Political map of East Asia and the Western Pacific 1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China): In April 1949, the Chinese Communists (Communist Party of China) crossed the Yangtze River and took the Nationalist (History of the Republic of China) capital of Nanjing (Nanjing). On October 1, with Nationalist forces collapsing everywhere, the Communist leader Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China (People's Republic of China) in Beijing.