THE few Americans who urged in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor that China be treated as a Great Power and be included as one of the "Big Four" were taking account not only of actualities but of past performance and future possibilities. They contended that China's capabilities, although not at the moment obviously effective, were latently enormous, and that she should be groomed to step into the place of leadership in Eastern Asia which would be rendered vacant through the defeat of Japan.

Their estimate of potentialities has been substantially confirmed by the emergence since 1945 of mainland China as a potent political entity. But their expectation that China's capabilities would be exercised within the orbit of the free nations has been dashed by the fact that the free nations both failed to do the essential grooming themselves and in effect facilitated that grooming by the Soviet-Communist régime. The result is that mainland China, under the control of the "Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China," now functions not as a free state in the free world but as a powerful ally of the Soviet Union in the Communist bloc.

A part of China, however, remains within the free world orbit. The "National Government of the Republic of China" still functions, on Chinese soil; and that government, still recognized by a majority of the world's states as the government of China, speaks to and for untold millions of Chinese nationals--on Formosa, on the mainland and overseas. The beliefs and aspirations of these Chinese are on the side of freedom. They are opposed to Communism and have resisted and are resisting the onward march of Communist forces in Eastern Asia.

Statistically, the jurisdiction of the Central People's Government extends far more widely than that of the National Government. However, the location of the Nationalist domain, the character of its government, the qualities of its population and the fact that it is a critical area in today's global conflict give it an importance in terms of political and military strategy and of moral values that substantially discounts the disparity between its size and that of the Communist-dominated mainland.


For those governments which still recognize the National Government, problems of law, of rights, of duties and of policy in relations with and regarding China are one thing. For those countries which have recognized the Communist Government they are quite another thing.

During the years since the United Kingdom recognized the Central People's Government in 1950, British spokesmen, official and unofficial, have been explaining, defending and praising that action; they and many others have urged that other countries, especially the United States, should take similar action, and that China's seats in the United Nations should be transferred from the National Government and be given to the Central People's Government. They have declared variously that the Central People's Government is a fact, that its control of most of China is a fact and that those facts warrant recognition; that recognition is merely a diplomatic formality signifying awareness and establishing a political orientation but involving no implication of approbation; that the United Kingdom has economic interests which its government must safeguard and promote; that it expects through diplomatic contacts to exert a restraining influence; and, with special emphasis, that its action was and is based on principles and requirements of international law.

In this country the views which have prevailed have run somewhat as follows: Whereas the Central People's Government and its extensive control are indeed facts, such facts alone neither call for nor warrant diplomatic recognition. The principles and criteria to be applied to the question of according diplomatic recognition are many, and sound policy-making calls for weighing not only physical and political facts but legal and moral and social considerations together with a careful estimate of probable consequences. Diplomatic recognition is more than a formality, signifies more than awareness, establishes more than a political orientation and, while it may or may not imply moral approbation, does certify to political acceptance by the according state, does give the recipient state or government a legal status, and does bring into being a set of rights and duties as between states. Especially important: the idea that there exists in the corpus of international law a principle or rule whereunder a government which exercises effective control is legally entitled to recognition --that idea simply does not prevail in the United States. There is mention of it by some American authorities on international law, but not with acceptance or endorsement. It certainly has not been entertained in the formulating of American policy.


Diplomatic recognition obviously demonstrates awareness of a political reality, and it of course facilitates the conduct of business between the states concerned and between their respective nationals. But recognition is not essential or indispensable for any of those purposes. The government and people of the United States were well aware of the existence of the United Soviet Socialist Republic, and business was carried on between them for more than 15 years before we accorded recognition to the Soviet Government. We have carried on some business with Communist China without having recognized the "Central People's Government." Business has been carried on between Great Britain and Communist China notwithstanding the latter's refusal until recently to reciprocate fully Britain's diplomatic attestations and activities. And several of the countries which have withdrawn their recognition from the National Government still communicate with that government and carry on trade with its citizens.

