Publish Date: Dec. 11, 1950
Cover Story: The Road to Paris
How TIME Covered the News: By 1950, Communist leader Mao Zedong had defeated the nationalist forces of Gen. Chiang Kai-shek and forced the latter—a friend of TIME’s founding editor Henry Luce—to flee with his cadres to the island of Taiwan. The sacrifices made by Mao and his supporters in their struggle were immense, but many of the new citizens of the People’s Republic of China would now be subjected to decades more of hardship.
“In those nine months, large contingents of Mao’s men trekked from below the Great Wall into the Russian-held northeast, were equipped with Japanese arms, retrained and sent out again. Within three years, not without heavy casualties of their own (1,600,000 killed, wounded and missing, according to their own estimate) and greater losses to the Chinese Nationalists (8,070,000, boasted Ambassador Wu last week before the U.N.), they won the China mainland.”