The origins of China go back thousands of years. But today, the People’s Republic of China, which is of great economic and cultural importance all over the world, was founded in 1949! After the civil war between 1945-1949 between the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China, the present People’s Republic of China emerged. After a meeting held in Beijing in 1949, Communist Party leader Mao Zedong also became the leader of the People’s Republic of China. Thus began the years of China’s one-party dictatorship. The transition from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China meant that many things in thousands of years of Chinese civilization changed. Here are 10 things you need to know about the People’s Republic of China…
1. The People’s Republic of China was established after a civil war
The People’s Republic of China was established after the Civil War, which started in 1945 and ended in 1949. Thus, communist party leader Mao Zedong achieved a great victory. Thus, the administration of China completely passed to the Chinese Communist Party. Communists had been one of the important political groups in the country since the Japanese occupation period. The number of communist soldiers in the country was more than 900,000. The number of members of the Communist Party exceeded 1.2 million. The communists, who became one of the most important political forces in China, succeeded in establishing the central authority after the civil war. This was the most serious unification in China since the 19th century imperial period.
2. Two different governments claim the country
Today’s People’s Republic of China does not include all of China. At the same time that Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China, another political formation moved to another geographic area. The Republic of China, led by Hiang Kai-shek, largely retreated to the island of Taiwan. Both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China claim to be the legitimate government in the country themselves! However, the United Nations has officially recognized the People’s Republic of China since 1971. Despite this, there are still two different governments in China’s geography claiming to be “the real China”…
3. The People’s Republic of China reached its current strength thanks to land reform
The Chinese Communist Party had succeeded in establishing central authority in China. However, China had many steps to take in order to become a strong country. The Chinese Communist Party wanted to unite the citizens around a single identity and belonging. In such an environment, a major land reform was initiated under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. Land reform aimed to change the structure of rural society while increasing production at the same time. However, this process was not an easy one. The balances in China, which had just achieved its political unity, were quite delicate. Land reform, which caused the breaking of these delicate balances, caused a new turmoil in the country! The land reform carried out between 1949 and 1950 ensured the redistribution of forty percent of the land. But in the process, 1 million people lost their lives!
4. The great breakthrough caused the great famine
In the 1950s, China was largely isolated from the rest of the world. It had no diplomatic relations with the United States. He had a rather strained relationship with the Soviet Union. Despite this, Mao Zedong wanted to make a big breakthrough. This breakthrough, based on China’s understanding of self-sustainability, also included a great modernization movement! Accordingly, a series of moves were made to increase China’s steel, coal and electricity production. In addition, new things were being done for more modern and more agricultural production. Mao’s breakthrough came to an end in 1962. The cost of the great breakthrough to the Chinese society was 20 million deaths.
5. The cultural revolution led to the beginning of violent years!
After the land reform and the breakthrough, Mao’s new goal was to achieve the cultural revolution. The cultural revolution began in 1966. On the other hand, from 1976 until Mao’s death, it was also the beginning of the violent years! With the cultural revolution he initiated, Mao aimed to completely clear China from the capitalist bourgeois order. However, the cultural revolution suddenly became the enemy not of the capitalist system, but of all who opposed it! Capitalists, foreigners, intellectuals… Anyone who was against the regime was declared counter-revolutionary. Of course, the counter-revolutionaries had to be taken care of! During the cultural revolution in China, many dissidents were arrested or killed… At the end of the revolution, an image of Mao Zedong free from all flaws was revealed…
6. Transition to mixed economy model after Mao’s death
After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping, one of the famous communists in China, came to power. Deng Xiaoping, himself a former communist, was against many of Mao’s methods. For this reason, many practices in the Mao era were terminated. Deng’s “it is glorious to be rich” approach has attracted foreign investors to China. Thus, the Chinese society passed from the communist economy model to the mixed economy model.
7. Tiananmen Square protests created a major break
In 1989, pro-reform communist party official Hu Yaobang died. Thereupon, thousands of students demanding more democratic rights started a large-scale protest. Activists were criticizing inflation, corruption and the Communist Party’s repressive attitude in social life. Some time after the protests began, about 1 million workers and students gathered in Tiananmen Square. This action was one of the biggest protests in history. But the government chose to violently suppress the demonstrations! Thousands of people lost their lives as a result of the events. These demonstrations took their place in history as an important breaking moment in the history of the People’s Republic of China.
8. The People’s Republic of China enjoyed great economic success in the 1990s
The reforms implemented since the 1980s bore fruit in the 1990s. The People’s Republic of China enjoyed great economic success in the 1990s. Factories opened and increased agricultural production were the most important elements of this success. This economic growth in the 1990s saved the lives of more than 150 million people at that time. On the other hand, economic growth in China continues today. The GDP in the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s was $30.55 billion. In 2020, this number has increased to around 14 trillion!
9. The People’s Republic of China remains the most populous country in the world
The People’s Republic of China remains the most populous country in the world, since the first millennium BC! So much so that even at that time, China is thought to have a population of 40 to 60 million.
The People’s Republic of China is established on an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. Its population is more than 1.4 billion. It has also been the most populous country in the world since 1950, the year the United Nations began population comparison. 82 million people are members of the Communist Party that rules modern China.
10 The People’s Republic of China Army is older than the People’s Republic of China!
The People’s Liberation Party, the army of the People’s Republic of China, was formed earlier than the People’s Republic of China. The government has been trying to reduce the number of the military since the 1980s. Despite this, the People’s Liberation Party continues to be the largest army in the world.
If you want to learn more about China’s population, social structure, social life and economy; We recommend you to take a look at our content titled 14 Surprising Facts About The World’s Most Populous Country China🤩