Places the shifting perceptions of the United States among a significant political group—young, volatile, and politically active urban Chinese—into historical perspective through the examination of the origin, development, and eruption of their anti-American sentiments.
While American images of China have been characterized by a fluctuating love/hate relationship, many educated urban Chinese youths also retained ambivalent feelings toward the United States in the early decades of the 20th century. The years between the end of the Second World War and the outbreak of the Korean War represented a significant period in Sino-American relations. This study places the shifting perceptions of the United States among an important political group—young, volatile, and politically active urban Chinese—into historical perspective through the examination of the origin, development, and eruption of their anti-American sentiment. These feelings would prove to be a liability to the Chinese Nationalist cause and would ultimately assist in easing the way of the Communists into urban China.
In the immediate post-World War II period, American influence and presence in China reached an unprecedented peak. However, American political, military, and economic activities largely failed to generate Chinese good will; instead, such actions produced political antipathy toward the United States. The sojourn of American GIs in urban China, for example, would serve as a critical factor in arousing nationalist fervor. The Chinese Communist Party would capitalize on this groundswell and push it to the foreground during open hostilities with the United States after the outbreak of the Korean War.
Preface Abbreviations and Acronyms America as Both Inspiration and Obstacle Urban Chinese Response to the American Military Presence, 1945-1946 Intellectual Opinion on American Political and Economic Involvement, 1946 The Shen Chong Rape Case and the Kangbao (Anti-Brutality) Movement, 1946-1947 Fan MeifuRi: Opposing the U.S. Support of Japan KangMei YuanChao: The "Resist America, Aid Korea" Movement, 1950-1953 Conclusion Selected Bibliography Index
Reviews In this impressively researched book, Hong Zhang demonstrates how quickly gratitude to liberators can change to hostility when liberators are perceived as oppressive.—The Journal of American History
Americans have usually thought that China should view the US as its friend in the world. However, Zhang persuasively explains why young urban Chinese intellectuals, who harbored ambivalent feelings of both admiration and resentment, ultimately were to be disenchanted with the US. First of all, the stationing of US military personnel in China after WW II led to numerous conflicts with local Chinese. Second, in hoping to prevent a civil war between the Chinese Communists and Nationalists, Henry Wallace, Patrick Hurley, and General George Marshall tried to mediate with the two sides. However, their efforts were compromised from the start, as many Chinese intellectuals saw the US as biased in favor of the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek. Then, in 1946-47, anti-American feeling intensified when a GI raped Shen Chong (a young student from National Beijing University) but escaped punishment because officials in Washington reversed the verdict. Finally, US support for the economic reconstruction of Japan and US intervention in the Korean War further alienated Chinese intellectuals. A well-documented and illuminating study, suitable for a general audience. All collections.—Choice