Date: November 9, 2019
By: Rita Payne – special to eTN
The ability of Taiwan to survive as an independent island state has long been questioned. It occupies a precarious position in the sea to the east of the Chinese mainland and is regarded as a rebel colony by its powerful neighbor.
Taiwan in its present form was established in 1949 by nationalists who fled to the island following the Communist takeover in the mainland in China. The Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly said it wishes Taiwan to be reunited with the rest of China and often threatens the island with shows of force, including live fire exercises and “practice runs” of an invasion. In return, Taiwan is one of the most heavily-defended regions in Asia.
Despite these challenges, Taiwan has not only survived but flourished. It leads the world in the production of semiconductors, and this has helped it to grow into the twenty-third largest economy in the world. Its citizens enjoy a large degree of individual and political freedom and the levels of poverty, unemployment, and crime are low. [FULL STORY]