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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1955-1957. China

United States policy with regard to the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, January-July 1955,   pp. 1-689 ff. PDF (242.1 MB)

Page 627

                                               The China Area      627
284.    Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far
        Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Secretary of State 1
                                              [WashingtonJ July 1, 1955.
     Exchange of Commissioners Between United States and Communist China
     the Purpose of Settling the Prisoner and Student Issues 2
     The exchange of commissioners with Communist China for the
purpose of settling the prisoner and student issues would have a cer-
tain appeal and would probably be acceptable to the Communists
but on balance, I believe, it would be undesirable for the following
     1. Acceptance by us of a Communist commissioner to inquire
into the status of Chinese students in this country would, it seems to
me, be inconsistent with our position that the Chinese Nationalist
Government is the only legitimate Chinese government and accredit-
ed representative and protector of Chinese Nationals and Chinese in-
terests abroad. It is for this reason that we have gone to some lengths
to maintain this thesis and have resisted the idea of accepting a "pro-
tecting power" to represent Peiping's interests in this country. We
are making a major effort to prevent overseas Chinese from giving
allegiance to the Peiping regime by stressing that the Chinese gov-
ernment on Taiwan is the sole appropriate representative of Chinese
Nationals and Chinese interests abroad. For us even by implication to
acknowledge the right of the Chinese Communist regime to claim the
allegiance of or extend protection to Chinese Nationals in this coun-
try, would, in my opinion, tend to impair morale on Taiwan and
elsewhere in the Far East and appreciably weaken the position of the
Chinese Nationalists Government.
     2. There is danger that the move would be widely construed as
 the first step toward the establishment of regular diplomatic rela-
 tions. Commissioners traditionally have had a representative and
 quasi diplomatic status of sorts and the term carries a connotation
 which could be misleading.
     3. The great majority of the Chinese students in this country
 reject the Chinese Communist regime and would resent being sub-
 jected to inquiries by or on behalf of a Chinese Communist commis-
     Source: Department of State, FE Files: Lot 56 D 679, Communist China.
 The source text is an unsigned carbon copy.
     2 The suggestion for an exchange of commissioners was apparently made
by Sec-
 retary Dulles; see Documents 273 and 274. An unfinished draft paper by Dulles,
 June 27, apparently not sent, stated that an impasse had been reached for
the moment
 on the problem of the Americans in China, suggested that "the time
may have come
 to deal with this matter directly by ourselves sending a representative
to Communist
 China to look into the situation and try to bring about the return [of the
 while at the same time we offer to allow a representative of the Chinese
 to come to this country to check on the freedom to return of the Chinese
 and declared that this "would not involve any elements of recognition."
 Library, Dulles Papers, Wang-Johnson Talks)

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