For years, “one China” has meant two completely different Chinas masquerading as one country—the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan (a.k.a. the Republic of China [ROC]). The PRC is huge, with a population of 1.3 billion, while Taiwan has only twenty-two million people in comparison. There are other differences as well: Taiwan is rich, with a per capita income in 2003 of over $23,000, versus the PRC’s per capita $5,000; Taiwan’s 5 percent unemployment rate is half, its 1 percent poverty rate is a tenth, and its seventy-seven-year life expectancy is five years more than those of the PRC. More importantly, during the past de- cade Taiwan adopted a multiparty democracy, while the PRC has only one legal political party that is holding tightly onto its autocratic powers—the Chinese Communist Party.
"At Cross Purposes: U.S.-Taiwan Relations since 1942,,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 58
, Article 14.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol58/iss1/14