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Ria Stone

The China of Chiang Kai-Shek

The Kuomintang Government and the Classes

(March 1944)

From New International, Vol. X No. 3 (Whole No. 84), March 1944, pp. 79–84.
Transcribed & marked up by Damon Maxwell.
Proofread by Einde O’ Callaghan (May 2013).

(Continued from last issue)

From the very first years of imperialist aggression against China in the nineteenth century to the present day, the Chinese ruling class has proved itself incompetent to defend the nation. In 1895 the Manchu government of China fought the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese war. The masses saw no reason to take any interest in the conflict and China rapidly went down to ignominious defeat. Five years later the masses of North China took the initiative in struggling to drive the foreigners out of China. The Powers, comprising eight nations, were forced to take extraordinary measures before they finally defeated the Boxer rebels. The Chinese masses had taken the first steps on the road of proving that they alone could defend the nation.

Between 1915 and 1922, the Powers, with Japan and America in the lead, were proceeding apace with the partitioning of China among the imperialists. The Chinese landlords and bourgeoisie were powerless to prevent the process. In 1925 the proletariat took the initiative in organizing the struggle against the imperialists. When the movement reached the heights of proletarian revolution, the Chinese bourgeoisie allied itself with the imperialists to suppress the masses. In the tradition of the Mings in 1644 and the Manchus in 1860, the Chinese ruling class preferred foreign intervention and occupation to national leadership by the Chinese masses.

From 1931 to the present day, the Japanese, striving for imperialist hegemony in Asia, have occupied one section after another of the Eastern coast of China. The Chinese ruling class has again proved itself unable to resist the invaders. The years since 1937 have proved conclusively that the struggle against imperialism in China can be conducted only through the independent struggle of the Chinese masses. The Chinese ruling class, true to its traditions, can only carry the ball for one or another of the imperialist teams.

From the National to the Imperialist War

At the beginning of the war with Japan in 1937, the Chinese bourgeoisie was concentrated in the coastal areas of Eastern China. It was reluctant to risk the property destruction which was entailed in war with Japan and conscious of the hostility of the Chinese proletariat. When resistance was finally forced upon it both by popular pressure and by the imminence of total absorption of Chinese industry by the Japanese, the bourgeoisie continued to hope that the Western Powers would be drawn in without much delay on its side. Within a few months, however, it became apparent that the West was too engrossed in its own pressing problems to give immediate aid. Moreover, the foreign capitalists, loyal to imperialism as a whole, tended to regard the entrance of Japan as a force which could keep law and order in China. The property of the Chinese bourgeoisie was either completely destroyed or absorbed by the Japanese imperialists.

Even then a good section of the bourgeoisie was reluctant to pursue the scorched earth policy and transport capital and machinery to the interior for reconstruction. Instead they flew to the areas under Anglo-American protection with their liquid funds, there to sit out the war in luxury and comfort.

However, the more politically-conscious elements among the bourgeoisie realized that if they all fled abroad or to safety in the International Settlement, the interior would be left to the communists to mobilize the masses in a national resistance movement.

The retreat to the interior was gradual and accompanied by frontal resistance to the Japanese. During 1938 the national government was practically located in Hankow. Popular pressure resulted in the formation of a People’s Political Council by Chiang Kai-shek and the official recognition of the new Fourth Army in the Yangtze region, composed of various elements under the leadership of communists.

The end of the Hankow period was heralded by the fall of Canton and completed by the loss of Hankow in October, 1938. With the retreat of the National Government to Chung-king in Szechuan Province, the differences between Chiang Kai-shek’s China in the Southwest and those of the communists in the North and the proletariat in the East were accentuated both geographically and politically. Wang Chin-wei fled to become a Quisling for Japanese-occupied China. Tension between the New Fourth Army and Chiang’s forces increased, and the New Fourth was finally officially abolished in January 1941 after refusing to obey government orders to move North.

Chiang’s speech at the inaugural session of the People’s Political Council on July 6, 1938, had revealed the pressure exerted on him to “rally the nation’s political strength and to mobilize all the people for direct participation in the war.” The political consciousness of the people became indispensable to the Chinese government. [1] While still in partially industrialized Hankow, Chiang was forced to admit that the period of military rule had given way to that of political tutelage.