Diplomatic recognition has a value--especially to the state or government to which it is accorded. In the case under discussion, the worth to the Central People's Government of recognitions already accorded it has been great, and that of recognition by the United States would be enormous. Conversely, withdrawal of recognition takes from any state or government a thing of value, and were the United States to withdraw its recognition of the National Government, the loss of that asset would be ruinous to the political credit of free China.

Diplomatic recognition gives birth to a corpus of rights and duties. In theory these rights and duties are reciprocally identical as between the according state and the recipient, but in practice the according state imposes upon itself obligations and confers upon the recipient rights without assurance that the latter will reciprocate. The consequences to the accorder may be either a gain or a loss, but to the recipient they can be only a gain.

Diplomatic recognition of a new government which is exercising undisputed control over an entire country and all its people has implications far less extensive than are those in situations where there are two governments, an old and a new, each controlling a part of a country and some of its people, each claiming right to the whole and each trying to make its claim good. In the latter situation, countries which have previously recognized the old government are under obligation to take into account the fact that it has, ipso facto, a status in international law which is not lightly to be disregarded. Some authorities on international law go so far as to say that a premature recognition of a new government constitutes a tort against the old.

Diplomatic recognition is an expression of policy. It is a fundamental belief of the American people that, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, "all men . . . are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" and that "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Generally speaking, this concept has played a substantial part in the shaping of United States policy on questions of diplomatic recognition.

It is often affirmed that Thomas Jefferson laid down as a guiding principle for United States recognition of new governments the simple test of mere de facto control. Thomas Jefferson did no such thing. Jefferson did indeed say, "We cannot deny to any nation that right whereon our own Government is founded--that every one [nation] may govern itself according to whatever form it pleases, and change those forms at its own will." But with regard to diplomatic recognition he had already written: "It accords with our principles to acknowledge any Government to be rightful which is formed by the will of the nation, substantially declared;" and in the later context he went on to say: "The will of the nation is the only essential to be regarded." True to form, Jefferson emphasized not control but "the will of the nation"-- which equates with his better known "consent of the governed."

Whatever may be the use or abuse of what "Jefferson said," the world has changed considerably, the foreign relations of the United States have expanded considerably and the foreign policies of the United States have developed considerably since Jefferson's time. By the end of the nineteenth century it had become possible and appropriate for Acting Secretary of State Hill to write officially: "When, by reason of revolution or other internal change not wrought by regular constitutional methods, a conflict of authority exists in another country whereby the titular government to which our representatives are accredited is reduced from power and authority, the rule of the United States is to defer recognition of another executive in its place until it shall appear that it is in possession of the machinery of state, administering government with the assent of the people thereof and without substantial resistance to its authority, and that it is in a position to fulfill all the international obligations and responsibilities incumbent upon a sovereign state under treaties and international law." In 1913 Assistant Secretary of State Adee wrote officially of the "recognition necessary to the conduct of international business between two countries" as being "dependent upon the existence of three conditions of fact: the control of the administrative machinery of the state; the general acquiescence of its people; and the ability and willingness of their government to discharge international and conventional obligations." And in 1940 the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, Mr. Hackworth, wrote, "It has been the practice of the government of the United States to require fulfilment of certain conditions by new governments as a prerequisite to recognition."

All of this adds up to there having developed a tendency in the conduct of United States foreign relations for policy-makers to inquire in regard to a new government: What are the extent and the quality of its jurisdiction? Has it the capacity to fulfill the international obligations of the state in which it operates? Does it manifest a disposition to respect and fulfill those obligations?

This tendency derives not from legalistic thinking but from the influence of fundamental concepts in American political thought regarding the nature, rights and duties of men and governments. Right or wrong, American thought runs to the effect not only that governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed" but that moral and social as well as legal, political and economic principles and standards are involved in all relationships, and that in formulating and implementing policies with regard to any foreign governing entity all of these must be taken into account.


