Monday, 9 January 2017

The ‘One China’ policy

Update 10 Feb 2017: Trump changes tack, backs 'one China' policy in call with Xi
A combination of file photos showing Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at London's Heathrow Airport, October 19, 2015 and U.S. President Donald Trump posing for a photo in New York City, U.S., May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Lucas Jackson/File Photos

U.S. President Donald Trump changed tack and agreed to honour the "one China" policy during a phone call with China's leader Xi Jinping, a major diplomatic boost for Beijing which brooks no criticism of its claim to self-ruled Taiwan.

Trump angered Beijing in December by talking to the president of Taiwan and saying the United States did not have to stick to the policy, under which Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of it.

A White House statement said Trump and Chinese President Xi had a lengthy phone conversation on Thursday night, Washington time.

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Trump Honors One-China Policy in Phone Call with Xi

The United States government remains committed to the one-China policy, US President Donald Trump assured his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in their first telephone call since Trump assumed office.

During the call on Friday, the two leaders also agreed to keep close contact and said they expected to meet each other at an early date, China Central Television reported.

After winning the election last year, Trump angered Beijing as he posted a tweet that seemed to question the one-China policy and he received a phone call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen.

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Trump tells Xi he’ll honor ‘One China’ policy

The White House says President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call tonight that the U.S. would honor Washington’s “one China” policy, which has been at the center of friction between the global powers since Trump’s election.

Trump “agreed, at the request of President Xi,” to honor the policy, the White House says.

Before taking office, Trump questioned Washington’s “one China policy,” which shifted diplomatic recognition from self-governing Taiwan to China in 1979. He said it was open to negotiation.

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Trump reaffirms 'one China' policy in call with China's Xi

President Donald Trump reaffirmed America's long-standing "one China" policy in a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, dealing a victory to Beijing on an issue it considers nonnegotiable and possibly helping to ease uncertainty between the nations.

Trump's latest remarks, coming after he repeatedly suggested using the policy as leverage, appeared aimed at reassuring Beijing he would not seek to upend relations between the world's two-largest economies.

"This is an important step," said Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser on Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. "This will now pave the way for the engagement of the U.S. and Chinese governments on a wide range of issues."

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Taiwan President Balancing US Ties With China Despite Line to Trump

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is showing signs of steering a middle course between China and the United States, despite a unique connection with Donald Trump, to balance competing voter sentiments and reduce the risk of escalating anger in Beijing.

Tsai made a surprise call to Trump in December before he took office. But her government has made a series of statements over the past two weeks suggesting it wants no worsening of already strained relations with China.

“As far as Taiwan’s policy toward China, she’s been very consistent in showing goodwill, which has not been reciprocated by China,” said Ross Feingold, a Taipei-based analyst with an American political consultancy.

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What is the ‘One China’ policy?
With US President-elect Donald Trump hinting that the "One China" policy could be questioned, the BBC explains this hugely sensitive diplomatic tightrope

What is the ‘One China’ policy? - It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of the Chinese position that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of that China. Under the policy, the US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

As a part of the policy, Washington maintains a robust, non-official relationship with Taiwan, including continued arms sales to the island. The policy of acknowledging China’s position on this issue is not only a key cornerstone of Sino-US relations, it is also a fundamental bedrock of Chinese policy-making and diplomacy.

Although Taiwan’s government claims it is an independent country officially called the “Republic of China”, any country that wants diplomatic relations with mainland China must break official ties with Taipei. It has resulted in Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation from the international community.

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Trump says 'One China' policy up for negotiation

US President-elect Donald Trump has said that the One China policy is up for negotiation, in yet another comment certain to irk Beijing.

In an interview published by the Wall Street Journal late Friday, Trump was specifically asked if he supported the "one China" policy on Taiwan that has underpinned U.S. relations with Beijing for decades, Trump told the Journal: "Everything is under negotiation including One China."

