China’s Communist Revolution or Civil War

In Russia and Cuba, there were Communist Revolutions. In China, it was a Civil War. There is a difference. says a revolution is an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

A civil war is a war between political factions or regions within the same country.

The United States of America fought a Revolution from 1775 to 1783. The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865. Both fit the definitions. gets it wrong when it says, “Mao Zedong led China’s Communist revolution in the 1920s and 1930s.”

In fact, many Blogs and Websites get the facts wrong with it comes to China’s civil war. 

However, the PBS report clearly shows that in 1923, Sun Yat-sen, known as the father of China’s republic and the leader of the Kuomintang (KMT), allied with the Communist Party (CCP) to strengthen the republic and take China back from the warlords.

Then in 1927, after Sun Yat-sen’s death in 1925, the KMT broke from the CCP shattering the alliance that Sun Yat-sen had formed.

Chiang Kai-shek, the new leader of the KMT, launched a brutal purge to kill all Communists in China.

The CCP had no choice but to fight or be exterminated by Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT. With the support of China’s peasants, the CCP won the civil war in 1949. The US backed the loser.

In fact, both the CCP and the KMT honor Sun Yat-sen as the father of the republic.

In mainland China, the Memorial Hall for Sun Yat-sen is in Guangzhou on the southern slope of Yuexiu Hill and was constructed between 1929 and 1931.

Another memorial hall dedicated to Sun Yat-sen is in Taipei and was completed on May 16, 1972.

So, why do so many call it China’s Communist Revolution when it was a civil war between the KMT and the CCP? Could they be confused?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

4 Responses to China’s Communist Revolution or Civil War

  1. […] life expectancy in Tibet is 68.2 years and still improving. That’s almost twice what it was when China’s long civil war finally came to an […]

  2. […] to form a republic in China but failed. Not long after his death, China was plunged into a Civil War in 1927 (with a short break to fight Japan during World War II) that raged between the Nationalists under a […]

  3. Alessandro says:

    Should also be remembered that in Dr. Sun’s Mausoleum in Nanjing, on mount Zijin, where his body rests.

    • Thank You. I may have read or heard that Dr. Sun’s body was in Nanjing but I don’t recall so I can’t say for sure. I wrote a post some months ago about one of these three places and went looking for that post but since it doesn’t have his name in the title, I couldnt’ find it easily. With more than a thousand posts, I don’t always remember all the titles.

      However, this may be the first I’ve heard of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s body interred in Nanjing, which goes to show that no matter how much you know there is always more to learn and discover. When I was reaching the end of my first 100 posts, I thought, how am I going to keep finding new subjects to write about China? Now at more than a thousand posts, it’s more like, I’ll never have enough time to write about all that I keep learning of China.

      I’ll do some more research and write a post on Dr. Sun’s Mausoleum in Nangjing on Mount Zijin. I may mention all three. I also wrote a three part series on Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s last days back in October 2010. That was easy to find since his name is in the title.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: