In 1927 the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek began to persecute the Communists and Mao led the resistance in a number of southern towns. The party incurred serious losses during this period and Mao was excluded from the party leadership which held the view that the alliance with Kuomintang should be continued. Mao, however, set about forming armed units, withdrew into the mountains and founded the first “soviets” which he used as the basis for his guerilla campaign. It was during this period that Mao’s wife, also a Communist Party activist, was taken prisoner by Chiang Kai-shek’s soldiers and executed – a severe blow for Mao. With a weak, divided Communist Party matched against the Kuomintang’s superior forces, Mao decided to refrain from frontal attacks and guerilla action. Instead he sought the active support of the people. In 1934 the Red Army of southern China set out on the legendary Long March, settled in the northern town of Yan’an and formed new collectives. By now Mao had been elected to the Communist Party’s leadership and had set about formulating a social analysis which would provide a basis for the specifically Chinese route to Communism. In Yan’an he met Jiang Qing a Shanghai actress and in 1937 Mao married for the third time. His second wife He Zizhen whom Mao had married in 1931 is said to have lost her reason as a result of the hardships of the Long March. Both children from this marriage were entrusted to a peasant family but were later reported missing.
In the war against Japan, when the Kuomintang once again allied with the Communists, Chinese travel guide to america Mao’s movement was able to drop its guard and win the support of the broad masses by demonstrating success. In 1949 the Communist forces celebrated a double victory over the Japanese insurgents and the Kuomintang before proclaiming the People’s Republic. Mao occupied the position of Chairman of the Republic until 1958 when he delegated the administrative duties to others but remained party chairman. All other major political developments and events are closely linked with his name-from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution. It was Mao’s great charisma and gift for strategy which enabled him to hold his vast country together despite periods of profound crisis. Not only did he understand precisely the nature of the serious social conflicts and their causes, he was also able to anticipate them.
Within a month of his death on September 9th 1976, China had entered a new phase in its history with the arrest of Mao’s wife Jiang Qing and the other members of the Gang of Four.
Ni Zan a poet, calligrapher and landscape artist was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, into a rich and aristocratic family. During the 1340s, however, he gave all his possessions away to relatives and friends and travelled the countryside staying mainly in Buddhist temples. Shortly before the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1368) he withdrew to a houseboat.
He was offered a job by the Ming Dynasty but declined it, preferring to turn his back on worldly pleasures and to lead a simple life.