Taiwan: History from 1683-2022 and the Chinese-Taiwanese Conflict

In this blog entry, we will learn about the history of Taiwan from its annexation by China’s Qing Dynasty in 1683 to Taiwan’s vote on removing symbols of its authoritarian past in December 2017. As well as the current rising tensions between the two countries.

Flag of Taiwan
Image: shutterstock

Geogrpahic Location

Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China (ROC), is located in East Asia at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. To the Northwest is the People’s Republic of China, to the Northeast Japan and the Philippines to the South.
Next to the main island, it controls a territory of 168 other islands.

Image: Wikipedia
Taiwan with its administered territories
Image: Wikipedia

Demography

There live around 23,580,712 people in Taiwan (2022 estimate).
There are 16 officially recognized indigenous groups: Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Hla’alua, Kanakaravu, Kavalan, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Saisiyat, Sakizaya, Seediq, Thao, Truku, Tsou, and Yami; Amis, Paiwan, and Atayal are the largest and account for roughly 70% of the indigenous population.

For this I used Infogram, test-wise
(unsure whether I will use infogram again)

History of Taiwan

1683
Annexation of Taiwan by China’s Qing Dynasty*.
Until then, the island was divided between aboriginal kingdoms and Chinese and European settlers, the Dutch were the most common amongst the Europeans.

*The Qing Dynasty lasted from 1644 to 1912, it was the last dynasty of China.
It ended on January 1. 1912, and the last emperor of China – Emperor Pu Yi – died
on October 17. 1967.

1895
Taiwan is ceded to Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War (25th July 1894 – 17th April 1895), as well as other territories.

Major Battles and Troop Movements during the First Sino-Japanese War
Image: Wikipedia

1915
The Tapani Incident* prompts Japan to reform its administration of the settled population, which turns to civic and and political activity. The treatment of the aboriginals by the Japanese remains harsh.

*In Taiwan this event is still in the public mind in the form of the Tapani Incident Memorial Park (噍吧哖事件紀念園區). It is also known as the Xilaian Incident.

source: travel tainan

1930
The Wushe Rebellion*, the last aboriginal uprising, is crushed by Japanese troops.

„On the 27th of October 1930, 6 Tkdaya villages of the Seediq people (the Mehebu, Truwan, Boarung, Suku, Gungu, and Drodux) seized the opportunity afforded by a sports contest which brought many high-ranking Japanese officials together, and a large-scale anti-Japanese incident began. In this incident 134 Japanese were killed (there were also two Taiwanese who were accidentally killed due to their attire), and 215 injured. Many of the police stationed in different areas of the Wushe (霧社) region were attacked by aborigines, and the entire Wuhe area was occupied by the aborigines. […]

A total of 644 people died (of which 296 people killed themselves). After the incident, more than 561 survivors from the above six villages and a small number of scattered Toda and Truku were forced to move into Sipo and Drodux village shelters.“
(source: taiwanpedia, waybachmachine)

Seeqid costumes
(image source: Wikipedia)



1942
All treaties with Japan are renounced by the Chinese Kuomintang government*, they also demand to return Taiwan as part of any post-war settlement which is endorsed by the Allies in the Cairo Declaration** one year later.

*The Chinese Kuomintangs government was a government led by the Nationalist Party whose leader was Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925). It ruled mainland China from 1928 to 1949.
**The Press Communiqué is short, so I include it here in its entire length:
President Roosevelt, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and Prime Minister Churchill, together with their respective military and diplomatic advisers, have completed a conference in North Africa. The following general statement was issued:

“The several military missions have agreed upon future military operations against Japan. The three great Allies expressed their resolve to bring unrelenting pressure against their brutal enemies by sea, land and air. This pressure is already rising.

“The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan, shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent.

“With these objects in view the three Allies, in harmony with those of the United Nations at war with Japan, will continue to persevere in the serious and prolonged operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan.”
(November 26, 1943)

1945
After Japan surrendered, the allies put Taiwan under the administrative control of the Republic of China.

1947
The discontent with the centralised rule by Kuomintang mainlanders results in the
228 Incident* (February 28th). This anti-government uprising lasted from the 28th February 1947 to 16th May 1947 and was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang.
Chinese authorities imposed martial law during that time, killed a large number of protesters who demanded free elections and clean government (between 18,000 and 28,000) and banned thousands of others from political activity.

