Op-Ed | How to Properly View the Taiwan Question

H. E. Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

Link to Source: www.thecanadafiles.com

Link to Source: www.fmprc.gov.cn

Image of China’s ambassador to Canada, H. E. Cong Peiwu. Provided by: China’s embassy in Canada.

Written by: H. E. Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

Recently, some Canadians have been hyping up the Taiwan question, spreading false information and unfounded arguments, and creating a narrative trap. Canada’s parliament even invited Taiwan independence” separatists to testify about the Taiwan question, who made wild talks and seriously misled the Canadian public’s understanding of the Taiwan question. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify and set the record straight.

The utterly absurd claim that Taiwan is not part of China”

Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times. This statement has a sound basis in history and jurisprudence. Taiwan is part of China — this is an indisputable fact. In 1895, Japan forced the Qing government to cede Taiwan after Japan’s war of aggression against China. In 1943, the Cairo Declaration clearly stipulated that all the territories Japan had stolen from China, including Taiwan, should be restored to China. The Potsdam Proclamation of 1945 reiterated that The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out.” On October 25, 1945, the Chinese government announced that it was resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan and China had recovered Taiwan de jure and de facto. In 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded, becoming the successor to the Republic of China, and the Central People’s Government of PRC became the sole legal government of the whole of China. The new government replaced the previous Kuomintang regime in a situation where China, as a subject of international law, did not change.

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have fallen into a state of protracted political confrontation. But 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. Attempts by certain Canadians to play word games, to seek to distort facts and concepts, and to find excuses for interfering in China’s internal affairs will not change the historical and legal fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. Such attempts are doomed to fail.

The completely groundless claim that Canada’s one-China policy differs from the one-China principle”

There is only 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 the most comprehensive and accurate meaning of the one-China principle, and it is the only meaning of the principle. There are no grounds or room for any customized” interpretation. The one-China principle is a prevailing international consensus and basic norm in international relations. It is affirmed in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758. It is the political foundation for interactions between China and all countries in the world. To date, 182 countries have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. This fully shows that standing up for the one-China principle is the right thing to do. It has the overwhelming support of the international community and represents the trend of the world.

Be it the one-China principle or the one-China policy, their essence is both about one China”. If one recognizes one China”, one should implement this principle in concrete policies and actions, and cannot treat Taiwan as an independent country or political entity, and engage in official contacts or exchanges with Taiwan in any form. Additionally, the one-China principle cannot be interpreted by countries in light of their respective one-China policies. Otherwise, it would amount to an attempt to fudge, hollow out and distort the one-China principle and would constitute gross interference in China’s internal affairs. This interference would inevitably undermine mutual political trust and jeopardize the political foundation of bilateral relations.

The false claim that China is unilaterally changing the status quo in the Taiwan Strait”

What is the status quo in the Taiwan Strait? The facts are crystal clear. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. This is the true status quo of the Taiwan Strait, which has not changed since ancient times and will not change. China must be reunified, and will surely be reunified. Taiwan’s future lies in its reunification with the motherland.

Who is trying to change this status quo? It is pretty clear. Those who continue to promote incremental independence”, push for de-sinicization”, and create the false impression of two Chinas” or one China, one Taiwan” in the international arena are trying to change the status quo. Those who continually fudge and hollow out the one-China principle and condone and support separatist activities for Taiwan independence” are trying to change the status quo. It must be pointed out that Taiwan independence” and cross-Strait peace and stability are as irreconcilable as fire and water. Those who talk about peace in the Taiwan Strait but refuse to oppose Taiwan independence” are in effect conniving at and supporting separatist activities, which is bound to have a serious impact on cross-Strait peace and stability.

To keep the Taiwan Strait peaceful and stable, it is essential to unequivocally uphold the one-China principle and oppose Taiwan independence” and foreign interference. We will work with the rest of the world to uphold the one-China principle, defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, forestall any attempt to use the Taiwan question to contain China, and work for true peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that no country in the world can tolerate the division of its own territory. The reunification of China will not harm the legitimate interests of any other country. On the contrary, it will bring more development opportunities to all countries and create more positive momentum for prosperity and stability in the world. We hope that some individuals in Canada recognize the sound basis of the Taiwan question in history and jurisprudence, stop spreading false information and unfounded arguments related to Taiwan, and that the Canadian government earnestly adheres to the one-China principle and refuses to be taken advantage of by Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

H.E. Cong Peiwu is China’s ambassador to Canada.