35. The Reds Create a People's Republic

In the first months of 1948, Communist forces were on the verge of dominating all of Manchuria and the senior U.S. army advisor in China, Major General David G. Barr, was convinced of the futility of holding isolated cities dependent for supply upon massive air capacity, which China did not possess. Barr saw an opportunity early in March when the Communists withdrew most of their forces to resupply them. He urged Chiang Kai-shek to take advantage of the lull to withdraw Nationalist troops from the northeast. Otherwise, he was likely to lose them all.

Chiang angrily rejected the proposal but did agree to consolidate his forces in two "islands," Mukden and Changchun, under the new commander for the northeast, Wei Lihuang. The Nationalist troops were low on ammunition and soon would be short of food, however, and the only hope was a massive campaign to relieve them. Barr recommended an offensive from the farthest rail-supplied Nationalist base in Manchuria, Jinzhou, to open rail lines to Mukden. Chiang enthusiastically concurred.1

But Wei Lihuang insisted on extensive preparations and waiting to find out what Red intentions were before he would launch an offensive and Chiang agreed to postpone the attack to August 1. It was a recipe for disaster.2

Meantime, the National Assembly, elected in rigged elections in late 1947 and dominated by KMT delegates, met on March 29 to put the new constitution into effect. Chiang Kai-shek, after demurely refusing to be considered as president, finally "consented" and was elected on April 19. The assembly also granted Chiang emergency dictatorial powers for "rebellion suppression," which did away with democratic and civil rights. Thus, Nationalist China with a constitution was back where it started without one: a Kuomintang dictatorship under the control of Chiang Kai-shek.3

There was opposition to Chiang and his ultrarightist cliques in the assembly but not enough to shake Chiang's control. It did, however, elect as vice president Li Zongren, director of the Generalissimo's Beiping headquarters and an advocate of reform, despite strong pressure by Chiang Kai-shek to get him defeated.4

Ambassador Stuart believed one reason Chiang Kai-shek remained unwilling to make changes was the presence in China at this time of William C. Bullitt, former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union and France, who had emerged as an advocate of the Generalissimo with the ear of another Chiang admirer, publisher Henry Luce, and access to Luce's magazine, Life. In these pages Bullitt pushed for extensive U.S. aid. Stuart radioed Secretary Marshall on May 17, 1948, that Bullitt was saying openly, if the Nationalists could only hang on until the U.S. presidential elections in November, they could count on more assistance from the coming Republican administration. Truman, he said, was not going to be reelected and a new policy could be put into effect with his departure, including "some really first-class American general" who would help the Chinese "finish the Communist menace."5

* * * * * * * * * *

By summer, 1948, the economic situation in Nationalist China had deteriorated drastically as hyperinflation reached stupendous levels. Prices were three million times those in 1937. Private capital had been shunted almost entirely into financial speculation and hoarding of commodities. Money lost practically all value and even moderate purchases required bushels of notes.

On August 19, 1948, the Nationalist government issued a new "gold yuan," to be exchanged with the old yuan at a rate of three million to one. The government ostensibly was backing the gold yuan with gold and U.S. dollars but the new note, despite its name, could not be exchanged for gold or dollars.

The government imposed a freeze on prices and announced drastic financial reforms to reduce government spending and increase revenues. Officials promised to keep the value of the new issue. It was all a lie, for the government made no changes whatsoever in its policy of printing notes to meet expenditures. The government simultaneously ordered all Chinese to sell their gold, silver and foreign currency to the government at pegged rates. The government extracted about 170 million dollars worth of precious metals and foreign currency from the people. But by October 1, 1948, the volume of gold yuan notes in circulation had increased almost five times and the government abandoned its efforts to control prices.

The "currency reform" of August, 1948, removed practically all of the lingering faith in the Nationalist government. Most informed people concluded that the "reform" was a fraud, deliberately initiated to strip people's wealth to benefit Chiang Kai-shek and the few top families in his close circle.6

* * * * * * * * * *

A new military crisis erupted in Shandong, where Chinese Communist forces under Chen Yi closed in around Jinan, which Chiang refused to evacuate.7 Chen Yi began a general assault on the city on September 16, using mostly light weapons. The Reds' most important real weapon was the loss of will to fight by Nationalist troops. By September 23, the Communists had seized the city, killed or captured the 100,000-man garrison and acquired a large amount of weapons and ammunition.8

Meanwhile, Lin Biao opened a new campaign in Manchuria. The Nationalist commander, Wei Lihuang, had not started his offensive on August 1 as ordered and Lin Biao concentrated against Jinzhou. General Barr recommended that Chiang launch a converging attack with a large portion of his 200,000 troops in Mukden and the large Huludao garrison, a few miles south of Jinzhou. Chiang agreed but the attack was a fiasco. The Huludao garrison made only tentative advances and General Wei moved out 100,000 men from Mukden but they advanced extremely slowly. Meanwhile Lin Biao captured Jinzhou on October 19 after a large part of the 70,000-man garrison defected and most of the others surrendered. The Reds gained large amounts of arms, ammunition and supplies stockpiled in the city.

