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About: The Chinese imperial system came to an end in 1911, when the Qing (Manchu) dynasty was overthrown and China was proclaimed a republic, partly through the efforts of revolutionaries such as Sun... read more The Chinese imperial system came to an end in 1911, when the Qing (Manchu) dynasty was overthrown and China was proclaimed a republic, partly through the efforts of revolutionaries such as Sun Yat-sen. The country then entered a period of warlordism until in 1927 the Nationalist Party or 'Kuomintang' (KMT), under its leader Chiang Kai-shek, established a central government in Nanjing. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was founded in 1921 but broke with the KMT and was forced to flee into the interior in the Long March in 1934/35. Both KMT and CCP forces opposed Japan during World War Two but a civil war broke out from 1945-1949. CCP forces under Mao Zedong routed their KMT opponents and in 1949 Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. KMT elements fled to the island of Taiwan. The period between 1949 and Mao's death in 1976 was characterised by an ambitious political and economic restructuring programme which involved the collectivisation of industry, the establishment of communes and the redistribution of land. The Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976 brought enormous upheaval in the political system and Mao had to rely on the armed forces to maintain order and exercise control.