Government, it is necessary to review briefly the main features of the developments within China that had led to the collapse and flight of the National Government. These developments had their roots in the long series of internal and external changes that had occurred over several decades of Chinese history.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the internal political situation in China has been characterized by an acceleration of the process of social change that had been set in motion at least a half a century earlier