Two Germanys and two Koreas but only one China. Why wasn't a compromise to internationally recognise both Chinas reached?

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The Politicus
Jul 02, 2021 12:04 PM 0 Answers
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During the Cold War several former united states ended divided in two opposing polities, each one claiming to be the legitimate government of the whole former state. Although in the beginning most countries recognised just one of each pair of governments, in the long run a compromise was reached and both German states and both Korean states ended being recognised de facto by most countries and even gained UN membership.

However, the case of China was (and still is) different. UN, the US and other Western countries switched from recognising the ROC as the only legitimate Chinese government to recognising the PRC as the only legitimate Chinese government, instead of having reached a point of compromise where both Chinas could have some recognition and UN membership.

Why was China different from Germany or Korea? Did some stubbornness (for lack of a better word) of Taiwan and its allies delay the possible compromise until a time when the PRC was too powerful and compromise was no longer possible? Did the Security Council permanent membership of China set the stakes so higher that compromise was impossible? Was such a compromise still an unheard idea by 1970 and nobody considered it seriously until 1973 (Germany) or 1991 (Korea)? Was the withdraw of recognition of the ROC a concession to the PRC the US was willing to do to normalise relations with it in a moment the PRC was seen as a counterweight to the Soviet Union?,, and give a lot of context on what and how happened, but not on why a different compromise wasn't adopted.

In summary, my question is: Why wasn't a compromise to internationally recognise both Chinas reached, as it was done in Germany and Korea?

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  • July 2, 2021