Trump irked Beijing when he took a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in early December shortly after his election victory. The move was considered a breach of the "One China" protocol since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Taipei from Beijing in 1979. He further upset Beijing later by asking why the US had to adhere to the One China policy when the island is in fact the US big buyer of arms.

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Trump: One China Policy on Taiwan an Issue to Be Negotiated
Trump claims that the "One China" policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it

US president-elect Donald Trump says the "One China" policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it.

"Everything is under negotiation including One China," Trump stressed in a Friday interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Trump suggested that China is a currency manipulator, saying "They’re doing it [devaluating the currency] on purpose."

related: China Warns Trump: Flake on One China Policy and Beijing Will ‘Take Revenge’

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China Warns 'Small and Medium Size' Countries Not To Side with Big Countries: White Paper
Chinese naval aircraft carriers

A white paper released today by China on Asia-Pacific security cooperation has warned ‘small and medium size countries’ not to take sides in disputes between big countries, without naming the countries in question. The white paper, "China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation" was released by the State Council Information Office Wednesday on policies related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation, which also clarified the nation's stance on issues of regional concern.

"Small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries," according to the white paper, Sina reported Wednesday. All countries should work toward a new dialogue system instead of confrontation, and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, according to the white paper. Outlining China's concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the white paper explained the Chinese approach to achieving peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The policy package includes the promotion of common development; the building of partnerships; improvement of existing multilateral frameworks; rule-setting; military exchanges; and proper settlement of differences.

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China issues white paper, warns small- and medium-sized countries not to take sides

China on Wednesday (Jan 11) issued its first white paper on issues related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation.

In the six-point proposal, reproduced in full by Xinhua, Beijing stated that "small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries".

"All countries should make joint efforts to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, and build an Asia-Pacific partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation," the white paper read.

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Diplomacy 101 for Trump: Don’t mess with one-China policy

At a press conference on Friday, US President Barack Obama brought up some basic foreign policy concepts to enlighten his successor Donald Trump. "The idea of 'one China' is at the heart of their conception as a nation," Obama said. "This goes to the core of how they see themselves, and their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant." Obama suggested that Trump should think through the consequences before he wants to "upend this understanding."

Trump greatly rocked diplomatic protocol by hinting he might challenge the one-China principle, a foundation for all China's diplomatic ties with other countries. His appalling and "unpresidented" statement has raised many eyebrows even among traditional US allies.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Trump's handling of the Taiwan question was "not very clever." Australia promised it wouldn't change its policy in relation to one China despite Trump's stance. Germany also committed itself to the one-China policy.

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Merkel says Germany will stick to one-China policy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that her country, Europe's biggest economic power, won't be changing its policy on China and Taiwan after President-elect Donald Trump raised questions about the future U.S. stance.

Merkel was asked Monday whether she, like Trump, would be prepared to speak to Taiwan's president and what Trump's recent comments on China mean for Europe. She replied: "We continue to stand by the one-China policy and we will not change our position."

The one-China policy means recognizing Beijing as China's capital and maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan. Trump said over the weekend he wouldn't feel "bound by a one-China policy."

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One China, Many Trumps?
Panic, hope, fear and anger are all premature when it comes to Trump’s policy on Taiwan and China

If we needed one word to describe President-elect Donald J. Trump’s policies on Taiwan and China over the past week, that word would be uncertainty. From a tradition-breaking telephone conversation with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen earlier this month, to his claim that the United States should not necessarily be bound by its longstanding “one China” policy, to his suggestion that Taiwan could be used as a bargaining chip for trade negotiations with China, Trump has both angered and reassured at once.

This apparent inconsistency has encouraged the wildest speculation and renewed interest in the dynamics of the Taiwan Strait, leading some to conclude that a new era of opportunity for Taiwan, the isolated democracy claimed by China as part of its territory, is at hand, and others warning that Trump’s adventurism or inexperience could severely harm Taiwan’s interests by compelling Beijing to retaliate against it.

