The proclamation was the climax of years of battle between Mao’s communist forces and the regime of Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek, who had been supported with money and arms from the American government.
The loss of China, the largest nation in Asia, to communism was a severe blow to the United States, which was still reeling from the Soviet Union’s detonation of a nuclear device one month earlier.
State Department officials in President Harry S. Truman‘s administration tried to prepare the American public for the worst when they released a “white paper” in August 1949.
The report argued that Chiang’s regime was so corrupt, inefficient, and unpopular that no amount of U.S. aid could save it.
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