China & Taiwan

Recently one of my posts resulted in a few hits from China. I am not sure why these hits resulted, since nothing I had to say would have been peculiar to China, however I noted with interest two of these hits. One came from Beijing (Capitol of the People's Republic of China) followed immediately after from a hit from Taipei (Capitol of the Republic of China - sometimes described as Taiwan to avoid confusion).

As a result, I am motivated to comment upon a subject that I have thus far remained silent upon in my blog. What about the Taiwan - China problem?

Is this really a problem? You bet it is if you live there. What, does the issue have to result in warfare before we are willing to identify it as a "problem"? Can we not turn our attention to this "problem" before it results in bloodshed?

OK, let us deal with the "problem" while it only smolders as embers and before it erupts into open flame.

First, upon what principle was the "Republic of China - Taiwan" founded? In what way back in history did America agree to support this newly established government (Taiwan)? A new nation independent of the mainland? Or an alternative government established with the goal of a difficult, eventual, reunification of both nations based upon the hope and potential that "our side" would eventually emerge victorious?

Well, in the "Peoples Republic of China" things are starting to go our way. Not in a way that is unworthy of criticism mind you, just an improvement on how things went in the past. It is interesting that at the same time the "Peoples Republic" resorts to capitalism to meet the needs of her citizens, the "Republic of Taiwan" is now starting to swing towards the "Peoples Republic" with the election of a socialist government that swings left. While you would think that both sides might now be closer to meeting in the middle, the chasm at times seems to grow and they seem to distance themselves from eventual reunification.

Now I do not seek to compare the genuine democracy in Taiwan with the still autocratic, one party, rule in the Peoples Republic. I do not propose that reunification is imminent. However I am unwilling to give up that eventual reunification is possible.

If the people of Taiwan insist on giving up on the dream of reunification (and even leadership) within China, I am willing to allow their dream to become a nightmare. Perhaps the time for reunification is not yet upon us, however that does not mean we should give up on the goal.

Through fits and starts, the People's Republic of China is starting to arise and meet the needs of her citizens. I think that as this new government is established, the "People's Republic" might best be served by the example of Chinese citizens who live within Taiwan.

Is some form of socialism the answer as China rises? Can the answer to this question be found in Taiwan's experiment with socialism? Can Taiwan serve as the model for the mainland?

I think the answer lies in autonomy for now, with the remaining goal of eventual reunification. After the adoption of genuine democracy on the mainland (a prerequisite for reunification) perhaps Taiwanese politicians will be able to win elections and govern all the Chinese people based upon a successful track record.

For the time being, I would rather live in Taipei then live in Beijing if I was forced to live in either as "Joe Average".


Blogger 活龙 said...

Keep TW within China. Peacefully. Enough killing in Chinese history.

2/12/2007 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

On a historical basis, Taiwan is clearly part of mainland China. Even now, a large proportion of Taiwanese support eventual reunification (though not yet).

My guess is that within 50 years, reunification will have occurred, on a political sense. That doesn't mean that mainland China will be like Taiwan or vice versa. China is very clever with its "special economic zones" like Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

Hong Kong and Macau are good examples. They are technically part of the PRC but ordinary Chinese can't enter either zones, both have their own currency, visas, etc. It is part of the PRC only by virtue of a mutual political understanding. Beijing nominally controls the province but with the understanding that it will make no substantial changes in law or interventions in the Hong Kong economy. The Hong Kong government nominally has "autonomy" with the understanding that it brooks no criticism of the central government.

Oddly enough, it works.


2/12/2007 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Well, the current Republic of China just recently added some fuel to the fire. They renamed their postal service to Taiwan Post from China Post for example. The Republic of China President stated these steps were being made in preparation for eventual formal independence.

While these steps might be dismissed as mainly symbolic, I am sure the symbolism is not missed in Beijing.

2/12/2007 08:26:00 AM  

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