By 1939, however, Chiang is again placing his reliance in the Western “democracies.” Moreover, he asserts that “judging by present conditions not only has our program for the period of political tutelage received a serious setback but much of the work of the period of military rule has to be done all over again.” (Speech of February 2, 1939) The old story of the Chinese ruling class abandoning the masses for the sake of imperialist alliances was resumed. With Chiang’s return to the Anglo-American camp and Wang Chin-wei’s flight to the Japanese there was initiated in Asia the pattern which has since marked the European scene. The native bourgeoisie is divided into satellites of the two rival imperialist camps. Like the European bourgeoisie, the Chinese bourgeoisie has its government in exile at Chungking, completely dependent upon the Allied imperialists and psychologically remote from the fighting front.

The war of resistance has been mapped out by Chiang into three stages: retreat, stalemate and counter-offensive. Unable to fight aggressive battles without giving greater concessions to the people, the Generalissimo has been content to withdraw and carry on harrying actions against the Japanese during the stalemate period. The counter-offensive begins when Anglo-American imperialism underwrites it.

In the early years Chiang was forced to appeal to the Japanese masses. On July 7, 1938, he addressed the Japanese people as “My friends. ... From the very beginning of the conflict, we have regarded as our enemy only your militarists but not the people of Japan, people like ourselves....” A year later, Chiang said: “Our people in the war zones should try by all possible means to make the enemy soldiers who have been deceived by their militarists and forced to come to China understand that aggression is the way to self-destruction and death, while opposition to war is the way to salvation and life.”

These appeals to the Japanese masses were dictated by the pressure of the appeasers at home. Chiang urged these to hold out, promising that the Japanese would soon collapse from internal dissension. Today, however. Sun Fo, president of the legislative Yuan, is more confident. Says he:

“Whereas the Chinese revolution started as a spontaneous movement of the Chinese people led by the Revolutionary Party as their vanguard, the proposed Japanese revolution will have to be initiated and introduced by the victorious United Nations after defeating the Japanese military power.” [2]

Two months after Pearl Harbor, the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang traveled to India to act as Asiatic spokesmen for the Anglo-American imperialists. [3] To the Indian masses, determined to fight for independence from Britain, Chiang addressed these insolent words:

“The anti-aggression nations now expect that in this new era the people of India will voluntarily bear their full share of responsibility in the present struggle for the survival of that free world in which India must play her part.”

American and British imperialism were willing to pay Chiang well for his counter-revolutionary role in the Far East. From 1938 to 1940 America had made three loans to the Chungking government, all politically timed to offset Axis moves and economically secured in Chinese tin and tungsten: a loan of $25,000,000 in 1938 after Wang Chin-wei’s capitulation to the Japanese; a loan of $20,000,000 when Japan decided in 1939 to “recognize” Wang’s regime as the national government of China; and a loan of $25,000,000 in 1940 after Vichy had agreed to Japan’s occupation of French Indo-China.

In the summer of 1941, when war between American and Japanese imperialism was only a matter of time, a loan of $100,000,000 was made. The attack on Pearl Harbor sent Chiang Kai-shek to India, and brought Lieut.-Col. Stilwell and a $500,000,000 loan from the United States to China. It also meant the loss of Burma and the closing of all doors into China from the South. As a result, this comparatively large credit could not be used for foreign goods. The Chinese government has therefore used it as security for a large internal loan to which the bourgeoisie is forced to subscribe. Thus, an almost direct relationship of interdependence between the Chinese bourgeoisie and the American government has been established. From 1928 to 1937 America was the patron of the Nanking government. Today, the Chungking dollar is linked to and completely dependent on the United States Treasury.

The Government and the Chinese Bourgeoisie

During the first eighteen months of war the government’s main industrial role was providing aid for the transportation of private industry from the coast and lending capital to en-able it to resume production. By 1939, however, the government had begun to play a more decisive role in industrial development. Besides guaranteeing profits to stimulate production, the state found it necessary to establish government enterprises in basic industries. On January 24, 1940, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced the nationalization of iron and steel. [4]

This trend toward a state-controlled capitalism has been partly necessitated by the large capital requirements for basic industry. But government monopoly exists also in salt, sugar, tobacco, matches, tea and wine. The reasons for state intervention in production are political as well as economic. Many members of the bourgeoisie have been reluctant to develop the West, the years from 1925-27 having revealed to them the social and political dangers of breeding a proletariat. Speculation and profiteering bring more immediate gains with less risk. [5]

The role of the government in economic life was formally recognized in the National General Mobilization Act of 1942. [6] This act gave the government almost unlimited power in civil and economic life for the duration.