Decisions to accord or to withhold recognition are made by political not by judicial authorities. In this country--and, of course, not here alone--those authorities are substantially influenced by public opinion. Traditionally well disposed toward China, the people and Government of the United States look at developments there and combine with a concern for American interests a concern for what they conceive to be the interests of the Chinese. During recent years they have seen two governments, and they have thought about the capabilities and performance of those governments in terms of advantage or disadvantage to the United States, to China and to the free world. What have they seen and what have been their conclusions?

China's National Government is a product of revolution and conflict internal to China. It came to power by use of armed force and skillful propaganda originally organized with Soviet assistance; but its creators had broken with Communism before victory was achieved and throughout its existence it has been under Communist attack. It gave China during the years preceding 1945 a nearer approximation to unity than that country had known since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1911. It kept China united in resistance to Japan's attacks from 1931 on. It was an ally of the United States and other Powers throughout World War II. It has resisted Communism from an earlier moment, more foresightedly and persistently than any other government.

The National Government retreated to Formosa in 1949 with a substantial following, and there, still on Chinese soil and functioning more liberally than before, it is keeping Nationalist China in the orbit of the free world. It is the symbol and rallying point of Chinese resistance to Communist aggression and of aspirations to freedom. It has reciprocated and fostered the spirit of good will which is traditional in the attitude of the United States toward China. In its defense of Formosa, it is serving purposes common to it and to us. It favors the "ways of life" of the free peoples, especially those of the United States. It has, generally speaking, shown respect for China's international obligations. Its representatives in the United Nations speak in terms intelligible to free peoples, and their voices and votes have been on the side of the free world.

China's Central People's Government is a product of conflict partly internal to China and partly international. It, too, came to power by use of armed force and skillful propaganda, with Soviet assistance. But its creators not only have not broken with Communism; they have remained ardently committed to the Communist cause, to which they are substantially indebted. This Government has employed most of the methods found useful elsewhere in the Communist empire for acquiring, exercising and expanding political authority. Since gaining control over most of mainland China, it has done its utmost to destroy all thought of individual freedom and to impose upon the 500,000,000 people of China a régime modeled upon that of the Soviet Union. Associating itself with the Soviet and other Communist governments in the "cold war" upon the free world, it has made China a focal point for the propagation of Communist ideology and activity among the peoples of Eastern Asia. It has openly declared itself indebted to the Soviet Union for its very existence. It has entered into formal alliance with that country and draws upon it for sponsorship and guidance. It employs tens of thousands of Soviet nationals, civilian and military, as "advisers" and technicians. It maintains a very large and ever-growing military establishment which depends on the Soviet Union for most of its equipment, much of its training and some of its operations. It abuses its own nationals and the nationals of other countries. It vilifies the United States and seeks to inflame its own and other peoples against the free world.

The Central People's Government has disregarded China's international commitments. It has become an aggressor, and the United Nations has formally declared it to be such. It was an aggressor directly in Korea, where it defied and made war upon the United Nations, and indirectly in Indo-China, where it supported the Viet-Minh by supplying munitions to armed forces seeking to bring the Associated States under Communist domination. It has made mainland China an asset to the Communist world and a liability to the free world. There is ample warrant for believing that, were it given China's seats in the United Nations, its representatives would pursue the Moscow-made "line" and thereby add greatly to the strength of the Soviet-directed Communist bloc and its capacity for manœuvre. And, Communist ideology being what it is, there is room for doubt whether it-- or any Communist government--is morally capable of living up to its international obligations.

