The Taiwan issue is a complex issue that has been unresolved for more than 74 years, causing China to split with the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in confrontation. Although the Taiwan issue is an internal problem of China, it has become an international concern due to foreign interference. China is the founding country of the United Nations and a member of its Security Council, so China’s status is important. Hence, which Chinese government can represent the whole of China is naturally a critical matter, which must be approved by the general assembly of the United Nations. Therefore, when the U.S. and Russia respectively support the government of the Republic of China (ROC) that governs Taiwan, Penghu, and Jinma islands, and the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) that governs the mainland, it creates a problem of China's identity. It was not until 1979 that the U.S. officially recognized the PRC (eight years after the UN recognized PRC) as the sole representation of China and broke off diplomatic relations with the ROC, allowing the PRC to fully assume all China's status and functions in the UN (and world). However, in the name of maintaining peace, the U.S. passed the Taiwan Relations Act in Congress to support or encourage a peaceful reunification of Taiwan and the mainland. As a result, the governments on both sides of the strait have been stalemated, leaving reunification unsettled to avoid war. In reality, the U.S. would rather see Taiwan remaining separated from the mainland than see their reunification from the U.S. national strategy point of view. Therefore, diplomatically and politically, the U.S. has tried its best to prevent Taiwan from reunifying with the mainland, and the U.S. has been unwilling and afraid to let Taiwan declare independence, which will trigger the mainland to unify Taiwan by force. The U.S. motive has become more apparent today as U.S.-China relations get more tense.
During more than 70 years of division, the giant wheel of history has rolled track marks of economic, diplomatic, and political changes in the world as well as on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Internationally, the U.S. fought against the Soviet Union in the name of anti-communism, launched the Cold War, and finally successfully disintegrated the Soviet Union in 1991, and for once became the world's most powerful country. The two sides of the strait had also undergone tremendous changes. Taiwan had successfully built itself into an Asian dragon through self-reliance and overcoming difficulties to rejuvenate the country. Politically, it has gone from an authoritarian rule to an experimental democratic system. Diplomatically, in comparison with the mainland, ROC fared poorly, retaining only a few small countries in diplomatic relations. The evolution of the mainland is even more remarkable. After WW II, the mainland was in a state of devastation, and it naturally started slower than Taiwan Island in terms of economic reconstruction. China impressively lifted nearly a billion people out of poverty and had become the world's largest manufacturing export power. Moreover, economically, it is already the world's second-largest economy, with faster growth rate soon to surpass the U.S. So economically, Taiwan has become dependent on the mainland today. Entering the 21st century, the rapid development of the mainland's technology and military strength has made the U.S. nervous. The U.S. pursued a hegemony strategy, and it naturally thought that China would inevitably copy the same strategy as the U.S. adopted when she did whatever she pleased to do. Therefore, presently, the U.S. does all it can to form an alliance against China as well as play the ‘Taiwan card’ to make the Taiwan Strait the most dangerous place on earth, all for the purpose of hindering the rise of China.
At the root of the Taiwan issue are “three identity issues”. The first is whether or not the Taiwanese people recognize that they are Chinese. This is a domestic problem in China (no more different than California is a state in the U.S.), and the influence of foreign countries should be small. Even Japan with 50 years of occupation of Taiwan could not affect the small number of ‘Japanese Taiwanese’ who were related to Japanese descent. The current government orchestrated brainwashing of young people through the education system is not difficult to correct. Just imagine: How can the Taiwanese accept the abolition of Chinese surnames? Chinese language and characters, Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn, Dragon Boat Festivals and celebrations in Mazu Temples? Not to mention the denial of genetic (DNA) linkage between the people across the Taiwan Strait. The second identity issue is the support of unification versus independence. This issue was created by political hype with external interference, and the common people were fooled. But as long as the cause and effect of reunification and independence are clearly analyzed and debated, this issue can be resolved. Talking about independence first, the U.S. even opposes it because the ending will be a failure, harmful rather than beneficial to the U.S., Japan would independently think the same way. The current state of Taiwan's diplomatic relations essentially has predicted the death of Taiwan's independence. On the contrary, if Taiwan moves towards reunification, not only will Taiwan enjoy trade dividends, but it will also be able to solve many livelihood problems such as electricity shortage, lack of medicines, eggs, and beneficial service trade agreements with Mainland China. The saved defense budget can be used for infrastructure construction to raise the quality of life of Taiwanese people in the long run.
The third identification problem lies in the political system. The U.S. has advocated democracy for nearly a century, but in reality it is actually a pretense of hegemony and self- serving-interest. Judging from the war launched by the U.S., they were more for American interests than for honoring democracy. The turmoil of democracy has been exposed through wars and the disasters they created. The inefficiency of the US government caused by internal fighting has accentuated social injustice with a huge wealth gap. On the contrary, some of the socialist systems have demonstrated the ability to reform and innovate. The ultimate successful watchdog of government is wise and knowledgeable citizens. The Chinese Communist Party seems to be more afraid of (or show more respect to) its people than the DPP and the Kuomintang Party in Taiwan ever do. Think about it, the quality of any political system lies in the knowledge and supervisory ability of the citizens. People across the Taiwan Strait together will likely make a better governing system.
From the above analysis, an objective person can clearly see that the future of the people of Taiwan depends on solving the three identity issues of Taiwan. International interference driven by external interest cannot work against sane citizens. Look at the populist movements promoted by the American Endowment for Democracy, did they yield peaceful transition and progression or chaos and wars? We should ask: Why did the Russo-Ukrainian war happen in Ukraine, which is corrupt and obsessed with oppressing Russian Speaking citizens? Why a war does not breakout in a multi-racial Singapore? Is it due to the difference between the democratic government and the nature of the people? In a small Singapore, its citizens can see the international situation clearly and dare to stand up (and make their government) to warn the U.S. not to provoke China unreasonably, not to force other nations to take sides, and not to create chaos in the world. Why can’t Taiwanese people resolve the Taiwan identity issues and turn the world’s most dangerous Taiwan created by the U.S. and called by Britain's Economist magazine into a treasured island of China that everyone admires? The U.S. citizens with their wisdom wlll likely correct its China policy hopefully much sooner than they did in ending the Vietnam and Iraq wars.