The Chinese ‘government’ which took the Japanese surrender in southern China at Nanking, and which dispatched troops to reclaim Taiwan, was that of the ‘Nationalist Party’, the Kuomintang, or KMT, under its leader, and national president, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Even in 1945, the KMT’s control of mainland China was far from total. The Japanese surrender had removed them from occupation of most of the eastern seaboard, and enabled the KMT to move back to their pre-war capital at Nanking, from their retreat in the western province of Sichuan, at Chongqing. But during the war the strength of the KMT’s notional allies in an anti-Japanese ‘United Front’, the Chinese Communist Party, had grown from an estimated 40 000 political and military activists to 1.5 million. They controlled bases and extensive ‘border regions’ in north-west China around Yenan, in the Shandong Peninsula, in southern Manchuria, in the north Chinese plains of Hebei and Henan, in Hunan, in Jiangxi, and in the coastal province of Jiangsu among other places. KMT influence in Manchuria was so limited that the Soviet Union, having declared war on Japan just days before the end of the war, was authorised by the KMT to move into Manchuria to accept the Japanese surrender there.
KeywordsSecret Society United Front Nationalist Party Japanese Invasion Japanese Aggression
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