Organized Panel Session
This paper investigates the confusing relationship between the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang – KMT) under the leadership of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and the revolutionary People’s Party of Siam. Leading figures in the 1932 Siamese Revolution had openly expressed that they had been inspired and influenced by the failed republican revolution of 1912 which was evidently influenced by Sun Yet-sen’s Xinhai Revolution. Chiang’s government was among the first to send an official message congratulating the People’s Party upon their establishment of Siam’s first constitutional regime. Yet the Generalissimo’s government perceived the 1932 revolution to be an incomplete one since the monarchy remained in power albeit symbolically and subordinate to the people’s constitution. The People’s Party’s leaders, on the other hand, were skeptical of the KMT’s past collaboration with the Chinese Communists and the few royalist moderates that remained in power suspected Chiang’s anti-monarchist stance. Yet the People’s Party and Chiang’s KMT regime were heading in the same direction towards a full-blown Fascist militarist government by the late-1930s and it was the Generalissimo who eventually came to rescue Thailand from being defeated in the war by being the first among Allied leaders to recognize and endorse the Free Thai Movement in 1943.