President Nixon’s dramatic revelation that he will soon visit Peking ended two decades of public debate about the wisdom of establishing diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. The joint communiqué announcing this watershed in American foreign policy stated that “The meeting between the leaders of China and the United States is to seek the normalization of relations between the two countries. . . .” Thus the question is no longer whether to establish diplomatic relations with China, but how to do so. Heaven may be wonderful—the problem is to get there.  

Getting there will not be easy. At the background briefing that Henry Kissinger conducted for the press the day after the President’s announcement, “a White House official” was careful to point out that his secret negotiation with Premier Chou En-lai was merely “the first tentative step along the road that the President started two and one-half years ago through indirect communication.” The official emphasized that “at this stage we don’t have even the beginning of an agreement.”

There may not even be any common understanding of what the problems are upon which agreement must be reached. A few days after the Kissinger briefing, Premier Chou, in an interview with visiting American graduate students, not only restated his government’s long-standing demand that resolution of the problem of Taiwan precede the normalization of relations, but also introduced new complications extrinsic to the China tangle itself. There could be no normalization, the Premier said, until the United States withdrew—from all of Indochina—“not only troops but all military forces and all military installations.” He also referred to the continuing presence of U.S. forces in South Korea, the lack of a Korean peace treaty and the revival of Japanese militarism as “obstacles” to be overcome.

Chou En-lai may have suggested these new obstacles in order to reassure China’s Asian communist friends that a Sino-American rapprochement will not sacrifice their interests. He may have sought to provide himself with “bargaining chips” for an extremely difficult negotiation. Perhaps this represented an initial effort to exploit the tactical disadvantage at which the President placed himself in an election year by leading the American people to expect the prompt establishment of diplomatic relations. Whatever the Premier’s motives and precise meaning, if he insists on linking normalization to these extrinsic problems, the negotiations will be long indeed.

The intrinsic obstacles to establishment of diplomatic relations will be difficult enough to overcome, for they raise delicate questions of timing and cost. As illustrated by the recent China hearings of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on these questions, wide divisions of opinion now exist—within the Congress, the public and specialists in Chinese affairs.


Will the President succeed in normalizing relations with Mao’s China? Much depends upon what he has in mind concerning the Republic of China on Taiwan. Even Alf Landon came out for “recognition” of the communist government a few years ago, but, of course, he didn’t mean that the United States should withdraw recognition from the nationalist government of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Is that the position which the President implicitly endorsed when, after reciting the Kissinger-Chou communiqué, he stated that “Our action in seeking a new relationship with the People’s Republic of China will not be at the expense of our old friends”? Apparently it is, for, according to the nationalist Chinese Ambassador, the President subsequently reassured the Generalissimo that the United States intended “to honor its defense treaty commitments to the Republic of China and to maintain the continuing friendship with her.” If the President persists in this position, his “journey for peace” will, in Shakespeare’s famous phrase, “keep the word of promise to our ear, and break it to our hope.” Such an offer to establish relations with the People’s Republic would be fatuous in Peking’s view and in that of many other capitals, including Taipei.

The consistent practice of 22 years leaves no doubt that Peking and Taipei regard themselves as competing, mutually exclusive representatives of the same territorial community, the state of China, and that is the way they have been treated by the rest of the world. No country has simultaneously maintained diplomatic relations with both régimes, although some have tried. The British consulate on Taiwan is merely accredited to the provincial government, and even that local representation has been a recurring source of friction between London and Peking that has been partially responsible for their contacts being confined to the charge d’affaires level. The very recent experience of Turkey suggests that, as Taipei’s situation deteriorates, it may be forced to show increasing flexibility toward the idea of retaining diplomatic relations with countries that are establishing diplomatic relations with Peking, but that Peking will continue to insist upon withdrawal of recognition from Taipei as the sine qua non of normalization.

If we indicate that we are prepared to withdraw recognition from Taipei as well as to confer it upon Peking, Peking will surely regard the discussions as serious. For even if such negotiations were to establish diplomatic relations without declaring whether the island of Taiwan is Chinese territory, Peking would have important incentives to attain this result. It would strike a heavy blow against the nationalist government, because many of the countries that have retained diplomatic relations with the nationalists would follow our lead. Moreover, withdrawal of our recognition from the nationalists would terminate our defense commitment to the Chiang régime and our military assistance to it, although the United States could, of course, maintain a military umbrella over Taiwan in some other form.

