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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

(p.187) Chapter 7 Cold War Hostages
The Diplomacy of Migration

Meredith Oyen

Cornell University Press

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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