August 1993, Beijing, China
It is the sacred right of each
and every sovereign State and a fundamental principle of
international law to safeguard national unity and
territorial integrity. The Charter of the United Nations
specifically stipulates that the United Nations and its
Members shall refrain from any action against the
territorial integrity or political independence of any of
its Members or any State and shall not intervene in matters
which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of
any State. The United Nations Declaration on Principles of
International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and
Cooperation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of
the United Nations points out that any attempt aimed at the
partial or total disruption of the national unity,
territorial integrity or political independence of a State
or country is incompatible with the purposes and principles
of the Charter of the United Nations.
modem history of China was a record of subjection to
aggression, dismemberment and Humiliation by foreign powers.
It was also a chronicle of the Chinese people's
valiant struggles for national independence and in defense
of their state sovereignty, territorial integrity and
national dignity. The origin and evolution of the Taiwan
question are closely linked with that period of history.
For various reasons Taiwan is still separated from
the mainland. Unless and until this state of affairs is
brought to an end, the trauma on the Chinese nation will not
be healed and the Chinese people's struggle for national
reunification and territorial integrity will continue.
What is the present state of the Taiwan
question? What is the crux of the problem? What
are the position and views of the Chinese Government
regarding the settlement of this issue? In order to
facilitate a better understanding by the international
community, it is necessary to elucidate the following
I. Taiwan -- an Inalienable Part of
Lying off the southeastern coast of the
China mainland, Taiwan is China's largest island and forms
an integral whole with the mainland.
has belonged to China since ancient times. It was
known as Yizhou or Liuqiu in antiquities. Many historical
records and annals documented the development of Taiwan by
the Chinese people in earlier periods. References
to this effect were to be found, among others, in Seaboard
Geographic Gazetteer compiled more than 1,700 years ago by
Shen Ying of the State of Wu during the period of the Three
Kingdoms. This was the world's earliest written account of
Taiwan. Several expeditions, each numbering over ten
thousand men, had been sent to Taiwan by the State of Wu
(third century A.D.) and the Sui Dynasty (seventh century
A.D.) respectively. Since early seventeenth century the
Chinese people began to step up the development of Taiwan.
Their numbers topped one hundred thousand at the end of the
century. By 1893 (19th year of the reign of Qing Emperor
Guangxu) their population exceeded 2.54 million people in
507,000 or more households. That was a 25-fold increase in
200 years. They brought in a more advanced mode of
production and settled the whole length and breadth of
Taiwan. Thanks to the determined efforts and hard toil of
the pioneers, the development of the island as a whole
greatly accelerated. This was the historical fact of how
Taiwan, like the other parts of China, came to be opened up
and settled by the Chinese people of various nationalities.
From the very beginning the Taiwan society derived
from the source of the Chinese cultural tradition.
This basic fact had not changed even during the
half century of Japanese occupation. The history
of Taiwan's development is imbued with the blood, sweat, and
ingenuity of the Chinese people including the local ethnic
Chinese governments of different
periods set up administrative bodies to exercise
jurisdiction over Taiwan. As early as in the
mid-12th century the Song Dynasty set up a garrison in
Penghu, putting the territory under the jurisdiction of
Jinjiang County of Fujian's Quanzhou Prefecture.
The Yuan Dynasty installed an agency of patrol and
inspection in Penghu to administer the territory.
During the mid- and late 16th century the Ming
Dynasty reinstated the once abolished agency and sent
reinforcements to Penghu in order to ward off foreign
invaders. In 1662 (first year of the reign of Qing
Emperor Kangxi) General Zheng Chenggong (known in the West
as Koxinga) instituted Chengtian Prefecture on Taiwan.
Subsequently, the Qing government expanded the
administrative structure in Taiwan, thereby strengthening
its rule over the territory. In 1684 (23rd year of
the reign of Emperor Kangxi) a Taiwan-Xiamen Patrol Command
and a Taiwan Prefecture Administration were set up under the
jurisdiction of Fujian Province. These in turn
exercised jurisdiction over three counties on the island:
Taiwan (present- 2-,V Tainan), Fengshan (present-day
Gaoxiong) and Zhuluo (present-day Jiayi). In 1714
(53rd year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi) the Qing
government ordered the mapping of Taiwan to determine its
size. In 1721 (60th year of the reign of Emperor
Kangxi) an office of imperial supervisor for inspecting
Taiwan was created and the Taiwan-Xiamen Patrol Command was
renamed Prefecture Administration of Taiwan and Xiamen,
incorporating the subsequently-created Zhanghua County and
Danshui Canton. In 1727 (5th year of the reign of
Emperor Yongzheng) the administration on the island was
reconstituted as the Prefecture Administration of Taiwan
(which was later renamed Prefecture Command for Patrol of
Taiwan) and incorporated the new Penghu Canton.
