Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China

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Republic of China
中華民國
Zhōnghuá Mínguó
Chūka Minkoku
Unrecognized state, puppet regime of the Empire of Japan

 

 

1940–1945
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
和平反共建國
"Peace, Anti-Communism, National Construction"
Anthem
National Anthem of the Republic of China[1]
Dark green: Republic of China-Nanjing in 1939.
Light green: Mengjiang (incorporated as a region in 1940).
Capital Nanking
Languages Chinese
Japanese
Government Republic
President
 •  1940–1944 Wang Jingwei
 •  1944–1945 Chen Gongbo
Vice President Zhou Fohai
Historical era World War II
 •  Established 30 March 1940
 •  Disestablished 10 August 1945

The Reorganized National Government was the name of the collaborationist government established in the Republic of China from 1940-45.[2] It was led by former Kuomintang (KMT) party member Wang Jingwei.

Wang Jingwei was the leftist leader of a Kuomintang faction called the Reorganizationists, who were often at odds with Chiang Kai-shek. After the fall of the capital city of Nanjing to the Imperial Japanese Army soon after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Nationalist government went into exile to Chongqing. On 30 March 1940 defectors under the tutelage of the Japanese army established a collaborationist government that claimed to be the legitimate representative of all of the Republic of China. This reorganized national government was formed out of a number of previous collaborationist governments that existed in northern and central China, including the Reformed Government of the Republic of China based in eastern China, the Provisional Government of the Republic of China in northern China, and later on the Mengjiang government in Inner Mongolia, though in reality northern China and Inner Mongolia stayed relatively free of its influence. Although using the same state symbols and name of the republic, the new government obtained international recognition only from the Anti-Comintern Pact countries. The exiled nationalist government in Chongqing continued to be recognized by most of the rest of the world as the legitimate government of China.

The reorganized national government declared war on the Allies on 9 January 1943. It was disbanded following the surrender of Japan in August 1945.

Etymology[edit]

The regime is informally also known as the Nanjing Nationalist Government (Chinese: ; pinyin: Nánjīng Guómín Zhèng), the Nanjing Regime, or by its leader Wang Jingwei Regime (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wāng Jīngwèi Zhèngquán). As the government of Republic of China and People's Republic of China regard the regime as illegal, it is also commonly known as Wang's Puppet Regime (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wāng Wěi Zhèngquán) or Puppet Nationalist Government (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wěi Guómín Zhèng) in Greater China. Other names used are the Republic of China-Nanjing, China-Nanjing, or New China.

Political boundaries[edit]

Map of the Republic of China that was controlled by the reorganized national government in 1939 (dark green     ). Mengjiang was incorporated in 1940 (light green)     

In theory, the Reorganized National Government controlled all of China with the exception of Manchukuo, which it recognized as an independent state. In actuality, at the time of its formation, the Reorganized Government controlled only Jiangsu, Anhui, and the north sector of Zhejiang, all being Japanese-controlled territories after 1937.

Thereafter, the Reorganized Government's actual borders waxed and waned as the Japanese gained or lost territory during the course of the war. During the December 1941 Japanese offensive the Reorganized Government extended its control over Hunan, Hubei, and parts of Jiangxi provinces. The port of Shanghai and the cities of Hankou and Wuchang were also placed under control of the Reformed Government after 1940.

The Japanese-controlled provinces of Shandong and Hebei were theoretically part of this political entity, although they were actually administered by the Commander of the Japanese Northern China Area Army under a separate Japanese-controlled government based in Beijing. Likewise, the southern sectors had their own Japanese military commander and government based in Guangzhou.

  • Jiangsu: 41,818 mi² (108,308 km²); capital: Zhenjiang
  • Anhui: 51,888 mi² (134,389 km²); capital: Anqing (also included the national capital of Nanjing)
  • Zhejiang: 39,780 mi² (103,030 km²); capital: Hangzhou

According to other sources, total extension of territory during 1940 period was 1,264,000 km².


Government, economy, education and everyday life[edit]

Wang Jingwei was head of the Reorganized National Government

Government and political administration[edit]

The administrative structure of the Reorganized National Government included a Legislative Yuan and an Executive Yuan. Both were under the president and head of state Wang Jingwei. However, actual political power remained with the commander of the Japanese Central China Area Army and Japanese political entities formed by Japanese political advisors.

