So China "lost" Taiwan because the Taiwanese are evolving apart from China, eh?
But it was the sentiment expressed by Mr. Chen during the rally that suggests why, unless Beijing resorts to force, the China-Taiwan divorce could be permanent. Polls show that the generation of islanders who identify as “Chinese” is fading, and more people are identifying themselves as “Taiwanese.” Decades of de facto independence have whetted Taiwanese appetites for the real thing. Polls show most Taiwanese are unwilling to rejoin even a democratic China.
These feelings will deepen as a younger generation of Taiwanese finds its political voice. Indigenous identity and attachment to liberal civic values are strongest among the increasingly assertive youth, whose Sunflower Movement spawned the New Power Party, which in coalition with Ms. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party toppled several Kuomintang incumbents in the election.
In reality, China won't rely on opinion polls in Taiwan to bring Taiwan into China. The growing distance between Taiwanese opinion and the mainland has been balanced by the growing power of the Chinese military that has shortened the physical distance across the Taiwan Strait.
So that caveat in the article, "unless Beijing resorts to force," is kind of important to refuting the notion that China has "lost" Taiwan.
Taiwan is the most central of China's "core interests."
And if the polling of Chinese indicates that they are unhappy with the Chinese Communist Party over the faltering Chinese economy that weakens the "Golden Chains" that hold the loyalty of the people in exchange for economic prosperity, don't be surprised if China's rulers decides that a war to reclaim Taiwan is the only option left to remain in power.
China's leaders may quickly find that the only decisions they can make to counter economic stagnation and even retreat are in the "foreign" realm rather than the "domestic" realm:
There are so many bubbles, and they are so vital to the prosperity and thus to the political tranquillity of the country, that the government seems to have reached a place where it is equally unsafe to stand pat or to move.
But since all threats to Chinese Communist Party control are a continuum of threats rather than being divided into foreign and domestic issues as Westerners think (and in any case, China considers Taiwan an internal matter of a renegade state, recall, even if Chinese rulers did frame the world the way we do), China could attack Taiwan as the only response to economic problems with no solutions.
China has "lost" nothing. Don't pretend they have.