China releases white paper outlining plans for reunification with Taiwan

(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

China has released a document outlining it’s plans for a reunification of Taiwan under a “one country-two systems” approach. Bloomberg has published a translation of the entire document which opens by stating China’s claim to the island.

Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times. This statement has a sound basis in history and jurisprudence…

As a result of the civil war in China in the late 1940s and the interference of external forces, the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have fallen into a state of protracted political confrontation. But the sovereignty and territory of China have never been divided and will never be divided, and Taiwan’s status as part of China’s territory has never changed and will never be allowed to change.

Section 2 of the paper is about China’s “resolute” efforts toward unification over the past seven decades. Section 3 is about the inevitability of reunification. There’s a subsection titled “Any Attempt by Separatist Forces to Prevent Reunification Is Bound to Fail.”

Taiwan has been an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times. Moves to separate Taiwan from China represent the serious crime of secession, and undermine the common interests of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. They will lead nowhere.

And section four says the opponents of reunification will be defeated. This bit is clearly aimed at the United States.

External interference is a prominent obstacle to China’s reunification. Still lost in delusions of hegemony and trapped in a Cold War mindset, some forces in the US insist on perceiving and portraying China as a major strategic adversary and a serious long-term threat. They do their utmost to undermine and pressurize China, exploiting Taiwan as a convenient tool. The US authorities have stated that they remain committed to the one-China policy and that they do not support “Taiwan independence”. But their actions contradict their words. They are clouding the one-China principle in uncertainty and compromising its integrity. They are contriving “official” exchanges with Taiwan, increasing arms sales, and colluding in military provocation. To help Taiwan expand its “international space”, they are inducing other countries to interfere in Taiwan affairs, and concocting Taiwan-related bills that infringe upon the sovereignty of China. They are creating confusion around what is black and white, right and wrong.

China points to its “resounding victory” in the Korean war:

Shortly after the PRC was founded, even though the country itself had to be rebuilt on the ruins of decades of war, China and its people won a resounding victory in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-1953). We defeated a powerful and well-armed enemy through gallantry and tenacity. In doing so, we safeguarded the security of the newly founded People’s Republic, reestablished the status of China as a major country in the world, and demonstrated our heroic spirit, our lack of fear, and our will to stand up against the abuse of the powerful.

China recently released a blockbuster film about the Korean War which was very popular. Curiously the PRC never seems to mention that modern day South Korea is successful, modern and wealthy while modern day North Korea is a destitute hellhole full of starving people and a network of prison camps. If North Korea is what success with China’s help looks like, Taiwan should run like hell in the other direction.

Eventually the white paper gets around to what it is the PRC has in mind for Taiwan in the short term. The plan is the use of the “One Country, Two Systems” approach.

The One Country, Two Systems principle is an important institutional instrument created by the CPC and the Chinese government to enable peaceful reunification. It represents a great achievement of Chinese socialism. Peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems are our basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification. Embodying the Chinese wisdom – we thrive by embracing each other – they take full account of Taiwan’s realities and are conducive to long-term stability in Taiwan after reunification.

We maintain that after peaceful reunification, Taiwan may continue its current social system and enjoy a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the law. The two social systems will develop side by side for a long time to come.

Yeah, right.

Anyone who has been paying attention remembers China committed to a one country, two systems approach in Hong Kong that was supposed to last for 50 years. Instead, China passed laws that superseded the laws the Hong Kong, cracked down on protests, arrested and jailed dissidents, shut down the free press and demanded that anyone running for office be “patriotic.” Now there is only one system in Hong Kong and it’s the same system of top-down control and very limited freedom that runs the rest of China. The fact that China would suggest something similar for Taiwan isn’t surprising since it worked well for the PRC in Hong Kong (though obviously not for the people of Hong Kong).

Taiwan’s President has already politely declined China’s offer:

“China issued its white paper… in a wishful thinking way, disregarding the reality of the cross-strait situation,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Wednesday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald…

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou also rejected the idea Wednesday, saying in a news conference that only the people of Taiwan can determine their future and claiming that China was using U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island as an “excuse to create a new normality to intimidate Taiwan’s people,” according to Reuters.

There’s only one thing stopping an invasion of Taiwan and the Chinese seizure of the world’s most important chip foundry. As Russia has learned the hard way, the free nations of the world led by the US will stand up to bullies when forced to do so. Hopefully China is absorbing that lesson.

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