After obtaining Japanese approval to establish a national government, Wang Jingwei ordered the Sixth Kuomintang Representative Congress to establish this government in Nanjing. The dedication occurred in the Conference Hall, and both the "blue-sky white-sun red-earth" national flag and the "blue-sky white-sun" Kuomintang flag were unveiled, flanking a large portrait of Sun Yat-Sen.

On the day the new government was formed, and just before the session of the "Central Political Conference" began, Wang visited Sun's tomb in Nanjing's Purple Mountain to establish the legitimacy of his power as Sun's successor. Wang had been a high-level official of the Kuomintang government and, as a confidant to Sun, had transcribed Sun's last will, the Zongli's Testament. To discredit the legitimacy of the Chongqing government, Wang adopted Sun's flag in the hope that it would establish him as the rightful successor to Sun and bring the government back to Nanjing.

The Nanjing Government and the northern Chinese areas[edit]

Area of control of the invading Japanese forces     

The Beijing administration (East Yi Anti-Communist Autonomous Administration) was under the commander-in-chief of the Japanese Northern China Area Army until the Yellow River area fell inside the sphere of influence of the Japanese Central China Area Army. During this same period the area from middle Zhejiang to Guangdong was administered by the Japanese North China Area Army. These small, largely independent fiefdoms had local money and local leaders, and frequently squabbled.

Wang Jingwei travelled to Tokyo in 1941 for meetings. In Tokyo the Reorganized National Government Vice President Zhou Fohai commented to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that the Japanese establishment was making little progress in the Nanjing area. This quote provoked anger from Kumataro Honda, the Japanese ambassador in Nanjing. Zhou Fohai petitioned for total control of China's central provinces by the Reorganized National Government. In response, Imperial Japanese Army Lt. Gen. Teiichi Suzuki was ordered to provide military guidance to the Reorganized National Government, and so became part of the real power that lay behind Wang's rule.

With the permission of the Japanese Army, a monopolistic economic policy was applied, to the benefit of Japanese zaibatsu and local representatives. Though these companies were supposedly treated the same as local Chinese companies by the government, the president of the Yuan legislature in Nanjing, Chen Gongbo, complained that this was untrue to the Kaizo Japanese review. The Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China also featured its own embassy in Yokohama, Japan (as did Manchukuo).

Notable people[edit]

Wang Jingwei, Hideki Tojo and Subhas Chandra Bose in Tokyo (1943)
Chen Gongbo, mayor of Shanghai and president of the government from 1944-1945

Local administration:

  • Liang Hongzhi: President and Head of State in the initial period
  • Wang Jingwei: President and Head of State
  • Chen Gongbo: President and Head of State after the death of Wang. Also, President of the Legislative Yuan and Mayor of the Shanghai occupied sector.
  • Zhou Fohai: Vice President and Finance Minister in the Executive Yuan
  • Jiang Kanghu Chief of the Education Yuan
  • Bao Wenyue: Minister of Military Affairs
  • Ren Yuandao: Naval Minister
  • Xiao Shuxuan: General Chief of Staff
  • Yang Kuiyi: Minister of Military Training
  • Li Shiqun: head of No. 76, the regime's secret service stationed in No. 76 Jessefield Road Shanghai
  • Tang Erho, Chairman of the North China Political Affairs Commission
  • Kaya Okinori: Japanese nationalist, merchant, and commercial adviser
  • Chu Minyi: Reorganized National Government ambassador to Japan
  • Tao Liang: notable Chinese landowner and Chinese government official
  • Chao Kung: (Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln), purported Buddhist leader

Foreign representatives and diplomatic personnel:

Economy[edit]

The local economy was administered primarily for the Japanese Central China Area Army. Military planners installed an "occupation economy" with wartime money (Japanese Military Yen and native Chinese Yuan), and a Chinese Central Bank with supposedly Chinese entities, but all were administered by Japanese advisors and the Imperial Japanese Army in the area. Chinese under the regime had greater access to coveted war-time luxuries, and the Japanese enjoyed things like matches, rice, tea, coffee, cigars, foods and alcoholic drinks, all of which were scarce in Japan proper. Additional entertainment, such as brothels, casinos and bars, were managed by the Japanese and local functionaries for the military. The purpose of this control was allegedly to impede the monetary depreciation of the yen, so as to maintain the strength of the Japanese currency on the continent.

