Why Taiwan is an Independent Nation from Mainland CCP China

by Ian Chang, Apr 6, 2021

With a population of almost twenty-four million citizens, the island of Taiwan, or the Republic of China, utilizes its own currency, elects its own presidents, and creates its own laws. However, Taiwan continues to be recognized as a country by only fourteen other nations globally. Why, despite governing themselves, is Taiwan not seen as its own, independent nation?

Today, Taiwan continues to be ignored by other countries and is mostly recognized as a province of China. To gain background on this modern-day issue, it is important to understand the history of China during the Qing-Dynasty era. In the 1600s, the Dutch established a colony on Taiwan to trade with China and Japan while interfering with Spanish and Portuguese trading. Following Dutch occupation, a significant number of Chinese, mostly from the Fujian and Guangdong province, began migrating to Taiwan, and the island was declared to be territory of the Qing Dynasty. In 1895 following the Sino-Japanese War, the Qing Dynasty was forced to give up the island to the Japanese and it continued to be ruled by the Japanese throughout World War II. After Japan surrendered in 1945, the island of Taiwan was given back to China. However, during the Japanese occupation of the island the Qing Dynasty had crumbled, and the new government established was known as the “Republic of China.” In the years following World War II, a civil war broke out between the Republic of China, capitalists supported by the UK and US, and the People’s Republic of China, communists supported by the Soviet Union. The Republic of China was defeated by the People’s Republic of China and thus fled into the island of Taiwan giving the People’s Republic of China control of the mainland. Before the People’s Republic of China could invade Taiwan, the United States sent a fleet of ships into the Taiwan Strait to prevent further conflict and putting Taiwan under the United States’ protection.

For the last 72 years, the Republic of China has governed the island of Taiwan, which begs the question “Why is Taiwan not recognized as its own nation?” Simply put, the People’s Republic of China is not too pleased about being unable to hold control over the island, and wants to jump on any opportunity available to reunify the Mainland and Taiwan under their rule. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,

“The Chinese Communist Party claims ownership of the island on two grounds. The first involves the ethnic make-up of the Taiwanese population. It's overwhelmingly Han — around 97 per cent. The second is based on the fact that Taiwan was once part of the Great Qing empire.”

These two arguments made by the Chinese Communist Party can easily be invalidated. Addressing the first argument, if Taiwan is part of China because of its mostly Han-Chinese ethnic population, then does that make every area with a majority Han-Chinese population under the rule of the People’s Republic of China? Is New York’s Chinatown under the control of the PROC? Clearly not, as New York’s Chinatown utilizes a different currency and abides by different laws. What makes Taiwan so different?

Addressing the second argument, Taiwan was once a part of the Qing Dynasty, but never under the rule of the PROC. It makes no sense to implement ancient property-boundaries in modern-day politics. If that were the case, then the United States would be under the control of the UK and Mainland China would have to abide by all of Mongolia’s laws.

Because of the power they possess, the People’s Republic of China has been able to force countries and global organizations to recognize Taiwan as under their control. The Republic of China continues to govern the island of Taiwan. While it may seem almost impossible to get major countries to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, you can still play a role by educating others, friends or family, about the importance of freeing Taiwan from the oppression of the People’s Republic of China.