Recognition of the Central People's Government has thus far involved withdrawal, express or implied, of recognition from the National Government, with consequences highly advantageous to the Communist world. As matters now stand, recognition of the Central People's Government by the United States presumably would not follow exactly that pattern and would not terminate our concern for the National Government and its domain. But, no matter how achieved and with what safeguards, it would be fatal to the cause of Chinese resistance to the onward march of Communism. It would estop the United States from further support to that resistance. Followed as it would be by similar action on the part of other governments, it would shatter the morale of the National Government and its adherents. It would virtually ensure consolidation of Communist jurisdiction throughout all of China and thus legally affect Chinese nationals everywhere. It might even prove to have set the stage for an early assault upon Formosa by Communist armed forces and for the liquidation of huge numbers of those Chinese who are "oriented toward the West" and have sought to keep their country within the orbit of the free world. Whatever might be its consequences in China, it surely would tend to confirm the doubts already entertained in many quarters in Asia and elsewhere regarding the advisability of association with the United States in pursuit of a policy of resistance to Communist aggression. It thus would facilitate the onward march of Communism both on the Asiatic fronts and on other fronts.

Moreover, it would bar the United States from any reasonable further opposition to the seating of the Central People's Government in the United Nations. In addition, it would give that government the right, which would surely be fully exploited, to establish diplomatic, consular and other official agencies in the United States; and it would impose on us the obligation to accord those agencies the courtesies and immunities that are standard conventions of international intercourse.

In the light of these calculables it seems obvious that recognition by the United States of the Central People's Government would be inconsistent with and highly damaging to the over-all effort in American foreign policy to contain Communism and achieve security. Concomitantly, it would confer upon the whole of the Communist empire various immediate benefits.


Were United States recognition a thing to be bargained for-- which it never should be--what may it be thought or hoped that Communist China or the whole Communist world would give in exchange? The Communists might relinquish some territory which they have taken unlawfully; they might release some foreign nationals whom they unlawfully hold prisoner. Such actions would cost them little, would be to their advantage in psychological effect, and would profit the United States little if at all in the realm of political substance. They might give promises, handsome promises, to do or not to do this or that, in Asia or elsewhere, in accordance with stipulations already or newly agreed upon. They might promise a "cease fire;" they might promise independence for Formosa; they might promise, in one context or another, nonaggression, free elections, trade and peaceful coexistence. The value, however, of those promises would be speculative, would depend on Communist estimates of the advantage or disadvantage of honoring them, or on the will and capability of the free world to enforce them. Latest examples: the Panmunjom promises in 1953 and the Geneva promises regarding Indo-China in 1955.

Promises of commercial opportunities and hope for benefits to the American economy should not mislead the American public and should in no way distract or confuse American policy-makers. Has any non-Communist country substantially improved its national economy by virtue of its recognition of any Communist government? Trade with the Soviet Union or with China could under some circumstances be of substantial value to some countries--for instance, Japan--but not, in any circumstances now foreseeable, to the United States. The Soviet Union and China have no great purchasing power, and the Communist régimes have little desire for trade with the free world except as that trade may contribute to the Communist program. Trade with Communist China has been, is and can be profitable for some individuals or firms, but its net value to the American or British economies is and will be relatively insignificant.

Promises purporting to put an end to the cold war might be worth having, but not on a basis of purchase and payment. They would be of no reliable value unless preceded by deeds clearly testifying to a change of heart on the part of their Communist givers. For so long as the Communist world remains committed to the objective of world domination it will continue to make war in one form or another on the free parts of the world.

There is little or no warrant for believing that our recognition of the Central People's Government would cause the Communist world or any part of it to modify its over-all objectives and thus resolve or diminish the ultimate cause of tensions in Asia. The net effect probably would be to increase the self-confidence, the will to conquer, and the capabilities of the Soviet-Communist empire. Those who think otherwise would do well to review the circumstances and the aftermath of our recognition more than 20 years ago of the Soviet Government, and of the British recognition five years ago of the Central People's Government.

The United States' recognition of the Soviet Government was achieved in 1933 on a basis of diplomatic trading. In an exchange of Notes, the Soviet Government gave promises--to desist, to refrain, to perform and to permit--and the two Governments agreed to establish normal diplomatic relations. Which of its promises then made has the Soviet Union honored? In what respect have its Communist rulers altered their over-all objectives? Of what profit has recognition of the Soviet Government been to the United States--or to the free world?

