Taiwan Independence: Realistically, how?


#1

As I write this, there is yet another debate raging in a Forumosa thread about how Taiwan is not part of China. Which leads to the usual discussion about what America should have done in 1945, the San Francisco Treaty, how the ROC no longer exists, etc.

All very nice. By now, we must have had more debates like this than I’ve had hot meals. So I’m not going to start another one.

What thing I have yet to hear in any of these discussions is exactly how the fierce TI advocates on this forum hope to actually achieve independence. Now, I really don’t want to hear about what should have been done years ago, because we can’t change the past. Hindsight is always 100%.

What I want to hear is about the future - just what is your proposal? Let us assume for the purpose of this discussion that the DPP wins the next elections for both the presidency and the legislature. So now they’ve got control - this is the moment many of you have been dreaming of. What should the DPP do now that they’ve got the power? And I mean seriously - not something (like I just read on that other thread) about “put the KMT and a sinking boat back to China.” Yes, that’s cute, it’s also not going to happen, nor would it be useful.

So what should they do? Referendum on independence? Dispense with the referendum (or dishonor the result if it doesn’t go their way) and make a unilateral declaration of independence? After China gets predictably belligerent, ask to be America’s 51st state? Or ask Japan to annex Taiwan again? File a lawsuit against China in The Hague? If it comes to war, should Taiwan go for military victory, pray for US intervention, ask the United Nations for help, or surrender? What if China doesn’t invade, but simply imposes an economic blockade and the economy collapses? Compromise with China? Would they compromise by then? What kind of terms would China demand at that point?

And if it does come to war, how many of your will stay here, whatever the consequences? Would any of you serve in the Taiwanese military if they allowed it, and would you be willing to go into combat? Will you keep the family here, or send them abroad while you fight it out with the PLA. Will you stay if Taiwan loses or surrenders?

I have my own ideas on this, which I’ll go into, but would like to hear yours first.


#2

such a 90s argument.

Taiwanese Independence is semi-irrelevant, China and Taiwan have a working model and everyone seems happy.


#3

Yeah, I semi agree with Deuce. There is no political or public will to push for anything better than the disfunctional ever-changing status quo. The DPP will not realistically win the presidency or legislative for decades. I see some kind of political accommodation with China all but inevitable now. Both governments want it, the business elite want it, the US wants it, and the majority of people here seem indifferent.


#4

Speaking of hot meals:

After the Russians’ victory over the Turks in 1878, Queen Victoria threatened to abdicate if what she perceived as Russian aggression were allowed to stand, but at the same time many Britons were opposed to the idea of going to war in support of the Turks.

The story goes that during those difficulties, Disraeli was attending a banquet when a lady who apparently favored the Queen’s view of the matter asked him what he was waiting for. He reportedly replied:

No offense, but I think I’ll follow Disraeli’s lead on this one.


#5

When we kick the KMT out of Taiwan then its all good.

Meh having de facto is nice enough, but de jure is better.


#6

[quote=“cyborg_ninja”]When we kick the KMT out of Taiwan then its all good.

Meh having de facto is nice enough, but de jure is better.[/quote]
Incisive, articulate political commentary. Cutting-edge. We need more of this on forumosa. :thumbsup:


#7

[quote=“jimipresley”][quote=“cyborg_ninja”]When we kick the KMT out of Taiwan then its all good.

Meh having de facto is nice enough, but de jure is better.[/quote]
Incisive, articulate political commentary. Cutting-edge. We need more of this on forumosa. :thumbsup:[/quote]

even jesus had his haters.


#8

There is a model for how politically restrained satellite countries gain independence from the iron fist of communism. It’s called the USSR. It happened in 1990.

When the CCP falls, and it will, the conversation can continue about reorganization and independence for Taiwan. Until then, just suck it up and wait.

Also, there will be no war. Any speak of this is non sense.

but if there was a war, I’d love to stay and fight, but I don’t have the right visa for that. If immigration catches me fighting in the revolution on a Student Visa I’ll be staring at a hefty fine and deportation!

T


#9

he he. :laughing:


#10

Democracy would not work in ALL of China, just as it will not work in all of Russia. It would work in small populated areas but not everywhere. Hell, the poor folks in those areas don’t give a rat’s ass who is the leader. Just leave me alone and let me try to feed my kids. And a school here and there that doesn’t fall down with the least tremor would be nice. Democracy works in the Special Administrative Areas and pressure will continue to expand rights for those areas. Not because of U.S. but because so many people people are becoming better educated and have travelled more extensively. Taiwan is caught twixt and tween. Just wait it out and the Chinese people will keep gaining rights and there will be a China. (United Republics of China?), just as there is the Americas, North, Central and South, along with the United States.
Hell, that should cause a hotbed!


#11

Hold the National Palace Museum for ransom. Begin destroying a priceless artifact a day until either a raging war breaks out or China capitulates. Take political hostages and start reassembling some of those stored nuclear weapons. Make an agreement with Japan to start exploiting oil and natural gas in the Spratleys.

