United States Relations with China: With Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949

By United States Department Of State | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
A Review of Kuomintang-Chinese
Communist Relations, 1921-1944

I. INTRODUCTION

Various internal factors arising from or influencing the course of the Chinese revolution have played a major role in the growth and development of American policy toward China.The rise of Asiatic nationalism, the impact of the West, the loss by the decadent Ch'ing Dynasty of what the Chinese call the "Mandate of Heaven," and the consequent struggle for succession to power have all been factors which inevitably modified and conditioned the efforts of the United States to conduct its relations with China in accordance with its traditional policies outlined in chapter I.

It is impossible here to analyze all these factors; but it is necessary at this point, if one is to understand the course and purposes of American actions in China since 1944, to pause and review at least in outline the long and tortuous relationship between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Community Party.This struggle for the acquisition and retention of power has played a major role in the internal Chinese scene for a quarter of a century, even at the expense of the prosecution of the war against Japan; it has been utilized by Major Powers in the pursuit of their own objectives and rivalries and in turn has affected them ; and it has been a significant influence on the course of relations between China and the various Powers. In the crowded events of the last few years and the bitter readjustments of the postwar period it is easy to forget the origins and development of the Kuomintang-Communist struggle for supremacy ; but they must be recalled if one is to understand and place in proper perspective the course of American policy since V-J Day.This struggle has had a great effect on American actions and attitudes.


II. BASIC FACTORS

THE KUOMINTANG PROGRAM

The ideological basis of the Kuomintang was formulated by Dr. Sun Yat-sen during his years of conspiracy against the Manchu

-38-

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