*I found a website called the 228 Massacre writing about it in detail, in the „About“ section they explain the project: „The 228 Massacre Info Project was started and led by an amalgamation of Taiwanese, diaspora, and expats in hopes to explain, share, and examine the stories of 228 and the various subsequent movements that led to Taiwan’s democratization.“

1949
The Chinese Communist Party emerges victorious from the Chinese Civil War. Following the victory, the Kuomintang government along with two million refugees, evacuate to Taiwan and dominate the island until the end of martial law in 1987.

Until the 1970s, Taiwan is seen as the legitimate government of all of China.

1950s-1960s
The rapid industrial development is stimulated by export-orientated policy and US economic aid, meanwhile the Nationalist Party justifies one-party rule on the grounds of opposing any communist threat.

1971
Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975), leader of the Kuomintang, rejects the dual-representation deal. As a consequence, the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong takes over China’s UN Security Council seat and is recognized as sole government of the whole country.

Chiang Kai-shek in his uniform, 1943 (colourized)
(source: Wikipedia)

1975
After his father’s death, Chiang Ching-kuo (1910-1988) begins a cautious policy of liberalisation, including the promotion of more native Taiwanese to positions of authority.

1977
The Tangwai (Outside the Party) group achieve the first opposition breakthrough at parliamentary elections.

1979
In what is known as the Kaohsiung Incident*, pro-democracy protesters were killed by the police and all available opposition leaders arrested. This measure draws international to the repressive rule of the Kuomintang.

*The Kaohsiung Incident occured on December 10, 1979.
Here an excerpt from an article of the Taipei Times:
„Thus, in retrospect, the Kaohsiung Incident laid the foundation for this momentous transition. Taiwanese can be thankful that it was a relatively peaceful change.

At the same time, those who made the ultimate sacrifice must be remembered: Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), whose mother and twin daughters were murdered in their home in broad daylight on Feb. 28, 1980, while their house was under strict police surveillance; Carnegie Mellon University assistant professor Chen Wen-chen (陳文成), who was found dead at National Taiwan University on July 3, 1981, after having been “interviewed” by the Taiwan Garrison Command; Deng, who set himself on fire rather than being arrested by police storming into his office on April 7, 1989; and Dr Wang Kang-lu (王康陸), a leading Taiwanese-American independence activist who died in a mysterious “car accident” in Taipei on Oct. 12, 1993.

In addition to laying the foundation for Taiwan’s democracy, the Kaohsiung Incident and its aftermath also played an important role in cementing international support for Taiwan and its vibrant democracy. It showed the world that Taiwanese were willing and able to build a stable, multi-party democratic system.“


1980
Opposition leaders were sentenced to long prison sentences over the Incident.

1986
The Democratic Progressive Party is not prevented from organizing by authorities, despite the ban on opposition parties. Their candidates stand in the elections under Tangwai banner.

1987
Martial law is abolished by Chiang Ching-kuo and families are allowed to visit China mainland.

1988
Death of Chian Ching-kou. His chosen successor, Lee Teng-hui (1923-2020), dismantels many structures left from 1949 through his ‚Taiwanisation‘ policy and relaxes restrictions on native language and culture.

Official Portrait, 1999
(source: Wikipedia)

1996
In free elections, Lee Teng-hui beats his opponent Peng Min-ming of the Democratic Progressive Party. The People’s Republic of China attempts to disrupt the election through missile tests, the US dispatches aircraft carriers to the region.

2000
In March, Chen Shui-bian (*12 October, 1950) wins the presidential elections. Thus ending the 50-year monopoly of power of the Kuomintang.

Chen Shui-bian
(image source: Wikipedia)

May 2000 – April 2001

In his inaugural speech, Chen Shui-ban says that he will not declare independence as long as China doesn’t attack. Neither will he call for a referendum on independence nor abolish Taipei’s official blueprint for an eventual reunion with mainland China.
China accuses him of insincerity by saying that he evaded the key question whether he considers Taiwan part of China.

