History may teach us a lessons but it may not solve a problem. If it could, there wouldn’t be the perennial conflicts between Palestine and Israel & Taiwan and China, would there? 0_0” Anyway, here is an interesting review of the recent Chinese history:
Two current democracies, Mongolia and Taiwan, opposites in size and population, have a strange, intertwined past. Mongolia is now the world’s 19th largest state in area, but ranks 140th in population. Diminutive Taiwan barely makes 137th by area, yet it ranks 51st in population.
The current twist in this relationship started in 1911. At that time, the island of Taiwan was part of Japan, but on the Asian continent, a developing Republic of China (ROC) — one which would ironically later be forced to seek refuge in Taiwan — declared a rebellious independence from the Manchu Qing Empire.
As the Qing Empire broke apart, Mongolia followed suit and declared independence from China. Unfortunately, it soon found that the formative ROC claimed Mongolia as part of its territory. ROC forces invaded Mongolia. Russia, which would have its own revolution in 1917, stepped in and ironically became responsible for making Mongolia the independent nation it is today. Aided first by White Russians against the Chinese and then by Red Russians, Mongolia broke free and declared a second independence in 1921.
Another player, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), founded in 1921, would soon enter and have a part in this developing scenario. The CCP became involved in an on-again, off-again civil war with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for control of China. They won that civil war and established the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. While the KMT’s ROC retreated to Taiwan, the PRC ruled China and, despite its 1921 origin, would still trace its roots to the 1911 uprising.
To complicate matters for Mongolia and Taiwan, a cliched canard of Han hegemony developed and has been used against each at different times by PRC and/or ROC proponents. That cliche would claim that Mongolia and Taiwan are “inalienable parts of China,” parts of the “motherland from time immemorial.”
That brings this dual narrative back to 1911, when the ROC and Mongolia both declared independence from the Manchus. Over the decades, despite the ROC’s protest, Mongolia continued in its independence with Russian assistance. Using its 1947 constitution, the one-party-state KMT still claimed that Mongolia was a part of the ROC.
In 1955, that ROC, a founding member of the UN and a member of the UN Security Council, used its veto to block Mongolia’s membership in the UN. Russia was not done; it again forced a tradeoff for Mauritania’s membership in 1961 to allow Mongolia to also join the UN. The ROC later lost its seat in the UN and its place on the Security Council to the PRC in 1971.
There is one more important element in this story that most are not aware of. Back in 1945, when both the KMT and the CCP wanted Russia’s help in China’s fight against Japan, Moscow, for motivations of its own, required that they agree to allow Mongolia to conduct a referendum on whether it would be a part of China or an independent nation.
In that referendum, with almost 100 percent approval, Mongolia voted to be independent.
This poses an interesting question that Taiwanese still pressured by the “one China” canard might ask: “Who will be our Russia?”
Today, Taiwan’s president still seems drawn to the dream of “one China” and the old KMT/ROC days. He still quotes the outdated 1947 constitution as if times had not changed. He appears more like a quisling than a president of the new democratic Taiwan. However, Taiwan is a mid-sized state, with a population of 23 million and an economy in the top 20 of the world.
While it remains threatened by the PRC, it can wonder: Does it need a Russia? If so, could that role be filled by Japan or the US? And what about a referendum?
If I remember correctly, China has openly stated that a war will be instantly waged to solve the China-claiming “internal issue” once Taiwan conducts a referendum to “officially” declare independence, despite the fact it has been a country with its own political and judicial sovereignty since the KMT retreated to Taiwan in 1949. Also, it has long been regarded as the most stupid diplomatic move by the KMT when it refused the UN to have two “China” members, People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Republic of China (ROC). If Taiwan remained a UN member, there wouldn’t be an “independence” nonsense across the strait for 4 decades up to now. =’=
Ps: It feels “officially” winter in Hong Kong today, the first day that I put on winter clothes. The temperate dropped down to 12C (53~54F) this morning. Great that a Thanksgiving dinner is set tonight~ Binge eating and “food coma” should be cozy enough for the first winter-like temperature drop this year. XD~