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Who “Lost” China? Part 1

May 16, 2022

After the Kuomintang  Government of Chiang-Kai-shek fled to Taiwan in 1949, Republicans seized the political initiative by blaming the Democrat Party for the “loss” of China to totalitarian Communists led by Mao tse-tung.

Excesses by Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) in the 1950’s and later Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society (1958), and even earlier, the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC), created in 1938, roiled American politics.

Twenty-two years after Mao took control of China, in August 1971, President Nixon took the unprecedented action by a U.S. President and visited the PRC.  In doing do, Nixon played “The China Card” in a game of Poker with the Soviet Union. By conceding to the reality of Communist control of the China mainland, Nixon also agreed in a “Shanghai Communique” that the U.S. recognized that Taiwan was “part of China and that it was committed to withdraw military forces stationed there once the Communist and Nationalist Chinese had settled their differences peacefully, an ambiguous construct that kept both sides guessing about US intentions.”

Seventy-two years later, Reuters reported on October 22, 2021 that President Biden said that “the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense and has a commitment to defend the island China claims as its own, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday, though the White House said later there was no change in policy towards the island.”

“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall when asked if the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has complained of mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty.

Apart from Biden’s “time warp,” this is not 1949 and the question now is when, not if, the PRC will invade Taiwan.

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