John Gittings

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 If Mao had met Roosevelt: An alternative view of US-China relations
[This essay is published as "What if Mao had met Roosevelt?" in PRESIDENT GORE.... AND OTHER THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED, edited by DUNCAN BRACK, London, Politico's, 2006, pp. 171-183.]


In early 1945, as the war with Japan neared its end -- and as efforts began to avoid an ensuing civil war within China -- Mao Zedong asked to fly to Washington for secret talks with President Roosevelt, and spoke in glowing terms of future relations with the US. It was a quite remarkable request from the leader of Asia's largest communist party which owed allegiance, formally at any rate, to the Soviet Union: Stalin would surely have been furious if such a visit had occurred. In the event nothing came of the proposal and for a quarter of a century even the fact it had been made was ignored. No one was interested in asking whether relations between a communist China and the US could have taken a better course than the mutual hostility of the 1950s and 1960s -- until they did actually improve in the 1970s. More recently, a new academic consensus has concluded that these early overtures (and others made by the Chinese communists which followed later) could never have changed the course of events. I believe this is too easy a conclusion and that the course of US-China relations might quite possibly have had less tragic consequences "if Mao had met Roosevelt". We can also draw an interesting -- and perhaps disturbing --lesson from the shifts in scholarly opinion towards this affair.

Mao's proposal was transmitted from Yan'an (Yenan), the communist capital in north-west China, by the head of the US wartime mission stationed there (the so-called "Dixie Mission") on January 9, 1945.

[The] Yenan Government wants to dispatch to America an unofficial rpt unofficial group to interpret and explain to American civilians and officials interested the present situation and problems of China. Next is [a] strictly off the record suggestion by the same [ government]. Mao [Zedong] and Chou [Zhou Enlai] will be immediately available either singly or together for [an] exploratory conference at Washington should President Roosevelt express [the] desire to receive them at [the] White House as leaders of a primary Chinese [political] party. They expressly desire that it be unknown rpt not known that they are willing to go to Washington in case Roosevelt['s] invitation [is] not now forthcoming. This [is] to protect their political [situation] vis-a-vis Chiang [Kai-shek] [1].

There were in fact two proposals being made from Yan'an. First, that an "unofficial" group would be sent to the US to explain the position of the Chinese Communist Party: this would evidently have operated in public. Second that Mao and Zhou would have travelled in person, and perhaps in secret. It would have been no ordinary journey (especially for Mao who had at that stage had never travelled in a plane!).They would have flown from Yan'an to Chongqing (Chungking), and then trans-shipped to one of the famous Pan American China Clippers, embarking on the hazardous Cannonball Route, over The Hump of the Himalayas to India, probably on through Karachi, Abadan, Cairo, Tripoli and Casablanca, down on to Bathurst or Accra, across the Pacific to Brazil, up to Trinidad and on to Miami before the last leg to Washington. It would have taken at least five or six days.

Once in the White House, what would Mao have wanted to discuss? He had already set out his agenda for a future relationship with the US in a number of interviews with members of the Dixie Mission, particularly not exclusively with the Foreign Service officer John (or Jack) Service. First, Mao wanted the US to treat the Communist Party (CCP) as an equal partner with Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang (KMT) including the distribution of arms, and to put pressure on Chiang to cooperate with the CCP to avoid civil war. As he explained to Service:

With Chiang you can be friendly on your own terms. He must give in to constant, strong and unified pressure.... There is no longer any need or any reason to cultivate, baby or placate Chiang. The US can tell Chiang what he should do - in the interest of the war.

Second, Mao would downplay his party's relationship with the Soviet Union:

The Russians... will have their hands full with their own job of rebuilding [ after the war}. We do not expect Russian help.... Russia only wants a friendly and democratic China. Cooperation between America and the Chinese communist Party will be beneficial and satisfactory to all concerned.

Third, Mao would hold out a tempting prospect of a future relationship which at last provided a real Open Door (the unvarying goal of US policy in China) for the capital and goods of America.

