On the 12th of March, Sun Yat-sen, leader of the democratic revolution in China succumbed to cancer.
In the wake of Sun’s death, one of his protégés, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the Nationalist Party (KMT) and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under its rule in the Northern Expedition (1926–1927). Having defeated the warlords in the south and central China by military force, Chiang was able to secure the nominal allegiance of the warlords in the North and establish the Nationalist government in Nanking.
In early 1927, the KMT-CPC rivalry led to a split in the revolutionary ranks. The CPC and the left wing of the KMT had decided to move the seat of the KMT government from Guangzhou to Wuhan, where communist influence was strong.
However, Chiang and Li Zongren, whose armies defeated warlord Sun Chuanfang, moved eastward toward Jiangxi. The leftists rejected Chiang's demand to eliminate Communist influence within KMT and Chiang denounced them for betraying Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People by taking orders from the Soviet Union.
On 1 August 1927, the Communist Party launched an uprising in Nanchang against the Nationalist government in Wuhan. This conflict led to the creation of the Red Army and the beginning of the Chinese Civil War.
On August 4, the main forces of the Red Army left Nanchang and headed southwards for an assault on Guangdong. Nationalist forces quickly reoccupied Nanchang while the remaining members of the CPC in Nanchang went into hiding.
In September, the CPC began courting the USSR for aid. Trotsky publicizes his anti-KMT stances and begins exporting equipment to the Mao-led CPC faction - applauding Mao for refusing to cooperate with the Nationalist government, citing that “If the Chinese revolution were to triumph under its present bourgeois-nationalist leadership, it would very quickly go to the right, demonstrate its good intentions to the capitalist countries, soon gain recognition on their part, offer them concessions on new bases, obtain loans, in a word, enter into the system of capitalist states as a less degraded, less colonial, but still profoundly dependent entity. Furthermore, the Chinese republic would hold in relation to the Soviet Union in the best variant the same position as the present Cairene Arabia - cold hostility.”
Days after recognizing the Nationalist (KMT) government in Nanjing, Yang Zengxin survived an assassination attempt by Xinjiang nationalists led by Fan Yaonan. Yang’s ensuing political neglect of the region’s religious minorities would soon escalate into open rebellion, however. Gansu warlord Ma Zhongying of the Hui Ma clique invaded in support of the coup. Soon various other groups rebelled against Yang, often fighting against each other including the breakaway First East Turkestan Republic.
Persia invaded and annexed the Mamluk State of Khuzestan during the 7th Fitnah.
France invades the Mamluk State of Bornu.
The September 18 Incident (the Mukden Incident: military clashes between Japan and China in North China); culminated in effective results for the Japanese and within five months, most of Manchuria is seized by the Kwantung Army. Manchukuo is created as a Japanese puppet-state.
Chiang Kai-shek, who led the central government of China, decided that China must avoid all-out war with Japan due to domestic turmoil and inadequate preparation. Therefore, he pursued a strategy of appeasing Japan while struggling for real national unity and over time sufficient strength to confront the Imperial army.
The Malayan People’s Party (MPP) was founded by the Tondo-born Gurun-based writer Suripto Hayat on October 13. The movement’s platform was centered upon the immediate balkanization of the Bruneian Empire, estate redistribution, taxation reductions, and greater governmental transparency.
The MPP firmly criticized Malaya’s increasing military expenditure, which had led to a proportionate increase in foreign investment. The inability of Malaya’s feudal-like economic system to cope with the dissonance between classes, as well its bloated foreign debt to the United States was described by Suripto Hayat himself: "In Gurun we see our so-called leaders growing fat and rich on money amassed from taxing the poor. They have fine automobiles and fine homes for themselves, but for us they have only fine and empty words. They have learned to promise as much as the Anglo-Americans and to deliver as little."
Malayans joined the People’s Party for a variety of reasons. The party fearlessly exposed the wrongdoings of politicians, was truly compassionate about the poor and oppressed, was uncompromising in its stand on independence, and possessed integrity in terms of living up to its record of not being after the people’s money. Its members perceived the movement as being very honest, as it was founded by a small group of modest middle-class citizens. Although the MPP was nominally both anti-Islamist and anti-Communist, both Islamists and Communists supported the party because on one hand, educated Muslims saw the People’s Party as capable of paving the way towards a much more liberalized Islamic state (such as Arabia); whilst electoral Communists saw it as an opportunity to pressure the Malayan autocracy into adapting at least some tenets of democracy.
On November 8, the MPP was officially outlawed by the Malayan government. Publication of its newspapers and opinions moved underground, its fliers and pieces printed by illegal presses and funded by shadow sponsors sympathetic to the cause of balkanization.
The British Empire invades the Mamluk States of Zanzibar and Assudan.
Manchukuo, a Japanese-sponsored Chinese government in Manchuria is established as a supposed successor to the Qing Dynasty, with China’s last surviving Emperor, Pu Yi, placed as its figurehead.