There are various formulae that Washington and Peking could use to announce their establishment of diplomatic relations without determining the status of Taiwan. Recent precedents are worth noting. Peking’s joint communiqué with Canada of October 13, 1970 stated:

The Chinese Government reaffirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China. The Canadian Government takes note of this position of the Chinese Government.

Two days later, however, a joint communiqué establishing relations between the People’s Republic and Equatorial Guinea made no mention of Taiwan. But Equatorial Guinea recognized Peking as the “sole legal Government representing the entire Chinese people,” a phrase that did not appear in the Canadian communiqué. Although this phrase was probably meant to include the people on Taiwan, technically—at least for a state that has not acknowledged Taiwan to be Chinese territory—it leaves open the question whether the people on Taiwan are to be regarded as Chinese. It is interesting that when Austria established relations with Peking in May 1971 nothing was said about Taiwan, nor was “the entire Chinese people” formula invoked. Austria simply recognized Peking “as the sole legal Government of China.”

Yet, as Chou En-lai’s June 21 interview with American newsmen reminds us, we should not delude ourselves into believing that Peking will readily agree to establish diplomatic relations until Washington at least tacitly concedes that Taiwan is Chinese territory. The relation of the United States to the problem of Taiwan is far different from that of Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Austria or any other country. To understand this we should briefly examine the background of the dispute over Taiwan.


Taiwan is populated almost entirely by people who are ethnically, linguistically and culturally Chinese. Although Taiwan had been Chinese territory since 1683, the Imperial Chinese Government did not pay a great deal of attention to its affairs until the latter part of the nineteenth century, when efforts by Japan, and then France, to take the island by force led China to appreciate the importance of Taiwan to China’s national defense. As part of a series of governmental reforms on the island, Taiwan became a regular province of China in 1885. Following the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95, however, China was forced to cede the island to Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki.

During World War II, in the Cairo declaration of 1943, the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of China issued a joint declaration that “[i]t is their purpose . . . that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.” In the 1945 Potsdam Proclamation the heads of the three governments agreed that “[t]he terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out. . . .” Just before the end of the war against Japan, the Soviet and French Governments formally adhered to the Potsdam Proclamation.

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender accepted the terms of the Potsdam declaration, and Japanese forces on Taiwan carried out instructions to surrender to the Chinese army. On October 25, 1945, China announced to the world that it had resumed sovereignty over Taiwan and the neighboring Pescadores islands, which were “again incorporated into the territory of China.” Shortly thereafter, China informed foreign governments that the people on Taiwan as well as overseas Taiwanese had resumed Chinese nationality and were to enjoy the same legal status as other Chinese nationals. Taiwan once more became a province of China. None of these public acts by China elicited protests from other governments.

From 1945 until the Korean War, Taiwan was plainly regarded as having again become Chinese territory, a fact that was eventually expected to be confirmed in the peace treaties that would formally conclude World War II. Following Chiang Kai-shek’s defeat on the mainland and flight to Taiwan in late 1949, a great debate occurred in this country over whether it would be wise, legal and moral for the United States to intervene to protect Taiwan against the anticipated Chinese communist effort to “liberate” the island. This debate culminated on January 5, 1950, when President Truman, in keeping with the Cairo and Potsdam declarations, solemnly announced that for the previous four years the United States and the other Allied Powers had accepted the exercise of Chinese authority over Taiwan, that the island was Chinese territory, and that we would “not pursue a course which will lead to involvement in the civil conflict in China.” The President stated:

The United States Government has always stood for good faith in international relations. Traditional United States policy toward China, as exemplified in the Open Door policy, called for respect for the territorial integrity of China.

That afternoon Secretary Acheson elaborated on the President’s policy statement in a press conference that is well worth quoting. He said:

The Chinese have administered Formosa for four years. Neither the United States nor any other ally ever questioned that authority and that occupation. When Formosa was made a province of China nobody raised any lawyer’s doubts about that. That was regarded as in accordance with the commitments.

