China Photograph:( Reuters )
Dr Sun Yat-Sen is secretly regarded by many Chinese as the true father of modern China.
Dr Sun Yat Sen, physician, philosopher, and the first president of the new Nationalist Republic of China, died of natural causes in 1925 at a relatively young 53 years of age. But, this was not before mentoring and driving a revolution that gave birth to a modern independent China.
Starting in 1911, Sun Yat-Sen succeeded in melding the warlords that then roamed across China, into a republic. At the time, the country was nominally under a non-functioning Qing Dynasty.
Political power was devolved into the hands of a main political party, broadly socialist in outlook, the Kuomintang (KMT). Sun Yat-Sen became its first president.
But soon enough, the anti-monarchical Sun Yat-Sen gave up his position of administrative power to preside over the political party apparatus instead.
The KMT, established on the mainland in 1911, also ruled unbroken in Taiwan till 2000. Taiwan now has the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the helm. The country was under martial law for a long time, from 1948 to 1987.
Today, Taiwan is in a process of democratic political reform to become more responsive to the wishes of its people, even as some elements do favour reunification with Communist China. But the bulk of the people regard them as infiltrators from the mainland, not to be trusted.
Sun Yat-Sen himself, as a world figure, is today relegated to the shadows of history. He was, in the end, the founder-mentor of the losing side in a momentous civil war. His successor General Chiang Kai Shek, who died only in 1975, was driven out of the mainland along with the Nationalists, by Mao Ze Dong and his Communists in1949.
The Mao era saw many excesses and miscalculations that resulted in the death of more than 30 million Chinese, but the Chairman held on doggedly to power until his death. After him, the Deng Xiaoping era was hugely successful economically for China till he, in turn, retired in 1992. And then came the turn of new strong men who pushed ahead with the economic miracle but with increasingly jingoistic and militarist overtones. It is this groundswell that raised Xi Jinping via the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
But now, the time may be coming when Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai Shek’s nationalist successors can return the favour to mainland China. It is already challenged internally in some of its provinces. Hong Kong and Tibet are not happy at all. Neither is Xinjiang. All this despite the use of an iron fist to curb dissent. Can China become a democracy once again nudged in that direction by America and others? We will only know once all the chips have fallen in the ongoing drama.
There is, first going to be a strenuous competition for world domination. But this struggle is sure to be lost by a Communist China that had hoped to win by incremental steps, without having to fight economically or militarily. But this over clever thinking of President Xi Jinping is now being openly challenged by many countries led by America.
Red China is globally out of favour after the havoc wreaked by the bio-warfare unleashed using the Wuhan Virus and its ham-fisted attempts at cover-up, threats, and inducements.
The one-man virtual dictatorship of President Xi Jinping, combined with his bizarre, anachronistic and imperial megalomania, has put a question mark over the survival of Red Chinese Communism itself. The world is coalescing to curb its excesses, and a brutal, multi-nation economic blockade of China is on the cards.
Chiang Kai Shek and his Nationalists were driven out of mainland China to the nearby island of Formosa, so named by the Portuguese. It is now known by its older Chinese name of Taiwan. The Nationalists, impressively enough, have never given up the dream of reclaiming the mainland one day.
The Nationalists, who style themselves The Republic of China (ROC), did, in the beginning, run the whole of China for 38 years. They were driven out to the nearby large island, just 100 miles off the mainland. Taiwan is 240 miles long and 60 to 90 miles wide. But this 13, 976 sq. miles has proved enough to become a prosperous country with $1.3 trillion GDP, and a per capita income of over $55,000.
This despite being converted, 1971 onwards, into a de jure state of 23.7 million people. Still, most countries maintain representative offices at Taipei, its capital, which acts as de jure embassies. Taiwan never stopped being recognised officially by a handful of countries. It interacts with most leading world bodies but under a pseudonym. Or as a guest/observer. Or in some other unofficial capacity.
But despite the best efforts of Red China to either subsume or destroy it, Taiwan has secured its independent place in the world.
The People’s Republic Of China (PRC) or Red China lays claim to it under its “One China” credo. America aided and abetted this assertion. First, the ROC lost its UN seat to the PRC in 1971. That was when Red China and America entered into an entente cordiale during the Nixon administration. This not only raised Red China gradually to become the manufacturer to the world but also the No.2 economic power after America itself.
China now plans to topple America from its pinnacle. This quest was going well according to some analysts. But only till its infliction of the Wuhan Virus on the world changed everything.
Meanwhile, Taiwan, after losing its UN seat to Red China saw the US sever diplomatic relations too in 1978. Then the US let its defence treaty to protect the ROC lapse in 1980 as well.
But, all this is about to change in 2020. The US has announced it will reassess the status of not just Taiwan but a restive Hong Kong as well. This could well be followed by Tibet where the US has already questioned China’s handling of the Panchen Lama. Then will come the artificial islands and military bases on the South China Sea. The claims of territory in Bhutan, the various territorial claims and line of actual control (LAC) disputes with India.
All this, in the context of acute sanctions placed on trade with China, capital flight, seizure of Chinese assets abroad, revocation of one-sided treaties and diplomatic loss of face everywhere.
Meanwhile, the ROC keeps itself in a state of Israel-like military readiness for the ever-present existentialist threat. The size of its lean military tops half a million soldiers. It keeps most of its military machine underground, in reinforced facilities. Importantly, it is also a covert nuclear power, a status wheedled out of the US, a parting gift, to maintain the balance.
Today, as the sun on the ROC’s flag is shining brightly once again, that balance will help Taiwan eventually resurrect mainland China from the tyranny of a Communist dictatorship. China helped America destroy the USSR via the Nixon-Kissinger- Mao alliance. Today, as the last bastion of totalitarian Communism, China too will be destroyed by America.
Dr Sun Yat-Sen is secretly regarded by many Chinese as the true father of modern China. He was certainly an astute thinker. He famously let it be known that only 5 per cent of the people are capable of “Pre-seeing”, or visionary thinking. Another 10 per cent could promptly understand once they were told, the “Post-seeing”. But the bulk of people, 85 per cent of any populace, is “Unseeing”. They are incapable of understanding theoretical postulates. They must be instructed.
Today, the world is ready to instruct and command a regime change in China. The wheels may grind slowly but they are sure to grind fine. The direction is set. It is now only a matter of time.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)