The Taiwan Independence Movement and Changing U.S.-Chinese Relations
This chapter examines “visa diplomacy” and immigration policy changes in the 1960s in relation to the Taiwan independence movement. In line with its policies of the previous two decades for new migration from Taiwan, the Nationalist government tried to control who traveled to the United States and monitor what they did there. The United States, meanwhile, could not afford to acquiesce to Taipei's every military or defensive demand but made visa decisions in such a way as to show its support for the struggling government. This chapter first considers the case of Taiwan independence activist Thomas Liao (Liao Wenyi), who was denied a visa by the Kennedy administration in 1961. It then discusses the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 and its impact on Chinese immigration to the United States. It also looks at the case of Peng Ming-min to highlight the limits of visa diplomacy and the implications of visa diplomacy for U.S.-China relations.
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