Chinese Taiwan

We can analyze this issue from three aspects: why Taiwan belongs to China, why the Taiwan issue arose and how to solve it

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

When it comes to the Chinese island of Taiwan, it is not very clear to many what it is actually about. We can analyze this issue from three aspects: why Taiwan belongs to China, why the Taiwan issue arose, and how to solve the Taiwan issue.

First of all, why does Taiwan belong to China? Geographically, the province of Taiwan includes the island of Taiwan and the surrounding smaller islands, such as the Penghu Islands, etc. The island of Taiwan is separated from the mainland by the Taiwan Strait, which is narrower in the north and wider in the south. In the north, the width of the strait is about 200 kilometers, and in the south about 410 kilometers, while the narrowest point of the Taiwan Strait is about 130 kilometers wide. Jinmen Island in Taiwan Province is only about 1,8 km away from Xiamen City in Fujian Province in mainland China. From the perspective of historical facts and legal basis, a large number of historical books and documents record the early development of the island of Taiwan by the Chinese. More than 1.700 years ago, Chinese historical documents left the earliest records of Taiwan's development. In the 13th century, the Chinese imperial administration began to establish separate governing bodies in Penghu and Taiwan to enforce administrative jurisdiction. In the 16th century, the name "Taiwan" began to be officially used in state documents of the Ming Dynasty of China. In 1684, the imperial administration of China's Qing Dynasty established the Taiwan Local Government, which was under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province. In 1885, the Qing Dynasty government established Taiwan as a province as well. In July 1894, Japan launched an aggression against China. The Chinese state under the Qing Dynasty, which was defeated in April of the following year, was forced to cede Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan.

After the outbreak of World War II, China, the USA and Britain adopted the Cairo Declaration in 1943, announcing that the territories that Japan had taken from China, such as the three northeastern Chinese provinces, then Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, would be returned to China. In 1945, China, the USA and Great Britain jointly signed the Potsdam Declaration, confirming that "the terms of the Cairo Declaration will be implemented". In 1946, Japan signed the "Japanese Surrender Document" and promised to "consistently fulfill its obligations under the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration." In October of the same year, the Chinese government announced that it would "restore the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan" and held the "Taiwan Province Surrender Ceremony" in Taipei. As a result, China has de facto and de jure reclaimed Taiwan through a series of legally binding international documents.

Second, why did the Taiwan issue arise? The appearance of the so-called the issue of Taiwan is related to the civil war started by the Chinese Kuomintang Party in the 1940s, as well as to the interference of foreign powers. During the Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945), the Chinese Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party established an anti-Japanese united front to fight together against Japanese imperialist aggression. After winning the anti-Japanese war, a group within the Kuomintang launched an anti-state civil war to seize the fruits of the anti-Japanese war. The Chinese people, under the leadership of the CCP, were forced to wage a war of liberation for more than three years, successively overthrowing the "Republic of China" government established by the Kuomintang and establishing the government of the People's Republic of China in 1949, which became the sole legitimate representative of China and which , of course, fully enjoyed all rights and protected China's sovereignty, including sovereignty over Taiwan. After the defeat in the civil war, some of the military and political personnel of the Kuomintang occupied Taiwan, resulting in a special state of isolation and a long-term political confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. However, China's sovereignty and territory have never been questioned, and the fact that Taiwan is part of China's territory has never changed.

In 1971, the 26th UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2758, which fully politically and legally resolved the issue of China's representation in the UN, including the issue of Taiwan, and clearly stated that there are no "two Chinas" or "one China and one Taiwan ". The legal opinion of the UN Secretariat states that "Taiwan, as a province of China, does not have an independent status." In practice, the United Nations calls Taiwan precisely "Taiwan, province of China" (Taiwan, province of China). The One China principle is the universal consensus of the international community and has become the basic norm in international relations.

Third, how to solve the Taiwan issue? Solving the Taiwan issue and achieving national unification is the aspiration and mission of the entire Chinese people. The basic policy of the Chinese government to resolve the Taiwan issue is peaceful reunification and the establishment of the "one country, two systems" model. This policy includes:

First, the one China principle. There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China. This is a universally recognized fact and a prerequisite for a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan issue. The Chinese government firmly opposes the existence of "two Chinas", "one China and one Taiwan" and all other attempts and actions that may lead to "Taiwan independence". Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait believe that there is only one China and support the reunification of the country.

Second, "one country, two systems". Under the assumption of one China, the socialist system in mainland China and the capitalist system in Taiwan will coexist in the long run and develop together in the future. It should be so because the current situation in Taiwan and the real interests of our Taiwanese compatriots must be taken into account, and it is also a feature and product of China's national system. After the reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan's social and economic system will remain unchanged, the way of life on the island will not change, and its economic and cultural relations with the rest of the world will also remain unchanged.

The third is a high degree of autonomy. After reunification, Taiwan will become a special administrative region and enjoy a high degree of autonomy. Taiwan shall have an administrative authority, a legislative authority, an independent judiciary and the power of final decision; can sign commercial and cultural agreements with foreign countries and enjoy certain powers related to foreign affairs; it will have its own army, and mainland China will not send troops to Taiwan.

The fourth is peaceful negotiations. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait are Chinese, and peaceful unification is the established policy of the Chinese government and the common aspiration of the entire Chinese people. However, every sovereign state has the right to take all necessary measures to preserve national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The issue of Taiwan is purely an internal issue of China. The Chinese government is under no obligation to govern itself to any foreign country in the way it conducts its internal affairs.

The people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have the same roots, the same ethnicity and the same culture. This issue, which is a legacy of the Chinese Civil War, will surely be resolved, Taiwan will surely return to the embrace of the motherland, and both sides of the Taiwan Strait will be reunited. This is the firm will of 1,4 billion Chinese people and the inevitable trend of historical development.

The author is the ambassador of the Republic of China in Montenegro

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(Opinions and views published in the "Columns" section are not necessarily the views of the "Vijesti" editorial office.)