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US - China Field Reports
Copyright © 2008 Michael Johnathan McDonald
University of California, Berkeley, History 124B, research paper,
By Michael J. McDonald, May 5, 2008. (undergraduate)
Below is the source Joseph McCarthy had used but not disclosed to implicate the U.S. Administration in complicity with the Chinese Communists and against the Chinese Capitalists. It was the diary of the U.S. Commanding General published without his consent by his wife to clear his name – because it was F. D. Roosevelt who, and some of his officials, had micromanaged the eastern theater during World War II. The importance to understanding this dilemma pertains to Roosevelt‘s micromanagement of the eastern theater and non-micromanagement of the European theater during World War II. In order to cover his tracts, so-to-speak, Roosevelt had a young military officer revise the historical record. By revising the historical record, Joseph McCarthy could not figure out the real occurrences, and therefore had to admit he could not reveal his sources to the public. In order to undercover this historical dilemma, I decided to triangulate and quadangulate both Chinese and U.S.A. sources. It is from this methodology that dates of the communications could be line up between the Chinese commanding General, The President of The United States of America and the United States of American General in Burmese. By matching up the Chinese commanding General’s diary entries, and cross-referencing them to the President’s communiqué to him and separately to the U.S. General’s, and cross-referencing the U.S. General’s diary with the communiqué of The President of the United States of America, and then cross-referencing the communiqué between the two generals -- a clearer picture of actually what went on in China that convinced and confused Joseph McCarthy to take his message to the American public becomes quite clear. Joseph McCarthy did not have the luxury of the Chinese General’s diary at his disposal. This original diary is now in the hands of Stanford University. It is a valuable source for vindicating Joseph McCarthy’s claims and correcting history’s ideological whistleblower.
Odd Arne Westad in his book “The Global Cold War” (2007) intends President Truman had “detested the inefficiency, corruption, and brutality that he saw in Jiang’s Goumindang regime. […].These views simply are repeated in the early NSA/22 series of the NSC 34 government secret report of 1948. The early NSC reports were ongoing drafts and comprised selective views. Its audience was to the U.S. military and heads of state. The U.S. had only a few reporters and a small number of government officials inside China during its intervention (1941-1946). These views do not reflect the “whole” of the Chinese people or the American people, as the report intended. This report represented a nation only forming its ideology. This paper does not argue the merits of communism or democracy. It argues the U.S. government overextended itself and underestimated the situation it got its self into, and sought a self interest policy rather than a policy of quid pro quo. To rationalize its failures it revised the historical record – it placed the blame onto the KMT. When U.S. government sought out the Chinese Communists, it was not ideological but tactical. However, the KMT saw itself in Chinese history well before the U.S. intervened in 1941, as solely ideological. The U.S. government simply failed to understand this, and dug itself deeper into Chinese politics until it reached a crisis point in 1946, left a country in crisis, and later analyzed its mistakes and formed an ideology.
As Westad intends, U.S. domestic public opinion in lieu of the loss of China by 1950 was replaced with the “ideological commitment and military strategy.” Westad is correct that in post-war China, the U.S. government was only forming the future U.S. Cold War policies predicated upon ideological lines. The loss of China, as issue of the 1950s congressional hearings on China, was focused upon the lost economic opportunities. As historian Franz Sherman understood it, Bill Knowland decried the economic lost opportunities in China. For Knowland, it was not ideological, but business. The east was “to be” the continuance of western expansion. The Oakland port stood at an advantage. From 1941 onward, the U.S. government had known that the Kuomintang’s (KMT) main aim in post dynastic China was to establish China’s first democracy with free-market capitalism. When World War II broke out, The U.S. took advantage of the KMT’s predicament for its own interests.
Eric Larrabee in his book,“Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War” (1987), suggests that Roosevelt had micromanaged the war and continually threatened Chiang Kai-shek to halt military aid. Roosevelt held the very existence and survivability of the KMT forces with constant threats if the KMT did not aggressively attack. A policy recommended by the Joint Chiefs (JCS), George C. “Marshall on their authority instructed Stilwell to inform the Chinese military that if Yoke Force did not attack, all Lend-Lease shipments to it would cease” […]. The Japanese forces were western trained, superior in armament, and had the advantage of eastern geography to the Salween River. The Chinese forces were sick, under trained, and had no modern weapons before 1944. Roosevelt had underestimated the success of the powerful Japanese forces. When the radio messages became stern, Chiang would attack, but attain heavy loses – which demoralized his units. The U.S. commanding General wrote in his journals that the British, U.S. advisors, and the Chinese did not believed the KMT’s forces could attack the Japanese,  and by late as 1944 were fighting the Communist armies as well.
