Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Review of "Taiwan: Yesterday and Today"

Review of

Taiwan: Yesterday and Today

Five out of five stars

 The articles in this collection were written shortly after American President Carter decided to recognize the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the official government of the country. For approximately 30 years, the United States officially considered the government of the island of Taiwan as the government of China. While it was the logical conclusion of the surprise Nixon trip to China in 1972, the recognition had significant repercussions throughout Asia and the world. These articles describe various consequences of the event.

 The governments of the PRC and Taiwan were hostile towards each other, the official position of each was that they would eventually (re)conquer the other. Yet, as is explained very well in this collection, the consequences of the recognition were rather minor. Both sides adopted a set of positions where each looked the other way so that economic ties between the two “nations” could expand and that other countries could continue to do business with them both.

 Some of the actions border on the ludicrous, yet they did work, and the peace has remained for decades. This collection is an excellent look back to the time of change and where the seeds of the dramatic rise of the P. R. C. to the level of economic superpower were planted.

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