The September 1949 conference in Peking was both a celebration of the communist victory in the long civil war against Nationalist Chinese forces and the unveiling of the communist regime that would henceforth rule over China. Mao and his communist supporters had been fighting against what they claimed was a corrupt and decadent Nationalist government in China since the 1920s. In September, with cannons firing salutes and ceremonial flags waving, Mao announced the victory of communism in China and that “Our state system of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship is a powerful weapon for safeguarding the fruits of victory of the people’s revolution and for opposing plots of foreign and domestic enemies to stage a comeback. We must firmly grasp this weapon.” (history.com)
Although the mass media present China today as “progressive,” especially after the 2008 Olympics fanfare, it remains among the world’s cruelest regimes.
The term “Red China” is not anachronistic. Though certainly less oppressive than during the Cultural Revolution, when it executed millions, China is still governed by a single regime, the Communist Party, which requires members to be atheists. It imprisons dissidents without due process, oppresses Tibet, and enforces a policy, backed by compulsory abortion, restricting most families to one child. (Since Chinese traditionally prefer male offspring, this has led to disproportionate abortion — even infanticide — of female babies, creating an artificial majority of males in China.) The government directly controls most media, blocking criticisms of itself on the Internet.
Perhaps worst is suppression of religious freedom. Christian churches, though permitted, must submit to government control and censorship — either as part of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement or Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Independent house churches, comprising some 90 percent of China’s Christians, face persecution. The Voice of the Martyrs reports:
The human rights record in China is one of the worst in the world. Its system of “re-education through labor” detains hundreds of thousands each year in work camps without even a court hearing…. The house church movement (unregistered churches) endures unimaginable persecution, yet stands on its commitment to preach the gospel, no matter the cost. China continued its crackdown against Christians and missionaries in 2008, as they sought to purge the country of religion before hosting the Olympic games…. Church property and Bibles were confiscated. Christians were harassed, questioned, arrested and imprisoned. Christians in prisons are routinely beaten and abused.
Japan and Manchuria
What surprises many Americans: the regime ruling China was largely put there by the United States. In the 1930s, Japan, then militarily powerful, was the main barrier to Soviet ambitions to communize Asia. Benjamin Gitlow, founding member of the U.S. Communist Party, wrote in I Confess (1940):
When I was in Moscow, the attitude toward the United States in the event of war was discussed. Privately, it was the opinion of all the Russian leaders to whom I spoke that the rivalry between the United States and Japan must actually break out into war between these two.
The Russians were hopeful that the war would break out soon, because that would greatly secure the safety of Russia’s Siberian borders and would so weaken Japan that Russia would no longer have to fear an attack from her in the East…. Stalin is perfectly willing to let Americans die in defense of the Soviet Union.
In 1935, U.S. Ambassador to Moscow William C. Bullitt sent a dispatch to Secretary of State Cordell Hull:
It is … the heartiest hope of the Soviet Government that the United States will become involved in war with Japan…. To think of the Soviet Union as a possible ally of the United States in case of war with Japan is to allow the wish to be father to the thought. The Soviet Union would certainly attempt to avoid becoming an ally until Japan had been thoroughly defeated and would then merely use the opportunity to acquire Manchuria and Sovietize China.
In the 1930s Japan moved troops into Manchuria (northern China). U.S. history books routinely call this an imperialistic invasion. While there is certainly truth in this interpretation, the books rarely mention that Japan was largely reacting, in its own version of the Monroe Doctrine, to the Soviets’ incursions into Asia — namely their seizure of Sinkiang and Outer Mongolia. Anthony Kubek, Chairman of Political Science at the University of Dallas, wrote in How the Far East Was Lost:
It was apparent to Japanese statesmen that unless bastions of defense were built in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, Communism would spread through all of North China and seriously threaten the security of Japan. To the Japanese, expansion in Manchuria was a national imperative…. But the Department of State seemed not to regard Japan as a bulwark against Soviet expansion in North China. As a matter of fact, not one word of protest was sent by the Department of State to the Soviet Union, despite her absorption of Sinkiang and Outer Mongolia, while at the same time Japan was censured for stationing troops in China.
The Chinese Republic
China had been ruled by emperors until 1911, when the Qing Dynasty was overthrown. The revolution is largely attributed to Sun Yat-sen, who sought to make China a constitutional republic, led by the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party of China. However, Sun encountered extreme difficulties in unifying the enormous nation under his idealistic principles. After the emperors’ fall, China was largely ruled by local warlords, and following Dr. Sun’s 1925 death, the task of unifying China fell to Chiang Kai-shek, a Christian and Kuomintang leader.
