Leaning to the Left: The Post-War Political Reorganisation of Chinese Women Activists within the CCP United Front Framework (1945-1949)

Vivienne Xiangwei Guo

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Abstract:  The political transformation and reconstruction in China after the Second World War was marked by the Communist Party’s successful implementation of the united front framework (tongyi zhanxian 统一战线) in the Kuomintang-controlled areas, in order to form a political coalition against the Kuomintang regime and to found a “new China” in 1949. Chinese women activists, who had established a variety of resistance organisations and built connections with different political parties and groups during the War of Resistance (1937-1945), also engaged in this framework and eventually leaned to the political left. By investigating the political reorganisation of Chinese women activists within the united front framework in different Kuomintang-held urban sites, this article aims to deepen the understanding of women’s political roles and goals in their engagement with the Communist Party for the post-war national reconstruction, and to reveal the complexities of the process of their “leaning to the left”.

Keywords:  Chinese women activists; China Women’s Association; the CCP united front framework; post-war political reconstruction; the Chinese civil war.