the war broke out in North Korea on June 25, 1950, and the US government responded quickly. However, it is surprising that the first military action of the United States against the war was not against the Korean Peninsula, but against China’s territory. In other words, the first reaction of the US government was to ensure the withdrawal of Americans from North Korea on the one hand, and order the seventh fleet to go north to the Taiwan Strait on the other. There was a war on the Korean Peninsula, but the United States sent the seventh fleet to the Taiwan Strait. What is the causal relationship? Taking advantage of the Korean War, what is the purpose of the United States to re raise the issue of Taiwan’s status that Truman has recognized and solved? What impact and consequences did this military action taken by the United States have on the Korean War in turn? This paper attempts to answer these questions.

(I)

on the Taiwan issue, Truman said in an official statement on June 27:

the attack on North Korea has undoubtedly shown that communism is no longer limited to the use of subversive means to conquer independent countries. Now it is necessary to use armed aggression and war. It defied the orders issued by the UN Security Council to maintain international peace and security. If necessary, the United States forces will directly threaten the security of the Pacific region and the United States forces.

in fact, Truman’s reason, that is, to stop the attack on Taiwan in order to maintain peace in the region, is only a superficial excuse. Before the outbreak of the Korean War, the United States did not think that the forces of the Communist Party of China would launch an attack on Taiwan soon; Later, it was admitted that if an attack occurred, even if the seventh fleet entered the Strait, it would not be able to prevent the fall of Taiwan. After the government fled to Taiwan, the United States believed that the Chinese people’s Liberation Army would attack Taiwan immediately. However, by mid June 1950, US intelligence agencies had made new estimates on when the Chinese people’s Liberation Army would attack Taiwan. They believe that it may be too late to take action in the summer of 1950, and after autumn, the climate conditions in the Taiwan Strait will not be conducive to military action. In this way, the attack on Taiwan will be delayed at least after the next spring.

at the same time, the conversation between Gu Weijun, the representative of Taiwan’s Kuomintang regime in the United States, and Dulles also explained this point. Gu Weijun said that after the national government withdrew from the Zhoushan Islands, it actually strengthened its defensive position in Taiwan. As for the possible date of the invasion, according to reports from Taiwan, it may occur in early July. Dulles said that the report received by the State Council believed that the Communist Party would not attack Taiwan this summer unless they were sure that the people of Taiwan would not resist the invasion, but welcomed the Communist Party. If the Communist Party does not hope to get an effective response from within Taiwan, they will not invade Taiwan before the end of the year or the beginning of next year.

at the beginning of the Korean War, the U.S. government hurriedly recognized that Taiwan was in danger and first decided to take military action in Taiwan, in order to cover up its China policy that had begun to change before the outbreak of the war and create political conditions for its participation in the Korean War. This change has its historical and political background. The outbreak of the Korean War is just an opportunity to promote this policy change. There are two different opinions on China policy in the US “ruling group” of

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and

. Especially after the Kuomintang lost its position in Chinese mainland, the contradiction is more sharply reflected on the Taiwan issue. The State Council headed by Acheson advocated abandoning Chiang Kai Shek and getting out of the chaos in China, while retaining room for maneuver in dealing with the new regime of the Communist Party of China. The military leaders and the Republican Party advocated a tough policy of assisting Chiang Kai Shek, and even did not hesitate to use military force to protect Taiwan in order to establish an anti Communist base in Asia.

as early as November 1948, the State Council asked the Joint Chiefs of staff to make an estimate of Taiwan’s strategic position in U.S. security. At the same time, the State Council also consulted Taiwan’s views. The Joint Chiefs of staff and MacArthur have roughly the same views. They both believe that Taiwan has an important strategic position for the security of the United States in the Western Pacific. The memorandum on strategic status of Taiwan signed by admiral Li Hai in November 24th said: (1) after the Chinese mainland changed hands, the United States lost the possibility of using other parts of China as a military base, so the status of Taiwan and Penghu islands is more important. If necessary, they can be used as bases for strategic air operations and control the adjacent waterways. (2) If Taiwan is controlled by the enemy, in case of war, Taiwan will be used to control the shipping route from Malaya to Japan, and then Ryukyu and the Philippines; (3) At present, Taiwan is the main source of food and other materials for Japan. If this source of supply is cut off, Japan will become a burden rather than an asset of the United States. Therefore, the Joint Chiefs of staff held that “it is in the strategic interests of the United States to prevent the Communist Party from ruling Taiwan through diplomatic and economic means, so as to ensure that it remains in the hands of a government friendly to the United States”. MacArthur further analyzed that if the Soviet Union used Taiwan, it would break the whole defense line of the United States in the Far East.

