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Photograph of Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, 1945

Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950

The Chinese Civil War, fought between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Nationalist Party (GMD) from 1946-1950, was a defining conflict for China, East Asia, and the world. The Civil War included a number of large battles and campaigns, and was notable for the involvement of both the United States and the Soviet Union. The victory of the CCP and the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 1949 shifted the balance of power in the emerging Cold War. For other collections on China’s modern political history, see: Purges in 1950s China; China’s Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961; China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976; Reform and Opening in China, 1978-; and China, 1989.

Photograph of Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, 1945


Popular Documents

June 11, 1949

Letter, Jiang Qing to Mao Zedong

Jiang Qing writes to Mao Zedong about her health, developments in the Chinese Civil War, and the problems of Chinese Communist Propaganda.

September 4, 1958

Anastas Mikoyan’s Recollections of his Trip to China

Anastas Mikoyan gives a very detailed summary of his trip to China, to secretly hold talks with Mao Zedong. Begins with a summary of his trip, and choice of delegation members, and his living conditions while visiting with Mao. Describes talks with Mao, which covered a large range of topics, including Mao's divergence of opinion on American imperialism as compared to Stalin's, the CCP's lack of influence in China's cities, and Stalin's advice to arrest two Americans, including Sidney Rittenberg, who were "obvious American spies." Mao does not agree, eventually arrests spy suspects, and Mikoyan notes that after Stalin's death, USSR admitted to having no rationale or evidence for the spy allegations.

February 4, 1949

Cable, Anastas Mikoyan to Joseph Stalin

Cable sent from Mikoyan to Stalin, summarizing a discussion between Mikoyan and Mao. In that conversation, Mikoyan tells Mao that once the USSR opposed foreign mediation between the Guomindang and CCP, England, America and France changed their positions from supporting mediation to refuting mediation. Mikoyan then draws to Stalin's attention that Zhou Enlai noticed permanent representatives of Americans, including "spies, and journalists," among the Chinese Communist Party.

October 1949

Chang Chi-yun, 'Travel to the Philippines and [South] Korea'

A booklet published to commemorate Chiang Kai-shek's visits to the Philippines and South Korea, part of an attempt to enlist support for the Republic of China as it lost control over Mainland China.

April 26, 1948

Cable, Mao Zedong to Filippov [Stalin]

Mao tells Filippov (Stalin) about the move of the Central Committee to a more rural area in China. Mao also discusses his plans for his trip to Moscow.