In August he stops briefly in the United States before his two-weeks tour of Central America and Africa. He receives no official welcome.

In October the construction of a nuclear power plant is halted. The government argues that it wouldn’t be a safe source of energy (the previous government approved and started it).
In the same month, Prime Minister Tang Fei resigns over the plan to scarp the nuclear power plant, he is succeeded by Chang Chun-hsiung.

April 2001, the Dalai Lama meets President Chen during a visit which is strongly opposed by China. The United States confirm the sale of submarines, warships and anti-submarine aircraft, but not the requested naval combat radar system Aegis. President George W Bush pledges to support Taiwan should China invade.

June 2001 – November 2003

In June of the same year, Taiwan test-fires Patriot anti-missile defence system bought from US while China carries out military exercises simulating the invasion of island.
An excerpt from an article regarding China’s military exercises in November of that year:
„The exercises set up a scenario of the PLA’s taking over an outlying island, in which missiles, fighter jets, warships, armoured vehicles as well as electronic command systems were used.

Citing a military briefing, the paper reported earlier that the exercise was to simulate the seizure of Penghu.

„If the condition calls for the use of force to resolve the issue of Taiwan, the PLA will first of all take Penghu“, believed to be of strategic importance, the daily cited military experts as saying.

They added that there were no plans „now or in the future“ to take over Jinmen and Mazu, islands which lie close to the mainland.“
(source: china.org, 8th November 2001)

In November 2001, Taiwan lifts a 50-year ban on direct trade and investment with China.
In December, the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party loses its parliamentary majority for the first time.

January 2002, a few weeks after China Taiwan officially entery the World Trade Organisation.

May 2003, a drastic increase of the pneumonia-like Sars virus.
In July it is removed from the WHO’s list of countries that were badly affected by the Sars virus. Four months later, Taiwan unveils the 508-metre Taipei 101 building.

From 2004 to 2009, it was the tallest building in the world
(image source: Wikipedia)

In November, the parliament approves a bill which allows for a referendum on declaring independence should China attack. However, referendums on the sovereignty and changing the country’s name are not approved.

March 2004 – July 2005

President Chen Shui-bian wins a second term by a thin margin (50.11% vs 49.89%, his opponent was Lien Chan). His victory follows an apparent assassination attempt against him on the eve of the election.

Green: Chen-Lu ticket; blue: Lien-Soong ticket
(Image: Wikipedia)

In November the court rejects the opposition challenge that President Chen Shui-bian won March’s presidential election unfairly.

January 2005, the first direct flight between Taiwan and China since 1949 for the Lunear New Year Holiday*.
In March, Beijing passes a law that would give it legal right to use force should Taipei declare formal independence. This is condenmed by Taiwan.
In April, the leader of the National Party Lien Chan visits China. This is the first meeting between Nationalist and Communist Party leaders since 1949.
In June, a reform requiring future constitutional amendments to be put to a referendum arouses China’s concern that it will be easier for activists to promote moves towards independence.
One month later, the National Party (KMT) elects mayor of Taipei Ma Ying Jeou (*13 July, 1950) as its new leader.

*The New Lunear Year Holiday is one of the largest holidays in many East and Southeast Asian countries. The customs, on the other hand, vary from country to country.
Here the traditions of the New Lunear Year Holiday in China (from Yahoo):

„Chinese New Year is known as Chunjie, or the spring festival. Preparations for the 15-day celebration begin weeks in advance, starting with an obligatory spring cleaning which is thought to sweep away bad luck from the past year. It is customary to decorate with the color red during Chinese New Year because it is a symbol of good luck. (Children are even given money in red envelopes called hong bao for protection and good fortune.)

There are different activities, traditions, food, and superstitions for each of the 15 days. According to Chinese New Year, the second day of Chinese New Year is reserved for visiting the in-laws on the mother’s side of the family, since married daughters were considered a part of the husband’s family in ancient China and cannot spend Chunjie with her parents. The times have changed, but the tradition of spending the second day with the mother’s side of the family is still a special custom that many families keep. The celebration concludes on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival, where children carry around lanterns and families eat glutinous rice balls together.

