Why did western powers let China fall to communism right after WW2? Surely the...

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Why did western powers let China fall to communism right after WW2? Surely the United States didn't want to lose the largest population on earth to Soviet influence?

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Emberburn
Emberburn

I mean, they did back the Nationalists, but there's only so much you can against a force with literally millions of soldiers

Firespawn
Firespawn

China got literally millions in US aid and they pissed it away on stupid shit instead of you know winning the war

Flameblow
Flameblow

What could they do? Start WWIII over this?

SniperWish
SniperWish

US intervention would have led to Soviet intervention. And the US had been pouring money into the KMT, and Shek and his men were embezzling most of it.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

The KMT was incredibly incompetent and corrupt with the support they got and things could have been escalated to a war between the US and USSR.

FastChef
FastChef

China wasn't really that far under Soviet influence other than Mao's rager for Stalin, Stalin essentially refused to get involved to any major amount as he was not interested not super enthused about the idea of another large, influential communist nation to challenge Soviet hegemony. Also, Mao and Krushchev had a hilariously terrible relationship.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

And just a year after the fall of Chiang Americans intervened in the Korean war, how is that any different?
If I recall correctly Stalin was actually in support of the KMT until the final years of the civil war because he'd thought that the CPC had no chance, and the KMT were recognized by both the Soviets and Western powers as the legitimate government of China.

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

communism was rife in western governments at the time. the upper echelons of the state department had soviet spies or their friends. it’s astonishing reading.

Nojokur
Nojokur

So these communist spies supported giving the KMT over 400 million in US military and industrial aid to who the communists were fighting?

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

They got over $400m in us aid and wasted it on an airlift to Manchuria which failed. Peasants loved the communists because they were redistributing land, and the nationalists lost urban support when their GENIUS PLAN to cover their debts by just printing more money triggered hyperinflation which wiped out everyone's savings.

Spamalot
Spamalot

right after WW2
You just answered your own question

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

There are just some causes that are beyond help.

Madame Chiang traveled to Washington again in November 1948 to plead for emergency aid for the war against the Communists. Yet Congress had recently assigned $1 billion more to China, and President Truman was impatient with the Chiangs and what had become an apparently hopeless effort to shore up the Nationalist government. Madame Chiang never returned to China.

''I can ask the American people for nothing more,'' she said. ''It is either in your hearts to love us, or your hearts have been turned from us.''

In her frustration, she publicly likened American politics to ''clodhopping boorishness.'' Coming after years of generous American support, that irritated Truman.

''They're thieves, every damn one of them,'' Truman said later, referring to Nationalist leaders. ''They stole $750 million out of the billions that we sent to Chiang. They stole it, and it's invested in real estate down in São Paolo and some right here in New York.''

tldr. The nationalists were too corrupt - they literally stole 750 million dollars in aide for their own personal use.

likme
likme

Feels bad man
[spoiler]at least i can rollplay in my pirated hoi4 games [/spoiler]

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Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

This.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

US wasn't in full fledged cold war mode yet, also they did kind of try to help chiang kai shek throughout the second sino-japanese war

massdebater
massdebater

Reminds me of when I read The Killing Fields, the corruption and incompetence in the Cambodian government and their officers gave me a bad taste.
sell off ammo and rations to the enemy
only shell enemy position at certain hours of the day because they were too lazy to stick around
forcibly conscript a bunch of children and teenagers to fight the war with little to no ammo or food

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

U.K and France did not really care for China, as they had their own Asian decolonization troubles going on.

America cared quite dearly for China, and did quite a bit to try to save KMT - airlifting the First army into Manchuria, ensuring that the Japanese continued to garrison China after they surrendered. Furthermore, US Military attache provided support, the Marines occupied key ports to prevent Communists from gaining them in 1945 and US gave 4.43 billion in foreign aid to China in 1945-1946 - equivalent in relation to US budget to something like thirty four billion dollars.

"It was perfectly clear to us that if we told the Japanese to lay down their arms immediately and march to the seaboard, the entire country would be taken over by the Communists. We therefore had to take the unusual step of using the enemy as a garrison until we could airlift Chinese National troops to South China and send Marines to guard the seaports."

Emberburn
Emberburn

Korea is a limited theater that initially was supposed to be a relatively fast and clean operation involving perhaps 100 000 American soldiers. Compare that to getting into the quagmire that China would be have been.