The territory then became officially known as
Taiwan. In order to upgrade the administration of
Taiwan, the Qing government created Taibei Prefecture,
Jilong Canton and three counties of Danshui, Xinzhu and
Yilan in 1875 (1st year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu).
In 1885 (11th year of the reign of Emperor
Guangxu), the government formally made Taiwan a full
province covering three prefectures and one sub-prefecture
and incorporating 11 counties and 5 cantons. Liu
Mingchuan was appointed first Governor of Taiwan.
During his tenure of office, railways were laid,
mines opened, telegraph service installed, merchant ships
built, industries started and new-style schools set up.
Considerable social, economic and cultural
advancement in Taiwan was achieved as a result.
After the Chinese people's victory in the war
against Japanese aggression in 1945, the Chinese government
reinstated its administrative authority in Taiwan Province.
Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits
carried out a prolonged, unremitting struggle against
foreign invasion and occupation of Taiwan. Since
the late 15th century Western colonialists started to grab
and conquer colonies in a big way. In 1624 (4th
year of the reign of Ming Emperor Tianqi) Dutch colonialists
invaded and occupied the southern part of Taiwan.
Two years later Spanish colonialists seized the
northern part of Taiwan. In 1642 (15th year of the
reign of Ming Emperor Chongzhen) the Dutch evicted the
Spaniards and took over north Taiwan. The Chinese
people on both sides of the Straits waged various forms of
struggle including armed insurrections against the invasion
and occupation of Taiwan by foreign colonialists.
In 1661 (18th year of the reign of Qing Emperor
Shunzhi) General Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) led an expedition
to Taiwan and expelled the Dutch colonialists from the
island in the following year.
Japan launched a
war of aggression against China in 1894 (20th year of the
reign of Qing Emperor Guangxu). In the ensuing
year, as a result of defeat the Qing government was forced
to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding Taiwan to Japan.
This wanton betrayal and humiliation shocked the
whole nation and touched off a storm of protests.
A thousand or more candidates from all 18
provinces including Taiwan who had assembled in Beijing for
the Imperial Examination signed a strongly-worded petition
opposing the ceding of Taiwan. In Taiwan itself,
people wailed and bemoaned the betrayal and went on general
strikes. General Liu Yongfu and others of the
garrison command stood with Taiwan compatriots and put up a
fierce fight against the Japanese landing forces.
To support this struggle, people on the mainland,
particularly in the southeastern region, showed their
solidarity by generous donations or organizing volunteers to
Taiwan to fight the Japanese forces. Taiwan
compatriots never ceased their dauntless struggle throughout
the Japanese occupation. Initially, they formed
insurgent groups to wage guerrilla warfare for as long as
seven years. When the Revolution of 1911 overthrew
the Qing monarchy they in turn lent support to their
mainland compatriots by staging more than a dozen armed
insurrections. The 1920s and 1930s witnessed
surging waves of mass action sweeping across the island
against Japanese colonial rule.
In 1937 the
Chinese people threw themselves into an all-out war of
resistance against Japanese aggression. In its
declaration of war against Japan, the Chinese Government
proclaimed that all treaties, conventions, agreements, and
contracts regarding relations between China and Japan,
including the Treaty of Shimonoseki, had been abrogated.
The declaration stressed that China would recover
Taiwan, Penghu and the four northeastern provinces.
After eight years of grueling war against Japanese
aggression the Chinese people won final victory and
recovered the lost territory of Taiwan in 1945.
Taiwan compatriots displayed an outburst of
passion and celebrated the great triumph of their return to
the fold of the motherland by setting off big bangs of
fireworks and performing rites to communicate the event to
The international community
has acknowledged the fact that Taiwan belongs to China.
The Chinese people's war of resistance against
Japanese aggression, being part of the world-wide struggle
against Fascism, received extensive support from people all
over the world. During the Second World War China,
the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France
and others formed an alliance to oppose the Axis of Germany,
Japan and Italy. The Cairo Declaration issued by
China, the United States and Great Britain on 1 December
1943 stated: "It is the purpose of the three great
Allies that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in
the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the
beginning of the First World War in 1914, and that all the
territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as
Manchuria, Formosa [Taiwan] and the Pescadores [Penghu],
shall be restored to China." The Potsdam Proclamation
signed by China, the United States and Great Britain on 26
July 1945 (subsequently adhered to by the Soviet Union)
reiterated: "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall
be carried out." On 15 August of the same year, Japan
declared surrender. The instrument of Japan's
surrender stipulated that "Japan hereby accepts the
provisions in the declaration issued by the heads of the
Governments of the United States, China and Great Britain on
July 26, 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." On 25 October the
ceremony for accepting Japan's surrender in Taiwan Province
of the China war theater of the Allied powers was held in
Taibei. On the occasion the chief officer for
accepting the surrender proclaimed on behalf of the Chinese
government that from that day forward Taiwan and the Penghu
Archipelago had again been incorporated formally into the
territory of China and that the territory, people, and
administration had now been placed under the sovereignty of
China. From that point in time forward, Taiwan and
Penghu had been put back under the jurisdiction of Chinese
Since the founding of the
People's Republic of China, 157 countries have established
diplomatic relations with China. All these
countries recognize that there is only one China and that
the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole
legal government of China and Taiwan is part of China.
