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The Protests in Hong Kong
Has Beijing Lost Taiwan for Good?

Taipei is very closely watching Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong—and so far it doesn’t like what it sees.

Published on: October 21, 2014
Richard Rosecrance is Director of the U.S.-China Relations Program and Adjunct Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
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  • Brett Champion

    China might have lost the Taiwanese people, but it hasn’t lost Taiwan. This article ignores that China has said that it would use force to reacquire Taiwan if necessary. And at some point, China is simply going to be too strong for the US to stop it from conquering Taiwan without a WWII like effort. And it would be idiotic for the US to undertake such an effort over Taiwan.

  • On Taiwan, their economy will be on China’s dependent artifact in a 20 years time, hence, just like every one else, Taiwanese will have their self-interest working against them or working for them. So, in that sense, China, will play the long game with them, so long as some sort of “color revolution” that force the issue along the lines of the place becoming an independent territory do not happen. And, if that were to happen, then, all bets are off. If not, China, can afford Taiwan to have her system for another generation, while the economical ties will in the mean-time, do their magic of creating mutually dependent arrangement.

    As for Hong-Kong, the China will not budge or even see the need to do so. And the reason is, it’s important for China that no one who is advocating agenda that was given to him by others; or perhaps someone who is spouting what he was “intellectually groomed” with by others, must never be allowed to ascent to the highest office of that city. Hence, China must retain the ability to screen who will be in charge of that city, come hell or high-water. Of course, others will not see it that way, but, the beauty is that Hong-Kong is a Chinese sovereign city, in which case, Beijing last word on the matter will matter more than whatever anyone else may desire.

    As for American agenda in containing China, I am afraid, that train had left the station long time ago. After all, no other country in the region (apart from Japan and Philippines) is ever volunteering to join US in trying to contain China. And the reason is that, every country (including S. Korea, and even Vietnam) are economically dependent on China much more than they are on US or even on Japan. Hence, it make strikes the author of this article as sensible thing to do for these nations to antagonize China. But, to these economically-minded nations in south East Asia, that proposition will strike them, as if they have been invited to slit their own throat. So, I really do not see as to where these “Gulliver little threads” where China is concern is going come from.

    And lastly, as for the Chinese infrastructure investment bank is concern, in which the author had alluded to, perhaps, he is not that clue up about it, but, so far only Japan and Philippines are the only ones who objected to it, along with US. But no one else (even Australia) have said that they oppose to. And in fact, most of the nations in that regions have already made it known their acceptance of that bank to the Chinese’s government. So, I do not see how the author could say it’s only Singapore who is ready to sign up for the Chinese Bank.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    The West is in the process of voluntary disarmament, voluntary deindustrialization, demographic collapse and a near complete loss of political will. China doesn’t have to do anything: In another generation they can take Taiwan or anything else they want.

  • Rose Chu

    (Forever is a long, long time…)
    Culturally, Taiwan is a part of China, and always will be. And while I would not entirely exclude military force from the equation, it is very instructive that Hong Kong was managed much differently than Tienanmen Square – that also will not be lost on Taiwan. Given current trajectories China will clearly and indisputably economically surpass the US within a decade, and China’s Asian neighbors have certainly taken note (I’m old enough to remember when everything said “Made in Taiwan” – that day is gone). China is already in a position to ‘purchase’ allies and treaties much as US foreign aid does. And the day that the US dollar is no longer the world reserve currency will rock the world order to its core.

  • Onymous

    China’s over-riding territorial concern is with the non-Chinese subject nations of Uighuristan and Tibet. China cannot possibly adopt a federalist constitution until Chinese migrants have thoroughly overwhelmed the indigenous Tibetans and Uighurs of Xinjiang. Otherwise those people would demand full independence, as did the outlying minorities in USSR. To completely subdue the Uighurs and Tibetans will take another two generations, at least. Al Qaeda has just called for liberation of Uighuristan, occupied by China.

  • boonteetan

    No, China has not lost Taiwan, despite the worrisome situation in Hong Kong. Taiwan is part of China, they share similar language, ethnicity and culture. Moreover, they are mutually dependent economically.

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