Sino-American Treaty of 1946

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sino-American Treaty of 1946


a friendship, commerce, and navigation treaty signed by the United States and the Chiang Kai-shek government on Nov. 4, 1946, in Nanking. For China it was, in actuality, an inequitable agreement. The purpose of the treaty was to strengthen and expand the dominant position of American capital in the semicolonial China of old. Under the treaty the Americans obtained the right to reside or travel anywhere in Chinese territory and to “engage without hindrance in commercial, industrial, scholarly, educational, religious, and philanthropic work” (art. 2); the right of US monopolies to set up subsidiary companies in China and to invest without limit in Chinese businesses (arts. 3–4); the right to prospect for and exploit Chinese mineral resources (art. 5); a guarantee of immunity for US citizens and their property on Chinese territory (arts. 6–7); the right to purchase and own real estate and land (art. 8); the right to import and export freely (arts. 16–18), and so forth.

The treaty gave American citizens and monopolies all the rights enjoyed by Chinese citizens and corporations and demagogically proclaimed equal rights for Chinese in their economic dealings in the United States. Of course, it was impossible for Kuomintang China to exercise these rights because of its economic weakness. The treaty was to cover a five-year period. However, if neither party expressed the intention to terminate the treaty one year before its expiration, it would remain in force until one of the parties announced its intention to terminate, in which case the treaty ceased to be binding in one year (art. 30). Along with this treaty, the United States and the Kuomintang concluded more than ten agreements whereby the Chiang Kai-shek government conceded Chinese sovereign rights in various fields to the American imperialists. Such agreements included those of Aug. 30 and Dec. 20, 1946, on aviation; that of Oct. 8, 1946, on police cooperation; that of Sept. 3, 1947, on the maintenance of American troops on Chinese territory; those of Oct. 27, 1947, and July 3, 1948, on “economic aid”; and that of Dec. 8, 1947, on the navy. The victory of the people’s revolution and the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 led to the cancellation of the one-sided treaties and agreements that had been imposed on China.


Astaf’ev, G. V. Interventsiia SShA v Kitae i ee porazhenie (1945–1949 gg.). Moscow, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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