II. Origin of the Taiwan
Taiwan was returned to China de jure
and de facto at the end of the Second World War.
It became an issue only as an aftermath of the
ensuing anti-popular civil war started by Kuomintang, and
more especially because of intervention by foreign forces.
Taiwan question and civil war launched by
Kuomintang. During the war of resistance against
Japanese aggression the Chinese Communist Party and other
patriotic groups pressed Kuomintang into a national united
front with the Communist Party to fight Japanese imperialist
aggression. After victory of the war the two
Parties should have joined hands to work for the resurgence
of China. But the Kuomintang clique headed by
Chiang Kai-shek flouted the people's fervent aspirations for
peace and for building an independent democratic and
prosperous new China. Relying on U.S. support,
this clique tore up the 10 October 1945 agreement between
the two Parties and launched an all-out anti-popular civil
war. The Chinese people were compelled to respond
with a people's liberation war which was to last more than
three years under the leadership of the Communist Party.
Since the Kuomintang clique had already been
spurned by the people of all nationalities for its reign of
terror, the government of the "Republic of China"
in Nanjing was finally overthrown by the Chinese people.
The People's Republic of China was proclaimed on 1
October 1949 and the Government of the new People's Republic
became the sole legal government of China. A group
of military and political officials of the Kuomintang clique
took refuge in Taiwan and, with the support of the then U.S.
administration, created the division between the two sides
of the Straits.
Taiwan question and
responsibility of the United States. Against the
backdrop of East-West confrontation in the wake of the
Second World War and guided by its conceived global strategy
and national interest considerations, the U.S. government
gave full support to the Kuomintang, providing it with
money, weapons and advisors to carry on the civil war and
block the advance of the Chinese people's resolution.
However, the U.S. government never achieved its
objective. The White Paper on United States
Relations with China released by the Department of State in
1949 and Secretary of State Dean Acheson's letter of
transmittal to President Harry S. Truman had to admit this.
Dean Acheson lamented in his letter: "The
unfortunate but inescapable fact is that the ominous result
of the civil war in China was beyond the control of the
government of the United States. ... Nothing that was left
undone by this country has contributed to it. It
was the product of internal Chinese forces, forces which
this country tried to influence but could not.
At the time of the founding
of the People's Republic of China the then U.S.
administration could have pulled itself from the quagmire of
China's civil war. But it failed to do so.
Instead, it adopted a policy of isolation and
containment of New China. When the Korean War
broke out, it started armed intervention in the inter-Taiwan
Straits relations which were entirely China's internal
affairs. On 27 June 1950 President Truman
announced: "I have ordered the Seventh Fleet to prevent
any attack on Formosa." Thus the Seventh Fleet invaded
the Taiwan Straits and the U.S. 13th Air Force set up base
in Taiwan. In December 1954 the U.S. concluded
with the Taiwan authorities a so-called mutual defense
treaty placing China's Taiwan Province under U.S.
"protection". The erroneous policy of
the U.S. government of continued interference in China's
internal affairs led to prolonged and intense confrontation
in the Taiwan Straits area and henceforth the Taiwan
question became a major dispute between China and the United
In order to ease tension in the Taiwan
Straits area and seek ways of solving the dispute between
the two countries, the Chinese Government started dialogues
with the United States from the mid-1950s onwards.
The two countries held 136 sessions of talks
at ambassadorial level from August 1955 to February 1970.
However, no progress had been made in that period
on the key issue of easing and removing tension in the
Taiwan Straits area. It was not until late 1960s
and early 1970s when the international situation had
undergone changes and as New China had gained in strength
that the U.S. began to readjust its China policy and the
relations between the two countries started a thawing.
In October 1971 the United Nations General
Assembly adopted at its 26th session Resolution 2758 which
restored all the lawful rights of the People's Republic of
China in the United Nations and expelled the
"representatives" of the Taiwan authorities from
the U.N. U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China in
February 1972 in the course of which the two countries
issued a joint communiqué in Shanghai stating that:
"The U.S. side declared: the United States acknowledges
that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait
maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of
China. The United States Government does not
challenge that position."
