The International Affairs Forum in Tokyo, an organization of the US Center for International Relations, sponsored a forum with commentaries from six scholars on Taiwan Independence… The forum asked: “The Chinese government has said repeatedly Taiwan is an ‘inalienable part of China.’ Yet polls in Taiwan have indicated strong support for the country to join the United Nations under the name Taiwan. Can, and should, the international community do more to support Taiwanese independence, and what would be the consequences of doing so?

Six scholars responded with a variety of standpoints. For example:

Reviewing Taiwan’s separation from mainland China over nearly six decades, we see two contradictory trends. The first is long-term reunification, imposed by Beijing as the only option for Taiwan, and the sine qua non for normal relations with any country. With the post-Mao reforms and economic growth, as well as emotional ties, a significant sector of the Taiwan population accepts eventual convergence. The second trend is Taiwanese nationalism, which responded to its multi-cultural reality and vast political and economic differences with the mainland. As aggregate economic disparities decrease and Taiwan’s economic dependency on China increases, the objective desirability of unification grows.

It is great that the IA Forum chose to focus on independence as a question.