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History

October 1 1949 Mao Zedong proclaims People’s Republic of China


Craig Hill Training Services

On October 1st 1949, naming himself head of state, communist revolutionary Mao Zedong officially proclaimed the existence of the People’s Republic of China; Zhou Enlai was named premier.

The proclamation was the climax of years of battle between Mao’s communist forces and the regime of Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek, who had been supported with money and arms from the American government.

The loss of China, the largest nation in Asia, to communism was a severe blow to the United States, which was still reeling from the Soviet Union’s detonation of a nuclear device one month earlier.

State Department officials in President Harry S. Truman‘s administration tried to prepare the American public for the worst when they released a “white paper” in August 1949.

The report argued that Chiang’s regime was so corrupt, inefficient, and unpopular that no amount of U.S. aid could save it.

Nevertheless, the…

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