May 27, 2017

1958. The Futility of Isolating Communist China

Crisis in the Taiwan Strait
"Taiwan welcomes U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960" (source)
From the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 8, 1958:
U. S. Formosa Policy A 'Myth,' Downs Says

The crisis in Formosa Strait has exploded the myth our foreign policy has been operating on there for six years and proves the futility of continuing to refuse Red China admission to the United Nations, a veteran Columbia Broadcasting System newsman said here yesterday.

Bill Downs, television news commentator, told the Advertising Club of St. Louis at Hotel Statler-Hilton that Chiang Kai-shek established the "same corrupt government" and the same oppression on Formosa that he had on the Chinese mainland.

Mr. Downs said the myth of American foreign policy has been that Chiang would go to the mainland in an invasion.

He said Secretary of State Dulles destroyed the myth by making it clear that Chiang is not going to invade the mainland unless a revolution paves the way for him.

"Secretary Dulles was right in not being bluffed," Mr. Downs said, "but the point is we shouldn't have gotten into the position there in the first place."

He said he thinks there was, and probably still is, good reason for the defense of Formosa but he doesn't think we could defend the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu.

Mr. Downs discussed the "brinks" of Formosa, the Mid-East, "and, in a sociological sense, the revolution going on with respect to Little Rock."

In response to another question, he said he doesn't know who the next Democratic candidate for President will be but added that Adlai E. Stevenson's world trips and Dean Acheson's foreign policy statements "indicate there is a race on for the post of Secretary of State."

While Mr. Downs expressed disagreement with and criticism of Mr. Dulles' policies, he voiced strong personal admiration for "the man." He said he thinks President Eisenhower in the field of foreign policy is dominated by Mr. Dulles.

Mr. Downs said it has been "inferred by" Meade Alcorn, chairman of the Republican National Committee, that anyone who criticizes foreign policy is "a bit subversive."

But he said bipartisan foreign policy became a luxury when President Eisenhower announced in 1952 that he would go to Korea. He said he thinks "this clinched the election for him."