With one short phone call, American President Donald Trump caused a huge foreign policy backlash. It all started when the newly elected president accepted a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. This short conversation marked the first time in forty years that an American president had spoken directly to a Taiwanese leader. Trump’s action started a whirlwind of remarks from politicians and raised the question of the treatment of Taiwan.
Under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the United States has complied with China’s pressure to marginalize Taiwan and their citizens. In fact, America has long stood by their “One China” policy. However, political analysts explain that there is a need to give both countries, China and Taiwan, equal respect. While Taiwan was previously governed by China, the country now considers itself a democratic republic. It has been a responsible neighbor to China and is one of America’s largest trading partners. Why should it not be given its proper respect as a country?
There has been a long history of division between China and Taiwan. History can be traced to find the creation of this division. It seems to have taken place after the Sino-Japanese war. As the war came to a close, conflict began between the Chinese political parties: the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party. The Nationalist party lost the dispute and retreated to Taiwan. After this split, China became the “People’s Republic of China” and Taiwan became the “Republic of China.” As the conflicts continued, China insisted that there was “One China” and pressured other countries to marginalize Taiwan’s existence. However, the reality is there is “One China, One Taiwan.”
One of the biggest ways that China has continued to affect the way Taiwan is treated is its efforts to stop the sale of arms to Taiwan from the United States. However, most recently, these actions failed at a meeting between the two presidents. During the first U.S.-China Summit between American President Trump and Chinese President Xi. Xi was unable to even raise this issue because of the occurrence of the strike on Syria.
While the Obama administration blocked the sale, the new Trump administration has approved a new batch of sales to Taiwan. As mainland China continues to build up defenses, Taiwan believes these sales will help them build their defenses as well. The final approval is still unofficial and China has voiced its concern on the deal.
“China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, this is consistent and clear-cut,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing. “We hope the US side fully recognizes the high sensitivity and serious harmfulness of its sales to Taiwan.”
After all, the current China (the Chinese Communist Party), who persists on the past victory, believes that Taiwan is still Chinese territory that will one day be returned to them, even if that means exerting force. It is this idea that fuels Taiwan’s need for its own defense arsenal. However, Taiwanese leaders are quick to note that the country needs to create a solution that works for them, not just what other countries are willing to give them.
The deal is still in talks and nothing has been approved. However, it has definitely shaped the building tension between China and Taiwan.
As Taiwan’s possibility of independence causes outrage and protests from both sides, it is important to understand the role that conflicts between China and Japan play. For example, the Nationalist Party in Taiwan was once the ruling party of China. After Taiwan became a victorious country at WWII, Chiang Kai-shek who was the president of the Republic of China, did not claim for any damage to Japan and strongly opposed the divided occupation of Japan by the Allied Powers.
Also, after Taiwan was returned to the Republic of China after the WWII, they took the procedure of returning Japanese to their home immediately without taking Japanese prisoners and abusing. However, the current Chinese Communist Party is playing the victim and campaigning to create a cruel image of Japan who became role model the Democracy. Using events such as the Nanking Massacre, China develops anti-Japanese propaganda all over the world through warped history recognition and has built a movement to play the victim. However, if anyone has room to complain about being victimized, it is Taiwan. Nevertheless, there have been no complaints from Taiwan. This is the perfect example of the reasonable nature of the country.
Due to the unpredictable and instability of the political landscape, it is difficult to say if there will always be one China and one Taiwan. Only time will tell where the area is headed and how the conflict will end, if ever. As the Trump administration remains open to accepting a new Taiwan, China remains adamant against Taiwan’s independence.
Article Submitted By Community Writer