Recently, my friends back home (in Taiwan) and I got in a heated discussion on Taiwan and China. My friend asked me a valid question: As a Taiwanese, do you recognize the legitimacy of the PRC? Also, do you see that Taiwan (or the ROC, however you want to call the independent island nation) as being at war with China (PRC)?
Here’s what I have to say about that – I recognise the legitimacy of the PRC, but I do know people that still believe that there is only one China — the Republic of China and that the civil war is not over. Personally, I recognise the legitimacy of the PRC, but the way that our nation was ousted from the United Nations makes me feel as though the some of the nations in the international community has forgotten their national interests in preserving democracy and capitalistic markets — it further annoys me that a nation that once held a seat in the UN Security Council has little to no nations willing to recognise its legitimacy. Something should seriously be done about this situation, but President Ma and the KMT seems to believe otherwise.
And isn’t that the fundamental question that we Taiwanese people have to ask ourselves? The very name itself, “Republic of China,” implies at least some degree of a claim over China, the very hint of which the PRC would not possibly allow under their umbrella strategy (Xinjiang, Tibet, Macau, Hong Kong, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, Taiwan, etc.). This crisis of identity, I think, has always been the elephant in the room that is sometimes brought up but never truly dealt with, not since the KMT retreat to Taiwan since the civil war. I believe that, for the people of Taiwan to have any sort of legitimacy—not just to PRC and the international community—it must answer this question for itself. My opinion is that the name “ROC” is simply unrealistic and has been unrealistic, because the government in Taiwan has not had claim over the mainland nor do I see it having said claim in the foreseeable future, and that we must adopt the name “Taiwan.” (That of course is subjective and identifying the nation as simply “Taiwan” has its own slew of issues, i.e. China not taking that very kindly—but that’s a separate discussion)