Research on the origin of the shift of the U.S. Wilson administration’s policy towards China

Sep. 20,2019
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With the outbreak of the Revolution of 1911, the powers renewed their alliance in the form of a six-power banking consortium and tied the issue of diplomatic recognition of the Republican government to acceptance of loan by the Chinese government, seizing the opportunity to expand their interests. Squeezed out by the British and Japanese, the United States lost its say in the powers’ “dollar diplomacy” with China. The establishment of the Republic of China sparked the enthusiasm of American Christians for the Christianization of China. American missionaries to China and the U.S. political and economic circles worked up public opinion, denouncing the Taft administration’s complicity with the great powers and its opportunistic profiting from Chinese disarray as “un-American” and urging the U.S. government to recognize the Republic of China as early as possible in attacks used by the Democratic Party to win the next general election. Wilson had close ties with religious circles. As president, he abandoned America’s offensive and defensive alliance with the great powers on the issue of recognition and withdrew from the bank consortium, launching unilateral diplomacy. Republican diplomats acted as go-betweens in rallying the faithful. When the Wilson administration’s China policy encountered obstacles, a “prayer strategy” was launched that called for Christians to pray for the Republic of China, providing them with further inspiration and encouraging the government to recognize the Republic of China. The Wilson administration once again gained the diplomatic initiative in China, opening up a new pattern in the pre-war special relationship of the two countries.

Corresponding Author: MA Jianbiao
CNKI Press Officer: ZHONG Ming

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