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Shortly after China declared victory in the Anti-Japanese War, the National Government abruptly shifted from its wartime control policies over foreign currency and trade to the cancellation of constraints on the export of agricultural products, and the abolishment of the Foreign Trade Committee and National Trade Corporation. Also exercising a noninterference policy on imported merchandise, the government further opened the gold and foreign currency markets. The initial intention of policymakers was to collect the vast amounts of excess currency issued during the war by means of opening the foreign currency market and selling gold reserves. In order to solve the shortage of goods and services as well as the serious inflation then plaguing society, they hoped that the import of large amounts of foreign merchandises would cure the ever-worsening inflation within a short period of time. Yet actual developments were a far cry from the government’s initial expectations. Opening the financial markets led to the outflow of government gold and foreign currency reserves. The unrestrained imports of foreign goods and services also immensely aggravated the huge imbalance between international revenues and expenses. And as the Civil War progressed, the economies in Guomindang-controlled districts fell beyond remedy, which contributed to the final fall of the Republic of China.
This article explores whether the political failure of the postwar government of the Republic of China was determined by its foreign trade policy. Drawing on an abundance of original sources and relevant research literature, the article begins with a comparison of foreign trade policy during and after the war. With the focus on the ever-changing domestic and international conditions of the postwar world, the article strives to probe into policymakers’ financial beliefs and mentality in an attempt to present a comprehensive description of the initial intentions, policy-making processes, and the precise content and ramifications of the postwar open market trade policy imposed by the government. An in depth inquiry into the background and reasons behind this particular is correspondingly provided.
This article focuses on the covert anti-Communist activities of the United States in the borderlands of western China between 1947 and 1951, when the Americans secretly attempted to support various local non-Han Chinese minorities to unite to form regional bloc to resist Communist penetration into these border regions. Though these attempts proved unsuccessful, they do show, contrary to much earlier work on the subject, that directly American intervention in China’s border affairs was not launched in the early 1950s in Tibet. Rather, as early as 1947 as the Cold War was just erupting, with a view to counteracting Soviet activities in Central Asia, high authorities in the U.S. government began to pay serious attention to the strategically significant border areas of western China. Even before the official inauguration of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949, the U.S. had already formulated a new policy to further its strategic concerns over western China’s border regions: substantial aid to local anti-Communist minority groups. The U.S. hoped this would help delay the Communist “liberation” of China’s peripheral regions.
The U.S. covert missions in western China eventually failed, due to time constraints and the unexpectedly rapid collapse of the Nationalist government. However, the effect of these clandestine interactions with Inner Asian peoples deserves careful reconsideration. Indeed, the U.S. promises to support non-Han Chinese minorities against the CCP regime continued to inspire these peoples’ anti-Communist movements in the 1950s. In addition, the U.S. intention to use the minority groups of western China against the Communists in the late 1940s was one of the earliest examples of what was to become the “proxy wars” that became prevalent throughout the Cold War.
This article explores the role played by Soviet mass songs in the political culture and everyday life of the PRC. In the 1950s the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) implemented the policy of completely leaning toward the Soviet Union, including in cultural matters. The CCP utilized Soviet mass songs to propagate the ideology of the supreme priority of the party-state in order to mold a new socialist people. A great deal of Soviet mass songs expressed the concerns of the party-state collective as well as individual emotions. They thus became very popular among urban youth. However, as the political climate changed, the meaning of Soviet mass songs among the intellectuals gradually shifted, from a collective symbol of belief in the supreme party-state to a symbol of the individual that expressed personal emotion, sentiment, and nostalgia. While the CCP intended to inculcate correct ideology in the young through Soviet mass songs, it could not control how the young would interpret the songs. Their interpretations would not necessarily be in complete accordance with those of the CCP, even though overlapping elements might remain. Also, confined by the policy of leaning toward the Soviet Union, the CCP could not ban their disapproved Soviet mass songs which explicitly articulated the love between man and woman.
Since the 1970s and 1980s, historical research on culture and cultural studies has been reinvigorated, and many topics have become the focus of scholarly research. “War and culture” was one such research topic. Reflecting this scholarly trend, in the last few years many scholars have delved into the cultural history of the Anti-Japanese War period. This article looks back at the last decade of research by American, Chinese, and Taiwanese scholars on Chinese cultural history of the Anti-Japanese War period, in order to provide a general reference source for the academic community.
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