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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 07, 1955

INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE PRC FOREIGN MINISTRY ON THE ISSUE OF CHINESE STUDENTS IN THE US AT THE SINO-US AMBASSADORIAL TALKS

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    The Chinese Foreign Ministry instructed Wang Bingnan how to counter-argue when Americans objected China’s suggestions regarding release of Chinese students in the US.
    "Instructions from the PRC Foreign Ministry On the Issue of Chinese Students in the US at the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks," August 07, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00016-01, 5-9. Translated by Yafeng Xia. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110852
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An Analysis of the Third Meeting, 2:00 am, 7 August 1955 (excerpt)

Ambassador Wang Bingnan:

We have received your telegrams of a synopsis of the third meeting, the speech of the U.S. representative on U.S. restrictions on the return of Chinese students, and your analysis of the third meeting.

We agree categorically to your analysis of the present situation.

At the third meeting, we did not forcefully refute the U.S. argument that there is no longer any restriction on the return of Chinese students. This is a mistake. In fact, the so-called abolishing restriction, we had already addressed the issue in attachment II. We used the example of Qian Xuesen’s[1] letter to Chen Shutong[2] to show that the so-called abolishing restriction had not relieved the difficulties for the Chinese students to return to China. This leads us to our position of inviting a third party to take care of this issue. Thus, if we only said that we welcomed the so-called no more restriction without pointing out that the actuality was the opposite, this would show that our position on third party representation was groundless and weak. To have India as our third party representation is the core issue on the first agenda.

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Foreign Ministry

2:00 am, 7 August 1955

[1] Qian Xuesen was a Chinese national who was educated in the United States. He was one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in the 1940s. During the Second Red Scare of later 1940s and early1950s, the United States government accused Qian of having communist sympathies, and he was stripped of his security clearance in 1950. Qian then decided to return to China, but instead was detained at Terminal Island near Los Angeles. After spending 5 years under virtual house arrest, Qian was released and returned to China in September 1955.

[2] Chen Shutong was a vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and a non-Communist Party dignitary.