Peter Kien-hong Yu teaches at National Quemoy University, Taiwan. His most recent book is Governing JinMen/Quemoy: The International Regimes and Non-international Regimes Dimensions (January 2017). His 69,000-word manuscript, Reinventing the Methodology of Studying Contemporary China: Again Testing the One-dot Theory, is scheduled to be published in the West in summer 2017.
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Peter Kien-hong Yu:
By Peter Kien-hong Yu - 22 Mar 2017
The flashpoint erupted on February 27, 1947 in Taipei, when a dispute developed between an unlicensed cigarette vendor and a Tobacco and Alcohol Monopoly Bureau officer. Violence flared the following morning on February 28 and resulted in a suppression by the government.
Facing the dilemma of having to handle “two Chinas,” “One China, One Taiwan” or “Taiwan independence,” Beijing’s One-China principle appeared a few months before the signing of a mutual defense treaty between Washington and Taipei in December 1954.
A gradual process of asserting things non-Chinese started when a greater sense of Taiwanese-ness emerged under Lee Teng-hui after the March 1996 presidential election. When opposition candidate Chen Shui-bian became president in May 2000, the push for de-Sinification got into full swing.
Does US President Donald Trump have in mind two Chinas; One China, One Taiwan; or Taiwanese independence? If the US abandons the One China policy before a peaceful Chinese reunification, the situation in East Asia will be unstable.
The first wave of globalization began with Western colonization. In the last several decades, we have seen Americanization or internationalization. However, there are a lot of contradictions, for example, interdependence is not the same as Americanization.
The call between Tsai and Trump has shattered the status quo. If Trump and his advisors still choose to not to understand China’s mind and heart, Beijing may have no choice but, for example, to establish diplomatic relations with those 21 countries which still support Taipei.
On November 30, 2016, Zhou Zhihuai, director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Beijing was not against establishing a new consensus to replace the “1992 consensus” while at the same time reflecting or embodying the One China principle.
During the swearing-in ceremony of new lawmakers at Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, two lawmakers referred to the former British colony as the “Hong Kong nation.” A pro-Beijing publication translated the word “nation” as “guo” in Chinese. “Guo” or “guojia” can be understood as nation, country, or state.