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.
Yenching University and then gone over to the Communists and worked his way up in the ranks. He had meetings with Huang Hua on several occasions.7 Did you have much contact at that time with the Guomindang government? : Oh, sure. Continually. Day to day. As a matter of fact, Dr. Stuart’s Chinese secretary, who had been with him for many, many years, Philip Fugh, was very close to Chiang Kai-shek. This was one reason that we didn’t encourage the old gentleman to go around the chancery,
as a counter-propaganda move, put machine guns—they didn’t have any aircraft—on the roofs of the buildings, so that when these planes were up there, all of a sudden the machine guns would go off, and you’d have to watch out for falling lead. Then the newspapers would claim the “bandit” planes had been driven away by the valiant troops. : Isbrantsen shipping line ships were fired on and hit and put on fire by the Chinese Nationalists outside of Shanghai. Our Navy would do nothing to help
controlled by the Chinese Party, but then you had one by the military, and theoretically, a youth paper and so forth, and you could pick up interesting little tidbits. And, in any case, we were relying on it not only for major trends but for factual information as to what the regime itself was saying in terms of statistical information on production and that sort of thing. And then it was also extremely important when they were engaged in one of their major campaigns. 104 1950s : If
even more technical when you got into egg products. It was clear that if the egg had been hatched in Communist China, even though the egg was brought into Hong Kong for processing, it was a communist product. But how about if the chicken comes from Communist China and is brought across the border into Hong Kong live and lays the egg on the Hong Kong side, is that then a communist product? These were matters of debate? : These were matters that had to be answered, defined, because we were
uniforms; our counterparts were Chinese officers. What was your impression of the Nationalist irregulars? : We were all very young—I was one of the youngest. I was not greatly impressed by the Nationalist officers. They were scornful and inconsiderate of their troops. The troops were brave and suffered hardships with extraordinary good nature. I always think of the Chinese soldier as a little guy walking up a steep hill with a big mortar plate on his back. His officer walked up the hill,