Ambassador Zhou Jian Publishes a Signed Article Entitled “Taiwan is not and has never been a country”
2023-05-13 09:59

On May 13, H.E. Ambassador Zhou Jian published a signed article entitled Taiwan is not and has never been a country on the Fiji Sun. The full text of the article is as follows:

Recently, the Fijian media has reported on the one-China principle and Taiwan question many times. Someone in Fiji from Taiwan even advocated that Taiwan is a “country”, which totally disregards the truth and confuses the public. As the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, it is my duty to clarify some basic facts about the Taiwan question to our Fijian friends, so as to set the record straight.

I. Is Taiwan a country?

Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and has never been a country. Taiwan belongs to China since ancient times. The Chinese people were the first to develop Taiwan, and the majority of the ancestors of today’s Taiwan residents came from the Chinese mainland. Though subjected to colonial rule by foreign powers for some brief periods in the history, Taiwan has been under effective administration of the Chinese government for most of the time.

The last colonial rule of Taiwan was from 1895 to 1945. In April 1895, Japan forcibly occupied Taiwan through the War of Aggression against China and ruled it until World War II. The Cairo Declaration issued by the governments of China, the United States and Great Britain in December 1943 stated that all territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, shall be restored to China. This provision was confirmed and reiterated in the Potsdam Proclamation issued in July 1945. After Japan’s surrender on October 25 of the same year, the Chinese government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan, and held the ceremony to accept Japan’s surrender in Taiwan Province of the China war theater of the Allied powers in Taibei (Taipei). From that point forward, China had recovered Taiwan de jure and de facto through a host of documents with international legal effect. Taiwan’s return to China is also an important component of the post-WWII international order.

Not long after the victory of the war against Japanese aggression, the civil war broke out in China. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people overthrew the government of the Republic of China. On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded and became the only legitimate government of the whole of China. The Kuomintang (KMT) retreated to Taiwan after the defeat. The two sides of the Taiwan Straits then fell into a special state of protracted political confrontation, but Taiwan’s status as part of China’s territory has never changed.

Taiwan’s belonging to China is not only a historical fact, but also recognized by the international community. At its 26th session in October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which restored all lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the UN and recognized the representatives of the government of the PRC as the only legitimate representatives of China to the UN. This resolution settled once and for all the political, legal and procedural issues of China’s representation in the UN, and it covered the whole country of China, including Taiwan. It also spelled out that China has one single seat in the UN, so there is no such thing as “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”. It was clearly stated in the official legal opinions of the Office of Legal Affairs of the UN Secretariat that “the United Nations considers ‘Taiwan’ as a province of China with no separate status”, and the “ ‘authorities’ in ‘Taipei’ are not considered to... enjoy any form of government status”. At the UN, the Taiwan island is referred to as “Taiwan, Province of China”.

The status quo of the Taiwan Strait is that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China, Taiwan is part of China, and neither China’s sovereignty nor its territorial integrity is ever divided. Adhering to the one-China principle is to maintain the status quo of the Taiwan Strait. To violate and challenge the one-China principle is to change the status quo of the Taiwan Strait. “Taiwan independence” separatist forces seriously threaten and undermine the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.

II. What is the Taiwan question?

Firstly, the Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of China. And it is the question between the the government of the People’s Republic of China (the only legitimate government representing the entire Chinese people with its capital in Beijing) and the Taiwan authorities. Taiwan question should be resolved by the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait themselves.

Secondly, the Taiwan question is a matter of the Chinese government and people safeguarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, and opposing external interference.

Thirdly, the essence of the Taiwan question is the struggle between division and anti division, between “Taiwan independence” and anti “Taiwan independence”, with a focus on the struggle between one China and the “two Chinas”. The Chinese government and 1.4 billion Chinese people firmly adhere to the one-China principle, are resolutely against any conspiracy aimed at dividing the country or nation,and unswervingly oppose any attempt to create “two Chinas”, “one China, one Taiwan” or “Taiwan independence”.

III. What is the one-China principle?

The one-China principle has a clear and unambiguous meaning, i.e. there is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 settled once and for all the political, legal and procedural issues of China’s representation in the UN, and it covered the whole country of China, including Taiwan. It also spelled out that China has one single seat in the UN, so there is no such thing as “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”. This resolution has confirmed the one-China principle.

The one-China principle is the universal consensus of the international community. To date, 182 countries including Fiji, have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. The applicability of the one-China principle is universal, unconditional and indisputable. All countries having diplomatic relations with China and all member states of the UN should unconditionally adhere to the one-China principle and follow the guidance of UNGA Resolution 2758. Any attempt to distort, obscure and hollow out the one-China principle is illegal, null and void.

IV. How will the Chinese government resolve the Taiwan question?

Peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems are basic principles of the Chinese government for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification, which take full account of Taiwan’s realities and are conducive to long-term stability in Taiwan after reunification.

Peaceful reunification is the first choice of the Chinese government in resolving the Taiwan question. Despite the difficulties and obstacles we have encountered for decades, we will continue to work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. But we make no promise to renounce the use of force, and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities. In no way does it target our fellow Chinese in Taiwan. Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances.

The One Country, Two Systems principle is an important institutional instrument created by the Chinese government to enable peaceful reunification. After peaceful reunification, Taiwan’s social system and its way of life will be fully respected, and the private property, religious beliefs, and lawful rights and interests of the people in Taiwan will be fully protected; the systems and mechanisms for cross-Straits economic cooperation will be further improved; many problems that have long afflicted Taiwan’s economy and its people can be resolved through integrated cross-Straits development; Taiwan’s fiscal revenues can be better employed to improve living standards; Taiwan’s cultural creativity will also enjoy a great boost; the international development space for Taiwan compatriots will be greater, and their overseas legitimate rights and interests will be better protected and guaranteed. Hong Kong and Macao’s return to the motherland is the best vivid example. After their return, both regions have enjoyed tremendous economic development, with personal income increasing and society transmitting from chaos to stability and prosperity.

V. How does China view Fiji’s cooperation with Taiwan?

The Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Fiji in 1975 clearly stated that, “The Fiji Government recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China. The Chinese Government reaffirms that Taiwan Province is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Government of Fiji acknowledges this position of the Chinese Government.” No matter how high a building is, if its foundation is shaken, it will collapse in an instant. The one-China principle is the foundation of China-Fiji relations. Successive Fijian governments have made solemn political commitments on adhering to the one-China principle.

China has no objection to normal non-governmental economic, trade and cultural exchanges between other countries in the world including Fiji with China’s Taiwan region, on the basis of the one-China principle. But such exchanges must remain at unofficial level. In recent years, the actions of the Taiwan trade institution in Fiji have seriously violated the one-China principle and they even publicly advocated that Taiwan is a “sovereign country”, thus creating obstacles for the China-Fiji relations. In 2019, the Fijian government decided to rename the “Trade Mission of the Republic of China to the Republic of Fiji” to the “Taipei Trade Office in Fiji” and deprive its so-called “diplomatic privileges”. It is the correct decision that is in line with the general consensus of the international community and conforms to the trend of the times, and should be upheld. Recently, Hon. Prime Minister Rabuka has repeatedly reiterated that the Fijian government will adhere to the one-China principle.


Fiji has more than 300 islands, none of which can be ceded. Likewise, the Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the 1.4 billion Chinese people’s national sentiments, and is the core of the core interests of China, which has no room for compromise or concessions. China is willing to strengthen mutual beneficial cooperation with Fiji on the basis of respecting each other’s core interests, so as to better benefit the Fijian people. And we expect that the Fijian side could continue to firmly adhere to the one-China principle through concrete actions.