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International Relations

Why China Insists on Chinese Taipei Rather Than Taiwan

  • 06 Jul 2018
  • 3 min read

Due to pressure from the Chinese government, various international airlines such as Delta Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Air India have recognized Taiwan by the name Chinese Taipei.

Background

  • Taiwan (Republic of China) calls itself a democratic, self-ruled country, however, according to the “One China” policy, Beijing considers Taiwan a province of Mainland China.

NOTE: What is the One-China Policy?

  • The One-China policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called "China", despite the existence of two governments that claim to be "China".
  • As a policy, this means that countries seeking diplomatic relations with People's Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China) must break official relations with the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) and vice versa.
  • It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China's position that there is only one Chinese government. Under the policy, China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland.
  • Although the two participate separately in international events, China has repeatedly insisted that Taiwan should be called “Chinese Taipei”, reflecting a deep anxiety to prevent international recognition of Taiwan as a country.
  • After the surrender of Japan during World War II, the island of Taiwan was put under Chinese control. Towards the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, and before the post-war treaties were to be signed, members of the Kuomintang party (KMT) were driven out of the mainland by the Communists, who would later establish the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
  • The KMT retreated to Taiwan, becoming a government in exile. For some time, it was internationally recognized as the government of the Republic of China (RoC).
  • In 1979, IOC and later all other international sports federations adopted a resolution, referred to as the Nagoya Resolution under which the National Olympic Committee of the RoC would be recognized as the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, and its athletes would compete under the name Chinese Taipei.

How has India Responded to ‘One China Policy’?

  • Since 1949, India has accepted the “One China” policy that accepts Taiwan and Tibet as part of China.
  • However, India uses the policy to make a diplomatic point, i.e., if India believes in “One China” policy, China should also believe in a “One India” policy.
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