Now, in the opinion of some, the situation is changed. They believe that the forces now in control of the mainland of China, the forces which undoubtedly will soon be recognized by some other countries, are not friendly to us, and therefore they want to say, “Well, we have to wait for a treaty.” We did not wait for a treaty on Korea. We did not wait for a treaty on the Kuriles. We did not wait for a treaty on the islands over which we have trusteeship.

Whatever may be the legal situation, the United States of America, Mr. Truman said this morning, is not going to quibble on any lawyer’s words about the integrity of its position. That is where we stand.

Therefore, the President says, we are not going to use our forces in connection with the present situation in Formosa. We are not going to attempt to seize the island. We are not going to get involved militarily in any way on the island of Formosa. So far as I know, no responsible person in the Government, no military man has ever believed that we should involve our forces in the island.

The Department of State subsequently informed the House of Representatives that “the Allied Powers including the United States have for the past four years treated Formosa as part of China.” It specifically rejected the possibility of holding a plebiscite on Taiwan under United Nations or other auspices, stating:

For the United States Government at this date to seek to establish a non-Chinese administration on Formosa . . . would be almost universally interpreted in mainland China and widely interpreted throughout Asia as an attempt by this Government to separate Formosa from China in violation of its pledges and contrary to its long-standing policy of respecting the territorial integrity of China. The important point from the standpoint of our interests in Asia, including mainland China, is not the technical justifications which we might urge for taking such steps but rather the way such action on our part would be viewed by the people of Asia. In this connection we do not wish to create a Formosa irredenta issue about which the Chinese Communists could rally support within China and with which they could divert attention from Soviet actions in the North. We must not place ourselves in the unenviable position of the U.S.S.R. with regard to the integrity of China and must remain free to take the position that anyone who violates the integrity of China is the enemy of China and is acting contrary to our own interests.

This clear-cut view of the United States and the other Allied Powers suddenly changed upon the outbreak of the Korean War. Without any public warning whatever, on June 27, 1950, President Truman dramatically reversed our policy. He did not refer to the Korean conflict as an attack by North Korea upon South Korea but as an attack by “communism.” Therefore, he concluded—in one of the most momentous leaps of logic of the century—the occupation of Taiwan by “communist forces” would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and American forces. “Accordingly,” the President ordered the Seventh Fleet to prevent any communist attack on Taiwan and any nationalist attack on the mainland.

The President did not seek to justify American intervention as action taken during a civil war at the request of what we regarded as the legitimate government of China, nor did he even claim that Generalissimo Chiang had agreed to our action; he simply announced that “The Seventh Fleet will see that this is done.” The last sentence of his statement provided a different legal rationalization of our surprising conduct: “The determination of the future status of Formosa,” the President said, “must await the restoration of security in the Pacific, a peace settlement with Japan, or consideration by the United Nations.”

This unanticipated announcement that the status of Taiwan was yet to be determined came as a rude shock to both the communist and nationalist régimes. Overnight, what had been Chinese territory became territory that was still subject to the Allied Powers, what had been the binding commitment of the Cairo Declaration became merely a “statement of intention,” what had been a civil war became an international conflict.

The United States then sought to erect a legal superstructure for postwar relations in East Asia that reflected its new legal position. The 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan merely stated that “Japan renounces all rights, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores,” and did not prescribe the de jure status of these territories. Although the 1952 Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan “recognized” that all pre-1941 treaties between China and Japan had become void as a result of the war, it also simply “recognized” Japan’s renunciation of Taiwan and the Pescadores without clarifying the question of sovereignty. The 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of China only defined Taiwan and the Pescadores as territory of China for purposes of the treaty, and the contemporaneous Exchange of Notes described the islands as territory that the Republic of China “effectively controls.”

Thus the United States for the past 21 years has been in the anomalous, but little-understood position of recognizing as the government of China a régime whose almost exclusive territorial base it refuses to acknowledge to be Chinese territory. The tiny islands of Quemoy and Matsu are the only territory occupied by the nationalists that is undisputably Chinese.

The nationalist régime has had to tolerate this humiliation because the United States insisted that only by “freezing” the status of Taiwan could it justify dispatching the Seventh Fleet to protect the island and taking steps at the United Nations to keep the island out of hostile hands. The communist government, however, has had no reason to tolerate what it has understandably regarded as cynical legal legerdemain. Indeed, it has consistently complained that American intervention in the Taiwan Strait constitutes infringement of China’s territorial integrity.

