America's Reaction to a Taiwan Independence Movement.

Topics: Republic of China, Political status of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian Pages: 8 (3017 words) Published: April 24, 2013
The political dimension between the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and the ROC (Republic of China) is an extremely unique and complex one. The CCP is the ruling party of mainland China and the ROC is the de facto government of Taiwan. With both governments having claim to all of mainland China and to Taiwan tensions are high across the Taiwan Strait. With all the political stress in the environment it is widely believed that China is ready to take back Taiwan by force if need by but the fear of American support for Taiwan is stopping them. With this in mind the goal is for a peaceful re-unification. Others believe that Taiwan will declare its independence from mainland China and that if this happens it will provoke the CCP to invade Taiwan. The likelihood of Taiwan declaring its independence from China in the next decade is slim to none and if by some small chance they did, the United States will likely be there to support them (reluctantly), as the United States has to maintain its image of the global superpower.

The major policy shaping US relations with Taiwan and China about the issue is the “One China” policy. The “One China” policy states that a government may only recognize one government of China, either the CCP from the mainland or the ROC from Taiwan. This policy has evolved immensely over the past half century. After the Chinese Civil War the Kuomintang (KMT) retreated to Taiwan after its loss to the CCP in mainland China. In 1952, Japan relinquished all claims to Taiwan in the San Francisco peace treaty but Taiwan was never officially returned to China. Ever since then the KMT has ruled Taiwan with de facto independence from the CCP in Beijing. In 1972 the United States stated in the Shanghai Communiqué, The United States acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States does not challenge that position.” The United States recognized the ROC as the true government of China up until 1979 when President Jimmy Carter broke off relations with the ROC in order to establish relations with the CCP in Beijing. Although in accordance with the “One China” policy this means the United States can not engage in any relations with Taiwan, Congress bent the rules and passed the Taiwan Relations Act that maintained relations with the ROC but did not fully recognize them as an independent entity from Beijing. The United States has remained very ambiguous about the whole topic of China-Taiwan relations. The current position of the United States, as stated in the CRS report “China/Taiwan: Evolution of the “One China” Policy” is broken down into “three major issue areas: sovereignty over Taiwan; PRC use of force or coercion against Taiwan; and cross-strait dialogue. The United States recognized the ROC until the end of 1978 and has maintained an official, non-diplomatic relationship with Taiwan after recognition of the PRC” (People’s Republic of China) “in 1979. The United States did not explicitly state the sovereign status of Taiwan in the U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqués of 1972, 1979, and 1982. The United States ‘acknowledged’ the ‘one China’ position of both sides of the Taiwan Strait.” (Kan 2011, 1) The reason the United States has stayed so ambiguous on the topic of sovereignty is because the Untied States has to maintain an effective positive relationship with Beijing to protect economic interests and to prevent an outbreak of war, but it also needs to stay on good terms with Taiwan and let China know that the United States will not tolerate any aggressive acts towards a successful democracy that also houses millions in American investments. With the issue of sovereignty the United States remains ambiguous and states, “U.S. policy has stressed the process (peaceful resolution, cross-strait dialogue, with the assent of Taiwan’s people, and no provocations or unilateral changes by any side) rather than the outcome (e.g.,...
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