The Qing Dynasty, the last of the ruling Chinese dynasties, collapsed in 1911. China was left under the control of several major and lesser warlords in the Warlord era. To defeat these warlords, who had seized control of much of Northern China, the anti-monarchist and national unificationist Kuomintang party and its leader Sun Yat-sen, sought the help of foreign powers.
Sun Yat-sen's efforts to obtain aid from the Western democracies were ignored, however, and in 1921 he turned to the Soviet Union. For political expediency, the Soviet leadership initiated a dual policy of support for both Sun and the newly established Communist Party of China, which would eventually found the People's Republic of China. Thus the struggle for power in China began between the KMT and the CPC.
In 1923, a joint statement by Sun and Soviet representative Adolph Joffe in Shanghai pledged Soviet assistance for China's unification. The Sun-Joffe Manifesto was a declaration for cooperation among the Comintern, KMT and the Communist Party of China.
In 1923, a joint statement by Sun and Soviet representative Adolph Joffe in Shanghai pledged Soviet assistance for China's unification. The Sun-Joffe Manifesto was a declaration for cooperation among the Comintern, KMT and the Communist Party of China. Comintern agent Mikhail Borodin arrived in China in 1923 to aid in the reorganization and consolidation of the KMT along the lines of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The CPC joined the KMT to form the First United Front.
Republic of China on Taiwan
People's Republic of China
|Commanders and leaders|
Feng Yuxiang (until 1930)
Communist members were allowed to join the KMT on an individual basis. The CPC itself was still small at the time, having a membership of 300 in 1922 and only 1,500 by 1925. The KMT in 1923 had 50,000 members.