Continuing our series on the regime of Chiang Kai-shek–all but beatified during the Cold War–we draw still more on a magnificent book–The Soong Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave. Although sadly out of print, the book is still available through used book services, and we emphatically encourage listeners to take advantage of those and obtain it.
Several listeners have said that they were able to obtain the book because it is still in print! I hope so! PLEASE buy it, read it, and tell others about it, either through conventional means and/or through social media. (Mr. Emory gets no money from said purchases of the book.)
It is apparently available from Amazon on Kindle.
First, we highlight Fred J. Cook’s analytical account of the McCarthy period, The Nightmare Decade. One of the focal points of Cook’s book is McCarthy’s theme that State Department [Communist] treachery had “lost” China to Mao and his forces.
Exploiting the meme that “pinko” State Department officials were responsible for Mao’s ascendance, McCarthy and his team successfully purged the State Department of officials whose outlook on Chiang Kai-shek was realistic.
The fate of John Service–described in the excerpt of The CIA as Organized Crime as well as in earlier programs in this series, illustrates this kind of activity.
In FTR #s 932 and 933 (among other programs), we noted the pivotal influence of Joe McCarthy’s right-hand man Roy Cohn on the professional development of Donald Trump. We wonder what influence Cohn and the McCarthy legacy may have had on Trump’s policy toward China.
Aside from the airy presumption that China was “ours” to “lose,” McCarthy’s thesis ignored the effects of U.S. policy in that country before, during and after, World War II. (This transgression is, of course, supplemental to Tailgunner Joe’s fabrication of evidence against those he targeted.)
In addition to support for Chiang Kai-Shek, whom General Joseph Stilwell compared to Mussolini, U.S. policy of using scores of thousands of Japanese soldiers as anti-Communist combatants was loathsome to the Chinese population, who had felt the full measure of Japanese atrocity during years of warfare.
Leafing through Nightmare Decade for the first time in years, we came across a passage read into the record in AFA #11.
More than 16 months after V-J Day (the official conclusion of the hostilities of World War II in Asia) the U.S. was countenancing the use of 80,000 Japanese troops (roughly eight divisions) as anti-Communist combatants in eastern and northwestern Manchuria alone!
The transition to the Cold War from the Second World War also saw the incident that became the signature element of the John Birch Society.
In AFA#11, we set forth the event: ” . . . . Society figurehead John Birch was the intelligence officer for General Claire Chenault’s Flying Tigers in World War II, subsequently serving with the OSS China contingent. Birch was killed recruiting Chinese collaborationst troops to fight the Chinese communists. (These collaborationist forces had served the Japanese during World War II.) Coming little more than a week after the end of the war in the Pacific, his death was heralded by the American right as ‘the beginning of World War III.’ . . . .”
One of the signature propaganda gambits in the New Cold War against China is the Uighur Genocide myth. A political fantasy, rooted in decades of manipulation of the Chinese Uighur minority, the destabilization effort in Xinjiang province, the destabilization effort derives from dynamics dating to the Chinese civil war overlapping and following the Second World War.
(We have covered the Uighur destabilization campaigns in numerous programs, including [most recently] FTR#’s 1143, 1144, 1145, 1178, 1179 and 1180.)
Isa Yusuf Alptekin is the patriarch of the Uighur separatist movement. He was aligned with Chiang Kai-shek during the Chinese civil war, espousing the doctrinaire Anti-Communism characterizing the Kuomintang milieu and endearing Alptekin’s movement and successors to American and Western Cold Warriors.
“ . . . . The founding father of this separatist movement was Isa Yusuf Alptekin. His son, Erkin Alptekin, founded the WUC and served as the organization’s inaugural president. The senior Alptekin is referred to as “our late leader” by the WUC and current President Dolkun Isa. . . . During the Chinese Civil War that raged between the nationalists and communists from 1945 to ’49, Alptekin served under the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) administration in Xinjiang. Throughout this period, the KMT received massive military and economic backing from the United States — including billions of dollars in cash and military hardware, along with the deployment of tens of thousands of US marines — in an effort to quash the Chinese revolution. . . .”
As noted in past programs, the Uighur separatist milieu incorporates Islamists allied with both Al-Qaeda and elements of ISIS, as well as Pan-Turkists allied with the National Action (also National Movement) Party—a doctrinaire fascist, revanchist body whose youth wing—the Grey Wolves—constitute the “Stay Behind” NATO cadre in Turkey.
When the failures of Chiang’s regime led to scorn toward, and pivoting away from the Nationalist Chinese cause, the amalgam of corporate, criminal, journalistic and political interests that had empowered the Kuomintang counterattacked: “ . . . . the Chiang government poured millions of dollars into a counteroffensive. Zealous Americans who joined the pro-Taiwan crusade became the fund-raisers, the organizers, the telephoners, the legmen, the gofers, the publicists, the congressmen, the tycoons, the hosts and hostesses of the shadowy society called ‘the China Lobby.’ Its management, its direction, and its primary finances were not American. The China Lobby belonged to the Soong clan and the Nationalist Chinese government. The people involved thought they were working for the greater glory of God, or for ‘the survival of the democratic system.’ They were really working for a Chinese public-relations campaign. . . . the Kungs and Soongs remained the primary pipeline connecting American special interests with Taiwan. Ai-ling and H.H. Kung, T.V. Soong and May-ling Soong Chiang devoted considerable energies to the lobby and sometimes gathered for strategy sessions at the Kung estate in Riverdale. . . .”
