Japan Invades China

In 1931, Japan invaded and conquered Manchuria. For several years Chiang's army spent more time fighting the Communists than it did fighting the Japanese. The Communist army in Jiangxi province, under the leadership of Mao Tse-tung, made a 6,000-mile (9,700-km) marchthe famous Long Marchto establish itself in the north, in Shaanxi province. In 1936, Chiang was kidnapped by a Manchurian warlord and forced to agree to unite with the Communists against the Japanese.

China in 1934.China in 1934. In 1934, the Nationalists forced the Communists to flee their bases in southern China and begin their Long March.

Japan, fearing Chinese unity, attacked China in full force near Peiping in 1937. The Chinese retreated inland and in 1938 moved their capital to Chongqing. With most of the coast in Japanese hands, supplies to the beleaguered Chinese had to come either by air or overland by the way of the Burma Road.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, United States military aid to China steadily increased, despite the closing of the Burma Road by the Japanese. Throughout the war, the Nationalists held territory only in the west and parts of the south.

Japanese expansion in China.Japanese expansion in China. Japanese expansion into China reached its greatest extent in 1944, when the Japanese controlled much of eastern China.