Front cover of China Defence League report ‘In Guerilla China‘
Included in the August issue of our national newsletter was a scanned copy of the General Report on the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives written by Rewi Alley in May 1939. Documents like this give us an opportunity to understand the reasons why the New Zealand China Friendship Society was formed, and the principles that drove its founders and early supporters.
In this issue of our national newsletter we present a scanned copy of another historical document (pdf), this time a report from the China Defence League called In Guerilla China. The report covers the work of the League over the period 1940-43 in supporting the war of resistance in the border regions of China, especially in the northwest.
As stated in the report’s Purpose, the China Defence League ‘was organized shortly after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War to give aid where the needs were greatest and to help projects not receiving assistance from other sources.’ Prior to the establishment of the New Zealand China Friendship Society in 1952, New Zealanders were already supporting the work of the League, donating money for ‘medical projects, cooperative drug production, children’s work, and refugee famine relief.’
The report was produced at the request of the Chair of the China Defence League, Mme Sun Yat-sen (Soong Qingling) and published in Sydney. In something of an understatement, a postscript to the report explains that ‘because of wartime technical difficulties and mailing problems, publication in China was not feasible.’
Thanks to Neale Towart from Unions NSW for sharing this document.