China must industrialise. This can be done - in China - only by free enterprise and with the aid of foreign capital. Chinese and American interests are correlated and similar. They fit together, economically and politically. We can and must work together...

We will be interested in the most rapid possible development of the country on constructive and productive lines.

Finally, Mao would stress the need for dialogue and understanding:

America does not need to fear that we will not be cooperative. We must cooperate and we must have American help. That is why it is so important to us Communists to know what you Americans are thinking and planning. We cannot risk crossing you -- cannot risk any conflict with you. [2]

Mao's proposal was held up in Chongqing by President Roosevelt's special ambassador General Hurley. who saw it as an attempt by the Communists to bypass him (which it was) and as a plot against him by the foreign service officers in the Dixie Mission (which it was not). Eventually the request was forwarded to FDR by Hurley, but only on "the fifth page of a six-page letter" in which he cited it as part of the alleged conspiracy. [3]

Hurley also regarded as part of this plot various proposals, made by officers under the US military commander in China General Wedemeyer (with whom he had testy relations) for military cooperation on the ground with the Chinese communists. These included a plan, conveyed to Yan'an by an officer of the Office of Strategic Services, to place US special Operations men with communist units behind Japanese lines for acts of sabotage. (The strategic context for this was the expectation that US ground forces would soon land on the Chinese mainland as a prelude to the invasion of Japan: in the end the war effort was focussed instead on approaching Japan via the Philippines, and the China theatre declined in importance.)

Did FDR have any knowledge of the offer from Mao and Zhou? Two months later, in March 1945 during the conversation with Edgar Snow (author of Red Star Over China) Roosevelt indicated that a US landing on the North China coast would take place and that he had no objection to cooperating with the communist guerrillas. "I've been working with two governments there [in China]. I intend to go on doing so until we can get them together." The President had just received a memorandum, drafted by most of the Foreign Service officers in Chongqing, arguing the need to supply the Communists on political as well as military grounds; Otherwise, it said, the Communists might seek Soviet assistance and "chaos in China will be inevitable" Roosevelt's statement to Snow is suggestive -- and Mao would have been delighted to hear that the US president had referred to his regime as a "government" -- but Roosevelt was almost certainly referring in much more general terms to his hopes of bringing the Communists and Nationalists together. [4]

American war priorities changed, Hurley ensured the downgrading of the Dixie Mission, and President Roosevelt died. Brief and elusive as this episode was, we can hardly fail to be intrigued by it. Snow speculated that Roosevelt's death may have "closed the chapter on our chance to find out how the Chinese communists would behave towards us -- and towards Russia -- if treated as our ally in the common war against Japan." And Carolle Carter, author of a recent study on the Dixie Mission, suggests that "The journey by Mao and Chou to Washington would probably have placed additional distance between Yenan and Moscow while making the Communists appear less like an insurgent group than like an equal player in the joint war effort" [5].

If this episode is taken seriously, it raises similar questions about subsequent moments in the US-China relationship which might have had different and more hopeful outcomes. These would include the mediation mission by US General George Marshall to China of 1946-8, a brief diplomatic overture from the new Communist Government to US Ambassador Leighton Stuart in 1949, and most significantly of all in my opinion, renewed efforts made by Beijing to entice Washington into a dialogue from 1955 to at least 1957, through the ambassadorial talks between the two countries in Warsaw.

What might have happened?

So what might have happened if Mao had met Roosevelt, or -- on a more realistic scenario -- it had been just Zhou Enlai or, more modestly still, Zhou had gone to Washington but had only met the Secretary of State or even if it had been a less high-ranking delegation which made the long journey ?

