China's Special Relationship with Taiwan. The "One China Policy" from a Geopolitical View

Elaboration, 2014

7 Pages, Grade: 2

Magnus Roth (Author)


1. Introduction

“Every three years an uprising, every five years a rebellion”

- Qing dynasty saying about Taiwan (Katsiaficas, 2013)

China is in the last time often in the media with the controversial about the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The Senkaku Islands have different names, in China[1] mainland Diaoyu Islands or Tiaoyutai Islands. This is a political, ethnical and medial controversial between Japan and China. Not far away from the Senkaku Islands are the island Taiwan[2] [3]. Taiwan would be claimed from China. The status of the Island Taiwan is until today unresolved. The military buildup in the last few years in China is very effective and now Taiwan fears a Chinese occupation in the future.

In the following pages I describe the "One-China Policy” than I describe and analyses the political status of the island Taiwan. At the end should be a look of potentially area of conflict in the future. Also connect between the "One-China Policy” and Taiwan. Certain question would be answer, so the question why Taiwan has is separate status? Why China claimed it? How is the dependence between these two countries? What will happen in the future? Two Chinas? Or one China, one Taiwan?

I start with a small introduction in the history of the relations between China and Taiwan.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Geographic location of China (grey) and Taiwan (yellow)

2. History of the relations between China and Taiwan

The struggle between Taiwan and China is grown in the history, the building of Chinese nation. Begin of the actual relations was born in the Chinese Civil War between 1927 and 1949. Important conflict parties in this war were the communist party, the left and the right wing Kuimintang. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with her leader Mao Zedung won in the year 1949. On October 1, 1949 the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was proclaimed and replacing the government of the Republic of China (ROC). The defeated people around Chiang Kai-shek and the right wing Kuimintang flee to the island Taiwan to carry on the Republic of China. It was a full scale retreat by the Kuimintang. The army of communist party hadn’t enough ships in the fleet to conquer the apostate Republic. (Davision, 2003)

In this time formulated the One-China Policy. On the day of the founding, the PRC declared to government in the world, "This government is the sole legitimate government representing the entire people of the People’s Republic of China” (Mao Zedong, 1949).

The juridical point is Taiwan member of the PRC. The island Taiwan and the Penghu Islands was a part of Japan in the Second World War until 1945 and the Potsdam Proclamation. Thru the replacement of the old regime ROC by the PRC is official legal successor of the territory of China, this included the island Taiwan. As official successor are all treaty and international agreements effective.

An interesting example between the two countries is that the PRC the ROC primal in the year 1971 in the Security Council succeed (Meyers / Zhang, 2006).

The PRC was supported by the Soviet Union and the ROC by the United States. Since 1954 signed the USA a peace mutual defense treaty with the ROC. The case Taiwan is maybe one of the dangerous aspects for the future relations between the USA and PRC.

3. Special Case PRC and ROC

There are some different between the divided country’s North- and South Korea or the classical cold war example West- and East Germany and the case PRC and ROC. This would be displayed in the following.

At first every state proclaimed for his self to represent the Chinese peoples and is the only official state. Beijing interpreted the dividing not like the divided state like the two Germanys or actually the both Koreans. Beijing sees the ROC as a disloyal republic. It is more a special case; both claimed the mainland and the island as her territory. The seized between both countries are extremely unequal. The PRC have 98% of the people and 99% of the country. Another point is that officially the Chinese civil war has not legally been concluded. The ROC inherited almost the domestic and international legal rights of the former ROC (Myers / Zhang, 2006: P.12).

The last part explained the special relationship between China and Taiwan in general. The following is now focused on the one China Policy.

4. What exactly is mean by the “one China” Policy?

Until now China’s rising was very peaceful, but many countries in the Southeast fears China future military potential. One area of conflict is the "one China” policy. In the next steps will describe the "one China” policy and after this the case Taiwan analyzed.

Short Introduction of the history of the two rival regimes China and Taiwan The policy on the "one China” described that only one state called "China”. At the moment are existing two states, two governments who claim that they are "the only China”. The Chinese Mainland with the one-party government called official Peoples Republic of China (PRC) with her government in Beijing. The island Taiwan and her government is official named as Republic of China (ROC) with her government in Taipei.

The policy between China and Taiwan can be summarized in four points:

1. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait agreed that there is only one China;
2. Each side claims itself to be of one China;
3. Each acknowledges the existence of the other;
4. Each is entitled to define one China differently from the other (Myers/Zhang 2006: P.26)


[1] China would be used in the following as a synonym for the „People’s Republic of China1

[2] Taiwan would be used in the following as a synonym for the "Republic of China”


Excerpt out of 7 pages


China's Special Relationship with Taiwan. The "One China Policy" from a Geopolitical View
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Geopolitics and international relations
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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664 KB
The author of this text is not a native English Speaker. Please excuse any errors and inconsistencies.
Geopolitik, China, Taiwan, OneChinaPolicy, International Relations
Quote paper
Magnus Roth (Author), 2014, China's Special Relationship with Taiwan. The "One China Policy" from a Geopolitical View, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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