[Marxism] Taiwan and Kuwait

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Mar 8 13:09:40 MST 2005


Karadjis and Fidler (maybe Karadjis or Fidler, or maybe somebody else, I
don't want to start a militant struggle for netiquette over this)
suggested that Kuwait has less claim to independence than Kuwait. 

Let's note some details about the international legal situation: Kuwait
was granted independence in 1962 separately Great Britain.  Taiwan was
considered part of China unquestionably from the Japanese withdrawal
from the island, which was part of their flight from China.  Taiwan's
independence was not nationally distinct in anyone's eyes at that time
but was simply as a province of China that had been occupied by Japan.
This was basically unchallenged at the time.

Kuwait, to my knowledge, has NEVER, EVER been part of Iraq during the
national existence of the latter. There are treaties in which Iraq
recognizes the independence of Kuwait, which the "Han" (wicked fellows!)
have never done. Kuwait belonged to the United Nations and many other
independent bodies as an independent country, which Taiwan never did.
Taiwan was China in the UN and other international bodies and in the
diplomatic recognition, and has lost almost all of that in recent
decades. Now it fights for recognition as nationalist, independent,
democratic Taiwan, without much luck so far.  It does not belong to the
UN and has much less international recognition and acceptance than
Kuwait. 

Taiwan's "independent" existence begins with the flight of Chiang in
1949 from the victory of the Chinese revolution.  For about thirty years
Taiwan was China or Nationalist China in the eyes of the world community
behind Washington.  It held CHINA'S seat in the UN and the UN Security
Council, as well  in international bodies such as SEATO, CHINA'S seat in
the IMF, etc.  Taiwan was the symbol of refusal to recognize China's
social revolution and defiance of world imperialism. Until China began
to replace Taiwan in these bodies, Taiwan made no claim to existence
independent of China. It was the "real," free, democratic (though
dictatorial under Chiang) China.

Anderson, an honest man when it comes to facts that stare him in the
face says this about Taiwan's international legal status:

"Whatever the short-term eventualities, the long-term prospects of China
ever accepting a breakaway of Taiwan seem small. From the standpoint of
the nation-state, for a former province without ethnic difference from
the majority population to attempt independence is secession. So far, no
nation-state has ever permitted this. There is, moreover, effectively an
international pact against recognising such a breakaway, since so many
states have reason to fear they would be the first to suffer once the
precedent was set. Within China itself, fear of the precedent would be
even more acute, since a province like, say, Guangdong, with its own
distinct language, has a much stronger claim to separate cultural
identity than Taiwan, a population four times larger and a standard of
living (already well above the mainland average) which it could
certainly improve by no longer having to pay taxes to Beijing. Freely to
accept the independence of Taiwan would, in the eyes of the central
government, be to invite a dynamic of disintegration along Yugoslav
lines."

He goes on to predict that China will not seriously challenge Taiwan's
"independence" as long as it remains a US protectorate.  This is part of
Andersen's assumption that China's subordination to US imperialism is
more or less absolute, an assumption of many of those who assume that a
complete counterrevolution has occurred in China.  But I see no sign of
such subjection where fundamental Chinese national interests (and not at
all necessarily exclusively Han interests) are involved.

But one thing this clearly establishes, is that Taiwan independence is
not at all on the same plane as Kuwait independence.  And by the way, I
am not a supporter of Kuwaiti nationalism (I don't believe there is
any), and it would not surprise me at all if a fusion of Iraq and Kuwait
would take place in a manner that I (if not US imperialism would
consider entirely progressive).  From the standpoint of international
law and diplomacy, Kuwaiti nationalism is established fact, and there
are high political and even moral risks in attacking it without a strong
political and moral case and movement. From the same standpoing, Taiwan
independence is NONEXISTENT.

Fred Feldman






More information about the Marxism mailing list