By Jerome A. Cohen
I gave a talk entitled “Jack Downey, Sino-American Relations and International Law — Lessons for Today" at the Woodrow Wilson Center today in Washington, DC. It was in memory of the late distinguished historian of Sino-American relations Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and reviewed the case of my Yale college classmate Jack Downey, a CIA agent whose plane was shot down in China November 29, 1952.
I discussed the secret, unlawful and hypocritical policy of the US Government that led to this case and the consequences for Downey and “new” China’s perception of U.S. practice of international law. The talk ended with a consideration of the relevance of the lessons learned to contemporary relations between Beijing and Washington.
The talk’s webcast recap is here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-seventh-annual-nancy-bernkopf-tucker-memorial-lecture-us-east-asia-relations.