chapter  10.2
19 Pages

Chinese in my foreign service career

WithWilliam J. Cunningham

By January 1956 when the author began Chinese language training at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Rosslyn, Virginia, he had already been in the Foreign Service for nearly seven years. In November of 1950 he took the Foreign Service Officer (FSO) examination at the embassy in Paris, just before departing on emergency transfer for Seoul, Korea, where the embassy was being reconstituted and enlarged following the landing of UN forces at Inchon in September. His career objectives in the Foreign Service by now had changed. Latin America seemed a backwater, and Europe, while interesting, seemed far less dynamic than East Asia. The Dean of Languages at that time was Howard E. Sollenberger, who had been raised in China of missionary parents and was fluent in Chinese himself. He took great interest in the class and frequently dropped in to observe their progress and to coach the authors.