October 24, 2020

Could North Korea again save Taiwan?

Continued risks of instability north of the DMZ may distract from coming cross-Straits tensions

Another milestone among the many commemorative events in this 70th anniversary year of the end of World War II just occurred in Singapore. Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou recently met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping there. The last such meeting between Chinese Nationalist (KMT) and Communist leaders occurred in the fateful summer of 1945. Then American Ambassador to China Patrick Hurley provided a plane to fly guerrilla leader Mao Zedong from his mountain base in Yan’an to the wartime capital of Chongqing to meet with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. The ensuing seven weeks of talks gave some hope that a post-war political settlement could be brokered. However, the situation soon degenerated into civil war and in 1949 Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalists retreated to Taiwan.

The last such meeting between Chinese Nationalist (KMT) and Communist leaders occurred in the fateful summer of 1945