ACKNOWLEDGING THE ONE-CHINA POLICY : AN ANALYSIS
By Lawal Sale
It has been one China, and there will always be one China. That China is the People’s Republic of China which was affirmed at the United Nations during its 26th session in October 1971.
With this affirmation of People’s Republic of China as the only “China,” the Republic of China also known as Taiwan, ceased to be another China from the day of that resolution but remained an inalienable part of sovereign People’s Republic of China.
It is worthy of note that prior to the UN’s 26th session, on October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China was founded, and the Central People’s Government became the only legitimate government of the whole of China.
The new government replaced the previously expelled KMT regime in a situation where China, as a subject under international law, did not change, and China’s sovereignty and inherent territory did not change as well.
It is evident that to date, about 185 countries out of 195 member states of the United Nations have acknowled the one-China principle and established full diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China on the basis of the “one-China” policy.
Analysts pointed out that the position of these member countries once again, acknowledged and strengthened the consensus of the one-China policy among the international community.
In fact, the latest country to establish diplomatic relations with P.R. China among the 185 mentioned earlier, was the Micronesian state of Nauru in the Pacific.
In Africa, for instance, all the 54 countries except one adhere to the one-China principle and have strong diplomatic ties with the Beijing government.
Nigeria, with over 50 years of establishing diplomatic ties with China, recently restated its dedication to the one-China policy; this position was contained in a statement by Honourable Jafaru Yakubu, the chairman House of Representative Committee on Nigeria-China Relations.
The lawmaker reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to constantly adhere to the one-China principle noting that “there is but one China in the world, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole China.
Similarly, in January 2017, Nigeria yet took another final decision and reaffirmed its commitment to One-China Policy.
“The Federal Government, then made a significant and historic move when the then Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister announced to the world during a joint press conference with the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, that Nigeria would no longer allow Taiwan to continue to operate in Nigeria as a country with an unofficial embassy, but would be committed to “One-China Policy”.
A Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and China was signed in respect of Nigeria’s commitment to supporting the policy and recognising People’s Republic of China as the sole legal authority undertaking diplomacy and other bilateral relations.
Decades past, China has been persuading Taiwan for a peaceful national reunification, but there is a recalcitrant set of people in the island that are being propelled by foreign forces to rebel against the idea of reunification with the mainland China.
President Xi Jinping, in his address marking the 130th anniversary of People’s Republic of China founder Mao Zedong’s birth, said, the “reunification” of Taiwan is “inevitable”, adding that “the realisation of the complete reunification with motherland is an inevitable course of development, is righteous and is what the people want. The motherland (China) must and will be reunited,” he said.
It will be recalled that an election in Taiwan was held on 13th January, 2024 where the ruling Democratic Progressive Party that is clamouring for independence won the presidential election despite China denouncing the candidate as a separatist, and called on the people of Taiwan to make the right choice while noting the harm the DPP’s candidate will bring.
Furthermore, in the aftermath of Taiwan’s elections, a statement from the Chinese government reiterated its stance that “the Taiwan’s question is China’s internal affairs.
Whatever changes take place in Taiwan, the basic fact that there is only “One-China” in the world and Taiwan is part of China will not change; the Chinese government’s position of upholding the one-China principle will not change, according to the statement.
*Lawal Sale is an Abuja-based Global Affairs Analyst*