Whaetever the level, the mere fact of such contacts taking place in the US capital -- rather than in the remote loess highlands of Yan'an -- could have improved significantly the chance of further and more fruitful dialogue between the CCP and the US, and would have put Chiang Kai-shek on notice that he could no longer take Washington's support for granted. This would then have created a different atmosphere for the efforts made by General Marshall to bring the two Chinese sides together and avert a civil war. Contrary to the arguments of many scholars today, such a conflict was not inevitable as far as the Communists were concerned. They had been at war, either with the Nationalists or the Japanese, and at times with both, for nearly 20 years. Mao himself believed that if civil war were to break out it would take 'ten to fifteen years' to prevail Even in June 1946, by which time Marshall's mediation had almost certainly failed (although it dragged on into the following year) the Central Committee still concluded that "without jeopardising any of our basic interests, [we should] pursue peace; a long period of war is not in our interest". As the Chinese historian Zhang Baifa has commented, "From our present perspective, it is quite hard to believe how optimistic the mood [for peace] of the Chinese Communists was at the time" [6].

Mao clearly wished to create a good impression upon Marshall, telling him that "Chinese democracy must follow the American path, because the conditions for bringing about socialism in China are presently lacking", [7] yet this was a statement of the obvious in the immediate post-war period. The CCP's preference for peace and desire for outside mediation was well attested in internal documents even as its prospects diminished and -- by mid-1946 -- the likelihood of failure recognised by Mao. As the hopes faded, Mao and Zhou even considered "whether to raise the issue of the Chinese civil war at the UN to induce international intervention" [8].

It is true that the Chinese communist forces were helped by the Soviet Red Army's occupation of the Northeast, and that the Yan'an leadership kept in close touch with Moscow. But the history of relations with Moscow had not been smooth and Stalin's commitment to the Chinese communist revolution was ambiguous -- as it would continue to be until Mao had actually won. A diplomatic tilt towards the US would in this context have had a definite tactical value. As Zhou Enlai observed at the time,

The key is that China must not subordinate itself to another country's influence or become another country's instrument. China's role should be to bring together its allies, and at the very least serve as a bridge promoting cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union. [9]

If "Mao had met Roosevelt", this might have led to one of two outcomes. First,

US mediation would then have forced Chiang Kai-shek to accept a coalition government. This development could paradoxically have (a) delayed the CCP victory in 1949; and (b) resulted in an effective division of China into spheres of influence between the US and the Soviet Union. However such a result -- which was Stalin's goal -- might then have exacerbated CCP-Soviet tensions, resulting in a weaker and more fraught relationship than actually emerged in the Sino-Soviet Alliance signed by Mao in Moscow (February 1950).

Second and alternatively, on the assumption that the civil war still occurred, the more favourable climate already created in US-Communist relations could have influenced Washington to take a more neutral line.

(a) The US might have been more reluctant to airlift Chiang's forces to Manchuria to accept the Japanese surrender, to use US Marines to occupy key installations such as railways and coal mines till the Nationalist troops arrived in sufficient strength, or to maintain its naval base at Tsingtao till the end of the civil war.

(b) The US might have been less willing to provide surplus equipment and military aid to the Nationalists which came to over $2 billion in the postwar period.

(c) If the US had maintained a position of at least half-way neutrality, then the offer of diplomatic negotiations made in 1949 by the incoming communist government might have been less equivocal -- and the US response less negative.

(d) And if the Nationalists had received less US support, then Chiang Kai-shek might have failed to escape to Taiwan -- and the biggest issue to bedevil US-China relations for the next sixty years would have been removed!

(e) Mao might also have been more reluctant to back the North Korean invasion of the South -- we know that the argument in Beijing over whether or not to intervene was finely balanced. A continued US-Communist Chinese dialogue (even if only through back channels) could have reduced the danger of miscalculation on both sides. Thus the US under such circumstances might have refrained from crossing the 38th Parallel, or at least from penetrating deep into North Korea. The Chinese advance, if it had taken place, might in turn have been more measured, halting at the same parallel.






Shifts in Western scholarship

Historical judgement is never value free nor divorced from the political culture of the time. The episode described above, and the questions it raises about alternative outcomes in what became a crucial theatre of the cold (and sometimes hot) war, were ignored for two decades. It was then rediscovered by Western scholars who concurred in their judgement that this was indeed a missed opportunity. More recently a new body of scholarship has reached exactly the opposite verdict concluding , in effect, that it would have made no difference at all if Mao had met Roosevelt.

