China Taiwan Economical Agreement, Taiwan yajiingiza Mkenge! Last June, 2010, China and Taiwan reached an historical agreement on the framework of establishing closer Economic Cooperation between the two entities. The agreement is hailed as an historical achievement since their split in 1949. Taiwan broke away from China following the 1945-49 civil war, whereby the Communist party defeated the U.S. backed Nationalist government (lead by Chiang Kai-shek).The Communist Party took over all of mainland China, leaving the Nationalist with full control over the Taiwan territories. While both sides hail the agreement as an historical achievement since their split, each side has a different take on its implication. Taiwanese sees the agreement as a gate pass to the Chinese market and part of their economical recovery strategy. The Chinese on the other hand, sees it as a step forward toward the reunification with the disgruntled little sister. The Chinese may be right in their assertion, as long as its economical growth continues at the current pace. It is not so difficult to see that this agreement will lead to an eventual reabsorption of Taiwan by China. This eventuality makes the Taiwanese unease, and by all means they should. An entanglement with a country 10 times your GDP (I am just guessing here you can Google it to get the accurate figure!) can never lead to equal partnership. On top of that, the communist China still has over 1000 missiles pointed at Taiwan. It is obvious that China will have the upper hand in any future negotiations, which makes engulfment of Taiwan inevitable. Thousands Taiwanese have protested on the streets of Taipei, lead by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); the party that lost the last election. But it seems doubtful that the opposition will be able to derail the train. After all, the current government was elected partially (and probably mainly) because of its promise to enhance business ties with the Mainland China. So basically the Taiwanese voters are now getting their moneys worth. However, if the reunification takes place, it may not be so bad after all, considering the transformation that has been taking place in Chinese society. The Chineses adoption of free market policies creates a non threatening environment for the Taiwanese. The reabsorption of Honk Kong 13 years ago is a case in point. The peaceful transition of Honk Kong into Chinese control is largely due to the "One country, two systems" policy. This policy allowed Hong Kong to continue with its capitalist economy and political systems separately from the socialist policies of the Mainland. A reabsorption with Taiwan should be expected to follow the same social-economical arrangements. For me the interesting part is not the upcoming harusi between the two sisters. That isnt my cup of tea, anyway. What I find interesting is the shifting in the sphere of influence between China and the US. You see, for over 60 years the US has been and continues to act as the custodian of Taiwan against Chinese ideological influence - a ruminant of the cold war policies. But the economical power of China and the opportunities it offers from its huge domestic market has changed the equation to the point where Taiwan now sees China as central to its long term economical sustainability. And this new geo-economical change is affecting the whole region, not just Taiwan. There have been outcries in Japan and S. Korea, where business people and some politicians are arguing for a similar agreement with China. The concern in those countries is that they risk being sidestepped by Taiwan in accessing the Chinese market. The shifting of world influence has also reached Uncle Sams [U.S. Government] backyard. Costa Rica recently announced that it will no longer recognize Taiwan as an independent state, and thereby paving way for full diplomatic ties with China. According to the Costa Rican government, the move was to strengthen business ties with China. Within the last ten years, a string of countries including Grenada, Vanuatu, Macedonia, Dominica, Senegal, Chad, and Liberia have also cut relations with Taiwan and establish full diplomatic relationship with China. Last February, I wrote a commentary on the shortsighted view of American policy towards Taiwan/China relationship (see the link below), where I argued that the US military aid to Taiwan only benefits Americans military industries as they stand to make billions of dollars on military hardware sales, and that the security of Taiwan can only be achieved through economical corporation and political dialogue with China. http://www.jamiiforums.com/international-forum/51754-us-aid-to-taiwan-is-shortsighted-a-commentary.html Indeed one could easily see that as the American unilateralism diminishes, the last thing Taiwan wants is to be isolated from doing business with the new power on the block. By the way, back in the days our passports used carry a no entry to Taiwan and South Korean stamp. I wonder when and why that shit was removed, cause my last two passports didnt have the stipulation, but the one I had in the 80s did.