Taiwan & Puerto Rico: forbidden symmetry

Free Taiwan

In Episode 63 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg draws a parallel between the self-determination struggles in Taiwan and Puerto Rico. Each is an island nation in the “backyard” of a great imperial power, struggling for its independence. Taiwan is de facto independent from China, with a movement to make it official. Puerto Rico is a de facto colony (officially an “unincorporated territory”) of the United States, with a movement for independence. Taiwan is being particularly threatened at this moment by the imperial power that covets it; Puerto Rico is being particularly fucked over at this moment by the imperial power that controls it. Yet the emergence of Taiwan-Puerto Rico solidarity is held back by the fact that their respective imperial metropoles are rivals on the geopolitical chessboard—another illustration of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system.

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Books discussed: Taiwan’s 400 Year History by Su BengDecolonization Models for America’s Last Colony: Puerto Rico by Angel Collado-Schwarz

Production by Chris Rywalt

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Image: Wang LeWei, Josh MacPhee, Mac McGill via Art for a Free Taiwan