10. Telegram From the Ambassador in the Republic of China (Rankin) to the Department of State1

459. As result air raids reported Embassy telegram 448, January 102 CAF has requested US concurrence in bombing shipping and anti-aircraft positions (only) in mainland ports.

General Chase concurs and has referred request to CINCPAC.3

[Page 26]

Believe January 10 raids apparently directed primarily against shipping have demonstrated to GRC vulnerability Tachen to interdiction by air. If island were isolated this fashion and by seizure more and more surrounding Islets, it would eventually fall to Communists like ripe apple. This would be contrary our interests which would seem require that if island falls it be only as result military assault and after strong defense, otherwise why have we consistently encouraged GRC to defend off-shore islands.

Yet obviously Chinese airforce from Taiwan cannot provide adequate air defense for Tachen, nor has it capability damaging Communist airfields northwest of Tachen to degree warranting heavy losses which would be incurred.

These matters will be discussed with General Bolte Deputy Chief Staff Army tomorrow although not strictly within his province. Meanwhile Embassy considers that GRC must react promptly and vigorously to these attacks, and that most acceptable method bombing probably that proposed by CAF and concurred in by General Chase.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/1–1355. Top Secret; Priority.
  2. Telegram 448 reported repeated Communist air attacks that day on the Tachen Islands and Nationalist naval vessels there. (Ibid., 793.00/1–1055)
  3. Telegram 110400Z (MG 5120) from Chief MAAG, Formosa, to CINCPAC, January 11, 1955, reported a proposal by Republic of China Defense Minister Yu Ta-wei for Nationalist air attacks on Chinese Communist ships of all types at sea and in port along the coast between Tachen and Swatow in retaliation for the Communist attacks of the previous day. General Chase recommended U.S. concurrence. (JCS Records, CCS 381 Formosa (11–8–48) Sec. 16)