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Running for president in 1960, John F. Kennedy vowed to explore a “New Frontier” — a hybrid of challenges and opportunities that promised progress both domestically and abroad.1 In essence, Kennedy envisioned a New America not chained down by the traditions of the Republican administration before him. In many regards, Kennedy achieved what he desired: a fresh, open-minded way of approaching international issues. Though Kennedy struggled to develop a new diplomatic approach to China, he did show a willingness to compromise with the Chinese in regards to the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Kennedy remained a “cold war warrior” throughout his presidency, but he did begin to cautiously portray himself to the communist Chinese as open to negotiation and more forward-thinking than the Eisenhower administration. This is best reflected in Kennedy’s stance on the islands of Quemoy and Matsu during the 1960 presidential debate.
Spannagel, Quentin, "Candidate Kennedy and Quemoy" (2016). 2016 Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creative Activity - Documents. 4.