China Research Workshop 中国研究讲座 Lunch Discussion RSVP
Friday, May 23, 2017 | 4:00-5:30 p.m. | GPS 3106

"The Formation of the Communist Base in Shaanxi"

Presenter: Joseph W. Esherick, Professor Emeritus of History, UC San Diego

Abstract: When Mao Zedong arrived at the Communist base in Northern Shaanxi in the fall of 1935, it was the last surviving Soviet area in China. The Central Soviet in Jiangxi had been abandoned as Mao and Zhu De’s army embarked on the Long March, and other Soviets in Hubei-Henan-Anhui, Western Hunan, and Sichuan had all be crushed by Chiang Kai-shek’s armies, the survivors all retreating to Shaanxi. There, from its wartime base in Yan’an, the Communist movement would expand rapidly after Japan’s invasion, and prevail after a relatively brief Civil War. Since he first conducted archival and field work in Shaanxi in 1988-89, Esherick has been seeking to understand the origins and growth of the revolutionary movement in the province. In this talk, he will explore the earliest stages of that movement—prior to the arrival of Mao in 1935, in order to understand the social, political and military origins of the Chinese revolution.


CRW provides a forum for the presentation of original research by China scholars from around the country in social science and humanities, co-sponsored by Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China and 21st Century China Program at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy. To view archive and upcoming workshops list, visit:

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