Can One China, Two Countries Possibly work?
- Yes, and you can expect a Nobel Peace Prize nomination next year.
- Yes, but achieving this may prove harder than reunification or Taiwan independence
- Probably not, but there’s a shot
- No, because China would never allow it
- No, because it’s one of the most insipid ideas I’ve ever heard
What I’m suggesting here is not ideal. But it may be a way to allow normalized relationships between Taiwan, China, and the rest of the world without anyone having to lose too much.
China cannot allow Taiwan to claim independence. They have staked far too much politically on reunification. Their rhetoric has been loud and the foreign policy predicated on a One China Policy. They’ve used strong arm tactics to force other governments to agree to the One China Policy. Giving that up would make them lose too much face, and would be disastrous to the government of the PRC.
But they are faced with a situation that is not appealing and damaging to their domestic and economic interests. The people of Taiwan do not generally want any sort of reunification. The US and other powers present a formidable military and economic obstacle in terms of acheiving their goals. Even conquering Taiwan through military stratagem could end up in giving them another situation like Tibet, prolonged strained relations with the global community, and likely an underground resistance movement.
Taiwan cannot give up its government without risking losing basic freedoms after a hundred years, and it can’t declare independence without risking war.
Abide by the One China Policy, but be independent: One China, Two Countries. Or perhaps- One China, Two Republics. The resolution would have the following basic premises:
- Taiwan is part of China
- The People’s Republic of China is part of China
- Taiwan is not the People’s Republic of China
- The PRC is not Taiwan
- Taiwan and the PRC are inseparable, but mutually autonomous
- The people of the PRC are ruled by the will of their people by the government of their choice (as it is now)
- The people of Taiwan are ruled by the will of their people by the government of their choice
- All of China is united by consent of all parties for the protection and benefit of its people
Basically, China will be like the European Union. Multiple sovereign states under a single umbrella. Taiwan could recognize China’s (not the PRC’s) authority in the same way that Australia recognizes the Queen of England. Perhaps the figurehead equivalent would be “Heaven”.
As part of this arrangement there would need to be a tangible re-unification. Below are some suggested ways that they can unify:
- Military treaty: Taiwan and the PRC as part of China are natural allies and this allegiance comes before any other consideration. An attack on either party will result in the immediate response from the other.
- Economic cohesion: While an immediate merger of the two economies would likely be disastrous, steps could be taken to begin a merger. The first would be the use of a common currency: The Chinese Yuan.
- Flag: While Taiwan and the PRC will have their own national flags, they would both adopt a united Chinese flag that would fly at equal height with their national flags.
- United Delegation: When China participates in international events, Taiwan and PRC representatives will act together, even when their viewpoints on an issue differ.
- Embassies: Chinese embassies will provide services from both mainland the PRC and Taiwan. Compartmentalized services, but you’d go to the same place for visits to either country.