Is it possible for Taiwan to gain independence from China?
The answer is, yes. Here's how.
Before we begin, let's set aside the silly notion that "Taiwan is already independent". Statehood, like marriage, is something more about the formality than substance. You are either an independent country, or you are not.
Yes, you have an army, your own currency, your own passport, your elections, your government, so on and so forth. But, so do most of the large scale armed insurgences.
If you are serious about Taiwan independence, you will have to come to term with the formality. That is to say, to obtain a formal recognization of your statehood from the international community. Particularly when your statehood is contested by a big country from which you try to depart, that country's consent is pretty much a requirement. Remember, British agreed to USA's independence in the end. You, too, will have to obtain China's consent.
How is that even possible, you may ask? Well, that's what I am about to tell you. Read on.
First, let's look at the big picture. Do you know how many neighboring countries China has today?
The short answer is "a lot". The long answer is the following: on land, there are 14 countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam; on the sea, there are 6 countries: Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Philippines.
In total, twenty countries are in peaceful coexistence with China side by side! As you can also see, many of them are tiny countries that you may not even know about. Clearly, that "China bad" narrative you are made to believe does not hold much water.
With so many neighboring countries, is it really a big deal that Taiwan is added to that list?
Rationally, not really.
Seriously? You ask. Yes, seriously.
Let me put it this way: in that list of China's neighbors, there is a country that used to be a Chinese territory for more than one thousand years! It is unbelievable, right? But it is true.
If you do not know, that country is Vietnam.
China has no problem with Vietnam being a separate country, which shares a land border with China, you think China will have a problem with Taiwan being as a separate country, which is located hundreds of miles away in Pacific?
So why is Taiwan special? What is the deal with Chinese demanding everyone else to recognize Taiwan as a part of China? What's the difference?
The answer will be counter-intuitive, but it makes sense if you think about it. Basically, it is less about what China thinks, but more to do with how Taiwan acts.
The gist of it, is that Taiwan does not act like a neighboring country of China, instead, Taiwan acts like a renegade Chinese insurgency, that's why China has to deal with her as such.
Taiwan acts like a Chinese insurgency
Let's postpone the discussion of history for the moment, just focus on the current affairs. Let us explore Taiwan's behaviors, shall we?
Taiwan government funds anti-Chinese government propaganda
First, it is well documented that Taiwan government is one of the primary funding sources of anti-Chinese government propaganda around the world.
We will not go into the details of Taiwan's funding of Chinese dissidents, such as Wang Dan, who lived in Taiwan for many years. If you are reading this, you probably have also heard about the so called "1450 net army", which is funded by the Taiwan government to wage propaganda war against any Chinese interest on the Internet.
Let's just look at Taiwan influence in USA, for example. Here is a detailed report on Taiwan funding of think tanks in Washington:
The five think tanks — the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Hudson Institute — all disclose their funding from TECRO but bury it deep on their websites or annual reports.
TECRO is the acronym for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which is an office under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of China (i.e. the Taiwan government).
As a US citizen, I have to say that I find this foreign interference in our policy making very troubling. For the main thesis of this article, it is worth pointing out that these think tanks often propose policies that antagonize China and promote military confrontation against her. For example, this recent policy proposal talks about "guerilla sea denial", "guerilla air denial", and even “deterrence by punishment", which is defined as "Instead of threatening China’s invading forces, these capabilities would seek to deter China by threatening countervalue targets with conventional weapons."
So let me get this straight, the Taiwan government uses the tax money you paid to give to people that promote fighting a hot war on your island, so that they can profit from selling arms to you. Is that really to your best interest?
As we can see, Taiwan government is basically act as an enemy of the Chinese government. Perhaps it is because, officially, there is still a state of war between them. There is not even a cease-fire declared between the two parties that have engaged in a civil war since 1946. No truce, no cease-fire. That's the reality.
Taiwan government still claims ownership of the whole China
Officially, Taiwan government is calling herself the Republic of China, and her constitution still claims the ownership of the whole of China. Sorry, I am mistaken, she actually claims more than what the Chinese government claims. For example, the Republic of China does not recognize Mongolia as a separate country, whereas the People's Republic of China does.
This is not funny or it's some kind of schizophrenia or psychosis. The Taiwan government's claim actually has substance.
