Home Diplomatic Suite One-China principle brooks no distortion

One-China principle brooks no distortion

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By Yin Baohu

Following a series of joint military operations of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army around Taiwan Island as countermeasures to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the G7 foreign ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued a statement.

   The Chinese Foreign Ministry has firmly refuted the joint statement, which stresses the so-called “rules-based international order” and claims “there is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable,” as well as an ensuing analogue issued by foreign ministers of the United States, Australia and Japan. The Chinese ministry urged certain countries not to play word games on or unilaterally add preconditions and provisos to the one-China principle.

   Apparently, the G7 countries have put international law and the basic norms governing international relations all behind. Those Western countries, touting themselves as “civilized” and “rules-based,” had the brass to think that they are the rules-makers and rules-changers on major issues concerning the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of a state. The Taiwan question, for example, must conform to their political calculation.

   The so-called “rules-based international order” they have long proclaimed, it turns out, is nothing but a manifestation of their selfishness and hegemony.

   For instance, under the cloak of the so-called “rules,” the United States has walked away from its countless armed aggressions in other sovereign states that have killed and injured millions of innocent civilians and displaced tens of millions of refugees. In the name of maintaining the so-called “order,” those Western countries have faked a jurisprudence of “international waters,” and “standardized” their close-in reconnaissance over a state’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. They have even maligned the self-defense and rightful countermeasures by the offended state as “threats,” “provocations,” “overreactions” and “violation of rules.”

   The United States, the big boss of the G7, made a clear commitment in the three Sino-U.S. joint communique that it “acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China,” and “recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China.” It also said in the communique that it will within this context “maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan,” and “does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan … and that it intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution.”

   However, the United States adopted the so-called “Taiwan Relations Act” shortly after the establishment of its diplomatic relations with China, and recently publicized the so-called “Six Assurances” to Taiwan in an attempt to deliberately bolster the region as a polity completely independent of China. Over the past decades, it has gradually increased the volume and upgraded weapons sold to Taiwan, leveled up its military collusion with the region, and substantially relaxed restrictions on its official exchanges with Taiwan.

Behind falsehearted care for the peaceful resolution of the cross-Strait situation is the United States continuously sending wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces, which has become the biggest backer of those forces and the greatest external barrier to cross-Strait peaceful reunification. The so-called “one-China policy” the United States often mentioned is nothing but diplomatic language that reveals its evil intention to fudge and hollow out the one-China principle, and to create the erroneous illusion of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan.”

   In fact, such a trick by the West is nothing new. As it sought to colonize small nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the early modern period, the West, apart from military intrusions, often turned to bullying, coercion, extortion, deception, and blackmail under the pretext of “international law” and “free trade” to gradually encroach on the nation’s internal and external jurisdiction, a process that could last for decades or even hundreds of years.

   Later, during the 20th-century decolonization movements, the West did its utmost to retain the right to intervene in its former colonies’ defense and diplomacy, monopolize military imports and technical trainings, maintain key military bases, and retain jurisdiction over key international watercourses, all to continue exploiting their former colonies.

   Colonialism has long been cast into the dustbin of history. Mutual respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as non-intervention has long become the basic norms of international law and international relations.

   There is only one system in the world — the international system with the United Nations at its core. There is only one order — the international order based on international law. And there is only one set of rules — the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

   The 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, the 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender as well as the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 of 1971 have all made clear the core content of the one-China principle and laid the legal foundation for building the post-World War II international order. Based on this principle and the international order, 181 countries established and developed their diplomatic relations with China.

   In response to Pelosi’s visit, more than 170 countries and international organizations that truly represent the global community have spoken up for justice, and President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have both reaffirmed their adherence to the one-China principle, a universally-recognized one that brooks no distortion or falsification.  Enditem

Yin is Director General of the China Legal Exchange Center and vice president of the Law Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits

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