Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 512


Well, you're now getting right into the very specific issue and into the question of editorial policy, and this is something I really feel ought to be completely private. This is private, this is closed, of course, and so I just want to emphasize this because I would now be discussing a very specific case that involves individuals. But since you did ask me this and since it did involve a really quite significant change in the Times's historic position, the answer is this:

When I came into the office in April of last year, naturally I have and had lots of ideas about shifts in policy and position, although really not particularly radical ones. As I said at the time, I do believe in the sense of continuity at the Times and so I was determined not to try for any revolutionary shifts in policy that would be flamboyant and dramatic. And we did not do that, and I certainly didn't want to do that.

But on the China question, I have felt for many years that the Times's position on China was not as realistic as I would have liked it to be. And, in a word, I guess the truth of the matter is that I felt we ought to move away from what I had felt had been a rather rigid policy on China in support of the Chiang Kai-shek Government. We had quite extensive discussion on this subject during the summer, although these discussions involved mainly the question of admission of Communist China to the U.N.

So my own position is perfectly clear. While I am in favor of admission of Communist China to the U.N. and of the recognition of Communist China because it is such a tremendously important and major country, however wicked its management may be, I also feel very strongly that we must stick to Taiwan also. In other words, I'm certainly not in favor of

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help