National Affairs: Saving Face

The U.S. has made a basic change in its official policy toward China. The State Department, however, has decided to keep this change a secret, even from the Chinese. In effect, the U.S. do-nothing policy remains unchanged. This is diplomacy at such a high level that it is invisible from the earth.

The change was an official reversal of George Marshall's recommendation (made when he was a special envoy to China) that the Nationalists and the Communists should get together in a coalition government. The Marshall coalition policy has never been publicly revoked—though the U.S. has retreated from it in practice by...

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