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Taiwan Strait Crises and Chiang Kai-shek’s Strategic Thinking: A Perspective from the Taiwan’s Archive

Discussion Papers


October 2014


This paper uses Taiwan’s archival documents to reexamine the two Taiwan Strait crises and the characteristics of Chiang Kai-shek’s strategic thinking. Section 2 examines the oscillation of U.S. policy concerning the ROC’s offensive toward mainland China and the defense of the Da-chen islands before and after the initiation of the First Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1954-1955. Doing so will highlight the contradictory U.S. attitude that contributed to the crisis and weakened its ability to control Chiang. Section 3 focuses on Chiang Kai-shek’s strategic vision toward East Asia. In particular, this section focuses on his strategic thinking and tries to assess whether or not he was a “reckless” or “irrational” leader as often described in the previous research on his personality.

Keywords: Chiang Kai-shek, Taiwan’s Archives, Taiwan Strait Crises, Quemoy, Da-chen
JEL classification: Z

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