« previous chapter | next chapter »

The Alter Ego of China

Westernized Chinese Intellectuals and the Building of Chiang’s Image in Wartime West

Laura De Giorgi    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Since 1927 raising a positive perception of Chiang in foreign public opinion was one of the goals of the Guomindang's propaganda machine. During the war of resistance against Japan and the second world war that the plan to project Chiang's international image as that of the predestined, capable leader of a resurgent China assumed a global dimension. Westernized Chinese intellectuals engaged in diplomatic and cultural work in China and in the West were mobilized to this end. One outcome of their efforts was the publication of some biographies of the Chiang Kai-shek in foreign languages, with the aim of improving the knowledge and understanding of the Chinese leader's personality and historical role. This article puts these works in the context of Guomindang war propaganda, but also investigates how, while presenting the generalissimo as the personification of the new modern, national identity of the Chinese Republic, they also reflected a broader cultural agenda of the Guomindang, willing to shape Western discourse on China's civilization and place in world history and culture. 

Dec. 7, 2016

Keywords: Biographical literatureChiang Kai-shekChinese intellectualsInternational propaganda

Copyright: © 2017 Laura De Giorgi. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.