In the Japanese-occupied territories, the prices of basic necessities rose substantially. In Shanghai of 1941, they increased elevenfold. Similar inflation occurred in Manchukuo, despite heavily centralized economic control by the Japanese.

Education[edit]

Education was similar across all the Japanese occupied territories. The strategy was to create a workforce suited for the factories and mines, and for manual labour. The Japanese also attempted to introduce their culture and dress to the Chinese. Complaints and agitation, as in Manchukuo, were raised and called for more meaningful Chinese educational development. Shinto shrines and similar cultural centers were built in order to instill Japanese culture and values. These activities came to a halt at the end of World War II.

Daily life[edit]

Daily life was often difficult in the Reorganized National Government-controlled Republic of China, and grew increasingly so as the war turned against Japan (i.e., after 1943). Local residents resorted to the black market in order to obtain needed items or to influence the ruling establishment. The Japanese Kempeitai, Japanese Tokko, collaborationist Chinese police and Chinese citizens in the service of the Japanese all worked to censor information, monitored any opposition and tortured enemies and dissenters. A "native" secret agency, the Tewu, was created with Imperial Japanese Army "advisors". The Japanese also established prisoner-of-war detention centers, concentration camps and military training centers.

Media control[edit]

Wall of house with government slogan proclaiming: "Support Mr. Wang Jingwei!"

The Reorganized National Government organized a "Bureau of Newspapers Management" under the "Department of Propaganda'" in October 1940. Four press agencies were created in 1941, though all were formally controlled by and censored by the Department of Propaganda.

Population[edit]

The population was probably close to the 1937–38 figures of the Interior Affairs Ministry, with no account taken of the outer regions or areas occupied by later advances:

  • Jiangsu: 15,804,623
  • Anhui: 23,354,188
  • Zhejiang: 21,230,749

The populations of the major cities were:

  • Nanjing: 1,100,000
  • Shanghai: 3,703,430 (including 75,000 foreigners)
  • Suzhou: 576,000
  • Hangzhou: 389,000
  • Shaoxing: 250,000
  • Ningbo: 250,000
  • Hankow: 804,526 (during its temporary control)

Other population estimates are as follows:

  • Shanghai: 3,500,000
  • Hankow: 778,000

Others sources during 1940 reported that the total number of inhabitants rose to 182,000,000.

National defense[edit]

President Wang Jingwei at a military parade on the occasion of the third anniversary of the establishment of the government

The Imperial Japanese Army assisted the Reorganized National Government in establishing an army, which served as a rear-guard and to help maintain internal security. This included a naval component, and also an air force (the "Reformed Government of China Air Force" (1938) renamed the "National Government of China Air Force" in 1940) which was eventually equipped with:

For the Reorganized National Government army, was equipped with:

For the Reorganized National Government Navy, was assigned a number of captured warships by the Imperial Japanese Navy:

War Ensign used by the Republic of China-Nanjing after May 1, 1942.
Naval Jack.

The regime also had a regular police force under Japanese control. Local politicians and media consistently provided pro-Japanese propaganda, praising the "heroic efforts of the Imperial troops", and argued for a "national defence against Communism and Western interests".

Chiang Kai-shek's forces captured numerous members of Wang Ching-wei's army during military engagements. Enemy prisoners of low rank were persuaded to renege and fight alongside anti-Japanese forces, but high-ranking prisoners were executed. Leaders of the military included:

  • Minister of Military Affairs: Bao Wenyue (鮑文樾)
  • Minister of Navy: Ren Yuandao (任援道)
  • General Chief of Staff: Yang Kuiyi (楊揆一)
  • Minister of Military Training: Xiao Shuxuan (蕭叔萱)

Japanese methods of recruiting[edit]

During the conflicts in central China, the Japanese utilized several methods to recruit Chinese volunteers. Japanese sympathisers including Nanjing's pro-Japanese governor, or major local landowners such as Tao-liang, were used to recruit local peasants in return for money or food. The Japanese recruited 5,000 volunteers in the Anhui area for the Reorganized National Government Army. Japanese forces and the Reorganized National Government used slogans like "Drop Your Weapons, and Take the Plow", "Oppose the Communist Bandits" or "Oppose Corrupt Government and Support the Reformed Government" to dissuade guerrilla attacks and buttress its support.

