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The loss of China to communism in 1949 - Essay Example

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The United States had engaged the Nationalist forces in China led by Chiang Kai Sheik throughout the period of 1930's and the Second World War. A loose coalition of Communists and Nationalists in China assisted by the United States and other allied powers had successfully defeated the Japanese forces…
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The loss of China to communism in 1949
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The loss of China to communism in 1949

Download file to see previous pages... immediate needs of denying Republicans political advantage.4 There is ample evidence however to denote that the Nationalist forces after years of corruption and misgovernance had lost the initiative in the country. The Nationalists lacked popular support, suffered from poor morale and a corrupt leadership. The Americans supported Chiang who had lost considerable status as a national leader and the Nationalist Army was no match to the Communists due to break down of a will to fight. The Communists on the other hand could impose discipline and win over the people. The internal balance had thus shifted strongly in their favor.

There is evidence of lack of deep rooted perception of the internal political, social and military dynamics of China within the United States which may have added to the hostility felt by the Chinese towards outside powers. Dean Acheson does reflect an understanding of the difficulty of imposing policies on the Chinese on more than one occasion.5 American fault thus lay in attempting to inflict a different culture on an old and proud civilization from above.6

A corollary to the same is the antipathy towards US policy makers which arose from these cultural differences which in turn created personal animosities particularly between Stillwell and Chiang during the Great War.7 This had sown grave feelings of distrust in the Chinese thus neither Hurley nor Marshall could induce Chiang to reconcile with the Communists reflecting the failure of US diplomacy to achieve the desired ends in national interest.


Given the emerging global political dynamics and the need to control the spread of Communism in 1945, the US could have ill afforded to be isolationist. Particularly so when Britain the other great Western power of the time had...
The loss of China to communism in 1949

The initial criticism of US policies leading to loss of China came from the Republicans who were in the opposition in 1949. The failure to provide sustained assistance to the Nationalists was the main accusation. Dean Acheson, the then Secretary of State authoritatively brings out that there was no deficiency of arms or ammunition available to the Nationalist Army in the critical year of 1948. However it is noticed that active mediation between the two antagonists, through its Ambassadors, Hurley and Marshal failed to evoke a positive response, in bringing the Communists and the Nationalists to a negotiable agreement of power sharing.

The White Paper published by the US Government in 1949 indicated that Nationalist forces had been defeated due to intrinsic factors such as loss of confidence in leadership, corruption and the will to win. The Western powers were also inhibited in achieving a positive impact due to the traditional antipathy in the Chinese against aliens who dabbled in their internal polity.

The issue of loss of China arose in the US immediately after the Nationalist forces were forced to retreat to Formosa. The Republicans attempted to gain political mileage and the Democratic Government had to undertake immediate damage control.

Given the emerging global political dynamics and the need to control the spread of Communism in 1945, the US could have ill afforded to be isolationist. Particularly so when Britain the other great Western power of the time had already lost the initiative and was primarily engaged in keeping the faith of America during the 1940’s through symbolic diplomacy. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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