Calling China’s Taiwan Bluff

One China Policy

China found its independence during an intense era of socialism, led by Chiang Kai-shek of Kuomintang (KMT). The struggle for independence against Japan was brutal with stigmatized cost on social fabric. Japan as an imperial power and occupation force during World War 2 was ruthless and unforgiving. The uprising against imperial suppression led by KMT strongly bonded the nation but it’s polity got divided around two main personalities Chiang Kai-shek of KMT and Mao Zedong of Chinese Communist Party (CCP). While both the groups were fighting the common enemy, they were vertically split themselves. The animosity was severe, post massacre of thousands of CCP cadres the entire country plunged into civil war. The course of history though gave an upper hand to CCP as KMT later fled to Taiwan. Both claimants declared territory under their control as China, one officially named as  Peoples Republic of China (PRC) under Mao, what is now the Mainland China and the island territory under Chiang Kai-shek as Republic of China(ROC) better known as Taiwan. Significantly, both party claimed other’s territory as illegally occupied and vowed to take it back. The term ‘One China’ was first used in 1972 Joint Communique between PRC and US for formalising relations between two countries. Later it was interpreted by PRC as One China Policy and as assurance over it’s ‘rightful’ claim on Taiwan. As China marched towards prosperity and development it attracted huge trade and investments from across the world. They very shrewdly attached their trade relations with commitment from trading partners to agree on One China Policy, in other words to legitimise it’s claim over Taiwan. Nations after Nations lapped up China’s trade offer without going in the finer prints. A historical issue got unfair international endorsement on behalf of one party. The One China Policy was nothing less than a mega Propaganda trumpeted by Chinese as an unshakable commitment from international community towards PRC’s claim over Taiwan.

Divergent Routes

Till December 1949, KMT ruled entire mainland China and Taiwan but post it’s defeat in civil war got marginalised to Taiwan. If anyone who can be credited for China’s independence post World War 2 it was KMT and not the CCP, which came into picture much later and got the recognition only after 1949 civil war. Remarkably, never in the history it has occurred that CCP has control of entire land mass of China and Taiwan let alone ruling it. CCP’s claim over a territory which it never ruled remains a historic irony. As both the nations charted a different path their destiny naturally took them to different destinations. Owing to land reforms and favourable policies Taiwan experienced an Economic Miracle in mid 60s. Taiwan’s economic journey has been equally complimented by it’s political excursion, it introduced democratic reforms in 80s and became full-fledged democracy in 90s. On contrary China continued it’s socialist approach with one party policy, becoming an entirely chained society having all it’s umbilical connected to Politburo. It reflected the writ one party held over entire spectrum of national affairs from security to statute and from assets to administration. Taiwan’s Economic Miracle inconspicuously became inspiration for PRC to go capitalism way a 180 degree turnaround. In late 80s China fully braced Western capitalism under Deng Xiaoping . However, admission of same would have diluted the justification for the socialist model and single party polity, a death trap for CCP. It wasn’t a play of words that while China calls itself Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan calls whole of the landmass as simply Republic of China. The essence of divergent description of same landmass is unmatched in modern history. Indisputably though, in PRC everything has been organised for the wellbeing of Politburo functionaries. A nation claimed to be founded for it’s People wouldn’t hurl atrocities; violate Human Rights and force away basic liberties of very same People. It only reflects quantum of sustained fake lies dished out by CCP. Even more mischievous is CCP’s claim of correcting historical left over. It only requires the World to go back eight decades in time within living memory and see China’s complete landmass as a single entity, governed as a single independent state, by a single political party – KMT and not CCP. The facts demolish Chinese fraudulent claim over territory of Taiwan, what remains though is the play of optics and serious stakeholders fully understand that.

