POL326Y1 Lecture 18: USFP East Asia Lecture

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26 Aug 2019
USFP Towards East Asia
The US became more active in the pacific region as it completed its occupation there; viewed itself as
ideally situated in expanding its empire there
Encouraged missionaries to convert others there into Christians
o The US had two dominant relations with China and Japan
o Missionaries had very little success in converting Chinese to Christians
o Notable exceptions: Charlie Tom
Converted himself and family to Christianity; became a key figure in establishing relations
between US and China in a distorted way
One of the Tong Sisters was espoused with Chang Kai-Shek (leader of the KMT)
KMT and Maoism
The KMT and Chinese nationalists became important during WWII
o Seen as the main means of defeating Japanese colonialism; Chang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong helps
o Maoism today is seen as a revolutionary movement by peasants
o US supported KMTs and attacked Maoist forces
o By the time of the Chinese revolution, US had no relationship with China though Zedong viewed
American relationship with China as harmonious
The rise of Mao Zedong was a threat to the Americans, since it threatened Taiwan
o The golden triangle shifted from Chinese markets to American markets wasn’t surprising
o Slow opening to China under Nixon admin
This negative relationship between US and China could’ve been avoided if the Americans
understood the history of China
Communism throughout the Cold War was the only lens through which the US viewed Asia
o It became important to contain communist influence
o The US looked at a region that can be best protected from communism through vast reconstruction
o In the aftermath of WWII, Japan accepts 3 deals
First: Japan would accept its subordination to Western alliance; US would provide it security
in return for Japan not expanding its military;
Second: the US would agree to economic development of Japan based on providing japan
easy access to American markets
Third: japan must accept that its external policies are never at the expense of the US; it’s a
semi-sovereign foreign policy
It could pursue its own foreign policies up to a point where they contradict the interests of the United
States; what emerged was a hub and spokes system (Victor Cha)
o The alliance system emerged overtime as actors became more relevant
o Cha: the hub and spokes system because of the deep distrust system between its members (ex.
South Korea and Japan)
o Such deep distrust made Japan and its neighbors more impossible
The One China policy recognized only one government, not Taiwan’s
o When Nixon recognized China, it had implications
Taiwan was removed from the UNSC, replaced by China; Taiwan is a recipient of American
arms with regards to defense
The perception of America was the rapid development and industrialization of Taiwan and
South Korea on the basis of providing benefits to America
China, Taiwan and Japan emerged as Asian tigers: countries quickly industrialized and
became successful players in the global economy
Guatemala and Cuba had communist threats though they were easily contained
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