These three phases coincide, and not by coincidence, with very substantial shifts in the intellectual climate within which Western scholarship towards China has operated. The first period (when the historical evidence was ignored) was that of the 1950s and '60s when US-China policy was a political minefield and dominated by the McCarthyite question of who had "lost China". The second period was that of the 1970s and 1980s when Communist China was re-discovered -- and to some extent re-habilitated -- by the US political establishment, with much agonising over the mistakes of the past which had caused such a long rupture. The more negative conclusions in recent scholarship (i.e. that there was no opportunity to be missed) are based partly on the analysis of new diplomatic documents, particularly from the Soviet archives. These have been taken to show that Mao was determined to "lean to the (Soviet) side" and to humble the imperialists who had humiliated China in the past, thus precluding any possibility of meaningful relations with Washington However this judgement also reflects a post cold-war consensus which is generally less willing to attribute responsibility, not to say blame, to the West for the cold war confrontations of the past.

(1) 1950s & 1960s: Mao's request to visit Washington, although kept secret at the time it was made in 1945, was on record by the early 1950s in several accessible sources: The episode was referred to in the memoirs of Admiral Leahy, Roosevelt's Chief of Staff, published in 1950. General Wedemeyer, Leahy reported accurately, had been "asked to secure passage to Washington for Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai, the top Chinese Communists, for conferences with the President" [10] The actual dispatch from Hurley to Roosevelt reporting the proposal from Yanan, was then reproduced in the official Department of State volume known as the Yalta Papers published in 1955 [11]. This collection of documents received huge publicity and was extensively used by both sides in the recriminations over who had allegedly "lost China" -- yet this particular nugget of information was apparently ignored. Both Admiral Leahy's memoirs and the Yalta Papers were used as sources for the monumental volume America's Failure in China, 1941-50 by Tsou Tang, published in 1963 and for many years the standard work on this subject. Yet though Prof Tsou actually quoted from Hurley's dispatch, he failed to mention the proposal which it contained for Mao to visit Washington. [12]

A later study of US-Chinese relations by Michael Schaller notes that "the Communist effort to reach the President directly appeared in certain published material as early as the 1950s. However, they were completely overlooked by historians". We can share Prof Schaller's puzzlement, and wonder whether "overlooked" is too weak a description. [13]

(2) 1970s and 1980s Extensive reports from the Dixie Mission in Yan'an describing the communist movement often in favourable terms, relaying interviews with Mao and other leaders, and recommending a more positive approach towards them, would eventually appear in the Department of State's archive series Foreign Relations of the US, in the China volumes for the years 1944 and 1945. But publication of these was delayed in order to avoid giving offence to the Kuomintang government on Taiwan: The 1944 volume was finally published in 1967, the 1945 volume in 1969. [14] By this time, with the Vietnam War and the Cultural Revolution both in full spate, their contents attracted little attention, yet within a couple of years, when US-China relations had taken a dramatic new turn, what happened or failed to happen in 1945 suddenly seemed very relevant indeed. An article by Barbara Tuchman with the compelling title "If Mao had come to Washington" published in the flagship Foreign Affairs journal (October 1972), was titled "If Mao had come to Washington". The eminent American historian concluded that

If, in the absence of ill feeling, we had established relations on some level with the People's Republic, permitting communications in a crisis, and if the Chinese had not been moved by hate and suspicion of us to make common cause with the Soviet Union, it is conceivable that there might have been no Korean War with all its evil consequences."

Prof Tuchman made her own visit to China and was much impressed by what she saw. Her Foreign Affairs article was reprinted two years later in a small volume of Notes from China in which she concluded that the elimination of poverty and corruption under the Communists was "so striking that negative aspects of the new rule fade in relative importance" [15].

Also in 1974, the wartime dispatches by John Service, the Dixie Mission officer who had developed the closest relationship with Mao, were published under the title Lost Chance in China. Its editor, Joseph Esherick, concluded that "the United States lost its chance to forge a policy of friendship and cooperation with the Chinese Communists" and argued that "if we had tolerated the Chinese Communists' rise to power, there would have been little need to so threaten China as to draw her into the Korean conflict, or to prop up military dictators in South Vietnam in order to ' contain' China" [16].

(3) 1990s to today.

The revival of the "Lost Chance" debate from the beginning of the 1990s onwards has as indicated above taken advantage of new materials which had not previously been available. These consist of (a) memoirs by Chinese generals, more complete editions of Mao, and volumes of diplomatic documents -- such as those of Zhou Enlai's negotiations with Marshall -- and (b) Soviet archives, particularly concerning Mao's Moscow negotiations with Stalin and the Korean War.

However this new scholarship also reflects a new mood of revisionism following the end of the cold war. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and China's so-called "re-entry" into the world (and particularly the world economy) questions of Western responsibility, or shared responsibility, for the cold war and for China's isolation seem less relevant and even naive. The enthusiasm for a more positive interpretation shown by Tuchman (and by others including John King Fairbank, the father of modern US China scholarship) looks embarrassing and even partial. Thus John Garver, a strong critic of the Lost China hypothesis, argues that Fairbank was "writing for his time" and sought "to challenge the then-dominant 'China threat' thesis in order to open the door to better US-PRC relations". Garver claims to the contrary that the new China did pose a real threat to US security in 1949, that any tensions between Mao and Stalin were subsidiary, and that there was never any alternative to the rupture between the Communists and Washington [17].

Myth or Possibility?

So was the "lost chance" of the 1940s -- ignored for two decades and then perceived in the 1970s by Barbara Tuchman and others, including myself, to have been a real possibility -- really a complete myth? Were we all "writing for our times"? While accepting that we were influenced by the contemporary intellectual climate (just as our critics are today), I would still argue that the episode and the questions raised by it cannot be so easily dismissed.

First we should recognise an element of post hoc propter hoc in the view that better US-China relations at that time were never on the cards. The diplomatic record certainly shows that by 1949 Mao was extremely wary of the US and committed, in spite of long-held reservations about Stalin's autocratic style, to seeking alliance with the Soviet Union. This by itself tells us nothing about what might have been achieved if "Mao had met Roosevelt" or there had been some other comparable break-through at an earlier date Indeed most of the arguments raised against the "lost chance" hypothesis focus entirely on the events of 1949-50 while ignoring altogether the questions raised by the Dixie Mission. These arguments can only be sustained if one believes that Mao was driven by anti-imperialism and the pursuit of Soviet-led socialism to an extent that would have ruled out any possible accommodation with the US in 1949 whatever might have happened in the preceding years. Thus Chen Jian, the foremost scholar of the 1949-50 period, argues that the CCP's adoption of an anti-US policy then had "deep roots in China's history" and that "from a Chinese perspective, the most profound cause... lay in its connection to Mao's grand plans of transforming China's state, society, and international outlook..." [18].

Yet it can be argued instead -- and more plausibly in view of Mao's behaviour both earlier and later in his political career -- that he was driven at least as much by circumstance as by dogma, and that he was never averse to "seizing the moment" and change course if the opportunity arose. In this view, "circumstances rather than ideas have been the principal force shaping Chinese communist behaviour in international affairs" [19]. Ideology was a factor, sometimes paramount, sometimes subordinate and often confused. Yet for Western governments (and many academic specialists) faced with the "new China", ideology was too easily seen as the "magic weapon" which Mao in his more dogmatic last years claimed it to be. As the thoughtful Michael Hunt has observed, there was a tendency during the Cold War "to denigrate ideology as a peculiar deformation of the socialist bloc, a tendency that carried over into the China field.... In [the accounts of Western international relations specialists] a persuasive, powerful Marxist-Leninist ideology came to offer an important key to understanding Chinese policy". Hunt suggests correctly that we need a "more subtle and expansive notion of ideology", as "a complex, unstable amalgam drawn from a wide variety of sources and varying significantly from individual to individual" [20].

