Monday, December 12, 2016

The China Lobby--Traces of History

In the 50's and 60's we had something called the "China Lobby", a group of politicians and lobbyists who had long supported the Chinese Nationalists, before and after their move to the island of Formosa (Taiwan).  They had influence, ensuring the US did not recognize the existence of Communist China.  They tended to be right wing Republicans, although not completely so, and had alliances with hard-liners opposing the USSR, seeing a monolithic communist conspiracy for world domination.

Then Nixon went to China, and recognized the regime.  The China Lobby was aghast--IIRC George Will and William Safire were outraged.  Over time the outrage has diminished, partially because the members of the lobby have died (Madame Chiang Kai-shek, a fascinating woman), partly the passage of time has dulled passions.  But there's always been a group which supports more arms to China and resists initiatives of opening to China.

With Trump's tweets and phone call with the Taiwan president I'm wondering whether the China Lobby is still exerting its influence.  We'll see.

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