Pursuing ideologically homogeneous China: cartoons and the early Red Scare in China, 1924-1925
The formation of the KMT-CPC Alliance, and the formal establishment of Sino-Soviet relationship strengthened communist propaganda and influence in China in the early 1920’s. Such developments greatly concerned foreigners as well as some of Chinese in Shanghai and beyond. They feared the slogans, and the upcoming changes caused by the emergence of the hostile Bolshevik ideology. The paper shows how the visual propaganda was trying to counter and minimize the growing power of the radical propaganda. It reveals the methods, aims, and the main themes of the early Red Scare in China. For this purpose, reactions to the Sino-Soviet negotiations of 1924, and the May 30th Movement will be shown. The propaganda also provided miscellaneous cartoons to offer an entertainment and to avoid platitudes. It simultaneously linked the Red Scare with events on communism outside of China. I argue that Red Scare in the foreign press in Shanghai was an organized, consistent, and a thoughtful effort. It responded to the perceived communist threat and targeted both foreigners and Chinese elite, which often indirectly responded to the same notions that were carried by the cartoons. It employed stereotypization and dehumanization of communists to impact the cognition of the foe ideology, and to control the discourse among both foreigners and cosmopolitan Chinese. I reason that Red Scare consisted of two constantly overlapping phases, i.e. Red Farce (contemptuous prejudice) and Red Menace (envious bias), which inspired the ideological scapegoating.