Chinese reunification
Overview
 
There is also a specific Chinese reunification of 1928
Chinese reunification (1928)
Chinese reunification , better known in Chinese history as the Northeast Flag Replacement , is a historical term that refers to Zhang Xueliang's announcement on December 29, 1928 on replacing all banners of the Beiyang Government in Manchuria to the flag of the Nationalist Government, thus...

.

Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (ROC) under a single political entity. After Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

 were reunited with mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 under the rule of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC), the only outstanding goal for advocates of Chinese reunification is the unification of mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 (including Hong Kong and Macau) and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (including Penghu, Kinmen
Kinmen
Kinmen , also known as Quemoy , is a small archipelago of several islands administered by the Republic of China : Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of its...

, and Matsu Islands
Matsu Islands
The Matsu Islands are a minor archipelago of 19 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait administered as Lienchiang County , Fujian Province of the Republic of China . Only a small area of what is historically Lienchiang County is under the control of the ROC...

).
Encyclopedia
There is also a specific Chinese reunification of 1928
Chinese reunification (1928)
Chinese reunification , better known in Chinese history as the Northeast Flag Replacement , is a historical term that refers to Zhang Xueliang's announcement on December 29, 1928 on replacing all banners of the Beiyang Government in Manchuria to the flag of the Nationalist Government, thus...

.

Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (ROC) under a single political entity. After Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

 were reunited with mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 under the rule of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC), the only outstanding goal for advocates of Chinese reunification is the unification of mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 (including Hong Kong and Macau) and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (including Penghu, Kinmen
Kinmen
Kinmen , also known as Quemoy , is a small archipelago of several islands administered by the Republic of China : Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of its...

, and Matsu Islands
Matsu Islands
The Matsu Islands are a minor archipelago of 19 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait administered as Lienchiang County , Fujian Province of the Republic of China . Only a small area of what is historically Lienchiang County is under the control of the ROC...

). Since 1945, Taiwan has been controlled by the ROC. Before the 1990s, both the PRC and the ROC claimed to be the legal government of the whole of China and Taiwan. Supporters of Chinese reunification believe it would eliminate the competing factions in an unresolved civil war and re-unify China under a single national government.

The idea of Chinese reunification is controversial, as is the term "reunification" itself, with varying and sometimes conflicting definitions. Supporters of unification contend that PRC and ROC are the legacy left from the Chinese Civil War, and that both Taiwan (currently under the administration of the ROC) and mainland China (currently under the administration of the PRC) are parts of China. Many supporters of Taiwanese independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

 fear that unification would hurt the democratic progress in the ROC; and some contend that Taiwan is not part of China.

Chinese reunification is supported in both official policy and in action by the government of the People's Republic of China. The official policy of the Republic of China, the government that has ruled Taiwan since acquiring it from Japan in 1945, supports Chinese reunification in the sense that the united body would be governed by the ROC, and not the PRC. Chinese reunification at some point in the future is supported to varying degrees in Taiwan by the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT), the People First Party, and the New Party
New Party (Republic of China)
The New Party, formerly the Chinese New Party , is a centre-right conservative political party in the Republic of China , and part of the pan-blue coalition....

, known collectively as the Pan-blue coalition
Pan-Blue Coalition
The Pan-Blue Coalition 泛藍聯盟 or Pan-Blue Force is a political alliance in the Republic of China , consisting of the Kuomintang , the People First Party , and the New Party . The name comes from the party colours of the Kuomintang...

. It is opposed to varying degrees by the Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

 and the Taiwan Solidarity Union
Taiwan Solidarity Union
The Taiwan Solidarity Union is a political party in the Republic of China which advocates Taiwan independence. It was officially founded on July 24, 2001 and is considered part of the Pan-Green Coalition. Unlike the Democratic Progressive Party, its larger companion party in the Pan-Green...

, known collectively as the Pan-green coalition
Pan-Green Coalition
The Pan-Green Coalition or Pan-Green Camp, is an informal political alliance of the Republic of China, commonly known as "Taiwan", consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party , Taiwan Solidarity Union , and the minor Taiwan Independence Party...

.

Opponents of reunification generally favor continued independence for the Republic of China or another government controlling the same territories. Many object to the term "reunification" as it implies that Taiwan is part of China. Within the political scene of Taiwan
Politics of the Republic of China
The politics of the Republic of China ,takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the premier is head of government, and of a dominant party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative...

