Events in Asian have recently spotlighted the work of the University's Far Eastern experts, long among the nation's best informed students of Asiatic affairs. The CRIMSON this week questioned several of these experts about the chief problems involved with the Korean conflict.
Four of these experts were consulted: John K. Fairbank '29, professor of History, member of the Committee on Far Eastern Studies, and director of Regional Study Program on China; Bruce C. Hopper '24, associate professor of government, instructor in the Regional Program on the Soviet Union, and teacher of a course on "Russia and Asia in World Politics;" Edwin O. Reischauer, professor of Far Eastern Languages, member of the Committee on Far Eastern Studies, and instructor in the Regional Program on China; and Benjamin Schwartz, instructor in History and member of the Russian Research Center, Far Eastern Division.
Intervention in Korea
All of the University's Far East scholars agreed that the United States was justified in leading the United Nations against the North Korean attack. Fairbank noted, however, that considerable Asiaties, even outside the range of the Communist propaganda machine, feared that American intervention in Far Eastern affairs would inevitably carry American domination with it.
Peoples exposed to Communist propaganda, regard U.S. troops in Korea as "aggressors and beasts," Fairbank said. While India has officially sanctioned the U.N. Stand in Korea, Fairbank suggests that elements in its people are suspicious of U.S. intentions because this country has supported a colonial power, France, in Indo-China.
Reischauer believes that although Communist propaganda can be made out of our entry into Korea, "our willingness to take a forceful stand there, plus India's backing of the U.N. decision, increased our prestige with the border countries.
Schwartz, on the other hand, declared that there "was grumbling among the Indians over Prime Minister Nehru's hookup with U.N. policy."
Military victory in Korea by the United Nations forces now seems assured unless Mac Tzo Tung's Chinese Communists enter the war. All of the experts feared that war with Mac would be fruitless for both sides and Fairbank and Hopper feel that Chinese entry into the Korea fight is a possibility. Fairbank says there is still a danger of Chinese intervention if U.N. troops cross the 38th parallel. War with Red China, he said, would be a bleeding conflict in which "we could not beat them or they us."
Reischauer, however, was less pessimistic on this point. "The Chinese Communists," he said, "are striving to create a strong China and are unlikely to run the cost of getting involved in Korea. Perhaps Moscow could force Mac's entry, but that will only occur if Russia is ready for all-out war."
The Formosa Dilemma
President Truman's decision to send the Seventh Fleet to the defense of Formosa was considered a false move by Reischauer. Truman, he said, "made a mistake in underwriting the Chiang regime in Formosa."
Reischauer questioned whether the stragetic value of keeping the Reds out of Formosa was enough to offset the loss of United States face in Asia caused by supporting Chiang. "Fortunately," he added, "the defense of Formosa is tied in with Korea, and when we, leave Korea we can quietly retreat from Formosa."
Both Fairbank and Schwartz took issue against the recent MacArthur letter on Formosa. Fairbank asserted that the MacArthur statements overrates the Far East in our global policy. He also felt that the letter was politically in-expedient, in so far as it "went against our argument in Asia that we had no designs on Formosa."
Schwartz particularly objected to MacArthur's assertion that the Oriental mind appreciates only force. "If anything," Schwartz said, "the articulate Oriental mind has become hypersensitive to force because of the unpleasant memories it has played in its recent history."