The State Department has named John K. Fairbank '29, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History, to a new ten-man advisory panel on China.
Last week, Fairbank received a letter from the State Department asking him to serve on the proposed counsel. He agreed, but has heard nothing further about it.
He said last night that he expected State Department officials would soon meet with the ten appointees to discuss formal arrangements for the panel.
Fairbank has been a critic of the government's China policy. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last March, he favored the admission of Communist China to the U.N., and argued that United States policy should aim at "getting the Peking leadership into the international order."
Commenting yesterday on recent U.S. efforts to improve relations with the Chinese, he said that "things seem pretty well stuck at the Peking end."
The new willingness of the U.S. government to grant passports to American scholars and journalists who wish to travel to mainland China, and other U.S. moves to widen communications with the Chinese, have elicited no answer whatsoever from Peking, Fairbank said.
"Apparently they're much too busy to even think about their position abroad," Fairbank speculated. "Their whole foreign policy has been delayed by the confusion in Peking, and this might be a good time to fix things up on our end. The State Department panel could thus be helpful."