A Missions By-product of Restored China Relations

Some missions organizations envisioned benefits from the normalization of Chinese-American relations—they hoped new doors would open for evangelism to the mainland. But now, a number of missionary agencies stand to benefit in a monetary way: American missionary organizations whose properties were confiscated by the Communists in 1949 will receive $19.4 million in compensation. That figure represents about one-fourth of an $80.5 million total that the People’s Republic of China has agreed to pay to American claimants.

About one-fifth of the amount earmarked for religious organizations, or $3.5 million, will go to seven Roman Catholic orders. The remaining $15.9 million will be awarded to Protestant mission boards and to educational institutions they established.

The United States government has agreed to pay back an equal amount, roughly $81 million, to Chinese nationals whose property and assets in the United States were frozen in 1950, when the U.S. reacted against China’s involvement in the Korean War.

American claimants will be compensated at the rate of forty-one cents on the dollar for their properties, as valued in 1949 according to figures set by the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. For example, a group holding Chinese assets valued at $ 10,000 in 1949, will receive $4,100 from the Chinese government. (Actually, the U.S. government requested about $190 million in compensation; the 41 percent repayment figure was arrived at so that compensations would be more or less equal. Frozen Chinese assets in the U.S. equalled the $81 million that is being repaid to U.S. interests.)

Slightly more than one-third of the $81 million compensation is due to U.S. interests before ...

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