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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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No Inherent Worth

No Inherent Worth

(p.69) 5 No Inherent Worth
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, with respect to China. Eisenhower preferred to fight the Cold War as a cold war. He delighted in propaganda campaigns designed to subvert leftist governments and free captive people. Eisenhower's enthusiasm ensured a worldwide growth in paramilitary activities, espionage, and psychological warfare. Although willing to use force, Eisenhower and Dulles preferred to undermine, not overthrow, governments. In September 1954, China bombed Jinmen island, which was located in the Taiwan Strait but just two miles from the major Chinese port city of Xiamen. According to new Chinese sources, Mao Zedong did not seek to start a war with the United States and apparently did not believe the shelling would spark a crisis. He simply intended to reinforce his claim to Taiwan, appeal to world opinion, and coerce Washington into abandoning Chiang Kai-shek. This chapter analyzes Eisenhower's response to China's bombardment of Jinmen island.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, China, Jinmen island, Taiwan Strait, Mao Zedong, United States, Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek

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