a1 Gesamthochschule Kassel, West Germany
When in August 1933 the German Minister to China, Dr Oskar P. Trautmann, reported to Berlin, ‘daβ die Völkerbundsmelodie politisch hier ausgespielt hat’, he had jumped to a conclusion too soon. When two years later the Journal Round Table commented, ‘to-day the League of Nations is no longer a political factor in the Far East’, this assessment was vindicated by evidence of every description. The two years between had witnessed the peak and decline of the League of Nation's ‘technical co-operation’ with the National Government of China. This episode plays its part as one of the major accomplishments of the League during the dismal second decade of its existence. It figures, however, only marginally in the history of twentieth-century China. Western works on modern Chinese history tend to neglect it altogether, and the most comprehensive scholarly treatment of China's foreign relations during the Republican period does not even deem it worth a reference in passing. On the other hand, the one authoritative textbook on modern Chinese economic history published in the People's Republic of China devotes ample space to the denunciation of the League's Chinese enterprise.