List of battles over Kinmen
The mainland Chinese city of Xiamen is within shelling distance of the small islands of Kinmen. As one of the front line islands between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China, ROC-governed Kinmen has seen many battles and tensions between the two throughout the Cold War. It was generally understood by both the ROC and the PRC that if Kinmen fell to the PRC, Taiwan itself would follow.
The phrase "Quemoy (Kinmen) and Matsu" became part of U.S. politics in the 1960 Presidential election. During the debates, both candidates, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy pledged to use U.S. force if necessary to protect the Republic of China from invasion from the mainland, the People's Republic of China, which the U.S. did not recognize as a legitimate government at the time. Vice-President Nixon charged that Senator Kennedy would not use U.S. force to protect Taiwan's forward positions, Kinmen and Matsu.
List of battles over Kinmen:
- Battle of Guningtou (1949)
- First Taiwan Strait Crisis (1954-1955)
- Second Taiwan Strait Crisis (1958)
After the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis ended in stalemate, both sides settled upon a routine of bombarding each other every other day with shells containing propaganda leaflets. ROC troops on the island continued constructing tunnels, bunkers, and other underground facilities. Commandos (often known as 水鬼, or "water ghosts" by ROC troops) were sent by both sides to conduct sabotage or attack lone sentries. The bombardment finally ended in 1979 with the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the United States and the PRC.
- FREDERIC WAKEMAN JR. (1986). GREAT ENTERPRISE: THE MANCHU RECONSTRUCTION OF THE IMPERIAL ORDER IN. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN 0-520-04804-0. Retrieved 2011-06-06.