In United States politics, the China lobby is a pejorative phrase to describe special interest groups acting on behalf of the governments of either the People's Republic of China or the Republic of China to influence Sino-American relations. During most of the twentieth century, the term "China lobby" was used most often to refer to special interest groups acting on behalf of the Republic of China (ROC). Before American recognition of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1979, the PRC lobby was practically nonexistent; since that time, the PRC lobby has gradually strengthened, and by the 1990s, "China lobby" began usually referring to special interest groups acting on behalf of the PRC.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War (which took place simultaneously with World War II), the China lobby helped convince Congress to donate billions of dollars of hard cash and many tons of war material in support of Chiang Kai-shek's war against the Japanese in China and Indochina even before formal American entrance into the Second World War following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Cold War period
During the 1970s, the China (ROC) lobby campaigned furiously to prevent American recognition of the People's Republic of China, but its efforts proved to be unsuccessful and the PRC was recognized by the United States in 1979.
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the PRC lobby has focused on playing up common interests with the United States in the War on Terrorism. The PRC lobby has also tried to counter the domestic American interest groups which seek to bring pressure upon the PRC to move from a fixed currency to a floating currency.
Meanwhile, the new pro-Democratic Progressive Party ROC lobby has sought to counter the erosion of support for greater diplomatic recognition of the ROC.
- Bachrack, Stanley D. The Committee of One Million: "China Lobby" Politics, 1953-1971. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.
- Davis, Forrest, and Robert A. Hunter. The Red China Lobby. New York: Fleet, 1963.
- Keeley, Joseph Charles. The China Lobby Man: The Story of Alfred Kohlberg. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969.
- Koen, Ross Y., and edited with an Introduction by Richard C. Kagan. The China Lobby in American Politics. Originally (New York: Macmillan, 1960, withdrawn). ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.
- Warren Cohen, "The China Lobby." Encyclopedia of American foreign policy: studies of the principal movements and ideas 1 (1978): 104.