People's Republic of China

After decades of civil war, the Communist Party in China, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, takes control over the country and proclaims the new People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.  Mao would control China until his death in 1976.

Mao had been fighting the Nationalists in China for decades. The Nationalists were led by Chiang Kai-Shek, a man the United States had supported since before World War II.  Over the decades, however, Mao had established a huge army. He had done something the communists in Russia were never able to do: gain the complete support of the peasants.

The founding of the People's Republic of China further raised tensions in the Cold War as it seemed to the United States that communism was spreading in the world.  This would lead to an increase in the arms race and a willingness to support anti-communist regimes in other countries.

Mao Zedong proclaiming the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949
(Credit: Orihara1 Creative Commons 4.0)
Portrait of Mao in the Forbidden City
(Credit: Carlton Creative Commons 3.0)