Is Taiwan part of China?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Taiwan : One Thread
Is Taiwan an integral part of China or an independent state?
-- Ken Davies (email@example.com), December 18, 2001
First off, there is no easy answer to this question, but i believe that I have formulated the correct answer:
First, many people draw different conclusions just as many nations do today.
As much as some in the US hate to admit it, the United States, since 1979, does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation. Although presidents have been reluctant to verbally address this FACT, President Clinton reiterated the 3 No's 1) no 2 chinas 2)no 1 china, 1 taiwan 3) No taiwan independence.
So what is the offical USA position? Regardless the heckling and rambling on of arms sales to taiwan...etc, which is contrary to formal US policy, THE US DOES NOT RECOGNIZE TAIWAN AS AN INDEPENDENT ENTITY. Furthermore, the US does recognize Taiwan as part of china (perhaps not to the extent that the chinese would like, that is, a renegade province that has yet to be united).
However, although the united states does dictate world policy, it does not make it correct. The real answer to your question lies in your personal convictions. The answer does indeed follow a very logical and precise path of thought.
First, if you're a diehard chinese nationalist or an extreme right wing anti-communist, your conclusion will not be based upon logic but moral convictions. Your opinions are not necessairly without merit or legetimate arguments, just not sound logic.
I draw the following conclusion based upon the following axioms:
1) International recognition has no bearing upon the "correct answer to your question", afterall, this is not a matter concerning the US, Russia, or any other nation as much as they would like to think so.
2) We accept "current policy" as the most recent mutually agreed upon status by both sides (china and taiwan)
3) Current policy is regarded as the solution to your question unless challenged by either side
As princely and sophisticated as we my regard ourselves, this leaves us with one troubling aspect of this arguement. What if the status quo is in dispute?? We have no other historical precedent other than the machivellian concept of "might makes right". That is, if one sides openly challenges the other, we must take the military victor as the one who dictates Taiwan policy simply because that is the way it has been done since the dawn of man.
So the arguement is as follows:
The last formal Taiwan policy was established in 1945 at the conclusion of the second world war when the cairo and potsdam treaty were carried out. Although some argue that that agreement involved the nationalist party and not the current communist regime, it is important to note that changes in political enviornment have no bearing in our logical quest.
Since that date, Taiwan has not delcared independence, nor has the PRC renounced its ownership of the island. Therefore, we must establish that Taiwan is indeed an integrated part of china. That is the only position that can be logically established, we will not concern ourselves with the political rhetoric about 1 country 2 systems...etc. It is indeed that black and white.
Should Taiwan wish to become independent, it must then openly declare it. In that event, one would have to accept that as the logical status quo in the absence of chinese military intervention to repudiate such a claim. So, for those of you who think that Taiwan is a part of china, you are correct in doing so. For those of you who believe otherwise, the taiwanese government does not openly admit it so why should you?
-- Jing (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 2002.
The facts are rather clear:
(1) China gave up its claim to Taiwan in 1895 when it lost the Sino-Japanese war.
(2) Japan gave up its claim to Taiwan in 1945 when it lost the Second World War.
(3) Mainland China controlled Taiwan between 1945 and 1949.
(4) Since 1949 the people living in Taiwan have controlled Taiwan. In 1949, Taiwan was a military dictatorship. It is since transformed itself into a functioning democracy. In 1949, Mainland China was also a military dictatorship and continues to be so to this day.
(5) Most of the people living in Taiwan are of Chinese ancestry; the original inhabitants are not Chinese, but rather a Malay people.
Cogent arguments can be made for both Taiwanese Independence and Mainland control of Taiwan based on this history. However, the bottom line for now is that Mainland China is has had little control over Taiwan during the past century and if you are from a democratic country, it is difficult to stomach seeing a dictatorship take over a functioning democracy.
Eventually Mainland China will become a functioning democracy. The inhabitants of Taiwan have shown that a transformation from a dictatorship to a democracy can occur in Chinese society. With continued economic advancement of Mainland China, the people there will demand more freedoms and Mainland China will democratize itself in time. When that happens, that would be an appropriate time to consider the question of Taiwan Independence versus one China. Right now, the issue to premature to consider.
If Taiwan is truly a part of China and given the large number of Chinese living in Taiwan, the Chinese on the Mainland should not have to use threats to try to make their point about one China. Their threats only undercut their argument that there is only one China.
-- R. Berg (email@example.com), March 13, 2002.
