Source 3: Soviet Influence Edgar Snow (1936-45) Random Notes on Red China- The Xi’an Incident

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Source 3: Soviet Influence Edgar Snow (1936-45) Random Notes on Red China- The Xi’an Incident


The influence of the Soviet Union over the peaceful resolution of the Xi'an incident.


The chief reason why Zhang Xueliang so quickly released Chiang Kai-Shek, without having obtained Chiang’s acceptance of his demands, was because of the unexpected attitude adopted by the Chinese Reds at Sian. The latter, who had earlier supported for a long detention and even a public trial for Chiang, abruptly urged his release after he had verbally agreed to only one of the rebels eight demands, - to end the civil war.
There is no doubt that Soviet Russia influenced this quick disposition of the Sian affair, and that Moscow was quite pleased with the peaceful settlement that restored Chiang to power. The Russian Communists feared that the elimination of Chiang Kai-shek would result in a protracted civil war in which the Japanese might succeed in turning the Nanking government into a real Franco regime of the East. China would thereby not only be rendered strategically valueless to, but a potential belligerent against, the Soviet Union.
Whatever Chiang did or did not promise before he was released, the practical result was to end civil war. On Christmas Day the Young Marshal escorted the Generalissimo unharmed back to Nan king. The Generalissimo quietly called off the anti-Red offensive and personally authorized negotiations with the Reds. Officially, the Kuomintang now announced that the first task before the country was "the recovery of the lost territories," whereas formerly Chiang had always insisted upon "internal pacification"—annihilation of the Reds—as "the first task.
Chiang Kai-shek never forgave Chang Hsueh-Liang and never freed him. Thirty years later Chang was still Chiang Kai-shek's personal prisoner on Taiwan.
During the Resistance War, Yang Hu-Cheng offered his services to the Generalissimo. General Yang was put under house detention in Chungking, and toward the end of the war he was secretly executed.’


Edgar Snow






Edgar Snow, “Source 3: Soviet Influence Edgar Snow (1936-45) Random Notes on Red China- The Xi’an Incident,” Chinese History for Teachers, accessed October 7, 2022,

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