But the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve is perhaps the most important event of the holiday, as it’s the only time of the year many people can travel home and spend time with their families. Many of the dishes served at the reunion dinner and throughout the holiday carry important meaning. According to Food Network, fish signifies wealth and prosperity as the Chinese word for “fish” sounds similar to the word for “plenty.” Other traditional fare includes; rice cakes, which symbolize success in one’s career; oranges which symbolize good fortune; dumplings, which symbolize wealth; glutinous rice balls which symbolize family togetherness and reunion; and long noodles that symbolize long life).“

Osmanthus cake is a traditional sweet-scented Chinese pastry made with glutinous rice flour, honey sweet-scented osmanthus and rock sugar“
(source: Wikipedia, different kind of rice cakes listed)

„Chinese New Year also welcomes a new animal from the Chinese zodiac, a repeating 12-year cycle where each year is represented by an animal and its attributes. This year, 2022, ushers in the Year of the Tiger.

To wish someone a happy and prosperous new year in Mandarin Chinese, just say, „gong xi fa cai, xin nian kuai le.“ This translates to, „Wish you happiness and prosperity! Happy New Year!““

(It was too interesting to shorten it, and if you want to know about the traditions in other countries just click the embedded link in „from Yahoo“ at the beginning)

December 2005 – January 2008

In December, the opposition party KMT triumphs in the municipial elections. The result is interpreted as a mid-term vote of no confidence in in President Chen Shui-bian.

Excerpt from the Wikipedia Article on said election
The People’s First Party received 0.91 % and
the New Party 0.16 % of the votes

Februar 2006, the decision of Taiwan to scrap the National Unification Council (set up on October 7, 1990 to deal with the reunification of China mainland; dissolved on February 27, 2006) was commented in China as a decision that could bring „disaster“.
In June, the president of Taiwan ceded some of his powers to the prime minister over corruption allegations against a member of his family.
In October, president Chen survives the second attempt to force a referendum on his rule. It was the second within four months. His supporters and opponents take it on the streets.
In December, an earthquake off Taiwan cuts undersea cables which led to limited telecommunications acrosss the region. China highlights Taiwan as a security threat in plans to upgrade their military.

January 2007, Taiwans defense school history books which refer to China. Beijing accuses Taipei of introducing independence ideologies into the classroom.
In March, newspapers report that Taiwan’s test-fired cruise missiles are capable of hitting Shanghai or Hongkong. The removal of a Chiang Kai-shek statue from Kaohsiung sparks protests.
In April, a dispute between Taiwan and China erupts over route of Olympic torch relay ahead of 2008 Beijing games.
In August, Taiwan attempts to join the United Nations for the first time under the name Taiwan instead of the official title Republic of China. The application is rejected.

January 2008, the opposition party KMT wins in a landslide in the parliamentary elections (KMT gets 58.45% of the votes, the DPP 41.55%). As a consequence, Mr Chen steps down from post of DPP chairman.

March 2008 – December 2008

In the presidential elections, Ma Ying-jeou (*13 July, 1950) is elected president.
In June, the first formal talks with China are hold since dialogue was suspended in 1999.
July 2008, the president apologizes for the white terror in the 1950s and 1960s that saw tens of thousands of political dissidents getting killed or imprisonment. This violence took place after the Kuomintang party fled to the island and imposed martial law in 1949.
In November of the same year, Chen Yunlin (* December, 1941), China’s top negotiator on Taiwan, visits Taiwan for talks in Taipei on improving relations. He is the highest ranking Chinese official to visit Taiwan in more than half a century, his visit was met with protests by pro-independence protesters. In the same month, Chen Shui-bian is arrested for money laundering, bribery and embezzlement of government funds. He claims it is politically motivated.
In December, China gift of two pandas to Taiwan is seen as a further improvement of relations.

