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Information Sheet: U.S.-China Relations
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Information Sheet: U.S.-China Relations

Response to queries unanswered at November meetings.

1. HOW DO AMERICANS OBTAIN THE NECESSARY PASSPORTS AND VISAS FOR TRAVEL IN MAINLAND CHINA?

According to the U.S. passport office in Honolulu, Americans seeking to visit the People's Republic of China, which is a restricted area, must first submit a form to the Washington, D.C., office requesting passport validation. Priority is given to those who have a specific purpose for traveling there, i.e., journalism, public health studies, medical and other scientific interests, etc., which is not detrimental to the interests of the U.S. Those whose passports are validated are advised that the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with the People's Republic and that they travel there at their own responsibility. They may apply for visas through a Chinese representative in any country where such representation exists. (As of 1966, 45 validations had been granted by the State Department. Archibald Steele. The American People and China. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1966.)

2. WHAT IS THE PRESENT U.S. POLICY TOWARDS THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA (TAIWAN)?

The U.S. continues its support of the Republic of China as the recognized government of China* and as China's representative in the U.N. The policy of "no retreat" from the Offshore Islands of Quemoy, Matsu and the Tachens which was revitalized after the 1958 attacks by Communist China has not been put to the test recently.

U.S. economic aid to the Republic of China ended in June 1965. However, the U.S. continues to provide military assistance under an Agreement on the Status of U.S. Forces in the Republic of China signed on August 31, 1965. The U.S. also provides agricultural surpluses under U.S. Public Law 480, sometimes known as Food for Peace. From 1951 to 1966, the U.S. extended US$1,520 million of economic aid to the Republic of China. Approximately e 63% of this, US $950 million, was committed to defense and direct forces support; US $220 million to loans; and US $350 million to surplus agricultural commodities. U.S. aid has thus averaged US $100 million annually.

References:

China Year Book 1965-66. Taipei, China Publishing Co.. 1966.

China and U.S. Far East Policy 1945-1967. Washington, Congressional Quarterly Service, 1967.

Neil H. Jacoby, U.S. Aid to Taiwan; A Study of Foreign Aid, Self-Help, and Development, New York, Praeger, 1966.

*by January 1955, the following nations had established diplomatic relations with Taiwan:

Argentina Ecuador Rep. of Korea Philippines

Australia El Salvador Kuwait Portugal

Belgium Gabon Lebanon Rwanda

Bolivia Greece Liberia Saudi Arabia

Brazil Guatemala Libya Sierra Leone

Cameroon Haiti Luxembourg Rep. of South Africa

Canada Holy See Malagasy Rep. Spain

Chad Honduras Mexico Thailand

Chile Iran New Zealand Togo

Colombia Italy Nicaragua Turkey

Congo (Leopoldville) Ivory Coat Niger U.S.A.

Costa Rica Jamaica Panama Upper Volta

Cyprus Japan Paraguay Uruguay

Dominican Republic Jordan Peru Venezuela

Viet Nam

3. DOES THE U.S. GRANT DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION?

The U.S. follows precedents, which over the years have acquired the stature of tradition and have, in some instances, become part of international law. Eight criteria have been used in determining the desirability of granting recognition:

"1) the alleged duty to recognize. 2) the assertion that recognition involves approval. 3) the criterion of revolutionary origin. 4) the criterion of permanent and effective control. S) the criterion of popular support. 6) the criterion of ability and willingness to carry out international obligations. 7) the Stimson Doctrine, or nonrecognition as a deterrent. 8) recognition as a community act."

Reference: Robert P. Newman. Recognition of Communist China? N.Y., MacMillan, 1961.

These criteria have been interpreted in various ways and unevenly applied. Note, for example, U.S. recognition of certain Communist countries. Moreover, the lack of formal recognition does not preclude active exchange and communication between two countries. Japan's relations with the People's Republic of China is a case in point.

4. WHAT IS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC'S OPINION OF PRESENT U.S. POLICY TOWARDS THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA?

