Taiwan in Geopolitical Hotseat

Taiwan has recently, with its actions against Coronavirus and its engagement with France, US and China imported international spotlight on it.
Complete Coverage: Coronavirus

Crux of the Matter

Arms from France
France and Taiwan have entered in a dialogue to provide arms to the latter. The provision would be the part of an upgrade to the French warships bought by it in 1991. China has expressed contempt for this.

“We stand against foreign arms sales to Taiwan…[and] urge France to abide by the one-China principle”

Zhao Lijian, Spokesperson, Chinese Foreign Ministry

France has retaliated by stating that its step abides the 1994 One-China agreement. France has also urged China to deal with the pandemic first.

United States’s Demand
United States has demanded Taiwan’s inclusion in the United Nations (UN).

China responded to the demand by labeling it as an “internal matter”, and that it considers Taiwan as an “inalienable part” to be represented by China itself. The US also sailed a missile-destroyer ship in the disputed Taiwanese strait after Chinese fighter planes were spotted inside the Taiwanese area. The development has come near the re-swearing of Tsai-Ing-wen as the nation’s President.

History With China

  • 1945: Kuomintang (KMT) party of China begins ruling Taiwan after Japan concedes after World War II.
  • 1949: KMT flees to Taiwan and establishes its rule there as civil war reaches an end.
  • 1950: Civil war continuing from the 1920s ends up, with KMT losing to the Communist Party of China (CPC) under Mao Zedong.
  • 1980s: China proposes “1 country, 2 systems”, granting autonomy to Taiwan if it unifies with China. Taiwan rejects the offer.
  • 1996: Effectively ruled by one party till the point, first direct presidential elections take place.
  • 2016: Tsai-Ing-wen from Democratic People’s Party inclining towards independent Taiwan elects as President.

Dealing with Coronavirus
It is also in news following its success in curbing the Coronavirus outbreak.
Total Cases: 440
Deaths: 7
Recovered: 387

It started monitoring flights from Wuhan from 31 Dec 2019 and banned entry from Wuhan on 23 Jan 2020, and closed all entries from China from 6 Feb 2020. It even piled up over 44 million surgical masks and 1.9 million N-95 masks by January.

What Next?
People’s Republic of China (PRC) considers it as its own part. Therefore, there it is not included in the WHO and UN. Due to the successful control of Coronavirus spread, there is an increased demand for it to be recognized formally by the WHO and the UN. The move is headed by the US.

  • Taiwan on 8th May donated one million face masks to India to help protect frontline medical personnel engaged in the fight against Covid-19. Its officials said, “The Coronavirus respects no national borders or races, and assistance should not be limited by nations”.
  • In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization. This rapid growth is termed as The Taiwan Miracle or Taiwan Economic Miracle. The growth saw a start after the $4 billion in financial aid and soft credit provided by the US over the 1945–1965 period.
  • After experiencing the rapid growth during the Taiwan Miracle, the nation became known as one of the “Four Asian Tigers” alongside Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong. The success of these economies has served as role models for the Tiger Cub Economies – dominant developing nations of Southeast Asia including. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.