Free China; Cold War Fortress 1951–1971
The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 made Formosa a vital geopolitical piece and gave Chinese Nationalists a reprieve from a near-death experience. Formosa was soon joined in an interlocking network of US security treaties’ interests throughout the Far East, including Japan and South Korea. The Truman Administration would now openly and forcefully support Formosa in the wider battle against communism.
The ROC government’s signature Land Reform program ensured that the small farmers were happy, defused rural tensions, and ensured food self-sufficiency.
Equally, during the period, the two Chinas faced off politically in the annual UN deliberations and debates over membership. By 1971, the tide turned; in October, the loss of Taiwan’s UN seat dramatically changed Taipei’s diplomatic fortunes.