Bizarre Borders - Taiwan

Samanyu Ram

December 2, 2022

China and Taiwan have one of the most well-known controversies in modern times. Their ongoing saga of battles has perpetuated through the 20th and 21st centuries. This edition of Bizarre Borders takes a trip over to East Asia and analyzes the controversial plot known as Taiwan. I will not go too in-depth with the analysis of the Taiwan-China situation, because if I did, we would be stuck here for hours.

Taiwan became independent after the fall of Japan during World War II and became known as the Republic of China in 1945. The Republic of China wasn't fully recognized as sovereign until 1952 under the Treaty of San Francisco. Like many countries,  the ROC dealt with much corruption, inflation, and riots directly after its birth. In 1949, the Republic of China fled to present-day Taiwan because they were losing the Chinese Civil War. 

The Chinese Civil War began during the early 20th century when the previously-exiled Emperor, Sun Yat-sen, established the Kuomintang Party. At the time, China possessed many small military warlord-ruled areas. To defeat this, Sun Yat-sen needed help from outside forces, specifically the newly formed Communist Soviet Union. The condition was that the Kuomintang Party would take the newly established Chinese Communist Party under its wing. Soon, Sun Yat-sen became emperor and unified China. Although, just several years later, in 1925, Sun Yat-Sen died, leading to the collapse of the Kuomintang party. As a result, the Nationalist Party was formed alongside the Chinese Communist Party. The two parties fought for decades, and the CCP, led by Mao Zedong, unofficially won the civil war. The Nationalist Party fled to the island of Taiwan. Mainland China is officially named the People's Republic of China and Taiwan is known as the Republic of China.

Over the next few decades, many countries began to assume and think of the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of China. This solidified in 1971, the United Nations claimed that the ROC was the government of China. The resolution replaced the ROC with the PRC as a permanent member of the Security Council in the United Nations. Although Taiwan is not officially recognized by many other United Nations members, it still harbors many international embassies in its capital Taipei. To this day, Taiwan is not its own country, but it sure as hell has all of the features to make a decent and tantalizingly definitive argument.