The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

The Next Chinese Target??

Modified: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 21:53 by admin - Categorized as: Podcasts
The following is a collection of the materials used in creating the thirty-fourth episode of the Citizen Reagan podcast about the Reagan's Radio Commentaries.





This is the Citizen Reagan podcast and I need to get in the habit of doing a few things with every episode, like asking you to rate and review the podcast with whatever services you use. Like asking you to share us with your friends, family, complete strangers and your worst enemies, I don’t care really, just as long as you share it. Like telling you that you can find past episodes, transcripts, research and more on a wiki on my webspace. The address for the wiki is but if you just visit, I have a variety of other projects there. I sell digitally restored books, magazines and pamphlets. I have constructed an archive of old pulp short stories. I accept donations through Ko-fi, if you're willing help out. It’s all there on the website. Now, with that out of the way, let's get to Reagan.

Should the United States recognize Red China? If so what's in it for us and what's in it for the Chinese. I'll be right back.

Too often in our pursuit of detente, we act as if a concession on our side is automatically helpful to the process as a whole. But if you think about it, nothing could make detente less meaningful, either to the United States or to the populations of the communist nations, than an unending series of one-sided American concessions. If our adversaries can get what they want, formal recognition, liberalized trade, technical help, what have you, without making any modifications in their foreign domestic policies, then the basis for true friendship is erased. It's only by a change in the nature of communism, a movement away from the policies of aggression abroad and repression at home, that communism and the west will be able to live together in harmony. If the communists get the prestige and material aid they want without having to change any of their own policies, the seeds of future conflict will be continually nourished, ready to sprout anew with little or no warning.

It seems to me that before making new concessions, our policymakers need to nail down, not just on paper, but in their own minds exactly what it is we're getting in return. This applies in particular to the recognition of Red China, a move which would involve the downgrading of our relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan, which is a major trading partner and one of the most stable prosperous Asian countries. Despite its severe political setbacks of the past two years in the United Nations and elsewhere, the Republic of China has emerged from a difficult period in robust economic health and with renewed political vigor.

In the Far East, the concept of face is important. Recognition of the communist regime in Peking and downgrading of relations with Taipei is therefore a matter of great importance to the nations involved, and thus to us. We should not make such a move in the absence of concrete concessions from Peking. In the long run, no concession is more important than a relaxation of China's brutal policy toward its own people with the victory of Premier Chou En-lai and his so-called moderate allies in the recent communist party conference, promises have been made to the Chinese people.

Along these lines, under a newly adopted constitution, the people for the first time since the revolution have been given the right to work for themselves and for their families benefit. Industrial workers can moonlight. Peasants can cultivate private plots. In the political realm there's to be less emphasis on strict conformity the party line and more freedom to speak out. These moves come in the heels of warnings by the Cho faction that a continuation of the cruel repression favored by party chairman Mao Zedoung could lead to overthrow of the government, thus the present relaxation may be more a matter of political survival than increased benevolence.

Whatever the motives we should welcome these steps and wait a considerable time to see whether they're implemented. This is especially important when we consider the advanced age and in some cases illness of China's current leadership and the chronic instability of China's politics in recent years. And we should be exacting a much tougher price in China's external policies. It's easy to talk a friendship with the United States when at the same time you're free to threaten war with Taiwan and to fund terrorist liberation movements in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and elsewhere. Before we even think about recognition of the Peking government we should make sure their deeds match their words.

This is Ronald Reagan.

Thanks for listening.

On December 15, 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced the decision to formally establish diplomatic ties with mainland China. In doing so, he was forced to break ties with the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan. In his next set of broadcasts, recorded sometime during January 1979, Reagan would dedicate, not 1, 2, 3, or even 4 broadcasts to the subject. No, he recorded 5 of 15 on the subject. I unfortunately do not have audio of any of these 5, but text of 3 can be found in the book, Reagan in his Own Hand. Audio could be purchased from the Hoover Institution. $5 for the set of 15, if I remember their pricing scale correctly. I haven’t talked about that, have I? I'll give you a rundown at the end of this broadcast of what Hoover has, how you can get it and what you’ll get.

As could be assumed from the previous audio, Reagan was not happy with the decision. In the 2nd of the 5 broadcasts, he calls it the first time the United States had broken a treaty without cause. He also tells a story from World War II, that the Japanese offered peace to Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Chinese forces. This would have allowed the Japanese forces fighting in China to be shifted to combat against the Americans throughout the Pacific theater, while Kai-shek and Mao could resume their fighting over control of China, which had begun in 1927, pausing only because of what is called the Marco Polo Bridge Incident which led to a Japanese invasion into Peking. Kai-Shek, obviously, chose not to turn his back on his American and British allies.

