Many of you may think Taiwan is a country, but it is not. We will explain to you the China-Taiwan relationship and the risky options of changing Taiwan’s current status.
Is Taiwan a Country? – At The Moment No.
The challenge for the islands known as Taiwan is it is located between two larger and at times imperialistic countries of China and Japan. Taiwan was considered a country by most of the world’s nations between 1949 and 1971. Today though Taiwan remains independent, Taiwan is only recognized as a sovereign nation by just over a dozen countries.
Is Taiwan Part of China?
The Communist government of mainland China has a convincing claim that Taiwan is not a country and that it is part of China. After World War II, there were two Governments claiming they were the legitimate government of China. This included the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) who controlled mainland China with roughly 540 million people and the Republic of China (RoC) who controlled the islands of Taiwan with only 8 million people. Over time the PRC has convinced the majority of nations that they are the legitimate government of China. This culminated with the United Nations expelling RoC (Taiwan) in 1971 and with the UN recognizing the Communist China Party (CCP)/PRC as the official government of China.
Can Taiwan Become a Country Again?
Taiwan can become a country again, but it will be difficult. From an International law perspective, the islands of Taiwan generally meet the eight accepted criteria to determine whether a place is a sovereign state. Taiwan now has a population of over 23 million people, a GDP of over $1.4 trillion, and a per capita of $56,959. Taiwan is more prosperous than most “legitimate” countries. The problem is China. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan as what is known as their “One-China policy“. China considers Taiwan as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland.
Options For Changing the Status Quo In Taiwan.
Any attempted changes to the status Quo will be difficult. The primary reason is China. Below are the challenges.
- Taiwan Becoming a Full UN Member. This will not happen as a key step of becoming an U.N. member and a recognized sovereign nation is to be approved by all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. China is one of the permanent members.
- Taiwan Declaring Independence Will Result in an Invasion by China. As China’s position is that Taiwan is a renegade province of China, China would exercise the option under International law to reunite its country.
- Nations Can Only Have Diplomatic Relations With China or Taiwan. China will not have diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes Taiwan as a country. Any nations recognizing Taiwan will result in severing its ties with China.
- ReUnite With China While Staying Autonomous. Over recent years China and Taiwan have increased economic ties and eased travel restrictions. There are discussions of reuniting Taiwan with China while Taiwan remains autonomous, but recent history demonstrates that this would not end well. The reunification would more than likely be similar to China’s ruthless suppression of the Hong Kong democracy movement.
For more information on Taiwan being a country see the following: Countries That Recognize Taiwan, Taiwan Is a Country in All but Name: Still, That Doesn’t Mean America Should Defend It, and What’s behind the China-Taiwan divide?
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