, reunification versus independence plays an important role in defining the political spectrum
Political spectrum
A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions....

, although much of the support for either bloc is unrelated to the reunification versus independence issue and most people in Taiwan are in the middle of the spectrum.

Development

The concept of One China has been part of the Chinese political orthodoxy since ancient times. Often, if one claimed to be the Emperor of China
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

 with the Mandate of Heaven
Mandate of Heaven
The Mandate of Heaven is a traditional Chinese philosophical concept concerning the legitimacy of rulers. It is similar to the European concept of the divine right of kings, in that both sought to legitimaze rule from divine approval; however, unlike the divine right of kings, the Mandate of...

, then all other regimes within the country were either considered rebel or tributary
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

. Accordingly, from the end of the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 in 1949 until the mid-1970s the concept of reunification was not the main subject of discourse between the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

; each formally envisioned a military takeover of one by the other. The Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT) believed that they would, probably with American help, one day retake mainland China while Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

's communist regime would collapse in a popular uprising and the Nationalist forces would be welcomed back. The Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 considered the Republic of China to have been made defunct by the newly-established People's Republic of China and thus regarded the ROC a renegade entity to be eliminated for the sake of reunification. The concept of reunification replaced the concept of liberation by the PRC in 1979 as it embarked, after the death of Mao, on economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

s and pursued a more pragmatic and less ideological foreign policy. In Taiwan, the possibility of retaking mainland China became increasingly remote in the late 1970s, particularly after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the PRC and United States in 1979 and the death of Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 in 1975.

With the end of authoritarian rule in the 1980s and the shift in power within the KMT away from the Mainlanders who accompanied Chiang to Taiwan, the KMT began to move away from the ideology of Chinese reunification. In 1991, President Lee Teng-hui
Lee Teng-hui
Lee Teng-hui is a politician of the Republic of China . He was the 7th, 8th, and 9th-term President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang from 1988 to 2000. He presided over major advancements in democratic reforms including his own re-election which marked the first direct...

 announced that his government no longer disputed the rule of the Communists in mainland China, leading to semi-official peace talks (under what would be termed as the "1992 consensus
1992 Consensus
The 1992 Consensus or Consensus of 1992 is a term describing the outcome of a meeting in 1992 between the semi-official representatives of the People's Republic of China in mainland China and the Republic of China in Taiwan...

") between the two sides. The PRC broke off these talks in 1999 when President Lee described relations with the PRC as "special state-to-state".

Until the mid-1990s, supporters of Chinese reunification on Taiwan were also bitterly opposed to the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

. Since the mid-1990s there has been a considerable warming of relations between the Communist Party and supporters of Chinese reunification as both oppose the pro-Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

 bloc that was elected to executive power in Taiwan following President Lee's retirement. This has brought about the accusation that reunification supporters are attempting to sell out Taiwan. The response of reunification supporters is that closer ties with mainland China, especially economic ones, are in the interest of Taiwan.

After the presidential elections of 2000
ROC presidential election, 2000
The Election for the 10th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China , the second ever direct elections for President and Vice President of the Republic of China on Taiwan and the 10th under the 1947 Constitution, were held on March 18, 2000...

, which brought the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

's candidate Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

 to power, the Kuomintang, faced with defections to the People First Party, expelled Lee Teng-hui and his supporters and reoriented the party back towards reunification. At the same time, the People's Republic of China shifted its efforts at reunification away from military threats (which it has not renounced but which it has de-emphasized) towards economic incentives designed to encourage Taiwanese businesses to invest in mainland China and aiming to create a pro-Beijing bloc within the Taiwanese electorate.

Within Taiwan, supporters of reunification tend to see "China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

" as a larger cultural entity divided by the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 into separate states or governments within the country. In addition, supporters of reunification also do not oppose localization
Taiwanese localization movement
Taiwanization , also known as the Taiwanese localization movement, is a political term used in Taiwan to emphasize the importance of a separate Taiwanese culture rather than to regard Taiwan as solely an appendage of China...

 of culture or a Taiwanese identity but rather see the Taiwanese identity as one piece of a broader Chinese identity rather than as a separate cultural identity. What supporters of Chinese reunification do oppose is desinicization
Desinicization
Desinicization is a term that describes the act of the elimination of Chinese influence, which is the opposite of "sinicization".-Historical:...

 inherent in the foreign Communist ideology built into the system as seen during the Cultural Revolution, along with the effort to emphasize a Taiwanese identity as separate from a Chinese one. As of the 2008 election of Ma Ying-Jeou, the KMT agrees to the principle of One China, one led by the Republic of China rather than the People's Republic of China as the official government since 1911.