Basically just start reeking a little havoc. It’s not like China is massively stable. It is full of discontents. Offer to go back to China. That will throw a spanner in the works. In fact years ago I had a friend who worked for a military think tank in Washington who told me among all the scenarios they played that proposed the most uncertain of out comes because it made China reveal its hand and would cost Taiwan nothing to just say oh we’ve changed our minds.


#12

:bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

What can ya do? What would ya do? A population of 23 million with thousands of daily visitors and all the Chinese world sees a truly free and semi-working democracy with a country trying to change it.


#13

Why don’t you look at the historical and legal record? In particular, the situations of the Philippines and Cuba are very illustrative of THE ONLY METHOD whereby Taiwan can move in the direction of de-jure independence.

The following is a simplified scenario. Many of the details have been left out at this point.

Philippines, Cuba, and Taiwan: All were/are territories conquered by US military forces during wartime. Hence, the US has military jurisdiction. Such jurisdiction is conducted under military government. In the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) of 1952, the United States Military Government was given disposition rights over the Japanese property of Taiwan territory. That is Article 4(b), which is bolstered by the specification of the USA as “the principal occupying power” in Article 23(a).

Unlike the Article 3 territory of the Ryukyus, Taiwan was not later elevated to the status of UN trusteeship. Hence, according to the terms of the SFPT, Taiwan is still under military occupation. For all the technical details, and relevant treaty clauses, and why the military occupation of Taiwan cannot be interpreted to have ended yet . . . . . etc. See – taiwanbasic.com/key/

Today, “Taiwan” is a geographic term, it is not the name of a country. Jurisdiction over Taiwan is held by the USMG as the principal occupying power, and Taiwan forms an “independent customs territory” under USMG. The ROC is also serving as “agent” for the USA in the continuing military occupation of Taiwan, while at the same time being a government in exile on Taiwanese soil. Taiwan does not belong to China. The “One China Policy” says that the PRC is the sole legitimate government of China. That is all that it says. Taiwan/ROC cannot enter the UN because it is not a country. (The various elements of fact and logic here are very well interconnected.)

With the above elements in mind, then you can turn to the situations of Philippines and Cuba. Having been conquered by US military forces, each one was under direct USMG jurisdiction for a period of time before convincing the US Executive Branch to grant it independence. Taiwan must follow a similar path. Taiwan must have a period of direct USMG jurisdiction before it can move in the path of independence.

Hence, the path is clear. It begins with demands that, under the Senate-ratified SFPT, the USA should handle the military occupation of Taiwan directly. The delegation of the administrative authority to the Chinese Nationalists should be ended.

Then of course the native Taiwanese people can come together to form their own civil government. A citizenship law needs to be promulgated. (This is exactly the way that the Philipines and Cuba proceeded.) Since the ROC government in exile is in Taiwan, there will have to be an interim period. US miitary troops will be needed to assure a peaceful transfer of power to “Taiwan citizens.”

[color=#FF40FF]
The following individuals are defined as Taiwan citizens:

  • Upon the signing of the surrender documents by the Japanese Emperor on September 2, 1945, all people of Taiwan bearing household registration in Japanese-governed Taiwan and their descendants continuing to possess household registration in Taiwan up to the present are defined as Taiwan citizens, also called: (original) people of Taiwan.
  • Any individual acquiring Taiwan citizenship under the other provisions of this Act.
  • Descendants of the Taiwan citizens having household registration in the region of Taiwan as defined in the foregoing clauses 1 and 2 are defined as Taiwan citizens.
    Upon reaching the age of eighteen, a Taiwan citizen is entitled to various citizenship rights such as voting in an election, impeachment, referendum, etc.
    [/color]

[ twdata.net/citizenship.htm ]

It may be five or ten years until some level of local stability is reached. Negotiations with US government officials for a timetable for “Taiwan independence” can only begin at that stage.


#14

I would simply argue that Taiwan is a concept. As much of a concept as any other piece of land which humans have named for themselves. It shouldn’t be important at all.


#15

unfortunately when the CCP (inevitably) falls, the KMT will renew their claim to control all of China (by their reckoning and the daft 1949 “constitution” of the ROC).

so no independence for Taiwan in that scenario.


#16

[quote=“Hartzell”]Hence, the path is clear. It begins with demands that, under the Senate-ratified SFPT, the USA should handle the military occupation of Taiwan directly. The delegation of the administrative authority to the Chinese Nationalists should be ended.

Then of course the native Taiwanese people can come together to form their own civil government. A citizenship law needs to be promulgated. (This is exactly the way that the Philipines and Cuba proceeded.) Since the ROC government in exile is in Taiwan, there will have to be an interim period. US miitary troops will be needed to assure a peaceful transfer of power to “Taiwan citizens.” [/quote]

More likely the US will hand Taiwan to the PRC at their urging. Remember, Taiwan was scheduled to be returned to China at the SFPT, but due to the ongoing Chinese civil war at the time, it was unclear who, ROC or PRC, was the real representative of China. That’s not an issue today with PRC having long emerged as the only legitimate Chinese government. Should the US choose to discontinue its stance of ambiguity on Taiwan’s status, the path would be clear for Taiwan to be officially returned to China as per the original intent of the Potsdam Declaration.


