The cult of Madame Chiang

Chiang Kai-shek used his wife Soong Mei-ling, as an important part of his attempts to reach out to the Americans and encourage them to see China as a modern nation worthy of their aid in the war with the Japanese.

One excellent example of her image comes from the New York Times. Sept 2, 1937. A un-named Western scribe was brought into the office of Madame Chiang “the chief of China’s air force” (which she was not, although she was the head of one of the aviation committees). Needless to say, her office reflected “both her American college education and her Chinese military training.” She had not only a portable typewriter and two machine guns taken from a Japanese plane, but also a portrait of Jesus and a box of American chocolates.

“Heedless of danger, she watches every Japanese air raid on the capital from an observation post in the open air. Frequently she directs the city’s anti-aircraft defense. Her orders send fleet pursuit ships aloft to harry Japanese bombers.” Of course, in the evening she retires for a half-hour of prayer with her husband.

It’s not a tremendously important article, but it is a nice little example of Chinese propaganda’s presentation of Madame as a Christian Action Girl


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