March 2009 – January 2010

Trial of former President Chen Shui-bian on charges including taking bribes, money laundering and extortion.
In April, China drops the longstanding objections to Taiwans participation in the World Health Organization. In turn, Taiwan says it will lift ban on investments from China.
In May, talks on a trade pact talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and the chairman of the governing Kuomintang (KMT) party, Wu Po-hsiung are agreed upon.
In July, for the first time in more than 60 years, Taiwan and China exchange direct messages in a sign of warming ties. President Ma Ying-jeou is elected head of the ruling party.
One month later, in August, typhoon Morakot hits Taiwan which kills 789 in total.
It formed on August 2, 2009 and dissipated on August 13, 2009.
The mismanagement of the crisis caused by the natural disaster was compared to George W. Bush’s handling of hurricane Katarina: slow reaction of the central government, disregard for the local population and an arrogant towards native Taiwanese (in the US towards the black population respectively). His approval decreased as a consequence.
(source, typhoone handling: Bildungszentrale für politische Bildung).

Category 1 typhoon*
(image: Wikipedia)

January 2010, after the US approved the sale of defence missiles to Taiwan under a proposed $6.7bn arms package, China suspends military contacts with the US in response and sanctions US companies involved in the arms package.

*There are five categories for typhoons, once maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph (119 km/h), the cyclone is called:

  • A hurricane in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, and the South Pacific Ocean east of 160°E, (The word hurricane comes from the Carib Indians of the West Indies, who called this storm a huracan. Supposedly, the ancient Tainos tribe of Central America called their god of evil „Huracan“. Spanish colonists modified the word to hurricane.),
  • A typhoon in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline (super typhoon if the maximum sustained winds are at least 150 mph / 241 km/h),
  • A severe tropical cyclone in the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160°E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90°E,
  • A severe cyclonic storm in the North Indian Ocean, and
  • A tropical cyclone in the Southwest Indian Ocean.

On the website of the National Weather Service you can read up on them:
https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/tc_classification

June 2010 – October 2013

Taiwan and China sign a free trade pact which is seen as the most significant agreement in 60 years of separation.

February 2011, detention of a senior army officer on suspicion of spying for China.

January 2012, re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou.
In August, an investment protection deal is signed by China and Taiwan that sets up formal channels to settle disputes. In the agreement are details such as the rights of Taiwanese investors if detained by Chinese authorities and vice versa. China is the biggest trading partner of Taiwan with a bilateral trade worth of $110bn (£70bn) a year

Cross-Strait Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement
Article 3 of the agreement contains the section. The agreement was signed on August 9.
(source: https://edit.wti.org/document/show/7bf088ee-31e7-4a7e-b6c7-2d9389a9a2ad)
1. Each Party shall ensure fair and equitable treatment to investors of the other Party and their investments, and shall provide full protection and security:

(1) „Fair and equitable treatment“ means that the measures adopted by a Party shall be in accordance with the principle of due process and shall not deny justice and fair trial to investors of the other Party, and that obviously discriminatory or arbitrary measures may not be implemented.

(2) „Full protection and security“ means that a Party shall adopt reasonable and necessary measures to protect the safety of investors of the other Party and their investments.

A Party’s breach of other provisions in this Agreement does not constitute a breach of this paragraph.

2. The Parties shall reinforce the protection of personal freedom and safety of investors and related personnel, fulfill the notification obligations related to personal freedom within the prescribed time limit under their respective laws and regulations, and strive to perfect the existing notification mechanism.

3. Treatment accorded by a Party to investors of the other Party with respect to the operation, management, maintenance, enjoyment, use, sale, or other disposition of their investments shall not be less favorable than that accorded by such Party, in like circumstances, to its own investors and their investments.

4. Treatment accorded by a Party to investors of the other Party with respect to the establishment, expansion, operation, management, maintenance, possession, use, sale, or other disposition of their investments shall not be less favorable than that accorded by such Party, in like circumstances, to investors of any third party and their investments.

5. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article do not apply to a Party’s existing non-conforming measures and amendments thereto, while the Party shall gradually reduce or eliminate such non-conforming measures and provided that any amendment or change to such non-conforming measures shall not increase the restrictions on investors of the other Party and their investments.

6. Investors of the other Party may not claim to initiate dispute resolution proceedings other than those provided in this Agreement based on paragraph 4 of this Article.

