After covering World War II in the Pacific, Richard Cushing went to China in 1945 to open the Associated Press bureau in Shanghai. He remained for just over a year, covering a wide range of stories about China's reconstruction after the Japanese occupation.
Letters sent to his wife (nothing that could be published in 1945)
Hankow, China, October 21, 1945:
“…Shanghai is short of coal also, but the situation here is really critical. My ride up from Peking and down here was largely to cover the transportation by U.S. planes of about 60,000 Chinese nationalist troops, and the army boys are certainly boiling mad – and rightly so – at doing the job. The troops are being moved up there because of the “communist menace” around Peking, and if this isn’t messing in the internal affairs of China I don’t know what is. The political situation here is quite precarious and unclear in many respects, but I’ve come to realize what a phony deal is going on with Chiang Kai-Shek at the helm. Lend-lease from the U.S. is going into a few rich pockets; the poor people benefit not a whit from all the lend-lease that’s come into China. The so-called communist movement is mis-named, for there is very little “communistic” about it; Communism is totally different – a move by the industrial masses to better their conditions – whereas in China this is an agrarian reform movement, nothing more; and believe me China really needs agrarian reform!”
“…Most newsmen out here who know the situation say Chiang never could win a popular election and if it weren’t for the material and moral support of the U.S. he would be out on his ear.”
“Here’s what the U.S. commanding general told his staff recently (top secret): Wedemeyer told staff meeting this morning: “We have a job to do in China and we’re going to stay here until we do it. And we’re going to do the job even if it means resorting to offensive warfare.”