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A Chinese Radio Broadcast Denounces the Peace Corps

After the creation of the Peace Corps in 1961, communist newspapers and other propaganda outlets in Asia, Africa, and, South American were quick to denounce the U.S. humanitarian program as a trick to stop the spread of revolution in underdeveloped countries. At the time, the Kennedy Administration was considering a proposal to use U.S. army personnel to help carry out civic programs such as road-building and bridge-building. Kennedy's brother-in-law and Peace Corps director, Robert Sargent Shriver, urged the President to oppose the proposal, and enclosed this transcript of a Chinese broadcast attacking the Peace Corps.

...Why is it that the US President Kennedy’s much-advertised Peace Corps was met with such universal opposition?  As a matter of fact, there is nothing new about the Peace Corps.  As early as the beginning the 19th century, the American church under the signboard of “religious salvation” carried out activities similar to those of the Peace Corps in foreign countries.  Actually, the Peace Corps has taken over the heritage of the American church and other instruments of US imperialism in carrying out aggressive activities abroad.

As the people can see from the Peace Corps, the imperialists know how to tell lies.  But they are often stupid enough to let the cat out of the bag when they make certain statements. Sargent Shriver, chieftain of the Peace Corps, has admitted that in the long run the Peace Corps as he put it may create a substantial popular base for responsible American polices toward the world…

… The New York Times reported that Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army G.H. Decker has said frankly that the mission of the Peace Corps will be taken up by the U.S. Army. In foreign lands U.S. soldiers will play the double role of peacetime and wartime troops.

It is crystal clear, then, that the so-called U.S. Peace Corps is nothing but a contingent of troops serving the two purposes just mentioned. In peacetime it can carry out espionage work and hoodwink people according to the wishes of the U.S. ruling circles. In the event of war it will be turned immediately into a commando unit for suppressing the national liberation movement and the revolutionary movement of the people.

Source | Memorandum from Robert Sargent Shriver to the President, 8 January 1962, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; from The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century,
Creator | Unknown
Item Type | TV/Film
Cite This document | Unknown, “A Chinese Radio Broadcast Denounces the Peace Corps,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed May 28, 2023,

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