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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: NerdGoddess
I don't know the benefit of shoving the Taiwanese under the rug, I can't see it from China's side.
It's a historical thing & I'll try to explain it from memory. After China lost the Opium Wars in the 1800s, Western countries forced something called the "Unequal Treaties" unto China. These dramatically exploited China and left it a virtual vassal state.
Then the communists in China united the workers & farmers and launched a nationwide rebellion against the pro-Western govt. This is a large part of the Chinese Civil War which was partially interrupted when the Japanese invaded China during WW2. The Chinese temporarily decreased their infighting in order to drive out the Japanese. Then their Civil War continued, the communists won & became the official govt of China, and the pro-Western ex-govt was forced to flee to Taiwan in exile.
For decades, the only thing stopping the Chinese communists from invading Taiwan was Taiwan's military alliance with the US (who had taken on the role of the West's "global policemen" after WW2). The "One China" policy ended most of the tension by having the US officially announce that the Communist govt was the only legit ruler of China. But as part of the treaty, the US can still sell military equipment to Taiwan and make separate deals with it, though I think the military equipment can only officially be called something like "self defense equipment" or something vague like that. ETA: Basically, China will overlook our independent work with Taiwan's govt if we let them save face by publicly recognizing them as the "winners". Yeah...
Remember that during the Cold War, capitalist and communist movements all over the world were vying for control over virtually all of the world's nations. If one side couldn't be defeated militarily, it would be pressured economically. So one of the goals was to lift Taiwan so far above mainland china economically that mainland China would abandon communism for capitalism (and the Western banks & other capitalist institutions).
This is why so many people were against Trump moving away from the "One China" policy. And this is also why so many people who don't care for mainland China still don't want the "One China" policy to end. Most people don't want to risk an all out war with one of our 3 largest trade partners over the formal recognition of Taiwan's independence.