You’re so lucky hearing from me so often.
Well, today it became official. China has passed an anti-secession bill, which means that it will be allowed to take military action if Taiwan attempts to claim independence.
There’s an article on the situation at CNN
A little about Taiwan’s turbulent history.
In 1895 Taiwan was taken over by the Japanese, they were terrible and ruled Taiwan until the 1945. Then it was taken back by the GuoMinDang (KMT), who had been in civil war with China since the 30’s. The Japanese forced everyone to learn Japanese and take Japanese names, people were also not permitted to speak Taiwanese, which was the dominant local language. People spyed on each other and reported each other to the authorities if others didn’t obey.
Well, in 1988 the first democratically elected persident came into power. The GuoMinDang won that time too, and for the first time, 5 years ago, another party, called the Green Party won.
One thing that was never made official was Taiwan’s status. During all this commotion, Taiwan never declared independence, despite all the people who ran here from China to escape in 1947.
Officially, Taiwan is a province of China. Taiwanese who go from Taiwan to China have to get a special, “Chinese resident in Taiwan Province” card to get in. But foreigners need a seperate visa for Taiwan (sometimes known as “The republic of China (ROC)”) and China (“The people’s republic of china”).
Taiwan goes about it’s business as though it is a seperate country, having it’s own government and having different laws to those of China. Taiwan’s internal affairs are not much like China’s, especially in regards to the right to express opinions and the like.
But there is a great feeling that Taiwan is a seperate country amongst the people of Taiwan. Many people have expressed hope that Taiwan would become independent. Until now there has been a kind of acceptance of Taiwan as a kind of strange case. China more of less let’s things be, as long as Taiwan doesn’t step too far out of line.
The issue is a matter of face, the whole Chinese relationship issue. China doesn’t want to give Taiwan up, and Taiwan wants to go on it’s own, neither party wants to give up their position.
With the new bill China has said that it might use force, military force, with Taiwan if it officially tries to break away from China. This is quite worrying as things to now have been left and left, without much happening, but this puts a strain on relationships a bit.
Hopefully things will go alright, who knows.
Oh, for some fun, compare these two articles about Taiwan’s history (I found these looking for a brief history of Taiwan).
This one written by a mainland Chinese person
And this one written by an American I think
Notice how the Chinese guy stands firm and makes clear his loyalty and opinion about Taiwan’s status.
Let’s see how the fun and games play out.