January 2013, territorial dispute with Japan: „Japan turns back a small Taiwanese boat from East China Sea islands claimed by China and Taiwan. The row has left ties between Tokyo and Beijing severely strained. Four Taiwanese coastguard vessels escorted the boat. The islands are called Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyutai in Taiwan and Diaoyu in China.“
In April, Taiwan holds it first live fire drills in five years after the president warns about China’s rising military investment.
In May, a Filipino coastguards kill a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters which leads to a major diplomatic conflict between Taiwan and the Philippines.
In June, the cross-Strait services trade agreement is signed by Taiwan and China.
In October, said agreement is stalled in Taiwan’s parliament ny opposition MPs over the concern that it will hurt industry and small businesses.

February 2014 – December 2017

The first government-to-government talks are hold between Taiwan and China since the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949. Taiwan sends its government minister in charge of the island’s China policy and China his mainland counterpart from the eastern city of Nanjin.
In March, the cross-Strait services trade agreement leads to opposition protesters occupying the parliament. The parliament hasn’t ratified the agreement yet.
In April, the head of EPA (USA) visits Taiwan. It is the first visit of a cabinet-level official in 14 years.
In June, amidst a controversy over a proposed trade pact, the most senior Chinese official overseeing ties with Taiwan visits the island.
In October, Taiwan implements a ban on senior government officials to attend higher studies in China, citing national security reasons.
In December, the Kuomintang party experiences a crushing defeat in local elections.
President Ma Ying-jeou resigns as chairman of the party. The polls were seen as a referendum on Ma’s pro-China policies (DPP: 47.97%; KMT: 40.81%).

January 2015, after serving six years of a 20-years prison sentence, the former president Chen Shui-bian is released from prison on medical parole. Eric Chu, mayor of New Taipei, is elected as chairman of the ruling KMT.
In February, 118 people are charged by prosecutors with offences related to occupation of the island’s parliament and government offices in 2014 (dubbed „Sunflower movement“).
In March, after a severe backlash from Taiwan’s authorities, China postpones the launch of four new flight routes near Taiwan.
In October, the KMT drops Hung Hsiu-chu as its presidential candidate after a series of poor opinion poll rating. She was the first female candidate for the post.
In November, historic talks are hold between Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and China’s President Xi Jinping in Singapore. It is the first meeting of this kind since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and the subsequent split of the nation.

January 2016, Tsai Ing-wen – a pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party candidate – emerges victorious in the presidential elections. She takes office in May.

June 2017, Panama switches diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China which is seen by the latter as a victory. Sao Tome and Principe did the same in December 2016, leaving Taiwan to enjoy full diplomatic relations with only 20 other countries.

Sao Tome and Principe is an island country of Central Africa
(Image: Wikipedia)

In December 2017, the parliament votes to remove symbols of the island’s authoritarian past – including references to the former leader, Chiang Kai-shek

11 January 2020, Tsai Ing-wen secured her re-election with just over 57 %.
An excerpt from a BBC article: „Ms Tsai opposes closer ties with China, with Mr Han suggesting they would bring economic benefits. In her victory speech, Ms Tsai told China to abandon its threat to take back the island by force. Ms Tsai told a news conference: „Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free democratic way of life and how much we cherish our nation.“

Tsai Ing-wen (image from BBC, which in turn got it from Getty Images)

August 2022, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives in the USA, visits Taiwan. It is the first of its kind in 25 years, and she intended to make it „unequivocally clear“ that the United States would „not abandon“ the democratically governed island.
Tsai Ing-wen thanked Pelosi for visiting and „praised her commitment to democracy and bestowed on her Taiwan’s highest civilian honor“ (CNN Business).
Beijing responded with a warning that Pelosi’s trip would have a „severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations“ and began with series of military exercises on Tuesday. 708,000 people tracked it on Flightradar24 when her aircraft landed in Taipei,
2.9 million people tracked at least a portion of the flight.

The Taiwanese-Chinese Conflict

As the history of Taiwan has shown, mainland China sees Taiwan as part of itself. Taiwan, as seen by China, is a renegade region which eventually reunites with the mainland.