Roosevelt, firmly Chiang’s ally, never promised him support for the coming civil war – he was there to be used to lessen the number of Japanese soldiers. This was accomplished by the carrot and the stick approach. The Japanese had cut-off all finances and food to the Chinese Nationalists. Chiang simply had nowhere else to go continue to fight to unify the country. He would simply wait out the war in Burma. But as Chiang received constant U.S. commitments, he saw this as political pressure to enter the U.S.’s side. Larrabee argues that this was Roosevelt’s “keep-China-in-the-war mentality,” and that they did not want Chiang to know that “Americans had overreached themselves.” To counter this, Roosevelt kept in secret contact with Chiang to offer him viable alternatives to keep him in the war, alienating Marshal, Stimson, Stilwell and Churchill. These men believed Chiang did not do what he was demanded too – from their standpoint – a secret policy of go out and sacrifice Chinese men and himself to die on the battlefield to lessen the number of Japanese forces so the U.S and British could sacrifice less of their men and military equipment. This view helped frame the KMT as inefficient, corrupt and brutal, by General Stilwell, and this view is replicated in the early NSA/22 Series. Larabee intends by the time of the events of Chiang’s aide-mémoire, a culmination of problems with Stilwell, finalized Roosevelt’s resolve – to revise the historical record so he would not be blamed for losing China.
Broken commitments were commonplace. Roosevelt, desperate to keep the KMT in the Burmese theater fighting the Japanese, micromanaged the war, often communicated commitments he could not keep. One example showed that The United States had to divert resources to Russia and Cairo to help out the British. Chiang not knowing this continued to believe in the promised supplies. His men were dying, and Stilwell understood that Roosevelt placated Chiang with broken promises to buy time until the manufacturing of new supplies. However, when Chiang became aware of the broken promises, the Generalissimo blamed Stilwell of keeping secrets. Stilwell reacted in his journal entries on the 25th and the 26th of 1942: “The President had assured him the Tenth Air Force was for use in China. Why, then, was part of it diverted without notifying him? [Kai-shek]. He was fed up and couldn’t believe the President knew the facts.” “Now what can I say to the G-mo? We fail in all of our commitments, and blithely tell him to just carry on, old top.” Broken promises to the KMT would continue. While the U.S. government had a rationalization for the lack of supplies to the KMT, it continually lied about its commitments.
This contradicts the claim of the NSC 34 report that the U.S. gave everything Kai-shek had been promised and he could not win. The NSC 34 report intends The U.S. government gave “all out aid” to the KMT forces. Simply doing so was not in the interests of the U.S. British India received 180,000 tons per month of Lend Lease for protecting Churchill’s colonialism in Asia from a possible Japanese invasion, while the KMT received 3,000 tons per month, which was then divided up and controlled by Stilwell who took most of it to further his own cause to shame Chiang. Stilwell wrote “If the G-mo controls distribution, I’m sunk. The Reds will get nothing. Only the G-mo’s henchmen will be supplied, and my troops will suck the hind tit.” The leftover supplies were to be used for 4,000,000 peasant soldiers, who were under trained, sick, and poorly armed, as late as 1944. Further, the Chinese Lend-Lease was often raided on its routs to its destination. The amount of total calculation of funding for the Lend Lease to the KMT never reflected the sum amount of real material.
Larabee argues by 1944 Roosevelt had little interest in China. Broken promises continued. The KMT planned during the war to use the new and successful air program granted by Roosevelt, and the committed navel program to secure Manchuria, and to secure Japanese military equipment once the Japanese surrendered. By early 1945, Chiang, military advisors, and the U.S. military knew it was only time before the Japanese would surrender. Before Truman, the Congress or the American public knew, Chiang wrote in his diary on March 15th, 1945: “has China really been sold out at Yalta?” Ambassador Patrick Hurley to China had been in Washington, and Kai-shek contacted him to seek out the President. On April 3d, Hurley left for China. Roosevelt had denied to his face about the secret deal. Hurley’s curiosity pressed Roosevelt while he lay dying. The President finally confessed and led Hurley to the secret document, “Agreement regarding Japan.” He made a copy that explained all the duplicity, the deceit and securing of Stalin’s sovereignty-rights over Chinese territory that was against international law. “The president admitted that Hurley’s misgivings were justified.” At the Cairo conference, Kai-shek was promised the return of all Chinese lands at the conclusion of the war. When the Soviets entered Manchuria, the U.S. broke another commitment to the KMT. The U. S. government by simply framing KMT, as inefficient, corrupt, and brutal, was politically expedient. Hurley resigned out of disgust.
