November 27, 2021

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How Taiwan caused the international catastrophe in the geopolitical tug-of-war between the United States and China

How Taiwan caused the international catastrophe in the geopolitical tug-of-war between the United States and China

Military training on Taiwan.Image AP

Is Taiwan a country?

The answer to this question is a linguistic and political minefield. China claims Taiwan as a treacherous province, but the island has its own government, political system, flag, currency, anthem and passport. On Taiwanese license plates, Chinese writing is used for the province.

The current president and his predecessors have always avoided words that can be interpreted as a formal step towards independence. In international sports, Taiwan comes out without a flag or anthem in the name of Chinese Taipei, so China has no regrets.

If foreign companies, movie stars and politicians do not address these contradictions in detail and refer to Taiwan as a ‘country’, they will face Chinese consequences. It is, for example, about informal boycotts that ‘violate Chinese sovereignty’.

Was Taiwan ever a Chinese territory?

From 1683 to 1895, Taiwan belonged to the Chinese Empire. Before that, the island was inhabited by a Spanish and later Dutch colony. By that time, a significant number of Chinese were already living in Taiwan.

When the Chinese King Emperor lost the war with Japan, he had to cede Taiwan to Japan in 1895. The colony lost it again after World War II. The Allies handed over Taiwan to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang was President of the Republic of China (ROC), founded in 1912.

After the defeat of Chiang in a civil war with the Chinese Communists, he returned to Taiwan, where he established a totalitarian dictatorship. Declared in 1949 in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

Chiang wanted to recapture the land with US support from ‘independent China’. Taiwan retained its island seat in 1971 when it lost its place in the United Nations in support of China. In the 1990s, when Taiwan became a democracy, the idea of ​​capturing China became uncivilized.

Beijing wants to forcibly annex Taiwan if necessary: ​​China will act militarily if Taiwan formally declares independence under a law passed in 2005.

Why is the US interfering with Taiwan?

The United States abandoned Taiwan in the early 1970s because it wanted to seek reconciliation with Communist China over the ideological conflict in the communist camp. A series of reports on Taiwan were needed to establish diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington. Those statements are the basis for dealing with Taiwan. In the 1972 Shanghai Declaration, the Americans acknowledge that there is only one China and that the Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait must find a peaceful solution for themselves; Called a China policy. The United States restricts its ties with Taiwan to informal relations, but the United States helped protect the island against China in 1979, under the Washington-Taiwan Relations Act, to guarantee Taipei. It now results in US arms supplies to Taiwan, but it is unclear whether Washington will deliberately fight on Taiwan ‘s side for China’s invasion.

How do Taiwan and China communicate?

Beijing uses carrot and stick strategy, depending on which Taiwanese political party rules. The conservative, pro-Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) recognizes the so-called ‘1992 consensus’, a vague statement that Taipei and Beijing are the only China, but have their own interpretation. If KMT is in power, China will do everything to expedite integration with the island, for example by providing business opportunities to Taiwan. The anti-Chinese Liberal People’s Democratic Party (DPP) did not accept the 1992 consensus, so once the DPP wins the election, China will escalate tensions. For example, banning Taiwan from international organizations, suspending all communications with Taipei and skiing the air with warplanes.

What are the consequences for Taiwan?

Taiwan is an international bar, diplomatically recognized only by fourteen countries and the Vatican City. Taiwan can only join the UN if China grants Taipei the status it asks for – not since 2016. Taiwan is a geopolitical game: If Washington wants to put pressure on China, as it was under Donald Trump and Joe Biden, US relations with Taiwan and American politicians are in favor of Taiwan. If close ties with China are conducive to the United States, Taiwan will be sidelined.

There is no official deadline for China to reunite, except for Mao Zedong’s old statement that this work must be done in a hundred years. That moment is fast approaching because China’s national resurrection in 2049 must be a reality.

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