1978 the U.S. Government accepted the three principles
proposed by the Chinese Government for the establishment of
diplomatic relations between the two countries, namely, the
United States should sever "diplomatic relations"
and abrogate the "mutual defense treaty" with the
Taiwan authorities and withdraw U.S. military
forces from Taiwan. On 1 January 1979 China and
the United States formally established diplomatic relations.
The Communiqué on the Establishment of
Diplomatic Relations said 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....... The
Government of the United States of America acknowledges the
Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is
part of China." Normalization of Sino-U.S. relations
was thus achieved.
scarcely three months after the event, a so-called Taiwan
Relations Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed
into law by the President. A domestic legislation
of the U.S. as it was, this Act contained many clauses that
contravened the communiqué on the establishment of
diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. and the
principles of international law, and seriously prejudiced
the rights and interests of the Chinese people.
Invoking this legislation, the U.S. Government has
continued its arms sales to Taiwan, interference in China's
internal affairs and obstruction to Taiwan's reunification
with the mainland.
In order to resolve the
issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the Chinese and the U.S.
governments negotiated and reached an agreement on 17 August
1982. A communiqué bearing the same date
became the third joint communiqué governing Sino-U.S.
relations. In that communiqué the U.S.
Government stated that: "It does not seek to carry out
a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms
sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in Qualitative or in
Quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent
years since the establishment of diplomatic relations
between the United States and China and that it intends
gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading,
over a period of time, to a final resolutions.” Yet in
the past dozen or more years the U.S. Government has not
only failed to implement the communiqué in earnest, but
has repeatedly contravened it. In September 1992
the U.S. Government even decided to sell 150 F-16
high-performance fighter aircraft to Taiwan. This
action of the U.S. Government has added a new stumbling
block in the way of the development of Sino-U.S. relations
and settlement of the Taiwan question.
clear from the foregoing that the U.S. Government is
responsible for holding up the settlement of the Taiwan
question. Since the 1970s many Americans of vision
and goodwill in or outside the administration have
contributed much by way of helping to resolve the
differences between China and the U.S. on the Taiwan
question. The aforesaid three joint
communiqués testify to their effort and contribution of
which the Chinese Government and people are highly
appreciative. On the other hand, one cannot fail
to note that there are people in the U.S. who still do not
want to see a reunified China. They have cooked up
various pretexts and exerted influence to obstruct the
settlement of the Taiwan question.
Government is convinced that the American and the Chinese
peoples are friendly to each other and that the normal
development of the relations between the two countries
accords with the long-term interests and common aspiration
of both peoples. Both countries should cherish the
three hard-won joint communiqués guiding the
development of bilateral relations. As long as
both sides abide by the principles enshrined in those
communiqués, respect each other and set store by their
overall common interests, it will not be difficult to settle
the Taiwan question that has been left over from history and
Sino-U.S. relations will surely see steady improvement and
III. The Chinese
Government's Basic Position Regarding
the Taiwan Question
To settle the Taiwan
question and achieve national reunification --this is a
sacrosanct mission of the entire Chinese people.
The Chinese Government has persistently worked
towards this end since the founding of the People's
Republic. Its basic position on this question is:
peaceful reunification; one country, two systems.
Peaceful reunification; one country, two
systems -- how has this position been formulated?
The Chinese Government conceived a peaceful
settlement of the Taiwan question as early as in the 1950s.
In May 1955 the late Premier Zhou Enlai said at a
NPC Standing Committee meeting that two alternatives were
open to the Chinese people for the solution of the Taiwan
question -- by resort to war or by peaceful means.
The Chinese people would strive for a peaceful
solution wherever possible, he affirmed. In April
1956 the late Chairman Mao Zedong put forward thoughts for
policy-making such as "peace is the best option",
"all patriots are of one family" and "it is
never too late to join the ranks of patriots".
However, those wishes have not come to fruition
for reasons such as interference by foreign forces.
Major changes took place in and outside China
in the 1970s. Diplomatic ties were established and
relations normalized between China and the United States.
The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central
Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to shift
the focus of the work of the Party and the State to the
economic modernization programme. In the meantime,
people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, compatriots of
Hong Kong and Macao as well as overseas Chinese and people
of Chinese descent all expressed their fervent hope that the
two sides of the Straits would join hands to work for a
resurgence of China. It was against this
historical background that the Chinese Government formulated
the position of "peaceful reunification; one country,
two systems". The position takes the overall
national interests and the future of the country into
consideration. It respects history as well as the
prevailing situation. It is realistic and takes
care of the interests of all.