Westad intends the U.S. saw that the Chinese Communists “represented many values that the Americans admired: organization, discipline, self-sacrifice.” The NSC 34 report reiterates these views. These views partially came from General Stilwell, and it was convenient for Roosevelt’s revision. “The publication in 1948 of The Stilwell Papers, a collection from his wartime journals and letters” was published without his permission. In some undated journal entries, Stilwell wrote, I judge the Koumintang and Kungchantang [Communists] by what I saw. [KMT] Corruption, neglect, chaos, economy, taxes, words and deeds. Hording black market, trading with enemy. Communist program… reduce taxes, rents, interest. Raise production, and standard of living. Participate in government. Practice what they preach.” For the leader of the KMT, Chiang K’ai-shek, Stilwell wrote…”the military effort Chiang K’ai-shek made since 1938. It was practically zero.”
Stilwell’s journal reflects a man seeking career recognition. The Chinese were to be used for his glory. When the KMT would not attack and sacrifice their lives by inadequate equipment or field conditions, Stilwell started to advocate aligning with the Communists to fight the Japanese. This led to enmity with Chiang whose mentor Sun Yat-sen’s original principle was never to allow communists to be represented within the Chinese military. Both never saw eye-to-eye from the beginning.
Stilwell believed the KMT were similar to the Nazis. His behavior exhibited a conflict of interest with his ally and Roosevelt. Stilwell was very vocal in China about supporting the Reds. He wrote, “He can’t see that the mass of Chinese people welcome the Reds as being the only visible hope of relief from crushing taxation, the abuse of the Army [ from terror of] Tia Li’s Gestapo. Under Chiang K’ai-shek they now begin to see what they may expect. Greed, corruption, favoritism, more taxes, a ruined currency, terrible waste of life, callous disregard of all rights of men.” Truman conclusions, for the KMT as “inefficiency, corruption, and brutality,”  developed under Stilwell’s sentiments.
The U.S. policy, during the postwar era, was to broker a coalition government –The KMT and the Chinese Communists. However, Mao Tse-tung would not allow capitalists in his version of a coalition government. Furthermore rape and accidental murder allegations against U.S. marines, and ambushes by Communists against U.S. marines, and other events and allegations soured the U.S.’s resolve. In Keiji Furuya’s monumental work “Chiang Kai-shek His Life and Times” (1981), he argues that the U.S. was part of massive misinformation and propaganda campaign by the Communists during the postwar period aimed at getting the U.S. out of China. Joseph K.S. Yick in his monograph, “Making of Urban Revolution in China” (1995), uses newly released Chinese government documents to explain the success of the massive propaganda campaign by the Communists to oust the U.S. from China (1945-’46). Anti-Civil War movements that sprang up supported and organized by the Communists in major cities, aimed at academia, and students, who advocated the communist version of government as more democratic, egalitarian, and economically sound. Although Yick claims these movement’s numbers were in the population minority, the international press gave their plight wider media coverage. They framed the U.S. as imperialists, murderers, and the KMT as fascists. These groups acted as decolonization movements. Furuya claims these grass root movements had devastating effects on KMT troop moral and the U.S. Marshall mission. On August 18th, 1946, President Truman placed an embargo on China’s National Government, and on December 18th, 1946 the President wished the Kuomintang (KMT) well, the mission had failed. Furuya intends Chiang viewed the U.S. embargo on military supplies, even foreign imports, had ultimately lost China. In June (1946), the U.S. had yet again committed to Lend Lease and economic aid to the KMT. It was another broken commitment.
Was the KMT really inefficient, corrupt and brutal? The NSC 34 report claims that “[I]t was not so much equipment which the Nationalists lacked as generalship, moral and the affirmative support of the population in whose midst they must operate.” The March 29th, 1948, KMT national election brought out 250 million voters in massive support of democracy. The majority of the population saw Chiang as a hero. It was China’s first democratic attempt. Truman’s embargo hurt all the Chinese people as a whole – in economic devastation after the war –a major complaint against the KMT and played a vital role their downfall. In 1949, with Soviet help, a massive military campaign against the KMT brought Mao Tse-tung to power. Truman reacted in 1950s by having the U.S. 7th Fleet bomb the Chinese coastline and put in place a navel blockade. Prior to this event Tse-tung was still open for diplomatic U.S. relations. This event brought to a close the US-China relationship.
The U.S official view of the KMT as inefficient, corrupt, and brutal regime reflected in the NSC 34 report would not last. It did not represent a historiography of the U.S. failures to the KMT: broken promises, overextending itself, mismanagement. It blamed a faction of the Chinese people for its own mistakes. As Westad intends this first intervention set-off a repeated pattern during the Cold War of the government doubting the survivability of the state. By the 1950s, the U.S. had begun to understand its ideological trajectory. While the KMT was never seen as ideal, it however offered these vital insights into future U.S. intervention of “ideological commitment and military strategy.” Chiang’s respect for the U.S. ideology of liberty never wavered. The U.S. proved this “new” commitment by supporting Chiang from Taiwan until his death in 1988. The NSC 34 report represented that the U.S. was still forming its ideology.
corrections and technical inquiries to