Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9780330:

Free Greenland 27 7, 10:19pm

@Nmrd "Taiwan claims...", "But both governments agree..." Understand that when it a country is threatened with extinction by a larger more powerful neighbor, that country may resort to lying for self-preservation.

At the end of WWII, when Vietnam was returned to France, Hong Kong was returned to the UK, the Phillippines were returned to America, etc., Taiwan was put under the administrative control of China so until such time as a final settlement could be made. China, rather respecting the terms of the occupation, immediately declared that Taiwan was part of China, and thus the Republic of China was in control of both China and Taiwan, and calling both of them "China". Had this situation remained it would be fair to call Taiwan part of China today, just as Tibet is part of China.

However the Republic of China promptly lost control of Taiwan and became a government-in-exile in Taiwan. Of course in their pride that Chinese government continued to claim to be the government of China - which of course was fantasy. However it was a government enforced fantasy that Taiwanese people would find themselves executed for opposing. For about 40 years the Chinese occupiers and their dictator continued to affirm this fiction while brutally suppressing the Taiwanese people.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Taiwan evolved into a democracy. The Chinese party remained the richest political party in the world (due to looting the country for decades) and they were heavily entrenched in the bureaucracy so it took a few years for opposition parties to gain power. By that time China had developed a powerful military.

So now Taiwan has to lie. They have claim they are "China". But at the same time they take every step possible to make it clear they aren't China without explicitly saying so. They, like other small countries with powerful hostile neighbors, needs foreign support. Those supporters tell Taiwan to keep making that ridiculous claim because they don't want China to get angry. So basically Taiwan doesn't really claim to own China, they just have to say they do for appearances sake to keep their friends and enemies happy.

China goes pretty crazy about this stuff. A few years ago when it was announced the Olympics would be held in China, a Taiwanese singer made the Chinese angry by congratulating them for winning the bid. "We are so happy for you". The Chinese were angered by the implication "we" and "you" are separate.

The Taiwanese clearly believe they are independent and separate - but their government has to maintain diplomatic lies.