No. 85
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to the Secretary of State1

top secret


  • Proposed JCS Directive to CINCPAC regarding Defense of Formosa2

There is attached a draft directive to CINCPAC (Admiral Radford) from the JCS which authorizes basing patrol and reconnaissance aircraft on Formosa (they are now operating from Okinawa and a tender in the Pescadores); establishing necessary facilities on Formosa to permit the prompt basing of jet combat aircraft in the event of an emergency (no combat aircraft are to be stationed there without prior JCS authorization or an emergency which in the judgment of CINCPAC is so great as to not permit of any delay); stationing U.S. personnel at such U.S. installations to guard supplies and otherwise to maintain the internal security of the installations.

The directive also provides that CINCPAC will coordinate with the Chinese Nationalist Government plans for the defense of Formosa and the Pescadores against invasion or attack, such defense to be by CINCPAC forces in coordination with Chinese Nationalist forces. It also provides that CINCPAC will develop and coordinate with the Chinese Nationalist Government plans for the offensive participation of Chinese Nationalist forces. Combined training exercises of U.S. and Chinese Nationalist forces are also authorized. CINCPAC is also to discuss with the Chinese, command relationships with the view to obtaining at least tacit agreement to U.S. command of combined forces in an emergency. In the event of air [Page 163] or sea attack against U.S. forces they will take immediate and aggressive self-defense measures, but retaliatory action against targets on the Chinese mainland will be taken only with the approval of the JCS. U.S. forces will not participate in the defense of other Chinese Nationalist held islands unless Formosa or the Pescadores are also attacked.

From a military point of view, this directive is a logical and essential step to assure the security of Formosa and the Pescadores. The directive is well drawn up so as to minimize the cost to the U.S. and the number of U.S. personnel required for the implementation of these measures. Coordinated planning for the offensive use of Chinese Nationalist forces is also logical if the Chinese Nationalist potential for action against the Chinese Mainland is to be of maximum effectiveness in the event that a situation arises in which the U.S. determines it should be utilized.

It would also be useful to the U.S. to know what offensive operations the Chinese Nationalists are proposing or carrying out and to be in a position to exercise influence over such operations. However, there are obvious problems in U.S. association, if only in planning with Chinese Nationalist operations against the mainland that may not fit in with U.S. planning. We believe that this portion of the directive should be clarified to whatever extent may be possible and practicable, and plan to discuss this with the JCS.

Implementation of the Directive must of course be preceded by discussions with the Chinese Nationalists and their agreement to the measures necessary for the basing of patrol and reconnaissance aircraft on Formosa and the stand-by facilities for combat aircraft.

The timing of both the discussions with the Chinese Nationalist Government and of the implementation of various measures authorized by the directive also need consideration and will be discussed with the JSC.


Subject to the foregoing, it is recommended that you approve in principle this draft directive to CINCPAC.

  1. Sent through Deputy Under Secretary Matthews, who initialed it.
  2. The draft directive described here was not attached to the source text; a copy is in PPS files, lot 64 D 563, “China 1952–1953”. Except for minor textual changes for purposes of transmission and one substantive change, it was identical to JCS telegram 935782, Document 90. The only substantive change was the addition of the second sentence in paragraph 3.a.(6). Copies of the draft directive were given to Department of State representatives at a State–JCS meeting on Mar. 6, according to a memorandum of discussion of the meeting. (State–JCS Meetings, lot 61 D 417)