The domestic political result in the U.S. was summed by Sterling Seagrave: “ . . . . Small wonder that a large segment of the American public believed that Chiang was the essence of virtue and his cause was a joint one. Similar amounts were spent during the Korean War and the periodic crises over the defense of the Formosa Strait. Guesses at the grand total spent by Taiwan to stupefy Americans ran as high as $1 billion a year. . . .”
The unique nature of the manifest China Lobby was summed up: “ . . . . Marquis Childs wrote ‘. . . . Nationalist China has used the techniques of direct intervention on a scale rarely, if ever, seen.’ Part of the campaign was to pour gasoline on the McCarthy witch hunts. . . .”
The component elements of the China Lobby:
1.–“ . . . . Chiang’s government used existing American corporations headed by men who shared its viewpoint. . . .”
2.–“ . . . . it hired advertising agencies . . . . Allied Syndicates counted among its clients the bank of China (with H.H. Kung as director). . . . Hamilton Wright, worked for six years as a registered agent for Nationalist China, writing and distributing stories, news articles, photographs, and movies to create a favorable image of Chiang Kai-shek and his regime. . . .”
3.–“. . . . T.V.’s wartime Universal Trading Corporation was listed in 1949 as a foreign agent working for the Chinese government, with assets of nearly $22 million. The Chinese News Service based in Taiwan established branches in Washington, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. . . .”
4.–“ . . . . Taiwan exercised a particularly strong influence on American newspapers. . . .”
5.–“ . . . . ‘Henry Luce now saw the most grandiose project of his lifetime in danger of ruin. Wrapped up in the ruin was not only the fate of China and of Christianity and the Asian hegemony of the United States, but also his own peace of mind and reputation. Chiang-in-China was to have been the crowning of a decade and a half of planning in the Chrysler building and Rockefeller Center and of countless thousands of words of Lucepress propaganda. The nightmare rise of Mao-in-Chiina brought a powerful Luce counter-strategy.’. . .”
6.–“ . . . . Newscaster Robert S. Allen reported, . . . . Luce has been propagandizing and agitating for another two-billion dollar U.S. handout for Chiang for a long time. . . . And in Washington, practically the whole Luce bureau has been working full blast as part of the Chiang lobby.’. . .”
7.–“ . . . . Many of the activists in the lobby were people whose families had worked in China as missionaries, and now thought their heritage was being thrown away. Among them were the directors of the American China Policy Association and the Committee to Defend America by Aiding Anti-Communist China . . . . .”
8.–“ . . . . These groups were periodically supported by campaigns waged on Chiang’s behalf by the executive council of the AFL-CIO, the American Legion, the American Security Council, the American Conservative Union, and Young Americans for Freedom. To many conservative organizations, Taiwan became synonymous with anti-Communism. In the atmosphere of the 1950s, the fear of Red China kept normally sensible people from wondering where all the money was coming from. . . .”
9.–“ . . . . As principal director of the Bank of China’s New York City branch, H.H. [Kung] was driven to Wall Street two or three days a week . . . . Columnist Drew Pearson, one of the few journalists who maintained an interest in the Soongs after they went into exile, called the Bank of China the “nerve center of the China Lobby . . . .”
10.–“ . . . . ‘Dr. Kung’s knowledge of American politics is almost as astute as his knowledge of Chinese finance, and well before he entered the Truman cabinet, Kung picked Louis Johnson as his personal attorney. It may or may not be significant that, later, when Johnson became Secretary of Defense, he was one of the staunchest advocates of American support for Formosa. . . .”
11.–“ . . . . [From a Drew Pearson column—D.E.] A move by a Chiang brother-in-law. . . . to corner the soybean market at the expense of the American public . . . The brother-in-law is T.L. Soong, brother of Foreign Minister T.V. Soong, who formerly handled much of the three and a half billion dollars worth of supplies which the United States sent to China during the War. The soybean pool netted a profit of $30,000,000 and shot up the cost to the American consumer $1 as bushel [much more money in 1950 than now—D.E.] One of the strange things about the soybean manipulation was that its operators knew exactly the right time to buy up the world’s soybean supply—a few weeks before the communists invaded Korea. . . .”
12.–“ . . . . Louis Kung [son of Ai-ling and H.H. who had become a Dallas oil man—D.E.] had become one of the busiest members of the clan. During Richard Nixon’s 1950 senatorial campaign, Daddy Kung dispatched Younger Son to Los Angeles to give the senator donations and encouragement. . . . Louis took an active role in the Soong-Kung petroleum holdings, with oil properties across Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. At the (Nationalist) Chinese embassy in Washington in 1956, Louis organized the Cheyenne Oil Company. . . . If one of Louis’s wells (leased for example, to John Daly, then vice-president for news of the (ABC Network), did poorly, Louis guaranteed that Daly would have his investment back; if the well turned out to be a success, then the profits were divided with Daly. . . .”