Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Toast by the President at a Dinner Given in His Honor by President Chiang Kai-shek

June 18, 1960

President Chiang, Madame Chiang, and distinguished guests:

Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for your recounting the record-the long record--of Sino-American cooperation through the years. I think we must never forget that effective, successful cooperation demands mutual understanding. Where cooperation has been successful in the past it is unquestionably because there was at that moment real understanding.

And where it has been less successful, it is because one or the other has not understood the problem as did the other. I think if we have one problem always before us, it is to make certain that this understanding, of ourselves and of the other and of our mutual problems, is so clear, so sharp, that there can be no mistake in judgment made that can have its effect--a--anything less than true cooperation in pursuit of the ideals we both believe in.

And now with your permission, sir, I should like to respond specifically to your gracious remarks. Additionally, of course, I am grateful for the wonderful reception I received from the Chinese people today.

And I am particularly happy to renew my personal acquaintance and friendship with President Chiang, whom I first met in Cairo in 1943. Lasting associations between nations are founded not in personal relationships, but in community of interest, mutual respect, shared ideals and aspirations, and common purpose. But international relations, like historical events, cannot be divorced from the persons who play a part in them.

For a third of a century, President Chiang has played a decisive role in the shaping of relations between our two countries. He first won America's admiration and respect as a brilliant young revolutionary leader who unified China in a series of masterly campaigns. He set it on the road to becoming a modern democratic nation. He further deepened our respect and earned our gratitude by his indomitable leadership of our great far Eastern ally in the second World War.

As the President has noted, this is my second visit to the government of the Republic of China. In 1946, when I visited China, as Chief of Staff of the Army, President Chiang had just led his embattled people to victory in the face of tremendous odds. He was then acutely conscious that China faced a new threat, one as yet scarcely recognized in the rest of the world.

President Chiang, with undiminished courage and vigor, still leads China in resistance to the menace he saw so clearly 14 years ago. He stands now as our partner in a great alliance of free peoples, who have come to share his own appreciation of the need for unity against the global threat of Communist imperialism.

Our solidarity with the Republic of China has been proclaimed in many forms--in our close political, economic, and cultural relations, in our mutual defense treaty, in our common opposition to Communist aggression, in the joint communiqué during the last visit of the late Secretary Dulles to this island.

My presence here this evening will be taken, I hope, as another token of that solidarity. It is also an occasion for reaffirming our steadfast confidence, as Secretary Dulles said in 1957, "that international communism's rule of strict conformity is, in China as elsewhere, a passing and not a perpetual phase."

With these thoughts in mind I would like to propose a toast to President Chiang and his charming wife to our lasting friendship, to his success in his third term as President, and to the prosperity in freedom and peace of the Chinese people.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President!

Note: The President proposed the toast at 8:30 p.m. at a state banquet in the Presidential Office Building.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Toast by the President at a Dinner Given in His Honor by President Chiang Kai-shek Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234820

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