Response in Korea was also factored by the fact that US public saw the loss of China as a tragedy. Only after that US started to give military aid to the French in Indochina, for example.

SniperWish
SniperWish

Reminds me a lot of how a lot of nations who intervened in the Russian Civil War eventually got sick of Kolchak's bullshit and ultimately figured the Whites were a lost cause.

idontknow
idontknow

You also have the detonation of the first Soviet atomic bomb in 1950 which really ramps up tensions.

Spamalot
Spamalot

Surely the United States didn't want to lose the largest population on earth to Soviet influence?
Neither Chiang, nor Mao were clear cut agents of America or the USSR. When Chiang was BTFO to Taiwan, there was a real shitfest between him and CIA, by the way.

American intervention in China on Chiang's behalf, no matter how deep they would go, would have failed. Numerous Nationalist generals and dignitaries defected to the Communists as it is. If America would take over... Oh boy... Not a single Chinese soldier or officer would've stayed behind Chiang.

American government, of course, was limited by its own politics situation to intervene to begin with of course.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

It's like, "Guys, disregard that I shat all over three principles of Sun Yatsen... Remember how we all started up as rebellion against colonialism and national humiliation, and kicked the Japanese out? Well, now, I'll be bringing the American army, and I'm totally not a puppet paving way for another colonizer like Pu Yi and Manchuria!"

Snarelure
Snarelure

I can't remember where I read it, but apparently KMT units were sweeping the field in Manchuria until they ran out of (American supplied) ammo and were forced to retreat to the cities.

If the US had kept up supply shipments they might have won.

StonedTime
StonedTime

That's rather weird, as from what I have understood, KMT never really controlled Manchuria beoyond its large cities - as the US airlifts largely led to KMT seizing them, and perhaps vital railway links. Manchuria after all was the most industrialized part of China (or was so believed to be by KMT/CPC, if not for Soviets systematically transporting its industry to USSR), which would have given KMT a clear edge when it comes to munition production.

Booteefool
Booteefool

American military advisers told Chiang not to do the Manchuria airlift because it was unsustainable and would just bottle his forces up in the cities. Instead they argued to focus on cordoning the communist conventional forces north of the great Wall. He ignored this and of the $400m he got in us aid in 1946-7 he spent 80 percent of it maintaining the airlift for 3 months.

It just wasn't a tenable strategy.

Spamalot
Spamalot

It was a losing strategy to support the KMT

The USA should’ve supported the CCP and formed an anti-Soviet alliance.

viagrandad
viagrandad

Idk maybe the fact one is the size of a continent with a billion people and the other is a tiny peninsula?

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

Because Chiang was a racist nationalist who also used allied investments to further his corrupt regime, we had no obligation to help him.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

This

The USA did everything it could for KMT.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

You are delusional

The Soviets owned much of Manchuria 1945-1947 and they handed much of their territory over to the CCP.

Inmate
Inmate

Digits of wisdom, tell me about Kolchak.

SniperGod
SniperGod

The West tried to back the nationalists but Chiang Kai-Shek was literally retarded and the communists played him like a fiddle. It was basically a precursor to Vietnam, except without direct American (or other Western) involvement.

RumChicken
RumChicken

Soviet Army essentially Mao Manchuria and Japanese and Soviet weapon caches there. Mao wouldn't have won the Civil War without Manchuria

WebTool
WebTool

"Supreme Ruler" of the White Russian forces during the Russian Civil War
Participated in everything from arctic expeditions to the Russo-Japanese War prior to the revolution
Supported the new republic, but had very authoritarian (and ostensibly tsarist) attitudes towards governing.
Incredibly brutal towards civilians and even his own troops
Failed to unify various factions within the White movement due to the above
Woodrow Wilson refused to recognize him, because Kerensky (a revolutionary figure who would later flee to New York) claimed he would "inaugurate a regime hardly less sanguinary and repressive than that of the Bolsheviks"
Executed in 1920 by The Reds along with his prime minister

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CodeBuns
CodeBuns

What the fuck could they do?
Subsidizing nationalists wouldn’t work And the world had just come out of the most destructive war in history. The last thing people would want would be to start a land war in Asia against hundreds of millions of soldiers.
It was all in the hands of Chiang. Were the Nationalists not corrupt and disorganized, they could have easily won the civil war.

massdebater
massdebater

if the Japs hadn't invaded, China would have easily crushed the communists, and become a major western-aligned power in the region.

