Long March

China's Nanjing Decade

East Asia 1935.1022

Long March

The Northern Expedition, early Chinese Civil War, and Japanese incursions into China (22 October 1935)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

Chiang Kaishek took advantage of the cease-fire with Japan to crack down on the Chinese Communists. In the Fifth Encirclement Campaign, he drove them from eastern China, exploiting the chase which followed to extend his influence deep into the Chinese interior. Only a fraction of the Communists survived their 'Long March' to escape Chiang, regrouping in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.

Notes

Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country's laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

Fifth Encirclement Campaign

Soviet invasion of Xinjiang

Volunteer Soviet troops and White Guards begin intervening in Xinjiang, China, to relieve the siege of Xinjiang's governor Shen Shicai in Urumqi by the Kuomintang-allied forces of Zhang Peiyuan and Ma Zhongying. When these troops prove unsuccessful, two brigades of about 7,000 Soviet OGPU troops invade, supported by tanks, aircraft, and artillery with mustard gas. Breaking through at Kulja and Chuguchak, they defeat Ma after several weeks battle on the frozen Tutung River outside Urumqi. A further defeat at Dawan Cheng drives Ma south to Kashgar, after which most of the Soviet forces withdraw.

Long March

Units of the Chinese Communist Party's Red Army, retreating from the Nationalist Government's Fourth Encirclement Campaign, travel from a number of Communist enclaves in the south - most notably in the their stronghold in Jiangxi province - deep into the northwest in a series of marches which will collectively become known as the Long March. As the marches progress, crossing mountains and gorges in a circuitous 9,000 km path, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai emerge as the Communist leaders. By the time Mao reaches Yan'an Shaanxi province in October 1935, only 40,000 of an intial 300,000 party members remain.

He-Umezu Agreement

Kuomintang agrees to withdraw troops and influence from Hebei

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