Archive | Seven decades of conflict between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China

Archives | Seven decades of conflict between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China

Since 1949, the People's Republic of China has been trying to impose reunification on Taiwan in a more or less violent way.

In recent months, international tensions have been building up. In Asia, the conflict between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China could become even more belligerent. Some of our archives explain the origins of this confrontation which has lasted for more than seven decades.

The Republic of China (Taiwan, which is also sometimes referred to by its former name of Formosa) and the People's Republic of China, have been engaged in a merciless fight since 1949.

That year, the Communists of Mao Zedong seized the territory of mainland China and installed their government in Beijing.

Those whom Mao Zedong defeated, the nationalists of General Chiang Kai-shek, took refuge on the island of Taiwan.

They created the Republic of China there, much to the displeasure of Beijing.

Since 1949, the Beijing regime has sought to reunify the island of Taiwan to mainland China by a combination of diplomatic and military means.

Interview of the Taiwanese ambassador with journalist Lucien Côté

On August 31, 1958, the program L'Actualité presented an interview with journalist Lucien Côté with Taiwan's Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Liu Chieh.

Here is the context.

A few days earlier, on August 23, 1958, what is known as the second Taiwan Strait Crisis erupted.

The artillery of the army of the People's Republic of China pounded for several weeks the small islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the strait which separates the two Chinas and which belong to Taiwan.

Taiwan resists with the help of the United States.

At the time, the United States government had seriously considered nuclear strikes against the People's Republic of China to avoid defeat to its Taiwanese allies.

During the interview, the ambassador explains to Lucien Côté the importance of the outpost that is Quemoy for Taiwan.

The diplomat also says he is convinced that this attack is only a prelude to a major offensive to invade his country.

It also reminds Canadian viewers that the conflict between the two Chinas has an existential nature.

It is, argues Dr. Liu Chieh, a fight between, on the one hand, freedom and, on the other hand, slavery or between democracy and tyranny.

“We want to teach mainland China a lesson in democracy. She, who bloodily suppressed the student uprising in Tiananmen Square. »

— Bernard Derome, host of Le Téléjournal

A striking contrast between the island of Taiwan and the People's Republic of China is that the former is a democracy whereas that the second is a dictatorship.

Report by journalist Patrick Brown on the existing democratic regime in Taiwan.

A report by journalist Patrick Brown presented on Téléjournal on March 21, 1996, highlights this contrast.

Two days later, on March 23, Taiwan will elect its president by universal suffrage.

Patrick Brown's report shows that democracy is alive and well in Taiwan.

Taiwanese have the right to ridicule their leaders. Their parliament allows for vigorous debate.

In 1988, the president of the island even decided to adopt universal suffrage as an electoral system.

The establishment of a full and complete democracy, adds Patrick Brown, contradicts the idea that such a system does not suit Chinese society.

This example, unique in the history of the most populous country in the world, strikes fear into the totalitarian state that is the People's Republic of China.

Beijing dreams of making it disappear in order to consolidate its power.

“In Beijing today, President Xi Jinping said reunification between China and Taiwan is inevitable.

—Manon Globensky, January 2, 2019

Taiwan and the Republic have been in conflict since 1949.

En this beginning of 2019, notes the host of the radio program Midi Info,Manon Globensky, President of the People's Republic of China gave a speech that leaves no doubt as to the trajectory he wants to impose on Taiwan.

In order to analyze the speech Chinese presidential, she discusses relations between Beijing and Taiwan with Philippe Le Corre, professor specializing in Asia at the Kennedy School of Harvard University.

The desire to reunite Taiwan with mainland China is not new, recalls the academic.

What is innovative in Xi Jinping's speech, however, is that he proposes that the rebel island reintegrate into China by drawing inspiration from the model of one country, two systems.

This model was used during the handovers from Hong Kong and Macao to Beijing in 1997 and 1999.

However, this model is proved to be disastrous for these territories notes Philippe Le Corre.

Economic and political freedoms, and special status, are dwindling in Hong Kong and Macau.

Taiwanese certainly do not want to adopt this system, he confirms.

In 2019, when you look at how China is evolving — the increase in repression including minorities, censorship, corruption — who wants to live like that?

Another disturbing aspect of Xi Jinping's January 2, 2019 speech is that he invoked the use of force to bring his neighbor back into the fold of Beijing.

Since then, the belligerent tone of the Republic of China has been increasingly noticeable.

The clash between the two neighbors could turn into an invasion of Taiwan.

This is of growing concern to the international community.

Especially since at the end of May 2022, US President Joe Biden said that the United States could use military force if Beijing decided to invade its small neighbour.

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