Thanks Japan

RavySnake
RavySnake

Lmao ignore this post this is a separate thread.

JunkTop
JunkTop

In 1949 there were over 100 million internally displaced people in China. The Soviets were ready and willing to give enough aid to fix that problem, America wasn't.

Also I think you're underestimating the degree to which Mao himself was an ideologue.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

let

Spamalot
Spamalot

if the Japs hadn't invaded, China would have easily crushed the communists
lol no

Chiang invades Jiangxi soviet
fails

invades again
fails

invades again
japan invades manchuria at the same time
chiang tells his forces in Manchuria to just lay down their arms and retreat so he can beat the communists of the Jiangxi soviet instead of fighting two wars at once
fails

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

Chiang didn't actually like western Imperialism very much at all user, instead of all the East Asian independence movements being sponsored by Mao they'd be sponsored by Chiang

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

The KMT were objectively worse

Soft_member
Soft_member

This. They couldn't handle 100% China

The only way they survived and succeeded was on a mid-sized island

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

china
aligned with anyone but themselves
Without Mao's insanity China very well may have risen earlier than it did in this timeline.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

Maybe at the time, but to be fair there are a number of Asian nations that were corrupt incompetent nationalist like South Korea and the Philippines shitholes back then in the same way but today experience more per capita wealth than China.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

The instant imperialist boots and tanks hit the ground the entirety of China would turn against KMT. Material support was all they could offer without destroying their popular support.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

Back then, talking about the 1940s cause that's when ""the West"" could have focused its energy on backing the KMT against the Communists and succeeded, the Philippines was an American protectorate and Korea was a (freshly-liberated) Japanese colony

fuck, even the Soviets barely gave the Communists any support (idk any beyond training party personnel)

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

Why did western powers let China fall to communism right after WW2?
because western powers fell to communism too

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

Joseph Stilwell and patrick J hurley had decimated chinese-usa relations. In addition, Chiang was an extremely paranoid idiot who just kept demanding more and more from the US. Also chiang moved all his elite troops with US arms into Manchuria where they got starved out and fucked over by the commie chinks. To add to this, ww2 had absolutely decimated the nationalists, while the communists had used that time to sit around gathering strength. There are some other reasons but these are the ones i can think of rn.

takes2long
takes2long

It wasn't clear at the time that the commies would be that bad, especially as the US had worked with them during WW2 and there was no specific beef between them at all at the time. What was clear, however, was the hopelessness of the nationalists, their massive unpopularity with the people and disorganization being big problems. The nationalists didn't even have proper command structures. Their soldiers abused their power and deserted when it suited them. The communists had fanatical belief in their cause and it inspired the people. The Americans must have been aware of this and decided not to piss in the wind by intervening, although I think MacArthur wanted to nuke Beijing.

Emberfire
Emberfire

Still better than the Bolsheviks

SniperWish
SniperWish

Redistribution had less to do with their support than the rampant and disorganized KMT looting, I thought.

Lunatick
Lunatick

KMT is shit
CCP is shit
How did China manage to fuck up both Nationalism and Communism?

5mileys
5mileys

CCP actually wasn't very shit until Mao transformed from a Guerilla leader to a peacetime leader. The peasants really supported the CCP

cum2soon
cum2soon

that would have been even better tbqh

tfw no Viet Quoc insurgents overthrowing the South Vietnamese government

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

what is the Nanjing decade

cum2soon
cum2soon

Philippines is objectively poorer and a shithole compared to China

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

US basically lost all hope on KMT due to its repeated display of sheer incompetence and refusal to fundamentally change itself

I remember reading somewhere that the US considered taiwan part of China and did not want to intervene CCP takeover until the Korean war broke out

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

Eh because supporting the KMT was seen as the literally worse option. In fact CCP was seen as more democratic of those two unironically because of shilling from journalists and other state officials i.e Joseph Stilwell.
Also read on how US thought CCP was even less friendly towards Soviet thant KMT because of Zhou Enlai.
Chiang was anti-western and would gladly have a closer relation with Stalin than the western powers that broke their promises of decolonizing SEA.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

Bruh, 19th Century Philippines up until the 1960, the Philippines was an ok place to live.

Which is why literal Chinese refugees were migrating here to escape the turmoil of late Qing/Republican China.

Lunatick
Lunatick

It was mediocre desu

Soft_member
Soft_member

Only because it got cut short by the Jap invasion.