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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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Fear of Communism

Fear of Communism

(p.55) 4 Fear of Communism
The China Threat

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the foreign policy pursued by Dwight D. Eisenhower and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, anchored on their fear of Communism's rapid spread and the belief that the security of the United States depended on opposing the Soviet Union and protecting Europe. In seeking to make policy toward China, Eisenhower and Dulles balanced public opinion against flexibility and pragmatism. They understood that the Communist regime would remain in power in Beijing and would challenge them politically and militarily in places like Geneva, Southeast Asia, and the Taiwan Strait. They mounted clandestine efforts to destabilize the Chinese government but never seriously considered trying to oust the Communist regime. Eisenhower elevated the concept of alliance diplomacy to a core strategy in fighting the Cold War. Given the need to deal with a China that challenged U.S. interests, he and Dulles searched for policies that facilitated interaction without angering the public, the Congress, or the Republican right.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, Communism, Soviet Union, Europe, China, diplomacy, Cold War, United States

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