China Confidential: American Diplomats and Sino-American Relations, 1945-1996
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In the past sixty years, relations between China and the United States have fluctuated wildly. Such divisive issues as human rights, the future of Tibet and Taiwan, trade imbalances, and illegal immigration have fueled intense debate over how the United States should deal with the most populous nation in the world.
Nancy Bernkopf Tucker brings together a wide range of interviews on these and other issues, recorded by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, with key players in the making and execution of U.S. policy towards China since World War II. Historical events usch as Nixon's trip to China, the Tiananmen Massacre, and the recurring Taiwan Straits crises come to life as never before. Portraits of the essential personalities in Sino-American relations emerge from the pages of China Confidential, including Mao Zedong, Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, Ronald Reagan, Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo, and Lee Teng-hui.
This rich array of interviews provides the context for understanding the otherwise baffling diplomatic interaction between the United States and China, shedding light on the circumstances under which difficult and crucial decisions were reached and revealing the background and biases of the people who made and carried out those policies.
: I’ll give an example of how the Communists were operating. Their cells in the universities and the schools were a very important part of their apparatus. Students held innumerable strikes and demonstrations, demanding the Nationalist government to stop fighting the Communists, for example. But in , they shifted their line and began to demonstrate against American imperialism, alleging that we were rearming Japan for reconquest of China. This propaganda campaign started one night at
at all well. She belonged to two worlds. She had been educated in the States, southern-belle type. Chinese didn’t trust her, because they thought she was too westernized. Westerners thought she was still too Chinese. She really didn’t have many friends. She had a few old Chinese missionary ladies—biddies— who used to come around to tea. But otherwise, she was pretty isolated. However, the GIMO [Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek] did trust her, in the sense that he relied on her as interpreter. He
assumed its most urgent form. : What I do remember about that fall of ’, particularly, was several things. One was the fact that the Communists failed to take Jinmen [Quemoy]. That is something you can’t blow up too much, but perhaps hasn’t been given enough attention. That was a real morale boost. After all, the Nationalists, in the last six months, had been swept so easily away. But the Communists obviously underestimated the will to fight— maybe it was the combination of will to fight
as a way to keep in touch with a very important adversary of ours at that period, with the hope that the 98 1950s effort to at least promote a more peaceful atmosphere in the Taiwan Strait would be successful. I don’t know what Dulles had in mind as sort of long term, whether he thought these might lead eventually to a diplomatic relationship with Beijing. He might have. : By , the Chinese had become fed up with the lack of progress on Taiwan. This coincided with powerful
number of other spots in that where you could see that the Chinese had overridden religious scruples. They had changed the social system, and there were deep resentments. I came to the conclusion that the Chinese were having a real problem in maintaining their control in Tibet. If they thought they had it in hand, they were “whistling in the dark.” Later on, I saw a British evaluation of my report. They said, “No, no, no. This guy is way off base.” But this was three years before the Dalai