Guanbi policy - Piracy approved by Kai-shek and KMT (1949-1954)

67 foreign ships were intercepted by the ROC Armed Forces from September 1949 to October 1954, with half of them being British vessels - 141 incidents of interference as per British official statistics.

Civilian vessels were attacked and sometimes seized by ROC Navy under orders of Kai-shek and a policy approved by KMT. Some of them were in international waters and some even in waters of other countries.

Result was that the fate of the crew did mostly turn for the worse.
Some of the crew from a Soviet ship ‘Tuapse’ were detained in Taiwan for 36 years. Some ended up as political prisoners after political games of the cold war.

Soviets made a movie about it:


That really really pissed off the British. Although I suspect CKS did it to get back at the British for recognizing the PRC in 1950.

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I always wondered about that, since the rest of the West was sticking with the ROC at the time. Was the main idea that it would make HK safer?

I’ve wondered at times why the PLA didn’t just overrun Hong Kong and Macau. Why not take it all at that time? After all the revolution was on!

If any knowledgeable forumosans could explain this to me, I’d be much obliged.


I guess it was better to leave well enough alone for the time being.

Yes I figured that was the reasoning. But it still surprises me that the revolutionaries did not want to finish the job, so to speak. I wonder if recognition by the UK was part of their calculus . . .


Well, they would have been attacking the UK military.

They probably realized it could be useful. :2cents:

There’s a book about the history of HK that I once found in HK, but I don’t remember the name. It was published in the late 60’s and again with revisions in the late 70’s. One incident the book recounts that perhaps exemplifies the bizarre relationship is the angry mob that crossed the border during the Cultural Revolution supposedly to recapture HK. To paraphrase the author: some people asked why the government would send them, knowing they couldn’t possibly succeed, but perhaps the better question is why the government would try to stop them, knowing they couldn’t possibly succeed.