By Dircea Arroyo Buganza
In recent weeks, the news has resonated that small nations have withdrawn their recognition of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The above is because, for the People’s Republic of China, this island is part of its territory. However, the Taipei government considers itself autonomous and sovereign.
From the above the question arises; Has the island historically belonged to China or not? During the 17th century there are documents in which control of the island is given to the Chinese government. However, this changed in 1895 when the Japanese won a war against the Chinese and took it for themselves. This territory changed hands again at the end of World War II, where the nationalist party led by Chiang Kai-sheck took control. He established a nationalist government on the island, while Mao Zedong, through the Communist Party, established a different policy in mainland China.
After the division in 1949, Chiang’s government claimed that his government remained legitimate despite the changes. It should be remembered that Taiwan was one of the original members of the United Nations (UN) and one of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the same organization. It was not until 1971 with General Assembly resolution 2758 that the People’s Republic of China was recognized as the representative government of all of China, that is, of all Chinese territories including the island of Taiwan. From this moment on, the Republic of China became a non-state actor, where most countries perceived it as a province of Chinese territory.
As a result of the above, the Taipei government began a campaign at the UN to be recognized as a sovereign state like China. The effort was a complete failure. In 2007 he changed his approach and submitted his application to be considered a member of the organization. At the time, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rejected the request. Alleging that UN Resolution 2758 considered Taiwan an integral part of the People’s Republic of China. The response was vague enough to keep the island as a non-state actor and without direct government interference from the Chinese Communist Party.
Over time, the number of countries that recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty has decreased considerably. This is due to the importance of China in global trade. Many countries seek to strengthen economic ties with the world’s second economy and giving it recognition would mean losing commercial opportunities.
In addition to recognition, the Taipei government faces another problem, a possible invasion. Since 2022, the idea has circulated that China could invade the island. This thought was increased by the rhetoric of Chinese President Xi Jinping where he speaks of the government as a separatist government, where this is a serious danger to national politics. In addition to the discourse, the Chinese government has maintained surveillance of the airspace and patrols. Let’s hope that the support it has from the US is enough to maintain its current situation for the moment.
* Coordinator of the regional legal area of the Universidad Anáhuac México