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This article is concerned with the events that preceded World War II in Asia.

Kuomintang and Communism in China

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The revolution led by the Kuomintang (KMT, or Chinese Nationalist Party) and others ended the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing dynasty, which was replaced by a republic, the Republic of China, in 1912. Prior to World War I, however, the ROC central government failed to effectively rule its territory. China fell into a fragmented region of local warlords. Other than the warlord-controlled central government, two primary forces aimed to unite China under their ideology. The KMT was reorganized in 1919, and the Chinese Communist Party was formed in 1921. The two parties were not immediate enemies and had short-term partnership. In 1924, KMT started a military campaign to defeat the northern warlords. In 1927, with much of southern and central China under the KMT control, the KMT openly turned on the CPC. The KMT took most parts of China under its power in 1928, and the warlord controlling Manchuria agreed to KMT leadership of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Noteworthy events

The following events played a significant role in setting the stage for the involvement of Asia and the Pacific in World War II:

Republic of China era

World War II in Asia

Many historians argue that World War II began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7, 1937. While other historians believe the war began with the Mukden Incident in Manchuria on September 18, 1931. Japanese occupation of much of Asia would last until 1945.

1931–37: Japan vs. China

1937-39: The War expands

Chinese soldiers poorly armed.
Chinese soldiers poorly armed.

The conquest of Southeast Asia and the road to Pearl Harbor

See also