GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
A contentious issue in the ongoing China Debate concerns Taiwan. Is it an independent country or is it a province of China?
There are different views. The case for Taiwan goes like this; since 1949 the people of Taiwan, with assistance from the US, have turned Taiwan into a self-governing democracy with a Parliament, regular elections and the rule of law. Taiwan has made progress. Its economy has grown; tourism has flourished and its people have voted to keep the status quo – more independence; more prosperity; more investment. ‘Taiwan for the Taiwanese’ goes the cry.
There is another point of view; Taiwan has always been part of the state of China – before and since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China. It became home to the remnant forces of Chiang Kaishek and the Kuomintang when its defeated army were driven out of China at the end of the Third Revolutionary War in 1949. Taiwan, the argument goes, has always been a part of China. The Communists may not have pursued the KMT and taken physical control of Taiwan but their claim has never been compromised. Taiwan remains a province of the Peoples Republic of China.
Imagine in 1945 that Winston Churchill, who was overwhelmingly defeated in the General Election, had fled to the Isle of Wight, hoisted the Union Jack and persuaded the rest of the world that the Isle of Wight was now the UK and Westminster could be ignored.
There is only one China and that was recognised by President Nixon in 1971. If that is accepted and Beijing is the sole capital of China, we move to the next argument and ask if Taiwan can secede from China and become an independent state. Can Yorkshire go UDI; Can California go UDI – can the Catalans declare independence from Madrid? Can the Isle of Wight separate from the UK?
TOMORROW 3 FEBRUARY 2022 – THE CASE OF PENG SHUHAI