From the Second World War to the Cold War
On the Eighty-Eighth Brigade and the Sino–Soviet–Korean triangular relationship – A glimpse at the international antifascist united front during the war of resistance against Japan
Abstract：The Anti-Japanese United Army, originally a CCP-led armed force, retreated to the Soviet Union during the later phase of the War of Resistance against Japan due to the deteriorating situation and the loss of contact with the CCP Central Committee and CCP organizations in Northeast China. Once in the Soviet Union, it came under the command of the Soviet Army. Against this background, the Eighty-Eighth Brigade (the Anti-Japanese United Army Training Brigade) was established and became a special force of the Soviet Far Eastern Command. Based on a recommendation by Zhou Baozhong, the commander of the Eighty-Eighth Brigade, and recognition by the Soviets, Kim Il-sung gradually emerged as the leader of the Koreans in the Soviet training camp. During the last phase of the War of Resistance against Japan, Zhou Baozhong planned to expand the Eighty-Eighth Brigade so that it could cooperate with and assist the Soviets and the CCP in liberating Northeast China from Japanese control. But due to diplomatic considerations, after the end of the war Stalin disbanded the Eighty-Eighth Brigade. The Soviet Army air-dropped small advance teams into Manchuria to provide it with reconnaissance and guidance. The core members of the brigade were assigned to various departments of the Soviet Far Eastern Army to assist in the Soviet military occupation of Manchuria. Together with some Korean guerrillas, Kim Il-sung returned to Korea, severing organizational relations with the CCP and becoming a force upon which the Soviet Occupation authority relied. The history of the Eighty-Eighth Brigade reflects an important aspect of the antifascist alliance in the Far East during World War II and demonstrates the delicate triangular relations among China, the Soviet Union, and Korea.
Keywords: Anti-Japanese United Army, Eighty-Eighth Brigade, Sino–Soviet relations, Sino–Korean relations, Kim Il-sung
Chiang Kai-shek and Vietnam’s post-World War II status
Abstract：After the outbreak of the Pacific War, China assumed a more active role in shaping a postwar order in Asia. To ease Western powers’ concern about China replacing Japan as the new Asian hegemon, Chiang Kai-shek proposed joint Sino–American sponsorship for Vietnamese independence after the war. Chiang’s strategy was to exploit the friction between the United States and Great Britain over what to do after the war with countries that had been Western colonies and to use the United States to thwart British intervention in Asian affairs. As the war drew to a close, the Sino–American relationship deteriorated. Meanwhile, France began to regain its influence in international affairs. In light of these changes, Chiang made quick adjustments to his diplomatic posture by endorsing the French return to Vietnam. His calculation was that an improved relationship with France would better guarantee China’s interests in Vietnam. His handling of the issue of Vietnam’s post-World War II status shows that he was preoccupied with China’s short-term and immediate interests in Vietnam and that he neglected the Vietnamese Communist movement and its ties with the Soviet Union. As a result, his Vietnam policy in the late 1940s became one of the contributing factors in the Cold War between the United States and the USSR in Vietnam.
Keywords: Pacific War, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-shek, France, Post-War Vietnam
Seeking new allies in Africa: China’s policy towards Africa during the Cold War as reflected in the construction of the Tanzania–Zambia railway
Abstract：In the 1960s, there was an upsurge in national liberation movements in Africa. Newly independent Tanzania and Zambia urgently needed a railway transportation line to link the two countries in order to achieve true independence and self-strengthening. Using archival materials, this paper shows that the Chinese government decided to support construction of this railway in response to Tanzania’s request for aid, despite China’s own economic underdevelopment. In the face of US and British policies to thwart the railway construction, China overcame Zambian suspicion and ultimately facilitated the signing of a tripartite agreement with both Tanzania and Zambia. China’s assistance in the construction of the Tanzania–Zambia railway during the Cold War had great strategic significance. This project helped China break out of its international isolation, and it became a turning point in China’s gradual formulation of its own independent Africa policy. Moreover, it promoted national emancipation and economic construction in Africa and broadened the influence of the Chinese developmental path there. However, this project also created a financial burden for China, and its underlying model of cooperation proved unsuitable for sustaining the railway’s long-term operation.
