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Japanese–Chinese–Soviet Rivalries in East Asia (1930–1950): The China Front in World War II and the Cold War

Dr Sarah Paine
Wednesday 4 June 2008
5.30 pm
Conference Room, free

Although books on World War II fill library stacks, virtually all English-language accounts discount the role of China. American books portray the victory over Japan as an American victory even though China held down over one million Japanese soldiers who would otherwise have been deployed against the Allies. Western books also ignore Soviet activities in Asia as if Soviet leaders were not interested in the Sino–Japanese war raging on their border. In fact, the Soviets were deeply involved in China and the Japanese were acutely aware of this involvement. Complicated Japanese–Chinese– Soviet relations produced bitter fighting in the mid twentieth century, a united Communist China in 1949, and a balance of power that we are still living with today. This presentation is based on a decade of research incorporating Japanese, Chinese, Russian and English sources.

Sarah Paine is a professor of strategy and policy at the United States Naval War College. She holds a PhD in Russian and Chinese history from Columbia University.