The US position that Taiwan’s legal status is yet to be determined and that Taiwan is not part of China is the very foundation of the Taiwan Relations Act.
If a majority of the people on Taiwan decide that the ROC does have sovereignty over Taiwan and/or that Taiwan is part of China (either the ROC or PRC), then the TRA will be abrogated, since the US cannot intervene in the domestic affairs of foreign nations.
With the demise of the TRA, annexation of democratic Taiwan by the authoritarian PRC will inevitably follow.
So the notion that “Taiwan is the Republic of China, the Republic of China is Taiwan” can have far-reaching implications.
It can mean that those who abide by the concept are willing to abandon Taiwan’s hard won freedom and accept the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) repressive rule, and are willing to fight on the front line of a future conflict between the People’s Liberation Army and the US and allied democratic nations.
Just as in World War II, the people on Taiwan will then be exposed to massive attack by US and allied forces since the PRC will undoubtedly turn Taiwan into a major military base from which the PLA can project its power into the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
On March 22, 2006, Ma, the then-mayor of Taipei, promised in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington that if elected president of ROC, he would make the negotiation of a peace accord with Beijing his priority.
He was then asked whether he owed allegiance to China or Taiwan. His answer: the Republic of China.
This is disingenuous. If he is genuinely loyal to the ROC, how can he strive to surrender Taiwan to the PRC thereby destroying the ROC and thrusting the 23 million Taiwanese into servitude under the CCP’s iron grip?
True to his words, Ma has adopted a policy of incremental capitulation since his ascension to power in 2008.
This unification by stealth is done in many ways: through unilateral dismantling of Taiwan’s national defense; the deliberate weakening of Taiwan’s economy via an outflow to China of capital, technology and skilled manpower; expanding infusion of Chinese immigrants into Taiwan; degrading of Taiwan’s status into a region of the PRC and intimidation of pro-Taiwan activists with threat of imprisonment, fines and bodily harm.
The movement toward a peace accord is increasingly evident.
In a New Year’s Eve article, Institute of Taiwan Studies in Shanghai deputy director Ni Yongjie (倪永杰) predicted that Ma would likely meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) this year. Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said this year’s APEC leaders’ meeting in China would be an “appropriate occasion” for such a meeting. Ni added that the meeting would be a “historic event that shakes the world, that changes cross-strait relations, that changes China and even influences the entire world.” (“Cross-strait summit likely, expert say,” Jan. 2, page 3).
The likelihood of Taiwan’s annexation by China by the end of Ma’s presidential term in early 2016 is increasing for several reasons.
First, Taiwan is weak and susceptible to Beijing’s pressure. After years of excessive investment in China, the island’s economy is stagnant and increasingly dependent on the Chinese market and Beijing’s control.
Taiwan’s military lacks readiness and the morale is low.