#17

Why is it called false KMT propaganda when the green camp accuses the KMT of telling mainlanders that the DPP wants to kick mainlanders and the KMT party out of Taiwan?

A more legitimate question is how unification will actually occur because the U.S. does not seem really serious about actually having an official Republic of Taiwan given their debt to the PRC government. Even if something happens to the PRC government, the KMT will obviously take part in the reforming of a new state in mainland China that will include Taiwan province and other territories still controlled by the ROC and Lien Chan is gonna be there if he’s still around.

I know this thread is about “what if” if the DPP is in power, but it seems unlikely the DPP party will come back to power without the help of another Lee Tung-Hui who can split and manipulate the elections. If the DPP party stays out of power, there’s no real point in discussing hypothetical scenarios. Wait until they actually get back into office. They were already in office for 8 years and Lee before that who tried to find a way to give Taiwan to Japan when he was in office.

This discussion is basically outdated. The T.I. days are over.

[quote=“cyborg_ninja”]When we kick the KMT out of Taiwan then its all good.

Meh having de facto is nice enough, but de jure is better.[/quote]


#18

#19

I have to say that this discussion didn’t quite go as I anticipated. I was surprised that most of the hardcore vocal supporters of Taiwan independence simply begged off. While vehemently supporting a DPP electoral victory because of the TI issue, they seem quite unsure of what they want to happen after the DPP actually comes to power. I suspect that if the DPP really does gain full power, quite a few will be on the first plane out of here. But I could be wrong.

Faced with the uncomfortable possibility that achieving independence might require everyone to personally pick up a gun and go to war (with much likelihood that Taiwan would lose), only one person here expressed any willingness to do so.

There were some opinions that we need to wait for China to collapse before Taiwan independence can be achieved. That is probably realistic, but we may have to wait a long time. The PRC’s imminent demise has been predicted repeatedly ever since 1949 - you can grow old and die waiting for that.

I wasn’t surprised by Hartzell’s argument because he’s stated it before. But I think it’s wholly unrealistic. Trying to achieve independence for Taiwan via lawsuits in a US courtroom - well, good luck with that. No disrespect intended though. Continue plugging away with that, and let us know when you find a US court that will hear the case.

I can’t totally agree with Betelnut’s assertion that the DPP is essentially doomed to remain forever out of power. In theory, the KMT could remain in power forever with ease, if they would actually do something to control their party’s corruption and tackle the issue of worsening economic inequality. People vote KMT over DPP mainly because they think the KMT will do a better job of keeping them safe (from war and poverty). There’s probably not much doubt that the KMT will keep them safer from war, but increasing economic hardship and almost continuous corruption scandals pushes a lot of voters into the DPP camp. Probably the only reason why the DPP doesn’t win is that people still remember what a jerk Ah-bien was. But memories of that fade over time. And do remember that a third party (ie James Soong, the PFP) can rake-off enough votes from the KMT to help the DPP to victory, as in 2000.

I should add that the real DPP faithful (that would include many foreigners here) manage to put both security and economics out of their mind and concentrate on Taiwanese nationalism. Fortunately, the majority of voters haven’t fallen for that yet. Could happen though - flag-waving nationalism has widespread appeal almost anywhere in the world. Plenty of pointless wars have been fought over flags and national anthems.

I promised in my original post to reveal my own position after hearing from others. Well, I’m a big supporter of maintaining the status quo, which is actually a majority position among most Taiwanese. Continue the polite fiction of the ROC and the 1992 Consensus. Fiction it may be, but it’s worked so far. Why should I give a damn if they call this place the ROC rather than the ROT? Nor does the mere existence of a Sun Yat-sen Memorial in Taipei, or his picture on the money, cause me to lose any sleep at night. I am similarly uninterested in what is the official national anthem or the flag (though I admit, a bit obnoxious of the KMT to use their party’s flag as the national flag).

But the big “what if” - the DPP gains power, declares the ROT, China hits us first with economic sanctions, leads to a shooting war eventually. Am I out of here, or not? Answer is “not.” I’ll stay, come what may. America will run in the opposite direction and Taiwan will almost certainly lose. History is what it is: brutal.


#20

The DPP were in power for 8 years when conditions were a lot better for declaring independence: ie, China was a a lot weaker and our economies much less tied. There is not more than the slightest chance they would declare independence if they regained the presidency.

As for your surprise about some of the reactions, all I can say is that when the facts change, some of us change our minds. And the last election did appear to change the facts. I want Taiwan to remain independent but I have found the people here value that much less than I expected. I no longer am going to argue for a position the majority can be easily convinced not to care about.