From 1922 to 1927, an alliance between the Guomindang (GMD) and the Soviet Communists advanced a mass-media campaign aimed at wresting control from a regime dominated by warlords and unifying the Chinese nation. Soviet-inspired propaganda posters then flourished during the Northern Expedition as a novel approach to engage with the masses and facilitate the state’s policy. By analyzing the symbolic expressions in these political images, this paper examines the differences and similarities between the earlier printed political images and later propaganda posters and argues that both the GMD and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regimes relied on propaganda networks and personality cults in order to maintain power. In the aftermath of the Qing dynasty, China endured instability and turmoil as warlords and political factions predominated. By the time of the Northern Expedition, the leaders of the GMD and CCP had become convinced that only rigid party organization with military discipline could achieve the goal of national unity.


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pp. 52-80
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