The results of a survey compiled by Archibald T. Steele would seem to indicate that a large section of the public tends to go along with present U.S. policy but often with doubts and reservations. Relatively few are rigidly uncompromising in their approach. In general, academic people find our present policy too rigid and favor change. Newspaper editors tend to be less flexible than scholars but more so than the general public. Attitudes of business and professional people are varied. Attitudes of the State Department appear to be internally elastic although outwardly controlled, in contrast with the inflexibility of most members of Congress. However, some politicians who support the status quo publicly reveal greater flexibility of attitude in private conversation. The survey revealed a hard core of Americans firmly convinced of the utter incompatibility of the American and Communist systems and resigned to the possibility of a showdown. In time of crisis, this hard core would probably increase. Nevertheless, the survey indicates that most Americans display some optimism and look favorably upon negotiation to alleviate tensions.

Reference: Archibald Steele. The American People and China. N.Y., McGraw-Hill, 1966.

5. WHAT ARE SOME U.S. POLICY ALTERNATIVES?

A. Status quo: continued recognition of the Republic of China; support of that government in their UN Security Council position; continuation of full military support to the Republic of China with some commitment to the Offshore Islands.

Pro:

  1. Communist China is an implacable opponent of the U.S. It is imperative to maintain opposition to that regime and recognize only the Nationalist regime as the legitimate government.

  2. Massive unrest on the Mainland may lead to overthrow of the Communist regime.

  3. Complete support for the Republic of China will reassure our Asian allies.

  4. Perpetuation of the Republic of China presents the overseas Chinese with a Chinese society with which they can have cultural ties.

  5. Support of the Republic of China is the only moral policy because it places us in total opposition to the Communist regime.

Con:

  1. The present policy is unrealistic and therefore a source of weakness to the U.S. Only a policy that faces facts will have the support of our allies and the major neutrals.

  2. Any thesis that the Mainland regime is likely to be overthrown is wishful thinking.

  3. While some minor allies would be disturbed about a shift in American policy, the major non-communist states favor a more flexible, realistic policy.

  4. Overseas Chinese will accommodate themselves to reality.

  5. Moral arguments are largely spurious, for until the people of Taiwan have the right of self-government, it is deceitful to talk of "Free China" and our stand on behalf of freedom.

B. Acquiescence: acceptance of Communist demands to withdraw from Taiwan and allow its incorporation into the Mainland government.

Pro:

  1. Taiwan is traditionally part of China. To accept this fact would reduce the threat of war.

  2. If we insisted upon negotiations, the Nationalists would be able to strike a bargain with the Communists.

  3. Removal of this problem would strengthen our relations with non-Communist Asia and allow us to concentrate on economic and social problems in the area and reduce our present military emphasis.

Con:

  1. Capitulation on the issue of Taiwan would not reduce tension because the Communists would be emboldened to demand other concessions. Historically, Taiwan has been autonomous or independent from China on numerous occasions.

  2. There is no bargaining with the Communists, as past experience proves.

  3. To turn Taiwan over to the Communists would be militarily foolish, politically disastrous, and morally wrong.

C. Two Chinas: separate political entities with two governments having de jure control over their respective territories.

Pro:

  1. This policy is the only realistic one and will garner the support of a majority of countries.

  2. This policy has both politics and morality on its side because the native people of Taiwan would determine their own future.

  3. This adjustment to reality would end preoccupation with military affairs and encourage the development of Taiwan's economic and political affairs.

  4. Neither Chinese government fully supports our present policy, and other countries are already adjusting to the concept of two Chinas.

Con:

  1. As long as the Communists and Nationalists oppose the Two Chinas idea, this policy cannot be successful.

  2. Political tensions within Taiwan will be exacerbated if we push this policy without allowing time for adjustments on Taiwan to take place.

  3. We cannot in good conscience take the initiative on the admission of the Communist Chinese to the UN.

  4. We can afford to wait. Political and economic conditions on the Mainland may cripple the Communist regime.

References:

China, Vietnam and the United States. Wash., D.C., Senate Comm. on Foreign Relations,

Harold C. Hinton. Communist China in World Politics. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1966.

Robert P. Newman. Recognition of Communist China? N.Y., MacMillan, 1961.

Thomson and Laves. Cultural Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy. 1963.

The United States and the Far East. N. Y., The American Assembly, Columbia Univ., 1962.

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