The State and the Proletariat

Government control of industry has been accompanied by government regulation of the trade union movement. Since 1940 the trade unions of “Free China” have been under the control of the Ministry of Social Welfare in Chungking. All union officials are appointed by the government. Under war-time regulations, all workers must join unions, and strikes are prohibited. The Chinese Association of Labor, the only official federation, claims a grand total of 422,652 workers throughout “Free China.” [7]

In the spring of 1943 the Chinese executive Yuan passed a set of eighteen regulations to freeze workers in industrial and mining fields. Workers in these industries must register with their respective authorities and are not allowed to leave their occupations unless dismissed by their employers. Employers may not dismiss workers unless the latter have violated specific regulations under the present law. Workers incapable of their jobs may be dismissed; those over fifty are allowed to leave if physically unfit. Factory or mine owners, if forced to suspend business for over a month, may dismiss workers. Workers and employers are treated as individuals not only in their relations with each other but also with the authorities. There is no mention of unions in any of the negotiations. [8]

Virtually nothing is known about the activity of the proletariat in Chiang Kai-shek’s China. According to Freyn, who betrays no sympathy for labor, “in its sixth war year, China can look back on a record free from strikes, lockouts and other signs of unrest which elsewhere accompany a deterioration in the standard of living.” [9] Mass resentment appears to be directed primarily at the profiteers on the market and at the government for being liberal with these elements.

The State and the Profiteers

In Chiang Kai-shek’s China the landed gentry and the merchants control the retail market. Nowhere in the world have there been such fantastic increases in retail prices. From an index of 100 in 1937, retail price level in Chungking had climbed to 1722.9 in 1941. In March 1942 the general price index was 3799. Today the increase ranges from 7,000 to 10,000, depending on the area.

Appeals for rice donations have been made to the general public. One appeal brought 30,000 piculs from ten Szechuan counties. The average donation was twenty to thirty piculs; the favorite concubine of the former Szechuan governor was credited with hoarding 70,000,000 piculs.

Finally, the government was forced to take increasingly drastic measures against the hoarders. For example, the former Mayor of Chengtu was paraded through the streets of Chungking and shot in public. The price of rice thereupon dropped from $180 a picul to $90. But the landed gentry soon recovered, and a few months later the price per picul was $160. [10] In January, 1943, Chungking put price ceilings on 656 commodities. By spring the prices were rising again and had reached sixty-seven times their pre-war levels. [11]

The rise in prices is especially hard on the urban population and the soldiers. The workers, whose labor is essential to production, have been able to force some wage increases despite the forbidding of strikes. After protest parades by Government workers of the white collar class, the government was forced to institute a system of partial payment in rice to these workers. The armed forces, with no recourse, continue to suffer.

In some villages, farming and home industry enable the people to maintain a bare subsistence level when crops are good. But in many areas millions face starvation because of general devastation and famine. Toisan, for example, in the South, formerly depended for its rice on Siam, Burma and French Indo-China, all now in Japanese hands. Moreover, it has been hit by famine after occupation and reoccupation by the Japanese. The Toisan peasants are forced to sell their children in neighboring cities.

The white collar workers and petty bourgeois intellectuals, who constitute only three to four per cent of the population, can only plead for political democracy, petty reforms, increased government supervision, and a place in the bureaucracy for themselves. [12] Among the masses of the people, the unrest does not take overt form, so far as we know. [13] But every measure taken by the government against the profiteers, however ineffective, reveals the pressure of the masses. Every failure of these measures points out more clearly the need to overthrow completely the wealthy classes against whom the government is admittedly so “liberal.”

