The geopolitics of the Fourth Taiwan Crisis

The geopolitics of the Fourth Taiwan Crisis

The geopolitics of the Fourth Taiwan Crisis

For Mains

What is the difference between China and Taiwan?

  • The Republic of China (ROC) was the official designation of China from 1912, till 1949. After 1949 the name Republic of China was used to denote the government in Taiwan.
  • The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1949 under the leadership of Mao Zedong following a bloody civil war between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Kuomintang (KMT).

What is the One China Policy?

  • The One China principle is the position held by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that there is only one sovereign state under the name China, with the PRC serving as the sole legitimate government of that China, and Taiwan is a part of China. India also recognises PRC as the legitimate government of China and Taiwan as a part of China.

What is the state of US-Taiwan relations?

  • The United States and the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed the ‘Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of China’ in 1954 which was intended to defend the island of Taiwan from invasion by the People’s Republic of China. The treaty was in effect from 1955 to 1980.
  • In 1979, to improve the bilateral relations with China since the Sino-Soviet split, the United States Congress passed a new act which changed its recognition of Taiwan which was called Taiwan Relations Act.

Provisions of the Act:

  • The act does not recognize the terminology of “Republic of China” after 1 January 1979, but uses the terminology of “governing authorities on Taiwan”. It also defines the term “Taiwan” to include, only, the island of Taiwan (the main Island) and the Pescadores (Penghu).
  • The TRA does not guarantee the U.S. will intervene militarily if the PRC attacks or invades Taiwan nor does it relinquish it, as its primary purpose is to ensure the US’s Taiwan policy will not be changed unilaterally by the president and ensure any decision to defend Taiwan will be made with the consent of Congress.
  • The TRA further stipulates that the United States will “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States”.