News as a weapon: Hollington tong and the formation of the Guomindang centralized foreign propaganda system, 1937-1938

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article examines the process of the centralization of the Guomindang (GMD) foreign propaganda system during 1937 and 1938. The US-trained journalist Hollington Tong was the key person linking Chiang Kai-shek with the English-language press cohort. Based on his personal news network in the treaty ports, Tong extended the government's propaganda network in the United States and Britain. He professionalized the propaganda institution and pursued a "hands off policy," co-opting foreign journalists by offering them substantial assistance. This article challenges the perceived passivity of China's foreign propaganda activities and argues that foreign propaganda was an important war strategy for the GMD government after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War. Factionalism played an important role in expediting the centralization process. It was Chiang's patronage that allowed Tong, a new member of the GMD, to lead the foreign propaganda system and pursue a liberal censorship policy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-143
    JournalTwentieth-Century China
    Volume39
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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