a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Taiwan Strait Crisis

Years: 1949-1954
Battle deaths: 10,025 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
Taiwan, China, United States

Published: 2013-08-03 19:45:45 | Updated: 2014-08-24 17:48:26
From UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia

The formation of Taiwan as an independent entity is intimately linked to the unfolding of the Chinese intra-state conflict (1927-1936, 1941-1951) that pitted the KMT regime, headed by Chiang Kai-shek against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong. When the victorious CCP declared the People's Republic of China (PRC) on mainland China in October 1949, the KMT government retreated to Taiwan, along with 2 million other mainland refugees, where it established a provisional capital in December 1949 - marking the island's de facto independence.

With two entities claiming to be the true sovereign of China, the tense relationship between the China and Taiwan erupted into inter-state conflicts in 1949 and reappeared intermittently in 1950, 1954 and 1958. Both in the 1954 and 1958 conflicts, Chinese artillery shelled the ROC-controlled offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu, primarily to test the Taiwan's resolve to keep the islands, but also as a response to the Taiwanese defensive mobilisation on these islands. The 1954 and 1958 cross-strait crises also had a dimension of foreign involvement as the USA had, in connection to the Korean War, changed its non-interference policy in the Taiwanese question to a strategic stance of sending in USA naval fleets in the Taiwan Strait to act as a buffer against a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan, but also safe-guarding against a general communist expansion in Asia.

Source: Uppsala Conflict Data Program (Date of retrieval: 2014-08-24) UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia, Uppsala University


Data Sources

[1] Battle deaths: PRIO Battle Deaths Dataset v3.0 (link) (1946-88) ID: #35
Low: 9,825 High: 91,000

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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