What was the difference between the Chinese Communist Party and the  Kuomintang?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party were political parties in China. The Kuomintang formed in 1912. It is another name for the Nationalist Party of China. It was founded by Sun Yat-sen. This party replaced the Qing Dynasty. There were three guiding principles of the Kuomintang. They were known as The Three Principles of the People, which were nationalism, democracy, and economy. This party ruled China for many years. For a period of time, the Chinese Communists were part of the Kuomintang.

Eventually, there was a split between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party. Chiang Kai-shek, who replaced Sun Yat-sen, believed the Chinese Communist Party wanted to overthrow him. Chiang Kai-shek attacked the Chinese Communist Party. This led to a civil war between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang. The Kuomintang had a republic and were noncommunist while the Chinese Communist Party believed in communist ideas and in having a great deal of government control.

While both sides worked together before and during during World War II to defeat the Japanese who had invaded China, both sides began to fight each other again after World War II ended. The Chinese Communist Party won the civil war and took power in 1949. There is a great deal of government control in China today.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major difference between these two groups was that the Communist Party was, of course, communist while the Kuomintang wanted a republican form of government.  The two groups did work together for a while.  They were both interested in defeating the warlords and bringing China under a unified national government once more.  The Communists also had orders from the Comintern (international communist organization headed by the Soviet Union) to cooperate with the KMT.

However, they eventually came to disagree over political ideology.  The KMT believed that communism would prevent the consolidation of a united China.  This led to the civil war in China that can be said to have begun in 1928.

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