Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."


In the early 1950s, one of the great debates in Washington, D.C., was over “Who lost China?” It was a highly charged and deadly serious partisan-political blame game to fix responsibility for allowing the Chinese Communist to seize control of China and drive the government of the Republic of China (ROC) to the island of Taiwan (Formosa). The world is vastly different now than it was then; but when it comes to finger-pointing, Washington, D.C. is not; and the seeds of a “who-lost-Taiwan” debate have been planted. (More)


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7 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Groups

    Group: Defense Industry Network
    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    I believe China will execute hostile take overs of oil rich islands mineral rich countries to feed their enormous energy needs in the future !

    Posted by Paul Daly

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Groups

    Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni
    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    The Taiwanese are probably in a better position to determine their fate than we are, and probably understand the Chinese communists better than we do. Whatever policy we adopt with regard to Taiwan and their future, should be consistent with other allies in the region. Should China become belligerent and Japan stays neutral preventing the US from staging forces there, the situation becomes operationally untenable. This is no place for us to get caught in a war, and anchoring our credibility in the region on that small island is not wise policy. US policy in the region should be flexible enough to adapt to whatever situation prevails in Taiwan.

    Posted by John Tucker

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Groups

    Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)
    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    Ed: You wrote a very thoughtful and, I think helpful, article on the Taiwan conundrum. I was hopeful that the U.S., China, and Taiwan might be able to agree to a ‘Hong Kong’ type of solution, but that does not appear to be in the cards. As an aside, when I lived on Taiwan in the early 1960’s, the native Taiwanese population (mostly immigrants from Fukein themselves) were highly resentful of the Nationalist take over of what they saw as their island. So as you imply it really is a complicated issue

    Posted by Richard Wright

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Political Coffeehouse

    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    WOW! I have not seen this discussion in years. Of course Richard Nixon road that lobby to the vice-presidency in the 50’s and on to the white house in the 60’s. Henry Luce and Time Inc. was the major force behind it all.

    Now that Mao is gone, China is different. They are still not totally with us, but they cannot let us fall. Look at the trillions they have of our debt! They produce 95% of the light bulbs that go into our homes. They, along with Vietnam and other Pacific Rim countries produce most of our clothing.
    If we quit buying consumer goods at the rate we are and they call in on our bonds, they will get less. These sudo-capitalist functionaries are savvy enough to understand that part of the free enterprise system. After all, a lot of them were educated in the U.S.!

    To this point they have left a lot of Hong Kong alone and have not tried to communize too much. What they would do if they got Taiwan is another question. Since they are one of the Pacific Rim countries- like Hong Kong- I cannot imagine them changing too much. Again, why should they antagonize one of their best trade partners? Are we still viewing the world from a 1950’s perspective?

    Posted by Morris Gosa, LC

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Conservative Networking

    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    Very good article, Ed. Straightforward and balanced and persuasive. Thanks once again for posting and for kind friendship. Dave

    Posted by Dave Hatcher

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Heritage Foundation

    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    I completely understand this concern but China can no more focus on taking or even intimidating Taiwan right now than we can. China is facing rampant inflation and a very unhappy, extremely poor rural class. China is trying to morph into a quasi-authoritarian regime as people get richer and demand more freedoms. Finally, China cannot even quell a small but growing Islamic Uighur insurgency in the Xinjiang province let alone seriously threaten Taiwan.

    A lot of people are mistakenly agitated over the Chinese completing its first aircraft carrier. Call me when they have three. One aircraft carrier is not realistically operational. You need at least three of everything to mount operations. They need one to send out for operations, one coming back from operations, and one in repair. I think the Chinese threat is overblown at this point. But I agree with the premise that the United States should continue to support Taiwan.

    Posted by Dan Cox

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Forum

    Discussion: WHO LOST TAIWAN?

    The U.S. can use the sale of advanced F-16s to leverage the China-Taiwan relationship. It will signal to Beijing Washington will continue maintaining a presence in East Asia. American military support of Taiwan will not end until China 1) discontinues augmenting and enhancing its missiles/naval forces in the Fujian province-adjacent areas; or 2) both sides resolve their political differences. The F-16 issue is a facet of the Taiwan Strait’s increasingly complex political-economic environment. It’s creating a challenging situation for the Obama Administration in formulating a policy – a policy which acknowledges the evolving strategic climate, plus adheres to 1) the TRA; 2) 1972 joint U.S.-China Communique; and 3) 1982 U.S.-Taiwan “Six Assurances” accord. Sino-Taiwan relations have evolved since the aforementioned documents came into existence. Washington is now faced with a situation where Beijing and Taipei have strong economic relations (as evolved under 2010 Ecfa). The Straits political status remains the contentious issue. How it is settled remains enigmatic. What is certain is Taiwan will not accept a Hong-Kong type status. The only current recognizable/unrealistic solutions are, a) Taiwan’s declaration of independence; or b) Beijing’s acceptance of Taipei as the sole representative of the Chinese people – neither scenario will occur. The issue will probably not be resolved for another generation, minimum.

    Posted by Matthew Kennedy

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