The Soviet Union invades and annexes Circassia, putting an end to any of the organization among the Mamluk states fighting for dominance in Arabia.
Italy would attempt to invade the Mamluk states of the Maghreb, resulting in the Libyan Confrontation; where Italian soldiers come into conflict with Arabian soldiers moving in to secure the Maghreb.
The surviving Mamluk states surrender to the Abbasid Caliphate and Sultanate of Qahira; marking the end of the 7th Fitnah.
Despite the contribution provided by Bahadir and his Mamluks, he was assassinated by an unknown party soon after the Seventh Fitnah; and the Mamluks were purged. This would unfortunately result in the vulnerability of Arabia in the following Second World War, as many of Arabia's military officials had included Mamluks.
To ensure that Mamluks never rose again, and also to encourage industrialization; slavery was finally abolished, and a new sultanate system was implemented. The sultan would be elected among the people and by the people, and would reign for a term of 5 years before a new sultan is elected.
The first of the new sultans to be elected would be Badr al-Ramin, who would be best known for his part in the formation of the Alliance of Islamic Countries, also known as Tada'i; as well as his part in leading Arabia during the Second World War.
Driven from their mountain bases such as the Chinese Soviet Republic, the CPC forces embarked on the Long March across China's most desolate terrain to the northwest, where they established a guerrilla base at Yan'an in Shaanxi Province. During the Long March, the communists reorganized under a new leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung).
Maoism, or Mao Zedong Thought, was developed as the political ideology of the Chinese Soviet Republic. In his writings, Mao despised Islamism (Cairene Arabia and Bruneian Malaya) as a form of liberalism, whereby he denounced non-secular theocracies as regimes that “banked on the idea that the surplus of democratic freedoms and popularization of worker organization meant that the only way the capitalist aristocracy could thrive was through the inclusion of the lower-class into political parties while preventing elections from serving as media for political reform that could otherwise hurt the interests of the wealthy.”
In Xinjiang, Yang Zengxin completed his reclamation offensive against major rebel outposts and made peace with the KMT factions who opposed his rule. Social, political, and religious reforms in Xinjiang would mark a relatively peaceful era for Uighurs in comparison to the rest of China.
Comprehensive negotiations between Yang and the Soviet Union led to the signing of a non-aggression pact on April 16th, effectively securing the last major threat to his clique’s independence in the region.
In March, summits between Anti-Chiang Chinese revolutionaries (including members of the CPC), exiles of the Philippine Republic (led by President Emilio Aguinaldo), refugee democratic revolutionaries from Indochina, survivors of the Kota Batu Massacre, and the Japan-based Black Dragon Society culminated in the official introduction of a political doctrine into the Imperial Japanese Army calling for a military exploitation of a non-military term proposed by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck: the phrase "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".
In September, the Empire of Japan began to draw-up plans for a potential invasion of Malaya and the political divisions which would succeed it. The Imperial Japanese Army planned the Sphere in an attempt to create a Great East Asia, comprising Japan, Manchukuo, China, and parts of Southeast Asia, that would, according to imperial propaganda, establish a new international order seeking "co-prosperity" for Asian countries which would share prosperity and peace, free from both Western colonialism and “the scourge of Islamism”. Military goals of this expansion included naval operations in the Indian Ocean and the isolation of Australia. This would enable the principle of hakkō ichiu while also securing Japanese interests in the region.
On the 12th of December 1936, bodyguards of Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng stormed the cabin where Chiang Kai-shek was staying and detained the KMT Nationalist leader. A telegram was sent to Nanjing to demand an immediate end to the civil war against the CPC, and to reorganize the Nationalist government by expelling pro-Japanese factions and adopting an active anti-Japanese stance. As conflicting reports unfolded, the Nationalist government in Nanjing was sent into disarray.
The following day, the events were reported to the Trotsky-led USSR by the CPC, The Trotskyist government, critical of the “Chinese United Front” idea proposed, threatened to halt all aid sent to the Chinese Soviet Republic if collaboration with the KMT and the participation of Chinese Communists in the KMT government were to be re-established; citing that the USSR was more than capable of deterring Japanese aggression.
Mao opted to ignore this warning and the USSR closed all diplomatic channels with the CPC, culminating in the expulsion of its attaché in Moscow.
On the 16th December, Zhou Enlai arrived in Xi'an for negotiations, accompanied by fellow CPC diplomat Lin Boqu. Chiang was immediately opposed to negotiating with a CPC delegate, and refused to withdraw his opposition even when it became clear that his life and freedom were largely dependent on Communist goodwill towards him.
Madame Chiang reportedly made her way to her detained husband on December 22, who had travelled to Xi'an hoping to secure his speedy release, fearing military intervention from factions within the Kuomintang. In the afternoon of the 22nd however, her car was ambushed by officers loyal to Wang Jingwei, a longtime rival of Chiang. When this is revealed to the Nationalist KMT leader in passing by Lin Boqu, it invariably affects his decision in the negotiations.