On 1 January
1979 the Standing Committee of the National People's
Congress of the People's Republic of China issued a message
to compatriots in Taiwan, pronouncing the Chinese
Government's basic position regarding peaceful settlement of
the Taiwan question. It called for the holding of
talks between the two sides of the Straits to seek an end to
the military confrontation. It pledged that in the
pursuit of national reunification, the Government "will
respect the status quo on Taiwan and the views of people of
all walks of life there and adopt reasonable policies and
In a statement on 30 September
1981 the late Chairman Ye Jianying of the NPC Standing
Committee further elaborated the policy and principles for
the settlement of the Taiwan question. He affirmed
that "after the country is reunified, Taiwan can enjoy
a high degree of autonomy as a special administrative
region" and proposed that talks be held on an equal
footing between the ruling Parties on each side of the
Straits, namely, the Chinese Communist Party and the
Referring to Ye Jianying's
remarks, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping pointed out on 11
January 1982 that this in effect meant "one country'
two systems", i.e., on the premise of national
reunification, the main body of the nation would continue
with its socialist system while Taiwan could maintain
On 26 June 1983 Deng Xiaoping
further enunciated the concept of peaceful reunification,
stressing that the crucial point was national reunification.
He went on to expound the Government's policy on
reunification and on the creation of a Taiwan special
On 12 October 1992
General Secretary Jiang Zemin of the CPC Central Committee
pointed out: "We shall work steadfastly for the great
cause, adhering to the principles of peaceful reunification
and 'one country, two systems......... We reiterate that the
Chinese Communist Party is ready to establish contact with
the Chinese Kuomintang at the earliest possible date to
create conditions for talks on officially ending the state
of hostility between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits and
gradually realizing peaceful reunification.
Representatives from other parties, mass
organizations and all circles on both sides of the Taiwan
Straits could be invited to join in such talks."
Basic Contents of "peaceful
reunification; one country, two systems".
This position is an important component of the
theory and practice of building socialism with Chinese
characteristics and a fundamental state policy of the
Chinese Government which will not change for a long time to
come. Its basic contents are as follows:
1. Only one China. There is only one
China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China
and the seat of China's central government is in Beijing.
This is a universally recognized fact as well as
the premise for a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan
The Chinese Government is firmly
against any words or deeds designed to split China's
sovereignty and territorial integrity. It opposes
"two Chinas", "one China, one Taiwan",
"one country, two governments" or any attempt or
act that could lead to "independence of Taiwan".
The Chinese people on both sides of the Straits
all believe that there is only one China and espouse
national reunification. Taiwan's status as an
inalienable part of China has been determined and cannot be
changed. "Self- determination" for
Taiwan is out of the question.
of two systems. On the premise of one China,
socialism on the mainland and capitalism on Taiwan can
coexist and develop side by side for a long time without one
swallowing up the other. This concept has largely
taken account of the actual situation in Taiwan and
practical interests of our compatriots there. It
will be a unique feature and important innovation in the
state system of a reunified China.
reunification, Taiwan's current socioeconomic system, its
way of life as well as economic and cultural ties with
foreign countries can remain unchanged. Private
property, including houses and land, as well as business
ownership, legal inheritance and overseas Chinese and
foreign investments on the island will all be protected by
3. A high degree of autonomy.
After reunification, Taiwan will become a special
administrative region. It will be distinguished
from the other provinces or regions of China by its high
degree of autonomy. It will have its own
administrative and legislative powers, an independent
judiciary and the right of adjudication on the island.
It will run its own party, political, military,
economic and financial affairs. It may conclude
commercial and cultural agreements with foreign countries
and enjoy certain rights in foreign affairs. It
may keep its military forces and the mainland will not
dispatch troops or administrative personnel to the island.
On the other hand, representatives of the
government of the special administrative region and those
from different circles of Taiwan may be appointed to senior
posts in the central government and participate in the
running of national affairs.
negotiations. It is the common aspiration of the
entire Chinese people to achieve reunification of the
country by peaceful means through contacts and negotiations.
People on both sides of the Straits are all
Chinese. It would be a great tragedy for all if
China's territorial integrity and sovereignty were to be
split and its people were to be drawn into a fratricide.
Peaceful reunification will greatly enhance the
cohesion of the Chinese nation. It will facilitate
Taiwan's socioeconomic stability and development and promote
the resurgence and prosperity of China as a whole.
