The supporters of Taiwanese independence consider Kosovo to be a precedent that encourages them not to give up in their struggle. Nevertheless, the differences between the two cases are obvious, and not only due to the democratic imperative necessary to constitute a state; neither the origin of the dispute nor the regional and international context of the two cases is similar either. This is why the consequences of Kosovo’s independence will probably be felt more in the South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) or Europe rather than in the
Nevertheless, any parallel drawn between the respective situations of the island and the new Balkan republic in order to establish a legitimate international precedent for secession deserves to be scrutinized for clarification.
A STATE RULED BY LAW AND A STATE RULED BY MEN
“For China, the UN’s role as an impartial arbiter of international conflicts has weakened with Kosovo’s independence” The Taiwanese proclamation has added domestic value since, coinciding with the presidential elections, a double consultation concerning the admittance of Taiwan or the Republic of China (the first one promoted by the Democratic Progressive Party  –DPP– and the second one by the Chinese Nationalist Party/Kuomintang  –KMT–) to the United Nations is set for March 22. Say what they may about the consultation being carried out in the planned format, it is equivalent to asking the Taiwanese if they want to be a legally recognized State, which would put an end to the current ambiguity. On the other hand, this is a question that has not been posed in Kosovo, with the parliamentary decision having been chosen instead. “It looks like neither will have a smooth entry into the United Nations, due to the Chinese and Russian vetoes”
If the democratic imperative is observed in an unequal way in both cases, neither the origin of the dispute nor the regional and international context is similar in both cases. What is more,
ONE WASHINGTON WITH RESPECT TO
, ANOTHER WASHINGTON WITH RESPECT TO PRISTINA TAIPEI
Another substantial difference that sets Kosovo apart from
Washington, which encouraged Pristina’s independence, has nonetheless criticized the plebiscite assemblage of March 22 because it thinks that it can alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, which could upset the region’s stability, give rise to a cry for the use of force in Beijing, and put an end to the arbitrating role that in good measure legitimizes the United States’ influence in the region.
But it looks like neither of the two will have a smooth entry into the United Nations, due to the Chinese and Russian vetoes. Still, in a couple of weeks or months, Kosovo could be recognized by five times as many states as
RESPECT OF INTERNATIONAL LEGALITY AT STAKE
In both cases, on the other hand, respect of international legality is at stake. In Kosovo, it is clear that Resolution 1244 of the Security Council has formally been thrown aside. And although it might be more debatable in
On the other hand,
Taiwan, beyond the setback experienced by the PDP in the legislative elections of this past January 12 and the foreseeable defeat on March 22, will have it much more difficult than Kosovo when it comes to fulfilling the longing for independence that some of its citizens demand. Both the parliamentary and the social majority, which has undergone an intense process of Taiwanization during the past eight years, identify more with the status quo: neither unification nor independence. This is a problem quite different from that of
As such, it makes sense to think that in the immediate future the consequences of Kosovo’s independence will probably be felt in the South Caucasus more than in the