Both Chinese governments claim that the outbreak of war in 1941 abrogated the Treaty of Shimonoseki and restored Taiwan to China. They also claim that China’s unprotested reintegration of Taiwan at the close of the war in accordance with the Cairo and Potsdam declarations completed the transfer of territory and that no peace treaty was needed. A strong argument has also been made by the nationalist government that Japan’s renunciation of Taiwan in the 1951 and 1952 peace treaties constituted implicit acquiescence in the claims of the de facto occupant, the Republic of China. On the other hand, one can also argue, as have the United States, some of its wartime allies and spokesmen for the Taiwan independence movement, that the status of Taiwan is undetermined. Thanks to what one scholar has called the Allied Powers’ policy of deliberately contrived ambiguity, students of international law have had a field day with the problem and expressed a variety of opinions.

The critical question, of course, is not whether Taiwan should be deemed to have been legally restored to China. The critical question is one of American good faith, as President Truman and Secretary Acheson recognized prior to the Korean War. Is the United States going to renege on its solemn pledge to restore Taiwan to China and thereby repudiate its oft-proclaimed respect for China’s territorial integrity? We have heard a great deal in recent years about the importance of preserving the credibility of American commitments. Have we conveniently forgotten this commitment? The People’s Republic has not, nor have Chinese of other political persuasions.


For these reasons we cannot be sanguine about prospects for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Peking unless Washington is prepared to confirm, if only tacitly, that Taiwan is Chinese territory. It is one thing for the People’s Republic to establish relations with certain other states without obtaining their acquiescence, but the United States has been responsible for the political, legal and military actions that have kept Taiwan separated from the mainland. Peking may well fear that if it establishes relations without at least obtaining Washington’s implicit agreement in principle on the territorial question, it will have forfeited its chance to achieve national unification—the goal of every Chinese government since the onslaught of imperialism in the nineteenth century.

What would be the implications of Peking’s insistence upon settling the status of Taiwan at the time of establishing diplomatic relations? I have already pointed out that by withdrawing recognition from the nationalist régime the United States would terminate the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty to defend Taiwan, a treaty that in any event provides for its termination by either party upon one year’s notice. So long as we do not acknowledge Taiwan to be Chinese territory, however, there would be the legal possibility of maintaining our protection of the island in some other form. Should we couple establishment of relations with tacit recognition that Taiwan is Chinese territory, we would, of course, no longer have any basis for our intervention.

Peking’s insistence that we recognize Taiwan as part of China does not necessarily mean that the People’s Republic intends to take Taiwan by force or that it insists upon gaining actual control over the island in the near future by other means. We cannot expect Peking formally to renounce the use of force against the nationalist régime, just as we have not expected the nationalists to do so against their communist rivals, for such a renunciation would imply that Taiwan is not part of China. Governments sometimes renounce the use of force in international affairs but not in domestic matters.

Peking plainly has not built up the military capability required to launch an invasion across the Taiwan Strait. Moreover, the nationalist government has a substantial military capacity for defending Taiwan for the foreseeable future. Chinese statesmen are not naïve. The leaders in Peking are well aware that the United States is unlikely to establish relations at the price of stimulating another major bloodletting in Asia. They also know that a costly military expedition against Taiwan would leave Peking badly exposed on its vast northern frontier, would galvanize Taiwanese nationalism and would quicken the pace of Japan’s rearmament.

Given the political momentum that would be developed by entry into the United Nations and by establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States, and given the opportunities that Peking would then enjoy for political and economic maneuvers to “heighten the consciousness” of the people on Taiwan, understandably Peking might feel confident that it eventually would be able to achieve the peaceful integration of Taiwan. What it insists upon for the immediate future is the defeat of Chiang diplomatically, an end to American intervention in the Chinese civil war, and recognition of China’s territorial integrity in principle. Once the principle is acknowledged, if only tacitly, Peking can be expected to behave in a flexible manner toward Taiwan, just as it has toward Hong Kong and Macao.

