The Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1954-55 and U.S.-R.O.C Relations

Discussion Papers



February 2010


On September 3, 1954, Chinese artillery began shelling Quemoy (Jinmen), one of the Kuomintang-held offshore islands, setting off the first Taiwan Strait Crisis. This paper focuses on the crisis and analyzes the following three questions: (1) What was the policy the U.S. took towards the Republic of China (R.O.C), especially towards the offshore islands, to try to end the Taiwan Strait Crisis? (2) What were the intentions of the U.S. government in trying to end the Taiwan Strait Crisis? And (3) how should U.S. policy towards the R.O.C. which led to solving the Taiwan Strait Crisis be positioned in the history of Sino-American relations? Through analysis of these questions, this study concludes that the position the U.S. took to bring an end to crisis, one which prevented China from “liberating Taiwan” and the Kuomintang from “attacking the mainland,” brought about the existence of a de facto “two-China” situation.

Keywords: Taiwan Strait Crisis, Quemoy, Jinmen, U.S.-R.O.C. Relations, Two-China
JEL classification: Z

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