Exodus from Shanghai, 1949


“The cold, muddy waters of Shanghai’s Soochow Creek teemed with thousands of Chinese junks and smaller sampans. Terrified refugees were preparing once more to flee before the surging tide of communism. Nevertheless, the great majority of Chinese were becoming more reconciled to the prospects of communist rule. The cagey Reds had switched to a “soft” line. … Said a Red officer: “When the kettle belonged to Chiang, we tried to break it; now that it is ours, we want to preserve and use it.” wrote Time magazine on Jan. 10, 1949.

Nonetheless, the splendor of the imperial city of trade languished with this Communist takeover. It killed investment and growth until the economic reforms in the 90s. However, the communist takeover signaled the end of 27-year civil war in China.