Does the ROC have a future?

There’s been a significant struggle to get Taiwanese indicated as a census category in the US. If you’re not counted, you can’t (at least officially) be seen.


Washington does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation, and the Department of State’s website says the U.S. does not support Taiwanese independence and acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is a part of China.

“The US doesn’t support Taiwan independence.”. Simple official statement on the state dept. website. Obviously govt machinery is not gonna waste its time.

This is not true. The US does not take a position on Taiwan’s independence and simultaneously does not recognise Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

The US has made it clear that they will not support a declaration of independence; they’ve told Taiwan not to do it. However, “strategic ambiguity” is another way of saying they are leaving their options open in the event of a conflict initiated by China. The ROC connection is actually quite important here–the US and ROC were close and the ties have not been forgotten in the State Department. The US will likely defend the ROC against aggression; it is far less likely to join in a war of independence. That’s the hard reality.

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If I was compiling the origins of immigrants to the US, I’d certainly want to differentiate between Chinese and Taiwanese.

Well, he’s right, for what it’s worth:

“Joint Statement Following Discussions With Leaders of the People’s Republic of China. February 27, 1972,” from Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States


“China Policy,” from “MILESTONES: 1977–1980” from the Office of the Historian, on the U. S. State Department website

But as far as I can tell, the below, along with other language that accompanies it, pretty much nullifies the above, at least for practical purposes:

Taiwan Relations Act, January 1, 1979

That thing goes on and on and on, so I stopped in order to avoid bleeding from the eyes, but in other words, and in effect, Congress recognizes Taiwan.


And remember: in diplomatic speak, acknowledging a position does not mean agreeing with it or supporting it.



That was indeed a dramatic moment and a monumental mistake in my opinion because it admitted the principle that China could determine who the US could and could not have diplomatic relations with. The bait then, as it would be later, was lucrative investment opportunities, and dummy Carter fell for it.
The Taiwan Relations Act was an attempt to patch up the damage by Congress, the damage caused by the Executive.


The key word is “position”. Pay attention to the word “position”. When I say, “your position” is such and such, I mean that’s your position. Not my position.

For you to claim that my position is such and such, you need to prove that I indeed said so.

I didn’t say “X” is my position. I only said “X” is your position. You can’t fabricate X to become my position just because I said X is your position.

The morale of the story here is, don’t fall for Chinese sloganeering and mind tricks.

I don’t think the US establishing formal relations with China was a mistake. At the time the US was already facing an erosion of trust from much of the rest of the world, even their own close allies. It’s either accept the fact that the ROC lost and the US has no plans to put them back in China, or continue to try to determine for its allies who they could and could not have diplomatic relations with.

The real mistake is when it became obvious that China will not open up and give its people more liberty just because it is integrated into a part of the international community, the US and its allies turned a blind eye for the short term profit.


At every level, from analysis, international relations,technology, military affairs, economics etc., you can see that the US and its allies have been completely asleep at the wheel for the last two decades.

We are now dealing with a very powerful China, who are very technologically advanced, militarily strong, economically robust and have most of the momentum. The Us doesnt even have a good understanding of how the CCP work and makes decisions and has hastily cobbling together think tanks and analytics to find out.

After the fall of the USSR, everyone has been getting high on their own hubris and now playing catchup. Its hard to pinpoint one mistake in terms of China policy and relationship, because there are so many


Definitely. The military, economic and strategic intelligence has failed in the US since the millennium.

US doesn’t support Taiwan independence as is clear from its stance and likely never will. What’s becoming clear is the China isn’t gonna change and will likely swallow Taiwan and other surrounding areas in the decades to come.

RoC is not getting any points by not officially declaring independence, or decreasing its font size on passports. The world gives a F about its “internal” problems with China. The world incl. US recognizes Taiwan as part of China officially

Without clear proof, what you are saying is your opinion.

Proof was shown that the US acknowledges the Chinese position but does not formally take a stance on Taiwan’s sovereignty. This is the stance as many countries take. What you are saying is misinformation.

Not an opinion, but
The United States does not support Taiwan independence. Maintaining strong, unofficial relations with Taiwan is a major U.S. goal, in line with the U.S. desire to further peace and stability in Asia. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act provides the legal basis for the unofficial relationship between the United States and Taiwan, and enshrines the U.S. commitment to assist Taiwan in maintaining its defensive capability. The United States insists on the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences, opposes unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and encourages both sides to continue their constructive dialogue on the basis of dignity and respect.


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Not per se. I mean it was a mistake to let China determine the terms of engagement–“One China.” The US could have held out for a “we agree to disagree” type of arrangement, admittedly not easy but China wanted relations more badly than the US at the time. The US caved in too easily. The current pushback is entirely late; as OrangeOrganics says the whole relationship has been mismanaged for many years, due largely to the US prioritising corporate profits over human rights, but also to a complete lack of knowledge about the PRC’s overarching goals.


But that’s exactly what the US did. In the Joint Communiqué the US’ position is that

The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.

It doesn’t say the US agrees that there’s but one China and Taiwan is part of China. The US merely acknowledges that is PRC’s position.

Okay, but there was a lot more to it than that statement. The ROC was effectively de-recognised and kicked off the Security Council; all US military personnel were obliged to leave Taiwan and the embassy here closed etc. This was the price to pay for establishing relations. It was a high price indeed. Unavoidable? I don’t think so. China put principle first; America dumped a key ally on the toss of a coin. It did not have to be done that way. China called the shots and the US ate it up like a kid wanting an ice cream.

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The US was looking for a compromise to allow the ROC to stay in the UN while giving the Security Council seat to China, knowing that there weren’t enough votes to keep up the status quo i.e. pretend the ROC was the real government of China and the PRC were a bunch of illegitimate bandits.
CKS insisted the ROC continued to be recognised as the sole representative of all of China, and the PRC continue to be excluded from the UN, which was not going to happen. His stubbornness cut the feet out from under any American attempt to negotiate, and the ROC walked out when the vote went down.


The problem is the US never had any intentions to support the KMT and CKS post 1948. Had it not been for the Korean War, the US would have been fine with China taking over Taiwan, and wiping CKS and the KMT off the face of the Earth.

Under the KMT and CKS, Taiwan was a dictatorship and a police state, with very little free economy and absolutely no democracy and no freedom of speech. There were very little difference between China under the CCP and Taiwan under CKS.

Of course, by the 70s Taiwan was doing well economically with the aid of the US, but at that time the US needed an ally near the Soviets and China was at that time a more important ally.

You can say that had the US done more to prevent the KMT from failing in China (they probably needed to remove CKS for that), then they could have a non-communist China as an ally to keep the Soviets at bay, but by the 70s it was pretty much water under the bridge.


Yes, the ROC walked before they were pushed; things in the UN were running away from them. But the US had many cards to play and a lot of influence, and still does, but has consistently caved in to China’s demands for whatever short-term gains it can get. In 1979, America was a superpower to be reckoned with. In the same year, China still had a backward economy and the PLA got a bloody nose when it tried to “teach Vietnam a lesson.” Anyway, it was done and here we are in the “ROC on Taiwan.” But for how much longer?