The consensus reached between former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Chinese President and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) on a “one China” principle has been met with an outcry from many quarters in Taiwan.
According to UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, passed in 1971, the only legitimate representative of China is the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The declaration of the “one China” principle that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) authorized Wu to make during his meeting with Xi is therefore tantamount to erasing the Republic of China (ROC) from the international community.
Up until now, Ma has limited himself to advocating “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” but that has been enough to give the international community the mistaken impression that Taiwan is part of the PRC.
It has also resulted in the ROC being eliminated from all kinds of international events and activities.
There are many examples of this.
On June 9, the Greater Kaohsiung City Government signed a sister-city agreement with Male, the capital city of the Maldives, but the very next day the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement to the effect that the government of the Maldives was committed to a “one China” policy and did not recognize the ROC.
It therefore unilaterally annulled the agreement.
When Philippine Coast Guard personnel shot and killed a Taiwanese fisherman, the Philippine government refused to apologize to the ROC government or to pay compensation.
At the 2011 Venice International Film Festival, the Taiwanese movie Seediq Bale was listed as having been shot in “Taiwan, China” — again because of the “one China” principle.
More serious still, in 2011 the Philippines deported a group of Taiwanese suspects to the PRC to be put on trial, trampling on Taiwan’s judicial sovereignty and human rights.
Ma demanded an apology, but the Philippines responded in accordance with the “one China” principle, firmly refusing to apologize to the ROC government.
In 2010, an internal document of the World Health Organization listed Taiwan as a province of the PRC, based on the “one China” principle and did not mention the ROC at all.
Also that year, when Taiwan and China signed the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, Ma assured Taiwanese that the agreement would help the ROC sign free-trade agreements (FTA) with other countries.
Yet not a single country has shown any intention to sign an FTA with the ROC so far, because they all maintain a “one China” policy.
All these examples show how the elimination of the ROC because of the “one China” principle has dramatically worsened since Ma started advocating “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”
Now Ma has gone a step further by authorizing Wu to go to China and sing along to the “one China” tune.
During Wu’s meeting with Xi, the ROC’s previous position of “each side having its own interpretation” simply disappeared.
This is not just an anti-democratic move that has been made without Taiwanese consent; it is a traitorous act of eradicating the ROC from the world stage.
Huang Di-ying is a lawyer and a board member of the Taiwan Forever Association.
Translated by Julian Clegg