The Peasants in Chiang Kai-shek’s China

Throughout Chiang Kai-shek’s China the land hunger of the masses and unproductive land ownership by the gentry are the most obvious features of the landscape. [14] The average Chinese family farms nineteen mow, or a little over three acres, the smallest acreage in the world except for Japan. Eighty per cent of China’s farmers are tenants or part tenants. Tenant farmers tilling one acre must pay as much as fifty per cent of their crop to their landlords. Such high rates makes it much more profitable for landlords to lease their land rather than manage it on a large-scale productive basis. The inevitable result is the prevalence of small farms, lack of technical improvements and a disproportion between industry in the cities and agriculture in the country. [15]

In Szechuan, seven per cent of the landlords own but do not till seventy per cent of the land. They spend their time in trade, banking, usury and the social and political duties of the gentry – namely, squeezing taxes, rent and interest from the laboring peasants. Funds loaned to the farmers at comparatively low interest by the government, e.g., for cooperatives, are tunneled through this gentry, and by the time they reach the farmer the customary usurer’s rate has been approximated. [16]

The war, with its scarcities and fluctuations of currency, has increased the polarizing tendency toward wealthy land-owners, on the one hand, and the landless peasantry on the other. The landlords receiving rents in kind and paying taxes in cash [17], were able to hoard and take advantage of favorable price rises and currency changes for profiteering. With their profits they bought up new land. The middle peasants, who paid taxes in cash but received no rents in kind, have been almost swept away.

Land that was worth C$100 in 1931 is now worth more than C$70,000 in Chungking. This increase is due not only to overcrowding. As the China Information Bulletin puts it:

“Land is indestructible. The hoarding of land is therefore highly profitable, thus resulting in the gradual concentration of ownership in the hands of a small portion of the people.” [18]

This acceleration by the war of the progressive impoverishment of the peasantry had to be checked by the government if it was to be able to demand additional sacrifices for the war. Hence in 1941 the land tax was revised. Provision was made for taxes in kind and for compulsory purchases of food-stuffs by the government. This was aimed to reduce hoarding and force the landlords to accept a larger share of the tax burden.

But laws against the gentry are useless when the administration of the laws remains in the hands of the gentry. In the past, government measures ostensibly aimed to effect rent reduction and resale of land to the tenants have been success-fully frustrated by this political power of the landlords. [19]

In China is has always been as difficult to distinguish the rents from the taxes as it has been distinguish the landlords from the government, both nationally and locally. The bureaucracy is a “communal landlordism” which by its juridical role is able to mobilize greater political and military power for the suppression of mass discontent. Rents, taxes and interest are literally forced from the peasants at the point of a gun by special guards. These guards, known as the Min-Tuan or “pacification” forces, are estimated at two million in Free China and are using one million of China’s scanty supply of rifles for the protection of property rights. [20]

The agricultural proletariat in China is relatively small compared to that in the advanced countries, not only because of the absence of large-scale farming but also because of the prevalence of feudal relations. Tenants are forced to repay their loans of equipment and grain in labor on the land of the rich peasants. Rich peasant families take in concubines instead of hiring wage-earning laborers. The system of early marriage in China also owes its continuance to the economic reality that it is far more advantageous to acquire a daughter-in-law than to hire a laborer by the year. The poor peasants in turn must marry off their daughters early because it saves food for other mouths. In certain sections of China slaves are maintained for house and field work. [21]

China’s whole past history proves that the Chinese peasants do not accept their hardships passively. The recourse to banditry and the kidnapping of the rich is a form of social protest. In some places the wealthy gentry supply these bandits with food rather than undergo the formality of being kidnapped and ransomed. They know that it is useless to kill off the bandits because more will spring up where others are destroyed. [22]

Peasant riots and organized refusals to pay rent reached their height during the 1925–27 revolution and the ensuing years of agrarian revolution. The attitude among many peasants is: “If there is no rebellion, how can the poor continue to live?” [23]

In 1936, when the government conscripted poor peasants for work on the Szechuan-Hunan highway, the laborers organized many riots, in some cases disarming the local militia, killing their foremen and destroying the local engineering offices. [24]

We do not possess facts and data on the activity of the peasants in Chiang’s China today. But we are familiar with their revolutionary temper in the past, and we know that they are being organized by the government itself in labor battalions and in the army. At the end of the war they will be in a position to utilize this training to eradicate the private-property relations in land, the condition which has been for so long the curse of the Chinese peasants. As in the Russian Revolution, the men from the front will introduce “into the business the heavy determination of people accustomed to handle their fellow men with rifles and bayonets.”

