On Taiwan Book Review: ‘John Foster Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan’

May 2, 2022
Taipei Times



Mon, May 02, 2022 page8
  • On Taiwan: ‘John Foster Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan’


“John Foster Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan” by James C.H. Wang, Yu Shan Publishers, Taipei, 2021, 268 pages, NT$450.00


I shall begin this book review with an allusion to that legendary “hunka-hunka-hunk of burning love” Elvis Presly whose seductive voice, terpsichorean undulation and virile pulchritude made him the world’s first “rock star” in 1957. American bobby-soxers all were a-swoon with him. All, that is, except for Carol Burnett. Ms. Burnett’s hit song, “I made a fool of myself for John Foster Dulles,” the ballad of a young woman “simply on fire with desire for John Foster Dulles,” was a paradoxical antidote to Elvis-mania. Fun Fact: that 45-rpm single record launched Ms. Burnett, now 89, into seven decades of international stardom and acclaim.

We now have an equally momentous, albeit infinitely more elegant, appreciation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s saturnine secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, by the eminent Taiwanese-American journalist/historian James C.H. Wang (王景弘). In such works as “1949, The Great Exile: Secrets from America’s Diplomatic Archives” (2011 - 1949 大流亡 – 美國外交檔案密錄) and “Taiwan and the Great Powers” (2008 – 強權政治與台灣) Mr. Wang has absorbingly chronicled Taiwan’s emergence from war-ravaged dictatorship to become the Indo-Pacific’s most successful democracy. James Wang’s “John Foster Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan” (2021 – 杜勒斯與台灣命運) begins with the question “why does a country that has major highways named after US President Roosevelt and General MacArthur not have a great landmark named for Secretary Dulles, who basically made Taiwan what it is today?”

The reason, we learn, is that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) did not like John Foster Dulles. And perhaps the feeling was mutual. Dulles denied China its post-war sovereignty over Taiwan, and Dulles extracted from Chiang the pledge to “retake the Mainland” peacefully.

Surprisingly, Dulles and his forebears had significant historical connections with both China and Taiwan. Dulles’s grandfather, John Watson Foster, Secretary of State under US President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), was retained by the Manchu Imperial Court in 1895 as legal advisor to Li Hongzhang (李鴻章) to negotiate peace terms in the First Sino-Japanese War. With Foster’s counsel, Li Hongzhang managed to preserve the Qing Dynasty’s homelands in Manchuria from being ceded to Japan — instead turning over Taiwan to the Japanese. In 1955, John Foster Dulles commented in closed Senate testimony, “The sovereignty of Taiwan was vested in Japan, I think in the year 1895. It happened that my grandfather went to Taipei and was one of those who turned over the title deeds to Japan in 1895.”

In 1907, the elder John Foster, again retained as counsel by the Manchu Emperor, was accredited to “The Hague Conference on International Peace” as a senior member of the Chinese delegation. Grandfather Foster hired his beloved grandson John Foster Dulles to serve China’s delegation as its French language interpreter for the summer before his senior year at Princeton.

At the Versailles Peace Treaty in 1919, similar nepotism obtained when Dulles’s uncle (and President Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of state) Robert Lansing recruited his attorney nephew into the US delegation and put young Dulles to work drafting American positions on war reparations. At Versailles young John Foster Dulles witnessed the Anglo-French undoing of President Wilson’s draft articles seeking “self-determination” for territories liberated from the Ottoman Empire; defeated Turkey was forced to “renounce all right, title and claim” to Syria, Palestine and Jordan, yet the European powers withheld sovereignty from their peoples. Rather than establish independence for these nations, sovereignty was left “unsettled” while France and Britain peremptorily assumed governing “mandates” engineered by the League of Nations. (This legal subterfuge informed an older, wiser John Foster Dulles thirty years later as he wrestled with Japan’s “renunciation of all right, title and claim” to Taiwan in Article 2 of the Japanese Peace Treaty.)

