China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
In the mid-to-late 1930s, one of the most prominent transnational mobilization efforts among Chinese occurred in the pages of the Jiuguo shibao. A weekly newspaper edited in Moscow and published in Paris and New York, Jiuguo shibao (titled Au secours de la patrie in French) was ostensibly an organ of the Chinese Communist Party. Although it was established in 1935 as a channel to communicate CCP agendas, the newspaper quickly became a forum for a more diverse discourse on national salvation against Japanese aggression as well as a link between disparate left-wing and “third force” activists in China and abroad. While Jiuguo shibao routinely published columns by leading Chinese Communists, it also printed editorial pieces and speeches by dissenting Guomindang leaders and generals who were critical of Chiang Kai-shek's appeasement policies toward Japan. That it was produced and distributed through transnational networks from the Soviet Union to France, the United States, and Hong Kong also allowed the newspaper to involve many overseas Chinese students, laborers, intellectuals, and artists. At the same time, it adopted a cosmopolitan stance by covering European anti-fascist movements such as the International Peace Campaign and the Spanish Civil War. By examining the 152 issues of the journal, in addition to archival sources, memoirs and correspondence, this paper argues that, mirroring and responding to the formation of popular fronts in mid-1930s Europe, Jiuguo shibao played a key role in the emergence of a transnational Chinese united front against fascism in the early years of the Sino-Japanese War.