The US officials have been trying hard to explain it away and even putting the blame on us. It is like a thief crying “Stop thief!” This reflects the lack of credibility, knowledge about history and self-reflection on the part of the US government. As an old Chinese saying goes, “A man’s troubles lie in reading too little about history.” It is high time that the US officials caught up on the history of the Taiwan question.
There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the entire China. This is at the heart of the one-China principle and also a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations. In October 1971, the 26th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which “decides to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it.” A total of 181 countries, including the US, have established diplomatic ties with China on the basis of the one-China principle.
Historically, the Taiwan question was the biggest obstacle to the normalization of China-US relations. China, for its firm commitment to the one-China principle, refused to make any compromise or concession on this issue. In 1971, the US affirmed to China the new principles that it would follow with regard to the Taiwan question. They include, the US would acknowledge that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China; the US would not repeat the phrase that the status of Taiwan is undetermined; the US had not supported, and would not support movements for “Taiwan independence”. When President Nixon visited China in 1972, he reaffirmed those principles to Premier Zhou Enlai, and hence the Shanghai Communiqué.
And in that Communiqué, the US made it very clear that “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.” These US commitments led to the start of the process toward normalization of China-US relations. According to the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China released in 1978, the US “recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China” and “acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China”. And in the August 17 Joint Communiqué of 1982, the US side made it clear that “the United States of America recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China, and it acknowledged the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.” Also in that communiqué, the US “reiterates that it has no intention of infringing on Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, or interfering in China’s internal affairs, or pursuing a policy of ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’.” It was based on those three Joint Communiqués that our ties with the US have generally achieved stable development in the past 40-plus years.
However, in recent years, the US has not matched its words with deeds. It has been distorting, altering, blurring, and hollowing out the one-China principle and trying to cross red lines and pushing the boundaries. It has used all means to play the “Taiwan card”, deliberately switched policy interpretations, and inserted its unilaterally concocted “Taiwan Relations Act” and “Six Assurances” part into the one-China policy. It has even at one point dropped key formulations such as “Taiwan is part of China” on the website of the State Department. The US has also brazenly sought to upgrade US-Taiwan relations, increase arms sales to Taiwan and embolden the “Taiwan independence” separatist activities.
The US government was supposed to rein in the attempt to visit Taiwan by the third highest ranking member of the US government. However, the US government has connived at this provocation. This is the root cause and truth behind the tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
The historical ins and outs of the Taiwan question are crystal-clear, so are the facts and status quo that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. The international community knows it too. Over the past few days, many leaders around the world and people from different walks of life have voiced their opposition to the visit. The spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General has just said that the UN will continue to adhere to the UNGA Resolution 2758 and uphold the one-China principle. Clearly, people with a sense of justice can easily tell right from wrong.
The position of the Chinese government and Chinese people on the Taiwan question is consistent. Resolutely safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. To achieve national reunification is the shared aspiration and sacred duty of all Chinese people. Public opinion will not be defied, and the trend of the times cannot be reversed. No country, force or individual shall misestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese Government and people to defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation.
In disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US Joint Communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. Last night, China’s Foreign Ministry, the National People’s Congress, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee and the Ministry of National Defense immediately issued statements or remarks to condemn the visit. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns at once. Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang immediately made serious representations to the White House National Security Council and also the State Department. This morning, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued remarks on this.
China will do everything necessary to firmly defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. All consequences arising therefrom shall be borne by the US side and “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. We mean what we say. As for the specific countermeasures that you are interested to know, what I can say is that what needs to be done will be done and these measures will be resolute, strong and effective. They will be continuously felt by the US side and “Taiwan independence” forces.
And also, I wish to stress that if we look back at each provocation the US has made targeting China, we can see that they have invariably disgraced and backfired on the US itself. The last example is when Pelosi and some others incited the criminal elements and violent forces in Hong Kong and advocated a so-called “beautiful sight to behold”. That, however, gave reason to Hong Kong to expeditiously end chaos, and restore order and prosperity in Hong Kong. The city, known as the Pearl of the Orient, regained its vigor and charm. This time is no exception. For people like Pelosi, their futile attempt to collude with the “Taiwan independence” forces and use the Taiwan question to contain China and undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will not stop, but only accelerate the historic process of China’s reunification.
As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said, the US has reneged on its commitments on the Taiwan question, openly played with fire and pitted itself against the 1.4 billion Chinese people, and none of this will end well.