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Nick Thulin

Geog 195.11

“Political Implications of the Dixie Mission,” Nicholas Thulin.

PSC 171-10 (Chinese Politics), George Washington University, Spring


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence of the

United States’ Dixie Mission to China during World War II. The paper
addresses questions of the mission’s strategic successes and failures
after 50 years of relations with both Communist China and Taiwan, and
policies developed from this mission are explored in depth to analyze
whether the mission accomplished its intended military and diplomatic
goals. China’s internal civil war reheated as Japanese forces were
pushed out of the country at the close of World War II. The political
split forced the United States to support Chiang Kai Shek’s Republic
while commencing a top-secret mission to cultivate ties with Mao
Zedong’s Communist government.
Various reports from NSR Archives detail the evolution of engagement
with Mao’s Communist army through the diplomatic Dixie Mission to
Mainland China, and official letters sent between Presidents Franklin
Roosevelt and Truman to Mao’s Communist army are used to analyse
four years of (mostly secret) US diplomatic engagement. The mission’s
outcome encouraged the US government to expand ties with the
Chinese régime, as they were the healthier of the two armies and were
chosen as the eventual victor over Chiang Kai Shek’s army. However,
public opinion feared the spread of Communism around the world, and
this domestic fear influence foreign relations with China, negating the
Dixie Mission’s recommendations. While the Dixie Mission failed to
extend diplomatic relations with Mainland China, diplomats utilized the
mission’s lessons to rebuild relations with China in the late 20th

Key words: China, Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai Shek, United States
Government, World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US
Military, Communism.