Sense of identity is key to Taiwan issue

Li Jiaquan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 1, 2011
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Taiwan has been the Republic of China since the Kuomintang retreated to the island and the Communist Party founded the People's Republic of China in 1949. This claim of sovereignty is a violation of the "one China" principle and hinders unification.

A friend of mine thinks the issue could be addressed in two ways.

The first way is for Taiwan to abandon its official name and adopt the roadmap to unify China designed by Deng Xiaoping.

The second way is for mainlanders to consider the Republic of China as a short name for the People's Republic of China and an extension of the republic that Sun Yat-sen and his followers envisioned.

But merely changing Taiwan's name or thinking about it differently is not a feasible cure.

The name of Taiwan is in essence a reflection of the locals' identity. Pro-independence forces, including Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, try to isolate Taiwan from China, so more and more Taiwanese identify as Taiwanese rather than as Chinese.

Thus, strengthening Taiwanese's sense of identity is more important than grappling with the name issue.

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