In order to put an end to hostility and
achieve peaceful reunification, the two sides should enter
into contacts and negotiations at the earliest possible
date. On the premise of one China, both sides can
discuss any subject, including the modality of negotiations,
the question of what Parties, groups and personalities may
participate as well as any other matters of concern to the
Taiwan side. So long as the two sides sit down and
talk, they will always be able to find a mutually acceptable
Taking into account the prevailing
situation on both sides of the Straits, the Chinese
Government has proposed that pending reunification the two
sides should, according to the principle of mutual respect,
complementarity and mutual benefit, actively promote
economic cooperation and other exchanges. Direct
trade, postal, air and shipping services and two-way visits
should be started in order to pave the way for the peaceful
reunification of the country.
reunification is a set policy of the Chinese Government.
However, any sovereign state is entitled to use
any means it deems necessary, including military ones, to
uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Chinese Government is under no obligation to
undertake any commitment to any foreign power or people
intending to split China as to what means it might use to
handle its own domestic affairs.
It should be
pointed out that the Taiwan question is purely an internal
affair of China and bears no analogy to the cases of Germany
and Korea which were brought about as a result of
international accords at the end of the Second World War.
Therefore, the Taiwan question should not be
placed on a par with the situation of Germany or Korea.
The Chinese Government has always opposed applying
the German or Korean formulas to Taiwan. The
Taiwan question should and entirely can be resolved
judiciously through bilateral consultations and within the
framework of one China.
IV. Relations Across
Evolution and Stumbling
The present division between the two
sides of the Taiwan Straits is a misfortune for the Chinese
nation. All the Chinese people are yearning for an
early end to this agonizing situation.
order to enable normal movement of people across the Straits
and to achieve reunification of the country, the Chinese
Government has made proposals towards this end and, at the
same time, adopted measures to step up the development of
On the political
plane, policy adjustments have been made with a view to
breaking down the mentality of hostility. The
Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's
Procuratorate have decided respectively that people who had
gone to Taiwan would no longer be prosecuted for offenses
prior to the founding of the People's Republic of China.
On the military plane, initiatives have been
taken to ease military confrontation across the Straits.
Shelling of Jinmen and other islands have been
discontinued. Some forward defense positions and
observation posts along the Fujian coast have been
transformed into economic development zones or tourist
On the economic plane, doors have
been flung open to facilitate the flow of goods and people.
Businessmen from Taiwan are welcome to invest or
trade on the mainland. They are accorded
preferential treatment and legal safeguards.
The Chinese Government has also adopted a
positive attitude and taken measures to encourage bilateral
exchanges and cooperation in areas such as two-way travels,
post and communications as well as scientific, cultural,
sports, academic and journalistic activities. A
non-governmental Association for Relations Across the Taiwan
Straits has been set up and authorized by the Government to
liaise with the Straits Exchange Foundation and other
relevant non-governmental bodies in Taiwan for the purpose
of upholding the legitimate rights and interests of people
on both sides and promoting inter-Straits relations.
Such policies and measures of the Chinese
Government have won the understanding and support of more
and more Taiwan compatriots, compatriots in Hong Kong and
Macao as well as overseas Chinese and people of Chinese
descent. On their part, Taiwan compatriots have
contributed tremendously to the development of inter-Straits
relations. In recent years the Taiwan authorities
have in turn made readjustments in their policy regarding
the mainland. They have taken steps to ease the
situation, such as allowing people to visit relatives on the
mainland, gradually reducing the restrictions on
people-to-people exchanges and contact, expanding indirect
trade, permitting indirect investment and cutting red tape
in inter-Straits post, telecommunications and bank
remittance services. All these are conducive to
better interchanges. The past few years have
witnessed rapid growth of economic relations and trade as
well as increasing mutual visits and sundry exchanges across
the Straits. The Wang Daohan--Koo Chen-fu Talks in
April 1993 resulted in four agreements, marking a step
forward of historic significance in inter-Straits relations.
Thus an atmosphere of relaxation prevails in the
Taiwan Straits for the first time in the past four decades.
This is auspicious to peaceful reunification.
It should be pointed out that notwithstanding
a certain measure of easing up by the Taiwan authorities,
their current policy vis-a-vis the mainland still seriously
impedes the development of relations across the Straits as
well as the reunification of the country. They
talk about the necessity of a reunified China, but their
deeds are always a far cry from the principle of one China.
They try to prolong Taiwan's separation from the
mainland and refuse to hold talks on peaceful reunification.
They have even set up barriers to curb the further
development of the interchanges across the Straits.
