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What were the consequences of the Xian Incident?

The Xian Incident led to a shift in Chinese Nationalist policy, uniting the Communists and Nationalists against Japanese aggression.

The Xian Incident, which occurred in December 1936, was a significant turning point in the history of modern China. It was a political crisis that involved the kidnapping of Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), by his own generals, Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng. The incident took place in the city of Xian, hence its name. The main consequence of this event was a dramatic shift in the Chinese Nationalist Party's policy, which led to a temporary alliance between the Communists and Nationalists, known as the Second United Front, to resist Japanese aggression.

Before the Xian Incident, Chiang Kai-shek had been primarily focused on eradicating the Communists, whom he saw as the greatest threat to his rule. However, his generals, Zhang and Yang, disagreed with this policy. They believed that the real threat to China was the growing aggression of Japan, which had already invaded Manchuria in 1931. Therefore, they kidnapped Chiang and forced him to change his policy.

The Xian Incident had immediate and far-reaching consequences. Firstly, it forced Chiang Kai-shek to shift his focus from the internal threat of Communism to the external threat of Japanese imperialism. This led to the formation of the Second United Front, a temporary alliance between the Communists and Nationalists, to resist Japanese aggression. This was a significant change in Chinese policy, as the two parties had been engaged in a bitter civil war since the 1920s.

Secondly, the Xian Incident also had a profound impact on the Chinese Communist Party. It provided them with a respite from the Nationalist's extermination campaigns, allowing them to regroup and strengthen their forces. This would later prove crucial in the Chinese Civil War, which resumed after the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945.

Lastly, the Xian Incident also had international implications. It marked a turning point in the Sino-Japanese relations, leading to the full-scale Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. This war would later merge into the larger conflict of World War II, drawing in international powers and reshaping the global political landscape.

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