Reacting to Trump’s interview with Fox News on Sunday, in which he made his comments about “one China” and Taiwan as a possible bargaining chip, China’s hypernationalistic Global Times warned darkly, “If Trump gave up the One China policy, publicly supported Taiwan independence and wantonly sold weapons to Taiwan, China would have no grounds to partner with Washington on international affairs and contain forces hostile to the US.” It continued, “In response to Trump’s provocations, Beijing could offer support, even military assistance to US foes.”

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China says no country can be exception to 'one China' principle
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a press conference in Beijing, China December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Greg Baker/Pool

The "one China" principle is the basis for developing ties with China and no country can be an exception to this rule, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his French counterpart.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has upset China by speaking with the president of self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, and casting doubt on Washington's nearly four-decade policy of recognizing that Taiwan is part of "one China".

Speaking with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Wang said the Taiwan issue concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, China's Foreign Ministry said late on Thursday.

'One China' policy cannot be used for bargaining

On Sunday, US President-elect Donald Trump made some surprising remarks about the Taiwan question again. When interviewed by the Fox News network, he said, "I fully understand the 'One China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade." From these remarks, Western media believes that Trump may use the policy to force China to make a compromise on trade.

It seems that such an analysis is credible. During a phone call with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, Trump called Tsai "Taiwan President," making many people suspect that the businessman-turned US President-elect will use the One China policy, the cornerstone of Sino-US relations, as a bargaining chip to peddle America's short-term interests.

With Trump's new remarks on Taiwan, many people marveled at Trump's commercial thinking and naivety for diplomacy. The One China policy has gone through the ages since the Richard Nixon administration. In addition, the policy has become a fundamental principle of international order. Leaders all around the world, including US leaders, understand the importance of the policy.

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One-China policy is a prerequisite

The Foreign Ministry has said that the One China policy is a prerequisite for any countries to have diplomatic ties with China. Spokesperson Geng Shuang expressed appreciation to countries that have recently reiterated their support for the policy.

"We appreciate those countries who reaffirmed their commitment to the One-China policy. Here I would like to reiterate that there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of China. The People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.

The One-China Principle is the premise and foundation of any cooperative relationship between China and other countries," he said.

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Beijing will ‘take revenge,’ break ties with US if Trump ditches one-China policy – state media

Should Donald Trump break the “one-China” policy after taking office, the Chinese people will call on the government to “take revenge,” Beijing’s unofficial mouthpiece warned shortly after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen made a stopover in Houston.

“Trump is yet to be inaugurated, and there is no need for Beijing to sacrifice bilateral ties for the sake of Taiwan. But in case he tears up the one-China policy after taking office, the mainland is fully prepared,” the Communist party-owned Chinese newspaper Global Times said in an editorial on Sunday. “Beijing would rather break ties with the US if necessary. We would like to see whether US voters will support their president to ruin Sino-US relations and destabilize the entire Asia-Pacific region,” it added.

“If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining,” the Global Times concluded. On Sunday, Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen, whom China does not recognize as legitimate, met with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Senator Ted Cruz during her stopover in Houston en route to Central America.

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Chinese State Media Warns Trump on One-China Policy

A state-run Chinese tabloid on Sunday warned President-elect Donald Trump of “revenge” if he fails to abide by its one-China policy. The warning, from Global Times, came as the Taiwanese president met with U.S. lawmakers despite strong objections from Beijing.

China has repeatedly warned Trump about adhering to the policy in recent weeks, stressing again and again that Taiwan is a part of China and not a sovereign nation. “Sticking to [the one China] principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific,” the newspaper wrote. “If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge.

There is no room for bargaining.” Trump, who vowed to take a hard line on China throughout his campaign, broke with diplomatic tradition after the election by accepting a phone call from Taiwan’s leader, a move that was later reported to have been planned for weeks in advance. The phone call infuriated Beijing and prompted numerous warnings about the one-China policy.

