By Lawrence Sellin, reprinted with permission
Quemoy and Matsu, officially known as the Kinmen and Lienchiang Counties respectively, are groups of islands located directly off the coast of mainland Communist China, but are under the administration of the Republic of China, Taiwan.
In the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, the People’s Republic of China shelled the islands of Quemoy and Matsu Islands in part to probe the extent of the United States’ defense of Taiwan’s territory.
During the 1960 Presidential campaign between Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon, the defense of Taiwan, as represented by Quemoy and Matsu, became a major issue during three of their debates.
Quemoy and Matsu are not fortified, making their capture by the People’s Liberation Army an easy, but highly symbolic victory.
According to recent reports, footage uploaded by civilians in China shows large military movements of troops and equipment as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expected to arrive in Taiwan.
The large military movements have occurred on major highways and railways throughout the Chinese province of Fujian, directly adjacent to Quemoy and Matsu.
In the last 24 hours, commercial flights have been abruptly canceled from airports in several cities in Fujian province. These airports include Xiamen, Fuzhou and Quanzhou. Xiamen Airlines put out a statement saying that the flight cancelations were due to “regional traffic control” and did not elaborate further.
This could be considered an invasion warning, the military occupation of the Quemoy and Matsu Islands as the first step by Communist China to subjugate Taiwan and eliminate U.S. influence in the Western Pacific.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He had a civilian career in international business and medical research. Dr. Sellin is the author of Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution. His email address is [email protected].