From the RUSI-VI online Zoom webinar by Jonathan Manthorpe recorded on Wednesday, 10 February, 2021.
The raw truth is that no Chinese government, neither Communist or Kuomintang has a persuasive legal, or moral claim to sovereignty over Taiwan. During the 300 years of Qing Dynasty presence on the island, which ended in 1895 (with Japanese occupation), China exercised a feeble and constantly challenged control of only the western third of Taiwan. Thus, there has never been a Chinese administration that governed both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan at the same time. The Taiwanese people have been cursed by geography that their island sits on a strategic meeting place between the Far East and Southeast Asia, as well as providing strategic control over the South China Coast and the shipping lanes through the South China Sea. There is the real threat that the PRC could try to seize Taiwan, thus igniting a war between two Superpowers, China and the US, in the Indo-Pacific. Jonathan Manthorpe’s presentation provides an introduction to the history of Taiwan.
Jonathan was a foreign correspondent and international affairs columnist for nearly 40 years. He was the foreign correspondent for Asia, Africa, and Europe for Southam News, European Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star, and national political reporter for The Globe and Mail, as well as international affairs columnist for The Vancouver Sun. Jonathan is the well-known author of Claws of the Panda and Restoring Democracy.