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Letter from Ambassador Zhang Yishan to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the So-called "Question of the Representation of Taiwan in the United Nations"

2004/08/12

On August 12th, 2004, Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Acting Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, summoned UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette for a meeting, at which he made representations with her on the so-called question of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" raised by Chad and a very few other countries and delivered his letter addressed to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

 

Zhang Yishan pointed out that at the instigation of the Taiwan authorities, the above-mentioned countries have once again requested the issue of so-called "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" to be considered in the coming session of the General Assembly. The purpose of such an act is nothing but to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in the United Nations. The Chinese Government and people strongly condemn and firmly oppose such a gross encroachment on China's internal affairs. There is but one China in the world. The resolution 2758 (XXVI) of the United Nations General Assembly stipulated unequivocally that the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China are the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. Thus the issue of China's representation in the United Nations was solved once and for all, in political, legal and procedural terms. Since Taiwan is a region of China, China's representation in the United Nations naturally includes Taiwan. Therefore, there is simply no such issue as the so-called "Taiwan's representation in the United Nations".

 

Zhang Yishan noted that the General Committees of the successive sessions of the General Assembly since 1993 have all flatly refused to include the so-called issue of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" in the agenda of the General Assembly. This not only demonstrates that adherence to the one-China principle is the common view of the international community, but also shows that the Taiwan authorities have failed to receive support in their attempt to split China by raising the so-called issue of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" and that such an act is doomed to failure. China highly appreciates the just position adopted by the United Nations and the vast number of UN Member States in abiding by the one-China principle. We have every reason to believe that in our just cause of safeguarding State sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese Government and people will continue to receive their understanding and support.

 

Fréchette indicated that China's position on the Taiwan issue is known to the whole world. The UN Secretariat and its Secretary-General have consistently adhered to and strictly abided by the UNGA resolution 2758 (XXVI). She noticed that the proposals raised by a very few countries on the issue of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" have been refused repeatedly by the General Committees of the General Assembly. She will report China's position and Zhang Yishan's letter to the Secretary-General.


His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan
Secretary-General of the United Nations
NEW YORK

12 August 2004

Your Excellency,

On 10 August 2004, Chad and a very few other countries addressed a letter (A/59/194) to you, requesting that a supplementary item entitled "Question of the representation of 23 million Taiwan people in the United Nations" be included in the agenda of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly. I hereby solemnly state, upon instructions, China's position as follows:

1. At the instigation of the Taiwan authorities, the above-mentioned countries, in defiance of General Assembly resolution 2758 (XXVI), have once again requested the issue of so-called "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" to be considered in the coming session of the General Assembly. The purpose of such an act is nothing but to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in the United Nations. This is not only a flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, but also a brazen challenge to the one-China principle widely recognized by the international community. The Chinese Government and people strongly condemn and firmly oppose such a gross encroachment on China's internal affairs.

2. Taiwan has been an inseparable part of China's territory since antiquity. Both the 1943 Cairo Declaration and the 1945 Potsdam Proclamation have reaffirmed in unequivocal terms China's sovereignty over Taiwan as a matter of international law. There is but one China in the world, and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This is an objective reality that cannot be changed by anybody. To date, more than 160 countries in the world have diplomatic relations with China. They all recognize the one-China principle, and they all recognize that Taiwan is a part of China. The United Nations Organizations have also consistently adhered to these principles.

3. As early as in 1971, the United Nations General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session adopted by an overwhelming majority the historic resolution 2758 (XXVI), which stipulated unequivocally that the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China are the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. Thus the issue of China's representation in the United Nations was solved once and for all, in political, legal and procedural terms. Since Taiwan is a region of China, China's representation in the United Nations naturally includes Taiwan. Therefore, there is simply no such issue as the so-called "Taiwan's representation in the United Nations". UNGA resolution 2758 (XXVI) has not only reflected the aspirations of the vast number of Member States, but also given expression to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and enhanced the universality of the United Nations. Any attempt to distort or even deny the UNGA resolution 2758 (XXVI) is futile.

4. The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization composed of sovereign States. As a part of China, Taiwan is not eligible to participate, in whatever name and under whatever pretext, in the work or activities of the United Nations or its specialized agencies. No sovereign State in the world would allow one of its provinces or regions to participate in the work or activities of the United Nations, an organization composed of sovereign States only. The General Committees of the successive sessions of the General Assembly since 1993 have all flatly refused to include the so-called issue of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations" in the agenda of the General Assembly. This has fully demonstrated the determination of the vast number of UN Member States to safeguard the UN Charter and the UNGA resolution 2758 (XXVI). It also shows that the Taiwan authorities have failed to receive support in their attempt to split China by raising the so-called issue of "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations".

5. The question of Taiwan is purely an internal matter of China. The position of the Chinese Government on the question of Taiwan is firm and clear. We have consistently adhered to the fundamental principles based on Mr. Deng Xiaoping's concept of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" and to Mr. Jiang Zemin's "Eight-point Proposition on the Development of Cross-Straits Relations and the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of the Motherland". Adherence to the one-China principle is the basis for the development of cross-straits relations and the realization of peaceful reunification. The Chinese Government has stated repeatedly that on the premise of one China, any topic can be discussed between the two sides across the Straits, including the scope of Taiwan region's participation, in suitable capacity, in international economic, cultural and social activities. We have worked vigorously to promote cross-straits exchanges and visits in the economic, cultural and other fields, and made unswerving efforts for the early realization of the "three direct links" (of trade, mail and air and shipping services).

However, in recent years, the leaders of Taiwan region have refused to recognize the one-China principle and obstinately stuck to their separatist position of "Taiwan independence". They have also laid one obstacle after another for the establishment of 'three direct links" and in other areas. The Taiwan authorities have made every effort to reinforce their separatist activities of "Taiwan independence" and repeatedly challenge the one-China principle, pushing cross-straits relations to the verge of danger and posing grave threat to peace and stability in Taiwan Straits as well as the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, they have talked about "establishing a framework to stabilize cross-straits relations". Their deceptive acts, which only further expose themselves, have inevitably met with wide international opposition.

The Chinese Government has all along committed itself with unswerving efforts to the development of cross-straits relations and China's peaceful reunification. We will try our utmost with greatest sincerity to resolve the Taiwan question by peaceful means. However, we will never tolerate "Taiwan independence" nor allow anybody to split Taiwan from China. To safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and realize complete reunification of the motherland at an early date is the common aspiration and strong will of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, including our Taiwan compatriots. Nobody nor any force can change or stop it.

6. Respect for State sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in a country's internal affairs are important principles of the UN Charter cherished by all countries in the world. China has strictly followed these principles in its relations with other countries. China has never done anything harmful to the interests of the above-mentioned cosponsor countries, but what those countries have been doing regarding the question of Taiwan has undermined the national interests of China and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. It has also gravely obstructed the work of the General Assembly and wasted resources of the United Nations. We strongly urge these countries to change their positions, strictly abide by the UN Charter and UNGA resolution 2758 (XXVI), and identify themselves with the great number of UN Member States on the Taiwan question. We highly appreciate the just position adopted by the United Nations and the vast number of UN Member States in abiding by the one-China principle. We have every reason to believe that in our just cause of safeguarding State sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese Government and people will continue to receive their understanding and support.

I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as a document of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly under item 25 of its provisional agenda.

Zhang Yishan
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
And Acting Permanent Representative of the
People's Republic of China to the United Nations

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