Before the Pelosi crisis, you know the crises that almost led to a military confrontation because of Taiwan

Before the Pelosi crisis, you know the crises that almost led to a military confrontation because of Taiwan Over the course of 73 years, the Taiwan Strait has turned into a geopolitical flashpoint that has witnessed several crises, the latest of which was the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which was followed by Chinese warnings of a military response. Here are the most prominent crises that almost led to a direct military confrontation between China and Taiwan.  About 73 years ago, the Taiwan Strait turned into a geopolitical point of tension, after Taiwan separated from China following the end of the civil war and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.  The strait, which is only 130 km wide at its narrowest point, is a major international shipping channel separating self-ruled Taiwan and its giant neighbor.  Recently, Beijing reacted angrily to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island, issuing escalating threats and announcing a series of military exercises in the waters around the island.  Historians refer to 3 previous stations in which tension on both sides of the strait reached the point of a severe crisis.  The first Taiwan Strait crisis  At the end of the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong's communist forces expelled the Chiang Kai-shek Nationalists, the latter moving to Taiwan.  The two rival parties settled on both sides of the strait: the People's Republic of China on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan.  The first Straits Crisis erupted in August 1954, when the Nationalists sent thousands of soldiers to the tiny Taiwan-ruled islands of Kinmen and Matsu, just a few kilometers from the mainland.  Communist China responded with artillery bombardment of the two islands and succeeded in capturing the Yijiangshan Islands, 400 km north of Taipei.  The spark of the crisis was eventually extinguished, but it almost brought China and the United States to the brink of direct confrontation.  second crisis  It wasn't many years before fighting broke out again in 1958 when Mao's forces heavily bombed the Kinmen and Matsu islands in a fresh effort to drive out the Nationalist forces stationed there.  Fearing that the loss of the islands would lead to the collapse of the Nationalists and thus Beijing's takeover of Taiwan, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered his forces to escort and supply their Taiwanese allies.  At one point the United States briefly considered deploying nuclear weapons against China.  But Beijing declared a cease-fire due to its inability to seize the islands and the failure of the bombings to subdue the Nationalists.  Nevertheless, Mao's forces continued to bombard Kinmen sporadically until 1979, paralleling a stalemate.  The third crisis  Over the course of 37 years, both China and Taiwan have changed a lot. After Mao's death, China remained under the control of the Communist Party, but it embarked on a period of reform and opening to the world.  As for Taiwan, it began to get rid of the authoritarian rule of Chiang Kai-shek and shift to a liberal democracy, during a period during which many embraced a Taiwanese identity distinct from China.  Tension flared up again in 1995 when China began testing missiles in the waters around Taiwan in protest against the visit of Taiwanese President Lee Tin Hui to his university in the United States.  Beijing especially hated Lee, because he favored declaring Taiwan an independent state, which prompted the former to conduct more missile tests one year later, while Taiwan organized its first direct presidential elections.  But the steps backfired, with the United States sending two carrier groups to force China to retreat, while Lee won the election by a large margin.  A year later, Newt Gingrich became the first speaker of the US House of Representatives to visit Taiwan in an unprecedented move, and Pelosi followed suit 25 years later.

Over the course of 73 years, the Taiwan Strait has turned into a geopolitical flashpoint that has witnessed several crises, the latest of which was the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which was followed by Chinese warnings of a military response. Here are the most prominent crises that almost led to a direct military confrontation between China and Taiwan.

About 73 years ago, the Taiwan Strait turned into a geopolitical point of tension, after Taiwan separated from China following the end of the civil war and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

The strait, which is only 130 km wide at its narrowest point, is a major international shipping channel separating self-ruled Taiwan and its giant neighbor.

Recently, Beijing reacted angrily to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island, issuing escalating threats and announcing a series of military exercises in the waters around the island.

Historians refer to 3 previous stations in which tension on both sides of the strait reached the point of a severe crisis.

The first Taiwan Strait crisis

At the end of the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong's communist forces expelled the Chiang Kai-shek Nationalists, the latter moving to Taiwan.

The two rival parties settled on both sides of the strait: the People's Republic of China on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan.

The first Straits Crisis erupted in August 1954, when the Nationalists sent thousands of soldiers to the tiny Taiwan-ruled islands of Kinmen and Matsu, just a few kilometers from the mainland.

Communist China responded with artillery bombardment of the two islands and succeeded in capturing the Yijiangshan Islands, 400 km north of Taipei.

The spark of the crisis was eventually extinguished, but it almost brought China and the United States to the brink of direct confrontation.

Second crisis

It wasn't many years before fighting broke out again in 1958 when Mao's forces heavily bombed the Kinmen and Matsu islands in a fresh effort to drive out the Nationalist forces stationed there.

Fearing that the loss of the islands would lead to the collapse of the Nationalists and thus Beijing's takeover of Taiwan, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered his forces to escort and supply their Taiwanese allies.

At one point the United States briefly considered deploying nuclear weapons against China.

But Beijing declared a cease-fire due to its inability to seize the islands and the failure of the bombings to subdue the Nationalists.

Nevertheless, Mao's forces continued to bombard Kinmen sporadically until 1979, paralleling a stalemate.

The third crisis

Over the course of 37 years, both China and Taiwan have changed a lot. After Mao's death, China remained under the control of the Communist Party, but it embarked on a period of reform and opening to the world.

As for Taiwan, it began to get rid of the authoritarian rule of Chiang Kai-shek and shift to a liberal democracy, during a period during which many embraced a Taiwanese identity distinct from China.

Tension flared up again in 1995 when China began testing missiles in the waters around Taiwan in protest against the visit of Taiwanese President Lee Tin Hui to his university in the United States.

Beijing especially hated Lee, because he favored declaring Taiwan an independent state, which prompted the former to conduct more missile tests one year later, while Taiwan organized its first direct presidential elections.

But the steps backfired, with the United States sending two carrier groups to force China to retreat, while Lee won the election by a large margin.

A year later, Newt Gingrich became the first speaker of the US House of Representatives to visit Taiwan in an unprecedented move, and Pelosi followed suit 25 years later.
Previous Post Next Post