Letter: Best results for China and the Chinese

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Sir: I would recommend to James Fenton ('Sir David, the Chief Useful Idiot to China', 5 April), a similar situation in the years 1946-50 when the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, through the Chinese National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, supported four major projects for the economic recovery of China. Authority resided with the associates or advisers recruited from North America and the Commonwealth who, in three of the projects, proceeded to show the Chinese how things should be done. This was,

of course, the American way since anything else was lost in Europe's rubble.

The fourth, though of similar ethnic composition, chose to consider what might be best for China and the Chinese. This was the brain child of Henry Wallace, Franklin D. Roosevelt's former agriculture secretary. The project's chief executive was persuaded by the Generalissimo, Chiang Kai-shek, to divest his British uniform and miltary rank and to accept Chinese citizenship. Some quipped that he was more Chinese than the Chinese, but his closest colleague added that there was a significant difference: results.

In 1950 three of the projects were liquidated immediately on the change of regime. One survived and flourishes to this day, for the benefit of China and the Chinese.

Yous etc,


Broom, Bedfordshire