China and the Origins of the Pacific War, 1931-1941
Following the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Chinese government spent a decade attempting to promote an international coalition against Tokyo. The rationale for this policy was that as Japan's attempts to establish hegemony over East Asia inevitably threatened British, American, and Soviet interests, it could only be a matter of time before these powers recognized the need to intervene in direct support of China. That this assessment ultimately proved correct offered little comfort to the Chinese until 1941, but in this valuable and original new book Dr. Youli Sun argues that this is the key to an understanding of Chinese policy. China's appeal to the League of Nations, the secret approaches to the Soviet Union, the decision for War in 1937, and the subsequent informal understandings with the Soviet Union and the Anglo-American powers, all followed a consistent thread. The persistence of Chinese diplomacy and the continuation of war against Japan was, in the final analysis, critically important in preventing a possible American-Japanese accommodation and thus was a vital factor in the outbreak of the Pacific War.