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How did World War II affect China?

World War II affected China by enabling the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong to present itself as a defender of the people. The Nationalist government had proved itself incapable of defending China against a Japanese invasion. The Chinese Communists, on the other hand, had proved themselves to be formidable fighters against the Japanese and established credibility as a national force in the eyes of many Chinese.

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Many historians consider the Japanese invasion of China to be the actual start of World War II. Needless to say, this conflict had a profound effect on China. For one thing, it forced the Chinese Communists and the Nationalists to temporarily pause their own civil war so that they could focus on fighting the foreign invaders together. The Communist forces faired better than the Nationalists in this struggle which caused them to gain more esteem and legitimacy in the eyes of many people. They were able to capitalize on this when the Chinese civil war resumed in 1946. Furthermore, the Soviet Union provided aid to the Chinese during World War II. This helped to establish stronger relations between the Chinese Communist forces and the Soviets. After the war, this amicable relation was continued to some extent, which further bolstered the communists.

The war was very disruptive and destructive to the people of China. During the war, an estimated 20 million Chinese people died. As many as...

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