CIVIL WAR (1945—1949)
CIVIL WAR (1945—1949). The ideological split between the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the Nationalist Party, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) went back to 1927, when their cooperation during the Northern Expedition, whose purpose was to defeat the northern warlords and unify China, proved to be short-lived. Sensing the danger of the Communist influence within the ranks of his army, General Chiang Kai-shek broke away from the alliance and began a campaign to purge the CCP members and the leftists within the KMT. Afterward, the two parties fought intermittently, with the weaker CCP driven underground in urban areas and to the countryside to fight guerrilla wars. When the Sino-Japanese War broke out, the two sides formed an alliance for the second time. After the Japanese surrender, the confrontation between the KMT and the CCP resumed in a full-scale war. Fueled by a growing discontent in the nation about rampant government corruption and hyperinflation, the CCP, now better armed and with bases in rural China more consolidated, won the Civil War and gained control of the mainland (plus Hainan Island), while the KMT managed to retain the territories of the island of Taiwan, the Pescadores (Penghu), and several small islands off the coast of Fujian. To this day, the two sides remain divided.
The impact of the Civil War on modern Chinese literature was profound, not in the sense that the war was a subject matter for Chinese literature but that the ideological and political split between the Nationalists and Communists allowed Chinese literature written from the 1950s to the 1970s to have a freer and less controlled development in Taiwan, particularly with the modernist experiments, while the mainland preoccupied itself with ideological writings guided by the principles of socialist realism.