A Short History of Taiwan: The Case for Independence

A Short History of Taiwan: The Case for Independence

A Short History of Taiwan: The Case for Independence

A Short History of Taiwan: The Case for Independence

Synopsis

This concise account of Taiwan's history offers a compelling argument, based on historical facts, for a plausible declaration of the island's independence.

Excerpt

From autumn 1999 until March 2000, Chinese-language newspapers on Taiwan and mainland China, as well as English-language journals such as Far Eastern Economic Review specializing in news from East Asia, devoted a great deal of column space to the presidential campaign on Taiwan. Much of the concern on the part of the government of the People's Republic of China, the communist regime established on the mainland in 1949, lay in the candidacy of Chen Shuibian, the nominee of the Democratic Progressive Party. Though Chen was quickly moderating his views, both he and his party had a track record of advocating the position that Taiwan is an independent nation and should declare itself a separate political entity. This position is anathema to the government of the People's Republic, which maintains that Taiwan is historically linked to the mainland and rightfully belongs to the government that has power in the vast country of China.

History contains much to offer those who hold a view opposite to that espoused by the mainland regime. Taiwan was first incorporated into a Chinese empire in the late seventeenth century. The imperial government of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912) engaged in a hot debate as to whether to take administrative responsibility for the island, which had recently been ruled by a Ming dynasty (1368–1644) loyalist, who in turn had ousted a Dutch colonial regime. The court debate was eventually won by those arguing for incorporation of the island into the Chinese empire. Until the late nineteenth century, the Qing government ruled Taiwan with a great . . .

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