China Blog Post #2

A topic that has been a sensitive issue for some time now is the China – Taiwan relationship; specifically, whether Taiwan is officially part of China, or whether it is an independent country. Mainland China considers Taiwan to be part of the People’s Republic of China, while Taiwan considers itself independent and with legal governance of its own affairs. Many countries, even the US, do not politically recognize Taiwan out of fear of provoking mainland China. During this program, I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with both Chinese citizens and a Taiwanese citizen,

The first Chinese person I asked this topic about was a young Chinese teacher, in her mid-20s, who had never traveled outside mainland China. Her attitude reflected the general Chinese government’s stance, that Taiwan was officially a part of the People’s Republic of China, but with its own government and regulations. She compared Taiwan to one of the United State’s territories.

The second Chinese person I asked was another Chinese teacher, in her late 20s, who had spent the past several years in the US. Though she too recognized Taiwan as officially part of China, see seemed to empathize with those who considered Taiwan independent. Her perspective seemed to be influenced by her time in the US, as many Asian-Americans (especially from Taiwan) view Taiwan is politically independent, but only unofficially.

The final person I talked to was actually a teacher from Taiwan, who of course believed Taiwan to be fully independent from mainland China. She expressed how China had essentially no official political or cultural influence in Taiwan, but could influence Taiwan’s politics by exerting pressure on other countries. For example, the USA does not officially recognize Taiwan out of fear of provoking China; since China is such a dominant economic and military force in the world, most other developed countries are sensitive about broaching the subject.

In general, the political relationship between Taiwan and China is murky, depending on who you ask. Chinese media and Taiwanese media have convinced their respective citizens of what status they should proclaim, but for third parties, consideration is given to the political and economic ramifications of taking a specific stance.