Taiwan is de facto an independent and sovereign nation. Neither wishful thinking nor saber-rattling by the People's Republic of China will not alter the reality of the situation. Not only do the governmental systems of the PRC and Taiwan differ today, but also the hearts and minds of the people. The option exists for Taiwan and the PRC to unify in some manner in the future, if the PRC government and the Taiwanese people agree to do so. But the chasm that exists between the systems and people of the two countries today is so vast, that any such unification would be problematic at best.
Perhaps the ravages imposed on the mainland Chinese people by the Cultural Revolution are principally to blame for the tremendous differences recognizable today in attitudes and perspectives of mainland Chinese and the Taiwanese. As one aging former mainland Chinese man, who emigrated to Taiwan as an ROC soldier in the 1949, put it , "the mainland Chinese today seem to have lost their 'Chineseness'". Indeed, the Taiwanese people today have very little in common with their ancestral 'cousins' on the mainland. The two countries have taken different paths in their social and economic development, and the contrasting evolution that has occurred along those paths has reinforced their separate and independent status. The growing tide of nationalistic sentiment in the PRC today, focussed with seemingly ever-increasing anger and threats toward Taiwan (expressed, for example, by the PRC's growing missile threat ), has worked to further widen the gulf.
There is no "one China", despite the PRC government's opinion to the contrary (which is 'acknowledged', but not accepted by the U.S.), Careful, direct observation reveals that there is, however, one PRC and one Taiwan. Acceptance of this reality by the PRC and international community may be only sane solution to the vexing problem of cross-Strait relations. The potential exists for the PRC and Taiwan to exist as friendly and cooperative neighbors, but this cannot happen in the absence of full recognition of the two countries' separate identities and independent sovereignty. It is in the interest of both the PRC and Taiwan, indeed the whole world, that this recognition occur earlier, rather than later.
-- Shiming Liu (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 13, 2002.
But our new president also said that Taiwan is not part of China.
-- (email@example.com), November 23, 2002.
China is without doubt a part of China. It is pointless to debate this anymore. What Taiwan should do is to make sure that Taiwan enjoys full political independence while taking full advantage of the vast economic opportunities provided by the biggest potential market in the world which is advancing faster than any country in the world. It is simply foolishness not to take advantage of this.
If China is indeed inhabited by a different race of people like the Japanese or Korean, then Taiwan certainly should fight to the last man to resist such foreign invasion. But the "mainlanders" are of the same race as the Taiwanese. The languages are one and the same. The cultural root if not the current superficial culture are the same. In fact, Taiwan will be spurning its brothers on the mainland to associate with foreigners like the Japanese and Americans if it sought to gain independence.
Hence the logical inconsistency of the Taiwanese separatists. On the one hand they argue that Taiwan should resist the mainlanders on the ground that they are "racially and culturallly" different from the Taiwanese. On the other hand they seek to associate with the Japanese and the Americans who are even more "racially and culturally" different. No scientist in his right mind would argue that the Japanese are more "racially and culturally" closely related to the Taiwanese than the mainlanders are related to the Taiwanese.
In the final analysis, it is simply not right to resist reunification with the mainland on racial and cultural grounds. It is also unrealistic to think that Taiwan could gain independence peacefully. The sentiments of the greater majority of the Taiwan people is becoming very clear in the recent mayoral election in Taipei and Kaohsiung. If the KMT and the PFP can work out a co-operation, they will have the next presidential election. Given their expressed statements favoring closer relationship with the mainland, once they have won the presidency there will be nothing to stand in the way of direct links and the beginning of serious negotiations for some kind of normal political relationship whether under the one country two system formula or some other formula.
In the end, this will be much better for the Taiwan people. Taiwan has the potential to become the Chinese California with 1.3 billion consumers for its products. I hope Taiwan could quickly move to take the best advantage of this.
-- Liang (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 19, 2002.
"However, although the united states does dictate world policy, it does not make it correct. The real answer to your question lies in your personal convictions. The answer does indeed follow a very logical and precise path of thought."
I just like to add that America is obviously forcing its own world view on the world. It is using its military power to "regime change" Iraq. This is abuse of power which only proves the truth of the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. America is not concerned with the welfare of the Taiwan people just as it is not concerned with the welfare of the Iraqi people. All the sanctimonious platitudes about democracy and freedom are just so much smoke screen to rob the Iraqi oil and to gain Taiwan as a base to attack China.
-- Liang (email@example.com), December 19, 2002.