In recent years the clamors for "Taiwan
independence" on the island have become shriller,
casting a shadow over the course of relations across the
Straits and the prospect of peaceful reunification of the
country. The "Taiwan independence"
fallacy has a complex social-historical root and
international background. But the Taiwan
authorities have, in effect, abetted this fallacy by its own
policy of rejecting peace negotiations, restricting
interchanges across the Straits and lobbying for "dual
recognition" or "two Chinas" in the
international arena. It should be affirmed that
the desire of Taiwan compatriots to run the affairs of the
island as masters of their own house is reasonable and
justified. This should by no means be construed as
advocating "Taiwan independence". They
are radically distinct from those handful of "Taiwan
independence" protagonists who trumpet
"independence" but vilely rely on foreign
patronage in a vain attempt to detach Taiwan from China,
which runs against the fundamental interests of the entire
Chinese people including Taiwan compatriots. The
Chinese Government is closely following the course of events
and will never condone any manoeuvre for "Taiwan
Certain foreign forces who
do not want to see a reunified China have gone out of their
way to meddle in China's internal affairs. They
support the anti-Communist stance of the Taiwan authorities
of rejecting peace talks and abet the secessionists on the
island, thereby erecting barriers to China's peaceful
reunification and seriously wounding the national feelings
of the Chinese people.
The Chinese Government
is convinced that Taiwan compatriots want national
reunification and that this is also true with most of the
political forces in or out of office in Taiwan.
The people on both sides of the Straits will
overcome all the barriers and stumbling blocks by their
joint efforts and ensure a better development of relations
across the Straits.
V. Several Questions
Involving Taiwan in International Relations
has been elucidated in the foregoing, there is only one
China in the world, of which Taiwan is an inalienable part.
The Government of the People's Republic of China
has been recognized by the United Nations and throughout the
world as the sole legal government representing the entire
Chinese people. In the interest of safeguarding
state sovereignty and realizing national reunification the
Chinese Government has always stood firm on the principle of
one China and ensured the interests of Taiwan compatriots in
international relations involving Taiwan. The
Chinese Government has no doubt that its position will be
respected by all other governments and people.
The Chinese Government deems it necessary to
reiterate its position and policy on the following matters.
(1) Relations between Taiwan and countries
maintaining diplomatic ties with China
countries maintaining diplomatic relations with China have,
in conformity with international law and the principle of
one China, undertaken in formal agreement or understanding
with the Chinese Government not to establish any ties of an
official nature with Taiwan. According to
international law, a sovereign state can only be represented
by a single central government. As a part of
China, Taiwan has no right to represent China in the
international community, nor can it establish diplomatic
ties or enter into relations of an official nature with
foreign countries. Nevertheless, considering the
needs of Taiwan's economic development and the practical
interests of Taiwan compatriots, the Chinese Government has
not objected to non-governmental economic or cultural
exchanges between Taiwan and foreign countries.
In recent years the Taiwan authorities have
vigorously launched a campaign of "pragmatic
diplomacy" to cultivate official ties with countries
having diplomatic relations with China in an attempt to push
"dual recognition" and achieve the objective of
creating a situation of "two Chinas" or "one
China, one Taiwan". The Chinese Government is
firmly against this scheme.
It is noted that
the overwhelming majority of the countries of the world
cherish friendly relations with China and abide by their
agreement or understanding with China on the issue of
Taiwan. The Chinese Government appreciates this.
On the other hand, it should be pointed out that,
in disregard of their international credibility, certain
countries have breached the undertaking made at the time of
the establishment of diplomatic ties with the People's
Republic of China by evolving official relations with
Taiwan, thereby putting a spoke in the wheel of China's
reunification. The Chinese Government sincerely hopes that
the governments in question will take measures to rectify
(2) Relations between
international organizations and Taiwan
sovereignty of each State is an integral whole which is
indivisible and unsharable. The Government of the
People's Republic of China, as the sole legal government of
China, has the right and obligation to exercise state
sovereignty and represent the whole of China in
international organizations. The Taiwan
authorities' lobbying for a formula of "one country,
two seats" in international organizations whose
membership is confined to sovereign states is a manoeuvre to
create "two Chinas". The Chinese
Government is firmly opposed to such an attempt.
Its principled position fully conforms to the
fundamental interests of the entire Chinese people including
Taiwan compatriots and overseas Chinese. Only on
the premise of adhering to the principle of one China and in
the light of the nature and statutes of the international
organizations concerned as well as the specific
circumstances, can the Chinese Government consider the
question of Taiwan's participation in the activities of such
organizations and in a manner agreeable and acceptable to
the Chinese Government.
All the specialized
agencies and organizations of the United Nations system are
intergovernmental organizations composed of sovereign
states. After the restoration of the lawful rights
of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations, all
the specialized agencies and organizations of the U.N.
system have formally adopted resolutions restoring to the
People's Republic of China its lawful seat and expelling the
"representatives" of the Taiwan authorities.