Red troops now concentrated on the 100,000 men moving westward from Mukden. These were some of the best troops the Nationalists possessed, most armed with American weapons and many of the junior officers and men trained by Americans. PLA forces surrounded individual KMT units at Dahushan, some sixty air miles southwest of Mukden, but there was little fighting. Nationalist troops surrendered in large numbers. One of the most effective Communist approaches was this: "Your rifle is American but your life is Chinese; save them both for the new China!" Only a few scattered Nationalist units managed to get back into the Mukden defense works.

Though Chiang now decided belatedly that the Nationalists should evacuate Mukden and Changchun, the opportunity had passed. Morale among the Nationalist troops collapsed. Air deliveries of food to Mukden had been cut in mid-September by 60 per cent, reducing food reserves almost to the breaking point. Changchun fell first, however, because the people had been reduced to near starvation. On October 21 the majority of the garrison defected and the Reds walked in.

On October 30 the Nationalists suspended their regular air flights into Mukden because of Red fire on the military airfield. Ranking military and civilian KMT officials rushed to a smaller civilian airfield south of the city to evacuate themselves and their families by specially flown in aircraft. The situation quickly degenerated when lower-ranking KMT officers discovered that only the top brass and their families were being evacuated. The planes carrying these selected people were only able to take off after shots had been exchanged.

Nationalist officials left behind negotiated with the Red commanders and on November 1 the PLA moved into the city against only sporadic resistance. Lin Biao issued a proclamation promising pardon for all KMT soldiers irrespective of rank. Most of them dropped their arms and surrendered.

In the Manchurian debacle the Nationalists had lost 400,000 troops, including many of their best. At Mukden alone, the PLA acquired thousands of rifles and other weapons, including thirty pieces of heavy American artillery in excellent condition, three-hundred operable American trucks and 200,000 winter uniforms.9

The Nationalists began evacuating their remaining troops from Huludao by sea and the large PLA forces in the northeast were freed to move into north China. Lin Biao assembled them just north of the Great Wall.

* * * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile in the United States, Harry S. Truman, after a "give-'em-hell" campaign in which he repeatedly denounced the "Republican do-nothing eightieth Congress," had pulled off a completely unpredicted victory in the November presidential election, defeating complacent Thomas E. Dewey, governor of New York, by 114 electoral votes.

Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang had been waiting for a new Republican administration in Washington that, as William C. Bullitt had promised in the spring, would "finish the Communist menace." The stunning news, an omen that Truman's policy of limited aid would continue, galvanized Chiang into sending Madame Chiang to Washington to try to change policy. Madame Chiang was an effective advocate but this time all her wiles got her nowhere. Although Madame Chiang stayed as a guest of Katherine Marshall at the Marshalls' house at Leesburg, she returned to China empty-handed. Marshall's polite rebuff was one of his last acts as secretary of state. In December doctors removed one of his kidneys because of a cyst, which proved to be benign. But recovery was painful and slow, providing Marshall an opportunity to retire. Truman selected Undersecretary Dean Acheson to replace him. Acheson was sworn in on January 21, 1949.10

* * * * * * * * * *

The Chinese civil war now reached its climax. The Communist PLA moved on two far-separated fronts, demonstrating its ability to wage full-scale war and also showing the woeful decline of the Nationalist armies.11

One advance was by Lin Biao, assisted by Nie Rongzhen, into north China, with the specific objectives of Beiping, Tianjin and the seaport of Tanggu. The other was by Chen Yi, Liu Bocheng and Chen Geng into the region north of the Yangzi river, with the immediate objective of Xuzhou but with the strategic objectives of Nanjing, Shanghai and the Yangzi valley. Both campaigns took place at the same time.

The combined forces now available to the Red commanders in north China totaled nearly 900,000. Against them, the Nationalist commander, Fu Zuoyi, had about 600,000 troops, though they were still more heavily armed. The fatal Nationalist refusal to engage in open field operations seized Fu Zuoyi as well. He pulled his troops into Beiping, Tianjin, Tanggu and Zhangjiakou (Kalgan) and therefore committed the same mistake that had permitted Lin Biao to isolate the Nationalist-held cities in Manchuria.

