America's Failure in China, 1941-50

By Tang Tsou | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV

THE TACTICS
OF PRESSURE
VERSUS
THE POLICY
OF LIMITED
BUT UNCONDITIONAL
SUPPORT FOR
CHIANG KAI-SHEK

A. The Limits of Foreign Policy and the Method of Dealing with Chiang

In retrospect, it is obvious that no matter how effectively the United States had co-ordinated her military activities and political policy, the use of American ground forces and large-scale aid alone would not have solved the problems of China. Only the Chinese themselves could decide the fate of their country. But American military and economic aid to China could not but strengthen one party against another, and one faction against another. Within certain limits, set primarily by America's method of dealing with Chinese political forces, American policy inevitably influenced the internal development of China.

There were two aspects of America's method of dealing with the internal situation in China. The first was the handling of the militarypolitical conflict between the Nationalists and the Communists. To this question we shall turn in Part II. The second was the method of granting aid to the Kuomintang government and handling the struggle for power within Nationalist China. The essence of this problem was how to deal with Generalissimo Chiang himself. In any analysis of America's approach to the internal politics of China, it is of utmost importance to distinguish between these two problems, for much confusion has been created by the

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