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Chinese state media warns of revenge if Trump ends one-China policy

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned US President-elect Donald Trump that China would take "take revenge" if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan's president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met senior US Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Tsai will stopover on Jan. 13 in San Francisco on her way back to Taiwan. Beijing had asked Washington not to allow Tsai to enter the United States and that she not have any formal government meetings under the one China policy.

A photograph tweeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott shows him meeting Tsai, with a small table between them adorned with the U.S., Texas and Taiwanese flags. Tsai's office said on Monday she also spoke by telephone with US senator John McCain, head of the powerful Senate Committee on Armed Services. Tsai also met Texas Senator Ted Cruz. "Sticking to (the one China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific," said the Global Times editorial on Sunday. The influential tabloid is published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily.

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Chinese state tabloid warns Trump: End one-China policy & China will take revenge

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would "take revenge" if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan's president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala & El Salvador. Tsai will stop in San Francisco on Jan. 13, her way back to Taiwan.

China had asked the United States not to allow Tsai to enter or have formal government meetings under the one-China policy.

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CHINA WARNS TRUMP: Cooperation is 'out of the question' if One China policy is changed

China expressed "serious concern" on Monday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-held stance that Taiwan is part of "one China", calling it the basis for relations.

Trump's comments on "Fox News Sunday", questioning nearly four decades of U.S. policy, came after he prompted a diplomatic protest from China over his decision to accept a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2.

China's Foreign Ministry said cooperation was "out of the question" if Washington could not recognize Beijing's core interest on Taiwan, indicating it would reject any effort by Trump to use the issue as a bargaining chip in a long list of commercial and security problems facing the two countries.

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Trump versus China: the ‘madman’ strategy

“When two elephants fight against each other, the grass always suffers,” said Yu-Fang Lin of the National Policy Foundation, a Taiwan-based think tank, in an interview with The Washington Times. He was talking about the famous phone call between Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Donald Trump on Dec. 2. If the United States and China get into a military confrontation, Lin suggested, it is Taiwan that will be crushed.

Beijing was outraged by that phone call, the first direct conversation between an official of the Taiwan government and an American president or president-elect in almost four decades, but it kept its fury in check. Beijing made an official complaint to Washington, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed the call as a “petty trick” by Taiwan. Chinese leaders, as puzzled as everybody else by the Trump phenomenon, were soft-pedaling the issue and hoping against hope that the president-elect wasn’t looking for a fight.

The alternative was just too frightening to contemplate. Yu-Fang Lin called it the “madman” strategy: Trump making himself “appear to be very dangerous and hostile and very unpredictable to scare the (Chinese) leaders” into concessions on various issues. Within days, Trump gave Lin’s theory wings.

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What is the one-China policy and how did it become the bedrock of Sino-US ties?

The one-China policy recognises that Taiwan is part of China. How did it come about?

Here’s a brief history of the one-China policy that has been the bedrock of Sino-US relations for four decades. In 1949, Chinese Communist Party forces backed by the Soviet Union won the civil war, founded the People’s Republic of China and drove the Kuomintang regime, or officially the Republic of China, to the island of Taiwan.

After the outbreak of the Korean War, the US increased military and economic aid to Taiwan, and maintained diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. The Republic of China, although it only ruled Taiwan in reality, remained the representative of China at the United Nations until 1971. The Communists, however, were always recognised as the legitimate government of China by the Soviet Union and other socialist states.

related: How the China-US relationship evolved, and why it still matters

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Taiwan and the 'One China' policy

The One China policy is the recognition in the US of the long-held position in Beijing that there is only one China, and Taiwan is part of that.

Washington, however, maintains unofficial contact with the elected Taiwan government, and also sells arms to the island. This means that Taiwan can sustain itself as a self-ruling island, even though it lacks formal recognition as an independent state.

The fact that most of the international community follows the US in recognising Beijing means that Taiwan has been left isolated on the global stage.

