As soon as the news broke that Israel and Hamas began ceasefire after 11 days of violence, reports of China’s preparations for an invasion of Taiwan came out. “One China Principle” is China’s justification for the potential invasion. As for the two Koreas, the Korean Peninsula has been one country for a long time and no one would deny that unification of Koreas is a national and historic task, although its methods and processes could vary.
Then, do China and Taiwan actually belong to one China? The Yellow River in China was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization, one of the oldest in the world. The ancient Chinese civilization quickly gave birth to a country, developing a strong central government and a detailed administrative network faster than any other regions in the world. China then expanded its territory by conquering or driving out ethnic groups nearby.
However, Taiwan was out of China’s interest for quite a long time. Taiwan has surprisingly rugged topography and many steep highland areas. Indigenous peoples of Taiwan enjoyed civilization of their own for a long time as they were isolated from civilized regions. At the National Museum of Taiwan, I saw sketches of the life of the indigenous Taiwanese drawn by Europeans who visited the region in the 16th century. Compared to the Chinese civilization we are familiar with, they looked vary unfamiliar and different. They looked primeval. Indigenous people of Taiwan had a reputation for being tough and ferocious. In the 16th century, the Dutch came and built a city there. It was after Zheng Chenggong, who resisted the Qing conquest of Ming, moved to Taiwan when the Han Chinese started to migrate to Taiwan in earnest. Zheng expelled the Dutch and took in the Han Chinese to establish the Kingdom of Tungning (Taiwan). There is a speculation that the young man Jeong appearing in the prophet Jeong Gam Rok, which was popular in the late Joseon Dynasty, was the story of the Kingdom of Tungning.
The Qing Dynasty, which could not neglect the Kingdom of Tungning, invaded Taiwan in late 17th century and made it its administrative district. Chiang Kai-Shek’s government and army retreated to Taiwan after its defeat to the Communist army after World War ll, and this is how the confrontation between China and Taiwan started.
History has always been used as a justification for a war. What would be a wise solution for the future rather than the legitimacy of history?