Marshall Mission
USINFO | 2014-09-04 17:42


From 1945 to 47, Marshall Mission to China tries and fails to force coalition government of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists and Mao Zedong's Communists.

The Marshall Mission (December 20, 1945 – January 1947) was a failed diplomatic mission undertaken by United States Army General George C. Marshall to China in an attempt to negotiate the Communist Party of China and the Nationalists (Kuomintang) into a unified government.

Historical background
The end of the Second World War on 15 August 1945, also represented the conclusion of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Throughout the length of the war an uneasy stalemate had existed between the Chinese Communists (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalists (KMT), while prior to the war, both parties had been in open conflict with each other. American attempts during the Second World War to end the off and on again civil war between the two factions had failed, notably with the Hurley Mission. Throughout the war, both the CCP and the KMT had accused the other of withholding men and arms against the Japanese in preparation for offensive actions against the other. Thus, in a desperate attempt to keep the country whole, President Harry S. Truman in late 1945 sent General George Marshall as his special presidential envoy to China to negotiate a unity government.

Marshall Arrives in China
Marshall arrived in China on December 20, 1945. His goal was to unify the Nationalists and Communists with the hope that a strong, non-Communist China, would act as a bulwark against the encroachment of the Soviet Union. Immediately, Marshall drew both sides into negotiations which would last for nearly two years. Significant agreements failed to appear, as both sides used the time to further prepare themselves for the ensuing conflict. Finally, in February 1947, exasperated with the failure of the negotiations, Marshall left China.

The failure of the Marshall Mission signaled the renewal of the Chinese Civil War. George Marshall returned to the United States and committed himself to the revitalization of Europe with the Marshall Plan in the role of United States Secretary of State. By 1949, the Kuomintang was driven from the Chinese mainland into Taiwan by a victorious Communist Party, which established thePeople's Republic of China.


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