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Re: KW (Taiwan) Policy & Linkage
Further on Taiwan link and KW.....
* By late-1949, there was a intra-Truman administation political
battle beginning over Taiwan policy. Sec of State Dean Acheson
wated "disengatement" from Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek
Those favoring a statement and commitment on Taiwan included
Sec of Def Louis Johnson, John Foster Dulles, Dean Rusk,
General MacArthur, and Congressional leaders - including
Arthur Vandenberg, H. Alexander Smith, William Knowland,
Walter Judd, John Vorys, and Kenneth Wherry. They tried
to make a case that disengagement or abandonment of Taiwan was
inconsistent with the Truman Doctrine, as it related to protecting
Greece and Turkey. And, the JCS favored inclusion of Taiwan within
the fortified line (forgot the exact term used at time, but analagous
to a "line in the sand" or fortified barrier).
The issue also became closely linked with budgetary funding
for the European Recovery Program (ERP) - and later, NSC-68
military mobilization and expansion funding. The Korean Aid Bill
was also a problem, in that when the House passed the Korea bill
it continued with $106 million aid to the KMT (for weapons), it
forced a continued link between the Truman administration
in supporting Chiang and being publically hostile to the PRC.
By early - to mid-1950, on Capitol Hill, there was a clear link
between helping the ROK government and protecting Taiwan
from Communist takeover (paraphrase, Thomas Christiansen).
For Truman administration, there was also the JCS and others
noting of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of February 1950.
Acheson's view was the disengagement from Chiang Kai-shek /
Formosa would aid inspeeding rapproachment between new PRC
and U.S. goverments, damaged by a number of incidences in 1949-50
and withdrawal of U.S. Ambassador from mailand.
Truman approved Acheson's recommendation to go public with
policy of "hands off" China, partly to refute public statements
increasingly being made by Congressional members discussing
desirability of U.S. occupation of the island.
JCS opposition was based on arguement that Taiwan would provide
useful base of operation for PRC, and U.S. would have to redouble
defensive efforts in Ryukyus, Philippines, and Japan.
One key throughout 1949 to June 1950 is NSC-37, which went
through a number of interations (NSC 37/1 thru 37/9), which when
drafted in early1949, supported "keeping Taiwan from Communist control"
but considered the island NOT VITAL to U.S. global security;
hence, if the place fellor Chiang was deposed, the U.S.
should not get directly involved.
(see, "The Position of the United States with Respect to Formosa",
NSC 37/1, Jan 19, 1949) in THE DOCUMENTS OF THE NATIONAL
SECURITY COUNCIL, Film 438, Reel 1.
Various NSC 37 drafts proposed U.S. support for "national
independence movements" or coups were considered and
rejected by State Departement, as of very late-1949. (For early coup
reference, see National Security Council Meetings, March 4, 1949,
"Supplemental Measures with Respect to Formosa, " President's
Secretary Files, HSTL; and, book, DRAWING THE LINE: Origin
of American Containment Policy in East Asia by Robert
Blum (W.W. Norton, 1982)
There were also State Department officials who hoped that withdrawal
of military aid to Chiang Kai-shek would result in KMT coup against
him, and some thought a pro-indepence regime might develop on the
island ! (See Taipei Cables to Sec of Stae, Jan 3, 1950, under China:
Internal Affairs, LM 152, Reel 1, frame 10, National Archives). The KMT
had no interest in local Taiwan regime - it wanted the Mainland back !
(Very naive of State Departement official in this area)
(In my view, this failed to recognize level of KMT control, both
internal security and political on Taiwan, by 1949-50. There was
no particuarl love of the Nationalists on Taiwan by the Taiwanese -
whom would more than likely have voted - were there a UN
administered of the island as proposed by some - for a JAPANESE
return of control. But, the U.S. had at Cairo 1943 conference,
recognized Formosa as Chinese territory. The CCP was also
highly against UN trusteeship in administration and future of
Formosa / Taiwan .)
Anyone who believes the U.S would not have been involved
in a COUP against Chiang (or others), needs to brush up on history of
Iran and Guatemala in the late-40s/early-50s. (Look what it brought
INVASION & FATE.
As you mention, the Charge d'Affairs Strong cable to Acheson,
May 17, 1950 cable also notes, "In opinion of attaches and myself,
fate of Taiwan sealed. Communist attack can occur between June
15 and end of July," (Decimal File 794A.00/5-1750,
Box 4254 National Archives). And....."the fall of Taiwan would
slightly increase Chinese capabilities....(it) would in general be
adverse to the Chinese Communists because economic difficulties
could no longer be blamed upon the blockade and air raids, and
attributed to the U.S." (Mao believed at this time that U.S. and UK
were actively involved in blockading Canton and other East China
cities and ports - we were not involved.).
Another Esimate also notes, "...disappearance of the Chinese
Government....would partially eliminate the basis for the present
divergence between the policies of the U.S. and UK toward China" -
and, Taiwan fall to PRC "could contribute to a worsening of relations
between the Chinese Communists and the Kremlin". (Intelligence
Estimate, May 19, 1950, Office of Chinese Affairs, Film C0012, Reel
15, frame 711-720, National Archives). Document also speculates on
negative impact of fall of KMT on SE Asian governments elsewhere
and that ONLY U.S. intervention would prevent PRC takeover.
A heated debate between Dean Rusk and O. Edmund Clubb,
from mid-May to late-June 1950, in which Dean Rusk argued over
Taiwan issue, links to any British and French colonial interests in
SE Asia, betterment of PRC relations, etc. This sparked Acheson's
June 23rd declaration that the U.S. had no intention of reversing
its policy toward Taiwan and the Chinese Civil War. Mao of course
followed these pronouncements, so one can see what a shock
it was for Mao the subsequent Truman declaration (copy can be
read via National Archives website, www.nara.gov)- after cycling
There is little questions that Taiwan contributed to Mao's involvement
in the Korean War, and KWs prolongation.
> Jhk789@aol.com wrote:
> > >
> > In regard to the U.S. prediction of
> > Mao's attack on Taiwan, there was, in fact,
> > one report from a US official based
> > in Taiwan. He was Robert Strong, US Charge,
> > who cabled to the State Dept on May 17
> > as follows:
> "Fate of Taiwan sealed, communist
> > attack can occur bet. June 15 and end July."
> > The same official also reported in late April that
> > "desperate measures may be attempted by
> > Nationalist Government to involve US in a
> > shooting war as a means of saving its own skin."
> Yes, had read this but still without Chinese documents
> and plans, if ever drawn up in Beijing (which I am sure were
> prepared by Third Field Army ).
> Familiar with Cumings, Vol II Ch. 16 and in ref "invasion
> date", suspect Guy Burgess quote of CIA estimate that
> either "May-June" or "September-October" would in all
> practicality have been August-September 1950, a PLA Third
> Field Army's choice.
> Cuming comment on page 527 regarding the "defeated" morale
> situation on Taiwan after loss of Hainan Island in late-April 1950
> was very real, and CCP Third Field Army's success would have
> come rather easily had it been done in Aug-Sept., and
> had the Korean War not intervened in the Chinese Civil War.