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the State Council and the military share the same view on the importance of Taiwan’s status. In January 1949, the State Council drafted a “report on the US position on Taiwan”. The document was approved by Truman on February 3 and compiled into document No. 371 of the National Security Council. The conclusion of the paper is that the basic goal of the United States is to prevent Taiwan and Penghu islands from falling into the hands of the Communist Party. For this reason, “the most practical way is to isolate these islands from Chinese mainland under the conditions of not undertaking unilateral obligations and exerting unilateral pressure”. The document also proposed that Taiwan’s autonomy movement could be used. Truman seemed to have a more comprehensive consideration of the issue. He asked the Joint Chiefs of staff to study what measures should be taken when diplomatic and economic means could not guarantee the implementation of the US policy towards Taiwan. On February 10, 1949, the Joint Chiefs of staff presented a report. The report believes that it is unwise to undertake any military obligations in Taiwan at present. The problem is American military powerIt is unable to invest a large number of troops in Taiwan. Moreover, Taiwan’s strategic importance to the United States is not as directly related to us security as Iceland. The Joint Chiefs of staff suggested that only a small number of political and communication facilities could be deployed in Taiwan, but the Joint Chiefs of staff suggested that only a small number of military facilities could be deployed there.

the State Council strongly opposed the military’s proposal. Acheson believes that since the United States does not intend to use troops on a large scale in Taiwan, any display of force can only play the opposite role. Acheson’s speech at the National Security Council meeting clearly stated that we could not rely on military means, but only rely on political means to achieve the goal of separating Taiwan from Chinese mainland:

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. We are trying to encourage separism in Taiwan, and we will inevitably encounter the potential threat of recovering land lost in Chinese mainland. Just as we seek to use the practical problem of recovering its lost land in Manchuria and Xinjiang from the Soviet Union, we should especially avoid a strange image made by the United States. We cannot afford to publicly express that the United States is profitable in Taiwan, thereby undermining the new status that the United States is forming in China. The main problem we are considering is that if we want our current policy to have any hope of success in Taiwan, we must carefully cover up the idea of separating the island from mainland control. Therefore, Acheson tried his best to oppose any display of force by the United States in Taiwan and asked all government departments to “refrain from showing enthusiasm for Taiwan”.

although the opinions of the State Department prevailed at that time, as Acheson later recalled, “from October 1948 to the outbreak of the Korean War on June 25, 1950, this policy – that is, not using U.S. troops to defend Formosa – has never wavered”. However, this only shows the fact that the United States implemented this policy during this period, and does not mean that there is no debate and swing in the formulation of the United States policy on the Taiwan issue. When Chiang Kai Shek withdrew from the mainland to Taiwan and strengthened his control over Taiwan, the plan envisaged by the United States to separate Taiwan from the mainland seemed difficult to achieve. ***

therefore, the focus of the problem changed to: for the strategic security of the United States, whether it should re intervene in the Chinese civil war and support and assist Chiang Kai Shek’s regime.

although the United States has long determined to take a wait-and-see attitude towards the situation in China, it is very cautious in diplomacy. In July 1949, the State Council informed Leighton Stuart that the United States would continue to maintain diplomatic relations with the Kuomintang regime as long as it remained on the mainland and was the only government of China.

with the founding of the people’s Republic of China on October 1 and the relocation of Chiang Kai Shek’s regime to Taiwan on December 8, the two conditions proposed by the State Council no longer exist. The situation forces the US government to make clear its position on the relationship with Chiang Kai Shek’s regime and its policy towards Taiwan.

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. According to the estimation of the CIA at that time, without the intervention of the US Army, Taiwan “would be under the control of the Communist Party of China by the end of 1950”.

that is to say, the United States either used force to prevent the Chinese people’s Liberation Army from Liberating Taiwan, or gave up its support and assistance to the Kuomintang regime in Taiwan.

the opinion of the Ministry of national defense is to delay Chiang Kai Shek’s regime for another period through limited military assistance, depending on the development of the situation. On December 23, 1949, the Joint Chiefs of staff submitted a memorandum to the National Security Council. The memorandum pointed out that it would be in the security interests of the United States to formulate an appropriate “properly guided and closely supervised” military assistance plan for the anti Communist Kuomintang government in Taiwan. Based on this point, the Joint Chiefs of staff recommended sending personnel immediately to investigate the nature and extent of military assistance needed to keep Taiwan.

