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China and World War II

An illustrated talk by Hans van de Ven

Friday 23rd October 2015

The talk given by Hans Van de Ven was greatly appreciated by one of our largest audiences. Most people are aware of the history of WWII in Europe, but probably less so as it affected the Far East. Early in the war, the Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, were the largest force and joined in a fragile truce with the Communists. China did not have an air force and it was only with the support from American air power, loans and other military resources that they eventually overcame the Japanese. Also one of China's vulnerabilities was the supply of salt, which for centuries had come from salt fields around the coast and the Japanese invasion cut this supply off. The Communists eventually prevailed over the Nationalists and it was on the advice of Stalin, keen to create an isolation barrier around Russia, that Mao Tse-Tung opted for a central rather than a federal structure.