East Asia 1949: Nationalist Taiwan
With the Communists victorious across China, about 2 million Nationalist Chinese fled to the offshore island of Taiwan. On December 8, Chiang Kaishek made the Taiwanese city of Taipei the temporary capital of the Republic of China but refused to give up his claim on the mainland.
14 Oct 1949 Fall of Canton▲
The People’s Liberation Army entered Canton (Guangzhou), temporary capital of the Republic of China. The Nationalists reacted by fleeing inland to Chongqing, blowing up the Haizhu Bridge across the Pearl River to stall the Communist advance.
30 Nov 1949 Fall of Chongqing▲
On 15 October 1949, the Chinese Nationalists moved the capital of the Republic of China to Chongqing—Chiang Kaishek’s old capital during the war with Japan. The continued Communist advance meant that this city remained safe only until 25 November, when the Nationalists were forced to relocate their capital again—this time to Chengdu. Chongqing fell to the People’s Liberation Army on 30 November.
8 Dec 1949 Nationalist relocation to Taiwan▲
Chiang Kaishek declared Taipei the provisional capital of Republic of China, part of the Nationalist Chinese relocation from mainland China to Taiwan. In all, some 2 million Chinese moved to the island between 1945 and 1949, boosting Taiwan’s population by a third. The Republic of China in Taiwan continues to claim all of China, with Taiwan itself remaining under martial law until 1987.