The United Kingdom transferred its recognition from China's National Government to the newly established Central People's Government in 1950, without trading and on a basis of wishful assumption and trustful hope. In what respect has Communist China altered its objectives or shown itself to have been affected for the better by that gesture of confidence? In what context has the United Kingdom succeeded in exercising a "restraining influence?" The Central Peoples' Government has, inter alia, snubbed the United Kingdom officially, confiscated British properties, destroyed British business and abused British nationals within the area over which it exercises jurisdiction. What, then, has recognition of the Central People's Government profited the United Kingdom nationally--in terms of prestige, of influence, or, on balance, of pounds, shillings and pence?

Nor is there warrant for the contention that recognition of the Central People's Government would give American policy-makers and negotiators greater latitude for manœuvre, greater freedom of choice. It presumably would relieve the United States of some commitments, momentarily embarrassing, to the National Government; it would reduce at least one of the areas of discord between the United States and some of its allies; and it would satisfy at least one of the demands of the Communist world. But it simultaneously would enmesh the United States in commitments to a government hostile to the free world and party to the conspiracy which seeks to destroy it. In total effect it would reduce rather than enlarge the area wherein American policy-makers are free to make choices.


It has been suggested that the United States, while continuing to recognize the National Government, should also accord recognition to the Central People's Government. Under this proposal, other states would likewise accord recognition to both of those governments, each of two Chinas would be accorded membership and seats in the United Nations, and each would agree to refrain from the use of armed force against the other and to respect the rights of the other as a sovereign state. This "solution" would be achieved perhaps under the aegis of the United Nations and be underwritten by the Security Council or by sponsoring Powers.

The "two Chinas" idea has the merit of extensiveness. That it will meet with favor in the United States is not likely, primarily because it runs contrary to the traditions of American thought and policy in regard to China. This country has long been committed to a policy of respect for China's territorial and administrative integrity and of opposition to plans for partitioning that country. The whole plan would be suspect in many circles in the United States because of skepticism regarding Communist promises and United Nations' capabilities. Were it proposed officially, the Chinese Nationalists surely would oppose it, and if it were pressed they would probably resist. It might conceivably be accepted, perhaps even be favored, by the Communists--for tactical reasons. If adopted, it would give them more than it would cost them and it would consolidate gains which are at present speculative. Were it by chance agreed upon and implemented, it might produce some momentary relaxation of tension, but because the Communist appetite increases with every concession it would make no lasting contribution to the cause of peace.

There sometimes is coupled with the "two Chinas" proposal the further suggestion that China's permanent seat in the Security Council be transferred to India. Were that suggestion to attain the status of a serious proposal it could be considered either in combination with the original proposal or separately. Either way, to make such a transfer possible it would be necessary to amend the Charter of the United Nations. Either way, the idea of such a transfer would be anathema to the Chinese--Nationalists and Communists alike. That fact alone should give pause to those to whom the idea seems attractive on its merits or as a contribution toward solving, by means of a package deal, a twofold problem of representation. Any government or group of governments which may think of proposing or sponsoring it in the United Nations will need to ponder the complications to which an open and official discussion of it--and still more the adoption of it, if and when--might lead in the relation of India and China, of India and the Soviets, and of the Soviet Union and China. For India, the idea of having a permanent seat on the Security Council might have great appeal, but the idea of acquiring such seat at China's expense would be quite another matter. In world affairs, to impose upon China an externally devised political dichotomy would produce nothing stable; and to take China's seat in the Council from Nationalist China, withhold it from Communist China and give it to India would in no way strengthen the United Nations or add to its repute as an instrument for collective security. What contribution, then, could this deal or any part of it, if consummated, make toward safeguarding and promoting the long-swing interests of the United States and of the family of nations?

