Cornell University Professor Chen Jian, who shared honors for the 2005 Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Documentary Research for "Declassifed: Nixon in China," will introduce a screening of the film Friday, Nov. 4, at 4:30 p.m., in Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall, on the Cornell campus. The screening is free and open to the public.
Chen, the Michael J. Zak Chair of History for U.S.-China Relations, will discuss his role in helping open the Chinese archives, which made much of the film's historic revelations possible.
The Emmy was awarded to the National Security Archive at the 26th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards in New York City in September. The show, produced by ABC News Productions for the Discovery Times Channel, premiered in December 2004.
Chen, a distinguished research scholar, writer and teacher who joined Cornell's China and Asia-Pacific Studies program in July, was cited in the Emmy award for extraordinary research that uncovered previously unknown information about how, in the 1960s, Chinese leaders decided to make an opening to the West. According to Emmy program notes, the film's researchers "brought dry government files to life, revealing details that would have rattled the world at the time -- including the United States' provision to China of military intelligence and an unspoken agreement on Taiwan."
The film combines previously secret U.S. government documents collected by the National Security Archive with newly revealed Chinese source material -- much of it uncovered by Chen -- to tell the untold story behind President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972 -- a diplomatic coup for both countries. Uncovered details include China's secret initiatives, started as early as 1969, when a group of four marshals recommended that Chairman Mao "play the American card" against the Soviet threat and undertake talks with the United States.
The National Security Archive, founded by journalists and scholars in 1985, is a nongovernmental, nonprofit institution. The archive serves as a research institute on international affairs, as well as a library and archive of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It also serves as a public interest law firm, defending and expanding public access to government information through the FOIA, and as an indexer and publisher of documents in books, microfiche and electronic formats.
Chen joined Cornell from the University of Virginia, where he was the C.K. Yen Professor of History and Chinese-American Relations. His current research projects include "Revolution Under the Heavens: Mao's China Encounters the World, 1949-1976," "Twentieth-Century Chinese-American Relations: An Interpretative History" and "China's Frontier Challenges During the Cold War."
A prolific writer, he has authored and edited numerous books, articles and book chapters in both Chinese and English and has translated major works from Chinese to English and vice-versa. He is the author of "Mao's China and the Cold War" (University of North Carolina Press, 2001), "China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation" (Columbia University Press, 1994), "The Road to a Global War: A Chinese Study of the Origins of the Second World War" (Shanghai, Xuelin Press, 1989), and editor (with Shuguang Zhang) of "Chinese Communist Foreign Policy and the Cold War in Asia: New Documentary Evidence" (Chicago Imprint, 1996).
For more information about the screening, contact David Patt, Cornell East Asia Program outreach director, (607) 255-8366.