National Geographic : 1953 Apr
Ey es on the China Coast Un ited Press 505 BY GEORGE w. LONG '1AM ... issuing instructions that the Sev- enth Fleet no longer be employed to shield Communist China. " When President Eisenhower spoke these words in his first message to Congress, eyes of the world turned to the coast of China. They focused on Formosa Strait, where , since the Korean war began, United States Navy patrols had " neutralized " the island refuge of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek 's Nationalists (map, page 507). That Formosa stronghold , shaped like a fried fish , lies 85 miles off China's bulging midriff. Some 9,000 ,000 people- 1,500 ,000 of them refugees-jam an island smaller than Connecticut and New Hampshire but having 3.YJ times as many inhabitants .* For four years Formosa has swarmed with Chiang 's lean , poker-faced young troopers in tan. They number more than 500,000. Troops Practice for Invasion In camps placarded with fi ghting slogans they keep fit by maneuvers and basketball. On the be ac he s (as above ) they practice land- ing opera tion s, hoping-yet dreading-some day to return to mainland China (page 512 ) . * See in the NATIONAL G EOG RAPHIC M AGA ZI NE, " For- mosa-Hot Spot of the E ast ," by Frederick G. Vos- burgh, February, 1950.