Taiwan A Geopolitical Pawn

By :Paul Chong                         Friday 27 January 2017

unknownMs Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s President

Taiwan, once dubbed as “The Little Tiger” of Asia because of its early economic growth, has been running around attempting to impact its own unique Chinese-ness & claim its independence from mainland China. The worst crucial fact is for the Taiwanese to claim the extreme that they are not Chinese. This is most ironic when its root tongue, culture & heritage largely lie with the Fujian Province of China. Similar languages are spoken across Taiwanese Strait like Mandarin & “Minnanhua” (Taiwan Hokkien).

Historically & futuristically, Taiwan belongs to China as its 23rd province. This can never change. Historically the Chinese Communist Party’s core interpretation of the 1992 consensus rests on the idea that there is only one China.Taiwan belongs to China as its 23rd province.

China has always considered this unification with Taiwan as an internal matter & no outside intervention or interference will be taken lightly.

In 1945, following the end of World War II & the defeat of General Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) Party by Mao Zedong, Chiang fled to Taiwan seeking refuge there with the help of US. In 1949, General Chiang Kai-Shek, who ought to be considered as China’s traitor, a rebel & renegade leader established the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan with his Kuomintang (KMT) cohorts.
Deng Xiaoping was known to have said, “There can’t be two tigers on the same hill.” Hence the “One-China Policy” instilled by China & accepted by the world at large, except for a very small minorities.

“People used to say Taiwan is a little rabbit running around two elephants,” said Alexander Huang, chairman of the Council on Strategic and War Gaming Studies, a Taiwanese think tank.
“No matter whether the two elephants are making war or love, Taiwan will be shaken by the elephants.”

In the case of the United States, the One-China Policy was first stated in the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972: “the United States acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States does not challenge that position.”

The One-China policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called “China”, despite the existence of two governments that claim to be “China”. As a policy, this means that countries seeking diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China) must break official relations with the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) and vice versa.
Whatever justification & rationalisation, all encompassing with political overtone attached, there can be but one China. By the same token, there can’t be Two US.

With reference to the 1992 Consensus, the Chinese Communist Party’s core interpretation rests on the idea that there is only one China. But Tsai Ing-wen still insists on her own contrary interpretation.

Beijing is ‘seriously concerned’ over policy. Taiwan has been warned about playing the chess game by leaning onto US. It has also been warned not to go to the extreme.

The way I see it, Donald Trump is playing his chips using Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s leader, as a willing pawn in his chess game with China. Trump is saying China has taken out too much out of US. Now he wants to bargain for some if not all of it back.

Taiwan is definitely a bargaining-chip for Trump on China. The question is who will ultimately be the winner. Some in Ms. Tsai’s camp are uncertain about the consequences of a closer union with the US, and how China would react to improved relations. Others are in favour of a closer link to China.

“I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Mr Trump said.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.