Ambassador Zhou Jian Publishes a Signed Article Entitled “Taiwan is not and has never been a country”
2023-05-13 10:00

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.