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One-China policy

17/6/2017 73 International Affairs | China | View Recent Current Affairs

  • Panama severed its ties with Taiwan and recognised it as an “indispensable” part of China.
  • Over the years Beijing has tried to choke Taiwan diplomatically in a bid to force the self-ruled island to accept itself as a part of China.

What is the 'One China' policy?

  • It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China's position that there is only one Chinese government. Under the policy, the US recognises and has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.
  • Although Taiwan's government claims it is an independent country officially called the "Republic of China", any country that wants diplomatic relations with mainland China must break official ties with Taipei.
  • This has resulted in Taiwan's diplomatic isolation from the international community.
  • The policy can be traced back to 1949 and the end of the Chinese civil war. The defeated Nationalists, also known as the Kuomintang, retreated to Taiwan and made it their seat of government while the victorious Communists began ruling the mainland as the People's Republic of China. Both sides said they represented all of China.
  • Since then China's ruling Communist Party has threatened to use force if Taiwan ever formally declares independence, but it has also pursued a softer diplomatic track with the island in recent years.
  • Taiwan’s government was set up by the Kuomintang, whose party logo is reflected in Taiwan's flag
  • Beijing has benefited the most from the policy, which has cast Taiwan out into the diplomatic wilderness.
  • Taiwan is not recognised as an independent country by much of the world nor even the United Nations. It undergoes extraordinary naming contortions just to participate in events and institutions like the Olympic Games and the World Trade Organization.

 


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