The crisis started with the 823 Artillery Bombardment (translated from Traditional Chinese: 八二三炮戰; Simplified Chinese: 八二三炮战; pinyin: Bāèrsān Pàozhàn) at 5:30 on August 23, 1958, when People's Liberation Army forces began an intense artillery bombardment against Quemoy. ROC forces in Quemoy dug in and returned fire. In the heavy exchange of fire, roughly 2,500 ROC troops and 200 PRC troops were killed.
This was a continuation of the First Taiwan Strait Crisis, which had started immediately after the Korean War. Chiang Kai-shek had begun to build on the two islands of Matsu and Quemoy. In 1954, PRC began firing artillery at both the islands of Quemoy and Matsu focusing most of the attack on Quemoy.