The Soviets tried infiltrating the Kuomintang, but Chiang Kai-shek eventually saw through their schemes, and by 1928 had deported many USSR agents. That same year, 1928, Foreign Affairs, American’s most powerful foreign policy journal, published its first article criticizing Chiang. From then on, he became the enemy of both the Soviet Union and the American establishment — which had ironically sought to support communism since the 1917 Russian Revolution.
Chinese Reds: Soviet Puppets
The Chinese Communist Party was little more than a puppet of the Soviet Union, which recognized the value for communism’s future in China’s massive manpower. In 1933, the Chinese Communist Party sent this message to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin: “Lead us on, O our pilot, from victory to victory!”
Stalin encouraged the overthrow of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. However, with Japanese troops’ arrival in Manchuria in 1937, Stalin ordered Chinese communists to ease their attacks on the Nationalists because the latter were repelling the Japanese, whom Stalin considered a barrier to his own ambitions in Asia.
This order was amplified after June 22, 1941, when Germany and its European allies invaded the Soviet Union, and began decimating the Red Army. Stalin feared that Japan — Germany’s ally — would invade Russia from the East, destroying himself and world communism’s center. One may reasonably conclude that proven Soviet agents within the U.S. government — such as Harry Dexter White, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury; and Alger Hiss, a leading State Department figure — shared this concern.
This author has documented in The New American that Washington had full foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack, but did not warn our military commanders; and also that Washington sought to provoke the attack through such measures as a freeze on Japan’s U.S. assets; a steel and oil embargo; closure of the Panama Canal to Japan’s shipping; and humiliating ultimatums to the Japanese government (see, for example, Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not).
The U.S. war with Japan fulfilled the Gitlow and Bullitt warnings. Since Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists were also fighting the Japanese, official U.S. policy was to support them, especially after President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Chiang at the 1943 Cairo Conference. Stalin ordered the Chinese communists to help against the Japanese too — but in a very limited capacity. Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung told followers: “Our determined policy is 70 percent self-development, 20 percent compromise, and 10 percent fight the Japanese.” The Reds spent little energy against the Japanese, mostly attacking the Nationalists, whom they planned to overthrow at the war’s conclusion. This emphasis increased as Japan’s defeat, from U.S. advances in the Pacific, became imminent. Robert Welch, in his study of China’s downfall, Again, May God Forgive Us, wrote: “In Shantung in 1943, just for one illustration, they [the communists] attacked from the south an army of twenty thousand Nationalists, simultaneously with a Japanese attack from the north, and helped to slaughter the whole force.”
But China’s destruction came not only from communists. Fateful decisions resulted when Roosevelt met with Stalin at the Teheran Conference (late 1943) and Yalta Conference (February 1945). Stalin, though our ally against Germany during World War II, maintained a nonaggression pact with Japan. This suited Stalin, as he wished the Japanese to wear down China’s Nationalist forces.
At the Teheran and Yalta wartime conferences, however, Roosevelt asked Stalin if he would break his pact with Japan and enter the Far East war. Stalin agreed, but attached conditions. He demanded that America completely equip his Far Eastern Army for the expedition, with 3,000 tanks, 5,000 planes, plus all the other munitions, food, and fuel required for a 1,250,000-man army. Roosevelt accepted this demand, and 600 shiploads of Lend-Lease material were convoyed to the USSR for the venture. Stalin’s Far Eastern Army swiftly received more than twice the supplies we gave Chiang Kai-shek during four years as our ally.
General Douglas MacArthur protested after discovering that ships designated to supply his Pacific forces were being diverted to Russia. Major General Courtney Whitney wrote: “One hundred of his transport ships were to be withdrawn immediately, to be used to carry munitions and supplies across the North Pacific to the Soviet forces in Vladivostok…. Later, of course, they were the basis of Soviet military support of North Korea and Red China.”
But Stalin didn’t just want materiel in return for entering the Asian war. He also demanded control of the Manchurian seaports of Dairen and Port Arthur — which a glance at the map shows would give him an unbreakable foothold in China — as well as joint control, with the Chinese, of Manchuria’s railroads. Roosevelt made these concessions without consulting the Chinese. Thus, without authority, he ceded to Stalin another nation’s sovereign territory. The president made these pledges without the knowledge or consent of Congress or the American people.
