Arming the Moderate Rebels: America's Yearning for a Third Force in Post-War China

Talk by John Delury, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies

Arming the Moderate Rebels: America
By the end of World War II, Nationalist Party strongman Chiang Kai-shek had lost the confidence of his ally in Washington, and yet as the Cold War heated up, the US took an increasingly hardline against Mao Zedong, who stunned the world by winning the Chinese civil war [1945-49]. In order to solve-- or evade-- this dilemma, liberal intellectuals and government officials in the US looked to a 'Third Force' that could save China from party dictatorship. In his talk, Professor Delury will recount an extraordinary example of how this strategy of finding 'the moderate rebels' was operationalized-- as an extensive covert operation during the Korean War of infiltrating Third Force agents into mainland China-- and explore the broader and lasting significance of the Third Force project in the evolution of US-China relations.

John Delury is Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul, Korea, and author, with Orville Schell, of Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century (2013).

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Published: Monday, August 22, 2016