Leaked documents show US considered using nuclear weapons against China to defend Taiwan in 1958

US Military planners pushed for the White House to prepare plans to use nuclear weapons against mainland China during the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1958, newly leaked documents have confirmed.

The documents, first reported on by the New York Times, reveal how Washington went as far as discussing about using nuclear weapons to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, despite knowing China will possibly fire retaliatory nuclear strikes on US bases.

The new information was provided to the Times by Daniel Ellsberg.

Ellsberg was the whistleblower in 1971 who leaked the Pentagon Papers that detailed the US government's duplicity in its handling of the Vietnam War.

"US first use of nuclear weapons should not be contemplated, prepared, or threatened anywhere, under any circumstances, including the defense of Taiwan," Ellsberg said in a post to his Twitter on Sunday.
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The Taiwan leak comes from previously classified sections of a 1966 report by think tank organization, Rand Corporation on the 1958 Taiwan Straits crisis, written by M. H. Halperin for the Office of the then-Assistant Secretary of Defense.

After the Communist Party took power in mainland China in 1949, following a brutal civil war, the Nationalist government fled to Taiwan.

Beijing still views the island as part of its territory, and the two sides have clashed over the following decades.

During the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1958, the US and China almost clashed when the People's Republic of China fired artillery at Taipei's outlying islands as the US a Taiwan Ally feared China were preparing for invasion of Taiwan.

The artillery shelling by China was focused on the Quemoy and Matsu island groups, which lie between Taiwan and mainland China and are described by Rand Corporation as "the first line of defense" for Taipei.

Though the public already knows that then US President Eisenhower debated whether to use nuclear weapons to deter China from attacking Taiwan, the new leaked documents appear to reveal the extent of the planning for the first time.Latest Post