By Chinese Ambassador to Liberia H.E. Ren Yisheng
Commentary: Recently, some local media outlets reproduced a signed article by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, titled “US Strategic Ambiguity over Taiwan must end”. In his article, Abe deliberately compared the two fundamentally different issues of Taiwan and Ukraine, exaggerating the risk of conflict in the Taiwan Strait, calling on the United States to clearly state “defending Taiwan”, and reiterated that “A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency”. Abe’s remarks blatantly violate the one-China principle, attempt to change the fact that both sides of the strait belong to same China, and take the opportunity to smear and attack China, which China firmly rejects.
The Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are different in nature and are not comparable at all. The most fundamental difference is that Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China’s territory. This is an irrefutable historical and legal fact. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations. The Taiwan question is entirely China’s internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere. The Ukraine issue is a dispute between two countries of Russia and Ukraine. Some people, while being vocal about the principle of sovereignty on the Ukraine issue, have kept undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan question. This is a blatant act of double standards.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, some people in the West have deliberately compared the Taiwan question to the Ukraine issue. It’s not that they don’t know the common knowledge, but they are trying to confuse people, take advantage of chaos, and have sinister intentions. The purpose is to attempt to create a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, to serve its own geostrategic and economic interests at the expense of the well-being of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and regional peace and stability, and contain China’s revitalization and development.
On the Taiwan question, Japan bears grave historical responsibilities to the Chinese people. Taiwan is the beginning of Japan’s modern war of aggression against China. Counting from the invasion of Taiwan in 1874, Japan began a 70-year war of aggression against China in modern times. Taiwan is also a base and springboard for Japan’s full-scale invasion of China. During its 50-year colonial rule over Taiwan, Japan has committed innumerable crimes. This is an unforgettable tragic history that the Chinese people will never forget. After the defeat in World War II, Japan had to return Taiwan to China according to the explicit demand of the Cairo Declaration issued in 1943. The Potsdam Proclamation of 1945 reaffirmed that the conditions of the Cairo Declaration would be implemented. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China and becoming the sole legitimate government of China, Taiwan became indisputably part of the new China. United Nations Resolution 2758 has further clarified Taiwan’s status. This is the fact no one can deny.
The Taiwan question is purely China’s own affair and none of Japan’s business. It is dangerous and futile for some people in Japan to mention Taiwan and Ukraine in the same breath and incite “breakthroughs” in the relations with Taiwan. We seriously urge the Japanese side and certain politicians to make deep reflection on history, earnestly abide by the principles stipulated in the four political documents between China and Japan and Japan’s commitments, avoid any official interaction with the Taiwan authorities, refrain from emboldening “Taiwan independence” elements, speak and act prudently on the Taiwan question and stop making provocations.
The people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are all Chinese and have a kinship that is thicker than water. At present, millions of Taiwan people live and work in peace and contentment in the mainland China. As Taiwan’s largest export market and largest source of trade surplus, the Mainland brings real benefits and well-being to Taiwan’s people. The tension in the Taiwan Strait is rooted in the fact that the Taiwan DPP authorities refuse to agree with the one-China principle and attempt to change the status quo that both sides of the strait belong to one China. By promoting “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, Taiwan’s history will be distorted and Taiwan’s roots will be split, which will ultimately ruin Taiwan’s future. The peace and future of the Taiwan region can only lie on the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and the final reunification of the motherland.
We are willing to strive for the peaceful reunification of the motherland with the greatest sincerity and best efforts, but reserve the option of taking all necessary measures, targeting only the interference of external forces and the very few ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and their separatist activities. Some Western forces connive and encourage the development of “Taiwan independence” forces, challenge and hollow out the principle of one China, which seriously violates the basic norms of international relations, and seriously undermines the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. Not only will it push Taiwan into a dangerous situation, but it will also bring unbearable consequences to themselves. No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s strong determination, firm will and strong ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Taiwan independence” can only be a dead-end, and no one should have any misunderstanding or misjudgment about it. Fuelling fire on the Taiwan issue will only usher in the end of those who play with fire and set themselves on fire.