China’s Peasants in Uniform

The well educated classes, who have always been a vested interest in Chinese society, are exempted from fighting in the Chinese army. The army is a coolie army of nearly ten million men. The only exception to this is the cadre group of 300,000 men (thirty divisions) who are the “Generalissimo’s Own,” militarily trained by German army officers. The officers of the regular army are provincial leaders with no professional military training and with the social background of the local gentry.

In his ragged cotton uniform, with hand-made and often mended straw sandals and hat, carrying a rifle, a rice bowl and a pair of chopsticks, the Chinese soldier marches endlessly from one front to another, living in deserted temples and stables. He may have volunteered to get the rice allotment which is the only food provided the soldier by the government. More likely, he was conscripted on the village system, which enables the local gentry to buy off military service for its sons. On his way to the training depot, he was probably roped together with other conscripts to make sure they all got there. His officers force him to perform labor service for the large landowners, for which the commander, and not the men, receives the compensation. In many cases he is locked in at night by his officers. [25] His pay check is about one American dollar a month.

Such an army can continue to fight as well as it has only because of its belief that it is fighting for national liberation and because of the lack of any clear alternative method of struggle. The effectiveness of this army against the Japanese has declined during the years 1937–42. An analysis of casualties inflicted by the regular Chinese army indicates a drop to 32 in 1943 from the 1937 base of 100. [26] The causes of this decline are partly the changes in China’s foreign supply position. But the change is also rooted in the declining morale of the army. The realization that despite enormous casualties (estimated at five million) their battles “cannot be expected to have an determining effect on the war as whole” (this was stated by a Chinese government spokesman, New York Times, July 24, 1943), must raise serious doubts in the minds of these ragged heroes.

The government of Chiang Kai-shek has too little to offer the peasant millions who make up the regular Chinese army. To the peasants, the Kuomintang promises land reform, but to the landlords it promises compensation for all land redistributed. Few people know better than the Chinese peasant that the landlord is his implacable enemy who must be deprived of all wealth before rural reform can be undertaken.

In most cases the people do not look upon the armed forces as their liberators. [27] Because of the meagerness of supplies to the army from the government, it is necessary for the soldiers to live off the land. As a result it is often difficult to distinguish the regular armed forces from the bandit irregulars who for centuries have lived by military requisitions and looting of the masses.

Chiang Kai-shek Plans for the Future [28]

Chiang’s plans for economic reconstruction after the war provide for a state-controlled capitalism with the aid of foreign capital. This is clearly outlined in the resolution passed by the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang in September, 1943. [29] State supervision is taken for granted as the general rule and only such “industry which may be entrusted to individuals or industries which will be less suitable for the state to operate shall be privately operated. The government in some cases shall give such industry the encouragement and protection of the law ... Industries which assume the nature of a monopoly shall be state-operated. The government shall stipulate specifically what constitutes state-wide industries and what constitutes private industries.” According to the Twentieth Century Fund report of 1943, Chinese “industrial development will proceed under state guidance and to a large extent under state ownership and direction. The shortage of private industrial capital in China, the absence of a vigorous industrial class and the large financial problems involved are presumed to necessitate state control.”

Within recent months the Chinese bourgeoisie has accompanied its pleas to America for more guns with cordial invitations for investment of capital. Under old Chinese regulations it was required that fifty-one per cent of stock interest in joint capital arrangements must be Chinese, and a majority of the board of directors, as well as the chairman and general manager, must be native. The new resolution passed by the Kuomintang asserts that “hereafter no fixed restriction shall be placed on the ratio of foreign capital investment in joint enterprises. In the organization of a Chinese-foreign joint enterprise, except for the chairman of the board of directors, the general manager need not necessarily be a Chinese.”

An American was recently appointed acting inspector-general of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. In the past the imperialist power controlling China’s customs revenue has been able to dictate which clique should rule in China. Before the war Britain was strong in the administration of the Chinese customs service. The United States, Britain and Japan played approximately equal roles in the foreign trade of China. Japan and Britain did not hesitate to collaborate against America, nor America and Japan against Britain. [30] Today, Chiang is completely committed to string alone with American imperialism. His participation in the Cairo Conference is ample proof that Chiang Kai-shek’s China will never play an independent role in the fight against Japan.

