Archive | Seven decades of conflict between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China
Since 1949, the People's Republic of China has been trying to impose reunification on Taiwan in a more or less violent way.
Over the past few months, international tensions have built up. In Asia, the conflict between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China could become even more acrimonious. Some of our archival documents explain the origins of this confrontation which has lasted for more than seven decades.
The Republic of China (Taiwan, also sometimes referred to by its former name of Formosa) and the People's Republic of China have been engaged in a merciless fight since 1949.
This year- there, Mao Zedong's communists seized the territory of mainland China and installed their government in Beijing.
Those whom Mao Zedong defeated, General Chiang Kai's nationalists- shek, took refuge on the island of Taiwan.
They created the Republic of China there, much to the displeasure of Beijing.
Since 1949, the Beijing regime has sought to reunite the island of Taiwan with mainland China through a means not only diplomatic but also military.
Interview of the Taiwanese ambassador with journalist Lucien Côté
On August 31, 1958, the programL'Actualité presents an interview of journalist Lucien Côté with Taiwan's Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Liu Chieh.
Here is the background.
A few days earlier, on August 23, 1958, what is now known as the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis erupted.
The artillery of the army of the People's Republic of China pounded for several weeks the small islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the strait which separates the two Chinas and which belong to Taiwan.
Taiwan resists with the help of the United States.
At the time, the United States government seriously considered nuclear strikes against the People's Republic of China to avoid defeat for its Taiwanese allies.
During the interview, the ambassador explains to Lucien Côté the importance of the Quemoy outpost for Taiwan.
The diplomat also says he is convinced that this attack is only a prelude to a major offensive to invade his country.
He also recalls Canadian viewers that the conflict between the two Chinas is existential in nature.
Doctor Liu Chieh argues that this is a fight between, on the one hand, freedom and, on the other hand, slavery, even between democracy and tyranny.
“We want to give a lesson in democracy to mainland China, which bloodily suppressed the student revolt in Tiananmen Square. »
— Bernard Derome, host of Le Téléjournal
A striking contrast between the island of Taiwan and the People's Republic of China is that the former is a democracy whereas that the second is a dictatorship.
Report by journalist Patrick Brown on the existing democratic regime in Taiwan.
A report by journalist Patrick Brown presented on Téléjournal on March 21, 1996 highlights this contrast.
Two days later, on March 23, Taiwan will elect its president by universal suffrage.
Patrick Brown's report shows that democracy is alive and well in Taiwan.
Taiwanese have the right to make fun of their leaders. Their Parliament allows vigorous debates.
In 1988, the president of the island even decided to adopt universal suffrage as an electoral system.
The establishment of full and complete democracy, adds Patrick Brown, contradicts the idea that such a system is not suitable for Chinese society.
This example, unique in the history of the most populous country in the world, scares the totalitarian state that is the People's Republic of China.
Beijing dreams of disappear to consolidate his power.
“In Beijing today, President Xi Jinping said reunification between China and Taiwan was inevitable .
—Manon Globensky, January 2, 2019
Taiwan and the Republic have been in conflict since 1949.
In this beginning of the year 2019, notes the host of the radio program Midi Info,Manon Globensky, President of the People's Republic of China gave a speech that leaves no doubt as to the trajectory he wants to impose on Taiwan.
In order to analyze the speech Chinese presidential election, she discusses relations between Beijing and Taiwan with Philippe Le Corre, professor specializing in Asia at the Kennedy School of Harvard University.
The desire to reunite Taiwan with Mainland China is not new, the scholar reminds.
However, what is innovative about Xi Jinping's speech is that he proposes that the rebel island rejoin China based on the one country, two systems model.
This model was used during the retrocessions of Hong Kong and Macao to Beijing in 1997 and 1999.
However, it turned out to be disastrous for these territories, notes Philippe LeCorre.
Economic and political freedoms and special status are shrinking in Hong Kong and Macau.
The Taiwanese certainly do not want to adopt this system, he confirms.
In 2019, when we witness the way China evolves — increasing repression, especially against minorities, increasing censorship and corruption — we can ask ourselves this: who wants to live like this?
Another disturbing aspect of Xi Jinping's January 2, 2019 speech is that he invoked the use of force to bring back his neighbor in Beijing's lap.
Since then, the belligerent tone of the People's Republic of China has been increasingly noticeable.
The clash between the two neighbors could turn into an invasion of Taiwan.
This is of growing concern to the international community, especially since July 28, 2022 , a phone conversation between US President Joe Biden and China's number one Xi Jinping failed to ease tensions.
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