August 1 – People's Liberation Army Day in China

Posted on August 1, 2018

The Workers' and Peasants' Revolutionary Army, it was called back then. 

China was in the throes of a civil war: the Communist Party struggling with the Kuomintang, led by Chiang Kai-shek, for control.  On this date in 1927 the people's army formed...and revolt was in the air.

The two sides of China's civil war pulled together to fight against Imperial Japan during World War II, but when the Japanese threat was ended, the two sides were at each other's throats again. It ended with the Communists winning control over the nation and Chiang Kai-shek fleeing to Taiwan.

Even in exile, Chiang presented himself to the world as the head of the REAL China, the legitimate China.

But eventually the world had to grapple with the reality of mainland China: 

  • Mainland China has 1.4 billion people, as of 2016, and Taiwan has only 23 million people.
  • Mainland China is 9.5 million square kilometers (3.7 million square miles), and Taiwan is only 36 thousand square kilometers (almost 14 thousand square miles).
  • Mainland China has the largest economy in the world, with about 25 trillion in Gross Domestic Product, and Taiwan has only one trillion in GDP.

The victorious Communist leaders decided to change the name of the army to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and declared the anniversary of its creation a national holiday.

Check out some spectacular Chinese sights:

Also on this date:

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