Taiwan holds Chinese treasury
Before the ruling party of Republic of China, the KMT, evacuated to the island of Taiwan, she took the whole of Chinese treasury with her. That included all the gold reserve of China, and more importantly, all of the cultural treasures of the Chinese civilization that could be moved.
Now, the Chinese civilization boasts a 5000 years of history and culture. Some would say the official religion of the Chinese civilization is not Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism or any of the actual religions, but a belief in her own heritage and culture. In fact, Taiwanese often boasts of their better inheritance of the Chinese culture, since they still use traditional Chinese script, not the simplified one used in the mainland China.
Now you have it, both sides of the Taiwan strait see each other as a renegade insurgency that tries to usurp the power to govern China.
Therefore, Chinese government has the full right to pressure any other countries that hope to have a normal relation with her to recognize her sovereignty over the whole of China, rather than that of the Taiwan government's, just like Taiwan government did so before they were booted from the United Nations in 1970s.
Steps to earn Taiwan independence from China
With all the above established, for a rational person, it should be easy to see how to gain independence from China. The steps required are not complicated and easy to implement. Most importantly, it has been done before, by many people. Some of them were even successful.
Cease hostility again the Chinese government
This is a no-brainer. If you want to be a neighboring country of China, act like one. Unless you want to fight a war with your neighbor, you don't actively fund the forces to sabotage her interests wherever you can, right?
You can start by stopping writing the checks to all the anti-China individuals or institutions. It is so easy to not write the checks. Am I right?
Vietnam earned her independence from China, by agreeing to some concessions, not being act like an enemy of the Chinese government. In the end of the day, it is her consent that you are seeking.
Return Chinese cultural treasures
As an additional show of good will, you should offer to return all the cultural treasures that the previous Chinese government brought to your island as they fled from the country. These are Chinese things. You don't want to have anything to do with the Chinese, remember?
You may say, how about the British, the Americans, etc. why don't you ask them to return the Chinese treasures that they looted. Well, they looted. They fought the Chinese government at that time and won, so they took some things they liked. Did you fight and win again the Chinese government? No, you did not. So what right do you have to keep the treasures?
Abolish Chinese script
First, is to forge an independent sense of identity. You are well on the way there. For example, you insist that people calling you Taiwanese, not Chinese. That's good, but it is far from enough.
You really need to stop using Chinese, if you are truly serious. Invent a script of your own, like how Vietnam and Korea did it. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time, before you are absorbed into the sinosphere culturally and your own identity dissipates.
Unlike other cultures, the Chinese culture prizes unity over everything else, so you are not safe! Have you not noticed many of your celebrities are making a living in mainland China? That's dangerous.
You want to insulate your people from Chinese culture. Using traditional Chinese is not enough of an insulation. If someone can read simplified Chinese, they can read traditional Chinese as well, and can type traditional Chinese on a computer. There is also a resurgence of use of traditional Chinese in the mainland. It is only a matter of time, before you are fully absorbed.
Again, it is just too dangerous to continue using Chinese. Invent a script and mandate its use. It has proven to work, like it did in Vietnam, Korean, or more controversially, Japan.
Get ready to fight on your own
Now comes the hardest step. Once you declare independence, there will be a war. That is inevitable. No question about it.
However, a war does not mean defeat. You can win.
I mean, not "win" win, but achieving independence in the end. All you need to have, is a will to fight, on you own.
No, don't even think about it. I know what you are thinking. You think USA and her allies will come to you aid when the war with China broke out. I don't want to argue that USA and her allies will not, but I want to argue from another point of view, that is the pride of a nation.
Regardless what USA and her allies will do, you must be ready to fight like you want your independence and you are a nation of your own. To put it more bluntly, you have to prove your nationhood with the blood of the young.
You need to fight hard and drag the war on, so that the cost of keeping the war going outweighs the perceived benefits from your adversary's point of view. That's your goal.
That's how Vietnam got her independence. She fought, won some battles, lost some too. But she kept fighting, until the Chinese emperor got tired of fighting with her. When the negotiation offer came, she took it. Obviously, she had to make some concessions. But she got her independence in the end.
There you have it, a simple recipe to achieve independence from China. It has proven to work, and it is not complicated.
- Stop hostility against China
- Return Chinese treasures
- Abolish Chinese Script
- Prepare to fight for your nation's independence
What are you waiting for, go for it. Put pressure on your representatives to implement these steps. You are a democracy, ain't you?