On the 24th of December, Chiang received Zhou for a meeting, the first time that the two had seen each other since Zhou had left Whampoa Military Academy over ten years earlier. Zhou began the conversation by saying: "In the ten years since we have met, you seem to have aged very little." Chiang nodded and said: "Enlai, you were my subordinate. You should do what I say." Zhou replied that if Chiang would halt the civil war and resist the Japanese instead, the Red Army would willingly accept Chiang's command. Chiang vaguely responds that he would look into the situation, and that he would invite Zhou for further talks in Nanjing.
Under the pressure of time constraints, and fearing KMT retribution, Chiang is released even before the negotiations come to a proper agreement on the night of the 24th. Zhou is not invited back to Nanjing despite previous correspondence.
On December 30, Chiang is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards sympathetic to the cause of the CPC, in a bellicose move which angers the KMT faction.
The ensuing power vacuum left authority over the Nationalist government in Nanjing in the hands of the Pan-Asianist anti-USSR ideologue Wang Jingwei. Beginning January 5, Wang assumes the role of Chairman of the National Government of the Republic of China in a snap election - with most members of the government responsible for counting the votes held at gunpoint by Wang anti-Chiang sympathizers.
Beginning in January, Chairman Wang Jingwei attempted to cool tense relations with Japan and slowly re-integrate the CPC back into the Nanjing government to strengthen his legitimacy as leader of China. On the 9th, the Nanjing government signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan much to the dismay of the pro-USSR faction in both the KMT and the CPC.
Wang Jingwei used Pan-Asianism, basing his views on Sun Yat-sen advocating for Asian people to unite against the West in the early 20th century, partly to justify his efforts at working together with Japan. He claimed it was natural for Japan and China to have good relations and cooperation because of their close affinity, describing their conflicts as a temporary aberration in their history. Furthermore the government believed in the unity of all Asian nations with Japan as their leader as the only way to achieve their goals of removing European and Islamist imperialist powers from Asia.
Still upset over the 1936 withdrawal of the USSR’s support from the CPC and the incompetence of Mao in forming a Chinese United Front against Japan, many Maoists adopted the political position of the left wing of the KMT, under the leadership of Wang Jingwei, believing that an otherwise deadly resistance war would lead to the wholesale subjugation of Chinese autonomy (which was already severely limited by the 21 demands) to the Empire of Japan.
Talks with the Japanese Empire remained belligerent due to the question of Manchuria, which remained occupied by the Kwantung Army. Wang, pressured by the threat of CPC elements in the KMT to secede, continued to advocate against the independence of Manchuria in public.
In private, talks between Wang and the Japanese government began to discuss the possibility of the Japanese interventionism in the Chinese Civil War. Attaches from Japan began surveying the military situation of the Sinkiang, Xibei San Ma, Yunnan, and Guangxi Cliques as early as June. Wang also expressed to the Japanese government his intent to declare neutrality in the event of a large-scale conflict in Asia.
On the night of the 7th of July, Imperial Japanese units stationed at Fengtai crossed the Sino-Japanese border to conduct military exercises. Japanese and Chinese forces outside the town of Wanping—a walled town 16.4 km (10.2 mi) southwest of Beijing—exchanged fire at approximately 23:00. The exact cause of this incident remains unknown. When a Japanese soldier, Private Shimura Kikujiro, failed to return to his post, Chinese regimental commander Ji Xingwen (219th Regiment, 37th Division, 29th Route Army) received a message from the Japanese demanding permission to enter Wanping to search for the missing soldier; the Chinese flatly refused. Although Private Shimura returned to his unit, by this point both sides were mobilizing, with the Japanese deploying reinforcements to surround Wanping.
At 04:45 (20:45 UTC) Wang Lengzhai had returned to Wanping, and on his way back he witnessed Japanese troops massing around the town. Seeing himself as outnumbered, he ordered his men to ceasefire and surrender to the Japanese.
The following morning, the Chinese (Nanjing) and Japanese governments engaged in comprehensive peace talks, despite the CPC’s call for retaliation. Japan agreed to slowly demobilize the Kwantung Army in Manchuria over a period of 3 years in order to avoid further border provocation, in exchange for Wang’s recognition of Manchurian independence. Both sides scapegoat the incident on rebellious officers and commit to a purge of their respective militaries in order to stabilize the state of Sino-Japanese alliance.
On the 1st of August, ironically on the 10th anniversary of the Nanchang Uprising, the Chinese Soviet Republic was declared an enemy of the Reorganized National Government of China.
Mao Zedong and the CPC, weakened by years of political influence from the KMT, effectively retained little power upon retreating to the Shanxi base area. By September, much of the CPC had already defected to the Left-KMT.
Several thousands of CPC loyalists are exiled or impose upon themselves self-exile in the Philippines and Malaya as war refugees, quickly establishing communication with local labor unions and Communist insurgency cells. Exiled CPC members continued to work as advisers to these cells for years after Wang’s consolidation of power in China.