China and the Cold War: A Study in International Politics

China and the Cold War: A Study in International Politics

China and the Cold War: A Study in International Politics

China and the Cold War: A Study in International Politics

Excerpt

In May, 1952, I joined with two of my colleagues at the Australian National University in drawing up a document which was taken to Peking by the Australian delegates to the Preliminary Conference for the Peking Peace Conference held in October of that year. The general theme of this document was that in Australia and other Western countries there was a very large body of influential opinion which would be ready to co-operate in any genuine attempt to work for peace. But the experience of people who had tried to co-operate with Communists in working for peace was not encouraging and had produced a very general suspicion that any movement or conference under Communist control would not be a genuine attempt to work for peace but only an attempt to use "peace" as an instrument for Stalinist propaganda. And the wording of the document proposing the Peking Conference and the past actions of some members of the Chinese sponsoring group intensified rather than allayed such suspicions. We therefore invited the sponsors of the conference to give a clear and unambiguous statement of their intentions to use the conference to discuss the conditions for peace and not simply as a means of propaganda, and assured them that such action would produce a widespread response.

It was originally intended to publish this document with a group of influential and representative signatures but, though the response in Australia was encouraging, the time available was too short to obtain enough signatures to warrant publication. So the document was sent to Peking as a private communication.

The only reply was a letter sent to me in June, 1952, by Mr. Rewi Alley, a New Zealander long resident in China who had been the main organizer of the Chinese Industrial Co-operatives and who is an enthusiastic supporter of the present regime. This letter dismissed any suspicions of Chinese sincerity in working for peace as entirely without foundation. To give a few illustrative quotations: "Can you, who knew something of the early struggle of the Chinese people to 'stand up' after centuries of exploitation and aggression, really imagine China as an aggressor?" "Today . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.