His Versailles experience in the laws of war, post-war reparations and reconstruction of defeated states proved invaluable to John Foster Dulles, whose frequent travel to Europe, commercial brokering, and familiarity with banking and finance made him America’s preeminent international lawyer. During the 1920s, Dulles made a fortune guiding American direct investments in Europe and advising financial institutions in European currency and monetary policies.

James Wang’s narrative stresses that, while Dulles was a successful, wealthy and influential attorney, he was also one of the most respected religious laymen in America. His paternal lineage sprang from the Presbyterian ministry within which he volunteered his law services and organizational talents. He remained a devout and exceedingly generous philanthropist throughout his law career. In 1937, The Rockefeller Foundation unsuccessfully petitioned him to head a task force to appraise missionary work in China. Instead, in 1938, Dulles flew Pan American’s “China Clipper” across the Pacific on his own mission via Hong Kong into war-ravaged China, apparently meeting with Chiang Kai-shek in Hankou (漢口) shortly before the city fell to the Japanese in October. One Dulles biographer, John Robinson Beal, says “Dulles concluded that Chiang was a sincere Chinese patriot in the grip of forces beyond his control,” an impression that colored Dulles’s policies thereafter. Dulles wrote prolifically on international peace and justice well into the 1950s. While he sympathized with the benighted people of China, he was not sanguine about their future — even if Japan could be defeated in war. To his sorrow, the tragedy of China’s civil war validated his pessimism.

In 1950, after Chiang Kai-shek’s massive defeats in China and his regime’s exodus to Taiwan, America erupted in a series of foreign policy controversies revolving around Taiwan (President Harry S. Truman’s first declaration of 1950 was “United States Policy Toward Formosa”). Americans debated “who lost China” and who was about to lose Taiwan. In an effort to accommodate Republican opposition, Truman appointed their most prominent internationalist, John Foster Dulles, as “consultant” to the State Department in negotiating a multilateral peace treaty with defeated Japan. But Dulles soon realized his first order of business was to sort out the warfare between the departments of state and defense over Japan’s former colony of Taiwan: Would Taiwan be abandoned to Mao’s communists or should the US intervene? In June, Dulles flew to Tokyo where he got his answer directly from General Douglas MacArthur himself on the very day North Korea invaded the South. MacArthur was adamant — Taiwan must not be abandoned. Overnight, the once-unsympathetic Truman Administration sided with MacArthur.

As the Korean War reached a full boil in September 1950, President Truman conferred plenipotentiary powers upon Ambassador Dulles to produce a Japan peace treaty. James Wang describes Dulles’s diplomacy with Great Britain and forty-five other powers as they disinvited both “Chinas” from treaty deliberations. The Nationalist Chinese, the British argued, clearly did not govern China’s mainland; the Communist Chinese, Dulles insisted, locked in bloody war against the United Nations in Korea, clearly lacked the requisite peace-loving credentials.

Under Dulles’s hidden hand, the final treaty text “provide[d] for Japan to renounce sovereignty over Formosa and the Pescadores Islands. The treaty [did] not determine the future of these islands.” Dulles also reached a secret understanding with the Japanese prime minister that Japan, having renounced sovereignty over Taiwan, would have no legal right in the matter thereafter. Dulles then graciously allowed that Japan could decide post-treaty which of the two “Chinas” it would deal with, Taipei or Peking.

In the event, Japan chose Taipei. But the choice was not without its complexities.

Tokyo signed a separate peace “Treaty of Taipei” on April 28, 1952 — seventy years ago last week — but Japan declined to recognize the “Republic of China” as the government of China and pleaded that it had no standing to recognize ROC sovereignty over Taiwan. Although Japan’s demurrals incensed Chiang Kai-shek, he nevertheless bowed to Dulles’s machinations.

Dulles became secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. There, he would quietly but firmly assert that the US recognized the ROC’s legitimate “administration” of Taiwan, but not its sovereignty. In one confidential Senate hearing, he explained that as the Treaty of Taipei

“was being debated before the Legislative Yuan, Mr. George Yeh  (葉公超), the present foreign minister, described the situation in these words: ‘These islands are territories of the Republic of China, although we do not own them.’”

