Episode 95 – The Dragon and the Rising Sun, Part 5

This week we explore the rise of the man who would come to symbolize, for good or ill, modern China: Mao Zedong. Who was he, how did he come out on top, and what was his relationship with his neighbors to the east?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Mitter, Rana. Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945. 

Sasagawa, Yuji. “Changes and Characteristics of Wartime Mobilization in China: Focusing on a Comparison of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Civil War Era”. Trans. Isaac Meyer. Journal of Modern Chinese History (forthcoming).

Pepper, Suzanne. Civil War in China: The Political Struggle, 1945-1949.

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising.

The Joint Communique of the People’s Republic of China and Japan, courtesy of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Images

Mao Zedong in 1927. By this point he was already a party member and high up in the party's executive committee.
Mao Zedong in 1927. By this point he was already a party member and high up in the party’s executive committee.
The May 4th, 1919 demonstrations in Beijing against the Treaty of Versailles turned into an outpouring of anti-Japanese sentiment. Mao was in the city and participated in the demonstrations.
The May 4th, 1919 demonstrations in Beijing against the Treaty of Versailles turned into an outpouring of anti-Japanese sentiment. Mao was in the city and participated in the demonstrations.
Mao Zedong in 1931 during the siege of the Jiangxi Soviet. The Guomindang assault on communist-held Jiangxi would cost Mao his wife and brother, and eventually force the communists to retreat across the entire country. During that retreat -- the Long March -- Mao would assume leadership of the party.
Mao Zedong in 1931 during the siege of the Jiangxi Soviet. The Guomindang assault on communist-held Jiangxi would cost Mao his wife and brother, and eventually force the communists to retreat across the entire country. During that retreat — the Long March — Mao would assume leadership of the party.
Soldiers of the Eighth Route Army, one of two communist armies theoretically allied to the Guomindang against the Japanese, 1937. In practice, the GMD and the communists cooperated only rarely and were openly shooting at each other by 1940.
Soldiers of the Eighth Route Army, one of two communist armies theoretically allied to the Guomindang against the Japanese, 1937. In practice, the GMD and the communists cooperated only rarely and were openly shooting at each other by 1940.
Communist soldiers in the Hundred Regiments Offensive advancing while holding the Guomindang flag, 1940. The Hundred Regiments offensive would be the only time the CCP took the offensive against the Japanese.
Communist soldiers in the Hundred Regiments Offensive advancing while holding the Guomindang flag, 1940. The Hundred Regiments offensive would be the only time the CCP took the offensive against the Japanese.
Mao Zedong and Chiang Kaishek in 1946, celebrating victory, putting out some great forced smiles, and doing an excellent job of not being too obvious about how much they want to leap across the table and strangle each other.
Mao Zedong and Chiang Kaishek in 1946, celebrating victory, putting out some great forced smiles, and doing an excellent job of not being too obvious about how much they want to leap across the table and strangle each other.
Mao Zedong proclaims the foundation of the People's Republic of China atop the Tiananmen Gate, 1949.
Mao Zedong proclaims the foundation of the People’s Republic of China atop the Tiananmen Gate, 1949.
Mao Zedong and Tanaka Kakuei meeting, December 27, 1972.
Mao Zedong and Tanaka Kakuei meeting, December 27, 1972.
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