Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Carter's Legacy II

Barbara also sent this item:

When you were in Taiwan, did you get any of those "complimentary" copies of the "China Travel & Trade" magazine? It had colorful pictures of all the different shops around town, tips on where to go and what to do, overview of holidays & special celebrations, upcoming events, maps, money exchange rates, a "list of useful Chinese terms" etc. - all kinds of different stuff. It was a nifty thing to have.

Well, I have one of those -- No. 43 to be exact, dated Dec 1978. This calendar is in it and I found it particularly interesting. [NOTE: Click on the image to see a larger version.]

Jimmy Carter slapped our allies in the face by recognizing Peking. But when you look at this calendar, you realize the full scope and flavor of just how hard that slap was! Remember that it was Jan 1, 1979 when Carter signed on to "Full diplomatic relations with the communist government of China" and broke off all relations with Taiwan. Choosing THAT particular day must have been the ultimate insult to Taiwan. I don't know how you could explain that to someone who has never been there, do you?

The information I had at that time was that Rear Admiral Linder [COMUSTDC] didn’t even know about Carter's speech until an hour before it actually happened.

By the way, right after the riots on Taiwan, there were "unofficial" orders not talk to anyone, particularly the press. We pulled in to a gas station and this poor Taiwanese guy came up to my window with tears in his eyes and said: "Why Jimmy do it? Why Jimmy do it?" It broke my heart.

Barbara also sent a link to an archived article from Time Magazine, dated December 25, 1978. It's titled "Taiwan: Shock and Fury" and it describes the reaction that she described in yesterday's piece.


Michael Turton said...

Carter actually held it secret from all but two or three others, since the US gov'ts foreign policy unit was riddled with spies and sympathizers for Taiwan. It was a surprise to everyone, so nasty that for once Congress stood up to the Presidency and instituted the Taiwan Relations Act (Goldwater even sued in SCOTUS saying that by tearing up the treaty, Carter had violated the law -- which of course he had). After that Congress rolled over for whatever the preznit wanted to do, yet the Founding Fathers designed it so that Congress would be ultimate controller of foreign policy.


Mustang Mike said...

My oh my! How I remember Taipei!! From 1967 to 1969 I called it home. I remember that I was the first enlisted "CT" to get a wife into Taipei! We had a grand time and saw everything we could. We still use many of the items we brought back. I would love to make contact with anyone who might have been there during this period, 67-69. I still am in contact with one sailor, Jim Klarich, who we all shared much fun with! Hi Jim. I am sending this site to you!! Enjoy!! Please write me anyone who recognizes my name. Mike Sipe Yes, that is right, I use my rank as my email address! God bless you boys!! WRITE!!