China: The Roots of Madness – Part 6/8

In Part 6, Theodore H. White tells of an incident with Chiang Kai-shek’s troops when an officer tells peasants they were Mao’s men.  When White asks why lie, he’s told the peasants wouldn’t help if they knew the truth. In fact, regardless of the suffering from Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, this loyalty never wavers.

Joseph Stilwell, the commanding US general in China, is not happy with Chiang since he is not fighting Japan. Chiang says he needs his troops to fight the Communists. In 1945, America invites representatives from Chiang’s government  to take part in Japan’s surrender on the battleship Missouri and ignores the Communists.

USS Missouri

An American ambassador urges Mao to join Chiang in a unified government. To bring this about, America offers Mao protection and there are face-to-face negotiations between Mao and Chiang.  Meanwhile, in secret, Chiang moves his troops to launch an assault in Manchuria.

America urges Chiang to win the people by implementing Sun Yat-sen’s promised reforms.  Instead, Chiang’s war causes run-away inflation. Essential good become too expensive. The people want peace, and Mao offers the peasants what they want—land.

Continued in Part 7 & 8, The Roots of Madness or return to Part 5, The Roots of Madness

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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