In April 1931, General Chiang Kai-shek, buoyed by mass public support, led a bloody coup d’état against the National Republican government. In a matter of weeks, he eliminated opposition and consolidated his power. The military dictatorship he established promised to restore China’s greatness and redeem its image in the world.
Chiang made recovery from China’s economic downturn a top national priority. Two months after taking power, he implemented currency reform and overhauled the national banking system. The government financed large public works projects which mainly focused on improving infrastructure.
In February 1935, China renounced the terms of the Treaty of Thames that placed limitations on the standing army size, naval size, and armament stockpiles. As China remilitarized and rearmed itself, the rest of the world did little other than ban China from the League of Nations. Robert Goddard was offered a teaching position at Tsinghua University which he accepted. During his stay at the university, his throat cancer was detected and successfully treated. The position of Goddard at the university helped Sino-American relations to the extent that Smedley D Butler was considering a trade agreement.
Chiang's agenda was shifted to the defense of China Proper or the lackthereof. Without the buffer territories of Mongolia's and Sinkiang's desert, and the Tibetan plateau, the Chinese heartland vulnerable to invasion. So Chiang devised plans to bring all three frontiers back under Chinese control without arousing conflict with greater powers.
It is widely-known that Tibet would not be able to defend itself and relied on international pressure and good neighbours to keep China out. Chiang exploited this to his advantage. Tibet's short-lived independence was ended when the Chinese Army marched uncontested into Lhasa in May 1935. War-weary Britain does not want to confront China, but asks Turkestan and Mongolia to "persuade" China to withdraw from Tibet.
China's reclaiming of Tibet was seen as an invasion by Turkestan, which immediately mobilized to strike at China. But China beat them to it, launching a massive pre-emptive strike capturing Urumuqi. Chiang's defensive strategy was to stay on the offensive and use natural barriers for holding off the enemy, in this case the Taklamakan Desert. Elsewhere in the Yunnan frontier province, Chiang has setup defenses against possible British and French incursions through the dense jungles.
The young Turkestan Federation, rife with internal conflict and without an integrated and experienced army, was no match for the Chinese Army and a ceasefire was soon agreed to demarcate a new border between China, where Turkestan cedes the entire Taklamakan and its fringe oasis towns to the Chinese.
Landlocked between the Russians and the Chinese, Mongolia was forced to be economically dependent on both, yet the war had devastated both countries' economies, profoundly affecting Mongolia. However, the Chinese economy had been recovering much quicker than Russia due to its remilitarization policies and large workforce population; while neighbouring China grew economically stronger everyday, the Russian Far East remained a desolate undeveloped territory. The Mongolian economy became intrinsically tied to China.
The invasion of Tibet and skirmish with Turkestan greatly alarmed the Mongolian leadership. They knew they were next. In order to extract the best terms, Mongolia suggested a union between China and Mongolia for greater social, economic, and political integration. But Chiang wanted outright annexation, and because of China's superior position on the bargaining table, Mongolia was annexed into the Chinese state. Chiang however gave good terms, elevating Mongol leadership to high positions of government, to the envy of other minorities.
The reoccupation of China's lost territories was so swift and sudden that it surprised the world and even Chiang Kai-Shek was surprised himself. With the western and northern frontiers pacified, with increased confidence, Chiang turned his attention to the south, where it had lost influence over Annam to French Indochina but more importantly, control over the Malay Canal to Britain and France.
The new Russian fascist government's anxiety over Chinese influence in the Russian Far East and the desire for a Pacific ice-free port lead to a full-blown conflict along their common border from the Outer Xing'an (Stanovoy) Mountains in the east all the way to Tannu Uriankhai in the west. The Russian objective was to capture the city of Haishenwei. The Russian secret service also tried to stimulate rebellions in China's Manchurian, Mongolian, and Muslim dominions with little success.
As an aging Chiang Kai-Shek retired from public life, China exploded in a frenzy of democratization and liberalization. An aging Goddard resigned from his post and wrote his memoirs, A Rocket to China, detailing his life in China before he returned to the United States.
Eisenhower famously went to Nanjing to discuss with President Bai Chongxi a trade agreement in 1954. They both agreed to the treaty. They were also afraid of Communism (now taking root in Latin America and India, as well as Africa) spreading, so Secretary of State Richard Nixon established the policy of "containment," which meant isolating the Communist countries, as well as giving aid to the non-communist countries that feel under threat from Communism.