Friday, August 28, 2015

Better late than never, we suppose

The Tacoma News Tribune celebrates Chinese resistance to Japan in decades after the fact that that resistance was almost all by the non-Communist forces (Kuomintang) of Chiang Kai-Shek;
Four years before Pearl Harbor, three years before Nazi Germany’s bombing of London, Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 terrorized tens of millions of people. And no Chinese city was pounded as hard as Chongqing [to which Chiang had moved his headquarters].

From 1938 to 1941, Japanese warplanes carried out more than 200 separate bombing raids on Chongqing (known in the West then as Chungking), killing nearly 12,000 people, most of them civilians. Thousands were killed on two horrendous days of bombing – May 3 and 4, 1939.

For decades, histories of World War II – written both inside and outside of China – gave short shrift to what Chongqing endured. But in recent years, that has changed. As Beijing prepares to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the metropolis that some call “the city of heroes” is getting wider recognition.

Read more here:
 Unmentioned in this article is that the Communists headquartered in Yenan (NW China) largely were untouched by the Japanese. And, since the resistance to the Japanese was mostly by Chiang's Nationalists (Kuomintang), why was the American diplomatic mission in Chungking (as it was then known) so busy promoting Mao ahead of Chiang at the time?

It's the question Senator Joseph McCarthy wanted answered. For his trouble he has been (and still is to this day) slandered. Slandered first by a man named Owen Lattimore. Here's a bit of a memo Lattimore wrote to Harry Truman in 1945, spelling out the options for American Foreign Policy;
1. Division of the country between Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists. This would mean for Chiang, a permanent policy of getting American support for which he would give anything America wants; and for the Communists, a similar policy of getting Russian support, with similar results. The eventual consequence would almost inevitably be war between America and Russia.

2. A unified China. To unify China, there must be a settlement between Chiang and the Communists and simultaneously an agreement between America, Russia, and Britain to build up China as a whole. The Communists would have to accept minority standing as a long-term status; but Chiang would have to give them real power within a coalition government, proportionate to their real strength, not just token representation.
Lattimore then added that America should adopt #2. Which we did. Eventually resulting in China falling to Communism, and tens of millions dying as a result. When McCarthy started questioning that reasoning in 1950, he quickly became persona non grata to polite society. And, as we said above, still is.

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