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The Last Empress of China

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前の投稿 - 次の投稿 | 親投稿 - 子投稿なし | 投稿日時 2023-3-20 13:14
xysoom  長老   投稿数: 2350
The Last Empress of China



Throughout the course of history, people’s prejudices towards female talents are deep-rooted that women’s power is constantly being neglected and underestimated amidst the international context of severe gender inequality. Yet, there are still many women who displayed ferocious determination to pursue the values and causes they upheld, embarking on epic struggles for their country and for the world. Soong Mei-Ling, one of the most pivotal Chinese politicians and diplomats in modern history, is one of such formidable female characters. As the wife of Chiang Kai-shek, the president of Nationalist China, she wielded immense influence over the China’s sociopolitical constructions and diplomatic affairs, while her legendary efforts in bringing American financial supports in fighting against the Japanese invasion of China during WWII made her renowned worldwide.To get more news about empress wanrong, you can visit shine news official website.

Born in one of the modern China’s most remarkable families, the Soongs, who dominated the Chinese politics and finance in the first half of the 20th century, Soong Mei-ling was cultivated to be versatile in music, painting, and writing at a young age (Faison 2003). She enjoyed the privilege of studying abroad in the Wellesley College in the United States for many years. Her western education and experiences in U.S. helped her master six foreign languages, including English, while introduced her with western ideologies. After gaining her degree, Soong Mei-Ling later returned to mainland China and started to devote herself in the Chinese political area, where she later married to Chiang Kai-shek and became the First Lady of China. Her extraordinary political and diplomatic wits and capabilities allowed her to perform remarkably in domestic affairs on the side of her husband, thus gaining many supports and popularities. When the Second World War broke out and Fascist Japanese’s attack on China started in 1939, Soong Mei-Ling again played a fundamental role in remaking American foreign policy towards China while bringing in American financial and military supports during the war years.

In 1943, under the excuse of treating her disease, Soong Mei-Ling left Chongqing and embarked on the journey to the United States where she received warm reception from U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt. The goal of her trip was to change American’s attitudes on treating China and to persuade American policymakers in providing economic assistances to China’s contributions in WWII. She delivered a historic speech in front of a joint session of Congress in Washington, thus becoming the first Chinese and the second woman in history to do so (Tiezzi 2015). Before her audiences, she reminded the people that by February 1943, after the United States had joined in the war, China had “bled and borne unflinchingly the burden of war for more than five and a half years” through “our united effort to free mankind from brutality and violence” (Tiezzi 2015). She thus appealed to the American people that even though the U.S. was preoccupied with the European and Japanese fronts, it should not forget to “Free China” against Japan (Gittings 2003).

After winning reputation from the Congress speech, Soong Mei-ling later went to many other places in America to make speeches. Speaking with fluent English with a Southern accent, and being a Christian, Soong Mei-Ling quickly won popularity among her American listeners because of her civilized and humane public image. For many Americans, she was the very symbol of the modern, educated, and pro-American China which they wished to see (Faison 2003). Her 1943 Congress speech proved to be a massive success when she impressed headline writers and many politicians with her personal charm, passion, and determination. Public attitudes towards China shifted dramatically in 1943 during which many people expressed their sympathy and appealed the government to support China as quickly as possible. The Newsweek also described that the effect of Soong’s speech was enchanting, and Soong Mei-Ling even appeared on the cover of TIMES magazine twice. Mei-ling’s public speeches generated significant repercussions. There was a mass rally in Madison Square Garden, and a six-week tour of the country, which helped galvanize money and donors from many cities in America in support for Chinese war against Japan (Gittings 2003). Despite the amount of U.S. financial and military assistance was still incomparable to its supports on the European side, Soong Mei-ling’s journey to American represented a major success. It transformed the public image of China in Americans’ minds and significantly elevated the Sino-American relationship.

However, the situation was totally different when Soong Mei-ling embarked on a second trip to the United in 1948, trying to galvanize American economic supports when Kuomintang lost 400 thousand soldiers in Northwest China during the civil war against the Communist Party. In 1947, under Kuomintang’s rule, the political and economic situations in China deteriorated quickly, while the public transports, industrial activities, and social order were in tremendous chaos. In many battlefields across China, Kuomintang suffered from major defeats. Facing the potential Nationalist failure, Soong Mei-ling decided to travel to the U.S. again on November 28, 1948. Contrary to her expectation, the American government under President Truman administration displayed no passion in welcoming her and her team. She had to wait for 10 days until President Truman was available to meet her, and their conversation was unpromising as Truman was unwilling to endlessly support a regime without prospects (Xiaochun 2019). Considering the fact that the American supports to Nationalist China had already reached 4 billion dollars, Truman stated that was the maximum amount of assistance US could provide. In fact, Soong Mei-ling had fully understood the American attitude before her departure, but her brave attempt trying to save Nationalist China still demonstrated her patriotism and enormous courage.

Soong Mei-ling is an outstanding politician, diplomat, and national leader. Yet even behind her glorious moments, there were still unspeakable tragic times during which she made many struggles and suffered from controversies. Her contributions to the Chinese society were undiminished, and her reputation spread to the entire world. Charlie Campbell praised her that “no woman in the West holds so great a position as Mme Chiang Kai-shek holds in China” (TIMES 2020). Soong Mei-ling’s spirits of persistence, courage, and determination continue to empower all women and to influence the next generations.
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