The country again fell into chaos under Japanese rule, but the Chinese Nationalist
Party led the suppressed people and united the country, however not without resistance
from the ruling Japanese, the Soviets and the Communist Party of China.
In 1934 the Nationalist Party almost destroyed the communists, but they escaped
north on an event now known as "The Long March." During this time the
Nationalist Party weakened as they fought their Japanese occupiers and the communists
gathered momentum in recruitment. This struggle lasted throughout the Sino-Japanese
war, which by 1941 was little more than one battle within World War II. By 1949
Mao Tse-tung and the Communist Party had defeated the Nationalist Party and had
taken most of China as the Nationalist Party leadership and
many of their supporters retreated to Taiwan.
Since the communists took power in China, the country has
been approached with various viewpoints, but what is certain is the enormous amount
of change that has occurred. Almost immediately, Mao introduced the "Great
Leap Forward," which was a plan to advance technologically and militarily.
The plan succeeded, but at the expense of millions of lives. Next came the "Cultural
Revolution," which destroyed much of China's physical history.
Since Mao's death in 1976, the country has been, relatively, opened up.
China has introduced a free market economy, welcomed tourists, hosted the
2008 Summer Olympics, and improved education and healthcare, but the government
still controls the country and this is particularly true in small towns and villages.