The Great Power Struggle in East Asia, 1944–50: Britain, - download pdf or read online

By Christopher Baxter (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230246788

ISBN-13: 9780230246782

ISBN-10: 1349300950

ISBN-13: 9781349300952

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28 As one intelligence historian has remarked, SOE resembled ‘empire trade in khaki’: its head in the Far East, for example, was Colin Mackenzie, a director of J. & P. , which had large regional textile interests. Throughout the war, the Foreign Office remained wary of SOE but the Colonial Office thought its sister department worried too much about the American anti-colonialist stance and encouraged the organisation, especially in its activities directed towards re-establishing the British position in Hong Kong.

10 It was not a sound foundation for conversing seriously with State Department and they were justified in telling the Foreign Office that it was ‘hardly worth talking’ as British post-war planning was so far behind their own. 12 Post-war planning on both sides of the Atlantic suffered from the fact that Anglo-American leaders were engrossed in trying to win the war, which made it difficult to elicit any clear views on the future. 14 Ismay similarly presumed that committees analysing how to win the peace, and thereafter organising the British Commonwealth, Europe and the world, were dealing with problems ‘so nebulous and complicated as to be almost insoluble’.

With the financial aid agreement of May 1944, Britain had already provided the Nationalist Chinese with a credit of £50 million, and Sterndale Bennett lobbied for its continuation after the war. Britain could also offer technical assistance and military training. It was hoped these policies would debunk the myth that the British were working against the US goal of building ‘a strong, stable and friendly’ China. 32 Wartime Post-War Planning 33 The memorandum instantly fell flat. The Treasury made it clear that there was ‘no hope at all’ of continuing the financial aid agreement after the war.

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The Great Power Struggle in East Asia, 1944–50: Britain, America and Post-War Rivalry by Christopher Baxter (auth.)


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