Was China ours to lose? Were scapegoats like Owen Lattimore to blame? Or much bigger players like George Marshall?

Who lost the Chinese Communists to the Soviets?

How can you lose what is not yours in the first place?

Perhaps it was “Peanut,” Joe Stilwell’s nickname for the Generalissimo, who lost China. As they say in sports and in politics, the game was his to lose.

“Although Chiang was successful in removing Stilwell, the public relations damage suffered by hisKuomintang regime was irreparable. Right before Stilwell’s departure, New York Times drama critic-turned-war correspondent Brooks Atkinson interviewed him in Chungking and wrote: “The decision to relieve General Stilwell represents the political triumph of a moribund, anti-democratic regime that is more concerned with maintaining its political supremacy than in driving the Japanese out of China. The Chinese Communists… have good armies that they are claiming to be fighting guerrilla warfare against the Japanese in North China—actually they are covertly or even overtly building themselves up to fight Generalissimo’s government forces… TheGeneralissimo naturally regards these armies as the chief threat to the country and his supremacy… has seen no need to make sincere attempt to arrange at least a truce with them for the duration of the war… No diplomatic genius could have overcome the Generalissimo’s basic unwillingness to risk his armies in battle with the Japanese.”[69] Atkinson, who had visited Mao inYenan, saw the Communist Chinese forces as a democratic movement (after Atkinson visited Mao, his article on his visit was titled Yenan: A Chinese Wonderland City), and the Nationalists in turn as hopelessly reactionary and corrupt; this view represented that of many of the U.S. press corps in China at the time.[70] The negative image of the Kuomintang in America played a significant factor in Harry Truman‘s decision to end all U.S. aid to Chiang at the height of theChinese civil war, a war that resulted in the communist revolution in China and Chiang’s retreat to Taiwan.”


“On June 14, 1951, as the Korean War stalemated in heavy fighting between American and Chinese forces, Republican Senator Joe McCarthy attacked. He charged that Marshall was directly responsible for the “loss of China,” as China turned from friend to enemy.[2] McCarthy said the only way to explain why the U.S. “fell from our position as the most powerful Nation on earth at the end of World War II to a position of declared weakness by our leadership” was because of “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.”[3] McCarthy argued that General Albert Coady Wedemeyer had prepared a wise plan that would keep China a valued ally, but that it had been sabotaged; “only in treason can we find why evil genius thwarted and frustrated it. [4] ”