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The China-Taiwan divide, and how the world looks at it

The first known settlers in Taiwan are thought to have come from modern-day southern China. The island first appears in Chinese records in AD239, when China sent an expeditionary force to explore — a fact Beijing uses to back its territorial claim.

After a brief spell as a Dutch colony (1642-1661) Taiwan was unquestionably administered by China’s Qing dynasty from 1683 to 1895. Starting at the beginning of the 17th Century, significant numbers of migrants started arriving from China, often fleeing turmoil or hardship. Most were Hoklo Chinese from Fujian (Fukien) province or were Hakka Chinese, largely from Guangdong. The descendants of these two migrations now make up by far the largest population group.

In 1895, following Japan’s victory in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Qing government had no choice but to cede Taiwan to Japan.

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One-China policy

The One-China policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called "China", despite the existence of two governments that claim to be "China". As a policy, this means that countries seeking diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China) must break official relations with the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) and vice versa.

The One China policy is also different from the "One China principle", which is the principle that insists both Taiwan and mainland China are inalienable parts of a single "China". A modified form of the "One China" principle known as the "1992 Consensus" is the current policy of the PRC government, and at times, the policy of the ROC government, depending on which major political party is in power. Under this "consensus", both governments "agree" that there is only one sovereign state encompassing both mainland China and Taiwan, but disagree about which of the two governments is the legitimate government of this state. An analogous situation exists with Korea.

The One-China principle faces opposition from supporters of the Taiwan independence movement, which pushes to establish the "Republic of Taiwan" and cultivate a separate identity apart from China called "Taiwanization". Taiwanization's influence on the government of the ROC has caused instability: after the Communist Party of China expelled the ROC in the Chinese Civil War from most of Chinese territory in 1949 and founded the PRC, the ROC's Chinese Nationalist government, which still held Taiwan, continued to claim legitimacy as the government of all of China. Under former President Lee Teng-hui, additional articles were appended to the ROC constitution in 1991 so that it applied effectively only to the Taiwan Area prior to national unification. However, recent ROC President Ma Ying-jeou has re-asserted claims on mainland China as late as October 8, 2008.

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What Is the One-China Policy?

The People's Republic of China reiterated Sunday that it won't discuss diplomatic or trade issues with Taiwan until new Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian recognizes the one-China policy. What is the one-China policy?

The one-China policy holds that there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of China. The leaders of both countries have long subscribed to the one-China policy--each insisting on their own government's legitimacy--but the Taiwanese position has eroded over the past few decades as the People's Republic has gained international prominence. Taiwan's softened position is spelled out in its 1991 Guidelines for National Unification, which insists only that a unified China must be "democratic" and "free," not necessarily led by Taiwan. The People's Republic position remains fundamentally unchanged.

The controversy dates back to 1949, when the victorious Communists established the People's Republic of China on the mainland, and the defeated Nationalists fled to Taiwan where they continued to claim sovereignty over all of China.

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Origin of the One-China Principle

The Chinese government’s white paper,“The one-China Principle and the Taiwan Issue”,released on February 21,2000,points out: The One-China Principle has evolved in the course of the Chinese people’s just struggle to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its basis, both de facto and dejure, is unshakable.

The most crucial event involving the Taiwan issue in contemporary history was the Shimonoseki Treaty imposed on the Qing govemment by Japan in 1895 through an aggressive war. However,Japan’s 50-year occupation of Taiwan finally came to an end also as a result of war, the Japanese defeat in the Second World War. In December l941, following the Pearl Harbor Incident, the Chinese government declared war against Japan and proclaimed that all treaties,agreements and contracts concerning Sino-Japanese relations,including the Shimonoseki Treaty,be abrogated, and that China would recover Taiwan. In December l943, the Cairo Declaration issued by the Chinese,U.S. and British governments stipulated that Japan should return to China all the territories it had seized from the Chinese, including northeast China, Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago. The Potsdam Proclamation signed by China,the United States and Britain in 1945 (later adhered to by the Soviet Union) stipulated that the term of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out. In August that year,Japan surrendered and promised in its instrument of surrender that it would faithfully fulfill the obligations laid down in the Potsdam Proclamation. On October 25, 1945, the Chinese government recovered Taiwan and Penghu Archipelago, resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan. This episode shows clearly that since l945,Taiwan’s return to China has been both de facto and de jure. According to the norms of international law war makes the treaties signed among belligerent countries invalid,China’s declaration of war on Japan naturally made invalid the Shimonoseki Treaty and thus nullified the legal basis of Japanese occupation of Taiwan. The Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation,international treaties bearing the full weight of international law, affirmed that Taiwan had been returned to China.

