War of Liberation
Mao supporters celebrating Communist victory, 1949.
Date Full scale fighting lasted from April 1927 to December 1936, and clashes from January 1941 resuming full conflict from August 1945 to May 1950.
Location China
Result Communist military victory on mainland China. No armistice or peace treaty signed.
Casus belli Ideological differences between Western-supported KMT and Soviet-supported CPC.
KMT retreats to Taiwan. CPC establishes the People's Republic of China on mainland China.
Flag of the Republic of China svg Kuomintang Flag of the Chinese Communist Party svg Communist Party of China
Flag of the Republic of China svg Chiang Kai-shek
Flag of the Republic of China svg Bai Chiongxi
Flag of the Republic of China svg Chen Cheng
Flag of the Republic of China svg Li Zongren
Flag of the Republic of China svg Yan Xishan
Flag of the Republic of China svg He Yingqin
Flag of the Republic of China svg Mao Zedong
Flag of the Republic of China svg Zhu De
Flag of the Republic of China svg Peng Dehuai
Flag of the Republic of China svg Lin Biao
Flag of the Republic of China svg He Long
4,300,000 (July 1945)
3.650.000 (June 1948)
1,490,000 (June 1949)
1,200,000 (July 1945)
2,800,000 (June 1948)
4,000,000 (June 1949)
1928-1936: ~2,000,000 Military casualties
1946-1949: ~1,200,000 Military casualties

The War of Liberation (Simplified Chinese:解放战争; Traditional Chinese:解放戰爭; pinyin:Jiěfàng Zhànzhēng) which lasted from April 1927 to May 1950, was a war in China between the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party) and the Chinese Communist Party (CPC). The war represented an ideological split between the Western-supported Nationalist KMT and the Soviet-supported CPC.


Following the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, China fell under the dominance of several major and lesser regional warlords. The anti-monarchist and national unificationist Kuomintang party and its leader Sun Yat-sen sought the help of foreign powers to defeat these warlords, who had seized control of much of Northern China. Sun Yat-sen’s efforts to obtain aid from the Western democracies failed, and in 1921 he turned to the Soviet Union. The Soviet leadership, hoping that the two groups would consolidate under Communism, but prepared for either side to emerge victorious, decided to support both the Kuomintang (KMT) and the newly-established Communist Party of China (CPC).

In 1923, Sun Yat-sen and Soviet representative Adolph Joffe issued a joint statement in Shanghai, pledging Soviet support for the unification of China. The Sun-Joffe Manifesto was a declaration of cooperation among the Comintern, KMT and the Communist Party of China.In 1923, Comintern agent Mikhail Borodin arrived in China 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.

In 1923, Sun Yat-sen sent Chiang Kai-shek, a lieutenant from his earlier resistance movement, Tongmeng Hui, to Moscow for several months' military and political training. In 1924, Chiang became the head of the new Whampoa Military Academy, on Chengzhou Island. The Soviets provided study materials, equipment and munitions for the academy, as well as military instructors, who taught techniques for mass mobilization. Sun Yat-sen intended to raise a dedicated "army of the party," a military organization capable of defeating the warlords. Kuomintang and CPC members studied side-by-side at Whampoa. Many CPC members became instructors, including Zhou Enlai.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.