chapter  5
13 Pages

The National Salvation Association as a Political Party

WithParks M. Coble

The National Salvation Movement of the late 1930s was among the largest and most broadly based urban political movements in the history of Republican China. This chapter focuses on the particular jiuguo movement which developed in late 1935 and culminated in the formation of the All-China National Salvation Association League on 31 May 1936. The political platform of the movement was simple. It demanded resistance to Japanese aggression, a cessation of civil war in China, and a united front --including the Guomindang and the Chinese Communist Party-- in support of national salvation. Renewed Japanese aggression in North China in 1935 directly challenged Chiang Chiang's policy and gave rebirth to the salvation movement. Chiang's defenders continue to argue that his task in facing the Japanese military was daunting, and that his cautious approach embodied a sound scheme to build China's strength for the ultimate clash with Japan.