The State Department official representing the United States in drawing up the Yalta agreement was Alger Hiss — subsequently exposed as a Soviet spy. General Patrick Hurley, U.S. Ambassador to China, wrote:
“American diplomats surrendered the territorial integrity and the political independence of China … and wrote the blueprint for the Communist conquest of China in secret agreement at Yalta.”
The decision to invite and equip Stalin — a known aggressor — into the Far East must go down among the worst acts of U.S. foreign policy. Stalin’s divisions entered China to fight the already-beaten Japanese on August 9, 1945 — five days before Japan’s surrender. The atom bomb had already pounded Hiroshima.
After barely firing a shot, the Soviets received surrender of Japan’s huge arsenals in Manchuria. These, with their American Lend-Lease supplies, they handed over to Mao Tse-tung’s communists to overthrow the Nationalist government.
Another means of destroying the Nationalists: U.S. personnel assigned to China. Among the worst was Army General “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. Though generally respected as a strategist, Stilwell became notorious for hatred of Chiang Kai-shek — whom he nicknamed “the peanut” — and admiration for the communists. Stilwell wrote in a letter: “It makes me itch to throw down my shovel and get over there and shoulder a rifle with Chu Teh.” (Chu was commander-in-chief of the Chinese communist armies — as he was later in the Korean War, overseeing the killing of GIs.)
Because Japan controlled China’s ports, the Nationalists had to receive supplies by air lift from India. Stilwell oversaw a campaign of Chinese troops against the Japanese in Burma, attempting to open a land supply route. When the effort failed, Stilwell demanded the operation be tried again, using 30 Nationalist divisions.
At this, Chiang balked: diverting 30 divisions south into Burma would facilitate further conquest of China by both the Japanese and the Chinese communists. General Claire Chennault, commander of the famed “Flying Tigers,” agreed with Chiang. Significantly, Stilwell did not request use of communist forces — whom he so vocally admired — for his envisioned Burma campaign.
Stilwell complained to Washington, and received a message from President Roosevelt directing Chiang to place Stilwell in “unrestricted command” of all Chinese forces, and send troops to Burma. After jubilantly handing this message to Chiang, Stilwell wrote in his diary:
I’ve long waited for vengeance —
At last I’ve had my chance.
I’ve looked the Peanut in the eye
And kicked him in the pants…
The little b*****d shivered
And lost the power of speech.
His face turned green and quivered
And he struggled not to screech.
But Stilwell’s scheme backfired. Chiang refused the directive and asked Roosevelt to replace Stilwell. Otherwise, he said, he would go it alone against the Japanese — as he had for the four years preceding Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt was forced to concede. To his chagrin, Stilwell was relieved by General Albert C. Wedemeyer, who saw eye-to-eye with Chiang.
Chiang Kai-shek wrote: “Stilwell was in a conspiracy with the Communists to overthrow the Government” — an opinion shared by General Hurley, who stated: “The record of General Stilwell in China is irrevocably coupled in history with the conspiracy to overthrow the Nationalist Government of China, and to set up in its place a Communist regime — and all this movement was part of, and cannot be separated from, the Communist cell or apparatus that existed at the time in the Government in Washington.”
State Department Junta
What “cell” did Ambassador Hurley refer to? In China, he was surrounded by a State Department clique favoring a Chinese communist takeover. Dean Acheson, who as a young attorney had represented Soviet interests in America, became Assistant Secretary of State in 1941. As such, he ensured the State Department’s Far Eastern Division was dominated by communists and pro-communists, including Alger Hiss (subsequently proven a Soviet spy); John Carter Vincent, director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs, later identified by Daily Worker editor Louis Budenz as a communist; John Stewart Service, Foreign Service Officer in China who turned State Department information over to the Chinese communists, and was arrested by the FBI in the Amerasia spy case (about which more later); Foreign Service Officer John P. Davies, who consistently lobbied for the communists; Owen Lattimore, appointed U.S. adviser to Chiang Kai-shek but identified as a communist by ex-communists Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley; and several others.
“The Communists relied very strongly on Service and John Carter Vincent,” said Budenz, “in a campaign against Ambassador Hurley.” Hurley, an honest statesman, was shocked by the maneuverings of those under him. “The professional foreign service men,” he reported to President Truman, “sided with the Communists’ armed party.”
Hurley was compelled to dismiss 11 State Department members. Upon return from China, however, they were mysteriously promoted, and some became Hurley’s superiors — after which he resigned. “These professional diplomats,” he wrote, “were returned to Washington and were placed in the Far Eastern and China divisions of the State Department as my supervisors.”
