Everybody knows Taiwan is an independent democratic nation-state and definitely not China, so why doesn’t Taiwan just drop “China” from its official name to avoid all the confusion and call itself the Republic of Taiwan or something like that?
Firstly, Taiwan isn’t a country with its own sovereignty. Taiwan is an exception case that being a part of greater China but with its own government and army.
Both Mao and Chiang agree that there is only one China, just see who is to rule it. In 50s, Chiang always find opportunities to recover mainland China. In fact, in 50s when China engaged in Korea War, Chiang was planning to militarily recover mainland but warned and banned by the US because a splitting China is the best interests of the US.
90s onward, things changed the other way round. The national power of mainland was surpassing Taiwan. Today, mainland China has excessive power to recover Taiwan. Knowing there is no chance to recover mainland, Taiwan Independence brand thus rises.
From this history, we can firmly say that there is only one China. This is also being recognized in UN and by the US that there is only one China, and Taiwan is part of China.
The current mainland China and Taiwan is an unfinished civial war yet to be finished.
Wasting time to argue this topic repetitively is unnecessary.
Now, why Taiwan wants to be independent to China?
My analysis comes up with following points:
- Fears of China due to lack of knowledge. Where, fears of China comes from western propaganda and failing to understand China. Nowadays, many young generations are working in China. They know well how’s life in China and had posted videos on Youtube telling their new thoughts about China and how wrong they were about China with their previous misconception.
- Difference is political system. This is the biggest mismatch for reunification. However, personally i find that this could be just an excuse. China has stated very clear that, as long as Taiwan agrees one China, everything else is negotiable. Thus, maintaining a self administration zone is viable to Taiwan to keep their current democracy system and freedom. The refusal of this propose indicated that political difference may not be the actual reason for refusing peaceful reunification.
- Anti-china emotion resulted from education system. From social posts, news programs on youtube, it is easy to find many anti-china programs. Many Taiwanese see China as enemy. However, not many can tell decent reasons.
- Superior status. There are quite a portion of Taiwanese see themselves as higher class, well educated Chinese over mainlanders without realizing the big change in China these few decades. They see reunification as downgrading their status and superiority.
We are right in a period of change. A change that redefines the national power, quality of people. Taiwanese are in confusing stage at the moment. Many of them have reliased the change in China and understand that by reunified with China, they have better opportunities and prosperity. Possibly democracy and freedom are what they concern the most in reunification topic.
By changing its national naming isn’t viable as it is to declare that Taiwan to be independent, which has breached one China bottomline. The consequence is to be recovered militarily by China.
This is why the current Taiwanese government would never announce any Taiwan Independence statement officially.
Timeline of China Taiwan separation (source from Reuters):
1949: Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists lose civil war to Mao Zedong’s Communist forces, sets up government-in-exile on Taiwan.
1958: China bombards offshore islands held by Nationalist troops, nearly sparking war between China and the United States.
1971: Taiwan loses U.N. seat held since 1946 as the Republic of China, to the People’s Republic of China. Its diplomatic allies dwindle to 23 by 2008 as most countries in the world switch recognition to China.
1987: After decades of hostility, Taiwan and China embark on cautious rapprochement, allowing cross-Strait family visits.
1991: Taiwan renounces use of force to retake mainland, paving way for unofficial talks.
1993: Landmark bilateral meeting in Singapore.
Jan 1995: Chinese President Jiang Zemin calls for high-level talks to end state of hostility. Taiwan rejects offer.
June 1995: Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui enrages Beijing by making landmark, private trip to the United States.
March 1996: China test-fires missiles in waters near key ports in northeastern and southwestern Taiwan ahead of island’s first democratic presidential elections. Lee wins by a landslide.
1998: Taiwan envoy Koo Chen-fu meets Jiang in China in highest-level contact in nearly five decades.
1999: Lee unilaterally redefines bilateral ties as “special state to state”. Beijing freezes semi-official talks.
Jan 2001: Taiwan opens direct but limited trade and travel links with China. In November, Taiwan partially eases decades-old curbs on Chinese visiting the island in goodwill gesture.
2003: First Taiwan commercial flight to China for more than 50 years arrives in Shanghai, but has to go via Hong Kong.
March 2005: China’s parliament passes anti-secession bill authorising use of force if Taiwan declares independence.
2007: Taiwan bans 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay from the island, after months of talks with China fail.
June 12, 2008: Beijing hosts two-day talks seen as the first step in new Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s plan to reinvigorate ties.