By Akira Iriye, Warren I. Cohen

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Additional info for American, Chinese, and Japanese perspectives on wartime Asia, 1931-1949

Sample text

His vision of the future of China presumed modernization in accord with the model Americans had provided, with the guidance of disinterested Americans. At times he thought the United States had an obligation to aid China in its hour of distress. At other times he argued that failure to assist China would forfeit decades of accumulated goodwill and jeopardize the opportunity for American businessmen to compete favorably in Chinese markets. S. mission to maintain a new world order in which there was no place for such atavistic aggression as Japan was committing against China.

That possibility would be less undesirable than a northward advance. This important thesis enables us to connect developments in Russia, the Atlantic, China, and the Pacific. Southeast Asia takes on fresh meaning in such a context. Gary Hess's detailed treatment of international affairs in the region shows that even before the war the United States was deepening its involvement in Thailand, Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies and developing its special position in the Philippines. By 1940, Hess notes, the United States was the key factor in regional stability, which Japan's southward expansion was threatening.

Certainly, Stimson no longer retained much faith in the efficacy of American or even world public opinion. He argued for increasing the American fleet in Shanghai and for sending in marines both to protect Americans there and to signal Japan that the United States was not prepared to surrender its pretensions to power in the Pacific. S. Navy was not equipped to repel. Castle expressed sympathy for Japanese grievances even in Shanghai and insisted that the Chinese were the greater threat to American lives there.

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