1936 Xi'an Incident

Aim: to force Chiang Kai-shek to cooperate with the CCP to fight the Japanese

Description of the Event:
  • Japanese invasion of China began with the invasion of Manchuria in the early 1930s, but Chiang Kai-shek did not do anything; simply continued to persecute the Communists
  • Chiang believed that China was too large a country for the Japanese to occupy without exhausting themselves
  • To force Chiang to cooperate with the Communists to fight the Japanese, Xian Incident of 1936 was plotted
  • In December of 1936, Chiang visited troops in Xian, but he was captured by KMT troops under General Zhang Xueliang, who was working with the Communists
  • Chiang was handed over to the Communists, and finally gave in, forming the Second United Front to wage war against Japanese aggression

  • In a sense, this worsened the relationship between the KMT and the CCP. While they have agreed to work together, Chiang's bitter hatred towards the Communists increased.
  • But with Chiang's unwillingness to drive out the Japanese initially, the CCP could now claim that it was they who were the genuine nationalists while Chiang had to be forced into taking action against the Japanese.