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How did Chinese history evolve to that point and, more specifically, when did direct US-China relations begin and
what has been its role?
In 1945, during the Civil War in China (that continued after the defeat
of Japan, as the Kuomintang  retreated towards Taiwan),
the United States threatened naval intervention which allowed for defacto
occupation of Taiwan by Chiang Kai Shek's remnants of the defeated National Army forces.
It is common knowledge that China was subjected to European imperialism, particularly
the British during the 19th century. During the Boxer Rebellion  in 1900
and the latter part of the previous century, the United States, for the first time,
took part in the imperialist domination of China when it acted as arbiter to establish
extraterritorial rights for the occupying powers which never included the USA.
Early in the 20th century (1910s) Sun Yat Sen  led the
first democratic revolution ending Chinese dynastic rule and challenging
extraterritorial rights. However, in 1914 the world became embroiled in an
inter-imperialist World War. The outcome shifted the interests of capitalistic imperialism
to the suppression of "proletarian" revolutions in Eastern Europe, of particular
importance in Germany and in Russia where following four years of civil war, the USSR
was established. The Russian Revolution and its socialist, humanistic promise
impressed Sun Yat Sen, who invited the fledgling Chinese Communist Party to join
in the Kuomintang as the embodiment of a democratic coalition. But Sun Yat Sen died
shortly thereafter. In 1927 Chiang Kai Shek split the Kuomintang and forced the
Communists into the Great March  to the West where they formed a new base supported by the peasants and loyal workers from the East.
They formed a Red Army for defense during the 1930s when the Japanese then invaded Korea and China.
During World War II, General Stillwell was sent to train the anti-Japanese armed forces. Not only were
nationalist Kuomintang army units trained, but in the Communist controlled areas the Eighth Route Army was formed.
The nationalist army dragged its feet in the war against Japan. It maneuvered into a confrontation with the
Eighth Route Army. Under the leadership of Mao Zedong, the Communists captured Shiang Kai Shek; but were persuaded
by Stalin to free him in a compromise in which he promised to prosecute the war against the Japanese, a promise he
broke and precipitated an all out civil war between the National Armies and the two Communist armies --
the Red Army and the Eighth Route Army. This was truly a historic form of civil war between forces representing
two main directions for the Chinese nation -- a "bourgeois" and a "proletarian" controlled state (capitalist vs. socialist).
Chiang Kai Shek retreated taking many of the national treasures to the islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the Taiwan Straits.
The Red Armies, in pursuit, were ready to launch a naval attack on the islands from the mainland before he could move to Formosa (Taiwan).
From a non-partisan, objective point of view, the US, by threatening to intervene in a Civil War with naval action
against the Red Army's pursuit, was an interference in the internal affairs of a country. With tensions mounting in the USA
over US involvement in an East Asian conflict, in the weeks before Easter 1945, a movement developed against escalation into
an international war that had nothing to do with the defeat of Hitler and Hirohito. The writer, in fact, organized a "LIVE AND LET LIVE"
movement among religious and public leaders, prominent educators and businessmen issuing a statement that
appeared in advertisements in the East and West of the USA:
In this moment of Easter - Passover rejoicing, when all peoples of the Judaeo-Christian faiths rededicate themselves to the hope,
freedom and new life inherent in all faiths, we pause to consider the impasse in our country's foreign policy and seek through
divine guidance and deep conscience to find the means to avert the out-break of war. The horrible prospect of atomic warfare made
possible by man's mastery of the infinite forces of nature has brought us to the era when men must find the way to solve even
the most difficult international problems through negotiation and compromise.
We, therefore, urge upon our government a re-evaluation of our total foreign policy to bring it into focus with a changing world.
We are moving out of the era of imperialistic colonialism into one in which man has found man over the entire surface of the earth.
We are our brothers' brothers.
For the first time in the history of US-China relations, a seven-point program
was annunciated for peaceful coexistence between our countries. We summarize the
- That our government recognizes Quemoy and Matsu to be a part of Mainland China.
- That we adopt a policy of submitting the issue of the permanent status of Formosa and the Pescadores to the United Nations.
- That our government negotiate informally with the Government of the People's Republic of China.
- That we put an end to "sabre-rattling" in the Far East.
- That our government look with sympathy on the efforts of all economically underdeveloped countries .
- That we take every step necessary to bring about an early Four-Power conference ... to settle differences.
- That our government takes the initiative... to urge international outlawry of atomic and hydrogen weapons.
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Note 3: Kuomintang (KMT), the Nationalist Party or the Nationalists, was formerly
controlled by the political and military leader Chiang Kai Shek (31 October, 1887 - 5 April, 1975).
More from Wikipedia
Note 4: The Boxer Rebellion, also known as Boxer Uprising, The Society of Righteous
and Harmonious Fists, or Yihetuan Movement, was a proto-nationalist movement
by the "Righteous Harmony Society" in China between 1898 and 1901 opposing
foreign imperialism and Christianity. See Wikipedia on Boxer Rebellion
Note 5: Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866 - 12 March 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary
and first president and founding father of the Republic of China ("Nationalist China").
Sun is also referred to as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China (ROC),
and the "forerunner of democratic revolution" in the People's Republic of China.
See Wikipedia on Sun Yat-sen
Note 6: Do not confuse this with the Great March (1945) which involved a series of
death marches during the final stages of the Second World War in Europe.
Here, the Long March (of the Chinese Communist Party) was a military retreat undertaken
by the Party's Red Army, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), to evade
the pursuit of the Kuomintang (Nationalist) army.
See Wikipedia on the Communists' Long March