In February 1945, as the conflict that lead to World War II was drawing to a close, the Allied leaders of the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain secretly met together. This collective meeting became known as, the Yalta Conference. At the conference, the Allied leaders agreed to the acceptable terms for the Soviet Union to enter war. War was necessary to reclaim the Asian territory in the Northeast formerly occupied by the Chinese, Manchuria. Prior to this in 1931, the Japanese invaded Manchuria without a war proclamation. The absent of a war proclamation violated the terms of the Legions of Nations. When the Japanese invasion occurred, they setup Manchuria in a manner that was referred to as a “puppet state.” A puppet state meant that Japanese forces wanted to completely annihilate the possibilities of Chinese forces advancing.


The Japanese wanted established domination over the abundant supply of minerals and raw materials that naturally existed in the region. The Soviet Union entered Manchuria to dismantle the puppet state in August 1945. Manchuria then became a bedrock for the joint command unit known as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which consisted of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Party of China (CPC). This fraction evolved into the Chinese Nationalist Party, officially named the Kuomintang (KMT). The KMT objected to the continual presence of the Soviets in the region. The ill disposed presence of the Soviets, lead to a renewal of the animosity between China and the Soviet Union. The conflict was momentarily halted when the Chinese banded together with the Soviet Union as allies to resist the Japanese. The initial conflict lost momentum because the Communists were weakened by the efforts to retake Manchuria. Until 1946, when the Communist forces regained full strength and the fighting escalated into a full scale civil war.


Many felt that the United States had sold out by throwing their support behind the Communist forces. But, ultimately it didn’t matter, because although the United States did back the KMT, they did not prevail, in fact they were close to defeat when they retreated. Three years later in 1949, eventually the conflict waned, and the KMT armed forces withdrew to Taiwan. The following year, all conflict ceased and the Soviet Union declared victory. At stake was the wartime promise made by the allies; however, it was honored with the Soviet Union giving up their military bases in Chinese territories.


That was the end of questioning for the countries unified as Western Allies, but in the US the debate went unanswered as many posed the question, who was the responsible party in the United States government? The silent question remained, which lead official was responsible for the lost of China? In the end, the question fell on deaf ears as the Korean War got underway. The PRC was driven by the support of its US allies; a defining factor in the PRC’s decision to not overtake Taiwan for control of the island. However, the armed forces did not fallback due to ongoing conflict between the Taiwanese military. Brief intervals of fighting kept recurring for the years following, lasting from 1950 to 1979.


The official declaration of war came over a decade later in 1991. Tensions with Taiwan continued with the PRC providing evidence that there would never be a formal agreement on ceasefire. Yet, Taiwan remained a free province maintaining its rights to independence. As time progressed the warring tendencies were casted aside with formal attempts at peace. This was made apparent by the series of Chen-Chiang summits, spanning from 2008-2011.


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