CLIMAX OF THE 1954-55
At the end of December, there were meetings all over the PRC to protest the MDT, 1 and Renmin Ribao warned in the first paragraph of its New Year's Day editorial that the PRC would continue to strive for the defeat of the treaty. 2 Peking's last chance to affect the passage or the substance of the MDT came after President Eisenhower submitted it to the Senate on January 6. 3 The PRC responded to the submission of the treaty by putting heavy military pressure on the northernmost islands held by the Nationalists. The most important of these were the Tachens, some 220 miles from Taiwan, which were garrisoned by 10,000 regular troops on the main islands and about 5,000 irregulars on associated islands. 4 On January 10, the Tachens were hit by over 100 PRC planes. 5 On January 18, under air cover and with the support of naval gunfire, and after a heavy preparatory bombardment by artillery and planes, about 4,000 PRC amphibious troops captured Yikiangshan, a milelong rock seven-and-a-half miles to the northwest, garrisoned by about 1,000 Nationalist irregulars. 6 Even though it was not a maximum effort, 7 the assault succeeded in only two hours, 8 in part because the PRC used conventional landing craft in addition to motorized junks. 9 Goodpaster privately said of the PRC asault, "They're growing up and getting tougher"; 10 and a little later, Admiral Pride publicly allowed that the assault was "pretty well executed." 11 The Nationalist command on the Tachens was badly shaken by the PRC offensive, and concern in Washington mounted. 12 On January 19, Eisenhower decided that the Tachens must be evacuated. 13
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Publication information: Book title: China, Taiwan, and the Offshore Islands:Together with an Implication for Outer Mongolia and Sino-Soviet Relations. Contributors: Thomas E. Stolper - Author. Publisher: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.. Place of publication: Armonk, NY. Publication year: 1985. Page number: 66.
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