Keywords: China’s Africa policy, Tanzania–Zambia railway, foreign aid
Characteristics of and changes in wartime mobilization in China: A comparison of the Second Sino–Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War
Abstract：The Second Sino–Japanese War (1937–1945) and the Chinese Civil War that followed it (1946–1949) were the first total wars China experienced. Large-scale, long-term wartime mobilization and the reorganization of society are necessary to wage total war. This article will examine the characteristics of and changes in wartime mobilization under the Republican Chinese government, focusing on the above two wartime periods. It will compare China with the example of contemporary Japan and will carefully observe the process of changes in the methods of mobilization, as well as the social contradictions brought out by mobilization. Eventually, the Nationalist government could not overcome these contradictions and collapsed after its defeat in the Chinese Civil war. While groping for strategies to stave off defeat, the Nationalist government created elements that continued after 1949 in the People’s Republic of China. That is to say, the experience of wartime mobilization during total war had a great influence on China’s future historical path.
Keywords: total war, wartime mobilization, Second Sino–Japanese War, Chinese Civil War, comparative history
Rural mobilization in the Chinese Communist Revolution: From the Anti-Japanese War to the Chinese Civil War
Abstract：The key to the success of the Chinese Communist Revolution lies mainly in the Chinese Communist Party’s ability to mobilize the people effectively. During the Anti-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, the CCP adopted different mobilization strategies in different contexts. During the Anti-Japanese War, the main strategies included arousing nationalist emotions among the peasants with slogans of anti-Japanese patriotism; satisfying the demands of the peasants by reducing rents, interest, and other burdens; and promoting the peasants’ political participation through the mass line. In the Civil War, mobilization was based on class categorization and identity formation, interest-oriented land reform, and emotion-oriented speaking-bitterness campaigns. Yet throughout the entire revolutionary era, the CCP approach reflected continuities that surpassed the differences visible during the successive stages in the Chinese Communist Revolution. In each war, CCP rural mobilization took the winning of the peasants’ participatory, psychological–emotional, and material support as the main goal. To achieve this goal, the CCP usually used key mobilization approaches such as satisfying peasants’ demands, reconstructing peasants’ identities, and stimulating peasants’ emotions.
Keywords: Chinese Communist Revolution, rural mobilization, Anti-Japanese War, Chinese Civil War
Dialogues on historical issues concerning East Asia
Abstract：At present, historical issues among East Asian countries are still contentious, and they have influenced international relations in this region. Nevertheless, since 2002, scholars and teachers from China, Japan, and South Korea, the three main countries in East Asia, have attempted to build up historical knowledge transcending national boundaries by coediting a history of modern East Asia. Their dialogues have resulted in two books: A History to Open the Future: Modern East Asian History and Regional Reconciliation, published in 2005, and A Modern History of East Asia Beyond the Boundaries, published in 2013. These academic dialogues among East Asian scholars can provide a solid foundation for historical judgments of statesmen and can facilitate exchanges of historical understanding among people of different countries. These Asian dialogues can also function as a two-way learning experience in relation to efforts at European reconciliation.
Keywords: historical reconciliation, historical compilation, modern East Asian History, East Asian historical issues
A survey of twenty-first-century studies of the Japanese-occupied areas in China
This article reviews twenty-first-century Chinese scholarship on the Japanese-occupied areas in China during the Anti-Japanese War. After 2000, along with the discovery and use of historical materials preserved overseas or in local Chinese archives, studies on this topic reflected a new trend of emphasizing case studies and detail, a departure from previous research that focused more on major events and general narrative. Recent scholarship has made particular progress in the areas of the Japanese and puppet governments at the local level, the mentalities of and roles played by the people in the Japanese-occupied areas, and economic plunder by the Japanese and puppet governments in China.
Keywords: Japanese invasion of China, Japanese-occupied areas, puppet government, enslaved education, economic plunder