V. Wellington Koo And The View From Formosa – 1951 – Past Daily Reference Room
In 1951 there was a war going on in Korea. Allies of the North were mainland China, now The People’s Republic Of China under the Communist rule of Mao Tse-Tung. Support for China came from The Soviet Union, at one time an ideological ally of Mao and a staunch supporter of a united, but Communist Korea. Supporters of the South were, principally the U.S., but also a consortium of United Nations troops. War had been going on a little less than a year, and it was a dramatic see-saw in places, and one of the first wars where the use of Atomic weapons was seriously considered.
Off the coast of The People’s Republic Of China sat the island of Formosa, now the remnants of what was once the Chinese government formerly in power on the mainland. But the Communist takeover in 1949, culminating a long and bloody revolution and civil war, forced that government into exile. And those escaping the Communist takeover were crammed onto Formosa, forever hoping for the day they would return. There were threats of invasion of Formosa by the Communists, and a state of war existed between the two groups. But the war in Korea was draining resources as well as troops, and the thought of Beijing staging an invasion of Formosa seemed remote. And the staging of an invasion of Mainland China by Formosa didn’t seem that much more likely. Although Gen. MacArthur wanted to start a second front, using Formosa as a stepping-off place. There was a certain long-shot possibility in the move. Being interviewed for this episode of Meet The Press is V. Wellington Koo, the United Nations Ambassador to Formosa; the only one of the two Chinas recognized by the UN at the time. Koo expressed a fervent desire to invade mainland China and return Gen. Chaing-Kai Shek to the seat of power. He goes on record to say the Nationalist Chinese were ready to invade, but cautioned with the caveat that they needed help in doing that, i.e.; the U.S.
It’s an interesting half-hour, giving insights as to the political situation in that part of the world; a situation that, although we hear very little about it now, is still an issue as it has been for some 70 years.
Here is that panel interview with V. Wellington Koo from Meet The Press for January 28,1951.