Pawns of the Cold War: John Foster Dulles, the PRC, and the Imprisonments of John Downey and Richard Fecteau
Rubin, Daniel Aaron
Olson, Keith W
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In November 1954 Chinese officials produced two American prisoners who they had accused and convicted of being Central Intelligence agents. Outraged American officials denied the charges, labeling the men "civilians." This thesis traces the subsequent, twenty-year imprisonments of these two Americans - John Downey and Richard Fecteau and places the prisoner issue in the context of Sino-American relations throughout the first two decades of the Cold War. Analyzing American and Chinese policy between 1954 and 1973, this thesis argues that the imprisonments need not have lasted as long as they did. Due to the uncompromising and anticommunist actions of Secretary of State Dulles, the United States missed several opportunities (created by the Chinese) to bring the men home. Despite the ineffectiveness of Dulles's policy, it was not until the 1970s, at the height of Sino-American détente, that American and Chinese officials reached a final agreement on the two prisoners.