Several Questions Involving Taiwan in International Relations
There is only one China in the world, of which Taiwan is an inalienable part. The Government of the People’s Republic of China has been recognized by the United Nations and throughout the world as the sole legal government representing the entire Chinese people. In the interest of safeguarding state sovereignty and realizing national reunification, the Chinese Government has always stood firm on the principle of one China and ensured the interests of Taiwan compatriots in international relations involving Taiwan. The Chinese Government has no doubt that its position will be respected by all other governments and people.
The Chinese Government deems it necessary to reiterate its position and policy on the following matters.
(1)Relations between Taiwan and countries maintaining diplomatic ties with China
All countries maintaining diplomatic relations with China have, in conformity with international law and the principle of one China, undertaken in formal agreement or understanding with the Chinese Government not to establish any ties of an official nature with Taiwan. According to international law, a sovereign state can only be represented by a single central government. As a part of China, Taiwan has no right to represent China in the international community, nor can it establish diplomatic ties or enter into relations of an official nature with foreign countries. Nevertheless, considering the needs of Taiwan’s economic development and the practical interests of Taiwan compatriots, the Chinese Government has not objected to non-governmental economic or cultural exchanges between Taiwan and foreign countries.
(2)Relations between international organizations and Taiwan
The sovereignty of each State is an integral whole which is indivisible and unsharable. The Government of the People’s Republic of China, as the sole legal government of China, has the right and obligation to exercise state sovereignty and represent the whole of China in international organizations. The Taiwan authorities’ lobbying for a formula of ”one country, two seats” in international organizations whose membership is confined to sovereign states is a manoeuvre to create “two Chinas”. The Chinese Government is firmly opposed to such an attempt. Its principled position fully conforms to the fundamental interests of the entire Chinese people including Taiwan compatriots and overseas Chinese. Only on the premise of adhering to the principle of one China and in the light of the nature and statutes of the international organizations concerned as well as the specific circumstances, can the Chinese Government consider the question of Taiwan’s participation in the activities of such organizations and in a manner agreeable and acceptable to the Chinese Government.
All the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system are inter-governmental organizations composed of sovereign states. After the restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, all the specialized agencies and organizations of the UN system have formally adopted resolutions restoring to the People’s Republic of China its lawful seat and expelling the “representatives” of the Taiwan authorities. Since then the issue of China’s representation in the UN system has been resolved once and for all and Taiwan’s re-entry is out of the question.
In principle, Taiwan is also ineligible for membership in other categories of inter-governmental organizations. As to regional economic organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Taiwan’s participation is subject to the terms of agreement or understanding reached between the Chinese Government and the parties concerned which explicitly prescribe that the People’s Republic of China is a full member as a sovereign state whereas Taiwan may participate in the activities of those organizations only as a region of China under the designation of Taipei, China (in ADB) or Chinese Taipei (in APEC). This is only an ad hoc arrangement and cannot constitute a “model” applicable to other inter-governmental organizations or international gatherings.
As regards participation in non-governmental international organizations, the relevant bodies of the People’s Republic of China may reach an agreement or understanding with the parties concerned so that China’s national organizations would use the designation of China, while Taiwan’s organizations may participate under the designation of Taipei, China or Taiwan, China.
(3) Aviation services between Taiwan and counties having diplomatic relations with China Airspace is an inalienable part of a country’s territory. The 1919 Paris Aviation Convention and the 1944 Chicago Convention affirm the principle of complete and exclusive sovereignty of each country over its airspace. Therefore, the opening of aviation services with Taiwan by any airlines, including privately-operated ones, of countries having diplomatic relations with China is a political issue affecting China’s sovereignty and cannot be regarded as a non-political transaction. State-run airlines of countries having diplomatic relations with China certainly must not operate air services to Taiwan. Privately-operated airlines must seek China’s consent through consultations between their government and the Chinese Government before they can start reciprocal air services with privately-operated airlines of Taiwan. As a matter of fact, according to the afore-said principle the Chinese Government has consented to such services between privately-operated airlines of Britain, Germany, Canada, etc. and their counterparts in Taiwan.
As for countries which already had aviation services with Taiwan before the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, they can negotiate with the Chinese Government to change the official nature of such services so as to be able to continue the operations as privately-run commercial transportation undertakings.
(4) Arms sales to Taiwan by counties having diplomatic relations with China The Chinese Government has always firmly opposed any country selling any type of arms or transferring production technology of the same to Taiwan. All countries maintaining diplomatic relations with China should abide by the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and refrain from providing arms to Taiwan in any form or under any pretext. Failure to do so would be a breach of the norms of international relations and an interference in China’s internal affairs.
In international affairs the Chinese Government always pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and adheres to the Five Principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence. It actively seeks to develop friendly relations with all countries of the world and will never undermine any country’s interests nor interfere in its internal affairs. By the same token it expects all other governments to refrain from undermining China’s interests or interfering in China’s internal affairs and to correctly handle their relations with Taiwan. Reunification of the country embodies the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. After national reunification the two sides of the Taiwan Straits can pool their resources and make common cause in economic development and work towards China’s resurgence. Numerous problems that have been besetting Taiwan would be judiciously resolved within the framework of one China. Taiwan compatriots will share the pride and glory of a great nation with their kith and kin from the other parts of the motherland.
Taiwan question has long been a destabilizing factor in the Asia-Pacific region. Reunification of China will not only bolster the stability and development of the country itself, but also contribute to the further enhancement of the friendly relations and cooperation between China and other countries as well as to the peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
The Chinese Government is confident that it can count on the understanding and support of governments and people of all countries in the pursuit of its just cause of safeguarding its state sovereignty and territorial integrity.