Taiwan is in a precarious situation: on the one hand, China is its main trading partner* (especially after the assimilation of Hong Kong) and the re-election of Tsai Ing-wen signals that there’s a strong sense of Taiwanese identity with commitment to democracy; on the other hand, China is also the greatest threat to the current status quo.

In my opinion should democracies around the world declare solidarity with Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwanese government and people of course (e.g. subtle with soft power like cultural exchanges).

Note

To some it may have looked like a footnote, but I can assure you that Sun Yat-sen
(12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) is a very fascinating historic figure.

Sun Yat-sen, London 1896
(image: Wikipedia)

He lived in exile until he returned from Europe to Japan where he was the leader of the „Revolutionary Alliance“ which had connections to countless groups within China, especially anti-Manchurian associations which have grown in numbers since 1902.
Sun Yat-sen brought a program with him called the three Three Principles of the People which he conceptualized during his stay in Europe and developed into reform proposals in the following years. The principles were as followed: the principle of nationalism (minzu), the principle of civil rights (minquan) and the principle of public welfare (minsheng).

These principles can also be outlined as anti-imperalistic nationalism, democracy and socialism. He also sought to implement agricultural reforms under the influence of the american theorist Henry George (1839-1897) which included the partial nationalization of land ownership with compensation.

The founding manifesto of the Revolutionary Alliance mentions at the very beginning the establishment of a republic as one of the four goals of the revolutionaries. The other aims were: the expulsion of the barbarians (i.e. the Manchu dynasty), the founding of a Chinese national state under the slogan >>China is the China of the Chinese<< and finally the redistribution of land ownership. Furthermore, they sought to „establish a system of governance where all people are equal and enjoy the same rights. The president is elected by the people, as well as the parliament which consists of representatives. A constitution is to be issued and everyone has to obey by it. Whoever dares to declare themselves a monarch will face the resistance of the entiry country“ (p. 41 f). The demand for a republican constitution was in many ways compatible with the traditional understanding of a ‚good government‘.

The information above is from a book I’ve read not so long ago, it is a German one.
If you are still interested, here are the details:

Title: Das Neue China – Vom Untergang des Kaiserreichs bis zur Gegenwart
Author: Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer
Pages: 128
ISBN: 978-3-406-74355-9
Edition: the 8th updated edition, 2021

Sources

Taiwan profile – Timeline
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-16178545

CIA Factbook – Taiwan
https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/taiwan/

Tapani Incident Memorial
https://www.twtainan.net/en/attractions/detail/4553

Wushe Incident
https://web.archive.org/web/20140325180546/http://taiwanpedia.culture.tw/en/content?ID=3722

Nationalist Party
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nationalist-Party-Chinese-political-party

Press Communiqué
https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122101

228 Massacre Website
https://228massacre.org/

The Formosa Incident: a look back
https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2019/12/10/2003727276

China’s Army Launches Largest Military Exercises
http://www.china.org.cn/english/2001/Aug/17340.htm

Everything to Know About the Lunar New Year, a Holiday Rich In History
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/everything-know-lunar-holiday-rich-175500191.html

Taiwan – Auf dem Weg zur pluralistischen und multikulturellen Demokratie
Section: Die demokratische Zeit: Konsolidierung und neue Missstände (2000 bis heute)
https://www.bpb.de/themen/asien/china/44291/taiwan/

Tropical Cyclone Classification
https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/tc_classification

Cross-Strait Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement
https://edit.wti.org/document/show/7bf088ee-31e7-4a7e-b6c7-2d9389a9a2ad

2014 Taiwanese local elections
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Taiwanese_local_elections

Sao Tome and Principe
https://www.britannica.com/place/Sao-Tome-and-Principe

Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51077553

Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan was the most-tracked of all time, Flightradar24 says
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/03/tech/pelosi-taiwan-flight-tracker/index.html

Taiwan’s Top Trading Partners
https://www.worldstopexports.com/taiwans-top-import-partners/

Veröffentlicht von thomasbaroque

Ich schreibe über politische, wirtschaftliche und wissenschaftliche Themen. Meine eigenen politischen Ziele ebenso. / I write about politics, the economy and science (my English isn't that good, though). My own political goals and ideas as well.

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