New Life Movement

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The New Life Movement (Chinese: ; pinyin: Xīn Shēng Huó Yùn Dòng) was set up by General Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong May-ling in February 1934, with the help of the Blue Shirts Society and the CC Clique within the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang).[1] It attempted to counter Communism ideology with a mix of traditional Confucianism, Western Christianity, nationalism and authoritarianism that have some similarities to fascism.[1] It rejected individualism and Western democratic values and opposed socialism and communism. It also aimed to build up morale in a nation that was besieged with corruption, factionalism, and opium addiction. Some goals included courtesy to neighbors, following rules set by the government, keeping streets clean, conserving energy, and so forth. Chiang Kai-shek used the Confucian and Methodist notion of self-cultivation and correct living for this movement. While some have praised the movement for its role in raising the quality of life somewhat during the war with Japan, others have criticized it for its lofty goals that were out of touch with the suffering of the general populace.

The New Life Movement was considered by the Kuomintang as part of the program to carry out the "principle of the people's livelihood" (minsheng zhuyi) in Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People.

Cultural references[edit]

Xinsheng Road, a major arterial road in Taipei is named after the movement.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Schoppa, R. Keith. [2000] (2000). The Columbia Guide to Modern Chinese History. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11276-9.