Instigator / Pro
21
1693
rating
19
debates
100.0%
won
Topic
#4379

THBT: Taiwan should be ruled by its current government (ROC) and not by the PRC

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
9
0
Better sources
6
6
Better legibility
3
3
Better conduct
3
2

After 3 votes and with 10 points ahead, the winner is...

Savant
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Rated
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
6,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Minimal rating
None
Contender / Con
11
1587
rating
182
debates
55.77%
won
Description

BoP is shared. Each side argues that their system of governance for Taiwan is preferable. PRO defends the status quo, CON defends rule by the PRC.

Round 1
Pro
#1
Preamble:
Abbreviations
ROC - Republic of China, de facto government of Taiwan
PRC - People’s Republic of China, de facto government of China
CCP - Chinese Communist Party, largest political party in China

My Case
My case here will be relatively straightforward. I will show that the ROC has a strong claim to Taiwan, that the ROC does a better job of governing than the PRC, and that handing over control of Taiwan to the PRC would result in a lot of unnecessary strife. To establish these, I’ll examine historical claims, benefits of democracy, each government’s commitment to protecting human freedoms, the economic systems of both countries, and Taiwanese views of unification. 


1. Historical Claims:
The PRC Never Governed Taiwan
The PRC was founded in 1949 after a violent civil war. Essentially, the PRC took the mainland by force. However, the PRC failed to take Taiwan. Violently seizing part of a country does not entitle the aggressor to the rest of that country. If the Confederacy had succeeded in taking the southern half of the United States, it would not entitle them to the northern states.

Current Taiwanese Government
The Republic of China (ROC) was established in 1912 and began governing Taiwan in 1945. Both of these events happened before the existence of the PRC. The ROC did not cease to exist, it just relocated its central base of power. Taiwan is a sovereign state.


2. Democratic Rule:
Democracy is Preferable to Authoritarianism
As Churchill said, “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” We should prefer democratic governments to authoritarian ones for a number of reasons:
  • The interests of the government align with the interests of citizens
  • Free elections prevent the abuse of centralized power
  • Various parties can represent the interests of various voting blocs
  • A free press can support opposing views, especially those that expose corruption in the government
The PRC is Authoritarian
China ranks 148th out of 167 countries in EIU’s democracy index, and it is thus classified as an “authoritarian regime”.

Elections in China are tightly controlled, and candidates for local elections must be nominated by the CCP or parties subservient to them. All non-CCP members of the National People’s Congress must be approved by the CCP. On the national level, only the CCP holds power. 

Taiwanese Officials are Democratically Elected
Taiwan ranks 1st in Asia and 10th globally in the EIU democracy index. Taiwan has a strongly democratic system that allows for peaceful transfers of power between parties.


3. Recent Track Record on Human Freedoms:
When the PRC took Hong Kong, they did not let Hong Kong self-govern, and their treatment of Taiwan would no doubt be similar. This means that the PRC would have no qualms about committing the same human rights abuses in Taiwan that they commit on their own citizens.

PRC Detainment of Uyghur Muslims
China Human Rights defenders (CHRD) conducted a number of interviews with Uyghur Muslims, confirming that authorities had detained approximately 12.8% of the populace in the Kashgar Prefecture. Detainees were not convicted of any particular crime. A document leaked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shows that officials attempted to keep these camps secret.

PRC Restrictions on Freedom of Speech
Only senior members of the communist party are legally permitted to criticize the CCP. China still denies the Tiananmen Square massacre, and efforts continue to censor any mention of it. China arrested a doctor for warning people about the coronavirus. Under the National Security Law, China arrested at least 230 journalists, activists, and human rights defenders for criticizing China’s actions in Hong Kong. PRC censorship did not only impact the people being arrested; it impacted the entire world by keeping people unaware of the dangers of covid. How many of the 100,000 who died in the US from covid by May of 2020 would still be alive if the PRC hadn’t censored the truth? In 2019 alone, over one million deaths occurred from covid. Time is everything in these scenarios, and China’s censorship was deadly. Clearly, the PRC is willing to censor free speech even when it endangers millions of people.

ROC and Freedom of Speech
Taiwan, in contrast, is ranked as the freest country in East Asia with regards to free speech, ranking 42nd globally out of the 180 countries studied.


4. Economic Consequences:
PRC seizure of Hong Kong has led to major economic pitfalls. We can expect similar consequences if they take Taiwan.

