As Puerto Rico nears a statehood vote in Washington, the necessary votes do not seem to be there and agitation for a vote has been quiet. Statehood for the District of Columbia is a perpetual question that never seems to advance. Now, on the other side of the globe, there seems to be growing interest in statehood for Taiwan.
The unresolved fate of Formosa, now called Taiwan, caught up in a “strategic ambiguity” that the District of Columbia United States Court of Appeals has declared a condition of “political purgatory” is increasingly in the news. For a long time many people have failed to realize or understand how and why the people of Taiwan are stateless, the result of decades of propaganda and false history fed to the public by the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and the exiled Republic of China.
Taiwan, banned from the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and even the Olympics unless it calls itself “Chinese Taipei” in the games, has been a colony of some foreign power for four centuries. Since World War II the island has been occupied by an exiled Chinese Nationalist government installed by the United States as a caretaker regime. Unfortunately, the Cold War followed World War II and Formosa fell into an abyss under four decades of harsh martial law, sternly administered by the Republic of China in-exile. The United States looked the other way, aware of the atrocities committed by the ROC against innocent Formosans, because the ROC was an ally against “Red China” and communism.
The sovereignty of the former Japanese colony was to be decided at the San Francisco Peace Treaty that ended World War II with Japan. However, the Korean War was raging and President Harry Truman decided it was not time to resolve the international status of the island, leaving dictator Chiang Kai-shek in charge. Over the long years of uncertainty, the name Formosa fell into disuse in favor of Taiwan as the history of it all dimmed with the passage of time.
Now, the People’s Republic of China wants to finish the civil war and conquer Taiwan which it claims is a rebellious province. The entrenched ROC has already brutally demonstrated the lengths it will go to remain in power. Taiwanese independence advocates have long had to battle opposition from China, opposition from the ROC, and even opposition from the United States. What to do?
Activist David Chou has an idea, give the Taiwanese people the option of statehood in the United States of America. Sound far-fetched? Maybe not.
Chou founded the Taiwan State Movement in 1994 and has consistently advocated since then that Taiwan be under the political custody of the United States. Chou wants the future determined through referendum and self-determination and seeks a phased but comprehensive integration with America.
The statehood activists point out that it is a non-military solution to China’s aggressive threats and in some manner is compensation to the Formosans who suffered under the ROC while the USA did nothing. The statehood proponents cite Hawaii’s progress as a state and argue statehood would boost both economies giving America a true doorway to Asian markets.
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Dulles once said, “As the main victorious country against Japan, the United States has interests in the ultimate future of Taiwan and that “the U.S. could have made
legal claims against Taiwan.”
David Chou seeks sovereignty of Taiwan as a territory of the United States as a prelude to incorporation and a statehood referendum and subsequent Congressional vote. If Chou had his way, there would already be contests to redesign the flag to accommodate a fifty-first state. Statehood for Taiwan? Perhaps it is an idea whose time has come.