This State Department clique employed several tactics to advance Chinese communism. Among the chief: claiming Mao’s followers weren’t communists, but merely “agrarian reformers.” Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto had commanded: “Workers of the world, unite!” But since China had little industry, Chinese communists made farmers their focus.
Professor Kenneth A. Colgrove testified that Owen Lattimore informed him that “Chinese Communists under Mao Tse-tung were real democrats and that they were really agrarian reformers and had no connection with Soviet Russia.”
The aforementioned John Carter Vincent referred to Mao and his followers as “so-called Communists.”
Raymond Ludden, another in the State Department clique, reported that “the so-called Communists are agrarian reformers of a mild democratic stripe more than anything else.”
In 1943, T. A. Bisson wrote in Far Eastern Survey: “By no stretch of the imagination can this be termed ‘communism’; it is, in fact, the essence of bourgeois democracy applied mainly to agrarian conditions.”
The State Department’s John P. Davies told Washington: “The Communists are in China to stay. And China’s destiny is not Chiang’s but theirs.” An additional tactic: portraying Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists as “fascists,” “reactionary,” and “corrupt.” General Wedemeyer conveyed this matter’s reality:
Although the Nationalist Government of China was frequently and derisively described as authoritarian or totalitarian, there was a basic difference between it and its Communist enemies, since the Kuomintang’s ultimate aim was the establishment of a constitutional republic, whereas the Communists want to establish a totalitarian dictatorship on the Soviet pattern. In my two years of close contact with Chiang Kai-shek, I had become convinced that he was personally a straightforward, selfless leader, keenly interested in the welfare of his people, and desirous of establishing a constitutional government.
While some corruption undoubtedly existed in the Nationalist regime, Wedemeyer insightfully noted that corruption existed in all governments, including ours. For China, a conspiracy on the U.S. side compounded this. Their government offices displaced by Japan’s invasion, the Nationalists had to rely on paper currency. Runaway inflation threatened China’s economy. To stabilize the situation, Chiang Kai-shek requested a loan of U.S. gold. President Roosevelt approved, but the gold shipments were delayed and withheld by Assistant Treasury Secretary Harry Dexter White, long since proven to be a Soviet agent. This collapsed China’s currency. One can understand why some Chinese officials, forced to accept salaries paid in worthless money, turned to corruption.
Walter S. Robertson, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, informed the National Press Club in 1959:
“We stood by and saw China drift into a state of complete economic collapse. The currency was worthless…. In China, we withheld our funds at the only time, in my opinion, we had a chance to save the situation. To do what? To force the Communists in.”
As a final tactic, State Department leftists demanded the Nationalists form a “coalition government” with the communists. This was an old communist trick. By forcing the postwar governments of Poland, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia to form coalitions with communists, the Marxists seized control of those nations; Mao Tse-tung envisioned the same strategy for China. In his report “On Coalition Government,” made in April 1945 to the Seventh National Convention of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao predicted that a coalition would destroy both Chiang and “reactionary American imperialism.”
The State Department’s China clique echoed this call. John P. Davies wrote in 1944: “A coalition Chinese Government in which the Communists find a satisfactory place is the solution of this impasse most desirable to us.”
A more realistic assessment of coalition government — which meant combining constitutional freedom with totalitarian gangsterism — was provided by Douglas MacArthur, who said it would have “about as much chance of getting them together as that oil and water will mix.”
In fact, Chiang Kai-shek wanted a postwar government representing all Chinese parties. In November 1946, he convened a National Assembly that met for 40 days, with 2,045 delegates representing diverse views from all over China; it adopted a national constitution. However, despite their clamoring for “coalition government,” Mao’s communists refused to participate: they knew that, lacking popular support in China, they could only take power by violence.
At World War II’s close, Mao’s troops, armed by the Russians — both from American Lend-Lease and captured Japanese arsenals — began a full assault on the Nationalist government. Mao’s rebellion would have undoubtedly failed if not for interventions by George Marshall, whom President Truman designated his special representative to China.
