John Paton Davies, Jr.
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John P. Davies (6 April 1908 – 23 December 1999) was an American diplomat and Medal of Freedom recipient. He was one of the China Hands whose careers in the Foreign Service were destroyed by McCarthyism.
- I recommended that we establish contact with [the Chinese communists]. We had established contact through a military mission there but that we did not ... we should not withdraw recognition from Chiang Kai-shek at that time, but we should recognize the inevitability of the loss, Chiang's loss to Mao, and that therefore we should, establish relations of the type that I described that we had with warlords, with the communists, and that we have, say, a consulate there, so that there was a political contact in addition to the military. That, of course, did not go down.
- Source: interview
Quotes about John P. Davies
- I have known a great number of men.... I have known none who seemed more the whole man, none more finished a civilized product in all a man should be – in modesty and thoughtfulness, in resourcefulness and steady strength of character.
- The crime he did commit was that of practical, complicated, and nuanced thought. Though an ardent anti-communist, he also knew that Chiang's regime was bankrupt and that eventually America would have to deal with Mao if it wanted power over him.
- Going back to Davies, at the time after the war that Davies was a member of the policy staff of the State Department, he had advised (this was under Dulles), that certain actions be taken, certain policies be pursued, which seemed alien to the simon-pure Communist haters.
- ... for Davies and Service, it was the end of two brilliant careers. For the country they served, it would have even darker implications because they were the best of an era, and the Foreign Service does not produce that many men of rare excellence.
- [Davies] was one of the finest observers of oriental countries that we ever had.