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Preparing for Nuclear War with China over Taiwan – 1958 and today

Taiwan Strait & Ellsberg
Taiwan Strait and Ellsberg

Please join a Zoom session June 23, 6-7:30 PM Central time, when Daniel Ellsberg will compare the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis with current tensions between the US and China. In 1958 the US threatened Communist China with a nuclear first strike if the Communists did not stop shelling Nationalist Chinese forces on two islands, Quemoy and Matsu, just off the mainland. Soviet Premier Khrushchev told the US that he would consider an attack on Communist China as an attack on the Soviet Union requiring a nuclear response. US President Eisenhower and his top military advisors believed that such an exchange would kill millions of people. Before it came to that, the Communists declared that they would not fire on even-numbered days if there were no American escort. This allowed Taiwan to resupply their military units on those islands on those days, ending the crisis. Ellsberg says he believes that US military leaders are likely today “debating the possibility of sacrificing Taiwan and its people to save them” if China doesn’t back down, as in 1958.  Click here to register for the June 23 session with Ellsberg.

Image of Ellsberg copyrighted 2008 by Christopher Michel on Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Man hanging origame peace cranes.