China, the UN and the One-China principle

The One-China Principle is the foundation stone for China’s Taiwan policy, and a binding commitment of all countries that have diplomatic ties with China, including Israel.

October 2, 2018 01:43
3 minute read.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi listens to President Donald Trump address a UN Security Council

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi listens to US President Donald Trump address a UN Security Council meeting during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 26, 2018. . (photo credit: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA)


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Recently, there has been some propaganda purporting that the United Nations should “open its doors to Taiwan,” propaganda which is filled with the ignorance of history and the distortion of facts. The Chinese Embassy in Israel finds it necessary to make some justifications and to set the record straight.


When we talk about the Taiwan issue, there is one essential prerequisite – the “One-China Principle.” To be specific, the principle emphasizes that there is only one China in the world; the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China; and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.


The One-China Principle is the foundation stone for China’s Taiwan policy, and a binding commitment of all countries that have diplomatic ties with China, including Israel. It includes the idea that countries around the globe maintain and develop friendship and cooperation with China.


Over the years, the One-China Principle has been followed by almost every country in the world and has been established as a basic norm of international relations. Recently, a group of the remaining countries have successively severed their “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan and normalized relations with China. The phenomenon fully testified that the Principle is the shared aspiration of the international community and an irresistible trend of our times.


Regarding Taiwan’s participation in the UN and other international organizations, the One-China principle is also the essential foundation.


In October 1971, the 26th session of the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution No. 2758. It announced in clear and definite language that “the representative of the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal representative of China in the United Nations... and [that member states] recognize the representatives of the PRC government as the sole legal representatives of China in the United Nations Organization.” From then on, China’s representation in the United Nations has been thoroughly resolved politically and legally, in a manner strictly adhering to the UN procedures.


However, considering the needs of Taiwan compatriots and their welfare, the Chinese government, on the basis of the One-China Principle, has made arrangements for Taiwan’s participation in some international organizations that accept regional membership in a case-by-case manner, according to the nature, regulations and actual conditions of these organizations.


As a region of China, Taiwan is participating in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), under the names “Taipei, China” or “Chinese Taipei.” Similarly, the World Trade Organization (WTO), based on an agreement with China and on the principle of one China, allows Taiwan to participate as “a separate Taiwan-Peng- hu-Jinmen-Mazu tariff zone” (abbreviated as “Chinese Taipei”). It must be pointed out that while these are ad hoc arrangements, they do constitute a model applicable to other intergovernmental organizations or international gatherings for sovereign states.


Taking into account the aforementioned facts, no one could deny that there is broad economic and cultural space for Taiwan, as long as the One-China Principle is upheld. The issue of “Taiwan’s international space” or “Taiwan’s participation in the UN” is nothing but distorted and misleading propaganda by some political figures. Their intention is only to create a false impression of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan,” and separate Taiwan from the motherland. The Chinese government, like all other governments, has zero tolerance for such separatist moves.


China and Israel have a good tradition of understanding each other’s national interests. The One-China Principle is also an important part in the Joint Communiqué establishing China-Israel diplomatic rela- tions. The Taiwan issue is a core concern for China on its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and has significant influence on the sentiments of the Chinese people. We hope this article will help our friends in Israel to have a better understanding of the Taiwan issue.


The author is the spokesperson and political counselor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Israel.

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