Wednesday, August 6, 2008

U.S. Congress on 50th Anniversary of Quemoy Crisis

Last month, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) made an interesting speech that didn't get much press. August 23, 2008 is the 50th anniversary of the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis:


Ms. FOXX. Madam Speaker, 50 years ago on September 11, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower went before the Nation in a radio-television broadcast to speak to the matter of what we today refer to as the Second Taiwan Crisis. The Second Taiwan Crisis was when mainland China had been shelling Taiwan's Quemoy and Matsu Islands for almost 3 weeks. Records from the Republic of China report that over the course of the Second Taiwan Crisis, there were 3,000 civilian and 1,000 military casualities.

President Eisenhower explained that the United States would not waver in its commitment to assist Taiwan in its struggle to remain free of communist domination.

Taiwan, and the islands of Penghu, Quemoy and Matsu have been home of the Republic of China, ROC, ever since the Chinese nationalists, under General Chiang Kai-shek, lost their battle to secure democracy on the Chinese mainland to Mao Zedong in that Nation's civil war, which ended in 1949.

President Eisenhower strongly reaffirmed the United States support of Chiang Kai-shek and his ROC government, noting, ``Some misguided persons have said that Quemoy is nothing to become excited about,'' but pointed out their error, warning that the Red Chinese, under Mao Zedong were using the attacks on the islands to test the free world's courage in resisting aggression. President Eisenhower stated that it was the opinion of his government that the bombardment and blockade of Quemoy and Matsu were not so much a genuine attempt to conquer the Taiwanese islands, but were as part of a plan ``to liquidate all of the free world positions in the Western Pacific.''

In a firm statement of policy, President Eisenhower promised U.S. allies that there would be ``no Pacific Munich.'' Eisenhower also expressed a sincere hope for ``negotiations'' for peaceful and honorable solutions, directly or through the U.N.

Americans have not forgotten the free China on Taiwan, but need to be ``reminded'' of it. And while many today fail to grasp the difference between the ROC and the People's Republic of China they need to know that it is the difference between freedom and communism.

Today, having recently elected its third president, Taiwan is a thriving democratic republic. As citizens of United States of America, we must insure that Taiwan is assisted in its desire to remain a democratic nation. To that end, we will hold faith with the Taiwan Relations Act.
When running for the Republican nomination as President of the United States, George W. Bush was asked on national TV what he would do if push ever came to shove with mainland China on Taiwan--in other words, what would he be willing to do if the communist PRC ever threatened to take over the ROC on Taiwan. He responded in clear and concise language: ``Whatever it takes.''

Thus, as Taiwan celebrates the 50th anniversary of the August 23, 1958, Bombardment War, we join with Taiwan's President Ma, in his August 23, 2008, visit to Quemoy, where he will personally salute his nation's military, all the citizens of Taiwan and their United States military allies, in their ongoing struggle for self-determination.

Henceforth, let the word go forth that at one time there were people willing to sacrifice, even to death, to protect what they considered payment towards a future of freedom, one not dictated by any outside ``detractor,'' but by those of a citizenry choosing their destiny. Nor should the world forget that today, because of their sacrifice, Taiwan is a free democratic republic.
God has blessed the world with a free, vibrant and productive society in the democratic people on all the islands of Taiwan. May the citizens of Taiwan live long in freedom.


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