Official attitudes toward China between 1945 and 1957 : the development of the non-recognition policy : thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University
This thesis examines how an official attitude of negativity was translated into the policy of non-recognition toward Communist China between 1945 and 1957. It argues that once established the non-recognition policy remained, essentially, a China policy imperative throughout the 12 year period under review. Therefore, with the policy approach fixed there was a need to explain why it was maintained. In order to demonstrate how the non-recognition policy was established and maintained a number of periods, or stages of development have been identified, each of these correspond to a chapter of the thesis. Within each stage certain events, issues, or themes have dictated the particular chronological parameters. The first encompasses the years 1945 to 1948, and looks at New Zealand's post-war perceptions and attitudes toward China. Another covers 1949 through until 1951, it is in this time frame that the non-recognition policy is established and subsequently maintained by the new National Government. After these two key stages the decision to postpone recognition then became fixed, despite the inclinations of some in official circles to reconsider the non-recognition policy. How the non-recognition policy was established and maintained is explained by reference to a series of major categories of influence. In the main all of these categories occur throughout the length of the period under examination, some can be stressed more than others, while certain influences are more important in some stages than in others. These categories of influence include: the role of personalities as policy determinants, the importance of events, the influence of allies, the lack of direct New Zealand interests in China, questions of approach like 'dialogue versus isolation' or 'appeasement versus standing up to aggression', and perceptions of a divisible versus monolithic Communism.