Nie Rongzhen's forces invested Zhangjiakou, which surrendered December 24, while Lin Biao moved cautiously around Beiping for fear of damaging the great monuments to Chinese culture there. He was less concerned about Tianjin and Tanggu. Everywhere the Red commanders attempted to get the garrisons to surrender, promising no harm would come to the soldiers.

When the commander of Tianjin refused to surrender, Communist troops assaulted the city on January 14, 1949, and secured it the next day. The demoralized Nationalist troops put up poor resistance and most quickly surrendered. Tanggu fell two days later, the Nationalist garrison fleeing by sea.

Fu Zuoyi negotiated with Lin Biao but resisted making an agreement. Meanwhile, the second great contest, this one to open Nanjing, Shanghai and the Yangzi basin, was fought out between the east-west Longhai railroad and the Huai river. Each side had about half a million men but the bulk of the Nationalist forces were inferior garrison troops possessing little of the PLA resolve. In a series of engagements beginning early in November and ending in early January, 1949, the Communists repeatedly surrounded and destroyed Nationalist armies. The government lost virtually all its forces in the campaign, over 300,000 of them taken prisoner.

There were now no major organized Nationalist forces capable of stopping the Communists. The PLA now far outnumbered the Nationalists and, having captured most of the KMT weaponry, outgunned them.12

Everywhere in north China the remaining Nationalist troops were bottled up in cities, 280,000 at Beiping, 120,000 at Taiyuan under the Shanxi warlord Yan Xishan, 52,000 at the port of Qingdao and 176,000 at Xi'an in Shaanxi, where Chiang had placed them so far out of the action that they were irrelevant to the conduct of the war.

Pressure had been building ever since the Manchurian debacle to force Chiang Kai-shek out of office and to turn the presidency over to Li Zongren to negotiate a coalition government with the Reds.13 Chiang remained adamant in his New Year's address and Ambassador Stuart reported that the Generalissimo intended to fight on as long as possible, then make Taiwan the base for further resistance.14 Chiang began moving elements of the government, quantities of gold, silver and other mobile assets and the navy and air force to the island.15

The Chinese people, however, were immensely war-weary. The announcement of an eight-point peace proposal by Mao Zedong on January 14 brought new efforts to convince the Generalissimo to resign, even though Mao's terms were extremely onerous, listing Chiang Kai-shek and most other prominent KMT leaders as war criminals and calling for the destruction of the Kuomintang.16 On January 21, Chiang Kai-shek pulled off a coup that removed pressure from himself and tied the hands of Vice President Li Zongren. He announced he was "retiring," leaving Li to exercise power in his absence. He did this under a section of the constitution which provided that Chiang could take back the presidency any time he wished. Li Zongren therefore gained no power base.17

Chiang's retirement gave Fu Zuoyi the excuse he needed to surrender. Fu extracted a promise from the Reds to remove his name from their list of war criminals if he would deliver Beiping undamaged. Red troops entered the city on January 31.18

The usefulness of the U.S. military mission to China had ended and the new American Department of Defense ordered it withdrawn in January, 1949.19 Although the National Security Council20 recommended that the U.S. halt shipments of military aid to China because of danger it might fall into Chinese Communist hands, congressional leaders talked President Truman out of doing so. The reason was to avoid blaming the United States for the collapse of KMT rule.21 However, members of the China bloc in Congress were looking for a scapegoat. Many felt the Truman administration had not done enough. The new secretary of state, Dean Acheson, began to build a defense of the administration's policy. His plan, approved by Truman, was to publish the major documents concerning China since 1944.22

* * * * * * * * * *

The "acting president" of China, Li Zongren, had only one option: to come to some accommodation with the Chinese Communists. Mao Zedong was glad enough to negotiate. The Reds' enormous victories had left their armies exhausted and worn, with need of rest, reorganization and replenishment.23

For the next two months the two contending sides jockeyed for position. Li Zongren sent unofficial delegations to Beiping which the Red leadership unofficially received. But the entire operation had an air of unreality. The Communists made it plain they would accept only unconditional surrender.24

The Soviet Union, the alleged friend of the Chinese Communists, behaved in a manner Ambassador Stuart considered inexplicable: it was not elated over Red successes. Stuart decided Joseph Stalin might be concerned over the emergence of a strong Chinese state at his back door.25 Stuart did not, however, draw the logical inference that this meant the Chinese Reds were not tools of the Kremlin. Though the West didn't know of it until much later, Stalin privately told Mao Zedong that he should stop at the Yangzi and accept a divided nation. He hoped to play Reds and Nationalists against each other.26 Mao ignored the advice. The Soviet interest in continuing to support the Nationalist government emerged in late January when Premier Sun Ke and the foreign minister, along with much of the Nationalist government, began moving the Nationalist capital to Guangzhou in the far south. The Soviet ambassador, N.V. Roschin, was the only foreign chief of mission to follow. He made the move for one reason: to seek agreement from the Nationalist government, before it collapsed, of extensive economic privileges in China's vast Xinjiang province in the northwest. It was apparent that the Kremlin entertained no hope of getting such concessions from the Chinese Communists and the Nationalists were their last chance.27