Cautionary Example of Hong Kong
The National Security Law is a hazard for foreign businesses. Hong Kong was once an international financial hub and an inspiring example of economic prosperity when it was free of the PRC’s draconian economic restrictions. But recent attempts to exert control on Hong Kong by the PRC undo much of the progress of the last hundred years.

Taiwan’s Economy
Taiwanese innovation has been an essential part of the world economy, with the growth of the semiconductor industry and the more recent shift toward software. China, in contrast,  relies on manufacturing and child labor loopholes. In the short term, China would benefit by hijacking the production of semiconductors, but the PRC’s command economy puts a major burden on innovation. Taiwan ranks above China on technological infrastructure, scientific infrastructure, and innovation capability.


5. Keeping the Peace:
Taiwanese View of Unification
The Taiwanese overwhelmingly oppose unification. The polling data on this is so significant that it’s not even a matter of debate.

Consequences of Unification
If Taiwan was ruled by the PRC, it would be an extremely unpopular regime imposed by force. We would see extreme political strife, similar to the kind that occurred in Hong Kong. Consent of the governed is necessary to prevent conflict and unhappiness, and the PRC’s overreach has continued to prove this.

Con
#2
There is no evidence that the PRC would govern Taiwan by force, as if it truly wanted to, it has the means of which to dominate and overtake Taiwan. Taiwan is powerless. But past behavior doesn’t always necessarily indicate future behavior. 

Taiwan could be governed by the PRC consensually and much of its broken economic system would be repaired, under the supervision of a superior country. 

2. Democratic Rule:
Democracy is Preferable to Authoritarianism
As Churchill said, “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” We should prefer democratic governments to authoritarian ones for a number of reasons:
Churchill’s political takes aren’t exactly reliable, as he’s known for making quotes such as.:

I hate Indians.They are a beastly people with a beastly religion . . . Let the Viceroy sit on the back of a giant elephant and trample Gandhi into the dirt.”
Because of his views towards Indians, he deprived them of food rations & assistance, believing it was better to let them perish of starvation because he thinks they reproduce like animals. 
Round 2
Pro
#3
CON has ignored almost the entirety of my constructive. Voters should note that this is both poor conduct and weak argumentation.

1. Historical Claims:
CON does not dispute this.

2. Democratic Rule:
Extend all the benefits of democracy that I listed. Extend that the PRC is authoritarian.

3. Recent Track Record on Human Freedoms:
CON does not dispute this.

4. Economic Consequences:
Extend that Taiwan is more innovative than China and ranks above them on technological infrastructure, scientific infrastructure, and innovation capability.

5. Keeping the Peace:
Extend that the Taiwanese overwhelmingly oppose unification.

Rebuttals:
“There is no evidence that the PRC would govern Taiwan by force, as if it truly wanted to, it has the means of which to dominate and overtake Taiwan. Taiwan is powerless.”
Except that China doesn’t want to end up in the same position that Russia is in with the invasion of Ukraine. The world depends on Taiwan for semiconductors, and a war game simulation suggests that an invasion of Taiwan would be disastrous for China’s military while leading to a Taiwanese victory. The United States and Taiwan have a strong unofficial relationship, and China does not want to invade Taiwan with the growing risk of US involvement

“past behavior doesn’t always necessarily indicate future behavior.”
CON is confusing the PRC with the stock market. Since BoP is shared, I’d expect to see some evidence that the PRC governing Taiwan consensually is at all realistic or feasible. In contrast, almost all available evidence indicates that the PRC would be an unpopular regime imposed by force:
“Broken economic system”
Extend that China’s economy relies on child labor. Extend that Taiwan is more innovative and all the evidence I provided that the PRC would be a burden on its economy.

“Churchill’s political takes aren’t exactly reliable”
This is why I didn’t use his quote as the central point of my argument. I listed a number of benefits of democracy that CON has completely ignored:
  • The interests of the government align with the interests of citizens
  • Free elections prevent the abuse of centralized power
  • Various parties can represent the interests of various voting blocs
  • A free press can support opposing views, especially those that expose corruption in the government
“Because of his views towards Indians, he deprived them of food rations & assistance”
CON seems to oppose genocide toward minority ethnic groups, so he should similarly be appaled by the actions of the PRC toward Uyghur Muslims. An oppressive regime that is actively committing genocide should not be allowed to take over the most democratic nation in East Asia.

Con
#4
Just realized I don’t know this topic as well as I thought.
I concede. 
Round 3
Pro
#5
I concede.
I accept your concession.
Con
#6
Forfeited