The mouse that daren’t stop roaring

Map of Taiwan's territorial claims

 
I sent this one to Strange Maps a few months ago, and I’m delighted to see that it’s now been published: the mind-boggling revanchist claims of Taiwan, covering the whole of the mainland People’s Republic of China, along with Mongolia*, Tibet and portions of Burma, Bhutan, India, Japan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan. (*A commenter on Strange Maps points out that Taiwan accepted Mongolian independence some years ago, so the map is out of date to that extent at least.)

The actual “free area of the Republic of China” consists of Taiwan plus a few surrounding islands, shown in dark blue on the map.

The strangest aspect of this is that, while I’m sure Taiwan hasn’t the slightest intention of asserting these claims actively – I await their invasion of Tajikistan with bated breath – as I understand it, Taiwan cannot actually drop those claims, because to do so would be regarded by the PRC as tantamount to a declaration of independence. And, as Bugs Bunny might put it: of course, you realise that would mean war.

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2 Responses to The mouse that daren’t stop roaring

  1. I think the relationship between China and Taiwan is not as bad as some might think. At the surface there is tension, but below the surface the two countries trade with one another and are connected by flights. What Chinese officials say publicly and what they say privately are two different things.

  2. John H says:

    That certainly fits with my understanding of the situation, which is that China is prepared to tolerate, grudgingly, the status quo provided that Taiwan doesn’t make any challenge to the underlying legalities. Renegade province = tolerable – after all, trading with a renegade province doesn’t turn it into another country, does it? – de jure independence = World War Three. Or Four. Or Five. Depending on how you count these things. 😉

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