however, the proposition of the State Council is to prepare for the complete abandonment of Taiwan. On the same day that the Joint Chiefs of staff proposed the above memorandum, the State Council issued a secret document entitled “policy intelligence Outline: Taiwan”. The intention is to minimize its significance and adverse effects when Taiwan falls into the hands of the Communist Party of China. The document pointed out that all publicity materials should be used to avoid the wrong view that maintaining Taiwan can save the Chinese government; The United States has a special interest or ambition in the island, or maintains any military base in Taiwan; The loss of the island will seriously damage the interests of the United States or other anti communist countries; In any case, the United States has the responsibility or obligation to take action to save Taiwan. According to the document, the loss of Taiwan “has been generally expected” and “the military and civilian situation there has deteriorated under the rule of the Kuomintang. Therefore, this result is reasonable”. The document

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fully demonstrates the State Council’s proposition of abandoning Taiwan. However, when the document was sent to MacArthur’s Tokyo headquarters, it was put in the document box for news release. According to Gu Weijun, the document was deliberately disclosed by MacArthur in order to arouse public opinion against the State Council.

after the contents of the document were disclosed, it caused strong dissatisfaction in Congress. Republican lawmakers such as Nolan, Taft and Smith, as well as former President Hoover, have expressed fierce criticism. Nolan urged not to recognize new China and continue to support Chiang Kai Shek, and suggested sending a military delegation to Taiwan. Taft openly advocated the deployment of the navy to protect Taiwan, and believed that only a small amount of assistance and minimal cost could stop the further expansion of communism. Smith openly demanded that the United States occupy Taiwan in the form of UN trusteeship, on the grounds that technically speaking, Taiwan is still a part of Japan. And these opinions were accepted by the new China governmentThe government accused the United States of occupying Taiwan.

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in this way, the two positions on the Taiwan issue have been exposed to the public, which makes the US decision-making level have to choose between these two options and need to make a public statement.

on December 29, the State Council with Acheson, Rusk, Butterworth and McCandless as one side had a direct confrontation with the Joint Chiefs of staff with Bradley, Collins and nostad as one side on the Taiwan issue. The Joint Chiefs of staff argued for the memorandum that from a military point of view, the Kuomintang’s position in Taiwan is more stable than in the past. Therefore, with relatively low costs, Taiwan can last longer than the United States expected. In this way, the United States can influence China’s efforts to strengthen its own regime, because as long as the Communist Party still has to fight against Taiwan or liberate Taiwan, they will not expand into Southeast Asia. Therefore, the Joint Chiefs of staff advocated increasing military assistance to Taiwan according to their needs and sending military advisers to Taiwan. Acheson strongly opposed these views. The State Council believes that: (1) it must be recognized that “the personnel of the Communist Party have actually controlled China. The main reason for China’s conquest by the Communists is not force, but the collapse of the Kuomintang itself and the Communist Party’s use of China’s long-term agrarian revolution. We must face the reality that China has no foundation to resist communism”. (2) The way to prevent communism from spreading to Southeast Asian countries is to help the countries in the region establish an internal security situation, help them develop their economy and even improve people’s living standards, which is the basic spirit of the fourth point plan. (3) Even if the increase in military assistance to the Kuomintang as suggested by the Joint Chiefs of staff is nothing more than delaying the fall of Taiwan for one year, the price paid for this is that the prestige of the United States is lost again in public failure. At the same time, it will arouse the hatred of the Chinese people and give the Soviet Union an excuse to accuse the United States of complicity with the corrupt Kuomintang at the United Nations. Taiwan has no strategic significance for us security and defense, so it is not worth paying such a price. (4) China’s non domination by the Soviet Union is “an important asset of the United States in China”, and the United States should not “replace the Soviet Union as China’s imperialist threat”. The Chinese Communists are indeed Marxists. They regard the Soviet Union as their only great ally. However, “we should look further, from 6 to 12 years, not from 6 to 12 months.”. Bradley had no more reason. He just said that the military started from the military perspective and the consideration of the common defense assistance bill passed by Congress. Since the military should obey politics, he asked Acheson whether to do it according to political methods.

