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Chinese Permanent Representative to UN Reiterated One-China Principle in His Letter to UN Secretary-General

2003/08/07

Ambassador Wang Guangya, China's new Permanent Representative to UN, presented a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 7 August in which he solemnly stated the position of the Chinese Government on the recent request made by the Gambia and a very few other countries to inscribe "Question of the representation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United Nations" on the agenda of the 58th session of the General Assembly. Here is the full text of the letter:

Excellency,

On 5 August 2003, the Gambia and a very few other countries addressed a letter (A/58/197) to you, requesting that a supplementary item entitled "Question of the representation of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United Nations", be inscribed on the agenda of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly. Upon instruction of my Government, I hereby solemnly state our position as follows:

1. The above-mentioned countries, in defiance of UNGA Resolution 2758 (XXVI), have once again raised the so-called issue of "Taiwan's representation in the United Nations" to the General Assembly this year. The purpose of such act is to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in this Organization. It 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 strongly condemns and firmly opposes 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, both the mainland and Taiwan are part of that one and same China, and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division. To date, more than 160 countries in the world have diplomatic relations with China and they all recognize the one-China principle. This is a historical trend irresistible to anybody or any force. It is an objectivity that cannot be changed by anybody.

3. As early as in 1971, the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted, by an overwhelming majority, the historic UNGA Resolution 2758 (XXVI), which has solved once and for all, in political, legal and procedural terms, the issue of China's representation in the United Nations. This resolution has given expression to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, reflected the aspirations of the vast number of Member States and enhanced the universality of the United Nations. Ever since the day when the legitimate rights of the People's Republic of China were restored at the UN, the Government of the People's Republic of China has attached great importance to and worked to ensure the participation and enjoyment of the benefit of UN activities by all Chinese including, naturally, our compatriots in Taiwan. Therefore, there is simply no such issue as the so-called "Taiwan's representation in the United Nations". It is a futile attempt to distort or even deny UNGA Resolution 2758 (XXVI).

4. The United Nations is an inter-governmental 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 in the agenda of the General Assembly the so-called issue of Taiwan's "participation" in the United Nations. This fully demonstrates that to raise in whatever form the so-called issue of Taiwan's "participation" in the United Nations will fail to receive support from the vast number of UN Member States.

5. Our Taiwan compatriots are members of the big family of the Chinese nation. After the outbreak of SARS, the Central Government of China, showing great concern, adopted a number of measures to promote exchanges of experience and technical cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. Health agencies on the mainland shared with their Taiwan counterparts related information, prevention and treatment techniques and policies on SARS and discussed with them prevention and control measures, which achieved very good results. The Central Government of China agreed that the WHO dispatch experts to investigate the SARS situation in Taiwan, followed by its approval to Taiwan medical experts' participation in the WHO-sponsored global SARS conference in June this year.

The people of Taiwan are our compatriots of the same blood. No one in the world cares more about their health and safety than us. The Taiwan authorities, out of ulterior motives, have incited a handful of countries to make SARS a political issue. It is an act both immoral and unwise.

6. The question of Taiwan is purely an internal matter of China. An early solution to the Taiwan question and realization of complete reunification of the motherland is in the fundamental interest of the entire Chinese people including Taiwan compatriots and reflects the shared aspiration of all Chinese both at home and abroad. To realize reunification of the motherland, Mr. Deng Xiaoping came up with the creative concept of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", which has become a basic state policy of China. Mr. Jiang Zemin has also put forward the "Eight-point Proposition on the Development of Cross-Straits Relations and the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of the Motherland". The smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland has testified to the strong vitality of the "one country, two systems" policy. Adherence to the one-China principle is the basis for the development of cross-straits relations and the realization of peaceful reunification. "One country, two systems" is the best way for the reunification between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. After its reunification with the mainland, Taiwan may keep its existing social system unchanged and enjoy a high degree of autonomy. Our Taiwan compatriots may keep their way of life unchanged, and their vital interests will be fully guaranteed. They will enjoy a lasting peace. Taiwan may then truly rely on the mainland as its hinterland for economic growth and thus get broad space for development. Our Taiwan compatriots may join the people on the mainland in exercising the right to administer the country and sharing the dignity and honor of the great motherland in the international community.

7. Respect for state sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of a country are important principles of the Charter of the United Nations cherished by all countries in the world. China has strictly followed this principle in international relations. China has never done anything harmful to the interests of the above-mentioned small number of countries, but what they have been doing regarding the question of Taiwan has undermined the national interests of China and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. We strongly urge these countries to abide by the Charter of the United Nations and UNGA Resolution 2758 (XXVI) and identify themselves with the great number of UN Member States. We 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 honor to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly under item 24 of its provisional agenda.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Wang Guangya

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

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