The BBC today reported on a newly revealed postscript to the expulsion of Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalists to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. It should not be a surprise that Generalissimo Chiang longed to return to the Mainland. What might be surprising is how far along the planning was, as late as the 1960's. The People's Republic suffered a severe famine, due to Mao Zedong's rapid modernization and the Great Cultural Revolution.

Chiang's plans were comprehensive, including both conventional and unconventional military operations against the southern provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. He knew that he would need American help, and in exchange for it offered to assist the United States in the Vietnam War.

The Americans objected to the Generalissimo's plans to restore Kuomintang power to Mainland China. However, that did not halt Chiang and his party from planning a comeback; what stopped him was the revelation that the People's Republic had significantly increased its naval capabilities, making the crossing from Taiwan much more questionable.

To read more about Chiang's plans, and a current exhibit on them, click here.

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