The United States played an important part in the formulation of the Cairo Declaration, and on the question of returning Taiwan back to China, President Roosevelt held identical positions with China and made a positive contribution. From that time till 1951 when the Korean War broke out, the United States basically maintained Roosevelt’s policy towards Taiwan. However, there also were strong undercurrents to betray this policy as the Cold War unfolded and the Chinese civil war raged on in favor of a victory of the Chinese Communist Party. In 1947 when the February 28 Incident erupted, the U.S. Consulate-General in Taipei proposed in a report immediate intervention in the name of the U.S. or the United Nations. To justify this intervention, it alleged that legally, Japan still retains Taiwan’s sovereignty. With Taiwan’s status as such, direct intervention was appropriate. The report was approved by the then American Ambassador to China Leighton Stuard and was sent to the State Department. In 1949, when it became apparent that the KMT regime of Chiang Kai-shek would soon collapse, the National Security Council of the United States worked out a report on January 19, aiming at preventing the fall of Taiwan into the hands of the Chinese Communists. The Draft Report by the fall of Taiwan into the hands of the Chinese Communists. The Draft Report by the National Security Council on the Position of the United States with Respect to Formosa, numbered NSC37-1 further elaborated on the allegations of the Stuard report that Taiwan’s status was undecided. It claimed that Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire, and its final status was to be decided by a peace treaty (between China and Japan). It went even further by saying that China had only de facto occupation of Taiwan, denying China’s de jure sovereignty over the island. Around that time,the U.S. also attempted to put Taiwan under the trusteeship of the U.N.

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Qian Qichen Reiterates "One China" Principle

Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen has said that the "One China" principle will be firmly adhered to in fighting any separatist activity in the name of "Taiwan Independence," "Two Chinas," "One China, One Taiwan," or in any other forms.

He made the remarks at a reception to mark the 48th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China held in Beijing on September 29 by the State Council's Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs, Office of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs and Taiwan Affairs Office, which was attended by more than 1,000 compatriots from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Macao and Taiwan, Chinese nationals residing abroad and foreign citizens of Chinese origin. Qian reiterated China's firm opposition to the attempts to use a referendum to change the fact that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.

China is willing to increase contacts with various parties and people from all walks of life in Taiwan, except for a small number of "Taiwan Independence" supporters, he said. And China is ready to hear any opinion or suggestion that would benefit the reunification of the motherland, he said.

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China-One-China Principle

Adherence to the one-China principle is an important prerequisite when countries seeking to develop relations with China, said a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. Lu Kang, the spokesperson, made the remarks at a regular press conference on the report that Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen will pass through the United States en route to visit Nicaragua.

Lu emphasized that there is only one China in the world. The government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, which has been commonly recognized by the international community. The one-China principle is a necessary and important prerequisite when countries seeking relations and mutual cooperation with China.

"Only when countries adhere to the one-China principle, can their relations with China be smoothly developed and mutually beneficial cooperation furthered. Taiwan leader’s real political purpose behind the little tricks, such as the so-called 'transit diplomacy', is self-evident. I think every side is clear about that," said Lu Kang.