Current proposals

The People's Republic of China officially asserts itself to be the sole legitimate government of China, and that Taiwan is a province of China. It has proposed reunification with Taiwan under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

", as has been done for both Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

. According to the proposal outlined by CPC General secretary and President Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

 in 1995, Taiwan would lose sovereignty and the right to self-determination, but would be permitted to keep its armed forces and to send a representative to be the "number two leader" in the PRC central government. Thus, under this proposal, the Republic of China would be made fully defunct. However, changes in the political situation in Taiwan has led the PRC to take a more flexible stance.

The current Kuomintang government of Taiwan asserts the position that the Republic of China is the sole and legitimate government of all of China. Proposals among reunification supporters in Taiwan have varied in the recent past since the 1990s, with more extreme supporters in Taiwan such as Li Ao
Li Ao
Li Ao , is a writer, social commentator, historian, and independent politician in the Republic of China .He is considered by many to be one of the most important modern Chinese essayists today, although critics have termed him an intellectual narcissist...

 advocating "One Country, Two Systems" while more moderate supporters arguing to uphold the status quo until mainland China democratizes and industrializes to the same level as Taiwan. In the 2000 presidential election
ROC presidential election, 2000
The Election for the 10th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China , the second ever direct elections for President and Vice President of the Republic of China on Taiwan and the 10th under the 1947 Constitution, were held on March 18, 2000...

, independent candidate James Soong
James Soong
James Soong Chu-yu , is a politician in the Republic of China on Taiwan. He founded and chairs the People First Party, a smaller and more conservative party in the Kuomintang -led Pan-Blue Coalition....

 proposed a European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

-style relation with mainland China (this was echoed by Hsu Hsin-liang
Hsu Hsin-liang
Hsu Hsin-liang is a Taiwanese politician, formerly Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party . He was a supporter of the Pan-Blue Coalition from 2000 to 2008 but then supported the DPP in the 2008 presidential election.-Biography:...

 in 2004) along with a non-aggression pact. In the 2004 presidential election
ROC presidential election, 2004
The Election for the 11th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China , the third direct presidential election in Taiwan's history and the 11th presidential election overall under the 1947 Chinese Constitution, was held on March 20, 2004...

, Lien Chan
Lien Chan
Lien Chan is a politician in Taiwan. He was Premier of the Republic of China from 1993 to 1997, Vice President of the Republic of China from 1996 to 2000, and was the Chairman of the Kuomintang from 2000 to 2005...

 proposed a confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

-style relationship (though he later moderated his stance amid a tight race). Beijing objected to the plan claiming that Taiwan, being part of China already, is not a state and therefore could not form a confederation with the PRC. Proposals for reunification were not actively floated in Taiwan and the issue remained moot under President Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

, who refused to accept talks under the pre-conditions insisted on by Beijing until 2008 with the presidential election of Ma Ying-Jeou, agreeing to the One China policy and stating the official government of the Chinese state is the Republic of China.

Under the administration of Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang...

, reunification under "one country, two systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

" lost emphasis amid the reality that the DPP presidency in Taiwan would be held by pro-independence President Chen until 2008. Instead, the emphasis shifted to meetings with politicians that opposed independence. A series of high-profile visits in 2005
2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China
The 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China were a series of groundbreaking visits by delegations of the Kuomintang to mainland China. They were hailed as the highest level of exchange between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang since Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing,...

 to mainland China by the leaders of the three pan-blue coalition parties was seen as an implicit recognition of the status quo by the PRC government. Notably, Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 Chairman Lien Chan
Lien Chan
Lien Chan is a politician in Taiwan. He was Premier of the Republic of China from 1993 to 1997, Vice President of the Republic of China from 1996 to 2000, and was the Chairman of the Kuomintang from 2000 to 2005...

