, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: Dual diplomatic Recognition of both #China & #Taiwan: Could Taiwan Countenance the Idea? The zero-sum game in the Taiwan Strait has outlived its usefulness and no longer reflects reality. sentinel.tw/dual-recogniti…
2: The zero-sum game in the Taiwan Strait has outlived its usefulness and no longer reflects reality. Taipei should make it clear that it is willing to think creatively about the problem. Offering the possibility of dual recognition would be a step in that direction.
3: For decades now, Taipei & Beijing have played a zero-sum game in the political sphere & everybody is keeping count. Every loss of an official diplomatic ally of Taiwan is marked off as a win for the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
4: And by that count, the PRC has been winning: Taiwan now has 17 states with which it has official diplomatic ties, while China has, well, all the others.
5: While the zero-sum game for diplomatic recognition was largely the result of the PRC’s attempts to isolate, and ultimately erase Taiwan as a sovereign entity, Taipei is also responsible for creating an environment where a non-zero-sum approach to the problem is unimaginable.
6: Taipei’s position, in fact, finds its origins with Chiang Kai-shek, who from the outset would not countenance the existence of the PRC, let alone allow for dual seats at the U.N. in the 1970s.
7: Rather than to allow the possibility of “two Chinas”, like the “2 Germanys” or “2 Koreas” models, Chiang, who never abandoned the dream of retaking the “mainland” from the Communist who ousted him at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, decided to walk out of the UN.
8: It’s easy to blame Chiang, a product of a different era. But the zero-sum tradition carried over, survived the end of the Cold War and the democratization of Taiwan, with governments in Taipei holding on to the notion that the ROC continued to represent the whole of China,....
9: ..... long after Taipei had abandoned the illusion (or delusion?) that it was still possible to “retake” the “mainland.” Part of this is due to the fact that Taiwan is still beholden to a Constitution — the ROC Constitution that was written in 1947.
10: In many ways, therefore, Taiwan is hostage to that document. (That is also why it has been so difficult for Taiwan to adopt legislation on treason and external influence — how to prosecute when the Constitution itself claims the whole of China?)
11: The next step is for Taiwan to openly declare its amenability to dual recognition, an option which it could propose to the handful of states that are currently rumored to be exploring the possibility of re-establishing official ties with Taiwan.
12: No doubt, Beijing will continue to play the zero-sum game & deny that “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” can co-exist, but by ceasing to play that zero-sum game, Taipei would make it clear that the impediment to a peaceful resolution to the dispute lies with Beijing.
13: No doubt such a decision would spark some discontent in Taiwan, especially among KMT elders who still hang on to the illusion that the ROC accounts for the whole of China; but such individuals are a dying breed, and the backlash would be survivable politically.
14: The great majority of people in Taiwan, “blue” or “green,” would agree. The existence of the PRC is a reality, regardless of our issues with its current political system. But so is Taiwan, or the ROC.
15: The zero-sum game in the Taiwan Strait has outlived its usefulness and no longer reflects reality. Taipei should make it clear that it is willing to think creatively about the problem. Offering the possibility of dual recognition would be a step in that direction.
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