Strong Arm Tactics

‘The Party’ as the CCP is commonly known within China held single point agenda of – Party Above All. In the garb of socialism, The Party first penetrated all social and national institutions and later graduated to become an indispensable part of the entire social order in China. The diktat of politburo came to resonate in complete strata of Chinese nationhood. It was a very powerful but awkward vision of One Party Policy, much before the Chinese leadership even thought about One China Policy. Ironically enough, China got convinced of it’s own propaganda! It started believing The Party is supreme and this hypothesis also applies beyond Chinese sovereign territory. The conduct of China as a nation much explains this troubled theory. In the absence of democratic accountability Chinese leaders and bureaucrats deeply coloured with party agenda developed a natural arrogance in conduct, which even extended to diplomatic demeanor. In the Chinese governance mechanism there’s No space for conversation it’s mostly one-way traffic as Politburo advisories have to be carried and implemented, No questions asked. How possibly could diplomatic conduct be different when it was to be managed by those same CCP proxies, it was always going to be ill-disposed. Unfortunately, neither anyone expected nor were prepared for it. Chinese diplomatic behaviour, it’s foreign office language, habitual un-pleasantries, diktats to foreign media presents an endless scene of disgust. The policy of CCP as envisioned by it’s leadership during National Congress is a reflection of lunatic goals, forceful implementation, suppression of dissent and covering up of past fiascos. World was really not concerned till CCP policies guided China’s internal governance, the anxiety came to fore when the CCP executed same theory for international engagements. Though it comes very naturally to CCP executives but the more civilised World calls out such gestures as hostile, strong arm tactics and plainly pathetic.

Exposed Reality

China did attracted attention for the economic boom it managed. Economic considerations for majority of nations got better off than their sworn commitments to minimum acceptable human rights and behaviour. Everyone felt they can reap from Chinese economic windfall without getting blown over themselves. Not surprisingly, all of them were proven wrong. Today the comity of nations who are complaining against China or holding grudges against it need some introspection, for they were themselves mighty responsible for emboldening a way ward China for short sighted profits. US needs to answer – what exactly does it mean when it confirms to One China Policy and also says ‘Americans will defend Taiwan’ in same breath? Also EU should answer – what exactly happened within months that it’s years of pain for executing a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China was swiftly discarded. Even more shocking was the joint statement of 6th July 2022 issued in London by Chiefs of MI5 and FBI warning that China “poses the biggest long-term threat to economic and national security”. Britain must also answer – how MI5 Chief was allowed to speak in such language when it ran helter-skelter for an FTA with China post Brexit till 2021. All answers converge to common plaint that national security always takes precedence over commercial returns. The sense of enough is enough is all pervasive across most world capitals. The realisation is there to pull back free pass gifted to China. The display of brash behaviour post Covid with string of territorial claims, aggressive military maneuvers and forceful intent over Taiwan has probably happened too fast and too soon for China. The impact of collective response is showing up causing increasing frustration within CCP. Large No of industries have relocated to strengthen international supply chain resilience, China is still struggling with it’s Zero Covid policy, QUAD and AUKUS have shaped up and rapidly building upon security framework, US has effectively created a military front in South China Sea, India has demonstrated unwillingness to forgive China’s adventure in Galwan, internally the real estate bust has China losing trillions of dollars. China’s economy has stiff challenges and continues downward revision while cumulative threats have risen multiple times. Chinese leadership and CCP, perhaps for the first time are familiarising themselves with laws of Physics more precisely with regards to – Every Action Has Equal And Opposite Reaction. Recent snub that China received has been unprecedented – It kept opposing visit by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, but US made sure the visit goes through. It warned US from providing Nuclear submarines to Australia, IAEA made clear it would violate No international agreements. Chinese attempt to warn against Indo-US joint exercise barely 100Kms from LAC had No impact. Xi’s great desire to keep SCO as his backyard property fell to pieces as even despite his presence the Samarkand Joint Declaration mentioned COVID 19, unreliable supply chain, denounced terrorism and extremism. Not so long ago China was found ‘proudly’ running a Wolf Warrior Diplomacy; what now has remained of it is a Lonely Wolf. CCP has this subtle feeling that something has changed for China, the counter actions are for real, that response of nations are different and atleast for once CCP is right. The Taiwan question has been countered head on for sure, all stakeholders are willing to step in the muck. China has been forced to experience it’s military limitations when one after another it’s threat on Taiwan were plainly ignored and as it turned out all of it were fake, the bluff has been called out!

(This article has featured in a National Magazine)


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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Rajendra Kumar Dharmani
    09/10/2022 19:45

    Very good write up.

  • The geostrategic shift in the indian subcontinent is the most challenging issue for the indian policymakers in the current scenario. Very aptly covered by the author.

  • Very comprehensively covered article.
    An insight on the China -Taiwan issue which is less known. Looking forward for more such thoroughly researched reading.

  • Gaurav Tomar
    17/10/2022 07:56

    Nice read.

  • Keshri Nandan
    21/10/2022 15:38

    Useful write-up &
    “Amazing !” Home page


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