Of Politics and Taiwan

It’s been a while since I wrote about Taiwan. And suddenly I am feeling like writing an entry.

The KMT won an overwhelming victory in securing parliamentary seats in Taiwan this week. And for the first time in eight years, I glance a ray of hope again for Taiwan’s future. But it’s not all rosy for an island that’s been deserted by the world of international politics for almost 50 years.

Just to get it out there, I am pro-KMT in many ways. I like their economic policies as well as their philosophies on how Taiwan should be governed, particularly in relations to China. But I am also skeptical of KMT’s stance on the question of Taiwan’s sovereignty.

There’s no question that Taiwan (or if you really want to be picky, The Republic of China) is a sovereign “nation” with its own everything — constitution, president, parliament, currency… etc. And there’s no question in my mind that if put to a vote (without threats from China, obviously), a good majority of Taiwanese would prefer to go independence rather than become part of China’s smallest province no matter how China guarantees the island its self-autonomy.

And to the best of my understanding, one main reason that Taiwan is still a political orphan of the world (in that very few dares to recognize it as a country) is because most of the leaders of all other “freedom” and “democracy” loving countries are just a bunch of hypocrites. For example, why the U.S. sells outdated arms to Taiwan at exceptionally high prices to Taiwan if it thinks Taiwan is part of China (well, actually I know why; but just to get the point across)? If the rest of the world recognizes that Taiwan is only a renegade province of China, why do they allow Taiwanese passports through their customs? But then, if Taiwan IS a country, why is almost every single nation in the world so against Taiwan in joining the United Nations? And why doesn’t every country recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and allow Taiwan to have its own embassies with proper diplomatic relations?

I suppose Taiwan can declare independence. And in doing so starting a revolution that’d probably end in massive massacres of its people by the Red Army, only to find out that nobody cared if it was independent in the first place. In a world of high expectations in justice and democracy, I find it ironic and cynical that the same expectations aren’t extended to Taiwan and its people — a people that, despite all odds of being orphaned and rejected, achieved one of the most successful economic miracles of modern history — and did it all by itself with no political assistance or any kind of natural resources to speak of.

I still don’t really know what my position is in terms of independence. But even without declaring independence, I mean, honestly, isn’t Taiwan already independent? Just because China wants the rest of the world to look the other way doesn’t dislodge that fact — or does it?