The pro-fascist leanings of the Kuomintang government are revealed in Chiang’s plans to maintain national government troops in a good number of provinces and employ army officers as local administrators. The demobilization of China’s army of eight to ten million men would only reinstate in an aggravated form the situation of latent unemployment that existed in China before the war. Employment must also be sought for the increasing number of army officers. The sharpness of the class struggle will demand even more severe repression than existed before the war. The promises of constitutional government given by the recent Kuomintang plenum are more empty than they have ever been. [31]

Finally, the reactionary character of Chiang’s plans for the future are unmistakably revealed in his Spiritual Mobilization and New Life movements. These movements, loudly acclaimed by Western as wiping out old Chinese habits of spitting and opium smoking, are in reality aimed at perpetuating the old feudal social relations and substituting spiritual food where material food is needed. [32] On an intimate local scale, Chiang is attempting to reinstate the pao-chia system whereby households are the units of responsibility under government supervision. [33]

But the Chinese people have been uprooted by forty years of wars and revolutions. The family system has been broken up by the entry of nearly ten million men into the armed forces. Provincial barriers have been broken down by the melange of dialects within the army. The national outlook of the Chinese masses has been broadened by the propaganda that their struggle is part of a world struggle against fascism and reaction. The planes flying overhead, the use of medicines and surgery, and the demands made up the population to care for the wounded have gone far to emancipate the Chinese from old superstitions, ancestor worship and the old religion. In the huts of the most backward areas, placards with political slogans have replaced the ancestral tablets with their Confucian proverbs. After the 1911 revolution, the queues and bound feet which symbolized servitude to the Manchus began to disappear. In the 1925–27 revolution the bobbed hair of the women was a sign of popular emancipation. To-day, the Chinese soldier in a uniform of shorts, shirt and tie and the emancipated Chinese woman in slacks and blouse symbolize a new freedom.

For centuries the Chinese people have borne the heavy load of taxation for a bureaucratic landlordism and an expanding military, civil and party bureaucracy. The taxation envisaged for a bureaucratic capitalism will only increase this load. The Chinese people have been actively engaged in a struggle for national liberation from Western as well as Japanese imperialism for half a century. They have reached the stage where further concessions to “friendly capital” strikes both at their pride and their stomachs. Japanese conquest of British colonies in Asia has reduced the white man’s prestige in China and increased the Chinese sense of their own potential power.

Everywhere the struggle is for the creation of a new world to supplant the old. Even Chiang must speak constantly in terms of revolution and pose as the revolutionary leader.

Today the conflict between Chiang Kai-shek’s old world and the new world vaguely present to the masses takes the amorphous forms of resentment and passivity. In the flux of the post-war struggles this contrast will be sharpened into vigorous conflict. For nearly half a century the Chinese ruling class has been able to deflect the rebellion of the Chinese masses to a struggle against the foreign invaders. Today the foreign enemy is Japan; yesterday it was the Western powers. Tomorrow the Chinese people will have engaged the forces of every imperialist power. No people can capture the admiration of the whole modern world and not demand the opportunities commensurate with its sacrifices.

(To be continued)


1. See the Program for National Assistance and Reconstruction adopted by the Kuomintang Party Congress, emergency session at Hankow, March 29, 1938, reprinted in Amerasia, April 25, 1943, pages 118–120.

2. New York Times, October 10, 1943.

3. This is not to gainsay Chiang’s desires to create a Chungking-Delhi axis against Western imperialism. He has denied it often enough to show that Britain and America are telling him to abandon the dea – or else. ...

4. China After Five Years of War, Chinese News Service, 1942, page 94.

5. In September, 1940, Chiang rebuked these profiteers: “Billions of dollars of unproductive capital are available in the interior; but instead of being diverted to regular channels, they are employed for personal gains and such illegitimate transactions as hoarding and manipulation. Some private individuals simply sort away their money.” Free China’s New Deal, by Hubert Freyn, MacMillan, 1943, pages 43f.

