Crisis and Commitment: United States Policy Toward Taiwan, 1950-1955

Overview

This analytical study examines in comprehensive detail the making of the American military and political commitment to Taiwan during the first half of the 1950s. Starting with President Truman's declaration in January 1950 that the United States would not militarily assist Taiwan's Nationalist Chinese government, Robert Accinelli shows why Washington subsequently reversed this position and ultimately chose to embrace Taiwan as a highly valued ally. Accinelli analyzes this critical reversal within the context of ...

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Overview

This analytical study examines in comprehensive detail the making of the American military and political commitment to Taiwan during the first half of the 1950s. Starting with President Truman's declaration in January 1950 that the United States would not militarily assist Taiwan's Nationalist Chinese government, Robert Accinelli shows why Washington subsequently reversed this position and ultimately chose to embrace Taiwan as a highly valued ally. Accinelli analyzes this critical reversal within the context of shifting international circumstances and domestic developments such as McCarthyism and the Truman-MacArthur controversy. In addition to describing the growth of a close but uneasy relationship between the United States and the Nationalist regime, he focuses on the importance of the Taiwan issue in America's relations with the People's Republic of China and Great Britain. He concludes his study with an analysis of the 1954-55 confrontation between the United States and China over Quemoy and Matsu and other Nationalist-held offshore islands. According to Accinelli, neither the Korean War nor the Indochina War divided the United States and China more fundamentally during this period than did the issue of U.S.-Taiwanese relations.

Originally published in 1996.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition — UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
A timely and valuable contribution on the origins of US involvement with Taiwan. . . . Accinelli pays close attention to the domestic and international contexts of US policy making, and his conclusions are convincing.—Choice

This is the traditional approach to American foreign policy at its best—in-depth archival research, appropriate usage of secondary sources and identification of historiographical debates in rich expository citations, keen sensitivity to the multiplicity of factors shaping decisions, and a clean and crisp writing style.—William Stueck, University of Georgia

Accinelli skillfully weaves the findings of other scholars with an in-depth archival research to present a level-headed account of Washington's evolving relations with Chiang Kai-shek's remnant regime through the crises in Korea, Indochina, and the Taiwan Straits.—Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807857045
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Accinelli is professor of history at the University of Toronto.

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