Friday, May 01, 2009

Republic of China (in a way) Returning to the United Nations (in a way)

In 2007 the Republic of China (aka Taiwan aka ROC) pushed for its return to the United Nations. The issue quickly became a sore spot for People's Republic of China (PRC)-ROC relations. It also became a intra-state issue with the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demanding "Taiwan" join the United Nations while the Kuomintang (KMT), a party that believes the ROC should still be part of a future China, called for membership under the title of the Republic of China. Both efforts failed.

Change is occurring though. ROC President Ma Ying-jeou (KMT) announced the PRC will no longer stand in the way of ROC having observer status in the World Health Assembly, which is a branch of the United Nations. The catch is the ROC will have to use its Olympic Gamesname of Chinese Taipei. (Hat tip: Weekly Standard)

The gesture is the PRC's way of allowing the KMT to show cross-straight talks between the two governments work. This should give the KMT more respect when it comes to elections. The PRC wants the KMT to stay in power because the KMT is willing to negotiate into somesort of union/confederacy with the PRC. These efforts have been successful to the point of joint-military talks between the two Chinas.

The PRC fears Taiwanese voters will become tired of the KMT and vote the DPP back into power. This would lead to renew tensions between ROC and PRC. The PRC wants the Taiwan/ROC issue settled. Too much time and resources are put into the issue, Beijing thinks. Once it is resolved the PRC can shift attention into expanding its sphere of influence in Asia and Africa more.

Meanwhile, the ROC is content in returning to the United Nations since its exile in whatever form it is allowed to.

1 comment:

Dan tdaxp said...

Very good post.

Both the KMT and the CCP are nationalistic, corrupt, pro-business, and more interested in stability than democracy (eg, the KMT's prosecution of former President Chen). They are made for each other.

Li Peng, who essentially maneuvered a coup during Tiananmen that involveed detaining the Chairman of the Communist Party and the Prime Minister, seems to have been the last Communist official actively hostile to the KMT. Li's still alive, but seems to have no influence.

The Chinese military museum in Beijing has KMT and ROC flags on display, from the days of the First and Second "United Fronts." While the CCP has claimed a "United Front" exists (with the Revolutionary Committee of the KMT jobs program that no one knows about), we are seeing the formation of the true "United Front" which is potentially both very good (the biggest conventional military threat simply evaporates) and troublesome (the KMT may be closer in political ssumptions to the CCP than the DPP in the proper role of democratization in an oriental society).