“American Public Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics: The Genesis of the China Lobby in the United States, and how Missionaries Shifted American Foreign Policy between 1938 and 1941”

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Kristopher C. Erskine Southern Adventist University,

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The China Lobby in the United States attracted much scholarly attention after 1945, yet it found its footing in the late 1930s and played a critical role in re-shaping American public opinion prior to World War ii. Historians have devoted relatively little time to investigating this earlier period. The overwhelming majority of China’s lobbyists during these early years were American missionaries who the Chinese government often funded and managed. This article examines the role of two of those missionaries—Frank and Harry Price—and their American Committee for Non-Participation in Japanese Aggression. It relies on research in Taiwan, China, and in archives across the United States. The author also has interviewed members of the Price family, as well as former associates of Frank Price in the United States, Taiwan, and China. The evidence this article presents demonstrates that while difficult to quantify, the Price brothers played a crucial role in helping to re-shape American public opinion about China between 1938 and 1941.

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