Acheson clearly replied: Yes, unless a basis can be put forward to explain Taiwan’s strategic importance, it is impossible to follow the opinions of the memorandum.

as a result, President Truman supported the opinions of the State Department. The National Security Council document No. 482 “the status of the United States in Asia” adopted on December 30 stipulates that “the United States should make use of the differences between the Communist Party of China and the Soviet Union, as well as between Chinese Communists and other elements through appropriate political, psychological and economic means, while carefully avoiding the impression of interference”. As for Taiwan, “it is not important enough to take military action”. “The United States should make every effort to strengthen the overall status of the United States in the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands and Japan.”.

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, the proposal to provide military assistance and take military action for Taiwan was once again rejected by the US government. At the same time, the State Council also made concessions, that is, it relaxed the conditions for maintaining diplomatic relations with the Kuomintang Regime: if the U.S. government receives a formal notice from the “national government” to move its capital to Taipei, and its “foreign minister” ye Gongchao will no longer stay in Hong Kong as a minister.

subsequently, in order to stabilize Congress and public opinion, Truman and Acheson issued statements and public speeches respectively, announcing that Taiwan would be excluded from the US Far East defense line. As far as Truman was concerned, he was not as enthusiastic and hopeful about Chiang Kai Shek as he was. Instead, he held an attitude of disgust and contempt for the Kuomintang. Therefore, Truman has always preferred the opinions of the State Council on the Taiwan issue. However, Truman also had to consider the attitude of the military and Congress. The day before the statement was issued on January 5, he took the document drafted by the State Department to consult Johnson and Bradley. They all expressed their opposition to the statement, and Johnson’s opinion was particularly strong. Finally, despite Acheson’s persuasion, Truman followed Bradley’s advice and made two amendments: delete the sentence “no intention to separate Taiwan from China”; The words “at present” have been added before the sentence “the United States has no intention of establishing a military base in Taiwan”. It seems that once the situation changes, there is a foundation for the United States to change its policy towards Taiwan, and the foreshadowing has been laid in advance.

(II)

although from the public statements of Truman and Acheson to the outbreak of the Korean War, the U.S. National Security Council has not discussed the Taiwan issue, but the opposition of the military and Congress still exists, and the military is even suspected of acting on its own. Shortly after Acheson’s speech on January 12, the Joint Chiefs of staff decided to extend the validity of the “emergency operation plan” formulated in the past to the end of 1951. After the

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, with the incitement of the Republican Party in Congress, Sino US relations intensified due to the Beijing military camp incident, the signing of the Sino Soviet friendship alliance and mutual assistance treaty and the McCarthy incident, the State Council was more and more fiercely attacked on the issue of Taiwan policy, and Acheson bore the brunt and became the target of the attack.

after April 1950, the situation in Taiwan became more and more tense. The liberation of Hainan Island on April 27 and the withdrawal of Kuomintang troops from Zhoushan Islands on May 16 have left the Taiwan authorities in constant panic, and the United States has paid more attention to the fate of Taiwan. The State Council is prepared to withdraw from Taiwan according to the original policy. On May 17, strong reported from Taipei: “me andThe embassy staff believed that Taiwan’s fate was doomed and that the Communist Party might launch an attack between June 15 and the end of July. Strong suggested reducing the number of US officials and warning all US citizens to leave Taiwan quickly and transfer precision instruments. He told the State Department that he would “prepare all documents that must be handed over to the British Consulate by June 15” and “identify internal and external evacuation units”. On May 26, the State Council called back to strong, agreed with his proposal to take relevant measures “as soon as possible and gradually” to lay the foundation for the implementation of the evacuation plan, and authorized him to secretly “carry out completely necessary planning” with the British side in case of emergency.

at the same time, on May 24, the US Consulate General in Taiwan advised us citizens to leave the island unless they have something to do there.

the attitude of the military is quite the opposite. In April, the Joint Chiefs of staff put forward their views on the strategic situation in Southeast Asia, which strengthened the formulation of the importance of China in the strategic position of the United States in Asia than before. They advocated that the United States should take “decisive” and “sustained” measures to “reduce the pressure from the Communist Party of China”, “There is evidence that the Chinese Kuomintang’s army has been revitalized and its effectiveness has been enhanced.”.

