Far Eastern Governments and Politics: China and Japan

By Paul M. A. Linebarger; Djang Chu et al. | Go to book overview
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The National Government of China on Formosa

SIDE by side with the immense mainland Chinese government of the Communists, the National Government of China survived in Formosa--an island which had been Japanese territory for fifty years1 and which was under a common regime with the rest of China only during the four years, 1945-1949, in the entire twentieth century. ( Formosa, the name originally given the island by the Portuguese, has now been generally accepted by the Western World.) Nationalist China is therefore both at home and in exile: to the degree that Taiwan can be considered a portion of China, the National Government still maintains a small, rich, but full segment of the Chinese home territory as "Free China"; to the de­^pgree that Taiwan is outside China, the Chinese Nationalists have gone into exile.

On two basic points Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Tse-tung agree. First, China and Formosa are the same political entity. Second, China, including Formosa, should have only one government. From this point on they disagree, Mao holding that his government is the only government of China, whereas Chiang maintains that before Chinese morality and the comity of nations his regime should be the representative of all China. There are therefore two Chinas in fact and, at the time of writing, there is no immediate prospect that either China will swallow up the other; indeed, there is a fair presumption that the two may survive for years or decades into the future. A peace is more than often a hodgepodge of expedients left over from the last war, awaiting settlement by the next war. Unfortunately the people who look to a "next war" often forget that that war in turn will leave compromises and expedients in its turn.

Viewed affirmatively, it is a great blessing to all Chinese, whether Com

See pp. 80, 420.


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