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Chiang Kai-shek in a little perspective
Paul Simon comments: "Bill Ratliff is on the mark in also pointing out Chiang's warm relations with the USSR. And why not, the KMT was formed and run on strict Leninist lines! Indeed, Stalin handed Manchuria back to Chiang, not Mao, when the Red Army withdrew in 45/46. Bill's sources are good ones but perhaps just as biased as Seagrave, although in the other direction. Certainly John King Fairbanks was the dean of China scholars but was what we in the business call a "panda hugger". I especially recommend the chapter "The Nanjing Decade" in his famous tome on America and China. I think Bill is a hint off the mark in assessing blame on the US for "not supporting Chiang" in the 30's. The very factors he cites, namely the fact that Chiang didn't really control most of China, were probably big deterrents. Chiang's unsavory ties to the underworld were another. But the much bigger factor is that the US was a) in the depression and b) very isolationist in the 1930's. We weren't "supporting" much of anybody.
Trading, sure, aiding, no."
Ronald Hilton - 12/21/01