Commentary Magazine


China & the U.S.

To the Editor:

Permit me to congratulate you most heartily and warmly on your publication of the featured article by Oscar Gass [“China and the United States,” November 1962]. As one who lived in China for two years as the Director in charge of the operations of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), I became deeply interested in the fate of China, and have followed ever since the intensely interesting struggle by Communism to conquer the seemingly insoluble problems presented by over-population and poverty in China.

In my judgment, Mr. Gass has made the shrewdest, most impartial analysis which has yet been presented of the checkered career and the difficulties of . . . the Communists in China, many of them created by Communism itself and its contradictions, but also inherent in the nature of Chinese life and the inadequacy of the land to support the many millions who now live within its borders. . . .

Benjamin H. Kizer
Spokane, Washington

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To the Editor:

. . . [Oscar Gass's] article seemed out of place In a journal of quality such as yours. The gingerbread style reminds me of a macadam road during a spring thaw after a heavy winter, full of chuck holes which bring one to sudden, jerking halts with one’s brain reeling.

The writer is evidently in favor of recognizing Red China for various reasons, but he makes it quite evident that to offer to do so would only lead to a kick in the teeth diplomatically. He makes a good case for continuing our present policy.

(Dr.) Eugene Weiss
South Bend, Indiana

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To the Editor:

Oscar Gass’s. . . provocative article effectively disposes of many over-simplified assumptions that people have about United States relations with China, and I think a large majority of his judgments are sound . . . .

A. Doak Barnett
Dept. of Government
Columbia University
New York City

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To the Editor:

Having done a little reading in the field in connection with an article I published some years ago on Maurice William, the immigrant American author of The Social Interpretation of History who critically influenced Sun Yat-sen’s thinking about Communism, and having long been a supporter of the government of Chiang Kai-shek, I think I may say that Mr. Gass’s characterization of the Kuomintang regime of 1927—1949 as fascist is, if not disingenuous, simpleminded, fuzzy, and rhetorical. But it is hardly necessary to quarrel in detail with a speculative thesis which was out of date before it saw the light of print. I found it deliciously ironic, too, that in the same issue the much more luminous pages by Mr. Morgenthau on Cuba were hidden under a bushel in the back pages. . . .

Milton Hindus
Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts

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