Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin could not be any more unequivocal with regards to China’s stand on the Taiwan issue: a big and unemphatic “NO” to independence.
In yesterday’s press conference, Wang reiterated China’s intent to stymie a Taiwanese separation and intervention by a third party: “China has full confidence and capability and are fully prepared to firmly stem the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities, foil all external interference and resolutely uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. I’d like to advise the US to listen to a well-known Chinese song with these lyrics: ‘For our friends, we have fine wine. For jackals or wolves, we welcome with shotguns.'”
Wang said the United States has been “racking its brains to play with words when it comes to the one-China principle.”
“One-China Policy” is the bedrock of Sino-American relations, recognizing that there is only one China, and in doing so, severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Wang reminded the U.S. , “that no forces, the US included, can hold back the Chinese people’s endeavor to reunify the nation. Also, no forces, the US included, can change the fate of the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces who are doomed to fail.”
He said the United States, reneging on its promise on the Taiwan question, “has obscured and hollowed out the one-China principle, and publicly or stealthily incited and endorsed ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities. If the U.S. continues to go down the wrong path, there will be irretrievable consequences for the China-U.S. relations and the U.S. will have to pay unbearable price.”
He issued a stern warning to the U.S.: There is one China in the world; that Taiwan is China’s territory and the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.
“This is a consensus of the international community and a commitment made by the U.S. to China. The one-China principle is unshakable, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be violated and the red line of creating ‘two Chinas’ and ‘one China, one Taiwan’ must not be crossed,” he said.
A long, drawn-out civil war in China led to the exile of the nationalist government of the Kuomintang Party to the island of Taiwan while the Mao Zedong-led communist party established the People’s Republic of China, PROC, in 1949.
The U.S. backed the Kuomintang-led government in exile in Taiwan, and cut ties with mainland China. Gradually, during the Johnson Administration, the U.S. began to warm up to PROC. Under President Johnson, the policy was “containment without isolation.”
Back home in the U.S. the Americans too warmed up to China’s admission into the United Nations with more than half of those polled by Gallup indicating approval to China’s acceptance into the UN.
In 1971, the United Nations formally recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate China.
By 1972, President Richard M. Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit China, reestablished relations, and signed the Shanghai Communique.
“There is no place on this small planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation” Nixon wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs journal.
It was in 1979 during President Carter’s term that the United States officially reestablished diplomatic relations with China. While formally recognizing the PROC, the U.S. also passed in the same year the Taiwan Relations Act which outlines the unofficial relationship between the two parties and the U.S. commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Meanwhile, the PROC has been vocal about its irredentist view with regard to Taiwan, that it was and still is a province of China, and that China is bent on reunifying the country, to bring back Taiwan into the fold.
(Illustration/Map by Voice of America)