On February 25, 1949, Senator Pat McCarran, a maverick Democrat from Nevada, introduced a bill to provide 1.5 billion dollars to the Nationalists and to authorize U.S. officers to direct Chinese troops in the field. On March 10, fifty senators (twenty-four Democrats) asked the Senate foreign relations committee to give McCarran's bill full consideration. However, the committee was generally favorable to the State Department's desire to withdraw from China and Acheson flatly opposed McCarran's bill. The committee killed it.28

While the preliminary sparring went on with the Chinese Communists regarding peace talks, Li Zongren attempted to gain control of the Nationalist government. He didn't succeed, although he was able to oust as premier the "despicable Sun Ke" (as described by Ambassador Stuart) and replace him with the more reliable He Yingqin. But Li's fundamental position didn't change. Chiang Kai-shek continued to direct military affairs, drawing the best Nationalist troops away from Nanjing and hampering Li's plans to establish a defense line along the Yangzi. Li asked Chiang to go abroad and leave running of the government to him but the Generalissimo responded that he'd depart only when and if he was ready.29

The Communist-KMT peace talks concluded but the only significant change from Mao's January 14 conditions was that, instead of a virtual guarantee that KMT war criminals would be shot if caught, the Communists agreed that they would be granted some leniency if they assisted in bringing about peaceful liberation. Li Zongren formally rejected the Communist position on April 22 and Mao Zedong and PLA commander Zhu De ordered the immediate crossing of the Yangzi to "clean up the whole [KMT] outfit, annihilate the enemy in toto and capture all evil unrepentent war criminals, especially taking care to apprehend bandit-leader Chiang Kai-shek."30

Practically all remaining Nationalist officials fled Nanjing, even police. KMT army leaders believed it was hopeless to defend the Yangzi line and ordered government soldiers to withdraw farther south. Within days, the PLA had crossed the Yangzi along four-hundred miles of the lower river and, in less than three weeks, penetrated over two-hundred miles south.31

PLA soldiers began entering Nanjing on April 24, 1949, promising protection of all people, including foreigners.32 The first glimpse that Ambassador Stuart got of the new masters was shocking: twelve armed Red soldiers walked into his room around 6:45 a.m. on April 25 while he was still asleep. While they didn't threaten him, the first who entered spoke in loud and threatening tones and announced they had come to "look around." When Edward Anderberg, Jr., economic analyst for the embassy, tried to intervene, they forced him out at gunpoint. The PLA soldiers left without removing anything.33

The Red soldiers had little understanding of diplomatic immunity and no instructions on how to deal with foreign diplomats. A period of tension followed for foreigners but the situation eased within a few days. However, Communist officials who came behind the field troops made it clear that none of the diplomatic personnel enjoyed status with the new regime, since they had been accredited to the Nationalist government.

The Red headquarters placed Huang Hua in charge of alien affairs. Huang was an alumnus of Yenching University, of which Ambassador Stuart had been president, and was a classmate of Philip Fugh,34 Stuart's Chinese secretary. Huang smoothed over matters with the foreigners but studiously avoided addressing Stuart as ambassador. Stuart protested the violation of the embassy by the PLA soldiers. It was obvious the incident had embarrasssed the Communist officials but to accept the protest would imply recognition of Stuart's ambassadorial status. Weeks later the Communists came to a solution: Liu Bocheng, now Nanjing mayor, apologized to Philip Fugh and announced that the officer and soldiers responsible had been "returned to Beiping for further indoctrination."

* * * * * * * * * *

The Communists did not immediately attack Shanghai after capturing Nanjing. KMT troops leveled a wide belt of villages and estates around Shanghai, fortified rooftops and gave every indication they were going to fight for every inch of the city. Nationalist officials, using terrorist tactics, suppressed student, leftist and business groups. They extorted money from businessmen and removed as much equipment, materials and other valuables as they could for shipment to Taiwan.35

The dispute between Chiang Kai-shek and Li Zongren continued with no resolution. The conflict came to a head on April 25 when Chiang and Li met at Hangzhou. Li refused Chiang's suggestion that a war committee direct all affairs, with Chiang as chairman and Li and Sun Ke as vice chairmen. Li insisted that either the Generalissimo resume the presidency or let Li continue with full authority.36

By mid-May PLA forces began closing on Shanghai from several directions. General Tang Enbo, the KMT commander, told anxious Shanghai merchants and industrialists he would evacuate without destroying property provided he got a final withdrawal bribe. Chiang Kai-shek set up a retreat center on the Zhoushan archipelago south of Shanghai and assembled ships there to evacuate to Taiwan spoils, government personnel and soldiers and their families.

