This article reconsiders the 1945 Chongqing peace talks between the Kuo-mintang and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a key turning point on the road to the Chinese civil war. The article shows that the talks represented a lost opportunity to avert the slide into fratricidal warfare. The CCP leader, Mao Zedong, under pressure from Iosif Stalin, was prepared to compromise with his rival Chiang Kai-shek on the basis of dividing China into two separately administered territories (roughly, north and south). Chiang was unwilling to consider such a step, which from his perspective was unpatriotic. His resistance to the division of China doomed the talks and precipitated the outbreak of war.

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