Drawing upon his recently published book Agents of Subversion, John Delury will explore the covert history of the Cold War between the United States and China from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. He will discuss different kinds of Cold War “battlefields”—from New Haven to Hong Kong, Korea to Manchuria—where ideas were weaponized in policy debates as well as clandestine missions. Following the trail of one particular CIA mission into the PRC at the height of the Korean War, Delury will offer a framework for understanding US-China Cold War diplomacy (and the lack thereof) that might offer at least cautionary lessons for the present.
John Delury is Professor of Chinese Studies at Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) in Seoul, Korea. He is the author of Agents of Subversion: The Fate of John T. Downey and the CIA’s Covert War in China (Cornell University Press, 2022) and co-author with Orville Schell, of Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century (Random House, 2013). On faculty at Yonsei since 2010, Delury serves as Chair of International Studies at Yonsei’s Underwood International College (UIC) and founding Director of the Yonsei Center for Oceania Studies. His articles can be found in Asian Survey, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Cold War History, and Late Imperial China, and essays in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and Washington Post. John is a public intellectual fellow of the National Committee on US-China Relations, senior fellow of the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations, board member of the Pacific Century Institute, leadership council member of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and non-resident fellow at the Sejong Institute and CSIS. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, National Committee on North Korea, Association of Asian Studies, American Historical Association, and Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. John received his BA, MA, and PhD in history from Yale University.