In studying any aspect of the question of Taiwan, one should keep China's history in mind. Peking's great concern for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity was well founded in experience. Manchuria, Mongolia, Sinkiang, Tibet, and Taiwan had all been detached from China, at one time or another and to one degree or another, during Mao's lifetime. 1 The United States was only the latest in a long line of foreign powers which, viewed from Peking, threatened grave damage to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States was also the most powerful. It might, over a period of years, have been able to turn Taiwan into an independent nation, enjoying recognition by the world community, as the Soviet Union has been able to do with Outer Mongolia.
The events we shall examine can also be understood more easily if they are placed in the context of their own time, a context with four main elements: the foreign and domestic policies of the PRC, and the foreign policies of the United States and the Soviet Union.
A shift away from militancy and toward moderation began with the opening of the Korean truce talks in mid-1951 and accelerated after Stalin's death. 2 Peking bent its efforts toward settling outstanding problems with all the nations on its periphery, putting relations with them on a new basis, and constructing a peaceful international environment for China's development. 3 The most important successes of this policy came with the ending of the two wars closest to China. The