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U.S. had plan to take over Taiwan after World War II: historian

2018/02/22 21:27

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) The United States considered taking over Taiwan after Japan's defeat in World War II before deciding to facilitate the transfer of Taiwan to the control of the Nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), a historian said Thursday.

It has been generally accepted that the return of Taiwan to the Republic of China was decided at the Cairo Conference in 1943 and that thereafter the U.S. did not involve itself with Taiwan, Su Yao-chong (蘇瑤崇), a professor of history at Providence University, said.

"The U.S. historical files suggest otherwise," Su said at the launch of a book about international historical materials relating to the 228 Incident, referring to the brutal crackdown by the Nationalist government after an anti-government uprising in 1947.

Considering the possibility of a civil war in China between the Nationalists and Communist Party of China, which broke out in August 1945, the U.S. drafted a plan on July 30 to set up a military government in Taiwan to govern the island, Su said.

Historical documents show that the planned U.S. takeover was to continue until the then Chinese government was considered capable of assuming control, said the professor who teaches at the university's Center for General Education.

The plan was drafted by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC), a U.S. federal government committee created in 1944 to address occupations of Axis powers, after the idea had been studied for several years, he said.

Under the plan, the U.S. would fully consult with the then Chinese government on governing Taiwan but its involvement was to be subject to restrictions determined by the U.S. military government, Su said.

The plan was canceled on August 3 after it met with strong opposition from the U.S. army, with F. N. Roberts, then a brigadier general, saying the U.S. would pay a heavy price for setting up an interim government in Taiwan which was to be eventually returned to China, Su said.

During the war, the U.S. left open the possibility of occupying Taiwan as a way of cutting Japan's supply lines and as a base from which to advance to Xiamen to join with Chinese forces and launch converging attacks against Japan, Su said.

The historical record also shows that the Nationalist government had agreed that Japan provisionally hand over control of Taiwan to the U.S. before it was able to take over, proving that the Nationalist government was not prepared to govern Taiwan, Su said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Enditem/AW