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The Diplomacy of MigrationTransnational Lives and the Making of U.S.-Chinese Relations in the Cold War$
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Meredith Oyen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700149

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700149.001.0001

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Cold War Hostages

Cold War Hostages

Repatriation Policy and the Sino-American Ambassadorial Talks

Chapter:
(p.187) Chapter 7 Cold War Hostages
Source:
The Diplomacy of Migration
Author(s):

Meredith Oyen

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501700149.003.0008

This chapter examines how the repatriation of detained nationals in the 1950s forced the United States and Communist China to engage in ambassadorial talks and became a means for both Communist China and Nationalist China to negotiate legitimacy. The Sino-American ambassadorial talks began in September 1955 in Geneva and continued off and on until President Richard Nixon took a trip to China in 1972. During the more than 130 sessions, the two sides reached only one negotiated understanding, an “Agreed Announcement” that concerned the repatriation of “Cold War hostages”: Chinese scholars detained in the United States and Americans imprisoned in China. This chapter considers the Nationalists' opposition to the Sino-American ambassadorial talks and their intervention in the attempts to repatriate American and Chinese prisoners to their respective countries.

Keywords:   repatriation, United States, Communist China, ambassadorial talks, Nationalist China, legitimacy, Cold War hostages, prisoners

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