You cannot understand the rise of Communism in China, without understanding the modernizing history of Japan, which essentially thrust China into war. Left on her own, China would have much rather just stayed isolated. Repeated incursion by both the Japanese and increasingly, the West, led to a vast sea change in China's weltanschauung
For Communism was imported into China from Russia, partly to defend against both Japan and the West. It was Mao's genius, to Sinofy it, which he couldn't have done, had China herself not been so decadent -- blamed on the West, of course -- and had Japan not been so imperialistic, too.
I'm not trying to defend Communism or any ism.. just trying to summarize the motive and origins.
The Long March:
Great Leap Forward: