In the March 31, 1947, issue of Christianity and Crisis, Professor Michael Lindsay’s article, “Is a Settlement in China Possible?” once again is an indication of the oft-repeated statement that a case for any point of view on China can be made by piling enough selective evidence.
After twenty-five years in West China as a Y.M.C.A. Secretary and teacher of Modern History (Current Events) in the Chengtu Provincial University, as well as many years acting as A.P. Correspondent, I have watched the rise of Communism from the coming of “Comrade” Borodin from Moscow to China in 1920, and know something of its deleterious influence while it has eventuated in an armed opposition party which no modern Free State could tolerate in the Western World. As Edgar Mowrer recently stated, “What was a virtue in Abraham Lincoln cannot be a vice in Chiang Kai-Shek.”
It is easy for Professor Lindsay to state “Chiang Kai-Shek’s sympathies are clearly with the right-wing but that does not tell half the story. There is no mention of the fact that throughout the war in Chungking, Chiang permitted the publishing of a Communist newspaper, and was always on friendly terms with the Communist leader, Chao En-Lai, who had freedom of access and exit at all times. Also, after Mao Tze-Tung, the No. 1 Communist leader, sat in for six weeks with Chiang Kai-Shek in Chungking, he stated: “70% of our problems are settled, and we can dispose of the rest by friendly negotiation,” but the view was not accepted by his confreres and Russian advisors at Yenan.
Professor Searle Bates, of Nanking University, in your issue of October 28th, probably makes a better case when he states : “As Communist demands have been sharply raised and varied, these men [Chinese and American friends committed to a compromise] have insisted that the government must accept them promptly and completely or be responsible for war.”
Professor Lindsay heaps his scorn on “Government Secret Police,” but says not a word about Communist Secret Police, concentration camps, and summary methods of liquidation. Dr. Lin Yu-Tang and Dr. Walter Judd have reported these fully in their writings.
So many of our Western “Innocents Abroad” whitewash all the Communist faults and smear Chiang Kai-Shek and other leaders who carry heavy responsibility. One does not have to condone the victims of the reactionaries in the government to make a fair appraisal of Chiang Kai-Shek. Dr. Leighton Stuart, our new American Ambassador, as reported by our press, coming back to U.S.A. after three years in a Japanese concentration camp, said: “I have the highest admiration for Chiang Kai-Shek. It distresses me to hear ignorant perhaps malicious misunderstanding of him. He is kept in power by the Chinese people, not by any political machine. He is not a Dictator, but expresses the will of the people, and personifies what they want at this time. His permanence is due to the people, and their retention of him is a tribute to the people themselves.”
Dr. Van Dusen, in your Sept. 16th issue, is quite right when he says, “The Chinese Communists are committed to a single aim—domination of all China. ‘Peace’ with those who oppose them can never be more than an armed truce until the favorable moment to strike.” We have enough evidence from Europe, such as Yugo-Slavia, that this is the procedure of Chinese Communists who would not tolerate an opposition party if they were in power, and this is what they criticize in the National Government. If the Russians had not permitted them the use of vast stores of Japanese munitions, the civil war would probably have ended before this. If the Chinese Communists gain power in China, with one quarter of the human race, then the stage is well set for World War III.
It is very easy for Professor Lindsay to say, “The New Constitution is worse than the January agreements!” But it is precisely the January agreements that are included in the New Constitution, which the Communists refused to accept and again raised their ante of unreasonable demands.
Summing up, whether in Asia or Europe, it is clear that there are two conflicting ways of life; one based on Marxian Atheism and class warfare, the other based on Christianity with all our imperfections, but standing for Liberty and the “Four Freedoms.” We must face the issue, be objective, take our stand and express our convictions without hate or the spirit of revenge.