The beautiful island of Taiwan, aka Republic of China (ROC) is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. It is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations. In recent decades, the relationship between Taiwan (ROC) and China (PRC) has been strained as a result of PRC’s One-China policy. To better understand the root cause of this issue, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China policythe PRC refuses diplomatic relations with any country thatrecognizesthe ROC. Today, 17 countries maintainofficial ties with the ROC but many other states maintain unofficial ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassiesand consulates. Although Taiwan is fully self-governing, most international organizations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Internally, the major division in politics is between the aspirations of eventual Chinese unificationor Taiwanese independence, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. The PRC has threatened the use of military force in response to any formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or if PRC leaders decide that peaceful unification is no longer possible. The PRC and ROC standoff dates from the Chinese Civil War and has extended through the first, second and third Taiwan Strait crises to the present day.
Given that both ROC and PRC are no longer governed by the same governments as they did back in Chinese Civil War time, and given that both sides of the governments are intelligent enough to realize that a peaceful resolution would be less costly and more productive for future growth, I believe private discussions and negotiations between two sides would be meaningful. It is mutually beneficial for China and Taiwan to peacefully resolve their differences, for young people in Taiwan need the opportunities offered by China and China’s economy simply cannot afford to be sanctioned by rest of the world, as Russia was resulting from a large number of countries against Russia and Crimea following the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, which began in late February 2014. The sanctions were imposed by the United States, the European Union (EU) and other countries and international organizations against individuals, businesses and officials from Russia and Ukraine. Russia responded with sanctions against a number of countries, including a total ban on food imports from the EU, United States, Norway, Canada and Australia. The sanctions contributed to the collapse of the Russian ruble and the Russian financial crisis. In the 21st century, violence is no longer tolerated, and the associated heavy penalty is often not feasible. Two groups of intelligent people or governments can always find a more optimal way of resolving issues without resorting to violence.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is not ruling out using military force against supporters of independence in Taiwan. In a speech addressing the self-ruled island, President Xi Jinping said nobody can change the fact that Taiwan is part of China, in the video “Xi: Nobody can change fact Taiwan is part of China, Al Jazeera English“, below:
The end goal of Beijing has always been reunification, with military force being the last resort. But the timing of Xi’s speech is important, taking place a month after the defeat of ruling party in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with strong Taiwan independence leaning. The defeat of DPP led to the resignation of its chairman and victory of Kuomintang, the party that is pro-reunification.
It’s not just Taiwan’s rogue status that has Beijing worried, it’s the emerging success of its democracy. In November, Taiwan went to the polls for its midterm elections, and DPP was defeated. Also at stake was a referendum on whether to adopt the name ‘Taiwan’ at the Olympics in what would be a show of defiance to Beijing who warned against any moves of showing autonomy, in the video “Why is China so nervous about democracy in Taiwan? The World“, below:
Once one of the 4 Asian Tigers – Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong – Taiwan began losing its roar in the 1990s, even as China’s economy rose, eroding Taiwan’s manufacturing competitiveness. Today, anaemic growth, high cost of living and rising youth unemployment are putting pressure on President Tsai-Ing Wen. Many of its talented young are moving abroad, including to China and Singapore, for better work opportunities. Debating how Taiwan lost the plot are experts from National Chengchi University, Academia Sinica, Yale-NUS College, University of Nottingham and Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, in the video “How Taiwan Lost Its Roar and Its Young Talents, CNA Insider“, below:
Chinese President Xi Jinping, spoke on the topic of China-Taiwan relationship, in the video “Chinese president on relationship with Taiwan“, during 2019 New Year, below:
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, urged both sides to reach an early consensus on the unification of China and Taiwan and not leave the issue for future generations. No one or no party can stop the trend toward unification, the Chinese leader said in a speech devoted to Taiwan, calling independence for the self-governing island against history and a “dead end.” Xi said China wanted to achieve a peaceful unification, but would not rule out the use of force against Taiwanese independence and separatist activists if needed. He also said the issue of Taiwan is “China’s internal affair,” adding that his country would not allow any intervention from foreign governments. Taiwan and China split in a civil war that brought the Communists to power in China in 1949. The rival Nationalists set up their own government on the island about 160 kilometers (100 miles) off the Chinese mainland. While Xi said that people on both sides want peaceful reunification, it’s unclear how his message will be received on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday that its people want to maintain their self-rule and autonomy. Xi pledged that unification would be under a one-country, two-system framework that would respect the Taiwanese social system and way of life and guarantee their property rights, religious beliefs and other rights. “The political disputes that have existed for a long time have affected the healthy and continuous development of the cross-strait relationship and cannot be passed from generation to generation,” he said.
