At the beginning of the twentieth century the Middle Kingdom was comparable to an African backwater republic. China still existed but the Chinese state had ceased to function. The central power had collapsed. The army consisted of unreliable legions that attached themselves to this gang, or that governor, depending on who promised the best protection and the highest pay. The state’s monopoly of power could not be upheld with these opportunists. The influential local rulers on the other hand no longer saw a reason to follow the new weak leaders in Peking. Because as great as the desire was for a strong leadership — if nobody offered, then one would rather rely on oneself in an hour of need.
KeywordsLand Reform Strong Leadership Chinese History Chinese State National Pride
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