In this essay I will be analysing the current relationship between China and Taiwan and how it reflects their relations in the past. I will also explain any possible solutions to the current situation. The relationship between China and Taiwan has been unstable at times however it has also been improving at times. In recent months the relationship has improved because there have now been 375,000 trips to Taiwan from China and vice versa these flights have been direct this shows that there has been an improvement in the relationship because if it hadn’t then why would there be direct flights to the enemies land.
Both China and Taiwan have gained a finical boost by allowing direct flights to both countries. In the article “Ma Says Taiwan-China Economic Embrace ‘the Beginning'” it states that “Ma’s administration says a fuller economic agreement to cut restrictions on trade with China could increase the island’s exports by about 5 percent, or $13 billion based on last year’s figures, and add 273,000 jobs” this is proof that Taiwan has benefited from its improving alliance with China. The history of Taiwan is 400 years old.
The original name of the island was Pakan and on it lived the Malayo-Polynesian. There were a large amount of Chinese settlers and thus the aborigines were forced to live in the hills and mountains and they were then called the mountain people. In 1590 the first western ship sailed passed the island Jan Huygen van Linschoten the Dutch navigator of the ship called it “Ilha Formosa” meaning beautiful island and this stuck and became the islands name for the next four centuries.
During 1624-1662 the island was occupied by the Dutch and when they arrived they only found the aborigine population and there were no signs of administrative structure of the Chinese Imperial Government. This proves that Taiwan didn’t always belong to China. The Dutch established a fortress named zeelandia after the Dutch province Zeeland the fortress is situated at the narrow peninsula on the south-western coast of the island. The peninsula was called Tayouan and this is what lead to the island be named Taiwan.
The Dutch ran the rice fields and sugar plantation via Chinese migrant workers who came for a few years then returned to China however, some became more settled and married aborigine women and thus the race Taiwanese was born. In 1662 the Dutch were defeated by a pirate Cheng Cheng Kung a loyal follower of the Ming dynasty after his death his son took over and continued the legacy however the legacy was finished in 1683 by Ch’ing troopers.
The new Manchu emperors did not wish to in force their rules over the island because they thought of the people as people with little knowledge and poor navy warfare. The immigration rate increased because people needed to escape from war which was occurring in China. China attempted to gain control of Taiwan however every time China sent down officials the locals would retaliate and that is what provoked the saying “Every three years a uprising every five years a rebellion.
In 1870s Taiwanese pirates captured Japanese, American and French ships which were passing the island the governments of these ships protested to Peking however the Manchu emperor answered “Taiwan is beyond our territory. ” Angered by the reoccurring attacks and the China taking no action the French fought back by sending a fleet of navy ships and took over northern Taiwan for nine months in 1884-85, In 1887 the Manchu Imperial authorities decided that Taiwan was “province” of their empire this was because they wanted to outmounver Japan who were becoming powerful in the south.
China’s plan didn’t work they lost the war of Sino Japanese war and thus in the Treaty of Shimonoseki it stated that Taiwan was Japan’s forever. Taiwan gained their independence on the 25th may 1895 with the assistance of disenchanted Manchu officials and they made a new flag to represent their freedom. However the independence was short lived because on 29th may 1895 12,000 Japanese soldiers entered northern Taiwan and destroyed the movement and n the 29th October 1985 the end of the independence came.
The Japanese occupation was unsympathetic however they did improve the standards by building the same education system as in Japan as well as the same roads and railways. During the Second World War in 1943 the allied powers discussed Taiwan’s status in Cairo and they decided to accept Chiang kai shek’s request and Taiwan was returned to China who was Nationalist in this period of time and this was in the Cairo declaration and this decision was made with no Taiwanese representative present.
In 1945 after the war ended some of Chiang’s troops occupied Taiwan as orders of the allied powers the Taiwanese were glad that the Japanese left but soon they realised that the Chinese were worse. On 27th February 1947 when a small gathering led to a full scale protest although the Kuomintang was sent back China did send in troops and executed a whole generation and between 18,000 and 28,000 people were killed during the “white terror”
However this improving relation between China and Taiwan took a turn for the worst when Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalia lama visited Taiwan to hold a prayer for those who had been killed in the typhoon a few weeks before. The Chinese government revulsion the Dalia lama as they stated in the article titled “China anger over Dalia lama trip” which was last updated on Thursday 27th August 2009 and in this article the following was stated “China has criticised an invitation from Taiwan to the Dalai Lama, calling him a separatist who wants to sabotage improving cross-strait relations. The reason behind this statement is that the Chinese object to the Dalia lama is that China is a pure communist country and therefore they want everyone want to believe the same no matter what it is and Taiwan is a democratic country and therefore they don’t have any restrictions on what anyone believes and because the China believe that Taiwan is rightfully theirs they also want them to become communist and the Dalia lama is a highly respected spiritual leader and therefore he is despised by the Chinese government.
This isn’t the first time China has objected or threatened Taiwan because in the article “As China Threatens Taiwan, It Makes Sure U. S. Listens” which was written in January 4th 1996 it states that “China has completed plans for a limited attack on Taiwan that could be mounted in the weeks after Taiwan’s President, Lee Teng-hui, wins the first democratic balloting for the presidency in March.