6. For a copy of this act, see Freyn, pages 250–258. The act empowers the government, whenever necessary, to “restrict the people’s freedom of speech. publication, writing, correspondence, assembly and organization.”

7. Allied Labor News, April 15, 1943.

8. Ibidem, May 1943.

9. Freyn, op. cit., page 130.

10. Freyn, page 123.

11. Freyn, page 130.

12. See Amerasia, April 25, 1943, for an analysis of little parties in Kuomintang China.

13. The American government maintains a strict censorship on all news emanating from Chungking, and nothing unfavorable to the Chiang Kai-shek regime is permitted to emerge.

14. See Agrarian China, Selected Source Materials from Chinese Authors, published in Chinese periodicals during the 1930s. Compiled and translated by the research staff of the Institute of Pacific Relations, 1938. As in feudal Europe, churches and other “educational institutions” are large and owners. It took the 1927 revolution to sweep many nuns and monks from their temples. Change in Land Ownership and the Fate of Permanent Tenancy, Agrarian China, page 22.

15. The Present Land Problem in China, Agrarian China, page 60.]

16. The Experiences of a District Director of Co-operatives, Agrarian China, pages 211–216.

17. More often than not the landlord’s control of the local administration enables him to pass the land taxes on to the peasants directly.

18. New York Times, July 23, 1943.

19. The Latest Agrarian Policy of Kuomintang, Agrarian China, page 155.

20. Edgar Snow, The Battle for Asia.

21. Agrarian Laborers in Kwangsi, Agrarian China, page 80.

22. Changing China, by G.E. Taylor, Institute of Pacific Relations, 1942.

23. This remark was made by a group of embittered women to a government field worker. This worker reports that the peasants have no faith in government measures and that their most urgent demand is “not the remeasurement of land for tax consolidation but rather something which would give them a chance to breathe beneath the heavy pressure of their landlords.” – Experiences of an Official in the Land Tax Consolidation Bureau, Agrarian China, page 153.

24. Labor Tax in the Building of the Szechuan-Hunan Highway, Agrarian China, page 110.

25. Amerasia, September 1943, page 276.

26. Ibidem, July 1943, page 229.

27. The Chinese Army, by E.F. Carlson, pages 30–34)

28. See Chungking Considers the Future, by Gunther Stein, Far Eastern Survey, September 7, 1943.

29. New York Times, September 26, 1943.

30. Britain’s dominance In China depended on her alliance with Japan and on the French fleet. America’s policy in Manchuria In 1931 won Japan to her side sufficiently to doom the British. The fall of France In 1940 ended Britain’s chances for falling back on French support.

31. See Amerasia, October 1, 1943, for a devastating analysis of the emptiness of these promises In the past.

32. Pearl Buck’s incessant pleas for more aid to China betray both her realism and her hypocrisy. Familiar with the Chinese ruling class from long residence in China, she was well aware that they might turn to Japan if American imperialism neglected them. Knowing the hatred of the Chinese for the British Imperialists, she is also anxious that America free herself from the suspicion that she is united with the British Empire. What this “friend of China” fears most of all is a strong Asia united against the West. As she herself says:

“I shudder to think what the future will be with Russia established, as indeed she already has been, as the world’s greatest military force. When China establishes herself, as she will undoubtedly do, as another great military force; when the people of India, freed by their own efforts, as they are determined to be tree, will be a great potential power.”

Invoking the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, Mrs. Buck appeals to the American bourgeoisie not to industrialize Asia, but keep these people what they “have hitherto been, to our great good fortune, peaceful agricultural peoples.” Asia, November 1943.

33. “This system with every ten families as the unit, was originally used as a measure for common defense but has long been utilized by the authorities as a means of demanding community responsibility and as an additional instrument for the maintenance of peace and order.” Agrarian China, page 212. The Generalissimo’s Western-educated wife is apparently more aware of the general need for material reform. However, she wholeheartedly endorses the Generalissimo’s spiritual path as an immediate substitute. See her book, China Shall Rise Again, Harper’s, 1940. The Generalissimo’s Russian-educated son, Chiang Ching-kuo, is magistrate of Kanhsien.

“His methods and Ideology are called communistic or fascist by people who object to his authoritarian ad-ministration. His system is called state socialism by people who dislike regimentation.” (New York Times, November 13, 1943)

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