Marshall had a remarkable penchant for being in “the wrong place at the wrong time.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt had advanced him over dozens of senior officers to become U.S. Army Chief of Staff. In that capacity, on December 7, 1941, he absented himself from his office on a notoriously long “horseback ride,” while junior officers sought his permission to warn Pearl Harbor of the impending attack. During the Korean War, he was conveniently named Secretary of Defense; as such he overruled General MacArthur, saving the Yalu River’s bridges from destruction by the U.S. Air Force, and thus permitting Communist Chinese soldiers to invade Korea, which precluded victory by MacArthur, guaranteeing the stalemate that ultimately occurred. Regardless of where Marshall served, his actions fortified communism and defeated American interests — a record summarized by the wrongfully maligned Senator Joseph McCarthy in his book America’s Retreat from Victory: The Story of George Catlett Marshall.
Before leaving for China, Marshall revealed he already accepted the communist propaganda line. Five-star Fleet Admiral William Leahy reported: “I was present when Marshall was going to China. He said he was going to tell Chiang that he had to get on with the Communists or without help from us. He said the same thing when he got back.” And when told Mao Tse-tung and his followers were communists, Marshall remarked: “Don’t be ridiculous. These fellows are just old-fashioned agrarian reformers.”
When Marshall first arrived in China, the Nationalists outnumbered the communists 5-1 in both troops and rifles, and were successfully driving them back. Marshall, however, imposed a total of three truces — which the communists violated, allowing them to regroup, bring up Soviet supplies, and further train their guerillas. This expanded their control from 57 Chinese counties to 310. General Claire Chennault recounted the impact of Marshall’s truces:
North of Hankow some 200,000 government troops had surrounded 70,000 Communist troops and were beginning a methodical job of extermination. The Communists appealed to Marshall on the basis of his truce proposal, and arrangements were made for fighting to cease while the Communists marched out of the trap and on to Shantung Province, where a large Communist offensive began about a year later. On the East River near Canton some 100,000 Communist troops were trapped by government forces. The truce teams effected their release and allowed the Communists to march unmolested to Bias Bay where they boarded junks and sailed to Shantung.
Marshall’s disastrous 15-month China mission ended in January 1947. Upon his return to the United States, President Truman rewarded his failures with appointment as Secretary of State. Marshall imposed a weapons embargo on the Nationalists, while the communists continued receiving a steady weapons supply from the USSR. Marshall boasted that he disarmed 39 anti-communist divisions “with a stroke of the pen.” This doomed Chinese freedom.
The Media Role – Propaganda
Critical to the China sellout was manipulation of U.S. public opinion. A plethora of books and news reports perpetuated the myth that Mao’s communists were “democratic agrarian reformers,” even though, once in power, they established a totalitarian communist dictatorship, executing tens of millions of Chinese, in an orgy of atrocities that reached its height during the bloody Cultural Revolution. Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalists were portrayed as “fascist,” “reactionary,” and “corrupt.”
Soviet Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov outlined this strategy:
Who reads the Communist papers? Only a few people who are already Communists. We don’t need to propagandize them. What is our object? Who do we have to influence? We have to influence non-Communists if we want to make them Communists or if we want to fool them. So, we have to try to infiltrate in the big press.
The most influential U.S. writers fulfilling this were probably Edgar Snow, author of the pro-communist book Red Star Over China, and Owen Lattimore, author of Thunder Out of China, a Book-of-the-Month selection that attacked Chiang Kai-shek. Writing in the Saturday Review, Snow audaciously told readers, “There has never been any communism in China.” And he reported in the Saturday Evening Post that Chu Teh, Mao’s military commander, possessed the “kindliness of Robert E. Lee, the tenacity of Grant and the humility of Lincoln.”
In his monumental book While You Slept, John T. Flynn exposed the media bias favoring Chinese communists. Between 1943 and 1949, 22 pro-communist books appeared in the U.S. press, and only seven pro-Nationalist ones. Also, reported Flynn:
Every one of the 22 pro-Communist books, where reviewed, received glowing approval in the literary reviews, I have named — that is, in the New York Times, the Herald-Tribune, the Nation, the New Republic and the Saturday Review of Literature. And every one of the anti-Communist books was either roundly condemned or ignored in these same reviews.
One reason the pro-communist books received such favor: reviews were written by writers of other such books. Flynn documented that 12 authors of the 22 pro-Red Chinese books wrote 43 complimentary reviews of the others’ books. This cozy “in-house” system guaranteed laudatory reviews. It left the American public — which generally knew little of Asian affairs — with indelible impressions. So severe was the bias, Flynn noted, that New York Times reviews were barely distinguishable from those in the communist Daily Worker.