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Evolution of the “One China”

Despite broadly consistent statements, the U.S. “one China” policy concerning Taiwan remains somewhat ambiguous and subject to different interpretations. Apart from questions about what the policy entails, issues have arisen about whether U.S. Presidents have stated clear positions and have changed or should change policy, affecting U.S. interests in security and democracy. This CRS Report, updated through the 113th Congress, analyzes the “one China” policy since U.S. Presidents began in 1971 to reach understandings with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Taiwan calls itself the Republic of China (ROC) and does not recognize the PRC. There are three sets of issues: sovereignty over Taiwan; PRC use of force or coercion against Taiwan; and cross-strait dialogue. The United States recognized the ROC until the end of 1978 and has maintained non-diplomatic engagement with Taiwan after recognition of the PRC in 1979. The State Department claims an “unofficial” relationship with Taiwan. The United States did not explicitly state Taiwan’s status in the U.S.-PRC Joint Communiques of 1972, 1979, and 1982. The United States “acknowledged” the “one China” position of both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Since 1971, U.S. Presidents—both secretly and publicly—have articulated a “one China” policy in understandings with the PRC.

Congressional oversight has watched for any new agreements and any shift in the U.S. stance closer to that of Beijing’s “one China” principle—on questions of sovereignty, arms sales, or dialogue. Not recognizing the PRC’s claim over Taiwan or Taiwan as a sovereign state, U.S. policy has considered Taiwan’s status as unsettled. With added conditions, U.S. policy leaves the Taiwan question to be resolved by the people on both sides of the strait: a “peaceful resolution” with the assent of Taiwan’s people and without unilateral changes. In short, U.S. policy focuses on the process of resolution of the Taiwan question, not any set outcome.

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The U.S. "One China" Policy: Time for a Change?

When I told my friend and colleague, Professor Steven Goldstein, Director of the Fairbank Center's Taiwan Studies Workshop, that I had chosen the topic The U.S. "One China" Policy: Time for a Change?", he asked if I had gone over to the "dark side." Though he knew the answer, his rhetorical question reflected the fact that, at least in some of the circles he and I travel in there is a nascent, and perhaps more than nascent, debate about the relevance of the "one China" policy today. Calls for change come from both sides- on the one hand, from those who say the United States should "face reality," as well as live up to its ideals, and support the independence of democratic Taiwan; and, on the other hand, from those who favor open U.S. support, not just for peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, but for peaceful reunification as the only way to avoid an eventual crisis, indeed an eventual war.

That Americans coming at this issue from such polar opposite positions should see such fundamental problems with the policy suggests to me that the policy's essential nuance, its "art," if you will, and its value, are being lost and that for this reason alone it merits attention. But even more important, at least to me, I thought it worth addressing this topic because of its rising sensitivity both in Taiwan and on the Mainland.

Many of you are familiar with the current debate in Taiwan over whether-and how far-to press for change in the formal status of the island and, in the meantime, how to shape-and describe-Taiwan's relationship with the Mainland. I will address later on a proposed referendum to join the United Nations "in the name of 'Taiwan'", but here I would simply point out that some people in Taiwan are increasingly angry with U.S. opposition to that referendum, and argue with substantial fervor that it is necessary to break out of what they term the "birdcage" democracy that Washington, together with Beijing, is imposing on the people of Taiwan.

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'One China' principle must be basis for relations with Taiwan

Only by confirming the 'One China' principle can cross-strait authorities continue regular communications, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said on Saturday, according to the state newswire Xinhua.

Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has traditionally favoured independence, was sworn in on Friday after eight years under the China-friendly Nationalist Ma Ying-jeou.

Although Tsai, Taiwan's first woman president, said Taiwan would play a responsible role and be a "staunch guardian of peace" with China in her speech on Friday, Chinese officials are pressuring the new government to explicitly endorse the so called "one China" principle which was agreed to with the Nationalist Party.

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One-China Principle Justified

The Taiwan question is purely China's internal affair by its very nature. China has maintained the principle of peaceful reunification and has been working hard to solve the question and reunify the country.

