By early 1950 the United States' non-committed security policy towards the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East appeared to be there to stay. Besides Washington's preoccupation with western European defence, developments in China in late 1949 compelled the Americans to focus their attention on south-east Asia. On 1 October 1949 Mao Tse-tung proclaimed the People's Democratic Republic of China. In December of the same year Chiang Kai-shek moved his Nationalist government from its foothold on the mainland to the island of Formosa, which caused the United States anxiety over a possible communist seizure of the island as well. After the withdrawal of American war occupation forces from Korea on 29 June 1949 the United States did not have a single military presence on the Asian mainland. In early 1950 building defences on certain Far Eastern islands so as to prevent the Soviet Union from dominating Asia became a major objective of American security policy. 1 In January 1 950 George McGhee was informed orally by the JCS that 'military strategic interests in the NEA area were now viewed as being almost negligible' .2 The line 'we must not surrender the Far East to the Soviets ' 3 which overtook Washington meant, as far as the JCS were concerned, that, though there was no change in the evaluation of the importance of the eastern Mediterranean, 'higher priorities in other areas made it impossible to devote any very substantial portion of United States' limited military resources' to this region.4 Washington's preoccupation with the Far East was to become even more pronounced after the signing on 14 February 1950, of a 30-year Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance between Moscow and the communists in Beijing. The shifting, yet again, of American strategic priorities according to the geographical distribution
of crises - from the Near East in 1947 to western Europe in 1948, and to the Far East in 1 950 - must have seemed to the Turkish government as fully justifying their concerns over the uncertain future of Turkey's relations with the United States. Fearful of a further marginalisation of the eastern Mediterranean in American strategic thinking Turkish officials - in all their conversations with their American counterparts questioned the wisdom of growing American attention towards Asia to the neglect of other areas, and despite the constant rebuffs continued to argue for the need of an American-Turkish alliance.