Only 51 countries, not 180 as claimed by Beijing, adhere to its “one China” principle, a study by a Singaporean researcher showed.
In a paper published on Thursday, National University of Singapore assistant professor Chong Ja Ian (莊嘉穎) wrote that only 51 countries fully comply with the principle as Beijing defines it.
Chong, who is also a researcher at Washington-based think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, reviewed official documents from each country cited by China.
Chong referenced a 1996 article by Soochow University professor Lee Tzu-wen (李子文) in which Lee researched Taiwan’s status in the international community.
Chong correlated that information with current documents from each country discussed in Lee’s article to show that, as of last month, only 51 nations “recognize the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and agree that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.”
Other countries use different wording in their official documents regarding China’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan.
Twenty-seven countries do not recognize the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and do not mention Taiwan’s sovereignty, while 16 “acknowledge” the claims, Chong wrote.
Nine countries say that they “recognize” the claims of China, but four say they “understand and respect” the claims.
The Netherlands and South Korea say only that they “respect” the claims, while Russia says it “supports and respects” China’s position on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
The US’ “one China” policy says it “acknowledges” China’s position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, while 14 countries cited are Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.
The remaining countries in the report make no clear reference to Taiwan’s sovereignty in their official documents.
It has been Washington’s long-standing policy not to take a position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, but US officials rarely address its stance publicly.
One such instance was when then-Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told a news conference on Oct. 12, 2021, that the US has long abided by its “one China” policy, which is distinct from Beijing’s “one China” principle, which asserts sovereignty over Taiwan.
The US “takes no position over the sovereignty of Taiwan or on sovereignty over Taiwan,” Kirby said.
This story has been amended since it was first published.
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