05.07.2023 Author: Bakhtiar Urusov

The Inevitable Convergence of Taiwan with the Mainland

The Inevitable Convergence of Taiwan with the Mainland

Despite US efforts, reciprocity between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will not decrease.

On June 16, the traditional 15th Strait Forum opened in the Chinese city of Xiamen, opposite Taiwan. The event has no particular focus and is geared more toward encouraging contact and demonstrating that Chinese people are not so different on either side of the sea. It is worth noting that despite new rounds of confrontation between Beijing and Taipei continuing to unfold, about 5,000 Taiwanese showed up at the forum. About a thousand will come directly from the island, including representatives of the Kuomintang and other coalition parties.

Such occurrences, together with the close commercial ties between what appear to be “irreconcilable enemies,” show that concerns about the Chinese menace hovering over the island and the potential for war are exaggerated. Beijing is clearly aware that time is going its way. It has already won the economic race with Taipei, and it makes no practical sense for the islanders to cling to independence.

When the Taiwanese compared themselves to Fujian province, they observed destitute peasants and feared that with the entrance of the Communists, they would live in the same way. With a greater standard of living, however, their neighbors are now the driving force of the Chinese economy. The political factor has also exhausted itself over the years – there are almost no survivors of the CCP and Kuomintang confrontation who could have feared reprisals if they had been in the PRC. Furthermore, other than in the case of the abandonment of foreign policy, the Chinese “one country, two systems” proposal does not undermine sovereignty.

The PRC and Taiwan agreed back in 1992 that they were one China, and the crux of the problem is not territorial disputes between the states, but whose regime is more correct. It is also worth recalling how, during the active dispute with Vietnam over the Paracel Islands, Beijing and Taipei declared in unison that this area was Chinese territory, whose specifics would be sorted out with each other later.

There is certainly separatist sentiment in Taiwan. Final independence is now on the political agenda of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. At the same time, the organization was originally created to protect the interests of native Taiwanese as opposed to those of the Kuomintang, before the United States took it under its wing. The demand for independence was not a statement of disagreement with Beijing’s policies, but an expression of unwillingness to be governed by people from the mainland.

It turns out that there is no real cause for the people of Taiwan to oppose a union with China. Even ardent militarist patriots will not be able to object to this; the island sees itself as part of China, so it will remain, and life will just be safer and more prosperous.

It appears that Washington’s measures, which have the goal of maintaining this excruciating annoyance for Beijing, are the only thing preventing the Chinese from uniting once more. The Americans use whatever means possible to provoke the PRC into a display of force, and then, “sincerely” astonished by the unjustified aggressiveness, attract the attention of Taiwanese society to it.


Bakhtiar Urusov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

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