FORMOSA--symbol of the struggle between freedom and Communism in the Orient--poses a test of how far United States foreign policy can combine the ideals of freedom with the flexible realism required by the harsh facts of world politics.
Our friend and long-time ally, Chiang Kai-shek, presently holds Formosa (Taiwan); the Communists hold the mainland. We are unhappy that a great nation with the cultural traditions of China should be under the control of a totalitarian régime which does not share our belief in freedom. But for the present, at least, unless we wish to risk an all-out war, our desire to see the return of freedom to continental China cannot overcome the stark fact of the possession and control of the mainland by the Communists.
United States foreign policy seems to have three major alternative methods of dealing with Formosa. The first is to acquiesce in frightened demands (made, for example, by prominent members of the British Labor Party) that we abandon Formosa to the Communist Chinese. The second is to insist that the Communist rule of the mainland should be formally ignored, regardless of what the alternatives may be or what they hold in prospect for us. The third, an intermediate position, is to accept, albeit unhappily, that at the present time the Peking government controls continental China and that any prospect of stabilizing the Far East may of necessity entail that we negotiate with it.
The present American policy towards the two claimants for the title of "Republic of China" is based upon our long-time friendship for the Chinese people, the Japanese Peace Treaty, our Treaty of Defense with the Government of Nationalist China on Formosa, our policy of nonrecognition of the Red Chinese Government, and active opposition to attempts to replace the Nationalist Chinese representative at the United Nations (including his seat on the Security Council) with a delegate from Peking.
The history of our postwar policy toward Formosa began with
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