As Nationalist troops fled from the city, Communist forces filtered in. By May 24 the KMT soldiers were mostly gone. Meantime, the last Nationalist positions in north China disappeared. Taiyuan surrendered on April 24, as did Xi'an a month later. Nationalist troops evacuated Qingdao by sea as Shanghai was falling.37

* * * * * * * * * *

Chinese Communist troops continued to march south toward Guangzhou, encountering KMT troops who mostly either retreated before them or surrendered. The government was splitting between those supporting Li Zongren who were withdrawing to Chongqing in Sichuan and those backing Chiang who were leaving for Taiwan.38

With signs of Nationalist collapse now palpable, the Communist leadership in Beiping began to make moves toward a rapprochement with the United States. On June 1, Zhou Enlai sent a message through an Australian correspondent to Colonel David D. Barrett, first chief of the Dixie mission to Communist Yan'an in 1944 and now assistant military attaché at Beiping. Zhou said China needed help from the U.S. and possibly Britain because the Soviet Union was unable to provide it.39 American diplomats were suspicious and the move got nowhere.40

The second Communist effort came on June 6 when Huang Hua invited Ambassador Stuart to tea. Huang told his old university president the Communist party was "anxious to have foreign governments, particularly the U.S.A., discard a government which has completely lost the support of the Chinese people." Stuart dodged replying.41

Huang Hua left matters unsettled for three weeks. In the interim Stuart had made arrangements to return to the United States, ostensibly for consultation, but in the expectation of closing the U.S. embassy.42 On June 28 Huang told Stuart that Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai would welcome seeing Stuart in Beiping if the ambassador wished to visit Yenching University before departing for the U.S. It was clearly a démarche to open talks for U.S. recognition of the successor government in China.43 Secretary of State Acheson took only until July 1 to forbid Stuart to make the trip.44

It was oddly appropriate, though only coincidental, that Mao Zedong, as Acheson was closing the door on the Communists, announced a "third world [between imperialism and socialism] does not exist." China, he affirmed, would lean to the side of the Soviet Union against the exploitative West. Mao had no choice. The recent rebuffs by Washington were only confirmations of a decidedly hostile view that had dominated the United States since the end of World War II. It demonstrated the inability of American leaders to believe the Chinese Communists could be operating without direction from the Kremlin. It forced Red China into Russia's arms when a policy of recognizing Red China and working with it would have worked to divide China from Russia.45

In analyzing the Mao announcement, Washington did not see that Communist China would be no Soviet satellite and would follow its own national interests. Yet even Ambassador Stuart, who generally saw the Chinese Reds as Kremlin tools, questioned whether the Chinese Communists' "social, economic and racial characteristics will prove stronger than their hero worship of the Soviet Union and devotion to world revolution." And John M. Cabot, consul-general in Shanghai, radioed the State Department it was plausible that the Russians didn't want a strong united China because they couldn't control it.46

* * * * * * * * * *

The Truman administration on August 5 at last presented its apologia for the Communist victory in China. The China White Paper was a curious document. It attempted to do two things: justify the failure of the United States to intervene militarily in the civil war and vindicate the U.S. from responsibility for China becoming a Soviet satellite. The first effort was moderately successful. The second was less so and furthermore admitted a defeat that hadn't occurred. China had not become a Soviet pawn. However, by believing (or claiming) so, the Truman administration gained excuses to avoid reappraising its relations with the Chinese Communists and also to wash its hands of Chiang Kai-shek.

Acheson depreciated direct U.S. military intervention in China by stating accurately that the American people "would not have sanctioned" the colossal commitment of American armies and strength this would have entailed.47 He also stated accurately that the Nationalists had lost because of their inadequacies and failures.

