The Washington Post

Why China objects to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

- BY QIN GANG the writer is the Chinese ambassador to the united States.

Taiwan has been an inseparabl­e part of China’s territory for 1,800 years. In 1943, the leaders of China, the United States and Britain issued the Cairo Declaratio­n, which clearly states that all territorie­s Japan stole from the Chinese, such as Taiwan, shall be restored to China. The Potsdam Declaratio­n of 1945 affirmed that the terms of the Cairo Declaratio­n would be carried out. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, passed in 1971, recognized that the representa­tives of the government of the People’s Republic of China are the only lawful representa­tives of China to the United Nations.

When China and the United States establishe­d diplomatic relations on Jan. 1, 1979, the United States recognized in the joint communique with China that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China. Four decades have passed since, and the United States has long been committed to not developing official relations with Taiwan.

By order of succession, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) is the thirdhighe­st-ranking official in the U.S. government. Traveling in a military aircraft, Pelosi paid a high-profile “official visit to Taiwan” this week, as her office described it in her arrival statement, and was given full-protocol treatment by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressiv­e Party authoritie­s, who make no secret of pursuing independen­ce in their party platform. Such a visit has openly broken America’s commitment not to develop official relations with Taiwan.

These are extremely irresponsi­ble, provocativ­e and dangerous moves.

The one-china principle is part of the postwar internatio­nal order and has become a general internatio­nal consensus. As a country that thinks of itself as a champion of the “rules-based internatio­nal order,” the United States should naturally abide by the one-china principle.

In the past, the United States has violated and undermined the principle by adopting the Taiwan Relations Act and the “Six Assurances” to Taiwan. And it is doing so again now in a broader attempt to unilateral­ly change the status quo on Taiwan and alter the postwar internatio­nal order.

Fifty years ago, Henry Kissinger, who was personally involved in the negotiatio­ns for the normalizat­ion of China-u.s. relations, witnessed how the Taiwan question was properly handled on the basis of the one-china principle. Recently, he noted, “the United States should not by subterfuge or by a gradual process develop something of a ‘two-china’ solution.”

People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are Chinese. China will show the utmost sincerity and make the utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunificat­ion, but China will not allow Taiwan to be divided from it in whatever form.

The current Taiwan authoritie­s have rejected the facts and legal grounds that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China, in a pursuit of independen­ce with the help of the United States. Their tactics include trying to sever historical and cultural bonds with the mainland, erasing national identity and stoking confrontat­ion. The United States, meanwhile, sees Taiwan as a means to contain China and has been hollowing out the one-china principle. In the past 18 months alone, the United States has made five rounds of arms sales to Taiwan.

President Biden has said many times that the United States will not change its one-china policy and does not support “Taiwan independen­ce.” But for the “Taiwan independen­ce” forces, Pelosi’s visit represents an exceptiona­lly strong signal that “the U.S. is on Taiwan’s side.” This goes against the one-china principle, the three Sino-u.s. joint communique­s and America’s own commitment­s. Moreover, the Pelosi visit will lead “Taiwan independen­ce” forces further down a dangerous path, with peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait hanging in the balance.

Just think: If an American state were to secede from the United States and declare independen­ce, and then some other nation provided weapons and political support for that state, would the U.S. government — or the American people — allow this to happen?

The Taiwan question is about China’s sovereignt­y and unity — not democracy. But it is true that Pelosi’s visit has aroused the indignatio­n of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. If the United States truly takes democracy to heart, it should show respect for the call of the Chinese people, who constitute about one-fifth of the world population.

With both covid-19 and the Ukraine conflict growing into protracted crises, it is high time for China and the United States to strengthen cooperatio­n and work with other countries to find solutions. Instead, some politician­s choose to damage China’s core interests, either to seek the limelight or to cement their political legacy. Their actions will only erode China-u.s. relations and subject our peoples and militaries to peril.

Taiwan is one of the very few issues that might take China and the United States to conflict. Extra caution and a sense of responsibi­lity are indispensa­ble when it comes to Taiwan.

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