Overt Betrayal: The IPR
Perhaps the most sinister influence on America’s Far East policy and opinion was the now-defunct Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR). The recipient of grants from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations, the institute published hundreds of thousands of pamphlets on China for U.S. public schools and the military. These pamphlets extended the myth that the communists were “agrarian reformers” and the Nationalists “fascists.” The Senate Internal Security Subcommittee eventually found IPR included 54 persons connected with the communist world conspiracy. Among them were such communists or pro-communists as Alger Hiss, Frederick Vanderbilt Field, Owen Lattimore, and John Stewart Service. Alexander Barmine, a brigadier general who defected from the Communist Army, testified IPR was “a cover shop for military intelligence work in the Pacific.”
The IPR organized a magazine, Amerasia. In 1945, U.S. officials were shocked when Amerasia published an article reprinting — almost word-for-word — a top-secret government document. Agents of the OSS (the CIA’s forerunner) invaded Amerasia’s offices and discovered 1,800 documents stolen from the American government, including papers detailing the disposition of Nationalist army units in China. The magazine had been a cover for Soviet spying.
Although the FBI arrested numerous Amerasia employees for espionage, all the cases were either completely dismissed or dispensed with fines. John Stewart Service, despite arrest for giving stolen government documents to Amerasia editor Philip Jaffe, was rewarded by Dean Acheson, who put Service in charge of State Department placements and promotions. This was not the only time powerful “hidden hands” have conspired against American interests.
“Aid” to China
With Japan’s 1945 defeat, Lend-Lease aid, sitting in India and slated for the Nationalists, was either destroyed or dumped in the ocean. By 1948, due to Marshall’s weapons embargo, the Nationalist government faced nearly inevitable defeat by the communists, who continued receiving unlimited weapons from Russia. Former U.S. Ambassador William C. Bullitt testified before the Committee on Foreign Affairs in March 1948:
The American government has not delivered to China a single combat plane or a single bomber since General Marshall in August, 1946, by unilateral action, broke the promise of the American Government to the Chinese Government and suspended all deliveries of planes…. As a means of pressure to compel Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to take Communists into the Chinese Government, General Marshall stopped all fulfillment of this program and dishonored the pledge of the United States.
Although Dean Acheson deceptively told Congress the Nationalists had received over $2 billion in U.S. aid, most was non-military or unusable. Colonel L. B. Moody, U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, clarified the realities:
- The inevitable defeat of the Nationalist army was due to their deficit in items of infantry weapons and especially ammunition, and the Communist superiority in these items.
- Military aid to the Chinese meant infantry weapons and ammunition above all else and it is “precisely these items which the United States has consistently denied, delayed or limited. Only passing reference will be made to the billions of mouldy cigarettes, blown-up guns, and junk bombs and disabled vehicles from the Pacific Islands which have been totalled up with other real or alleged aid in various State Department, Communist and leftist statements to create the impression that we have furnished the Nationalist government with hundreds of millions or billions of useful fighting equipment.”
In April 1948, Congress, apprised of the desperate situation, granted $125 million in military assistance to save Chiang’s government. However, the first of this aid did not reach the Nationalists until seven months later (when China had become an issue in the 1948 elections). By contrast, after the British defeat at Dunkirk, U.S. ships needed only eight days to be loaded with munitions bound for Britain. Anthony Kubek describes the first shipload reaching the Nationalists in late 1948:
Of the total number, 480 of the machine guns lacked spare parts, tripod mounts, etc. Thompson machine guns had no magazines or clips. There were no loading machines for the loading of ammunition belts. Only a thousand of the light machine guns had mounts, and there were only a thousand clips for the 2,280 light machine guns.
The embargo and subsequent sabotaging of congressionally mandated aid to the Nationalists spelled their doom. In 1949, the communists completed conquest of China. Chiang Kai-shek and approximately two million followers escaped to Formosa (now called Taiwan), where they maintained the Republic of China’s government, establishing the island as a bastion of freedom.
The propaganda myth that Mao Tse-tung was an “agrarian reformer” evaporated as he formed a totalitarian communist regime, slaughtering millions. Acheson and the State Department clique still hoped to recognize Communist China, but after Mao’s thugs seized U.S. consular officers, imprisoned and even murdered our citizens, and poured their troops into Korea to kill American soldiers, this U.S. recognition of China ended up being deferred for many years.
The China disaster did not result from “blunders.” Congressman Walter Judd, an acknowledged Far East expert, said:
“On the law of averages, a mere moron once in a while would make a decision that would be favorable to the United States. When policies are advocated by any group which consistently work out to the Communists’ advantage, that couldn’t be happenstance.”