And this threatened Taiwan and because of these threats Taiwan has now taken action against another threat like this by purchasing defensive arms from the U. S and because Taiwan has purchased these arms which could help them defend themselves if China were ever to attack them this has infuriated China and in the news article titled “US-China relations hit a bad patch” which was last updated Tuesday 2nd February 2010 “The proposed sales, worth some $6. bn (i?? 4bn), are interesting as much for what they leave out as for what they put in. ” This shows that Taiwan is willing to fight back against China and keep their independence because if they are willing to spend i?? 4 billion on defensive weapons then they must except that one day China will attack them and that they will not sit back and let China take their independence.
The biggest apprehension is that a war will break out because China believes that Taiwan belongs to them and is still part of China’s communist family and in the article titled “China to send Pandas to Taiwan on Dec 23rd” it tells us that China are sending a symbol of their country over to Taiwan in an effort to make peace with them it also states that “he pair are named “Tuan Tuan” and “Yuan Yuan,” which when linked mean “reunion” in Chinese” and the important piece in this part of the article is that the names of the pandas spell reunion this is to imply that Taiwan is a part of China and that it has always been and because they used reunion instead of union shows us that China still thinks that Taiwan is rightfully theirs but has spilt for a while and this is why Taiwan have been buying weapons from the U. S because they think that they aren’t a part of China and that they are independent. China and Taiwan are very close in terms on geographical locations because China and Taiwan are opposite each other and they aren’t very far from each other and could easily break out into a war.
Taiwan has got the backing of Japan and South Korea as well as the U. S which have already started to arm Taiwan with defensive weapons. However if a war broke out between China and Taiwan China has also got very powerful allies such as North Korea Hong Kong and Russia who in the article “Russia assures support to China over Taiwan issue” which was written Tuesday 23rd march 2010 at 23:10:00 it states that “‘Russia is very careful about (its) ties with China,’ Putin said during a meeting in Moscow with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to succeed Hu Jinan as president. ‘We have always supported China on the most sensitive issues, including the Taiwan problem,’ Putin added.
This shows that not only does China have a very powerful ally but Russia is also communist and with two very powerful communist countries like China and Russia becoming allies there could be a very serious war between China and Taiwan. A war is a possible solution to the current situation however it has got a lot of disadvantages such as the fact that both China and Taiwan’s economy would collapse and it would take both sides almost an eternity to build back what they have lost. Therefore, a war is not likely. However there is still a solution to the problem peace and there are three roads in which China and Taiwan could come to peace. The first road in which China and Taiwan could come to peace is through both China and Taiwan becoming communist and unite.
The reason why this solution is possible is because other countries from the same region have become communist and joined China such as Macau did in 1999 and so did Hong Kong in 1997 both of these countries were the similar to Taiwan in their size and capital. Although this solution seems great because Taiwan could improve its economy and power if it joined with China and become communist there is a flaw because Taiwan doesn’t want to join China because then everything that they fought and strived for will be lost because when they join China’s communist law then they will no longer have the freedoms that they have now such as the freedom of speech or the freedom of the press and this is why this road will not become the solution to the current China Taiwan situation.
The second road which both China and Taiwan can go down is that they both still join together except under democratic law. This is the most unlikely solution because it would require the Chinese government to become democratic and they wouldn’t do that because the Chinese government want to control what the people believe and what they do and this is the main reason why the China and Taiwan situation will not be settled in a democratic way. However, in 1989 in Tiananmen square there was a protest for democracy, although the protest ended with several people lost their lives, it did leave a memory in the back of the mind of every Chinese inhabitant what some people were doing just to gain their freedom.
The final road which could improve China and Taiwan’s relationship is that they both stay with their current laws and still remain as friends. This solution is the most likely because both countries don’t have to change and both could benefit from each other’s help such as economy if Taiwan set up business in China it would cost Taiwan less and the production would be higher because they could hire more workers and they could sell their goods to a larger market. There was a political meeting on Saturday 12 April 2008 with the Chinese president Hu Jintao and Taiwan’s vice president Vincent Siew in the article titled “Historic China – Taiwan talks held” from BBC news it stated that this was the first time since their post civil war in 1949.
The two countries communicating is a good start to the road to peace. China’s latest conterversity was with Google censorship because the Chinese government did not want their people to search for certain pages such as Taiwan or Democracy and to do this China used hackers to gain access into Google and block key words. In the article tilted Google to end censorship in China stated that “Google, the world’s leading search engine, has thrown down the gauntlet to China by saying it is no longer willing to censor search results on its Chinese service. ” And therefore the Chinese government have abolished Google and other social networking sites like facebook and twitter.
In the end I think that the most likely solution for the current China and Taiwan solution is that they will both remain as associates but neither will become communist or democratic and they both will remain as they are now. Both will benefit however Taiwan will benefit more because they will have lower labour costs and a wider market for them to sell their goods to. China will also benefit because they will be able to enhance their economy with Taiwan’s help. Napoleon once said “let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world” he said this about china meaning that once China comes to power the whole world shall realise and it has done this because it is now one of the most powerful countries in the world both economically and military wise.