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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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Diplomatic Complexities

Diplomatic Complexities

(p.89) 6 Diplomatic Complexities
The China Threat

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the nonmilitary remedies sought by Dwight D. Eisenhower to address the deteriorating state of U.S.-China relations. Diplomacy did not come easily after China began its artillery shelling of Jinmen island, which was located in the Taiwan Strait. Eisenhower and Dulles watched as sentiment in the United States became more harshly critical of China. For the two men, however, the most appealing approach was one that had attracted policymakers since the creation of China and exile of Taiwan in 1949: diplomatic relations with two Chinas. Eisenhower's solution to the offshore islands dilemma reflected the logic of the Two Chinas policy as well as a military man's desire for a clean break, a pragmatic remedy. The president believed that Chiang Kai-shek could be persuaded to relinquish the islands with pledges of support for more important strong points and logical arguments about international opinion and military capabilities. For the United States, the Bandung conference of 1955 in Indonesia and the denouement of the Taiwan crisis proved a mixed blessing.

Keywords:   diplomacy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, China, Jinmen island, Taiwan Strait, United States, Taiwan, Two Chinas policy, Bandung conference, diplomatic relations

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