Chinese nationalism and Italian fascism: a decade of political and economic cooperation (1928 – 1937)

Chinese nationalism and Italian fascism: a decade of political and economic cooperation (1928 – 1937)

ABSTRACT

This essay focuses on the relations between Italy and China in the early1930s, when Italian Fascism and Chinese Nationalism created a ten-year political and economic cooperation. Today, the historical archives allow a more complete reading of Italian foreign policy towards Asia and the Far East in that controversial historical period. When Italy strengthened political relations with Chiang Kai-shek in China, its government also committed to strategic ties with Japan, at the most critical moment of the relations between the two Asian nations. This research study presents unpublished evidences concerning those issues of diplomatic history and international relations.

Questo saggio analizza i rapporti tra Italia e Cina nei primi anni '30, quando il fascismo italiano e il nazionalismo cinese strinsero una cooperazione politica ed economica durata circa dieci anni. Oggi, gli archivi storici consentono una lettura più completa della politica estera italiana verso l'Asia e l'Estremo Oriente in quel controverso periodo storico. Quando l'Italia rafforzò le relazioni politiche con Chiang Kai-shek in Cina, il suo governo si impegnò anche in un strategico legame con il Giappone, nel momento più critico delle relazioni tra le due nazioni asiatiche. Questo lavoro di ricerca presenta documenti inediti riguardanti quelle vicende di storia diplomatica e relazioni internazionali.

At the end of the First World War, relations between the Kingdom of Italy and Republic of China remained confined in the context of economic interests of modest values. In Italy, only a few intellectuals and religious missionaries could in fact be considered experts in Chinese culture and language. Italy obtained, after the signing of the Boxers Protocol (7 September 1901), the concession of Tientsin, but only a small number of Italian residents lived permanently in the city, at that time occupied by the Western Powers. For a long time, it was a community standing in anonymity, with minimal involvement in the local business relations, in comparison with other international collectivities that with great opportunism and commitment had laid the foundations for a long-standing social and economic presence, contributing decisively to the beginnings of China’s industrialization.