Then, however, he claimed that the Chinese Communists had "foresworn their Chinese heritage" and "publicly announced their subservience to a foreign power, Russia." In China, Acheson claimed, "the foreign domination has been masked behind the façade of a vast crusading movement which apparently has seemed to many Chinese to be wholly indigenous and national." Acheson voiced the pious hope that one day the Chinese people would "throw off the foreign yoke." In the interim U.S. policy would be determined "by the degree to which the Chinese people come to recognize that the Communist regime serves not their interests but those of Soviet Russia."48

Acheson declared the United States innocent of all blame. It was, he said, "the product of internal Chinese forces" which the U.S. tried to influence but could not. "Nothing this country did or could have done within the reasonable limits of its capabilities could have changed that result."49

Advocates of Chiang Kai-shek accepted without argument Acheson's assertion that China was a new conquest of the Soviet Union and focused their complaints on why the United States had not done more to save Chiang.50

Acheson built an American foreign policy in the Far East around the assumption of Soviet domination of China without investigating its accuracy. It is very likely that Acheson actually believed what he said, because in his memoirs published nineteen years afterward Acheson did not question his judgment.51 However, even if he hadn't believed the Chinese were Kremlin tools, he wanted to create a unified barrier against further Communist advance, such as the United States was constructing in western Europe under the North Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO). It was easier to lump all Communists together than to convince the American electorate that Chinese Communists were different from Soviet Communists. Americans had been conditioned for four years to believe in the darkest motivations of the Soviet Union and that all Communists universally were bent on world conquest. It would have been politically impossible for Acheson to try to explain that the Chinese Reds, though Marxists, were attempting to build a new, better and nonaggressive China and that this new China was independent of the Soviet Union.

* * * * * * * * * *

The denouement in China came swiftly. PLA troops advanced almost unmolested through southern and eastern China, except in central Hunan province where troops of Bai Chongxi blocked Lin Biao for a while. From September 21 to 28 a Political Consultative Conference took place at Beiping (whose old name of Beijing it restored on September 27). The PCC, though power rested with the Communist party, consisted of many minor parties and organizations and therefore formed a broad united front against the KMT. The conference created the People's Republic of China and established Beijing as the capital. On October 1 Mao Zedong officially proclaimed establishment of the People's Republic with himself as chairman and Zhou Enlai as premier and foreign minister and declared it to be the sole legal government of China. The Soviet Union quickly recognized the new republic.52

Lin Biao's army captured Guangzhou on October 14. A rump Nationalist government meanwhile had moved to Chongqing, where it disintegrated soon after. Most of the remaining Nationalists retreated to Taiwan. In mid-November Li Zongren proceeded via Hong Kong for medical treatment in the United States. Chiang took back over the Nationalist government on December 9, with Taipei the capital. By this time Taiwan had become the refuge of about two million Nationalist supporters, including half a million soldiers.53

The last Nationalist military forces on the mainland retreated into Guangxi province or crossed over to the island of Hainan. Resistance was scattered and ineffective but it took Lin Biao's forces until April, 1950, to eliminate the last holdouts.54

Communism at last had come to dominate the mainland of China. For the Chinese people and perhaps for many of the Communist leaders, the destruction of the oppressive Nationalist regime signified liberation and a new and equitable society to come. Yet it was a cruel deceit, for the society which emerged was anything but the free realm where men and women would be able to satisfy their needs without authoritarianism weighing them down. Long before, the nineteenth-century anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, had condemned socialism and collectivism as nothing but state capitalism and had prophesied the gruesome reality of the Communist state. If the state became the owner of the land, mines, factories, railways and other elements of production, and if these powers were added to the powers of taxation and force the state already possessed, "we should create a new tyranny even more terrible than the old one."55 The Soviet Union had long since confirmed Kropotkin's premonition and the new People's Republic of China embarked on the same totalitarian journey.

Chapter 36: The Quarantine of Taiwan >>

1. FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 4, 8-9, 22-24, 26-27, 36-37, 58-59, 65-66, 86, 93-95, 97-100, 103-06, 115, 121-2, 127-8, 143-5, 152-3; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 323-5.

2.. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 326-9.

3. FRUS, China, 1947, vol. vii, pp. 164, 170-1, 174, 177-8, 187-8, 195.

4. FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 177-8, 202-09, 211-2, 216-23, 233-5, 298-9.

5. FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 237-8. In the October 13, 1947, issue of Life Bullitt had emerged with a plan for the United States to provide the Nationalists with 1.3 billion dollars in economic and military support, use American military advisors to train and operate Nationalist troops, provide American management of supplies to KMT forces in Manchuria, build thirty additional Nationalist divisions and dispatch General Douglas MacArthur to China as the president's personal representative. See Tsou, p. 462; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 356, 358-9, 886. On September 6, 1948, Bullitt wrote another article in Life in which he claimed that Marshall, when he went to China in December, 1945, "might have produced the rapid expulsion from Chinese soil of all armed Communists" had he received different instructions. See FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 475-7. See also FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 505-08, 512-7.

6. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 399-401; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 344, 406, 428-9, 432-4, 437, 458-9, 493, 509, 532; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 744-5.

7. FRUS, White Paper, p. 319-20.

8. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 319-20, 331-2; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 464-5, 467-8, 470-1, 473-4, 480-6; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 775.

9. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 320-2, 332-5; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 453, 457-8, 463, 465, 469-70, 474, 477-80, 486-7, 495, 501-03, 508-09, 517-8, 520, 523-4, 527-32, 534-5, 537-8, 548-9, 726-8; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 775-7. Communists afterward accused the U.S. consul in Mukden, Angus Ward, and his staff of spying after discovering that a U.S. Navy intelligenc-gathering team was operating out of the consulate. the Reds detained them for over a year before expelling them on December 10, 1949. Since Americans knew nothing of the covert navy operation and refused to believe published Chinese Communist charges, the Ward case incensed Americans against the Communists. See FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 933-1051. Tucker, p. 44 and footnote 17 cite sources concerning the navy spy ring. For a record of events at the U.S. consulates, see FRUS, China, 1949, pp. 1051-1327; FRUS, East Asia, 1950, pp. 270-2, 273-5, 278, 286-9.

10. FRUS, China, 1948, vol. viii, pp. 296-306; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 609-10; Tsou, pp. 491-2, 498-501; Pogue, pp. 413-4; Acheson, pp. 249-54.

11. The narrative of the north and central China campaigns in fall, 1948, and early 1949 is drawn from FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 532, 534-5, 556-7, 557, 559, 561-2, 577, 579, 587, 592-3, 607-10, 627, 634, 638-50, 654-5, 665-70, 672-7, 680-1, 688-90, 691-3, 700-05, 718-20, 722-5; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 13-15, 19-22, 30-31, 35-38, 41-42, 44, 46-59, 65-67, 67-69, 71-73, 75-77; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 322-3, 335-6; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 777-82.

12. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 322-3, 357; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 14-15; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. ix, pp. 476-7.

13. FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 607-08, 654-7, 673.

14. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 1-2, 8-10.

15. Ibid., pp. 20-22, 47.

16. Mao's conditions for peace talks were: 1) punishment of war criminals (the Red list included Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, Li Zongren, T.V. Soong, H.H. Kung, Chen Lifu and all of the other major cronies of Chiang); 2) abolition of the KMT constitution; 3) abolition of the Nationalist legal system; 4) reorganization of Nationalist troops "according to democratic principles" (which meant absorption into the PLA); 5) confiscation of "bureaucratic" capital (which apparently meant all publicly owned factories, as well as utilities, railways, banks and other enterprises widely used by the public); 6) reform of the land system (meaning equitable redistribution to peasants); 7) abolishment of "treasonous treaties" (meaning all KMT agreements with the U.S.); 8) convocation of a Political Consultation Conference with nonparticipation by "reactionary elements" (meaning the KMT) to establish a democratic coalition government to take over all authority from the "Kuomintang reactionary government and all of its branches." See FRUS, China, 1948, vol. vii, pp. 718-20; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 49, 57, 65-67.

17. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 69, 72-75.

18. Ibid., pp. 71-72, 77; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 777-8.

19. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 335-6; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. viii, pp. 335-6, 339-42; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. ix, pp. 462, 495-7, 1191-1209; Tsou, p. 498. The navy evacuated dependents from the U.S. naval training station at Qingdao between November, 1948, and early January, 1949. Transports moved out the U.S. marine garrison and all shore-based naval personnel in January, 1949, except for a marine battalion based both on shore and on ship in the harbor and for a few naval personnel. The navy withdrew these remaining elements on May 25, 1949, upon the Communist capture of Shanghai.

20. The National Security Act (1947) created a coordinated command of the U.S. armed forces under the Department of Defense (comprising the Departments of Army, Navy and Air Force). The act established the National Security Council within the executive office of the president to advise on domestic, foreign and military policies affecting national security. Membership includes the president, vice president and secretaries of state and defense. The act also created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), superseding the Office of Strategic Services which had operated in World War II.

21. FRUS, China, 1949, vol.ix, pp. 482-3, 484-7; Tsou, p. 499.

22. For documents regarding the publication of the defense, known as the White Paper, see FRUS, China, 1949, vol. ix, pp. 1365-1409. See also Tsou, pp. 502, 507.

23. Cambridge, vol. 13, 783.

24. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 92-93.

25. Ibid., pp. 70-71, 88-89.

26. Tucker, p. 29.

27. A record of Sino-Soviet negotiations regarding Xinjiang is given in FRUS, China, 1949, vol. ix, pp. 1037-1063. Regarding the move of the Nationalist capital to Guangzhou, see FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 94-95, 104, 107-08, 111, 119-20.

28. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. iii, pp. 136-9, 252-3, 259; vol. ix, pp. 607-09; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 1053-4; Tsou, pp. 499-501; Acheson, p. 306. As a concession to the China bloc, Acheson recommended extension of the China aid act of 1948 to permit unexpended funds under it (54 million dollars) to be spent beyond the act's expiration date of April 2, 1949. Congress approved.

29. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 113-4, 135, 139, 144-5, 168, 178-82, 192, 199-201, 207-08, 217-8.

30. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 145-7, 151, 157-8, 160-3, 190-1, 194-5, 197-9, 204-06, 209, 216, 222-3, 228-30, 231-5, 238-9, 242-6, 251, 255-8, 295-61, 263-7.

31. Ibid., pp. 267-8, 304-05.

32. Ibid., pp. 269-71; Cambridge, vol. 14, chapter 2, "Establishment and Consolidation of the New Regime," by Frederick C. Teiwes, reader in government, University of Sydney, p. 77.

33. The record of events at the U.S. embassy from the time of Communist occupation of Nanjing until Ambassador Stuart's departure is given in FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 723-811.

34. Philip Fugh's Chinese name was Fu Jingbo.

35. Ibid., pp. 269-70, 273-5, 290-3, 298-9, 311-2, 320-3.

36. Ibid., p. 273.

37. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 783; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, 325-7, 352.

38. Ibid., pp. 294-5, 299-300, 307, 316-8, 320, 325, 327-8, 331, 337-8, 340-1, 351, 353-5, 365, 367-8, 382-3, 388-9.

39. Ibid., pp. 357-60, 363-4. Zhou said there was no split within the Communist party but a definite separation into liberal and radical wings, with Zhou being liberal and Liu Shaoqi, vice chairman of the central committee of the party, radical. Zhou said China was in such bad economic shape that the most pressing need was reconstruction without regard to political theories. Zhou said he was unequivocally opposed to American aid to the KMT but felt it was given from "mistaken motives of altruism rather than American viciousness." He felt the U.S. had genuine interest in the Chinese people which could become the basis for friendly relations between the two countries.

40. Ibid., pp. 368-70, 372-3, 384, 388-9, 397-9, 496-8, 779-80.

41. Ibid., pp. 752-3.

42. Ibid., pp. 316-8.

43. Ibid., pp. 766-7.

44. Ibid., pp. 768-9; Tucker, pp. 24-25.

45. Tucker, p. 28; FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 405-07; Tsou, pp. 504-07. Mao Zedong's motivations may have been in part to avoid too strong an overt move to the West to prevent Stalin from dominating Manchuria. There was reason for Mao's concern. In July, 1949, Stalin invited Gao Gang, chairman of the Chinese Communist administration for Manchuria to Moscow and signed a trade agreement with him. See Cambridge, vol. 14, chapter 6, "Foreign Relations: from the Korean War to the Bandung Line," by Mineo Nakajima, professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, pp. 264-5.

46. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, 355-7, 369-70, 385, 391.

47. FRUS, White Paper, p. x.

48. Ibid., pp. xvi-xvii.

49. Ibid., p. xvi.

50. Two days after the State Department issued the White Paper, Patrick J. Hurley, former ambassador to China, called the paper "a smooth alibi for the pro-Communists in the State Department who had engineered the overthrow of our ally, the Nationalist government of the Republic of China and aided in the Communist conquest of China." Soon thereafter, Senators Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, William Knowland of California, Patrick McCarran of Nevada and Kenneth S. Wherry of Nebraska assailed the White Paper as a "1,054-page whitewash of a wishful, do-nothing policy which has succeeded only in placing Asia in danger of Soviet conquest." Mao Zedong also called the White Paper a whitewash, in effect, writing that it was a cover-up to evade responsibility for the failure of the Truman administration "to turn China into a U.S. colony." See Tsou, pp. 509-11; Alexander, pp. 19-20. The White Paper had little influence on American public opinion. In a September, 1949, Gallup poll, 64 per cent of those queried had never heard or read anything about it. See Tucker, pp. 148-9, 156-7.

51. Acheson, pp. 302-03, 306-07. Acheson was preoccupied in his memoirs with justifying his claims that the U.S. was not at fault for the Communist victory and with complaining about personal attacks he received.

52. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 531-7, 541-7, 551, 552, 556, 565-6; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 785; vol. 14, pp. 59-60, 77-79.

53. FRUS, China, 1949, vol. viii, pp. 540, 547-50, 552-6, 562-5, 569-70, 572, 575-6, 581, 583-4, 586, 593-4, 595-611, 614-20, 622-7; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 783-4.

54. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 783.

55. Emile Capouya and Keitha Tompkins, eds., The Essential Kropotkin, New York: Liveright Press, 1975, p. 76.