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Pelosi’s Provocative Visit to China’s Taiwan Region Means Four Violations

Ma Xinmin
Chinese Ambassador to Sudan

On August 2nd and 3rd, in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region, which has upgraded official exchanges and substantive relations with Taiwan. Her visit seriously violates the One-China principle and China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has aroused strong indignation among the Chinese people and widespread opposition from the international community. Her visit is a major political provocation and political farce that constitutes four violations.

Her visit violates universally recognized basic principles of international law on national sovereignty and non-interference in other’s internal affairs. The Taiwan question is one left over from the civil war in China and is purely China’s internal affair. In the 1940s, the Kuomintang’s government of the Republic of China was overthrown. On October 1, 1949, the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China was established as the sole legal government of China.

However, a group of military and political officials of the Kuomintang clique took refuge in China’s Taiwan Province as a result of their defeat, and with the support of the then US administration, set up a regime by force of arms in Taiwan, resulting that the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have been in a special state of long-term separation and political confrontation.

Although such political confrontation resulting from the civil war has yet come to an end, the legal status of Taiwan being a part of China does not change. Nor is Taiwan vested with any position or rights in international law. As a sovereign state, de jure and de facto, the People’s Republic of China has the right to exercise sovereignty over its entire territory including Taiwan at home and to exercise the right of independence and representation on international occasions. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. The Taiwan authorities are merely the local government taking control of a part of China’s territory. They are anti-central government political forces surviving the civil war.

Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan and her support for “Taiwan Independence” separatists’ attempts to separate the island from China is an interference in China’s internal affairs, an infringement of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a gross violation of the principle of non-interference in international law. Universally recognized norms of international law prohibit interference in the civil war of another state. The Declaration on Principles of International Law clearly provides that no State shall ‘interfere in civil strife in another State’. It is an international practice to consider assistance with or support for a country’s separatist forces as illegal interference in that country’s affairs.

Second, her visit is a serious violation of the US’s commitment in the three China-US joint communiqués and the commitment made by the US leadership. In the Shanghai Communiqué released in 1972, the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations in 1978, and the August 17 Communiqué released in 1982, the US made a clear commitment that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China. In particular, the US clearly pledged in the Sino-US Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations that “the United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan”.

This is a legally binding international agreement. In November 2021 and in March 2022, US President Biden made the “five notes” commitment twice in his phone talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying that the US does not support “Taiwan Independence”. Since China and the United States established diplomatic relations in 1979, Successive U.S. Secretaries of State have stated on various occasions that the U.S. abides by the one-China principles. This is the policy statement and commitment made by the US leadership. It is also a due international obligation for the US.

Any US government institution, executive, legislative, and judicial alike, must act on the foreign policy and international obligation recognized and committed to by the US government. As the third-highest ranking figure in the US government, House Speaker Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan by US military aircraft is a grave breach of the US government’s commitment. Her acting in bad faith once again reveals the hypocrisy of the US side.

Third, her visit is a serious violation of the one-China principle widely accepted by the international community. There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This is at the heart of the one-China principle. Since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, 181 countries including the US have established diplomatic relations with China based on the one-China principle.

This fully demonstrates that the one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community. It is also the political and legal basis for establishing and developing diplomatic relations with China. The one-China principle is binding on all these countries.

After Pelosi visited Taiwan, more than 160 countries and international organizations made their voice for justice heard. They reiterated their commitment to the one-China policy and expressed support for China’s efforts to firmly uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister-designate Ali Al-Sadiq said in a press statement that Sudan supports the one-China policy, considering Taiwan an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and supports the efforts of China in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. This attests to high-level political mutual trust and deep friendship between China and Sudan. China speaks highly of the statement.

Fourth, her visit is a serious violation of the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. The one-China principle is a consensus widely accepted by all countries and also by international and regional organizations like the UN. In October 1971, the 26th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 that decided to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and recognize the representatives of its government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the UN and expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the UN and in all the organizations related to it. Representatives of many countries including Sudan stated clearly when the resolution was under consultation that the lawful seat of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the UN be restored.

The representatives of the Government of the PRC are the only lawful representatives of China to the UN, taking the place of representatives of Chiang Kai-shek, which marks that China’s representation in international organizations was legally addressed. A few days ago, the UN Secretary-general António Guterres and his spokesman said respectively that the UN follows the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. The key content of such resolution is about the one-China policy that Taiwan is a part of China. These remarks show their firm commitment to the UN Chart and the UN General Assembly 2758.

All countermeasures announced by China are formulated on a legal basis. It is a country’s basic right under international law to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any sovereign state has the right to use all necessary means in accordance with international law and its domestic law, either peaceful or non-peaceful, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Recently, the so-called “Ministry of National Defense” in Taiwan called China’s military drills to constitute “targeted deterrence”, which runs counter to Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibiting the threat or use of force.

This is a total abuse and misinterpretation of international law. Article 2(4) prohibits the threat or use of force in international relations between states. The prescription does not include the domestic use of force to safeguard their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Therefore, the state is entitled to resort to force in suppressing the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Chinese military drills in the waters of Taiwan Island are a necessary and legitimate measure to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity and a necessary and legitimate countermeasure against the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and foreign interference. Currently, effective laws including the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Anti-Secession Law of the People’s Republic of China, and the National Security Law of the People’s Republic of China, provide for adequate legal grounds and complete judicial procedures for punishment against “Taiwan Independence” separatists. Not a single “Taiwan independence” separatist could escape from punishment by national law. On issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, China has no room for compromise or concession. No one should underestimate the strong resolve, determination, and capability of the Chinese people in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The trend of the world, vast and mighty, prospers those who follow it and perishes those who go against it. China must be and will surely be reunited. This is an unstoppable trend of history. The provocative visit of Pelosi and her likes goes against the historical trend and undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They will boomerang in the end.

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