Dulles added, “Now, you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

In January 1955, as Dulles shepherded the “US-ROC Mutual Defense Treaty” through its closed ratification hearings before the senate’s committee on foreign relations, Dulles seemed quite happy with Taiwan’s unsettled sovereignty. Senator Hubert Humphrey asked about America’s interest in Taiwan. Secretary Dulles responded, “We say that the island of Formosa and the Pescadores is an area which is vital to the interests of the United States, and that we are going to do what we can to see that it remains in friendly hands . . . these legal things that the two Chinese regimes argue about become quite unimportant because the essential thing for us is that these areas should be in friendly hands.”

Senator Kefauver challenged him, “It would seem to me that we have been fooling around an awful long time in trying to decide to whom this island belongs . . . What have you done about it?” Dulles replied, “We have done nothing. The present status is entirely satisfactory from our standpoint.”

In “Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan” James Wang faithfully portrays the brilliance of the most experienced, creative and intensely principled practitioner of international law ever to have served as America’s secretary of state as he shaped America’s policies toward Taiwan. Those policies endure to this day in the “Taiwan Relations Act” and the “Six Assurances.” James Wang’s readers in Taiwan may not “be on fire with desire” for the late secretary, but they will certainly come away with a grateful appreciation of Dulles’s contributions to Taiwan’s survival and success in the 21st century.

John J. Tkacik, Jr. is a retired US foreign service officer who has served in Taipei and Beijing and is now director of the Future Asia Project at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

自由時報: 星期專論》杜勒斯與台灣命運


2022/05/01 05:30

◎譚慎格(John J. Tkacik)


在這篇書評的開頭,我想提一下與傳奇人物「熾熱的愛」貓王艾維斯.普里斯萊(Elvis Presly)有關的典故,他那性感迷人的嗓音、熱力四射的舞蹈律動和充滿男子氣概的帥氣外表,讓他在一九五七年成為世界上第一位「搖滾巨星」。所有美國少女都為他神魂顛倒。唯一的例外是卡蘿爾.伯內特(Carol Burnett)。伯內特女士的熱門金曲《我為約翰.福斯特.杜勒斯痴狂》(I made a fool of myself for John Foster Dulles)是一首抒情歌曲,講述的是一個「只是瘋狂愛慕約翰.福斯特.杜勒斯」的年輕女子的故事,卻出乎意料地成為「普里斯萊熱」(Presleymania)的解藥。有趣的是,這張每分鐘四十五轉的單曲唱片,讓現年八十九歲的伯內特女士打入國際藝壇,紅了整整七十年。


現在,傑出的美國籍台灣記者兼歷史學家王景弘,也對美國總統艾森豪(Dwight D. Eisenhower)任內沉默寡言的國務卿約翰.福斯特.杜勒斯(John Foster Dulles),給予含蓄許多但也同樣擲地有聲的讚譽。在《1949大流亡︰美國外交檔案密錄》(1949,The Great Exile:The Secrets from America’s Diplomatic Archives)和《強權政治與台灣:從開羅會議到舊金山和約》(Taiwan and The Great Powers)等著作中,王景弘引人入勝地鋪陳了台灣從飽受戰亂蹂躪的獨裁統治中浴火重生,成為印度—太平洋地區最成功的民主國家的過程。王景弘的《杜勒斯與台灣命運》提出一個問題做為開場白︰「為什麼一個以美國總統羅斯福和麥克阿瑟將軍為主要公路命名的國家,卻沒有一個知名地標以美國國務卿杜勒斯為名?正是杜勒斯造就了今天的台灣。」


令人驚訝的是,杜勒斯和他的家族先輩們與中國和台灣都有重要歷史淵源。杜勒斯的外祖父約翰.沃森.福斯特(John Watson Foster)是美國總統哈里遜(Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893)的國務卿,一八九五年被滿清王朝聘為李鴻章的法律顧問,參與第一次中日戰爭(甲午戰爭)的和約談判。在福斯特的建議下,李鴻章設法保護清廷的滿洲故土不被割讓給日本,而是將台灣交給日本人。一九五五年,杜勒斯在參議院的閉門聽證會上表示︰「我認為台灣的主權在一八九五年已經歸屬日本。當時就是我外公去了台北,他是一八九五年將地契交給日本的人之一。」



