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China and Inner Asia
In Session: Politics and State Building at the Grassroots: County Governance Practices in the 1950s
1: Factional Politics: The Organizational Structure and Interpersonal Networks of Kuomintang’s Grassroots Regime, 1926-1949
Thursday, March 25, 2021
8:30am – 10:00am EDT
Xiamen University, China (People's Republic)
The factional struggle within the Kuomintang has always received extensive attention from historians. Most of the existing research focuses on the faction politics of the high-level officers but ignored the faction struggles happened at the bottom society. By sorting and analyzing the personal files from the PRC Public Security Bureau and People’s Court in the 1950s, this research aims to reveal the structure of factions and interpersonal network of the grassroots regime of Kuomintang in the 1940s. In the Republic of China, the grassroots government of a county in Jiangxi province was mainly controlled by the so-called “Jiang Faction” and “Zhou Faction” in the 1950s. Those characters were the targets during the CCP’s political campaigns in the early 1950s. Whether the Jiang Faction and Zhou Faction were real political organizations in the Republic of China era, or they were a symbolic construction by the new CCP regime? How did such grassroots political factions form and how did they interact with high-level politicians? This article demonstrated that how did the local factional networks impact the Kuomintang’s control of local society and how did the CCP establish its legitimacy on the bottom level in the early 1950s.