in the Ministry of national defense, from April to June, on the eve of the outbreak of the Korean War, people have constantly put forward various opinions, supported the opinions of the Joint Chiefs of staff, advocated overthrowing the policy stated by Truman on January 5, and made every effort to “keep” Taiwan. The reason is that the situation has changed, “the Soviet Union has safely taken over Communist China”. The proposal states that the short-term goal of the United States is to maintain Taiwan’s resistance as much as possible, preferably for more than 18 months, so as to buy time to strengthen the defense of the Philippines and Indonesia; The long-term goal is to “permanently” prevent the Communist Party from getting Taiwan. Therefore, we should take far-reaching steps to unite a “non Communist ruled Taiwan” with its “non Communist neighbors” and finally form a “non Soviet China”. The proposed immediate steps include: sending more senior and middle-level officers to Taiwan, immediately using the balance of the “China Assistance Act” to purchase ships and arms for Taiwan, and the public visit of US naval combat ships to Taiwan. The State Council should issue a statement to explain the reasons for the change of US policy and increase diplomatic representatives in Taiwan. The measures to achieve the long-term goals include: the US seventh fleet stationed in the Taiwan Strait, organizing a military investigation mission to investigate Taiwan’s defense needs, trying to get Chiang Kai Shek to step down and support his successors, and providing sufficient economic and military assistance to enable Japan, the Philippines or Vietnam to conclude a security treaty with this “Taiwan Democratic Government”, Training anti Communist guerrilla forces and sending them to Chinese mainland.

Defense Secretary Johnson clearly supports these views. On May 25, a month before the war broke out, Johnson submitted a memorandum to Truman. This is a very important document on the transformation of the US policy towards Taiwan. According to Bradley’s recollection, its content is:

. The national security committee decided on December 29, 1949 not to assist the Chinese Kuomintang in defending Taiwan. Since then, the situation has changed to such an extent that the Department of defense feels obliged to ask you to raise this issue again for further study and consideration. Since the beginning of the year, Hainan Island and the coastal islands near Shanghai have fallen into the hands of the Communist Party; The Communist Party of China signed a military treaty with Russia; In the past few days, the situation in North Korea has become very serious. Although Taiwan is not an important base for the US military, once it is occupied by hostile countries, it will seriously affect our status in Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines. There are many ready-made airports on the island, so that our planes can take off from there and play a role completely. For example, the range of our existing fighters can only move between Okinawa and the Philippines. In order to avoid interference from Taiwan, it is necessary to go around in a circle, and this circuitous action is infeasible or extremely dangerous. In December, the Ministry of defense proposed to order MacArthur, commander in chief of the Far East theater, to send an investigation team to Taiwan to master first-hand materials on how to prevent Taiwan from falling into the hands of hostile countries. I once again suggest that you take this action, which the Joint Chiefs of staff and General MacArthur agree with.

on June 9, Johnson even asked the Joint Chiefs of staff to consider sending us troops to stop the attack on Taiwan, a very sensitive issue.

at the same time, Dulles, who has just served as an adviser to the State Council, also raised the issue of changing his policy towards Taiwan. As the main spokesman of the Republican Party’s foreign policy, Dulles’s entry into the State Department must have brought a lot of trouble to Acheson. On May 18, Dulles submitted a memorandum to the State Department. The memorandum holds that because the Communist Party controls China and China is allied with the Soviet Union, the balance of power in the world has been broken and tilted in favor of the Soviet Union rather than the United States. Under such circumstances, if the United States still shows a tendency to allow those uncertain regions, namely, the Americas and regions outside the North Atlantic Treaty countries, to fall into the hands of the Soviet Union, the United States will encounter a series of major disasters in regions rich in natural resources such as Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, Even the Middle East oil region will be in crisis. In order to prevent such a disaster, the United States should quickly adopt a new and tough position that can show our confidence and determination. Dulles believed that taking this position in Taiwan is the most advantageous. He said: “if the United States announces that Taiwan should be neutrally maintained, neither will it be occupied by the Communist Party nor allow it to be used as a military base against Chinese mainland, then we will be able to persevere in this decision until the Soviet Union has launched an open war.”

Dulles also found his supporters in the State Department, which is Dean Rusk, assistant secretary of state for Far East affairs. Rusk agreed with Dulles. After discussion, heTwo proposals were submitted to Acheson on May 30 and June 9, basically repeating Dulles’ opinions. The proposal even puts forward some specific plans. For example, it tells Chiang Kai Shek that the fall of Taiwan is inevitable. The United States is not prepared to help him hold Taiwan, then mobilizes Chiang Kai Shek to withdraw from political activities, agrees to let the United Nations implement trusteeship over Taiwan, and sends a team from the United Nations to investigate the situation of Taiwan and submit a report to the general assembly, On the basis of the principle of “militarization” and “self-determination” of Taiwan; In order to ensure military neutrality, the United States sent the seventh fleet into Taiwan waters, claiming to prevent military action between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait; The note to Britain, the Soviet Union and the United Nations shows that the upcoming conflict between the Chinese in Taiwan will involve international peace issues, which should be resolved jointly by the United Nations and relevant countries of the peace treaty with Japan. Dulles also decided to inform Chiang Kai Shek of these suggestions during his visit to Japan.