The Japanese used various methods for subjugating the local populace. Initially, fear was used to maintain order, but this approach was altered following appraisals by Japanese military ideologists. In 1939 the Japanese army attempted some populist policies, including:

  • land reform by dividing the property of major landowners into small holdings, and allocating them to local peasants;
  • providing the Chinese with medical services, including vaccination against cholera, typhus, and varicella, and treatments for other diseases;
  • ordering Japanese soldiers not to violate women or laws;
  • dropping leaflets from aeroplanes, offering rewards for information (with parlays set up by use of a white surrender flag), the handing over of weapons or other actions beneficial to the Japanese cause. Money and food were often incentives used; and
  • dispersal of candy, food and toys to children

Buddhist leaders inside the occupied Chinese territories ("Shao-Kung") were also forced to give public speeches and persuade people of the virtues of a Chinese alliance with Japan, including advocating the breaking-off of all relations with Western powers and ideas.

In 1938 a manifesto was launched in Shanghai, reminding the populace the Japanese alliance's track-record in maintaining "moral supremacy" as compared to the often fractious nature of the previous Republican control, and also accusing Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek of treason for maintaining the Western alliance.

In support of such efforts, in 1941 Wang Jing-wei proposed the Qingxiang Plan to be applied along the lower course of the Yangtze River. A Qingxiang Plan Committee (Qingxiang Weiyuan-hui) was formed with himself as Chairman, and Zhou Fohai and Chen Gongbo (as first and second vice-chairmen respectively). Li Shiqun was made the Committee's secretary. Beginning in July 1941, Wang maintained that any areas to which the plan was applied would convert into "model areas of peace, anti-communism, and rebuilders of the country" (heping fangong jianguo mofanqu). It was not a success.

Primary industry statistics[edit]

Before and during Japanese control of the Reformed Nanjing Republic of China, the farming possibilities were as follows:

Winter wheat and kaoliang (sorghum) zones[edit]

  • Precipitation: 24 in (600 mm)
  • Growing period: 241 days
  • Cultivated land area: 118,993 mile² (308,000 km²)
  • Cultivated land area: 47% for winter wheat and 68% for kaoliang
  • Cultivatable area per farm: 5.1 acres (21,000 m²)
  • Percentage of peasant-tenants: 5%
  • Peasant population density per unit area of cultivated land: 450/km² (1,165/mile²)

Distribution of crops

  • Wheat: 46%
  • Rice: 23%
  • Corn: 16%
  • Cotton: 9%
  • Kaoliang: 19%

Distribution of animals

  • Oxen: 40%
  • Donkeys: 21%
  • Mules: 16%

Transport types

  • Loaders: 32%
  • Hand carts: 36%
  • Loader Animal: 21%
  • Carts: 60%

Typical products

Yangtze rice and wheat zones[edit]

  • Precipitation: 42 inches (1070 mm)
  • Growing period: 293 days
  • Cultivated land area: 40,328 square miles (104,000 km²)
  • Cultivated land area: 61% for rice and 25% for wheat
  • Cultivatable area per farm: 3.5 acres (14,000 m²)
  • Percentage of peasant-tenants: 25%
  • Peasant population density per unit area of cultivated land: 525/km² (1,360/mile²)

Distribution of land usage for farming

  • Rice: 58%
  • Wheat: 31%
  • Cotton: 13%
  • Barley: 19%

Distribution of animal husbandry

  • Oxen: 40%
  • Water buffalo: 42%
  • Pigs: 15%

Transportation distribution

  • Loaders: 41%
  • Hand carts: 22%
  • Little vessels & boats: 33%

Typical products

  • Bamboo

Land in cultivation[edit]

  • Anhwei:
    • Land in cultivation: 22.7%
    • Cultivated land per person: 0.38 acres (1,500 m²)
  • Kiangsu:
    • Land in cultivation: 52.4%
    • Cultivated land per person: 0.39 acres (1,600 m²)
  • Chekiang:
    • Land in cultivation: 26.3%
    • Cultivated land per person: 0.30 acres (1,200 m²)

For mining resources, see Empire of Japan (natural resources, Asia mainland and Pacific areas, after 1937)

Industry & commerce[edit]

In pre-war Shanghai, many factories developed silk and cotton, and most had been controlled and owned by the Japanese or other foreign investors. A notable installation was the Shanghai Power Plant at the heart of the city, with a production capacity of some 200 megawatts. This power plant used coal from northern China. Since 1843 the port of Shanghai had been China's main gateway for commerce, and in 1935, it was handling trade with New York, London, San Francisco, Kobe, Liverpool, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Hamburg and Rotterdam. Shanghai also had other industries that were crucial to modern Chinese society at that time, and it continued to be a major industrial and economic powerhouse.

