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Beacon for National Reunification in the New Era

Ma Xinmin
Chinese Ambassador to Sudan

At present, there are changes in an evolving global environment and severe challenges in the Taiwan Straits. Certain countries, as well as a handful of their politicians, act arbitrarily like a person pretending to be asleep that can never be woken up. They deliberately violate and undermine the one-China principle on the Taiwan question, and openly collude with “Taiwan independence” separatist forces to undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era released by the Chinese government on August 10, 2022, aims to give the international community a more thorough and accurate understanding of the Chinese government’s position on the Taiwan question, thus making it easier for the world to see through their despicable and ignorant moves. The white paper, a shining beacon of hope for national reunification in the new era, elaborates on the new starting point for reunification in five aspects.

I. The white paper marks a new starting point for reunification.

The Chinese nation has achieved a historic transformation from standing upright to becoming prosperous and growing in strength. National reunification and rejuvenation are driven by an unstoppable force. We will have a more solid foundation, better conditions, and greater capabilities for achieving reunification. China is more confident than ever that complete reunification is drawing near.

The Taiwan question arose as a result of weakness and chaos in our nation, and it will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality. National reunification is an essential step toward national rejuvenation. China’s complete reunification is a process that cannot be halted. Bearing the mission in mind, we are courageous, confident, and determined to make it.

II. The white paper makes it clear from historical and legal perspectives that Taiwan belongs to China.

Historically, a large number of historical records and annals document the development of Taiwan by the Chinese people in earlier periods. Starting from the Song and Yuan dynasties, Chinese governments of different periods set up administrative bodies to exercise jurisdiction over Taiwan. In 1885, Taiwan’s status was upgraded by the Qing court and it became the 20th province of China.

In 1895, as a result of defeat in a war of aggression against China waged by Japan, the Qing government was forced to cede Taiwan. The Cairo Declaration explicitly stated that all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese, including Formosa (Taiwan) shall be restored to China. The Potsdam Proclamation reiterated that the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out. In 1945, the people of China achieved a great victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, as a result of which Taiwan recovered.

From that point forward, China had recovered Taiwan de jure and de facto through a host of documents with international legal effect. On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded, becoming the successor to the Republic of China (1912-1949), and the Central People’s Government became the only legitimate government of the whole of China. The new government replaced the previous Kuomintang regime in a situation where China, as a subject under international law, did not change and China’s sovereignty and inherent territory did not change.

As a natural result, the government of the PRC should enjoy and exercise China’s full sovereignty, which includes its sovereignty over Taiwan. Resolution 2758 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1971 settled once and for all the political, legal, and procedural issues of China’s representation in the UN, and it covered the whole country, including Taiwan. It also spelled out that China has one single seat in the UN, so there is no such thing as “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”.

When it comes to domestic legislation, the domestic laws of China including the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Anti-Secession Law, and the National Security Law stipulate that Taiwan is a part of China.

There is but one China. Although the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have fallen into a state of protracted political confrontation, the sovereignty and territory of China have never been divided and will never be divided, and Taiwan’s status as part of China’s territory has never changed and will never be allowed to change. This is the real status quo of the Taiwan Straits. Various kinds of perceptions of history are lies that seek to justify “Taiwan independence”. The so-called argument that the status of Taiwan has yet to be determined is complete nonsense.

III. The white paper offers a full summary of the unremitting efforts, major achievements, and valuable experience of the CPC in the course of advancing complete reunification.

The white paper attests to the leading and decisive role of the CPC on the journey toward national reunification and rejuvenation. After the PRC was founded in 1949, China’s Communists, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, made endless efforts, through which, the lawful seat and rights of the PRC in the United Nations were restored and the one-China principle was subscribed to by the majority of countries. This lays important groundwork for peaceful reunification.

China’s Communists, led by Deng Xiaoping, defined the fundamental guideline for peaceful reunification. The CPC introduced the creative and well-conceived concept of One Country, Two Systems.

China’s Communists, led by Jiang Zemin, facilitated agreement across the Straits on the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle. The CPC ensured the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao to China and applied the policy of One Country, Two Systems, which provided valuable experience for the future.

China’s Communists, led by Hu Jintao, pushed for the enactment of the Anti-Secession Law to curb separatist activities in Taiwan and established overall direct two-way links in mail, business, and transport.

China’s Communists, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, developed its overall policy for resolving the Taiwan question in the new era. The CPC and the Chinese government have facilitated the first meeting and direct dialogue between leaders of the two sides since 1949. We have also refined the institutional arrangements, policies, and measures to promote cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation and advance the well-being of the people of Taiwan. Resolute in opposing separatist activities and external interference, the CPC and the Chinese government have taken lawful action against and effectively deterred separatist forces and consolidated the international community’s commitment to the one-China principle.

IV. The white paper analyzes the favorable conditions for, prominent obstacles to an overall trend toward China’s complete reunification.

China’s reunification is now at a new starting point. In particular, the great achievements over four decades of reform, opening up and modernization have had a profound impact on the historical process of resolving the Taiwan question and realizing complete national reunification. The mainland’s influence over and its appeal to Taiwan society will keep growing. We will have a more solid foundation for resolving the Taiwan question and a greater ability to do so. This will give a significant boost to national reunification.