in this way, Acheson’s proposition was opposed not only by the Ministry of defense and the Joint Chiefs of staff, but also by Dulles and Rusk within the State Council. At the same time, Acheson was also criticized by Republicans in Congress. Especially after the rise of McCarthyism, the implementation of the State Department’s China policy is considered to be the main reason for “losing China”. It seems that Acheson had to give up his opinion for political reasons to get rid of this dilemma.

at this time, MacArthur, who is famous for his anti communism, shot at Truman and Acheson’s Taiwan policy and put forward the “opinion on protecting Taiwan”. On June 14, MacArthur drafted this top secret memorandum to the Joint Chiefs of staff. On June 24, the day before the war broke out, MacArthur handed the memo to Johnson and Bradley, who were visiting Tokyo. Bradley recalled that the document used the metaphor of “unsinkable aircraft carrier” to emphasize and reiterate the threat to the US Far East Front once Taiwan falls into the hands of the Communist Party. MacArthur strongly advocated that the United States should take the initiative to take measures to prevent Taiwan from being ruled by the Communist regime. He was unable to put forward specific political, economic and military measures to prevent the fall of Taiwan, but strongly urged the government to approve the proposal of the Joint Chiefs of staff to send an investigation team to Taiwan on December 23, 1949 and May 4, 1950. Bradley believes that “on the issue of assistance to Taiwan, this document is more powerful than the arguments put forward in previous documents of the Joint Chiefs of staff”. Therefore, Johnson and Bradley unanimously decided that this document should be submitted to the president and put forward suggestions in the name of the Joint Chiefs of staff. The United States should change its policy of not interfering in Taiwan and provide assistance to the Kuomintang in accordance with the recommendations of the investigation team.

that is to say, on the eve of the outbreak of the Korean War, the United States has tended to change its policy towards Taiwan, and even has specific suggestions to choose from.

Johnson and Bradley returned with MacArthur’s memorandum just in time for the outbreak of the Korean War and Truman held the first Blair building meeting. Therefore, in the discussion before the dinner of the meeting, Johnson and Bradley first spoke, not talking about the Korean war situation, but talking about the important strategic position of Taiwan. Bradley read MacArthur’s “opinion on protecting Taiwan” on the spot. Bradley even suggested that the military believes that Taiwan is more important than North Korea, “The attack in North Korea may be a feint aimed at diverting our attention from the fact that the Communist Party has urgently attacked Taiwan. In the past few weeks, the Communist Party of China has assembled about 200000 troops opposite Taiwan. If the Communist Party is really going to fight from the Far East, we must defend Taiwan without delay. In North Korea, we can rely on the South Korean army, or at least we can I think so. However, Taiwan is almost bare handed and is a ripe fruit that can be easily obtained “.

it was at this meeting that Acheson put forward the proposal of sending the seventh fleet to Taiwan. In fact, this proposal is based on the argument that the military’s strategic position in Taiwan has become very important and the proposal of Dulles Rusk as the specific scheme.

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understand such a historical process. It will not be surprised and strange that the US government first changed its policy towards Taiwan at the outbreak of the Korean War, thus intervening in China’s civil war in essence.

(III)

the change of US policy towards Taiwan took the outbreak of war in North Korea as the reason and excuse, and its result, in turn, had a significant impact on the complexity and expansion of the Korean War.

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first, the direct result of the seventh fleet’s entry into the Taiwan Strait was that the United States was tightly tied to the Chiang Kai Shek clique – this was the last result that the Truman government wanted to see, thus further complicating the situation of the Korean War. While recommending the use of the seventh fleet, Acheson particularly stressed that the United States should not maintain close ties with Chiang Kai Shek and that the status of Taiwan can be determined by the United Nations.

the State Council then sent a secretly circulated telegram to its diplomatic and consular officials, explaining that the decision of the seventh fleet to go north “is only an emergency defense measure taken to maintain peace in the Pacific region, and we have no prejudice against the political issues related to the Chinese government”.

