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Chan, Gordon Yiu Ming (2001) The Communist resistance movement in war-torn Guangdong, China, 1937-1945. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London.

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Abstract

This doctoral dissertation traces the origins of the East River and the Hainan Base Areas, which were established by the Chinese Communist Party in Guangdong during the Anti-Japanese War (1937-45) and explains why they failed to achieve the kind of dramatic expansion as did their northern counterparts. As the case of the East River Base Area demonstrates, the major problem which confronted the Party was the limited scope of Japanese occupation. The absence of widespread political anarchy on the Guangdong mainland did not only trigger much initial debate among Party leaders over the possibility of guerrilla mobilisation but also imposed severe constraints on local attempts to construct Communist bases. In Hainan, although the political-military situation was more favourable, the Party's plan of developing the island into a Communist stronghold in South China still ended up in a merely theoretical construct. Among those important factors which contributed to its frustration were inadequate resources at the Party's disposal, the loss of radio communication between Hainan and the Party Centre in Yan'an, the intense Japanese "mopping-up" campaigns and the island's age-long Li-Han racial conflict. It was not until mid-1944 that the Japanese Ichigo offensive created in Guangdong an environment conducive to the reduplication of the Communist expansion in the north. Unfortunately, this extensive enemy occupation came to the province too late and was too short. Japan's sudden surrender in August 1945 thwarted Mao Zedong's ambitious efforts of combining the Communist bases in Central and South China. By examining the reasons for the underdevelopment of the two southern bases, this study raises some important questions about the Communist wartime movement such as the limits of Mao's model of base construction and the need of a dynamic balance between central supervision and local initiatives for achieving the Communist revolution.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:02
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28792

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