Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Beijing has published a report on Taiwan for the first time in more than 20 years.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a white paper titled “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era“.

The White Paper notes that the Chinese authorities will never allow an attempt at Taiwan independence. Beijing assured that it will do everything possible for the peaceful return of the island. The document also states that “certain forces” in the United States have tried to use Taiwan against China.

Of particular interest in the report prepared by the Taiwan Affairs and Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China is the following statement:

We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities. In no way does it target our fellow Chinese in Taiwan. Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances. We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines.”

That is, China is ready for “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, with the complete exclusion of various forms of “separatist activity” regarding the independence of the island, but the use of force to establish control over it is also not ruled out.

The white paper further states that the actions of the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party authorities have led to tensions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, jeopardizing peace and stability in the region, as well as undermining the prospects and limiting the space for peaceful reunification. These are obstacles that need to be removed in order to advance the process of peaceful reunification, the authors of the report come to this conclusion.

The best approach to implement national reunification, according to Beijing, is the following:

“To realize peaceful reunification, we must acknowledge that the mainland and Taiwan have their own distinct social systems and ideologies. The One Country, Two Systems principle is the most inclusive solution to this problem. It is an approach that is grounded in democratic principles, demonstrates good will, seeks peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question, and delivers mutual benefit. The differences in social system are neither an obstacle to reunification nor a justification for secessionism. We firmly believe that our compatriots in Taiwan will develop a better understanding of the principle, and that the Two Systems solution to the Taiwan question will play its full role while compatriots on both sides work together towards peaceful reunification.”

Beijing’s first White Paper on Taiwan was published in 1993 after the two sides reached an oral consensus on the One China principle.

The authorities published a second “White Paper” on Taiwan in 2000 after Macau’s return to Chinese sovereignty. As a result, Taiwan was the only missing piece on the path to Chinese unification.

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