There is no reason to regard Mao's professions of loyalty to the Soviet Union in 1949-50 as more or less sincere than his tempting offers of cooperation to the US five years earlier.

Certainly he announced that China must "lean to one side", argued strongly within his Politburo for alignment with the Soviet Union, and praised Stalin as a "great leader". But in retrospect Mao took a more cynical view of his own warm words: "When I was in Moscow [in December 1949] to celebrate his birthday, what else could I have done if I had chosen not to congratulate him? Could I have cursed him instead?" Underlining the point, he claimed that two other famous articles he wrote about Stalin -- one in 1939 and the other on Stalin's death -- " had come out of [political] need, not my heart, nor at my will" [21].

Patriotism, nationalism and national interest could be as potent factors as Marxism or Leninism or internationalism and could lead to different conclusions at different times. This had been true of Mao's attitude towards the outside world and its effect on China from the 1920s onwards and would continue to be so -- with one significant exception -- until the end of his life. The exception was the extremist "closed-door" policy of the early Cultural Revolution period, when Mao allowed China to be virtually isolated from the world. Even so, we now know that as early as 1969, three years after the Cultural Revolution began, Mao was encouraging the "Four Marshals" led by foreign minister Chen Yi to ask serious question's about China's isolation and to recommend an opening to the West. That opening came very soon -- in tandem with the more flexible approach of the Nixon administration -- and was displayed to an amazed world with the Kissinger-Nixon visits to China within a couple of years..

Footnote: the mid-1950s ambassadorial talks

We could have been amazed nearly two decades earlier if another neglected episode in US-China relations had born fruit. This was the ambassadorial dialogue of the mid-1950s when Mao and his fellow-leaders once more sought to test the possibilities of negotiation with Washington. As in the mid-1940s, we can see in retrospect a brief window of opportunity in which a Chinese initiative is neglected or repulsed by the US, causing Beijing to re-assess its relatively more conciliatory attitude and adopt a harder line.

The time again seemed propitious for some improvement in US-China relations, following the death of Stalin, the end of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and Beijing's adoption of the "three principles of peaceful co-existence". Taiwan was the obvious stumbling-block: in 1954 Eisenhower announced his intention of signing a Mutual Defence Treaty with the Nationalist regime on the island and Beijing responded by shelling the Nationalist-controlled Offshore Islands. Yet it was this crisis that paved the way for the talks between the US and Chinese ambassadors beginning in Geneva in August 1955. It was significant too that the initiative came from Beijing, which preferred a bilateral dialogue with Washington to a Soviet proposal for an international conference on Taiwan. This was one of several signs at the time of China's desire to emerge from under the shadow of Soviet diplomacy.

The talks were initially promising and resulted in agreement on the first item on the agenda -- the mutual exchange of civilians detained on both sides. Negotiations now moved on to the second item, defined as the consideration of "other practical matters at issue between the two parties". Here the US simply stone-walled while China made a number of positive proposals, including one for a meeting of foreign ministers at which, Beijing suggested, "practical and feasible means" could be found to defuse the Taiwan situation. As Kenneth Young, a former State Department official familiar with the negotiations later concluded, a hopeful opportunity was missed. If Washington had broken the deadlock by conceding a foreign ministers' conference, this might have led to a high level negotiation in which China continued to talk about "easing tensions" in the Taiwan area rather than demand immediate US withdrawal of support for Chiang Kai-shek. Instead the US "did not want diplomatic relations or continuing negotiations with Peking. Washington wanted to isolate, not enhance, Peking " [22]. Young's conclusion is supported in a more recent study of the talks: the aim of Secretary of State Dulles was simply to keep the Chinese talking, to "beat [China] at its own game by out-sitting and out-talking them" [23]. In essence, the US was prepared to explore the opportunities for detente with the Soviet Union but not with China: this became an important factor in the emerging Sino-Soviet dispute and in Mao's defiant resolve to "go it alone" -- with disastrous consequences for China. Ironically, when Washington finally began to make its own tentative overtures in the early 1960s, it was Beijing which responded at first with an "all-or-nothing" rejection. Only after the chaos of the Cultural Revolution and the threat of Soviet military action would Mao finally "seize the chance". Chinese historians now acknowledge that this was a tragic mistake -- but it had been preceded by equally tragic lost chances on the US side [24].