Under the scheme of "one country, two systems" after reunification, Taiwan Province will maintain its current political, economic and social system and its own military. It will also maintain its current international economic links as an economic entity like Hong Kong and Macao. But China also has ample reasons not to agree to renounce the possible use of force with regard to solving the Taiwan question.

Taiwan has been a part of China since ancient times. No matter in terms of domestic law or international law, Taiwan is part of China. Following its defeat in the Sino-Japanese war in 1895, the government of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki ceding Taiwan to Japan.

related: The One-China Principle and the Taiwan Issue

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One-China Principle – International Law

In a statement issued upon the conclusion of his visit to China, the President of the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.), Prof. Dr. Hans Koechler, welcomed the declaration in support of the one-China principle adopted yesterday by the participants of a popular meeting in Taipei. The President of the I.P.O. stated that, in terms of international legality, Taiwan is an integral part of China. He referred to the historical fact that the separation of Taiwan from mainland China in 1895 occurred as a result of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. This treaty was imposed upon China under pressure; however, Japan's colonial and imperialist policy could not be considered as basis of international legitimacy for the separation of Taiwan from China. The President of the I.P.O. explained that this historical injustice has been corrected – following the Potsdam Proclamation of 26 July 1945 by China, the United States and the United Kingdom – in the treaty outlining the details of Japan's surrender on 15 August 1945. On 25 October 1945, Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago returned to Chinese sovereignty.

Prof. Koechler welcomed the proposals by the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits made in 1992 and stated that the separation of territories from mainland China was the result of colonialist interference which never can create legitimacy in terms of international law. He referred to the successful reintegration of Hong Kong and Macao under Chinese jurisdiction. The restoration of the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over these territories constitutes an example for China's further reunification process; the "one country, two systems" policy proved to be a great success and may also constitute the framework for the reintegration of Taiwan, Prof. Koechler explained. He further referred to the legal recognition of the one-China principle by the vast majority of United Nations member states. He expressed the hope that – after the peaceful return of Hong Kong and Macao under Chinese sovereignty – the issue of Taiwan will be settled in the same peaceful way, based on international legality and on the recognition of the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over all territories of China.

The International Progress Organization is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations. It is based in Vienna (Austria). Since the establishment of the organization in 1972, the I.P.O. has officially recognized the legal position according to which there is only one China and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government of China.

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Playing the 'Trump' card against China
By accepting a phone call, Donald Trump has disrupted relations with China. And the United States and the Chinese people may be the better for it.

The call, of course, was from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2, offering congratulations on Trump’s electoral victory. No U.S. president or president-elect is believed to have spoken to a Taiwanese president since 1979, when the United States broke relations with Taiwan and adopted the “one-China policy.”

That policy depends on several pretenses. While the United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it does have de facto diplomatic relations, with each country having consular-type offices in the other.

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China Arms Its Great Wall of Sand

In this satellite image released on Dec. 13, CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative identifies what appear to be antiaircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea. Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Reuters

For a man who stood at the White House in September 2015 and promised not to militarize the South China Sea, Xi Jinping is sure doing a lot of militarizing. Satellite photos released Thursday indicate China has deployed powerful antiaircraft and antimissile systems to all seven of its new artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago, along shipping lanes that carry $5 trillion in trade a year. This is a “massive military complex,” as Donald Trump noted recently, and it’s worth detailing how massive.

Three years ago these were only specks of land, some submerged at high tide, but China has since built 3,000 acres of territory. (The flight deck of the newest U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, is only 4.5 acres.) This is more space, with more potential military value, than China would need simply to face down its smaller neighbors—suggesting that, as U.S. Navy Commander Thomas Shugart wrote recently, “China perhaps has a larger foe in mind.”

As Commander Shugart wrote at the website War on the Rocks, three of China’s artificial islands are comparable in size to typical fighter bases in mainland China, with facilities that could be large enough for an entire fighter division of 17,000 personnel. Subi Reef now has a harbor bigger than Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, and the aptly named Mischief Reef has a land perimeter nearly equal to Washington, D.C.’s.

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