China must be, will be reunified,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping in his speech delivered on January 2 at a gathering in Beijing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.
“It is a historical conclusion drawn over the 70 years of the development of cross-Straits relations, and a must for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era,” he said.
Taiwan, lying off the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland, is China’s largest island and forms an integral whole with the mainland. Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times.
On October 1, 1949, the Chinese people led by the Communist Party of China (CPC) won a great victory in the new democratic revolution and founded the People’s Republic of China. The Kuomintang (KMT) ruling clique retreated from the mainland to entrench in China’s Taiwan Province in confrontation with the Central Government with the support of foreign forces. This is the origin of the Taiwan issue.
Although the mainland and Taiwan have remained to be reunified since 1949, the Chinese territory and sovereignty have not been split. The two sides are in a state of political confrontation resulting from China’s civil war in the mid- to late- 1940s.
Since 1949, the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese government and the Chinese people have always unwaveringly taken resolving the Taiwan question to realize China’s complete reunification as a historic task.
The message to compatriots in Taiwan issued by Beijing on January 1, 1979, made clear the question of Taiwan is an internal affair and set out the fundamental policy of striving for peaceful reunification.
In his speech on January 2, 2019, President Xi outlined breakthroughs in cross-Straits relations over the past 70 years. Estrangement between the mainland and Taiwan was ended in line with the common will of compatriots across the Straits, and Taiwan compatriots have made great contributions to the reform and opening-up in the mainland. The mainland and Taiwan reached the 1992 Consensus based on the one-China principle, and the political exchanges across the Straits have reached new heights. The basic principles of “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” were established, and the basic policy of upholding “one country, two systems” and advancing the national reunification was laid out. More and more countries and peoples have understood and supported the cause of the reunification of China. Furthermore, over the 70 years, a series of major victories in the battles against “Taiwan independence” and separatists have been achieved.
According to President Xi, the historical and legal facts, that Taiwan is part of China and the two sides across Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China, can never be altered by anyone or any force; the fact that compatriots across the Straits are all Chinese who share natural kinship and national identity can never be changed by anyone or any force; the peaceful and stable development of cross-Straits situations and the progress of cross-Straits relations are the tide of the time that can never be stopped by anyone or any force. He called on Chinese people across the Taiwan Straits as well as at home and abroad to work together for the Chinese nation’s greater good and go with the tide of history, to jointly push forward the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relations and advance the process toward the peaceful reunification of China.
The Taiwan question originated from national weakness and disorder, and will definitely end with national rejuvenation, President Xi said.
The principles of “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” are the best approach to realizing national reunification. President Xi proposed that the mainland and Taiwan conduct democratic consultation on cross-Straits relations and the future of the nation, and establish institutional arrangement for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. Political parties and all sectors on both sides of the Straits may recommend representatives to conduct extensive and in-depth democratic consultation on the basis of the common political foundation of upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence”.
While pledging utmost sincerity for peaceful reunification, President Xi makes no promise to renounce the use of force. This does not target compatriots in Taiwan, but the interference of external forces and the very small number of “Taiwan independence” separatists and their activities. “Taiwan independence” goes against the trend of history and will lead to a dead end. “We are willing to create broad space for peaceful reunification, but will leave no room for any form of separatist activities,” he said.
The Taiwan question concerns China’s core interests and the national bond of the Chinese people. China’s reunification does not harm any country’s legitimate interests, including their economic interests in Taiwan. It will only bring more development opportunities to other countries, inject more positive energy into the prosperity and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and make greater contributions to building a community with a shared future for humanity, to world peace and development, and to the cause of human progress.
Two years ago, a joint statement by the Government of China and the Government of Nigeria was signed in Abuja on January 11, 2017 by the visiting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and honorable minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama. The Government of China and the Government of Nigeria reaffirmed their respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to the joint statement,
“The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reaffirms that the one China policy is at the core of its Strategic Partnership with China.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes that there is only one China in the world, that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria reiterates not to have any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan, and supports all efforts made by the Chinese Government to realize national reunification.”
The Government of the People’s Republic of China appreciates the above position and the measures taken accordingly by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To keep China one is a task that must be done.
Dr. Zhou is Ambassador of China to Nigeria