Far Eastern Governments and Politics: China and Japan

By Paul M. A. Linebarger; Djang Chu et al. | Go to book overview

Preface to the Second.Edition

THIS work is a revision of the original edition of 1954. At this time it has seemed more important to take care of the dramatic events in the Communist world and Japan's continued healing from a great defeat than to retrace historical fundamentals. Accordingly, the modern parts of each section--on Nationalist China, Communist China, and post-treaty Japan--have been revised to bring political developments down to the summer of 1956, and the new Chinese Communist Constitution has been added to the appendices. A few of the more irritant errors or points of unnecessary controversy have been ironed out.

Some of the most pressing issues can be followed only in the newspapers and in popular, official, or scholarly journals. The authors have striven, not always successfully, to reconcile political judiciousness with an awareness of the contemporary scene.

Of China, it can almost be said that in these unsettled years there are never enough books. Chinese change continues at an ominous pace. This carries out an old prediction. John W. Foster wrote in 1903 about the prescient prophecy of the Sino-Manchu bannerman, Wên Hsiang, who was one of the few farsighted officials at the court of the Empress Dowager:1, "Wensiang, the wisest and most farseeing Chinese statesman of modern times, was accustomed to say to foreign diplomats and others who urged speedy reforms: 'You are all too anxious to awake us and start us on a new road, and you will do it; but you will all regret it, for, once awaking and started, we shall go fast and far,--farther than you think, much faster than you want.'" This development rings loud today from the expert propaganda radios of Peking and the jetworthy airfields of Fukien.

The therapy of hate is, among all parts of mankind, a ready though costly cure for the deeper ailments of the body physical, politic, or spiritual. Of this remedy, the Chinese Communists are still making dangerously liberal use. The xenophobia and autocracy of the Chinese Communist leadership, though tempered with contact inside the Communist and Asian worlds, still

____________________
1
John W. Foster, American Diplomacy in the Orient, Boston, 1903, p. 434.

-v-

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