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Title:SACO: An ambivalent experience of Sino-American cooperation during World War II
Author(s):Shen, Yu
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Widenor, William C.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
History, United States
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:Entitled "SACO: An Ambivalent Experience of Sino-American Cooperation during World War II," the dissertation focuses on the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO) that was established during World War II. Jointly operated by the American military (mainly the U.S. Navy) and by a Chinese military intelligence agency (the secret police under Dai Li), SACO illustrated the difficulties Americans and Chinese (ostensibly allies) had in finding common ground.
Formed immediately after Pearl Harbor and endorsed by the highest authorities of both American and Chinese governments, SACO's pronounced goal was to fight the Japanese more effectively by joining the American and Chinese war efforts. However, opponents immediately charged that SACO was a partisan effort designed to assist Jiang Jieshi in his political struggles with his domestic rivals. Such accusations raised important questions about the underlying purposes as well as the conduct of America's China policy. Did the United States take sides in China's internal power struggle even though doing so might slow the aim of defeating the Japanese, or did the Nationalist government manipulate the Americans into serving its own selfish agenda? Did SACO represent a deviation from or an epitome of America's China policy? By focusing on SACO, this study examines the factors, both domestic and international, that complicated relations between China and the United States.
After the war, SACO's record was vastly distorted by both the Chinese Communists and the Nationalists in order to serve their separate political goals. The Cold War also affected America's remembrance of SACO. My study, which is based on extensive archival sources both in English and in Chinese as well as on numerous interviews, attempts to return SACO to its historical context. It measures SACO's actual and potential contributions to the Allied war effort. While my conclusion supports SACO's claim that it contributed to the defeat of the Japanese, I also find that the negative political ramifications of SACO's operations outweighed its positive war contributions.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Shen, Yu
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624495
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624495

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