The Strange Connection: U.S. Intervention in China, 1944-1972

The Strange Connection: U.S. Intervention in China, 1944-1972

The Strange Connection: U.S. Intervention in China, 1944-1972

The Strange Connection: U.S. Intervention in China, 1944-1972


This book provides an analysis of American intervention in China from World War II to the rapprochement Richard Nixon began in 1972. It traces the origins of U.S. interest in China, based on Roosevelt's hope of using China as a partner to preserve peace in East Asia. It analyzes the U.S. failure to recognize that most Chinese supported the Communist revolution, and the U.S. support of the Nationalists. It covers the Chinese role in the Korean War and the U.S. misconception of that role. The work considers the adoption of Taiwan as an American protectorate and the flirtation with atomic war to protect Quemoy and Matsu. Finally, it considers the decades-long U.S. policy of denying Communist China a seat at the UN and Nixon's decision to recognize China.


This book follows the course of American interference in China's affairs beginning in 1944. It covers subsequent relations between the two powers, including the unsuccessful mission of George C. Marshall to create a coalition Red-Nationalist government, the acceptance of Taiwan as an American protectorate at the beginning of the Korean War, the adoption of a national resolve to destroy the Chinese Communist state, the close brush with nuclear war over possession of the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu, and the eventual rapprochement with Red China when President Richard Nixon visited Beijing in 1972.

By taking on the cause of the oppressed and poor, who formed 95 percent of China's population, the Communist party guaranteed its ultimate domination. The West failed to see the necessity for this vast popular upheaval and believed Chinese communism was only a subversive branch of expansive world communism emanating from the Kremlin. This misconception led Americans into unreasoned opposition, when the only sensible solution was to come to terms with the Reds.

In the early years of its intervention, the United States supported the reactionary Nationalist regime in opposition to the Communist challenger. When this effort failed, the United States remained hostile to the victorious Communists for a generation. This led to one war, the threat of another war, and a decades-long emphasis on the wrong enemy at a time when the United States faced immense danger from the Soviet Union.

The American experience with China illustrates that nations ignore at their peril policies that run counter to their national interests. A nation need not agree on all policies of another nation to have political relations with it. A nation may despise another nation's ideology and still gain what it seeks from that nation.

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