's trip was marked by unedited coverage of his speeches and tours (and some added positive commentary) by the government-controlled media and meetings with high level officials including Hu Jintao. Similar treatment (though marked with less historical significance and media attention) was given during subsequent visits by PFP Chairman James Soong and New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming. The Communists and the Pan-Blue Coalition parties emphasized their common ground in renewed negotiations under the alleged 1992 consensus
1992 Consensus
The 1992 Consensus or Consensus of 1992 is a term describing the outcome of a meeting in 1992 between the semi-official representatives of the People's Republic of China in mainland China and the Republic of China in Taiwan...

, opening the three links
Three Links
The Three Links or Three Linkages was a "message of Compatriots in Taiwan" calling for the unification of mainland China and Taiwan. It was sent by the PRC National People's Congress in 1979....

, and opposing Taiwan independence.

The PRC passed an Anti-Secession Law
Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China
The Anti-Secession Law is a law of the People's Republic of China. It was passed by the third conference of the 10th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China . It was ratified on March 14, 2005, and went into effect immediately. Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of...

 shortly before Lien's trip. While the Pan-Green Coalition held mass rallies to protest the codification of using military force to conquer Taiwan, the Pan-Blue Coalition was largely silent. The language of the Anti-Secession Law was clearly directed at the independence supporters in Taiwan (termed "'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces" in the law) and designed to be somewhat amicable for Pan-Blue Coalition. It did not explicitly declare Taiwan to be part of the People's Republic of China but instead used the term "China" on its own, allowing flexibility in its definition. It made repeated emphasis of "promoting peaceful national reunification" but left out the concept of "one country, two systems" and called for negotiations in "steps and phases and with flexible and varied modalities" in recognition of the concept of eventual rather than immediate reunification. Both under President Chen and current President Ma Ying-jeou, the main political changes in the cross-straits relationship involve closer economic ties and increased business and personal travel. The current president Ma Ying-Jeou advocates as well for the revitalization of Chinese culture, as in the re-introduction of Traditional Chinese in texts to mainland China used in Taiwan and historically in China before the communist revolution in 1949. It is willing to be flexible in allowing Simplified Chinese to be used for informal writing. The re-introduction was to re-establish and revive ancient Chinese cultural and historical heritage that was largely eradicated from the mainland due to the strict ideological fixation by the government of the People's Republic of China on Communism, but was kept intact under the administration of the ROC.

People's Republic of China (PRC)

The consensus among most citizens of the PRC seems to be one of support for reunification by all means necessary, as much for reasons of national pride as for economic or geopolitical reasons. Therefore, the method by which reunification is achieved - be it peaceful or not - becomes less relevant to the average mainlander.

As for the government of the PRC, on the one hand, most analysts predict Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 would be willing to go to great lengths to defeat any declaration of Taiwan independence, even if it meant military action. It seems they would be willing to accept some high level of international isolation, perhaps even economic damage, as a consequence, because the issue has long been ingrained into their concept of Chinese nationalism
Chinese nationalism
Chinese nationalism , sometimes synonymous with Chinese patriotism refers to cultural, historiographical, and political theories, movements and beliefs that assert the idea of a cohesive, unified Chinese people and culture in a unified country known as China...

, and into the expectations of their populace. On the other hand, Beijing also understands keenly that a 'peaceful unification' is in its best interests; that the resulting fallout from any aggressive move to regain Taiwan will be great. Beijing must consider the possibility that an attack against Taiwan might result in military intervention by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. As a result, Beijing in the last few years has made many efforts to promote cross-strait economic and cultural exchange, which are welcomed in Taiwan, as evidenced by the election of a new government strongly supportive of increased economic ties with mainland China. Beijing hopes that increased economic and cultural interconnection and interdependency will eventually bring about a natural desire for political integration on the part of the citizens of Taiwan.

Republic of China (ROC)

Chinese reunification is often viewed as being the ideology of the Mainlanders who are living in Taiwan. The proportion of Mainlanders who support reunification when compared to the native Taiwanese is much higher. The parties which do advocate a stance more sympathetic towards reunification often command considerable support for reasons that have nothing to do with cross-strait relations. Furthermore, even strong supporters of reunification often have deep reservations about its timing and nature.

