October 1, 1949, the Chinese people won a great victory in the new democratic
revolution and founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Kuomintang
(KMT) ruling clique retreated from the mainland to entrench in China’s Taiwan
Province in confrontation with the Central Government with the support of
foreign forces. This is the origin of the Taiwan issue. Settlement of the
Taiwan issue and realization of the complete reunification of China embody the
fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. The Chinese government has worked
persistently toward this goal in the past 50 years. From 1979, the Chinese
government has striven for the peaceful reunification of China in the form of
“one country, two systems” with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort.
Economic and cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts between the two
sides of the Taiwan Straits have made rapid progress since the end of 1987.
Unfortunately, from the 1990s, Lee Teng-hui, the leader of the Taiwan
authorities, has progressively betrayed the One-China Principle, striving to
promote a separatist policy with “two Chinas” at the core, going so far as to openly describe the
cross-Straits relations as “state to state relations, or at least special state
to state relations.”This action has seriously damaged the basis for peaceful
reunification of the two sides, harmed the fundamental interests of the entire
Chinese nation including the Taiwan compatriots, and jeopardized peace and stability
in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese government has consistently adhered to
the One-China Principle and resolutely opposed any attempt to separate Taiwan
from China. The struggle between the Chinese government and the separatist
forces headed by Lee Teng-hui finds its concentrated expression in the question
of whether to persevere in the One-China Principle or to create “two Chinas” or
“One-China, one Taiwan.”
In August 1993, we issued a white paper entitled “The Taiwan Question and Reunification of China,” which systematically expounds the fact concerning Taiwan as an inalienable part of China, the origin of the Taiwan issue and the Chinese government’s basic principles and related policies regarding resolution of the Taiwan question. We deem it necessary here to further explain to the international community the Chinese government’s position and policy on the One-China Principle.
I. The Basis for One China, de Facto and de Jure
The One-China Principle has been evolved in the course of the Chinese people’s just struggle to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its basis, both de facto and de jure, is unshakable.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. All the facts and laws about Taiwan prove that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. In April 1895, through a war of aggression against China, Japan forced the Qing government to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, and forcibly occupied Taiwan. In July 1937, Japan launched an all-out war of aggression against China. In December 1941, the Chinese government issued the Proclamation of China’s Declaration of War Against Japan, announcing to the world that all treaties, agreements and contracts concerning Sino-Japanese relations, including the Treaty of Shimonoseki, had been abrogated, and that China would recover Taiwan. In December 1943, the Cairo Declaration was issued by the Chinese, U.S. and British governments, stipulating that Japan should return to China all the territories it had stolen from the Chinese, including Northeast China, Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago. The Potsdam Proclamation signed by China, the United States and Britain in 1945 (later adhered to by the Soviet Union) stipulated that “The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out.” In August of that year, Japan declared surrender and promised in its instrument of surrender that it would faithfully fulfill the obligations laid down in the Potsdam Proclamation. On October 25, 1945, the Chinese government recovered Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago, resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan.
A Guest Editorial