At the beginning of the 19th century, China had been a peaceful and prosperous component of the extensive Manchu empire. Descendants of warriors from the Manchurian plain northeast of China, the Manchus had swept away the Ming Dynasty in 1644 and had subsequently extended their rule over Mongolia, Sinkiang and Tibet. China, which they ruled as the Ching Dynasty, comprised barely half the territory of the Manchu empire, though it was by far the most populous and prosperous segment. The 19th century, however, proved to be … (click below to continue reading Cribb and Li’s Prelude)
10 August. Chu Teh, CCP commander in the north, announces that Japanese soldiers may surrender to any anti-Japanese armed forces (including the CCP). Next day, CCP leader Lin Piao begins force-marching a large army along the Peiping–Mukden Railway into Manchuria ahead of Chinese government forces.
14 August. Chiang Kai-shek sends the first of three cables wired to Mao Tse-tung over a 10-day period, inviting him to talks in Chungking. In response, Mao insists that CCP forces should also accept the surrender of Japanese troops and the Party should play a leading role in a future coalition government. Mao says that he sees little point in formal negotiations if Chiang cannot take these two positions into serious consideration.
10 August. Uncertainty about who will do what, and when, characterizes the entire region in mid-August. While the Philippines, for example, is beginning to rebuild after years of war and Japanese occupation, the country seethes with preparations for the invasion of Japan. U.S. military supplies pour in. Hospitals and other facilities are established in anticipation of the invasion efforts. Elements of the Philippine Army are also involved. Early but unconfirmed news of Japan’s surrender on the 10th results in premature celebrations in Manila, including the firing of weapons. Similar early celebrations erupt four days later when the U.S. Office of War Information newspaper Free Philippines prematurely announces the end of the war.
14 August. In return for Soviet pledges of moral support and military aid given solely to the KMT regime as the central government of China, plus undertakings on Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese envoys reluctantly sign a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance in Moscow. This grants the Soviets effective control of Dairen and Port Arthur along with extensive concessions in Manchuria. China also undertakes to recognize the independence of Outer Mongolia in its existing boundaries (i.e. Inner Mongolia is to remain part of China), subject to a positive referendum result.
10 August. With Japanese forces in Manchuria reeling before the Soviet onslaught and MPR troops advancing in Inner Mongolia, Stalin personally warns the Chinese government to sign a friendship treaty before it is too late. Negotiations have been stalled for months, with China resisting Soviet demands for extensive concessions in Manchuria and recognition of Outer Mongolian independence.
10 August. Looking to thwart Chinese aims to occupy the Crown Colony and return it to Chinese rule, the British cabinet agrees to send a British fleet to Hong Kong. Pro-British (Chinese-Macanese) agents also send an order to Franklin Gimson, the Coloni al Secretary for Hong Kong, to formally re-establish British colonial rule. Gimson is still being interned by the Japanese in Hong Kong.
15 August. Long before Shanghai is liberated, thousands of British, Dutch and American internees are freed in the city. Next day, an OSS operation begins to liberate Allied POWs in northern China. This succeeds within a few days but a similar operation in Korea ends in failure.