Acheson’s original intention may be to maintain a policy once envisaged by the United States in dealing with the Taiwan issue before the Korean War: first abandon Chiang Kai Shek, and then, if possible, bring it into the scope of U.S. strategic defense by realizing Taiwan autonomy or independence. However, the United States dispatched its navy to stop the attack on Taiwan. The actual result was to protect the faltering Chiang Kai Shek regime and consolidate and strengthen the Kuomintang’s rule over Taiwan.

as early as November 1948, Wei Daoming, then president of Taiwan Province, had secret contact with the United States and expressed his willingness to persuade Chiang Kai Shek not to come to Taiwan with the support of the United States, so as to realize Taiwan’s autonomy.

at the meeting of the National Security Council on December 27, Acting Secretary of state Lovett also mentionedBecause of this, as soon as the Korean War broke out, Chiang Kai Shek immediately proposed to send troops to fight in South Korea. After this request was rejected by the US government, Chiang Kai Shek sent Gu Weijun and he Shili to fight MacArthur again and again. But MacArthur had no right to decide. Soon, Chiang Kai Shek proposed to send 15000 volunteers to South Korea to participate in the war, which was completely under the command of MacArthur. This proposal was still politely rejected by MacArthur on the grounds of strengthening Taiwan’s own defense. Although the US government is unwilling to let Chiang Kai Shek’s army get involved in the Korean War for various reasons, since the US government has taken the first step, the US Chiang relations have developed rapidly in this changed direction, so that this heavy burden has been on the United States for 22 years.

second, the change of the US policy towards Taiwan has aroused great indignation of the Chinese government and people, which has completely interrupted the relationship between the United States and new China, which had hoped for further development. At the same time, this is also the objective condition for the formation of the psychological factors of China’s decision to send troops to North Korea.

what really stimulated China in the Korean War was not the news of the outbreak of the war itself, but the news of the seventh fleet entering the Taiwan Strait. According to Shi Zhe’s recollection, on the morning of June 26, he told him that he had learned the news of the outbreak of the war from foreign newspapers, but Mao Zedong only expressed his dissatisfaction with North Korea’s failure to say hello in advance and had no other clear response.

at that time, the Chinese government did not immediately express its public attitude towards the North Korean issue. As soon as the statement on the mobilization of Truman’s seventh fleet was issued on June 27, Mao Zedong delivered a speech at the eighth meeting of the central government the next day, severely accusing the US government of interfering in China’s internal affairs. Obviously, the US government’s actions have angered the Chinese Communists who have just come to power. Mao Zedong solemnly declared: “The Chinese people have long stated that the affairs of all countries in the world should be managed by the people of all countries themselves, and the affairs of Asia should be managed by the Asian people themselves, not by the United States. The American aggression against Asia can only arouse the extensive and persistent resistance of the Asian people. Truman also stated on January 5 this year that the United States does not interfere in Taiwan. Now he has proved that it is false, At the same time, it tore up all international agreements of the United States on non-interference in China’s internal affairs. ”

the US government sent warships to cruise the Taiwan Strait. The direct consequence was to prevent the Chinese people’s Liberation Army from Liberating Taiwan and undertake defense obligations for the Chiang Kai Shek group. Although the Kuomintang and the Communist Party have had two cooperation experiences since the 1920s, in fact, there is deep resentment between the two parties. For the first time, the Kuomintang only used the mass base and propaganda work of the Communist Party. At the same time, due to the wrong guidance of the Comintern and the cognitive deviation and lack of experience of the Communist Party of China, Chiang Kai Shek betrayed the people, hanged the revolution and forged a deep blood feud with the Chinese communists after usurping the leadership of the Kuomintang. For the second time, due to the entry of Japanese imperialist soldiers, the country and nation were at a critical juncture of life and death. Due to the changes in the international situation and the pressure of international forces such as the United States and the Soviet Union, the Kuomintang had to temporarily suspend its goal of suppressing the Communist party. Just after the war, the Kuomintang raised its butcher’s knife again in an attempt to destroy the Communist Party at one stroke. After four years of fighting between fire and blood, the Communist Party of China finally won the national power, while the Kuomintang fled to a corner of Taiwan. For the Communist Party of China, the completion of the great cause of national liberation and reunification is only the last blow, while for the Kuomintang, it is bitter about the humiliation of “defeating the country by war” and never forgets to counter attack the mainland. At this moment, the US government once again intervened between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party to protect the Kuomintang, which naturally aroused great indignation of the new Chinese government. At the same time, the US government’s statement that Taiwan still belongs to Japanese territory and its status remains to be discussed has also greatly hurt the national feelings of the Chinese people. In this way, China US relations, which could have made some progress, extinguished the last glimmer of hope. Later, the United States crossed the 38th parallel and approached the Yalu River, which made new China feel that it was in danger of being attacked by the north and the south. Therefore, it can be considered that the entry of the US seventh fleet into the Taiwan Strait is the first cornerstone for China to send troops to resist US aggression and aid Korea, and even for the Korean War to become a war between China and the United States.