Since then the issue of China's representation in
the U.N. system has been resolved once and for all and
Taiwan's re-entry is out of the question. However,
it should be pointed out that recently some elements of the
Taiwan authorities have been clamoring for "returning
to the United Nations". Apparently, this is
an attempt to split state sovereignty, which is devoid of
any legal or practical basis. The Chinese
Government is convinced that all governments and
organizations of the U.N. system will be alert to this
scheme and refrain from doing anything prejudicial to
In principle, Taiwan is
also ineligible for membership in other categories of
intergovernmental organizations. As to regional
economic organizations such as the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC),
Taiwan's participation is subject to the terms of agreement
or understanding reached between the Chinese Government and
the parties concerned which explicitly prescribe that the
People's Republic of China is a full member as a sovereign
state whereas Taiwan may participate in the activities of
those organizations only as a region of China under the
designation of Taipei, China (in ADB) or Chinese Taipei (in
APEC). This is only an ad hoc arrangement and
cannot constitute a "model" applicable to other
intergovernmental organizations or international gatherings.
As regards participation in non-governmental
international organizations, the relevant bodies of the
People's Republic of China may reach an agreement or
understanding with the parties concerned so that China's
national organizations would use the designation of China,
while Taiwan's organizations may participate under the
designation of Taipei, China or Taiwan, China.
(3) Aviation services between Taiwan and
countries having diplomatic relations with China
Airspace is an inalienable part of a country's
territory. The 1919 Paris Aviation Convention and
the 1944 Chicago Convention affirm the principle of complete
and exclusive sovereignty of each country over its airspace.
Therefore, the opening of aviation services with
Taiwan by any airlines, including privately-operated ones,
of countries having diplomatic relations with China is a
political issue affecting China's sovereignty and cannot be
regarded as a non-political transaction. State-run
airlines of countries having diplomatic relations with China
certainly must not operate air services to Taiwan.
Privately-operated airlines must seek China's
consent through consultations between their government and
the Chinese Government before they can start reciprocal air
services with privately-operated airlines of Taiwan.
As a matter of fact, according to the aforesaid
principle the Chinese Government has consented to such
services between privately-operated airlines of Britain,
Germany, Canada, etc. and their counterparts in Taiwan.
As for countries which already had aviation
services with Taiwan before the establishment of diplomatic
relations with the People's Republic of China, they can
negotiate with the Chinese Government to change the official
nature of such services so as to be able to continue the
operations as privately-run commercial transportation
(4) Arms sales to Taiwan by
countries having diplomatic relations with China
The Chinese Government has always firmly
opposed any country selling any type of arms or transferring
production technology of the same to Taiwan. All
countries maintaining diplomatic relations with China should
abide by the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty
and territorial integrity and non-interference in each
other's internal affairs, and refrain from providing arms to
Taiwan in any form or under any pretext. Failure
to do so would be a breach of the norms of international
relations and an interference in China's internal affairs.
All countries, and especially big powers
shouldering major responsibilities for world peace, are
obligated to strictly abide by the guidelines laid down by
the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to
restrict the proliferation of conventional weapons so as to
contribute to maintaining and promoting regional peace and
security. However, at a time when relations across
the Taiwan Straits are easing up, certain powers have seen
fit to renege on their undertakings under international
agreements and to flout the Chinese Government's repeated
strong representations by making arms sales to Taiwan,
thereby whipping up tension between the two sides of the
Straits. This not only constitutes a serious
threat to China's security and an obstacle to China's
peaceful reunification, but also undermines peace and
stability in Asia and the world at large. It
stands to reason that the Chinese people should voice strong
resentment against this conduct.
international affairs the Chinese Government always pursues
an independent foreign policy of peace and adheres to the
Five Principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and
territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression,
non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality
and mutual benefit and peaceful CO-existence. It
actively seeks to develop friendly relations with all
countries of the world and will never undermine any
country's interests nor interfere in its internal affairs.
By the same token it expects all other governments
to refrain from undermining China's interests or interfering
in China's internal affairs and to correctly handle their
relations with Taiwan.
Reunification of the
country embodies the fundamental interest of the Chinese
After national reunification the two
sides of the Taiwan Straits can pool their resources and
make common cause in economic development and work towards
China's resurgence. Numerous problems that have
been besetting Taiwan would be judiciously resolved within
the framework of one China. Taiwan compatriots
will share the pride and glory of a great nation with their
kith and kin from the other parts of the motherland.
Taiwan question has long been a destabilizing
factor in the Asia-Pacific region. Reunification
of China will not only bolster the stability and development
of the country itself, but also contribute to the further
enhancement of the friendly relations and cooperation
between China and other countries as well as to peace and
development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a
The Chinese Government is confident
that it can count on the understanding and support of
governments and people of all countries in the pursuit of
its just cause of safeguarding its state sovereignty and