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June 27, 2017

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The people are Taiwan's best hope in China face-off

The politicians of Taiwan may blare out what they like regarding the island's political status and relationship with mainland China, but the Taiwanese are good and tired of the tug-o-war going on between two sides that are smiling daggers at each other, Taiwan meting out each statement with baited breath, all for the glorious advantage of being the one and only China the world recognizes.

With the very old and weary threat of several thousand missiles pointing across the strait, Taiwan has been in a stalemate since the '70s and may very well be stranded in it forever. This pessimistic outlook can be blamed on the always-ambiguous status quo that is not entirely the fault of the pan-blue coalition, as much as the greens would like it to be. In Chinese, the saying "beating an egg against a rock" shows what would inevitably happen to Taiwan — as the egg — when it tries to fight an impossible battle against its powerful neighbor. Outnumbered by a gargantuan population, which in turn spawns unquestioning followers, a strong army and potential customers that the world tries to engage in trade, what can Taiwan do but cower?

Despite its discharge from the United Nations, Taiwan is a nation in all aspects but name. The Republic of China met the major criteria for a sovereign state in aspects that matter mostly to its people. The R.O.C. rules over an internationally recognized space or territory; it is home to a people living there on an ongoing basis; it has an organized (indeed, worldly renowned) economy; it issues own currency and regulates foreign and domestic trade; it owns the power of social engineering; it has a transportation system for moving goods and people; and it has a government that provides public services, police power and functioning armed forces. The key problem for the R.O.C.'s claim to sovereignty concerns mainly matters in name and perception: the R.O.C. is in six-decade dispute over the sovereignty of most of its territories with Beijing; and that it lacks formal recognition by most of the world's nations and international organizations such as the U.N.

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