There comes also a suggestion that the will of the people of-- more accurately, on--Formosa be ascertained by a plebiscite. It may be doubted whether implementing that suggestion would be practicable or profitable. Authorities familiar with the situation on Formosa affirm that, of the nearly 10,000,000 people there, more than 98 percent of whom are Chinese, few indeed would vote in favor of Communist China; and it is considered probable that the majority would vote for independence without in the least understanding the implications of an independent status. Their vote, while possibly informative, would solve no problem and might create new difficulties. The question of Formosa's future is a part of the far greater question: China's future. That question is of concern, conscious or unconscious, to all Chinese--and to other countries. If knowledge of the will of the people is to be sought by plebiscite, should not that procedure be applied on the mainland as well as on Formosa?

From time to time the question is asked: Having recognized the Soviet Union and having raised no objection to its becoming or remaining--together with other Communist countries--a member of the United Nations, why decline to recognize Communist China and why object to admitting it to the United Nations? If the question stood alone it would need to be dealt with in terms of a patient and extensive statement of facts; but, propounded as it has been in a context of debate, it can be dealt with briefly by asking other questions in rejoinder: Having recognized some Communist states and governments with unhappy consequences, why add to our own embarrassment and the troubles of the free world by recognizing another? And, being in no position to object to the presence in the United Nations of Communist states that are members, why not oppose admission to the United Nations of another government whose voice and votes would augment the strength of the Communist world and diminish that of the free world?

Recognition of the Central People's Government by the United States would presumably be followed promptly by its admission to the United Nations. Were this accompanied by the ejection of the National Government, it would mean one more delegation contributing to the Soviet-directed Communist effort in that forum and one less on the side of the free world. In the Security Council, that change would greatly facilitate the operations of the Communist bloc. The argument, actually advanced, that this really would matter little because "two vetoes have no more effect than one" is myopic--to say the least--for in any context one less delegation on one side and one more on another means much in the realm of manœuvre and often may be decisive.


In their appraisal of China's two governments and in choosing between them, some authorities give more thought than others to the ways and means by which those governments came into existence. The conflict in China is far more than a "civil conflict;" it is in fact a local deployment in the global conflict between the Communist world and the free world. Some authorities give great weight to the fact that the effective jurisdiction of the Central People's Government is far more extensive than is that of the National Government. Policy-makers ask, of course, what action by their government will best serve their country's interest--as they see it.

Has not the time come when, in approaching this problem, all men and all governments in the free world should ask with common solicitude: Which of those governments more truly expresses the way of life, the aspirations and hopes, the undeclared but fundamental will of the Chinese people? Which government can and will most authentically represent China? With which Chinese spokesmen can the representatives of other countries most amicably and most dependably deal? Which Chinese represent a "peace-loving state," "accept the obligations contained in the . . . Charter," and are "able and willing to carry out these obligations?" Which Chinese, if given wholehearted support by the free world, could contribute in greater measure to the cause of peace, security, freedom and justice? In regard to those governments, then, what action by our country and others will most truly serve the interests of the family of nations and, in so doing, best serve our own? Are not these the most important questions that can now be asked in order to choose wisely between the two governments now functioning in China?


The American polity is rooted in a belief in the reality of a corpus of natural, moral or divinely ordained law and a practical application of principles evolved and expounded in the corpus of Christian doctrine. Thanks to many favorable factors, the United States has become a Great Power. Thanks--or no thanks --to developments in world affairs, there have devolved upon it great responsibilities. Because of its emphasis on the right of men and nations to be free, and because of its possession of material and moral strength, other free peoples and peoples seeking to be free look to it today for honest leadership in the cause of freedom. To give such leadership, we must first, last and always be true to our own heritage of concepts, principles and commitments.

American policy-makers have declared over and over, and not alone during the present Administration, that the United States will judge other countries and governments by their deeds rather than by their words; and American public opinion endorses that declaration. As one judges, however, so is one judged. The world will judge the United States by its performance in relation to all of its commitments, formal and informal, multilateral, bilateral and unilateral.

