- Jindai Guangdong de zhengdang shehui guojia—Zhongguo Guomindang jiqi dangguotizhi de xingchengguocheng [inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="01i" /] [inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="02i" /] (Party, society, and state in modern Guangdong: The evolution of the Chinese Nationalist Party and its party-state system)
Fukamachi Hideo's heroic effort in writing Chinese history in the Chinese language rather than in his native Japanese deserves high praise. In this adventurous work, Fukamachi offers new interpretations of the early history of the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the formation of China's party-state political system through an examination of one particular province: Guangdong.
The time span covered by Fukamachi's study ranges from the 1890s to the 1920s, a vital period during which China experienced dramatic change. The curtain was raised with the Revolution of 1911: a dynasty collapsed, a parliamentary democracy failed, and a party-state system was finally consolidated. The whole of China experienced the first two developments, but the creation of the party-state system, which had a long-lasting impact on China in the twentieth century, was initially a unique product of Guangdong.
In seven core chapters, Fukamachi stresses the extraordinary importance of Guangdong as a base for revolutionary activity in China, first against the Manchu dynasty and then against the warlords, and finally as a stronghold from which the KMT launched the new movement. By examining revolutionary organizations, local society, and changing regimes in Guangdong, Fukamachi offers a panoramic view that enables the reader to see how the party-state system evolved there.
The establishment of the party-state system took decades, and the people of Guangdong played a key role. In the late Qing, frequent contact with the outside world along with their special local circumstances enabled the Cantonese to become the chief organizers for the China Revival Society (Xingzhonghui) in 1894 and the Revolutionary Alliance (Tongmenghui) in 1905. After 1911 the KMT emerged, but it soon lost influence when it was suppressed by Yuan Shikai. Subsequently, in 1914, Sun Yat-sen established the Chinese Revolutionary Party (Zhonghua Gemingdang), and in 1919 he reorganized the Nationalist Party. Sun always saw Guangdong as an exceptional base for his activities and endeavored to penetrate into the province by recruiting locals into his party.
While engaged in his experiment in Guangdong, Sun clashed with local elites such as Chen Jiongming, who was more interested in maintaining provincial [End Page 82] autonomy. However, Sun moved ahead with his aim to establish a national republic. By the time Sun assumed the presidency of the republic in Guangdong in 1921, the Nationalist Party was playing a vital role in the new regime since more than half of its officials were Party members. In the ensuing years, the Nationalist Party further consolidated its power in Guangdong by requiring Party membership for those in important government positions. At the county level, non-Party members were not even allowed to fill vacant positions. Nationalist rule thus received its empowerment not from legislative enactment but rather from the Party apparatus. After Sun's death, Chiang Kai-shek further solidified the position of the Nationalist Party, which in turn assisted Chiang in monopolizing political activity and in completing the process of formation of the party-state system.
Some features of this book deserve attention. The author has made extensive use of numerous types of historical materials, such as Party archives, provincial and county annals, memoirs and biographies, newspapers and magazines, and other...