When Soong Meiling, better known to the world as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, died in October 2003, her life of over a century almost exactly paralleled America’s own century of direct involvement with Asia, which began with the acquisition of the Philippines. Alone among Western Powers, the United States championed an Open Door policy toward China. The Madame’s Christian family and her American education perfectly suited the American aspirations for a free and democratic China. And when Japan threatened both countries, the Madame, in perfect English, spoke directly to Americans as the heroic symbol of Chinese resistance. Never mind that she and her husband turned increasingly authoritarian and that the Guomindang was defeated by Chairman Mao Zedong’s communists. And never mind that she never really connected with the vast majority of Chinese living in the countryside. Today, as China is again catching up to the West in leaps and bounds, it is almost as if Soong Meiling, ending her life after a Rip Van Winkle-like retirement in the United States, is ushering in another century, when new Open Door Americans look toward China again. Here for a new generation of general readers and scholars are thoughtful reflections on the significant impact of a major twentieth-century figure who fascinated Americans for decades and had a significant impact on American perceptions of China.
About the Editor
Samuel C. Chu (1929-2013) was a Professor of History at Ohio State University.
This landmark study by a leading Chinese scholar of international relations significantly advances our understanding of the origins of Chinese Communist foreign policy. Basing himself on a wealth of previously inaccessible Chinese archival sources, memoirs, and official documents, Professor Niu charts the evolution of CCP foreign policy in the period preceding the revolutionary victory in […]
The most comprehensive analysis and reference on the enormous water resource crisis confronting the People’s Republic of China. China’s Water Crisis (Zhongguo shui weiji) describes in detail the history of floods, water scarcity, and pollution problems in all seven of China’s major drainage basins and proposes solutions for future sustainable management.
This classic account (1952) of the makers of “New Japan” tells the life stories of a journalist, an ex-Navy vice-admiral, a steel worker, a farmer, and Emperor Hirohito. Frank Gibney was a wartime intelligence officer who became Time magazine correspondent during the American Occupation of Japan. He went on to be a major interpreter of Japan to […]
Four Hundred Million Customers (1937) is a collection of humorous essays and piquant anecdotes underpinned by well-informed insight and highlighted by witty drawings by G. Sapojnikoff. Like a bowl of salted peanuts, these vignettes make you want “more.” The book was welcomed on its publication as the most entertaining and instructive introduction to the rapidly modernizing people […]
“I love freedom and I will long for the freedom of the soul and the dignity of being a human being for the rest of my life. I’m not the first nor am I the last to suffer or even to sacrifice a life to that idea. Prior to my imprisonment, I didn’t try to […]
Richard L. Williams
The year 1979 marked turning points in both contemporary Chinese history and Sino-American relations. Deng Xiaoping initiated market reforms and an opening to the global economy which would transform China, with Guangzhou (Canton) at the forefront. Washington and Beijing’s mutual diplomatic recognition triggered an across-the-board expansion of relations between the United States and China. When […]