on the other hand, the United States sent warships into the Taiwan Strait, which really hindered the Chinese people’s Liberation Army’s attack on Taiwan. However, new China had to give up the policy and plan of attacking Taiwan. The objective result was that a large number of Chinese troops were transferred from the southeast coast to the northeast. In other words, the result of this situation has created an objective condition for large-scale Chinese troops to enter the DPRK for combat. This is what happened later. If the United States had not intervened in the Taiwan issue, it would be rare for the Chinese people’s Liberation Army to assemble troops in the northeast border to fight in the DPRK while holding a sea crossing campaign along the southeast coast. Therefore, the seventh fleet prevented the Chinese army from attacking Taiwan, but made MacArthur face hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops fighting in North Korea, which was unexpected when the US government made decisions. Since then, China US relations have entered a long frozen period, which is contrary to the original intention of the US government.

third, another objective result of the United States’ complete change in its Taiwan policy is that it has prompted the US government to make a decision to intervene in the conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Although some people had talked about the entry of the seventh fleet into Taiwan before the outbreak of the Korean War, Acheson, who has always opposed assistance to Taiwan, was formally put forward to the government as a proposal. Why is this? In fact, Acheson is a drunkard, and his intention is not wine. The real purpose of raising the Taiwan issue is to solve the North Korean issue. In other words, Acheson offered the entry of the seventh fleet into Taiwan in exchange for urging the military to reach a compromise with the State Council on the Korean issue.

the consistent view of the State Council is to give up Chiang Kai Shek and aid to Taiwan, but it takes a tougher attitude on the North Korean issue. Such as opposing the premature withdrawal of troops from the Korean Peninsula and repeatedly proposing to increase economic and military assistance to South Korea. On the contrary, the US military pays more attention to the Taiwan issue and advocates increasing military assistance to keep Taiwan, but it holds a cold attitude towards South Korea, and its emergency plans are from the beginning in case of warRetreat on the Korean Peninsula. There was once a compromise between the State Council and the opposition in Congress and the military, that is, when the Congress discussed the issue of funding for military assistance in early 1950, the State Council had to agree to include Taiwan as an aid object in order to strive for funding for South Korea.

this time, Acheson quickly changed his attitude towards Taiwan at the critical moment when the war in North Korea has ignited. In addition to being subjected to political pressure, the deeper meaning is to exchange the military and congressional opposition for consistency with the advocacy of the State Council on the North Korean issue. In fact, Acheson may not expect the seventh fleet to really play the military role mentioned in the proposal. At that time, the US seventh fleet had one aircraft carrier, one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser, 12 destroyers and auxiliary ships. At that time, the scope of military responsibility was in the whole East Asia region. Among them, only two cruisers, six destroyers and one transport ship entered the Taiwan Strait based on Japan’s Sasebo. At the same time, these ships have to undertake combat tasks in the Korean War. It is obviously not enough for such a military force to be fully responsible for the security of the Taiwan region. Acheson also admitted at the Senate hearing on the military situation in the Far East in May 1951 that the fleet was unable to prevent the Chinese Communists from seizing Taiwan because it undertook the task of fighting in North Korea.

however, the deployment of a small military force is symbolic. As foster F. Dulles, an American diplomatic historian, said, “this defense line drawn around Taiwan is essential to silence Republicans who have long advocated this defense barrier.” Moreover, the decision to send the seventh fleet into the Taiwan Strait is “a decisive factor in winning the support of both parties to intervene in North Korea”. The change of the State Department’s policy towards North Korea is the prelude to the change of the State Department’s policy towards North Korea. In a sense, it is also the premise to strive for the consistency of the foreign policies of the two parties and quickly take full involvement in the Korean War.

(originally published in the fourth issue of contemporary Chinese history, 1995. When published by the editorial department, the title was changed to “the process and consequences of the change of the United States policy towards Taiwan in the early 1950s”, which was deleted and published here according to the original author.)