As far as I am concerned, nations and empires are born and are dissolved. It's wasteful for Beijing to make it a priority to unsettle a people living peacefully in their new found abode. China may be underestimating the resolve of other nations in this matter of Taiwan. LEAVE TAIWAN ALONE. China has enough, land , population and other resources to be a world power. China will decline miserably in all fronts if it invades Taiwan. Russia had similar delusion of a walk in walk out victory in Ukraine. Russia knows better now. Truth also is that the advisers pushing for war will not be in the battlefield suffering the consequences of their advice. They will be with their families drinking tea while the poor get pushed to go and die.

The Chinese people should not allow manipulators and politicians to ruin their lives.

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Beijing cannot leave aside the fact that an independent Taiwan would become a springboard for US military to threaten China to its maximum capacity. So no, it is imperious for China to retake control over Taiwan.

For that matter, the example of Ukraine in ruins, with million refugees, have turned the sentiment in Taiwan and DPP has suffered a sounding defeat in the municipal elections, with the current President resigning from the helm of her party.

I guess status quo sound now better than the illusory independence promised by the US. As if South Korea is independent, with all those US military bases there, with a US supreme military command in case of war and with no ability to forge an independent path in settling peacefully the 1950s war with North Korea. Given the example of German reunification, NK, Russia and China will never ever back down against US and its maximalist pushes.

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Sorry re delay, this is of course very useful and well-established as a perspective on the long-term relations of the manland and China. Probably now no-one is in real disagreement that Taiwan was for long considered by all as a natural part of the great Chinese Empire. The history that now really needs to be challenged is the lazy media and very biased accounts that claim that the events of 1945-49 and after somehow show proof of an internationally new status for Taiwan and this relationship. This is at the heart of the problem and explaimn the necessity for the continuation of the constructed ambiguity that reigns over the problem and over USA-China relations.

The immediate problem for the rest of us is that the USA quite simply backed the wrong side in 1937-49, assisting the Nationalists and hoping that Mao and his followers would fall as a result of combined civil and foreign warfare. This did not happen, the nationalists excaped to Taiwan, and the USA found itsef with the only choice of continuing to back Nationalist China in Taiwan to the extent of forcing the fairly ridiculous sitution of Taiwan represeting China n inthe UN till the true Nixon Shock of 1971-73. The movment of China proper into recognition as international rpresentative of the Mainland could hardly be doubted - even amongst those many who so quickly forgot the tremendous role of China in holding back Japan and allowing more Allied resources to be put into the European and Atlantic sites of the war, and arrangement that meant so many more deaths of Russians and Chinese than the total of deaths of all other combatants - by far.

Good historians should stil be prepared to lay out the over phases of the case - the pre 1860s long haul of very loose and casual imperial rule over Taiwan; the period to 1895 where China showed ambiguity in the face of Western commercial and gunboat aggression; the phase where Japaese colonialism took over Hokkaido, Taiwan/Formosa, Korea/Chosen and Manchuria/Manchukio prior to WWII; the UN phase of US-led cold war alliances and dilomacy; the period 1971-1978 when China entered rightfully into the UN and began more visible economic growth; the present since then of clear Chinese economic development in the absence of physical warfare with the West, especially when compared to the Western aggression of the earlier years.. In these different phases dfferent issues or elements are raised when calling for or against the unity of China and Taiwan. They ned to be clarified with scholarly work and with fair and transarent publicity at a more popular or accessible level.

As my writing has argued, I do believe that whatever the authoritarian strains that may enfold Chinese governance at its apex, certain thaings may be suggested

1. this is happening in the west and in erstwhile exemplary democracies, th age of the populists and strongmen

2. that this is modified in the greater liberalism and freedom granted by Chinese government to its people, just when western natiosn are so confused over this in their own nations

3. within this the cntinued development and the greater liberalism of the Chinese economic system will develop a new and perhaps unique olitical economy in which Taiwanese citizens would find it far easier to partake in either a form of unification that was prosperous and exciting and did not involve a prerequisite war, or a form of continued separation that would be acceptable to the Chinese politics of that future time. The practical conclusion of this is that waiting is better than aggression and that Taiwanese democracy needs to increasingly look to internal socio-econoic reforms and btter distributions ofwealth and incomes, rather than have national politica hijacked every election years by the dominance of the Taiwan Straits issues.

Ian Inkster

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hiya justv read this, will communicate again by email. just now to say that I was senior academic adviser to the 4 1-hour folm series that appeared in most nations during 1989-91, especilly popular in UK, USA and Holland and Belgium. There is a coffee table book of the series under variable titles under the heading Roads to Xanadu. This in 1 film reconstructs the treasure ships jorneys and might be of interest. Mostly in that series of films I am dealing with Japan but the whole crew did tour by-ways of China during 4 visits aroind 1987-1999 with some facscinating interviews.


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