Grace Lee Boggs Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Ria Stone

China: A ‘Poor Relation’ in the ‘Big Four’

(July 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 29, 19 July 1943, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Generalissimo’s lady – Madame Chiang Kai-shek – has just arrived home in China after spending several months in the United States, collecting honorary degrees and posing for the press in cap, gown and velvet hood.

Due to the present concentration of Allied military might on the European continent, the Missimo’s activities and those of China are receiving a minimum of attention, insofar as they might, deflect the interest of the American people.

Roosevelt and Churchill are one-continent-at-a-time strategists – first Africa, then Europe, then Asia.

The Allies are undoubtedly concerned with the ultimate defeat of Japan and the recapture of the privilege of exploiting the colonial peoples. Today, however, the problems of storming the European fortress and controlling the revolutionary sentiments of the imprisoned masses are sufficient to occupy the military and political energies of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.

It is significant that Madame Chiang Kai-shek was not invited to attend the recent conferences in Washington between Roosevelt and Churchill in Washington. The excuse of distance was certainly not in order. Nor could it be pleaded that this woman’s place is in the home. For Madame Chiang Kai-shek was formerly head of the Chinese National Commission on Aeronautical Affairs, which is a branch of the National Military Council. Today, that position, like every other, critical office in China, military, financial and political, is occupied by the husband, the Generalissimo.

The exclusion of Madame Chiang Kai-shek from that conference underlines the subordinate role which China’s fight against Japan has assumed in this global war. Right now the armed forces of America and Britain are not available for Eastern action in sufficiently large numbers to carry on simultaneously the war against Japan and against the colonial masses of Asia, in whose eyes America and Britain have been so discredited.

Roosevelt and Churchill are anxious only that China remain in the war and keep Japan occupied. The last thing they wish is that Chinese manpower be the decisive factor in the defeat of Japan. Suppose Japan were forced to withdraw from Manchuria, China and Burma by predominantly Chinese forces while the Western powers were still engaged in fighting Hitler. China could then take a path independent of the United States and Britain.

Even if a victorious Chinese army were officered, armed and financed by Anglo-American imperialism, the defeat of a major imperialist power by the forces of a semi-colonial nation would give a tremendous impetus to the masses of all Asia to undertake independent action for national liberation against all imperialisms.

Today, American and British military activities in the Far East are primarily confined to capturing and constructing the strategic bases for a major offensive against Japan. According to their plans, this offensive will be carried out by Western armies and navies. To this end, they inch up the islands, clear the seas and exploit the labor of the Asiatic peoples to build air bases, roads, etc.

It is not without interest that most, if, not all, recent references to the United Nations are confined to the United States, Great Britain and Russia. China is obviously a “poor relation.”

Grace Lee Boggs Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers’ Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 13 June 2015