On the 16th of January, Taiwan (Republic of China) held its 2016 General Elections, electing its first female president into office, Tsai Ing-Wen. The Kuomintang (Nationalist) party, the once-leading party of Taiwan, lost the seat to the presidency and a majority in the Legislative Branch that it held for nearly 70 years. Most importantly, the woman elected was of the Democratic Progressive Party, which unlike the previously dominating Kuomintang party, “vowed to preserve the status quo in relations with China, adding Beijing must respect Taiwan's democracy and both sides must ensure there are no provocations.” (Tsai)
Before the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1950, The Republic of China was the legitamite government of the entirety of China. However, Mao’s Revolution and the ensuing Civil War pushed the ROC Nationalist government out of the mainland, forcing the government and military to evacuate to Taiwan.
The United States, panicked by Mao’s Communist takeover, provided aid and support to Taiwan, recognizing it as the legitimate government of China, and let it have the seat for China in the United Nations. In 1971, The ROC lost its seat in the UN to the People’s Republic of China, Mao’s government. With the loss of support and recognition by the international community, it seemed like Democratic China would soon cease to exist, as even the Kuomintang party began promoting reunification with China. Over the past decades, trade between Taiwan and China have been increasing.
Now, with the Democratic Progressive Party in power, tensions between Taiwan and China may escalate to the point were China will once again threaten to invade the island nation and destroy that government in exile. If the U.S. and/or the UN supports the Taiwan ROC and its decision to be independent, tensions with China could rise to pre-Nixon times. If the U.S. and/or the UN were to support Chinese reunification, the would risk massive lashback from the public.
What do you think of this? What do you believe will ROC/PRC/U.S./UN tensions be in the coming years? Decades? Should the U.S. and UN support the independence of Taiwan? How will international trade be affected? Could we someday see an invasion of the island nation?