The United States must of course enter into agreements with other countries. Agreements may or may not involve trading: bargaining, bartering, "concessions," "compromises." With the strength that it possesses and the qualities of that strength, the United States is in position to trade exclusively on a basis of fairness to itself and to all concerned. We can offer substance and we can decline anything not substantial; and above all we can refrain from trading that which is not ours to trade.

Diplomatic recognition by the United States should be regarded as a thing not tradeable, for, in American theory and practice, recognition is a certification that its accorder deems its recipient qualified and acceptable: a certification to be given, withheld, withdrawn or transferred on a basis of facts, not on a basis of barter or agreement.

Could it happen that American policy-making negotiators, intent upon particular and immediate objectives, might again make errors of oversight and misplaced faith such as were made by their predecessors ten years ago? Before and at Yalta there was bargaining: there was exchange of substantial inducements for glowing promises. The Yalta Agreements purported to ensure coöperation in pursuit of a common victory and a common policy of collective security. The Soviet Union thoroughly exploited the authorizations given it in the Agreements, but after V-J Day went right on with its program of conquest. From study of that bargaining and its aftermath at least one lesson should be learned: The Communist world will bargain, but Soviet Communist over-all policy is not for sale and cannot be purchased. Promises, yes; but abandonment of purposes, no. Change of heart, perhaps some day and for some reason, but not in return for "concessions" or to honor promises. In no transaction should the United States rob Peter to pay Paul. At no time should the United States think it possible to buy Communist basic policy.

The United States wants peace, of course; the American people and peoples throughout the world want peace. There now is talk in many quarters about the possibility of ensuring peace through new agreements providing for "peaceful coexistence." The action most needed toward ensuring peaceful coexistence is performance by the Soviet Union in fulfilment of the many promises which it has already given, and for which the free world has already compensated it. Among the many promises are those made to the United States in return for recognition in 1933, those made to the United States and Great Britain at Yalta and at Potsdam in 1945, and those made to the world in the Charter of the United Nations in 1945. In the absence of such action new promises would have little value, and in the presence of such action new promises would be essentially redundant. Certainly new promises not preceded by substantial indications of good faith should not be bought in terms of "concessions" by the United States. Nor should the United States pay in terms of "inducements" or "compensation." Let the Communists first give evidence by simple acts of restraint and restitution that they understand peace, want real and lasting peace, and desire that there be honest coexistence on a peaceful basis.


The United States cannot insist that other states subscribe to its principles or live and act as it would wish. In many instances it has to tolerate conduct of which it thoroughly disapproves. It is, however, under no compulsion to give assent to such. It certainly can refuse to authorize, it can decline to sanction, and it can withhold endorsement.

No matter by what process it might be effected, or with what "guarantees," our recognition of China's Central People's Government while that Government persists in attitudes and practices utterly hostile to us and to the free world would compromise the United States in the eyes of all people--even those who urge that we take that step and those who would profit from it.

As matters now stand in world affairs, our continued recognition of China's National Government is in line with American commitments and with the over-all purposes of American policy on behalf of peace, security, freedom and justice. It serves a broad moral purpose and particular political and strategic purposes. It signifies to all concerned that the United States is truly committed to "supporting free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures."

In the current quest for ways and means by which to promote the cause of peace, the question of keeping faith is of paramount importance. In the quest for new agreements, with its emphasis on the process of give and take, what could be sounder than an understanding at all stages and by all concerned that the United States, while prepared to negotiate and, if need be, to bargain, with a view to making new commitments, intends to stand by its existing commitments and will not subject them to the bargaining process?

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  • STANLEY K. HORNBECK, Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State, 1928-37; Adviser on Political Relations, 1937-44; Ambassador to the Netherlands, 1944-47; author of "Contemporary Politics in the Far East," "The United States and the Far East" and other works
  • More By Stanley K. Hornbeck