What Is Causing The China, Taiwan Divide?
Since WWII ownership of Taiwan has been disputed, with the People’s republic of China claiming ownership. Many in Taiwan claim independence however and want to become a fully recognised and independent nation.
China and Taiwan have been governed separately since 1940s when a civil war was raging. This all happened because Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist supporters lost to Mao Zedong’s Communists. The Nationalists retreated to Taiwan, but China insists that the two sides must eventually unite and by force if needed. China who has one of the world’s strongest military powers would not use a threat like this lightly. Other super powers such as the USA and Russia would not want to intervene in an issue like this.
President Xi has said that Taiwanese independence is “an adverse current from history and a dead end” and “independence will only bring hardship” He believes that a unification between China and Taiwan was a requirement for the Chinese people. He says that the Chinese Government would never tolerate anything promoting Taiwanese independence. Taiwan is culturally very similar to China with Mandarin Chinese being the official language of the country. However, many are against the oppressive policies that China impose and want democracy.In a new year’s speech, Ms Tsai, President of Taiwan, said “I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan.” China should “respect the insistence of 23 million people on freedom and democracy, and must use peaceful, on parity means to handle our differences.”
How Likely Is the Use Of Force?
Although China seeks a peaceful negotiation, it is clear that China are very willing to use force upon it’s own people. China has a very poor track-record on human rights violations, with campaigners claiming that China is targeting activists and family members. There has been evidence of harassment, imprisonment and even torture. Democracy activists in Hong Kong are regularly jailed. China is the second worst country in the world, after Turkey for jailing journalists and in 2017 China had jailed 41 journalists.
China is ranked 3rd in the world for military might with 1.37 million personnel.