In the next broadcast, Reagan outlines more recent history with Taiwan and mainland China. President Nixon's visit opened trade and cultural relations, but at that time, the government at Peking (we now use the name Beijing) was demanding 3 things before they would accept full diplomatic terms with the United States: breaking our defensive treaty with Taiwan, ending diplomatic ties and the removal of all American military forces from the island. These terms were deemed unacceptable and for 7 years, under Nixon and President Gerald Ford, the plan stayed right where it was. Carter gave in.

In the third of the broadcasts I have transcripts for, Reagan points out an inconsistency in Carter's decision. Quote, "Not too long ago President Carter said human rights were the soul of his foreign policy." Unquote. China was then, as it is now, a rather significant violator of human rights. Was Carter going to make demands of China to fix its human rights violations? Doubtful. We'd already turned our backs on the island of Taiwan, were we doing the same to the millions of enslaved Chinese on the mainland too by supporting the Communist leadership?

Why increase diplomatic ties with the United States? Why not the Soviet Union, where they had a common border and similar political systems. It is worth noting that, during the mid and late 1970s, China did not have the most favorable opinion of the Soviet Union. China felt the Soviet Union was not following in the footsteps of Marx, Lenin, etc. and felt threatened by it. In another broadcast, this one from 1976, Reagan outlines thoughts on a future Sino-American relationship as relayed by the Taiwanese intelligence service. Geng Piao, at the time the head of the Central Committee's International Liaison Department, was giving a commencement speech which was supposed to remain secret. He believed that the People’s Republic of China was caught between the 2 superpowers, between, quote, “two imperialist camps.” This was an unusual statement as the Soviet Union did not typically receive the tag imperialist. Since China could not deal with both at the same time, they were willing to temporarily set aside their dispute with us. Taiwan was theirs, was his opinion, and we could take care of it for a while, but when the time came, they’d get it back. Normal relations between Red China and the United States could not begin until our ambassador was withdrawn from Taiwan.

Let me wrap up the Reagan-related history with a brief statement from another broadcast from 1978. In the opinion of Huang Hua, China’s Foreign Minister, quote, “The United States does not have the strength to deter the resolution of the Chinese people to liberate Taiwan.” Unquote. After the recent events in Hong Kong, I fear he may have been correct.

As would be expected, the United States has no formal ambassador in Taiwan. After official recognition was withdrawn, the embassy was transformed into the American Institute in Taiwan. If you Google “United States ambassador to Taiwan” the answer you get is William Brent Christiansen who is the current director of the AIT.

Will we ever see a return to full diplomatic relations with Taiwan? That’s way above my paygrade. I know I’d like to hope so.

As mentioned before, I am going to take a few minutes to talk about the Hoover Institution, their collection of these broadcasts and how they can be acquired.

The Hoover Institution is a research and policy entity founded by Herbert Hoover, a Stanford graduate and future President of the United States. It was founded in 1919. The Reagan radio collection consists of 3 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 card file box, 2 cubic foot boxes containing recordings, scripts, newspaper clippings and a variety of other materials pertaining to the radio show. None of the items are available online. They can be viewed in person or copies can be purchased through an online request system. This is where my experience begins.

After peppering Hoover archivists with questions about how things worked, I used their system to purchase copies from the collection. Speaking specifically of the audio, they can (or could, maybe they’ve raised their prices) be purchased for $5 per batch. Reagan recorded anywhere from 5 to 16 broadcasts per batch. The MP3 files they send are raw record or tape recordings, complete with any flaws that were present when the recording was made. If you purchase a batch with 14 broadcasts, you get one file. The first thing I did upon receiving the file was to break it up into its individual broadcasts, give them ID3 tags and begin cataloging them. Something I found was that even the Hoover Institution didn’t seem to realize, maybe because they hadn’t completely cataloged. Some of the records also included 10-15 second promo stops.

Now, unfortunately, some of the broadcasts are not available. Batch 75-06, which is only 6 broadcasts, is not available, nor is batch 75-22, which is a real shame. Reagan actually didn’t record any of those. They were split between Julie Nixon-Eisenhower and William F. Buckley... I’d love to hear those broadcasts.

If you are interested in making such a purchase of Reagan’s Radio broadcasts, it is not the most straightforward process, especially the first time you try it, so I’ll provide additional information on the wiki, mentioned at the top of the episode.

And, if, by chance, you are willing to share what you acquire...I would appreciate it.

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