The Chinese Civil War and U.S.-China Relations: Records of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Chinese Affairs, 1945-1955

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After World War II ended, mainland Chinese politics disintegrated into civil war between the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China. Gen. Douglas MacArthur directed the military forces under Chiang Kai-shek to accept the surrender of Japanese troops, beginning the military occupation of the island. Gen. George C. Marshall tried to broker a truce in 1946, but the Nationalist cause went steadily downhill until 1949, when the Communists emerged victorious and drove the Nationalists from the mainland.

As the People’s Liberation Army moved south to complete the Communist conquest of mainland China, the American embassy followed the Chiang-headed ROC government to Taipei later that year. U.S. consular officials remained in China. However, the new Communist government was hostile to this American presence, and all U.S. personnel were withdrawn in early 1950.

From diplomatic listening posts in Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo, the U.S. was able to maintain surveillance on Communist China. This collection includes the records communicated to the State Department by diplomatic personnel at first on mainland China and later from these diplomatic posts.

The U.S. State Department’s Office of Chinese Affairs, charged with operational control of American policy toward China, amassed information on virtually all aspects of life there immediately before, during and after the revolution. Recently declassified by the State Department, "Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs, 1945-1955" provide valuable insight into domestic issues in Communist and Nationalist China, U.S. containment policy as it was extended to Asia, and Sino-American relations during the postwar period. This collection comprises all 41 reels of the former Scholarly Resources microfilm product entitled Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs, 1945-1955.

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Archives Unbound Series

Introducing Archives Unbound -- a vast new resource that combines the best of legacy microfilms from Gale and Primary Source Media and new, never-before-filmed collections. Specifically developed to address the needs of individual scholars, universities, and organizations, Archives Unbound is unique not only for its expansive, multi-disciplinary content but also for the distinct new intuitive search platform by which it is accessed.

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"The content of Archives Unbound makes it an excellent resource for students doing research in political science, history, or ethnic studies, as well as multidisciplinary research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers." --Choice, March 2011 

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