Case 149 - The United States and China, 1944-1946
Howard, James R. and David S. Painter
During World War II, U.S. policymakers realized that the Chinese Communist Party posed a real challenge to the U.S.-backed nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. In an attempt to achieve its goal of a strong, unified, and pro-Western China, the United States, from mid-1944 to the end of 1946, attempted to mediate a political settlement between the nationalist and communist forces, to avert a full-scale civil war and communist victory. Unfortunately, these efforts failed. This case study explores, in a concrete historical context, the debate within the U.S. government over China policy. Designed for use in courses on the origins of the Cold War, the study is also appropriate for courses on U.S. diplomatic history and U.S. policy toward China.