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The China ThreatMemories, Myths, and Realities in the 1950s$
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Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159241

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159241.001.0001

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(p.179) Conclusion
The China Threat

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Columbia University Press

This concluding chapter evaluates the foreign policy pursued by Dwight D. Eisenhower and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles. Eisenhower assumed power in 1953, replacing Harry S. Truman who had come to see the former as a hypocrite for his vicious campaign attacks on foreign policy choices that Eisenhower himself had helped to reach and realize. Eisenhower thought diplomatic relations with China was inevitable, the trade embargo foolish and self-defeating, and admission to the United Nations necessary and unavoidable. Yet he would not have tried to block movement toward those goals. Eisenhower did not wish to strengthen a Communist regime in China, but he understood that the government would endure regardless of Washington's position, and he did not want China policy to undermine international respect for the United States. Eisenhower and Dulles understood that Communism was not monolithic, but their approach to China implied that they regarded Beijing's leaders as little more than puppets of the Soviet Union. In other words, Eisenhower and Dulles never implemented a consistent and coherent policy toward China.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, diplomatic relations, China, trade embargo, United Nations, United States, Communism, Soviet Union

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