The Japanese Occupation of Manchuria

Tim Kressman


This paper will investigate KMT and CCP approaches to state-building, reflecting on the relative successes and failures of strategies to establish state capacity and governance. While Communist historiography emphasizes the rapid 'nation-building' which took place after October 1, 1949, this paper will examine instances where pre-existing infrastructure and institutions played a critical role in allowing the successor CCP state to extend control to previously ungoverned or loosely-governed areas. The Republican government was able to significantly unify a fractured China under conditions of great duress&emdash;civil war, invasion from outside forces, and continuing strains of modernization. Despite these limited successes, the downfall of the KMT arguably came from a failure in governance or state capacity: the successful Communist revolution was the result of an inadequate capacity to defend the state from predatory competition. Answering the question of how and why state-building strategies differed, then, offers an instructive insight into processes that continue to affect China today, and brings continuing insights to the question of legitimacy.

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