Perspective Relations between Continental China and Taiwan from the Point of View of the New Geopolitics

(Continued from # 3(421))

Jen-kun FU,

Doctor of Political Science

Honorable Professor of Kazakh State University/al-Farabi

ALMATY, Jan 15

(Specially for THE GLOBE)

 4. Scenario of further events

In future relations between continental China and Taiwan will be determined by the situation with internal forces and the degree of influence of external factors. Hence, events may develop according to one of the eight scenarios: 1) Taiwan joins continental China, and Taiwan takes the leading position; 2) continental China reunites with Taiwan and is dominating; 3) temporarily the opposition exists and Taiwan is still independent, i.e. available forces, except the external interference are not sufficient for the reunion; 4) Taiwan where separatist forces win majority of the society, declares its absolute independence and gains the international military support; in this case China lacks power to interfere; 5) Taiwan is annexed by the powerful external force, its own power is weak, while continental China is not able to opposite the external aggression; 6) continental China is scattered, the central authorities are weak, a lot of �local authorities� that have real power appear; Taiwan has not real power to interfere, while international forces indifferently watch the situation; 7) continental China is either scattered or captured by external forces, which are absolutely advantageous in the country; Taiwan�s power is enough only to protect itself; 8) continental China and Taiwan are weak and captured by external forces. Foreign sway is established on both shores of the Strait.

It is not necessary to say that during the fifty-years separation period subjective opinions on methods of reunion have taken shape on both shores. However, if there is true reunion according to the historical traditions, almost everyone thinks that the country will be reunited according to the first or the second scenario. For instance, the Taiwan government established the Commission on country�s affairs and the Commission on work with continental China. This evidently proves Taiwan�s unwillingness to develop further in the present way. Though considering the development of both countries since 1972 we may state that R. Nickson�s visit to China and, hence, the changed US geopolitics to opposite the Soviet strategy caused the domination of China, as far as the relations between the two shores are concerned.

5. Problems of the bilateral reunion

Considering this problem from the international point of view we may point to the fact that sometimes the objective situation makes disconnected states reunite, as it happened to Germany. Similar negotiations regarding North and South Korea were held at Prime Ministers� level. As far as the internal aspect of the Chinese-Taiwan issue is concerned, there is an obvious trend to increase the exchange and mutual visits to original places. Today the Taiwan business circles capture raw materials and penetrate into consumable markets; and vice versa, Taiwan attracts compatriots from the continent with its financial conditions and the high standard of life. However, despite leaders from both shores of the Taiwan Strait are eager to realize the idea of the state reunion, the difference in the power and internal problems reflects the difficulty of its true realization. Today real problems of this issue are as follows:

A) Disproportion of the power. Though Taiwan has achieved significant economic successes and has the hard currency reserve of US$ 103.53 billion and takes the eighth place in the world by the volume of the foreign trade, even by these indices it cannot balance continental China. The Chinese territory is 4,300,000 sq. miles, while the Taiwan area, including the island of Penhudao, does not exceed 0.3% of the Chinese territory, as it comes to only 13,885 sq. miles. Besides, as far as the natural resources and other important factors are concerned, China is much more advantageous. Due to this reason of 186 states of the international community only 29 countries (18%) are having official diplomatic relations with the latter. Most countries of the world acknowledge the priority status of the Republic of China in the issue of reunion of China. Thus, they restrict Taiwan and impart it with a passive and dependent status. On the other hand, communistic China, despite it has an important advantage before Taiwan and is even considered one of the powerful world states, on the whole it is still an underdeveloped state in the international community. Hence, it is hardly able to become the absolute leader as far as the reunion is concerned.

B) Second problem is the absence of consensus. After the international situation changed, the political situation in China and Taiwan also became a subject to changes. In 1988 the opposition People�s Progressive Party was legalized in Taiwan. On June 4, 1989 there was a democratic demonstration in the Tianmen square. In 1994 the first national Presidential election was held in Taiwan. In response to it China held military exercises to test rocket devices near the Taiwan shores. The Harvard University Professor R. Macfarginar thinks, soon the Communist Party in China will yield its positions to amalgamations of other political parties. This may weaken positions of the central and local authorities, hence the situation may further develop according to the sixth scenario � after continental China is disintegrated, and Taiwan will save the present status.

