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Rusk HH, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:04 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: I am delighted to share this tape with Tom Ganschow, a colleague and friend here that I admire very much.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk introduces the tape and its contents, and he talks about his life-long interest in China. His interest started when he was a small boy in elementary school.

Keywords: Tom Ganschow

00:07:16 - Rusk and his promotion to Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern affairs

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Partial Transcript: Then I, after I was demobilized from the army in '46, I spent some time in the Pentagon as a civilian.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about his many influential positions he had before he was promoted to Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern affairs. Rusk mentions how that post was shrouded in controversy, and his appointment brought about a fresh start in US-Far Eastern relations.

Keywords: Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern affairs; China; George Marshall; Korean War; Peking Union Medical School; Pentagon; Rockefeller Foundation; State Department; UN; US Army

00:11:19 - US-Sino Relations / "Open Door" Policy

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Partial Transcript: Understand that some of these questions may sound very simple to you.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about the special relationship the US had with China because the US saved China from being carved up by western colonial powers. Rusk also talks about the "Open Door" policy and what that means.

Keywords: Chiang Kai-shek; China; Isolationism; Japan; League of Nations; Manchurian Invasion; Open Door Policy; Teddy Roosevelt; Wesleyan; World War I; colonialism; mao tse-tung; zone

00:16:28 - General Stilwell and the Chinese troops

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you a question about--I know you've gone over the Stilwell business a lot, but I ask you this: first, did you agree with how Stilwell, well, first of all, what he did say and how he went about saying what he did say?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk reflects on how General Stilwell and disconnect with the Chinese army due to cultural differences. Rusk also talks about the difference in culture caused some difficulty between Chinese and American forces.

Keywords: Burma; CBI; Chiang Kai-shek; China; Chinese; General Stilwell; anti-malarial pill; black market; fishing; grenade; military; troops

00:21:50 - Reflections on Chinese Government/ Dixie Mission

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Partial Transcript: Did you personally think of or recommend things that could be done to get Chiang Kai-shek to change that government, to make changes, to improve the situation then?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about the negative impact the Sino-Japanese war had on Chiang Kai-shek's government and institutions. Rusk later talks about his knowledge of the so called "Dixie Mission", and its goal was to explore a relationship between the communists and the US Government.

Keywords: Chiang Kai-shek; China; Dixie Mission; General Stilwell; Japan; allies; government

00:31:44 - Opinions on American ambassadors in China

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Partial Transcript: Let me repeat this: What did you think of the American ambassadors in China during those years?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk shares his opinions on American Ambassadors to China.

Keywords: CBI; China; Chou En-Lai; Clarence Gauss; Leighton Stuart; Patrick Hurley; bull

00:40:21 - Opinion on China's conversion to communism / The White Paper

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Partial Transcript: One thing that I mentioned in an earlier tape, maybe, that one must understand: We had had this century of pretty warm relations between the American and the Chinese people.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk shares some of his personal feelings and opinions on the fall of China to Communism. He was disappointed that the Nationalist Army was not able to hold and defend China from the communists. Rusk later talks about the White Paper put forth by the State Department. It was a point of view on the position of supporting Chiang Kai-shek.

Keywords: China; General Marshall; General Sun L-i-jen; John Davies; Republicans; State Department; Virginia Military Institute; White Paper; colonel; communism; jilted lover

00:46:11 - Reflection on US involvement in China / The atomic bomb

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Partial Transcript: Pop, I need to follow that up with just one statement you made during our taping on CBI.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about the United States could have done to help the Chinese combat the communists. He reflects that there would be little to no popular support to help China. Rusk reflects on where he was when the Atomic Bomb was dropped and the effects it had on countries in the East. Rusk shares a story on how Chiang Kai-shek became more Chinese when he told Rusk to never drop the Atomic Bomb on China.

Keywords: Atomic Bomb; C-46; C-47; Chaing Kai-shek; DC-3; Japan; Manchuria; Operations Division; mountains; the hump

00:53:14 - Impressions on Chinese ambassadors to the US / Shock of communist take over in China

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Partial Transcript: During those war years did you have an impression of people such as Hu Shih, who was the Chinese ambassador to America, Wellington Koo, Hollington Tong, any of those people?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks briefly about Chinese Ambassadors to the US. He remarks on how sophisticated and intelligent they were. Rusk goes back to talk about he communist take over in China. Rusk talks about how he was not shocked about it because he was keeping close track of the affairs in the region. And he mentions how there was nothing that the US government could have done to prevent the take over. The US would never sacrifice themselves for the sake of saving China.

Keywords: China; Hollington Tong; Hu Shih; League of Nations; Wellington Koo; ambassadors; communism; communists; mainland China