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Kuomintang (KMT; 中國國民黨 Guo2 Min2 Dang3 - National People's Party of China or Nationalist Party of China, sometimes referred to as the Nationalist government of China.) The party is currently active in Taiwan and with the People First Party, it forms what is popularly known as the pan-blue coalition in opposition to the pan-green coalition which consists of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union. The main difference between the pan-blue coalition and the pan-green coalition is that the pan-blue coalition advocates a more China-centered national identity than the Taiwan-centered national identity.

Founded in Guangdong province on August 25, 1912 by Sung Chiao-jen and Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) from a anti-monarchy league as a democratic and moderate socialist party.

It gained a majority in the first national assembly but in 1913, Yuan Shikai consolidated international support and relied on his military and political resources to become the president of China, ordered the Kuomintang suppressed.

The party established a government at Guangzhou in 1918 and accepted aid from the USSR. At the party congress in 1924 they adopted Sun's political theory, which included the Three Principles of the People- nationalism, democracy, and the livelihood of the people.

In 1926, following the death of Sun Yat-sen the new Kuomintang leader General Chiang Kai-shek launched the Northern Expedition against the official government. Halting briefly in Shanghai in 1927 to purge the Communists who had been allied with the KMT, the civil war began.

Kuomintang forces finally took Beijing in 1928 and received diplomatic recognition in the same year. After several military campaigns, the Communists were forced (1934-35) to withdraw from their bases in southern and central China. The Kuomintang continued to attack the Communists, ignoring the Japanese until Manchuria was invaded in 1937. Even after the Japanese invasion at Mukden, the KMT continued to fight the Communists.

Full-scale civil war lasted from 1945 to 1949. Chiang Kai Sheck ordered his forces to the cities to defend industrialists and financiers allowing the Communists to move freely through tghe countryside. Much of the war from 1946-1949 was financed from Taiwan's sugar and rice reserves acquisitioned by the KMT. By the end of 1949 the Communists controlled the mainland. The Kuomintang fled to Taiwan. In 1950 Chiang took office in Taipei under emergency rules which halted democratic processes until the mainland could be recovered. The Republic of China retained China's seat in the United Nations until 1971. In the 1970s, the Kuomintang began to allow for "supplemental elections" on Taiwan to fill the seats of the aging representatives. Although opposition parties were not permitted, dang wai or (outside the party) representatives were tolerated.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Kuomintang focused on transforming itself from a party of a single-party system to one of many in a multi-party democracy, and for "Taiwanizing" itself. With the end of martial law in 1991, the Kuomintang found itself competing against the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwanese elections. The leader of the Kuomintang during the 1990s was Lee Teng-Hui who angered the People's Republic of China and a significant fraction of voters on Taiwan with his advocacy of localization, which many associated with Taiwan independence. In order to maintain influence, the Kuomintang was involved in vote buying which decreased its support among the Taiwanese middle class.

The Kuomintang faced a split in 1994 which led to the formation of the New Party, this party was effectively destroyed in the legislative elections of 2001. A much more serious split in the party occurred as a result of the 2000 Presidental election in Taiwan. Upset at the official nomination of Lien Chan as the party's Presidental nominee, supporters of James Soong left the party to form the People First Party. In order to prevent defections to the PFP, Lien moved the party away from Lee's policies of localization and became more favorable toward Chinese reunification. This shift led to Lee's expulsion from the party and the formation of the Taiwan Solidarity Union. With the party's voters defecting to both the PFP and TSU, the KMT did poorly in the December 2001 legislative elections and lost it's position as the largest party in the Legislative Yuan. More recently, the party did well in the 2002 mayoral and council election with Ma Ying-jeou its candidate for Taipei mayor winning by a landslide and its candidate for Kaohsuing[?] mayor, narrowing losing but doing surprisingly well.

There has been a recent warming of relations between the pan-blue coalition and the Communist Party of China with prominent members of both the KMT and PFP in active discussions with officials on the Mainland.

External link

Kuomintang official web site (http://www.kmt.org.tw/)

The Revolutionary Committee of the Guomindang is one of eight registered minor political parties (in addition to the Communist Party) in Mainland China (the PRC).

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