What, after all, might be the precise outcome of the long and arduous negotiations over Taiwan? It is impossible to predict the terminology upon which the parties might eventually agree. Clearly the People’s Republic will accept no limitations upon Chinese sovereignty. One can envisage a joint communiqué that explicitly or implicitly acknowledges Taiwan to be Chinese territory but that takes note of Taiwan’s distinctive development, its autonomous characteristics and the lack of any necessity to reintegrate it into China through warfare or in the immediate future. More probable would be a tacit or perhaps even secret understanding that at least for a substantial period, such as 20 years, there would be no resort to force against Taiwan; in this case, there need be no public reference to Taiwan at all.


Other problems may also have to be dealt with in negotiating the establishment of diplomatic relations. None, however, will be comparable in difficulty to those previously discussed.

In the course of the Chinese Revolution in 1948–49 the victorious communist forces acted harshly against a number of American consular officials who remained behind after the departure of the nationalist government to which they were accredited. The most spectacular episodes of the Cultural Revolution of 1966–69 involved outrages against diplomats and dependents from a variety of countries. Because of Prime Minister Trudeau’s concern for the personal security of his representatives, Canadian negotiators insisted that the joint communiqué announcing establishment of diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Peking contain some acknowledgment of customary standards of diplomatic privileges and immunities. This is the significance of that document’s oblique reference to “performance of the functions of diplomatic missions ... in accordance with international practice,” a phrase that has also appeared in Peking’s subsequent agreements establishing relations, such as those with Italy and Austria. Presumably the United States would wish to insert similar language in a Sino-American communiqué, even though so vague an invocation of prevailing norms can hardly constitute a substantial guarantee.

At least four Americans are currently detained by Chinese authorities. John Downey and Richard Fecteau are civilians who have been in prison since their plane was shot down over China in November 1952. They were convicted of espionage for having secretly dropped supplies and Chinese anti- communist agents into China as part of a CIA effort to foment rebellion. Fecteau’s 20-year sentence will soon end, but Downey, the alleged leader of the operation, received a life sentence. The other two Americans known to be held are military pilots Philip Smith and Robert Flynn, whose planes went down over Chinese territory during the Vietnam conflict. The status of these two officers is uncertain, but it is generally assumed that their fate is linked to that of the American military prisoners detained by communist authorities in Vietnam. Although little is known of American sympathizers with the People’s Republic who reside in China, some of them became involved in the intrigues of the Cultural Revolution and are believed to have been detained; it is unclear whether any are still in confinement.

During the mid-1950s, the last time that Peking made a serious effort at rapprochement with Washington, China carefully managed the release of American prisoners in order to create a favorable negotiating climate. It is entirely possible that it will adopt similar tactics in the present situation. The United States could substantially enhance the prospects for the prompt release of Downey and Fecteau by retracting its false denial of the charges against them and by apologizing for both its intentional infringement of China’s sovereignty and the efforts that it made to defame Chinese justice following their conviction. To the extent that Americans may still be detained at the time that diplomatic relations are established, some provision for their release ought to be made.

The United States should also consider including in the joint communiqué or a related document some prospective protection for the increasing numbers of its nationals who can be expected to visit China. Because of the resentment that all patriotic Chinese feel about foreign interference with China’s judicial processes during its recent “century of humiliation” and because of covert American operations against China, persuading Peking to agree to refrain from arbitrary actions against our nationals—even on a reciprocal basis—will be a delicate exercise. Furthermore, even if such a vague promise should be forthcoming, it would do little to enhance international law’s existing protection of aliens. More useful and more feasible would be a mutual pledge guaranteeing the other party that, within 48 hours of the detention of one of its nationals, its diplomats or consuls will be notified of the basis for the detention and granted an adequate opportunity to interview and advise the detained person and that they will continue to have access to him throughout the period of his detention. Other specific guarantees, such as the rights to a prompt and public trial and to legal counsel, might also be valuable. But, given the sensitivity of China’s leadership about jurisdictional independence and their determination to create a distinctive legal system—one in which lawyers play virtually no role—we should not underestimate the difficulty of obtaining agreement on these points.

