Sun, Mar 25, 2018 - Page 6 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: US relations require give and take

At the closing ceremony of China’s annual meetings of the national legislature — the Chinese National People’s Congress — and its top political advisory body — the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference — Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said Beijing would uphold its “one China” principle and the “1992 consensus.”

He also said China would expand cross-strait economic and cultural exchanges, while at the same time sharing the opportunities offered by its development with its Taiwanese “compatriots.”

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) said China would not tolerate any attempt, proposition or act aimed at promoting Taiwanese independence, nor would it allow any external forces to play what China likes to call the “Taiwan card.”

Li said China is willing to engage in dialogue and consultation with all political parties and groups in Taiwan, as long as they recognize the “1992 consensus,” which is part of its “one China” principle.

What Xi and Li did not say is that China is still prepared to take military action against Taiwan at any time.

At the moment, Beijing is putting even more force behind its “united front” work, directing it at Taiwan’s civic society and bypassing the government in an attempt to deprive President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) government of any potential leverage.

The appointment of Wang Qishan (王岐山) — who has had to retire from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Politburo Standing Committee due to the stipulated age limit — to the Chinese vice presidency is a sign that Xi has not appointed a successor and that he will be around to continue his fight against the Taiwanese government and foreign forces to the end.

The “one China” principle has never been a problem, because it is an indisputable fact that there is only one China in the world. The problem is instead that Beijing continues to insist that Taiwan and China both belong to the same country.

The reason why “one China” has different meanings in today’s international politics is that Beijing is doing all it can to include Taiwan in the “one China” concept.

If other countries oppose this view or fail to support it, Beijing will vilify them and insist that they are “foreign forces” trying to play the “Taiwan card.”

However, if Taiwan really were a part of China, what kind of “Taiwan card” could these “foreign forces” play?

For example, Henan (河南) and Hebei (河北) provinces, Hunan (湖南) and Hubei (湖北) provinces, Shandong (山東) and Shanxi (山西) provinces and Guangdong (廣東) and Guangxi (廣西) provinces are all really Chinese provinces, so how could “foreign forces” play any card aimed at separating them from China?

The problem, then, is not that foreign forces are playing the “Taiwan card,” it is that China wants to annex Taiwan.

The “one China” concept was a product of a war between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), led by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), and the CCP, led by Mao Zedong (毛澤東), over who would have the right to represent China.

As the international community chose between the two parties, it recognized that both parties were part of “one China.”

The reason for this was quite simple: Both parties were fighting to establish their legitimacy as leader of China. One after the other, countries abandoned Chiang in favor of Mao.

However, this only solved the problem between the KMT and the CCP; it did not mean that Taiwan — where Chiang’s regime relocated after having lost the Civil War — should also be handed to China.

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