The ROC-PRC transition parallels the Ming-Qing transition to a certain extent, especially when we consider Manchuria and Taiwan; however, the international situations and ethnic conditions differed quite a bit. Discuss the parallels and the differences comprehensively.
Mongolia is a country that has been independent of China for decades. However, there is usually confusion as to whether it is a part of People’s Republic of China (PRC) that remained after the Ming Dynasty or not. This also applies to Taiwan and Manchuria. Although all the three states claim independence from the greater China, there is usually confusion because all of them have embraced the policies and ideals that China embraces. Consequently, though PRC claims that Taiwan and Manchuria are part of it, their respective maps claim otherwise.
After the Ming Dynasty, came the Qing Dynasty. During this time, the areas of Manchuria (Russia’s Maritime Province), the Tuva Protectorate, Mongolia and Tibet were conquered. This was also the time when ROC was formed. The areas were stable until the British and the soviets fought to control the region. In 1949, there came a civil war. This is when the PRC was formed. Tibet, Xinjiang and Mongolia came under the control of PRC (Roberts, 71). On the other hand, Taiwan and Manchuria came under the control of the Republic of China (ROC). The difference between ROC and PRC must be known. The PRC claims that due to the 1949 war, the administration of the Roc is no longer valid and legal. However, the ROC claims that it has power over Taiwan.
The Tuva Protectorate was once a state of the Imperial Russia. Only the Republic of Mongolia and the Soviet Union recognized it as an independent country. This state gained independence in 1921. This was after the Russian revolution in 1917. Today, this state is known as the Tyva Republic. It is within the Federation of Russia. Majority of the population is ethnic Tuvans.
The Ming-Qing is a transition that occurred in 1619. The dynasties got a transition when Koxinga, the last Ming leader, was defeated by the Kanxi Emperor. It is said that this was one of the most dramatic events in the history of China. It was a fruitful period for china. It is a source Chinese literature, arts and philosophy. This transition is different from the ROC-PRC transition. First, it was very dramatic. Though the ROC-PRC transition was also dramatic, it cannot be compared to the Ming-Qing transition. The leaders in the era of Ming were embarrassed and forced into exile. This did not happen to the leaders in ROC era. Another difference is the fact that ROC still claim to be legally in control of Taiwan up to today. The Ming-Qing era is over.
The parallels and the differences between the two transitions do not only occur in the time period that they occurred but also in the events themselves. The events in the Ming-Qing transition were more dramatic and bloodier than the events in the ROC-PRC transition. The consequences also bear a parallel and a difference. The consequences of the Ming-Qing transition were culture, literature and art. The consequence of the ROC-PRC transition was the change of administrative boundaries. Though both transitions are significant in the history of China, one has more consequences than the other.
The political history of modern China can be summed up as the “Tale of Two Cities—Nanjing and Beijing.” What motivated Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek to make Nanjing their capital? What motivated Mao Zedong to make Beijing his capital? What is the symbolic meaning of Nanjing vis-à-vis Beijing?
Sun Yat-sen is the founder of the Republic of China and was one of the most revolutionary leaders in Chinese history. On the other hand, Chiang Khai-shek was one of the most revered political and military leaders. He was the chairman of National Military Council. He was a very influential member of Kuomintang. Most importantly, he was a very close ally to Sun Yat-sen.
There are several reasons why these two men made Nanjing their capital. One of the reasons is that Nanjing was and still is a very prominent place in China. It is a source of Chinese history and culture (Analysis in Theory & Applications.). Nanjing was a very strategic point for military operations during the time Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Khai-shek. It enabled them to have control over the republic. It was also an economic zone. In addition, it had been the capital for earlier kingdoms such as the Ming Kingdom. Therefore, it was a military base.
Mao Zedong was the founder of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Commonly known as ‘Chairman Mao’ (Meisner, 42), he was a Chinese Communist and the chairman of the Communist Party. He is credited for modernizing China. His supporters regard him as a very important leader in modern history. He is also credited for improving healthcare, education and promoting the education of women. In addition, he is credited for China’s universal housing and improving their life expectancy in the country.
He chose Beijing as his capital for a number of reasons. First, he wanted to change the lives of his people. Beijing is one of the most populous places in the world (Meisner, 65). Thus, his desire to change as many Chinese lives as possible drove him there. Second, like Nanjing, Beijing is a center for education, culture and politics. In Mao’s mind, he could control the whole China in Beijing because of it is strategically placed. It had also earlier been a center for other kingdoms including the Qing and Ming Dynasties. Mao was a great leader who improved the general welfare of the Chines. His choice of Beijing as his capital was driven by his desire it have control over China and help as many people as possible.
Another reason why Mao Zedong chose Beijing was because of the ‘May Fourth Movement’. This was a movement that was orchestrated by Chinese students who were demonstrating against their government’s lack of response on the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty gave ‘Shandong’, a Chinese territory to Japan. These demonstrations led to nationalism and political mobilization.
The symbolic meaning of Nanjing is “Southern Capital”. On the other hand, the symbolic meaning of Beijing is “Northern capital”. The two cities are the most important in the Chinese history. They are both centers of both political and economic power. They are also the headquarters of education, military, health and even financial power. The history of china revolves around these two cities. Many of the kingdoms and ancient dynasties preferred them as their capitals because of geography and other reasons as well. These reasons are mentioned above.
Analysis in Theory & Applications. Beijing, China?: Editorial Board of (ATA) at Peking University and Nanjing University, 2003. Print.
Meisner, Maurice J. Mao's China: A History of the People's Republic. New York: Free Press, 1977. Print.
Roberts, J A. G, and J A. G. Roberts. Modern China: An Illustrated History. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Pub, 1998. Print.