One more footnote from history: when Henry Kissinger in October 1971 was paving the way in Beijing for the Nixon visit, he had to find a form of wording to describe the unity of China which would be acceptable to Beijing but would not support either the mainland's or Taipei's claim to be the sole Chinese government. Eventually, as he relates in his memoirs, Kissinger put forward an "ambiguous formula" which both Beijing and Washington were able to live with.. He did not invent this formula himself. It was "adapted from a State Department planning document for negotiations, which aborted in the Fifties" [25]. We can only speculate how different the course of history might have been if those negotiations had not been "aborted" by John Foster Dulles.


1. Text in Carolle Carter, Mission to Yenan: American Liaison with the Chinese Communists, 1944-1947 (1997), 147.

2. All quotes from Service's August 23, 1944 interview with Mao, Joseph W. Esherick ed., Lost Chance in China: The World War II Dispatches of John S. Service (1974), 295-307.

3. Carter, op. cit. 148.

4. Edgar Snow, Random Notes from Red China, 1936-1945 (1957), 125-30.

5. Carter, op. cit., 149.

6. Zhang Baijia, "Zhou Enlai and the Marshall Mission" in Larry Bland ed., George C Marshall's Mediation Mission in China (1998), [11, 18, 24]

7. ibid., 12

8 ibid., 21

9. ibid., 24

10. William D Leahy, I Was There (1950) 340.

11. Historical Division of the Dept of State, The Conference at Malta and Yalta, 1945 (1955), 346-51.

12. Tsou Tang, America's Failure in China, 1941-1950 (1963), 178

13. Michael Schaller, The US Crusade in China 1938-45 (1979), 332, n. 12. Schaller lists p.1903 of the State Department Loyalty Investigation (1950) as another early source.

14. James Thomson, “On the Making of US China Policy, 1961-1969”, China Quarterly, No. 50, April-June, 1972, 224-5.

15. Notes from China (1972), 2

16. Esherick, op. cit., 391-92. I dealt with this issue in my own early study of Chinese foreign policy, The World and China, 1922-1972 (1974). .

17. John W Garver, "Polemics, Paradigms, Responsibility and the Origins of the US-PRC Confrontation in the 1950s", in The Journal of American-East Asian Relations, Spring 1994, 6.

18. Chen Jian, "The Myth of America's 'Lost Chance' in China", Diplomatic History, winter 1997, 86.

19. James Reardon-Anderson, Yenan and the Great Powers: The Origins of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy, 1944-1946 (1974), 109-127.

20. Michael H Hunt, The Genesis of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy (1996), 247-49.

21. Minutes of Mao's conversation with a Yugoslavian delegation, Beijing, Sept 1956, trans. in Cold War International History Project Bulletin: 6-7, 151.

22. Kenneth Young, Negotiating with the Chinese Communists (1968), 112-13

23. Steven Goldstein, in Robert Ross & Jiang Changbin eds., Re-examining the Cold War: US-China Diplomacy, 1954-1973 (2002), 213, 217.

24. In 1962 senior diplomat Wang Jiaxiang was castigated by Mao for arguing that Chinese foreign policy was in error. Looking back, Ambassador Wang Guoquan concluded that "we lost a favourable opportunity", Ross & Jiang, op. cit. 61-62, 193.

25. Henry Kissinger, The White House Years (1979), p.783