Edexcel China Unit - Early years of the PRC Watch

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Report Thread starter 8 years ago
Early years of the PRC (1949 to 57), brainstorm - go.
Just post any things off the top of your head and read the posts of others, I'm looking to see if this could help with revision.

I'm going to brainstorm on the ways that the PRC and CCP established a firm grip over the Chinese population.

Military Control
- Structure of the government meant that the 6 designated areas of China were run by 4 top officials; a chairman, a party secretary, a military commander and a political commissar. As 2 of the mentioned positions were direct military branches China became a very military controlled country.
- Series of campaigns indicated the force at which the government was willing to drive the country in the way it wanted. In 1950 3 PLA armies were deployed to Tibet, Xinjiang and Guangdong. For Tibet, the invasion was justified by the PRC claiming that it had belonged to them all along. As the Tibetan army lacked experience and weaponry, the 60 000 strong force was no match to defend the native land and culture.

Increased political control-
- Mao introduced anti-movement policies to repress any opposition to his power. Originally there were 3 such targets; waste, corruption and inefficiency. However by 1952 (a year later) it was adjusted to contain 5 different anti-movements in an effort to stimulate the economy. These were Industrial sabotage, tax evasion, bribery, fraud and theft of gov. property.
- Aim was to destroy "the bureaucratic capitalist class"
This contradicted his earlier toleration during the first 3 years of communist rule - could refer to later Hundred Flowers campaign in 1956-57 which was used to single out opponents

Terror Tactics
- Actual activities covered by pretext of defending the people, rather than targeting them.
- The 10 parties in 1949, some consisting of GMD break-offs, were broken down to just the one by 1952, effectively making China a one-party state.
- Mass campaigns and political purges increased the power of the CCP as there were fewer and fewer opposing forces who could step and say anything.
- Anyone showing anti-communist signs were targeted and dubbed "counterrevolutionaries".
- 130 000 rounded up in Guangzhou in early 1950's. The captures were claimed to be "bandits and criminals". In the end, over 50% were executed.

Enforced Informants
- No one was safe from spies and informants who would not hesitate in reporting curious cases to the CCP. - Neighbours spied on each other and parents were ratted by their own children, proving that the brainwashing of the communist party was working.
- Anyone who refused to join the regime was labelled a class enemy.
- Nations surrounding China were forced into being politically bound to the government of China.


OK that's me for now. Hope this thread gets some other takers.:yep:
bobble hat
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Report 8 years ago
Since there don't seem to be many takers - although I am vastly inferior in knowledge to you :eek3: ...

The PLA (People's Liberation Army)
Propaganda, Construction, Control - headed by Peng Dehuai

- promoted values of heroism, discipline, self-sacrifice and most importantly, loyalty to Mao
- mythology of communist revolution
- Lei Feng an example of an ideal soldier; relatable to peasants and appeared on posters
- Korean War

- Public work projects, such as rebuilding infrastructure damaged during war

- largest army in the world (1950: 5m members)
- 3 years national service, so millions of young men indoctrinated in Communist ideology
- helped run bureaus (2/4 chief officials were PLA)
- killed 1m bandits; helped crack down on opium addiction
- Reunification Campaigns: Tibet and Xingjiang province

- Mao wanted army to become more professional and technologically proficient:
1950-57: troops cut by 50%, while spending on aircraft and weapons increased
hierarchy of ranks introduced with differing pay; officers trained in Kiev
Military Affairs Commission: Mao and Peng governed 13 new regions, which replaced 6 old bureaus in 1954
bobble hat
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Report 8 years ago
And since I've started...

Hundred Flowers Campaign
Mao invites intellectuals to criticise the CCP

A serious error of judgement?
- Continuing revolution:
Mao wanted to reinvigorate the country whilst maintaining his position of power. Thus he targeted the bureaucracy, a tactic consistant with his previous policies (the Yan'an Rectification campaign of 1942, the 3-Antis campaign etc)
- Hungarian Revolution (1956)
Mao had seen what happened to a communist regime which didn't learn from the people (another Maoist idea). Wanted to hear popular criticism in order to prevent a social explosion
- Failure of Economic Policy
Five-Year plan had reached its limits; needed specialists to progress. Food and housing were in short supply and Zhou Enlai backed the campaign.

Was it a trap to trick the intellectuals?
- Tensions between intellectuals and CCP.
Intellectuals often were wealthy, from landlord or bourgeosie families, had GMD connections or were educated abroad. Treated with by suspicion by Mao.
- Krushchev denounced the Cult of Personality (1956) - seemed like an indirect attack on Mao. Either way, he couldn't go overtly purging people; a smokescreen was needed. That's what the 100 Flowers was.
-Gao Gang purge (1954)
Paranoid Mao had used a similar tactic before - allowed Gao to continue scheming before publicly denouncing him at a Politburo meeting in December 1953. Gao then killed himself.
- Hu-Fengism
In 1955, Hu Feng wrote an article claiming that communism had stifled creativity and art. He was arrested and imprisoned 'till 1979. This campaign was another way of revealing opposition to the communist regime.

And most importantly...- Speed of the U-Turn:
The Hundred Flowers campaign was launched in May, but by mid-May, Mao was attacking revisionists. Suggests that it was pre-meditated. Led to the ensuing Anti-Rightist campaign:
~500 000 intellectuals branded anti-rightist and persecuted. 300 000 sent to Laogai, many committed suicide and others sent for re-education through labour in the countryside

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