However, the crux of the matter in advancing reunification and maintaining peace in the Taiwan Straits lies in the DPP authorities, whose acts have resulted in tension in cross-Straits relations, endangering peace and stability in Taiwan Straits, and undermining the prospects and restricting the space for peaceful reunification. These are obstacles that must be removed in advancing the process of peaceful reunification. Furthermore, still lost in delusions of hegemony and trapped in a Cold War mindset, some external forces in the US and other countries do their utmost to contain China by exploiting Taiwan as a convenient tool.

Behind the smokescreens of “freedom, democracy, and human rights” and “upholding the rules-based international order”, they deliberately distort the nature of the Taiwan question – which is purely an internal matter for China – and try to deny the legitimacy and justification of the Chinese government in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are concocting a series of bills detrimental to China’s sovereignty, contriving “official” exchanges with Taiwan, increasing arms sales, colluding in the military provocation, and inducing other countries to interfere in Taiwan affairs. Such external interference is a prominent obstacle to China’s reunification.

V. The white paper expounds on the overall policy for advancing the process of national reunification in the new era and the major principles concerning Taiwan.

First and foremost, Peaceful Reunification and One Country, Two Systems are our basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification. The white paper touches upon the Two Systems solution to the Taiwan question, envisioning that after peaceful reunification, Taiwan may continue its current social system and enjoy a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the law. The two social systems will develop side by side for a long time to come.

We will continue working with our compatriots in Taiwan to explore a Two Systems solution to the Taiwan question and increase our efforts toward peaceful reunification. It is stressed in the white paper that peaceful reunification can only be achieved through consultation and discussion as equals. Representatives will be recommended by all political parties and all sectors of society on both sides, and they will engage in democratic consultations on the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, integrated development of the two sides, and the peaceful reunification of our country.

Second, it is pointed out that peaceful cross-Straits relations and integrated development pave the way for peaceful reunification. We will extend integrated development, increase exchanges and cooperation, strengthen bonds, and expand common interests in the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. In this way, we will all identify more closely with the Chinese culture and Chinese nation, and heighten the sense of our shared future. This lays solid foundations for peaceful reunification.

Third, it is noted that China is ready to respond with all necessary means, both peaceful and non-peaceful, to “Taiwan independence” separatist activities and interference by external forces. The white paper reiterates that we are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification, but we will leave no room for separatist activities in any form. We are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification, but we will leave no room for separatist activities in any form. Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances. It is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities. We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines.

Last but not least, it is important to work with our fellow Chinese in Taiwan toward national reunification and rejuvenation. The white paper highlights that the future of Taiwan lies in China’s reunification and the well-being of the people in Taiwan hinges on the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We hope they will stand on the right side of history, be proud of their Chinese identity, and fully consider the position and role of Taiwan in China’s rejuvenation. We hope they will pursue the greater good of the nation, resolutely oppose separatism and any form of external interference, and make a positive contribution to the just cause of China’s peaceful reunification.

VI. The white paper offers a blueprint for broad prospects after the achievement of national reunification.

The white paper lays out for the first time a systematic plan for Taiwan after reunification is achieved, saying that once peaceful reunification is achieved under One Country, Two Systems, it will bring tangible benefits to the people of Taiwan. Specifically, Taiwan will have a vast space for development. Backed up by the vast mainland market, Taiwan’s economy will develop steadier and smoother industrial and supply chains. Many problems that have long afflicted Taiwan’s economy and its people can be resolved through integrated cross-Straits development with all possible connectivity between the two sides.

Next, the rights and interests of the people in Taiwan will be fully protected. Provided that China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests are guaranteed after reunification Taiwan will enjoy a high degree of autonomy as a special administrative region. Taiwan’s social system and its way of life will be fully respected, and the private property, religious beliefs, and lawful rights and interests of the people in Taiwan will be fully protected. All Taiwan compatriots who support the reunification of the country and rejuvenation of the nation will be the masters of the region, contributing to and benefitting from China’s development. With a powerful motherland in support, the people of Taiwan will enjoy greater security and dignity and stand upright and rock-solid in the international community.

Furthermore, both sides of the Taiwan straits will share the triumph of national rejuvenation. After reunification, we can leverage complementary strengths in pursuit of mutual benefit and common development and join hands to make the Chinese nation stronger and more prosperous. We will work together to refine and implement the Two Systems solution to the Taiwan question, to improve the institutional arrangements for implementing the One Country, Two Systems policy, and to ensure lasting peace and stability in Taiwan.

At last, to what extent foreign affairs will be allowed in Taiwan is discussed. After reunification, foreign countries can continue to develop economic and cultural relations with Taiwan. With the approval of the central government of China, they may set up consulates or other official and quasi-official institutions in Taiwan, international organizations and agencies may establish offices, relevant international conventions can be applied, and relevant international conferences can be held there.

With a more solid foundation than ever before, the trend of China’s complete reunification cannot be stopped. China will remain firmly committed to the goal of reunification. Any attempt to obstruct China’s complete reunification will prove to be hopeless and defeated, as complete reunification has bright prospects. As long as Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits devote our ingenuity and energy to the same goal, we will eventually accomplish the historic mission of national reunification and share the triumph of national rejuvenation.

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