This exchange of letters involves a couple of people I know spanking the Chinese representative in the UK for promulgating annexation propaganda. Nice work, people!
October 24, 2014
It’s time for a bullying regime to step into the 21st century
Sir, The letter about Taiwan (October 18) from Chinese embassy spokesman Miao Deyu is textbook Chinese Communist party propaganda that cannot pass unchallenged.
First, the false assertion that Taiwan is “an inalienable part of China”. It is clear from China’s own historical maps and chronicles that Taiwan was not considered part of the empire until the late 17th century, and was at that time of little interest to the Chinese. As Emperor Kangxi wrote in 1683: “By taking it we gain nothing; by leaving it be, we lose nothing.” It was only at the end of the 19th century that the island became, for a brief period, a province of Manchu-ruled China.
During the early decades of the 20th century, Chinese republican leaders Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, and communist leader Mao Zedong each supported either Taiwanese autonomy under Japanese rule, or full Taiwanese independence. This is on the historical record. It was not until the second world war, when both the Chinese Nationalist KMT and the CCP came to view Taiwan as strategic booty to be seized once the US defeated Japan, that the fake “Taiwan-has-always-been-part-of-China” story was concocted.
Regarding Mr Miao’s embarrassingly social-Darwinist remark that people “on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same blood, language and roots”: this makes about as much sense as suggesting that Ireland should be incorporated into Britain since people on both sides of the Irish Sea share “the same blood” etc; or for that matter to conclude that the UK is part of the US.
Finally, he impertinently states that issues concerning the wholly independent polity that is modern Taiwan are “China’s internal affairs”. When the CCP snaps out of its imperialist dream it will find we are living in the 21st century and the question of Taiwan’s national and political identity is purely one for people in Taiwan to decide, free of the threat of annihilation by the bullying regime across the Strait.
Miao Deyu is a capable representative of his country’s firm position that “there is only one China in the world” (letters, October 18), and that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China”. Alas, he stretches the truth that his country’s position “has been universally recognised” by the UN and UK governments.
Like Palestine, Taiwan’s international legal status remains in limbo. The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty formally ended Japanese sovereignty over Taiwan yet pointedly failed to assign sovereignty over it to any other state. In 1951, China was at war with the UN in Korea and Chiang Kai-shek’s regime had just inflicted an unfortunate “white terror” on the island to enforce the rule of Chiang’s exiled “Republic of China”. As such, the major signatories of the San Francisco Treaty deferred assigning sovereignty to either belligerent in the waning days of the Chinese civil war.
Her Majesty’s representative to the San Francisco conference explained that “the treaty also provides for Japan to renounce its sovereignty over Formosa [Taiwan] and the Pescadores Islands. The treaty itself does not determine the future of these islands.” The US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and others explicitly endorsed that view, with the US delegate, John Foster Dulles, asserting that “clearly, the wise course was to proceed now, so far as Japan is concerned, leaving the future to resolve doubts by invoking international solvents other than this treaty”. In 2014, this remains the view of the major signatories, including Japan.
The Beijing regime was seated in the UN by a vote of the General Assembly on October 25 1971, replacing the representative of Chiang Kai-shek as the representative of “China”. It is a little remembered fact that the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan all voted against the expulsion of Chiang’s representative, even though they in principle favoured seating Beijing. As recently as 2007, as Beijing attempted to assert its authority over Taiwan in several UN agencies, the US reminded the UN secretary-general that “we take no position on the status of Taiwan, we neither accept nor reject the claim that Taiwan is part of China”. However, the US representative was displeased “that the UN has promulgated documents asserting that the United Nations considers ‘Taiwan for all purposes to be an integral part of the PRC’.” He said that “while this assertion is consistent with the Chinese position, it is not universally held by UN member states, including the United States”.
The US cautioned the secretary-general: “If the UN Secretariat insists on describing Taiwan as a part of the PRC [People’s Republic of China], or on using nomenclature for Taiwan that implies such status, the US will be obliged to disassociate itself on a national basis from such position.” Other San Francisco Treaty signatories delivered similar demarches. Confidential American diplomatic cables irresponsibly leaked to the international press via WikiLeaks indicate that the UN secretary-general acknowledged the American position.
The Chinese foreign ministry surely has a right to its own opinions regarding the international status of Taiwan, but it does not have the right to ascribe these opinions to other countries or to the UN.
John J Tkacik
Alexandria, VA, US
Original letter from Miao Deyu
Sir, Your advertisement (October 10) on the so-called “Republic of China 2014 National Day Celebration” is misleading and causes confusion. It is a flagrant violation of the one China principle. The Chinese side expresses strong indignation and grave concern over it.
I must call to your attention that there is only one China in the world. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. Although the mainland and Taiwan are yet to be reunified since 1949, the fact that both belong to one China has never changed. People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same blood, language and roots. They are one family that cannot be separated. Peaceful development in cross-Straits relations will bring us to peaceful reunification. Attempts to obstruct peaceful reunification or create “two Chinas” and “one China, one Taiwan”, in whatever form, go against the will of the people and the trend of history. They will undoubtedly end up in vain.
One must bear in mind that the one China policy has been universally recognised and observed by the international community including the UN and the UK government. Taiwan-related matters are China’s internal affairs. China is firmly opposed to any outside intervention, and words and deeds that violate the principle.
Spokesman, Chinese Embassy in the UK
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