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TOP-SECRET PLAN TO RETAKE MAINLAND IN 1960S PARTIALLY DECLASSIFIED

ROC Central News Agency

2006-03-26 20:32:16

    Taipei, March 26 (CNA) The late President Chiang Kai-shek ordered the military to map out a detailed plan for retaking the Communist-held Chinese mainland in the 1960s, but the plan was aborted because of "insurmountable difficulties, " according to a book published by the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

    The internal-circulation book was based on certain declassified official files and interviews with 17 senior military officers, mostly navy admirals and army generals, MND sources said. The book was published late last year, but it is only for circulation inside military barracks, not for sale in public.

    According to the book, the United States opposed and withheld support for the plan, code-named "Operation Kuokwang (National Glory)," from the very beginning.

    As the military relied heavily on the United States's assistance in arms supply and logistic support at the time, the plan couldn't lead anywhere without Washington's endorsement.

    The plan was aborted after 10 years of preparations and the death of hundreds of soldiers during amphibious training drills, according to the book.

    Preparations for retaking the Chinese mainland climaxed in 1965, but the plan was gradually scaled back after a failed naval operation in August that year in which a naval vessel carrying special service personnel on intelligence gathering mission along the southeastern Chinese coast was sunk by Chinese warships. The plan came to a halt after Taiwan was forced out of the United Nations in 1971.

    The "Operation Kuokwang" plan was kept top secret for decades. According to the partially declassified files, the "mainland retake" plan was crafted by 207 elite officers from the three branches of the armed forces and consisted of 26 combat plans.

    The 17 generals and admirals who gave interviews for the book included Yeh Chang-tung, Lei Hsueh-ming, Chu Yuan-tsung and Liu Ting-pang.

(By Sofia Wu)

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