To complement the efforts of the South Manchurian Railway Company, the Japanese civil establishment and the Imperial Japanese Army, in collaboration with Chinese local businessmen, founded the North China Railway Company. This had branches in Hopei, Shangtung and other northern Chinese areas in order to link up the north China and central China railways. At about the same time the pro-Japanese government in Nanjing, together with "native" Japanese organisations and the Japanese Central Chinese Army authorities, organized the Central China Railway Company to link up the railways of Ahnwei, Kiangsu, north Chekiang, and areas near to or were held by the Southern Japanese Chinese Army, for economic and strategic reasons. The Japanese also organized a Chinese merchant shipping company and a Commerce Authority Entity for managing commercial traffic around Shanghai.

Japanese authorities reinforced monopolies on production in the occupied territories. Control methods were modeled on guilds, on the Naiga Wata Kabushiki Kaisha (which specialized in managing the Japanese cotton industry), or private zaibatsu such as Mitsubishi.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Lust, Caution is a 1979 novella by Chinese author Eileen Chang which was later turned into an award winning film by Ang Lee. The story is about a group of young university students who attempt to assassinate the Minister of Security of the Reorganized National Government. During the war, Ms. Chang was married to Hu Lancheng, a writer who worked for the Reorganized National Government and the story is believed to be largely based on actual events.
  • The 2009 Chinese film The Message is a thriller/mystery in the vein of a number of Agatha Christie novels. The main characters are all codebreakers serving in the Reorganized National Government's military, but one of them is a Kuomintang double-agent. A Japanese intelligence officer detains the group in a castle and attempts to uncover which of them is the spy using psychological and physical coercion, uncovering the protagonists' bitter rivalries, jealousies, and secrets as he does so.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese Newsreel with the national anthem on YouTube
  2. ^ Narangoa, Li; Cribb, R.B. (2003). Imperial Japan and national identities in Asia, 1895–1945. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 0-7007-1482-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • David P. Barrett and Larry N. Shyu, eds.; Chinese Collaboration with Japan, 1932–1945: The Limits of Accommodation Stanford University Press 2001
  • John H. Boyle, China and Japan at War, 1937–1945: The Politics of Collaboration (Harvard University Press, 1972).
  • Bunker, Gerald E. Peace Conspiracy: Wang Ching-wei and the China War, 1937–41 (1972)
  • James C. Hsiung and Steven I. Levine, eds., China's Bitter Victory: The War with Japan, 1937–1945 (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1992)
  • Ch'i Hsi-sheng, Nationalist China at War: Military Defeats and Political Collapse, 1937–1945 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1982).
  • Frederick W. Mote, Japanese-Sponsored Governments in China, 1937–1945 (Stanford University Press, 1954).
  • Joseph Newman, Goodbye Japan (references about Chinese Reformed Regime) published in New York, March 1942
  • Edward Behr, The Last Emperor, published by Recorded Picture Co. (Productions) Ltd and Screenframe Ltd., 1987
  • Agnes Smedley, Battle Hymn of China"
  • Chiang Kai Shek, The Soviet Russia in China
  • Wego W. K. Chiang, How the Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek gained the Chinese- Japanese eight years war, 1937–1945
  • Alphonse Max, Southeast Asia Destiny and Realities, published by Institute of International Studies, 1985.
  • Jowett, Phillip S., Rays of The Rising Sun, Armed Forces of Japan's Asian Allies 1931–45, Volume I: China & Manchuria, 2004. Helion & Co. Ltd., 26 Willow Rd., Solihull, West Midlands, England.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Provisional Government of the Republic of China
(1937–40)
Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China
1940–1945
Succeeded by
Nationalist government
(1927–1948)

Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.050°N 118.767°E / 32.050; 118.767