On the first day of 2019, President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen delivered an address at the Presidential Office, focusing on cross-strait relations, in what was her first New Year’s speech since taking office in 2016. Her remarks centered on cross-strait relations, in the video “President Tsai urges China to engage Taiwan based on ‘Four Musts’“, below:
For the first time, President Tsai spelled out the “Four Musts,” which are the four things China must do in order to engage positively with Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen indicated that healthy and normal cross-strait relations cannot be achieved by relying on ambiguously phrased political preconditions. Instead, it requires a practical understanding of the fundamental differences in their values, ways of life, and political systems. She said, “We are not opposed to normal cross-strait interactions. And we certainly are not opposed to city-to-city interactions between our two sides. But if there is no sincere cooperation even on issues like epidemic prevention, then how can the two sides of the strait be one family?” Last year during her National Day speech, the president had proposed the so-called “Four Won’ts” in cross-strait relations, vowing that she “would not revert to the old path of confrontation” and “would not bow to pressure.” This time, President Tsai proposed the “Four Musts.” Tsai Ing-wen stated, “China must face up to the existence of the Republic of China, Taiwan. China must respect the democracy that the 23 million Taiwanese insist upon. It must resolve cross-strait differences in a peaceful and equitable manner. And it must sit down with the government of Taiwan or an institution with a mandate from the government.” These are the “Four Musts” that form the basis of positive development in cross-strait relations.During the address, President Tsai outlined her aspirations for the New Year. President Tsai Ing-wen said, “This new year will be a year of fighting for the people’s livelihoods. It will be a year of protecting democracy. It will be a year of defending our sovereignty, of proposing economic policies that will bring a tangible improvement to the people’s lives. I will create three mechanisms to protect the livelihoods, information security, and democracy of Taiwan. This will be the work that I do every single day in 2019. ” Following the DPP’s defeat in the local elections, President Tsai has sought opportunities to communicate with the public. Going into 2019, the performance of her administration will prove decisive to her chances at re-election in 2020.
I would like to reiterate: Given that both ROC and PRC are no longer governed by the same governments as they did back in Chinese Civil War time, and given that both sides of the governments are intelligent enough to realize that a peaceful resolution would be less costly and more productive for future growth, I believe private discussions and negotiations between two sides would be meaningful. It is mutually beneficial for China and Taiwan to peacefully resolve their differences, for young people in Taiwan need the opportunities offered by China and China’s economy simply cannot afford to be sanctioned by rest of the world, as Russia was resulting from a large number of countries against Russia and Crimea following the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, which began in late February 2014. The sanctions were imposed by the United States, the European Union (EU) and other countries and international organizations against individuals, businesses and officials from Russia and Ukraine. Russia responded with sanctions against a number of countries, including a total ban on food imports from the EU, United States, Norway, Canada and Australia. The sanctions contributed to the collapse of the Russian ruble and the Russian financial crisis. In the 21st century, violence is no longer tolerated, and the associated heavy penalty is often not feasible. Two groups of intelligent people or governments can always find a more optimal way of resolving issues without resorting to violence.
As human history progresses, it is hopeful that the strengths of different systems may be synthesized and evolved into something new and possibly even better. Such process would require the creativity, collaboration, open-mindedness and willingness to evolve.
One of the main reasons why United States of America has been so successful was in part due to its regional or state governments, providing greater responsiveness to the needs of the local people. We have our United States of America, then perhaps China would consider experimenting with the concept of United States of China?
Rest of the world wish both China and Taiwan success in their negotiation and evolution for peaceful resolutions, for there would be much to gain for both if peaceful resolution will be reached and the world would be a happy place.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via [email protected]
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