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Will America Defend Taiwan? Here’s What History Says


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Hoover Institute

Will America Defend Taiwan? Here’s What History Says

by Ian Easton

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

In December 1949, Chiang Kai-shek moved the capitol of the Republic of China (ROC) to Taipei. He intended the relocation to be temporary. He had already moved his government multiple times: when the Empire of Japan invaded China, when World War II ended, and again when Mao Zedong’s Communist insurgents took the upper hand in the Chinese Civil War.

To Chiang’s eyes, Taiwan was the perfect place to refit his tattered forces and prepare them for the long struggle ahead to defeat the Communists. The main island was protected by dozens of tiny island citadels, many just off the mainland coast, and surrounded by famously rough waters. While Chiang’s army had sustained crushing battlefield defeats and mass defections, he believed his superior navy and air force would make Taiwan an impregnable fortress.

The events that followed presented successive U.S. presidents with some of the most consequential foreign policy questions ever confronted by America’s leaders.  :snip: 

The Korean War

On January 12, 1950, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech in which  :snip: 

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Another question would be, is the PRC dumb enough to invade Taiwan? Amphibious landings are Really Really hard & costly to do. Also inspite of its size they have not been in combat since 79. Against Vietnam. That didn't work out well for them.

Not saying they can't do it, just saying Count The Cost.

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