在一九一九年的《凡爾賽和約》(Versailles Peace Treaty)中,杜勒斯的姨父(也是美國總統威爾遜的國務卿)羅伯特.藍辛(Robert Lansing)也同樣內舉不避親,邀請他的律師外甥加入美國代表團,讓年輕的杜勒斯起草美國對戰後賠償問題的立場。在凡爾賽,年輕的杜勒斯目睹英國和法國踐踏威爾遜總統希望從鄂圖曼帝國解放的領土「自決」的草案條款;戰敗的土耳其被迫放棄對敘利亞、巴勒斯坦和約旦的「一切權利、權利根據與要求」,但歐洲列強扣留了這些地方人民的主權。法國和英國擅自接受國際聯盟(League of Nations)安排的「委任」(mandates)統治(託管),這些國家沒有獲得獨立,而是主權「懸而未決」。(三十年後,當智慧隨著年齡增長的杜勒斯在對付《對日和平條約》第二條規定的日本「放棄對台灣的一切權利、權利根據與要求」時,便是受到這種法律遁詞的啟發。)


王景弘在書中強調,杜勒斯雖然是一位成功、富有、具有影響力的律師,但他也是美國最受尊敬的宗教信徒之一。他傳承了在長老教會擔任牧師的父親,志願為教會提供法律服務,並展現他的組織才能。在整個司法生涯中,他一直是一位虔誠而慷慨好施的慈善家。一九三七年,洛克斐勒基金會(Rockefeller Foundation)邀請他主持一個工作小組,評估在中國的傳教工作,但未能成行。反而是在一九三八年,杜勒斯以身為基督徒的個人名義,搭乘泛美航空公司的「中國飛剪號」(China Clipper)穿越太平洋,途經香港進入飽受戰火蹂躪的中國,在漢口與蔣介石會面,不久漢口便在十月落入日軍之手。杜勒斯的一位傳記作家約翰.羅賓遜.畢爾(John Robinson Beal)說,「杜勒斯的結論是,蔣介石是一位真誠的中國愛國者,只是受到他無法控制的勢力所控制而身不由己。」這種印象影響了杜勒斯此後的政策。一直到一九五○年代,杜勒斯寫了很多關於國際和平與正義的文章。雖然他同情無知的中國人民,但即使日本可能在戰爭中被擊敗,他對於中國人民的未來並不樂觀。令他痛心的是,國共內戰的悲劇印證了他的悲觀。







杜勒斯在一九五三年成為艾森豪總統的國務卿。當時,他不動聲色但堅定地主張,美國承認中華民國對台灣的合法「管轄」,但不承認其主權。在一次秘密的參議院聽證會上,他解釋道,當台北和約「在立法院審議時,當時的外交部長葉公超(George Yeh)對情勢做出以下描述︰『這些島嶼是中華民國的領土,但它們並非我們所有。』」杜勒斯補充說,「現在,你可以從中得出自己的結論了。」


一九五五年一月,杜勒斯在參議院外交委員會的閉門批准聽證會上護送《中美共同防禦條約》過關,他似乎對台灣的主權懸而未決相當滿意。民主黨參議員韓福瑞(Hubert Humphrey)問到美國在台灣的利益。杜勒斯國務卿回應道︰「我們說,福爾摩沙島和澎湖列島對美國的利益至關重要,我們將盡我們所能確保它掌握在友好陣營的手中…兩個中國政權爭論的法律問題已經變得微不足道,因為對我們來說,最重要的是這些地區應該置於友好勢力的控制之下。」

民主黨參議員基佛沃(Estes Kefauver)質問他︰「在我看來,我們為了決定這個島嶼屬於誰,已經浪費很長一段時間…請問你做了什麼?」杜勒斯回答說︰「我們什麼也沒做。從我們的觀點來看,現況再好不過。」








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