Throughout much of the last decade, polls consistently suggest that 70% to 80% of all Taiwanese support maintaining the status quo; although the definition of the status quo is an area of intense debate. Immediate reunification is currently a distant notion in Taiwan supported by only about 2% of Taiwanese residents and endorsed by none of the major political parties. The People First Party officially advocates that Taiwan should maintain the status quo. The Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 has been consistently defending the sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. They often claim that there is one China, that is the Republic of China. Although those two parties and the New Party
New Party (Republic of China)
The New Party, formerly the Chinese New Party , is a centre-right conservative political party in the Republic of China , and part of the pan-blue coalition....

 have often been viewed as supporters of Chinese reunification, in most cases they are so in a traditional sense only. Their main difference with the pan-green coalition is that they believe Taiwan should identify itself culturally with China, and opposes what it views as a switching of national identities. This makes them more sympathetic to the concept of reunification in the future. "One Country, Two Systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

" has support only among 6-7% of Taiwanese. The main argument for this is the belief that Taiwan, a small island, ultimately cannot compete with mainland China, and hence will benefit the most by reunifying as early as possible.

Polls in Taiwan have been criticized as being biased and inaccurate, as well as being influenced by threats from the PRC. After the October 10, 2004 speech by President Chen, polls showed as little as 5% support for reunification, with 60% support for maintaining the status quo and 65% opposition to the founding of a Republic of Taiwan in 2008 (the projected date for completion of the 2006 constitutional reforms proposed by President Chen in his speech). An independent opinion poll conducted by United Daily News
United Daily News
The United Daily News is a newspaper published in the Republic of China in both Traditional and Simplified Chinese. It is one of the three biggest newspapers in Taiwan, the other two being the China Times and the Liberty Times.-History:...

 shortly after in November 2004 indicated that the support for the status quo was 36%, 21% are in favor of immediate independence, only 6% supported the idea of rapid reunification with China. At the same time, there is strong Taiwanese support for maintaining good relations with mainland China.

See also

  • Anti-Secession Law
  • One China
  • Two Chinas
    Two Chinas
    The term Two Chinas refers to the two states with "China" in their official names: People's Republic of China , commonly known as "China", established in 1949, controlling mainland China and two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau...

  • Chinese nationalism
    Chinese nationalism
    Chinese nationalism , sometimes synonymous with Chinese patriotism refers to cultural, historiographical, and political theories, movements and beliefs that assert the idea of a cohesive, unified Chinese people and culture in a unified country known as China...

  • Federalism in China
  • Irredentism
    Irredentism
    Irredentism is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. Some of these movements are also called pan-nationalist movements. It is a feature of identity politics and cultural...

  • Taiwanese localization movement
    Taiwanese localization movement
    Taiwanization , also known as the Taiwanese localization movement, is a political term used in Taiwan to emphasize the importance of a separate Taiwanese culture rather than to regard Taiwan as solely an appendage of China...

  • Taiwan Independence
    Taiwan independence
    Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

  • Legal status of Taiwan
    Legal status of Taiwan
    The legal status of Republic of China is a controversial issue which stems from the complex post-Second World War history of Taiwan. Various claims have been made by the People's Republic of China , the Republic of China , and supporters of Taiwan independence over this question, with a variety of...

  • Political status of Taiwan
    Political status of Taiwan
    The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan hinges on whether Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu should remain effectively independent as territory of the Republic of China , become unified with the territories now governed by the People's Republic of China , or formally declare...

  • Proposed National Unification Promotion Law
    Proposed National Unification Promotion Law
    The proposed National Unification Promotion Law of the People's Republic of China is a document that appeared in early 2004 as a suggestion to create formal a legal basis for the People's Republic of China's reunification with Taiwan...

  • Sinicization
    Sinicization
    Sinicization, Sinicisation or Sinification, is the linguistic assimilation or cultural assimilation of terms and concepts of the language and culture of China...

  • Zhonghua minzu
    Zhonghua minzu
    Zhonghua minzu , usually translated as Chinese ethnic groups or Chinese nationality, refers to the modern notion of a Chinese nationality transcending ethnic divisions, with a central identity for China as a whole...


Related

  • Cypriot reunification
    Annan Plan for Cyprus
    The Annan Plan was a United Nations proposal to resolve the Cyprus dispute, reuniting the breakaway Northern Cyprus with the Republic of Cyprus. The proposal was to restructure Cyprus as the "United Cyprus Republic", which would be a federation of two states. It was revised a number of times before...

  • Korean reunification
    Korean reunification
    Korean reunification refers to the hypothetical future reunification of North Korea and South Korea under a single government...

  • Romanian reunification

External links

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