We must realize, of course, that after establishment of diplomatic relations Peking will have the exclusive right to extend to all Chinese nationals in this country diplomatic protection against any American violations of international law governing the treatment of aliens. It will also expect all Chinese who reside here to conform to its laws regulating the conduct of Chinese abroad as well as to the laws of the United States. Peking, like Taipei, determines Chinese nationality according to the jus sanguinis concept, which bases nationality upon descent from nationals of the state. Yet, because it has not published a nationality law, its precise application of this concept remains unclear. In view of the fact that many persons of Chinese descent residing in this country do not regard themselves as Chinese nationals or will not welcome China’s extraterritorial regulation and diplomatic protection, some provision ought to be agreed upon to enable them, if they wish, to confirm that they are not Chinese nationals or to abandon their Chinese nationality.

Sino-American negotiators will also have to address themselves to pending property problems. As a consequence of its recognition as the sole legitimate government of China, Peking will, of course, acquire legal title to all of the assets still owned in this country by the Republic of China; as in other countries where recognition of their communist rivals was anticipated, the nationalists can be expected to attempt to reduce their losses by skillful transfers of property prior to the change in recognition There is, however, approximately $75 million in other American-controlled assets in which Peking already has an interest. For example, communist Chinese organizations and nationals have a direct or indirect interest in certain funds on deposit in American banks and in dollar accounts in third-country banks; and a few American enterprises are obligated to China for services rendered since 1949. After the entry of Chinese “volunteers” into Korea, in December 1950, Washington took steps “to place under control” all Chinese communist assets within its jurisdiction. In retaliation Peking ordered its local organs of government to “control and inventory all property of the American government and American enterprises,” restricted the transfer of this property, and declared that “all American public and private deposits within the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall be frozen.” It also adopted a series of measures liquidating “American-subsidized cultural, educational and relief agencies and religious bodies.”

As of March 31, 1971 the United States Foreign Claims Settlement Commission had processed and validated 375 awards to American businesses, religious and educational institutions and individuals who suffered losses as a result of Peking’s action against their property in China. These awards, which represent unpaid claims against China, total almost $200 million. In addition, the United States itself may seek compensation for embassy, consular and other U.S. government facilities taken over by the communist régime.

It is conceivable that Washington and Peking may settle at least some of these property claims against each other prior to the establishment of diplomatic relations. In the spring of 1968, for example, the Johnson administration quietly informed Peking that Radio Corporation of America would be allowed to remit $600,000 to China in payment for 18 years of service for telecommunication with China. Although Peking ignored that offer, it is now in a more receptive mood and, in order to improve prospects for agreement on the principal issues, may even make some gestures concerning compensation for American interests that have been seized. In so far as property claims remain unsatisfied, however, provision ought to be made for their settlement at the time that diplomatic relations are established.


Prime Minister Sato of Japan has stated that Japan seeks to improve its relations with the People’s Republic of China, but that this improvement can only take place to the extent that it does not damage Japan’s diplomatic ties with the Republic of China on Taiwan. The United States confronts the same dilemma as Japan and thus far maintains a similar position. Both governments want something for nothing. Each seeks to square the circle. But the facts of life are otherwise, and changing forces at last require abandonment of the pretense that the government on Taiwan is the government of China. Perhaps the reference in the Kissinger-Chou communiqué to “the leaders of China,” rather than “the leaders of the People’s Republic of China,” foreshadows future acknowledgment of this reality. Certainly we cannot content ourselves with pious platitudes about the desirability of Sino-American diplomatic relations; we now have to face up to the difficult questions of cost and timing that decision-making involves.

Obviously, a multitude of factors have to be weighed in deciding to withdraw recognition from Taipei and to confer it upon Peking. But we must not allow the complexities of the substantive issues, of governmental processes, of domestic political considerations, and of relations with third countries to obscure the central criterion for decision-making—the need to establish diplomatic relations with the real China and to complete the process of China’s formal integration into the world community. Of course, the establishment of diplomatic relations will not transform enmity into amity, but it is a prerequisite for significantly relaxing Sino-American tensions. After heading in the wrong direction for over 20 years, we should at least get back to the starting point. As the President reminded us in his July announcement, “there can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the People’s Republic of China and its 750 million people.

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  • JEROME ALAN COHEN is Professor at New York University School of Law and Senior Fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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