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U.S. Is Helping Build Up Taiwan as Advance Post in W. Pacific

^[[June 22, 1955]]

Recent American moves on Taiwan appeared to have confirmed a school of belief that the United States would eventually recognize the importance of the defense of the Taiwan area which represents an advance outpost blocking Communist expansion toward the Western Pacific, a qualified observer here said yesterday.

Reviewing developments in the Taiwan area during the past six months, he said, the United States had signed a mutual defense treaty with Free China, set up a Formosa liaison center and established in advance air force headquarters.

Never before had so many American top brass and policy-makers taken hurried trips to Taipei, either separately or jointly, in so short a span of time.  During the period from February to April this year, he pointed out, Taipei was graced with the visits of American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Assistant Secretary of State Walter S. Robertson, and many others.

Shortly after the inking of the Sino-American mutual security pact, a military coordination conference was held by military representatives of the two nations in Taipei which was followed by the setting up of the Formosa Liaision Center under the command of Vice Admiral Alfred M. Pride, concurrently Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, with Maj. General H. Grant as his deputy.

Rear Admiral Charles W. Fenno, who was recently appointed chief of staff to FLC, flew in to Taipei yesterday to assume his new post.

Earlier reports said the United States may increase its air force units deployed on Taiwan by one or two more squadrons of jet fighters in the not too distant future.  It was said that during his recent visit to Taiwan, U.S. 13th Air force Commander Brigadier General William Lee reached the conclusion that the deployment of additional units on this island was necessary.

General Lee came to Taiwan earlier this month shortly after the establishment of a U. S. Air Force advance headquarters here.

The advance headquarters was brought into being upon the arrival of Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., June 11.  General Davis is the deputy commander of the U.S. 13th Air Force and concurrently commander of the U.S. 13th Air Task Force.

At present, the United States has on Taiwan one squadron of F-86's, one small unit of other warplanes, an unknown number of United States Marine planes, and a squadron of jet aircract on temporary service here.

Meanwhile, reports are current that MAAG personnel will be increased to 1,600 from the present 1,400 by July A source said that Washington might dispatch 200 Navy and Air Force officers to join MAAG here in or about mid July.

The source interpreted these developments as a series of concerted moves to strengthen the defense of the Taiwan area.  He said it appeared as if the United States leaders had come around to the line of thought that the fate of Europe and Asia is interrelated.
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