The American liberal scientists A. Agnew and T. Gold expect the situation in the Taiwan Strait to develop according to the fourth scenario due to the Taiwan�s independence de-facto and gradual acknowledgement of this fact by the international community. Apart from the activity of the movement for independent in Taiwan in the form of the Declaration on actual sovereignty issued by the People�s Progressive Party and the establishment of the Association to stimulate the national referendum, we may mention a number of other reasons for such a development of the events. First of all, it is a peculiar mentality and the style of thinking of the Taiwan youth, who consider real interests to be significant, as they do not have any historical restraining traditions. That is why they do not doubt in necessity and value of the reunion. In their opinion, the present form of the sovereignty or the real independence of Taiwan are the most advantageous solution of this problem. The above mentioned facts prove that the changed social environment or the power structure in both Taiwan and China may cause definite steps to settle the problem.

6. Ways to settle the problem

To settle the problem in the political strategy both parties should approach to the problem taking into consideration the real advantage and moral responsibility. According to the above analysis, the present political rivalry reflects the modern mutual interrelations. Despite both parties publicly demonstrate their power in policy, economy, social and military spheres in order to prove who is stronger, this style of the development restricts and destroys each party and cannot meet either internal or external requirements of the society. It is quite obvious that this behavior does not promote achieving the common goal of reunion and may hasten the political collapse on both shores of the Strait. That is why in future the western scientists� prognosis that the development of the situation will result in the disintegration of China and establishment of the true independence of Taiwan, may come true.

Thus, from the point of view of the new geopolitics, all advantages of the Chinese national reunion should be taken into consideration. Both governments are to take a firm and constructive position on this problem, to undertake moral responsibility considering the real advantage for the people, and to develop normal cooperation. Both parties are to act taking into consideration the experience of previously separated states, such as Germany. They should initiate the economic and cultural exchange and shift from private commercial contacts to the cooperation between the governments as fast as it possible; participate in international organizations and seriously work on the project of the basic mutual agreement for establishing regular contacts. These are real steps to gain significant advantage, moral satisfaction and to create peaceful atmosphere.

In the economy the foundation of the peaceful reunion is the establishment of the mutual cooperation. Historical laws indicate that the economic development predetermines whether a big state will stagnate or raise. In other words, if ideas or purposes do not withstand the test by the economy, they became the utopia. The character of Chinese relations with Taiwan, despite mutual criticism, allows to develop practical cooperation and contacts in order to seek later concrete ways towards the future reunion, step by step. The current interests make its necessary to create programs on economic cooperation, e.g. for mutual exploitation of the natural ashore

resources, including fishing and establishment of the fish market, development of the transport network for direct communication, etc. Taiwan could really promote the advanced trade-industrial services to manage enterprises on the continent, and raise the agriculture and the industry. In its own turn, China could provide the required manpower and industrial raw materials. Besides, establishing special zones in the continent Taiwan could settle the problem with export of its products. The historical development has its unavoidable laws, hence, if the economic cooperation between the two shores of the Taiwan Strait withstands all ordeals, this will significantly make the cherished goal of the peaceful reunion of China closer.

In conclusion I would like to express my opinion that today in the situation around the Taiwan issue the Taipei and Beijing leaders should give up political disputes of what system they are to save and how they can decrease military rivalry or to narrow the influence of the negative diplomatic opposition in the international arena. They should discuss the geographic development on establishment and widening the commercial space. On the other hand, in the economic field both parties are to follow the policy to achieve the highest interests for the social progress and well-being. As far as the ideology is concerned, both parties should count on natural development of the events: Taiwan and China are to continue social reforms and to cooperate more actively with each other in order to establish natural standards of life that meet everybody�s demands. Acting according this principle, both parties will come to peace and prosperity. This is absolutely true for the entire Asian-Pacific region.

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