Essay on Modern Asia

1 Nationalist movements in Asia

The 20th century marked the rise of nationalist movement throughout Asia, although it is only until the mid-20th century Asian countries finally gained their independence. The main reason for the rise of nationalist movement in Asia was the oppression of Asian countries by European superpowers mainly, although Japan also attempted to play the leading part in Asia that evoked a strong opposition to Japanese imperialism (Murphy, 71).

As local governments were either puppet governments or were fully controlled by foreign administration, nationalist movements emerged to fight against foreign oppressors. Nationalist movements received a considerable support of the local population because people grew tired of unbearable conditions of their life since they were exploited severely, while their income was extremely low (Murphy, 82). The large share of the national wealth of Asian countries was just appropriated or cheated out by leading powers, mainly European countries. In such a situation, people readily followed the lead of nationalist movement which promised them the ownership of their land and protection of their interest but not interests of a foreign power. The rise of nationalist movements throughout Asia forced European countries to withdraw from Asia. In some cases, they did it peacefully, while in others, long wars took place, as was the case of Vietnam, for instance (Murphy, 101). As a result, nationalist movements accelerated the struggle for independence of Asian countries and eventually brought them to independence.

However, after gaining independence, internal conflicts were frequent and many countries slipped to civil wars, while some, like India, for instance, have managed to follow the democratic way of development (Murphy, 94). Nevertheless, nationalist movement helped to gain Asian countries independence and granted them with an opportunity to take decisions on their further development.

2 Rise and fall of Communism in China

The rise of Communism in China dates back to the early 20th century, when China has just struggled for independence of foreign powers. The Communist Party of China grew stronger and eventually became an influential political power, because Chinese people grew disenchanted in the official authorities and other political parties (Murphy, 134). People just did not believe they could change their life for better, while the position of the overwhelming majority of the population of China was desperate.

Being in a desperate position, Chinese people readily accepted and supported claims of the Communist Party which promised the land and plants ownership to peasants and workers respectively. The Communist Party headed by Mao Zedong launched the large scale revolution because Communists could not take the full control over the country through the political struggle. The Communist Party gained success in 1949 and defeated its opponents. The revolution resulted in the overthrowing of the ruling regime and the establishment of the Communist regime in China under the lead of Ma Zedong, who exercised the virtually unlimited power over the country (Murphy, 143). However, reforms conducted by communists failed to improve the position of the overwhelming majority of Chinese people much.

Mao used the repressive methods of the political struggle and suppressed any manifestation of opposition. The Cultural Revolution contributed to the enhancement of the communist ideology in China, although communist ideology did not match the traditional Confucian teaching dominating in China. As a result, ideological controversies and the failure to improve the quality of life of Chinese people consistently contributed to the start of the fall of Communism. After the death of Mao, Den Xiaoping took the power and launched political and economic reforms in terms of the ”˜socialism with Chinese characteristics (Murphy, 156). These reforms led to the development of open market economy principles in China and refusal from communist principles in economy, although the Communist Party has preserved the political control over the country.

Hence, China shifted to the economy with elements of capitalism but the Communist Party holds the political control over the country.

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